Wednesday, 4 September 2013
BEING MIXED RACE: AM I A HUMAN RORSCHACH TEST?
Just last week I was standing at a bus stop when a gentleman; a complete stranger came and joined me. Nothing unusual about that, we then politely nodded at each other and a conversation started up.
Me: “it’s still quite warm isn’t it”
Stranger: “yes it is”; pause; “excuse me mate, but were do you come from?”
Stranger: “no, you know, were do you originate from”
Me: “I originate from Ipswich, my mum is English and my dad is Jamaican”
Stranger, sounding surprised: “Really I wouldn’t have thought you were Black, I’d have thought you were Italian or Spanish or something”
Me, politely smiles: “yeah, I sometimes get that”
Now I wasn’t offended by this and this wasn’t the first time or probably won’t be the last time that I’ll have this conversation. I am a light skinned mixed race person with loose curly hair. I have spent most of my life with people questioning my racial identity and for a while I was left questioning it myself.
My random conversation had me asking myself why is it that people feel the need to question a complete stranger as to where they are from. I would never dream of walking up to a stranger and asking, “excuse me, where are your parents from”. My thought is there is this assumption that brown means foreign. I have a friend whose background is one English parent and one foreign born parent; the same as me but their foreign born parent is Russian, they have never had their status as being British questioned; they have not faced that assumption. A Rorschach test is a psychological test used to test peoples’ perceptions and interpretations and at times I feel that being mixed race, we face that........(continue reading here)
Monday, 2 September 2013
BLACK, WHITE AND JUST RIGHT
By author Malaika Rose Stanley November 2011
Mixed-race people have existed ever since our ancestors first set out to explore and wage war - and today, the UK has one of the largest and fastest-growing mixed race populations in the western world. Partly this is because of the greater number of people who choose to define themselves as mixed-race on census forms and elsewhere and partly as the result of more mixed marriages and relationships and more blended, adoptive and step-families. .......(continue reading here)