I’ve been reading a book called, Half and Half. It’s a compilation of essays by writers who are Bi-racial and/or Bi-cultural. All of the essays are compelling. But I wanted to share part of a particular one. It is written by James McBride, who is, like Annika, half White and half Black. I won’t comment on it. It speaks for itself.
“I’m a black man and I’ve been running all my life. Sometimes I feel like my soul just wants to jump out of my skin and run off, things get that mixed up. But it doesn’t matter, because what’s inside is there to stay no matter how fast you sprint. Being mixed feels like that tingly feeling you have in your nose when you have to sneeze — you’re hanging on there waiting for it to happen, but it never does. You feel completely misunderstood by the rest of the world, which is probably how any sixteen-year-old feels, except that if you’re brown-skinned like me, the feeling lasts for the rest of your life….. I hate it when people see my brown skin and assume that all I care about is gospel music and fried chicken and beating up the white man. I could care less. I’m too busy trying to live.
“Once a mulatto, always a mulatto, is what I say, and you have to be happy with what you have, though in this world some places are more conducive to the survival of a black white man like me than others… Washington is a town split straight down the middle — between white and black, haves and have-nots, light-skinned and dark-skinned — and full of jive talkers of both colors. The blacks are embittered and expect you to love Marion Barry unconditionally. The whites expect you to be either grateful for their liberal sensibilities or a raging militant. There’s no middle ground.”