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The "Other" Box

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“Oh, so you’re what they would consider a Milano right?” This statement usually comes from an ignorant person who confuses the word “Mulatto” with a popular Pepperidge Farm cookie. Hey, I’d rather be called a cookie than to be called a “half-breed” or a “Mutt”. Things like this are no big deal to me though, I love being biracial and I’m not ashamed of it. I come from a white mother of Portuguese and Italian decent and an African American Father. I’m black and white, simple.

I get the typical “You don’t look black.”, and the “I can’t believe your mom is white!” People act like I’m a rare and unusual scientific experiment. I don’t understand though, I feel like the amount of mixed families has increased tremendously over the years. I feel like I meet other multi-racial people all the time, so what’s the big deal?
I’ve learned to embrace it, no matter what people think about my mixed background. I no longer care about fitting into a racial group, because in reality, I never will. Half of the time I’m not “black enough” and the other half I’m not “white enough”
When people go by my looks alone I usually pass for Hispanic or sometimes Middle Eastern. Strangers speak Spanish to me all of the time; once my broken “Spanglish” begins they usually catch on though. I used to feel the need to pick a side and identify myself as only Black; I would check the African American box when I filled out surveys and questionnaires. As I got older I started to ask myself “why?” I wasn’t ashamed of my mother at all so why should I hide a part of me just to fit in somewhere in society?
I love my thick curly hair just as much as I love my olive complexion skin. I love my “White” mother just as much as I love my “Black” father. These things make me who I am, and quite frankly, I love who I am. I refuse to downplay any part of me just to fit in somewhere. Now that I’m older and much more mature, I check the “Other” box on surveys, and I embrace every part of me.





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PuertoRico said...
Oct. 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm
Im from Puerto Rico an almost everybody here is some form of Mulatto, even me!!! Anyway i liked your essay, it was actually pretty funny. Good job :)
 
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