Melting Pot

April 25, 2018
By itsjustzy BRONZE, Eastampton Township , New Jersey
itsjustzy BRONZE, Eastampton Township , New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

My dad is a African American  male with brown Asian eyes, along with super curly, nappy hair usually shaved down to his scalp. My mom is a German female with pale skin and big brown eyes. Her hair is curly, she is partially black despite what people may say about her skin color. I am mixed, what my parents refer to as, a melting pot. I was raised in a house with my mother, my grandparents, and my two uncles. They are in fact my blood family, even though I am a little bit darker. So no, I am not adopted. Everyone in the neighborhood knew us, they were friendly and never saw me as anything more but a new edition to the family.  As I child, I never noticed that I was a little different compared to my relatives. We were all alike in so many ways,  I don’t recall having any doubt in my mind that my family wasn’t my “real” family. Until, my mom decided it was time to move. I went to a new school where nobody knew me. It was just me and my mom. On my first day of fourth grade, I kissed my mom goodbye, and headed in line with the rest of the children. It was a fresh, welcoming atmosphere but I noticed a confused look on the students faces. They looked at my mom, they looked at me. They looked again, and again. Finally, one of the girls in the group asked a question that had changed my perspective on everything, “Is that your real mom?” I wasn’t offended, I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t sad, I was confused. Of course that’s my real mom, what kind of question is that? Did you not just see me give her a hug goodbye just like all the other kids and their mommies, I thought to myself. With all the possible responses running through my mind, I replied with, “Yes.” From then on out, my life does not go on without someone questioning my race.

As I approached middle school, I guess people thought since my dad wasn’t around in the beginning stages of my life, I was considered less black. I “talk white” so therefore I am nothing more than an ashamed black girl, who tries to act white. As I got older, I began to learn more about myself. Reality kicked it, and my father was now in my life and was teaching me about a whole other side of my family. I met my black grandma, aunts, uncles, a whole family that I never knew about. The food was different, the way they spoke, all things I wasn’t used to. This wasn’t me being “racist” it was just a new environment, I was adapting to. I remember times where I’ve turned down food options and slick comments were made about how I only like my food bland. I didn’t know all the words to an old rap song and supposedly that made me less black. I had what my friends and family called “white people hair” so that also made me less black. I was going through an identity crisis. Middle school was the years that I decided I needed to be who people saw me as, which was black. I began learning the slang, and becoming someone I wasn’t. I even taught myself how to properly eat a chicken wing specific to my family’s standards. Quite funny actually. But hey, according to what my black family and friends were telling me, if I didn’t like wings, I was less black. Throughout all of this it wasn’t that I was unhappy, I would just always feel out of place. When we had family gatherings on my german side, I started becoming uncomfortable. What really bothered me throughout all of this was not what people said to me, but rather what I said to myself. I read a quote once that said, “If you had a friend that spoke to you the way that you spoke to yourself, how long would you let that person be your friend?” I had been putting myself down for being too white or not enough black. Soon enough, I realized, I have to simply stop caring about what others think of me. I am mixed. I do not “talk white” I speak proper English. I love all music. I embrace every single part of each of my races compiled into me. So before you try and change yourself just remember, people will always have something to say. 

The author's comments:

I hope this narrative promotes self love to teens that are going through similar identity crisises that I endured when I was younger. 

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