Sometimes I forget about how lucky I am to have grown up in the family I did. I am the product of an interracial marriage and growing up I never really felt any discrimination as I feel that other people in my position did. First, my extended family on both sides of the family have always been an important part of my life. While my parents got married in the mid-90s where interracial marriage was more accepted, not like in my grandparents’ time, they must have still felt some of the negative effects. Luckily none of it came from my grandparents or other members of my extended family. I haven’t heard of any negative reactions from my family for my parents’ marriage, which is not always the case.
I grew up being very aware of topics such as civil rights and identity and these were topics that were often discussed in my house. My sister and I were asked in high school if we wanted to speak to a writer from our town’s magazine about being biracial. We both declined because what they were looking for was a story about discrimination and ours was not that. Yes sometimes finding your identity is hard when you have to put “other” on standardized tests, but for my family race was not a defining factor in who I am but that doesn’t mean I should ignore that part of my identity.
Readings like the Sui Sin Far story and The Quadroons show that back then being biracial was very actually scary. There was very little acceptance of interracial marriages. It was worse than being one or the other. While white Anglo-Saxon was the superior race if you were part African American and part White you were still considered African American by whites and there were prejudices against you by African American for being mixed. It seems like things have gotten a lot better over the years and I do not feel like there is so much of an external struggle for people of mixed race. I do believe that the internal is still there for a lot of people. Racial divisions are still very prevalent and I think too many biracial children, especially from African American and white descent, feel like they have to pick a side or have to prove themselves one way or another. I feel very lucky that I grew up in the situation that I did, and I hope as the world progresses more kids have a situation like mine and not like the one the writer for our town’s magazine was looking for.