My father, whom I don’t know, is black and my mother is white. I was raised in a White, Irish family. Growing up, no one in my family looked like me, but I never noticed until ‘Roots’ premiered on TV.
I had my son with a white man, so he is one quarter black, but is assumed to be Caucasian because of his appearance. My newly arrived grandson, is also white. And so for all these reasons, I spend a good deal of time (as does my son) trying to convince others that I was NOT adopted and that I AM a biological member of my own family.
In addition, there are two basic facts that I perpetually have to deal with; the fact that I am not white AND the fact that I am not black. People assume I ‘have the best of both worlds’ – in some ways; yes. There is a presumption that I am somehow less likely to be ‘ghetto’ or ‘hood’. My appearance often confuses people as to my origin, so they err on the side of caution. I am able to visibly tan, and have slightly less conflict with my hair. People find me more approachable than someone they consider ‘black’. I am often described as ‘exotic’ looking.
However, in other ways; no. I am still the target of racism, from both groups! Whites who do not accept others, recognize that no matter how ‘light’ I am, I am not ‘one of them’. And Blacks have a tendency to assume I ‘think I’m better’ or ‘act white’. There is a resentment from Black women, in particular about their ‘light skinned sisters’ stealing their men. But when I date white people, I am accused of ‘dissing my brothers’.
All this is based solely on MY OWN EXPERIENCES. But I believe that while I am a target for all the hate and resentment from both races, (and others), I also represent the future. Because that creamy beige, has become unremarkable. It could be a mixture of ANY ethnic combination, and so as more and more people become that color, the origins of it will become less and less important. …that’s my hope, at least.