What Are You?

I’m thinking that when I die, I would like for the inscription “What are you?” to be placed on my tombstone.  That single question alone has been asked of me every since I was consciously aware of my own existence & could comprehend the English language.  As a matter of fact, if you are a biracial person who has never been asked that question then the biracial community of America needs to conduct an investigation to find out if you are trying to pull a Rachel Dolezal.  Being asked, “What are you?” should probably be viewed as a right of passage into this world of existing as the creation of 2 people from 2 different races.

What am I?

I’m definitely not Hispanic, although if I ever decided to learn Spanish I could definitely pass as one.  I’m definitely not an Arab of any sort, although I could probably pass as one as well.  I am the creation of a dark skin black woman and a white guy of German ancestry.  I’m the creation of two people who decided back in 1979 in high school to get busy and produce me 9 months later in 1980.  I’m the creation of two people who came of reproducing age in an era where interracial dating & marriage had become more & more accepted.  I’m that person.  But the short answer is:  I’m mixed.  Sometimes I refer to myself as biracial, sometimes I refer to myself as black, sometimes I even refer to myself as mulatto but regardless of how I choose to identify myself…it’s always been my choice and my choice alone whether I realized I had an option to choose or not.  So that’s who I am.

What’s the point of this American Mulatto series?

I created this series to discuss issues surrounding being biracial in America, more specifically those issues pertaining to those of us who are black & white.  The reason being is that we live in a country that sees things in terms of black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Arab, & Native American for the most part…especially the white & black aspect.  There really aren’t that many discussions amongst biracial people about what it means to be mixed living in a country where you don’t quite fit nice & neatly into one group.  For the mulattos out there, this can be a truly unique experience due to the severe issues of racism that have remained persistent in this country since its inception.  I’m not white enough, I’m not black enough…that’s the life of a mulatto.

*Side note:  I’ll be using the term mulatto in this series quite frequently in order to describe a person that has a white parent & a black parent.  In a future post I’ll also explain why I choose to use this term.*

To wrap up this article in the my American Mulatto series, these articles are going to serve as a place where I can let all of the thoughts out of my mind that have been swirling around in my brain for over 30 years about what it means to be a biracial person in America.  Hopefully this series will provide some clarity for other biracial people to “come out of the closet” in accepting who they really are…who knows.  If not, well, it shall be what it shall be I suppose.

Your favorite mulatto.
%d bloggers like this: