Racially Ambiguous and Tired Of Explaining

Melanie Cowart,
Fair Oaks Ranch, TX.

My parents were married in 1934 when miscegenation was illegal in most states. Until I was older, I didn’t realize how much courage it took for them to be together. My mother, who was white, raised her two daughters, now 80 and 62, to be proud African-American women. I’m so sorry she did no live to see the election of President Obama, another child of mixed heritage but who associates more with the African-American community. The hardest part about being racially ambiguous is always having to explain who I am to other African-Americans. Even in 2015, I walk into a room and the conversation stops, while everyone questions in their minds, ” Who’s the white girl?” For all our protests about discrimination, African-Americans can be the most prejudice of their own race. Someone once told me the prejudice stems from plantation times when lighter slaves worked in the house and darker slaves in the field, a technique used by plantation owners to create a division. Well, must we as a race hold onto those old plantation stereotypes? All members of the human race need to be as accepting of each other as my parents were when it wasn’t even considered morally or legally acceptable to ignore skin color.

 

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