Yes. I am bi-racial.
“Ya know I could just tell you were mixed with a little somethin’!”
Yep I am mixed, you are right indeed!
“You’re Hispanic right?”
“Or Italian? No, Dominican??”
Nope. I am half black & half white (Czech Slovakian, German, & Irish to go into detail with the “white” portion).
“Which do you like better?”
What do you mean?
“Black or white?”
“Cause isn’t there one you identify with more, or there has to be one you like better since you’re bi-racial?”
I appreciate both equally, and struggle with both equally.
This is what a lot of my conversations regarding my identity look like. If you followed my articles while I wrote for the Odyssey, one of my most popular articles was called “Black & White” (where I detailed my experience as a bi-racial young woman in society today). This “dialogue” above stems from that article. “Black and White” set me off on the journey of discerning who I am through writing.
It was a very cathartic experience for me. I loved being able to express how ridiculous, but also how real it is to be a bi-racial or mixed person in groups/communities who do not really understand it. I am not bitter, and hope it doesn’t come across that way. I am just seeing it now from a much more mature perspective than I did a few years ago.
That being said, the repercussions of my racial makeup have deeply impacted me. “Black and White” only scratched the surface of the whole “glacier” of who I am (Cue picture of glacier because I am a very visual person and think a glacier picture will help my analogy make more sense). My ethnic background is crucial to who I’ve become as a young woman. More-so than I could have ever imagined.
I have reached the age now where I find it funny to see the stares my family and I will get in public. I have also reached the maturity to explain my experiences and not hold back anymore. When I tell of how people have treated me or talked to me as a bi-racial person, my friends have been in shock. It’s completely new to them, but it has been my whole life.
Personally, I enjoy being able to teach more about coming from a mixed or bi-racial identity. It has taken me a long time to process through it, but I am trying to take those steps because I realize my story is important. I have come to the conclusion that by sharing my experience, people can gain a different perspective on the world. Its a beautiful thing to learn about other cultures, and my hope is that by sharing mine, people can expand their view of God’s creation.
He made this world to be diverse, not bland. It makes me sad when people say they are “just white”, as if there is nothing special to them. In fact, even within your “white” identity, you have different cultural flavors (as my Racial & Cultural Minorities professor would say in a nutshell. Quick note, he is pretty awesome and I loved my class with him. Okay, shout out over). We have so much more to us, specifically culturally, than many realize.
I believe that understanding the wide span of cultures in our world, evident in human beings, is one of the best ways to see God’s hand in His creation. Every person provides a glimpse into a layer of who God is. They bring their different gifts to the table. How amazing is that! Just think about all of the people in the world, their backgrounds, their cultures… Can you imagine combining all of those together into who we know as God? I know I can’t. It blows my mind just writing about it. An understanding of our cultural identity can provide a glimpse into the character of God.
In a time where identity (I believe) is the biggest crisis of our society, it is that much more important to intentionally introspect. It can truly amaze people to see someone who knows who they are, their background, and what role they want to play in their cultural group (and in the world).
A person rooted in not only their identity, but their identity in God is truly revolutionary. They are the ones people stop to listen to in awe. I think we need more people like that, and that is the kind of person I want to be.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”