What does being black mean to you?
It’s simple, never good enough. And if you are, you are only liked as envy.
What’s your earliest memory of experiencing racial injustice?
My earliest was 4th grade when a classmate told me I couldn’t go to a birthday party because I did not look like them. I believe this was the first, but I’m not quite sure I understood what was going on. In 6th grade was when I realized I was different. My hair. I got made fun of all day, every day. People kept putting stuff in it. I had no idea. I’d do damn near all day before someone told me. So I got it off. Terrible idea, it was worse. When I showered. I’d feel bits of erasers in my hair and the little grips on mechanical pencils in my hair. I decided to get a perm to look “more white”.
How did you move passed it? And what’s your why to keep going?
You know the song “I like it” ? She says “even back then with the tears in my eyes, I always knew I was the shit”. I felt that line. I had to keep telling myself I was different, it was a good different. I was beautiful. Only a different kind of beautiful.. one that would not be appreciated fully.
What’s a beautiful moment that you’ve witnessed during the protest?
This entire movement. I don’t think you can just pick out one. I’ve never in my life seen more passionate whites. It’s beautiful to see people reach out to you, and really see you.
Who is someone that has helped support you to get you to where you are today?
My father, easily. He taught me how to respect people, regardless of how they treated me. Made me understand that it has absolutely nothing to do with me and everything to do with others. He showed me love and the rest of the world love, regardless of his or the worlds situation. He was a role model, less words - more action. That’s how change is made.
This space is free to talk. We want to hear anything and everything you have to say.
I feel being mixed is not talked about enough. The feeling of being torn constantly. Never fitting in, ever. Too white for the blacks and too black for the whites. The identity issues that children of both come out with is necessary to talk about.
That “never good enough” sets in a little harder.