For the most part i say im just Black, but people insist im mixed...which technically i am, but only by my ancestry. But aren't we all??

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Originally Posted by SmilingElephant
Do you live in the US? I have come to the conclusion that perceptions about who is black and who is not has a lot do with culture. myself and family are light and freckled. Some have blue or hazel eyes, and some of my mom's siblings could almost pass, but we've always considered ourselves black without question. Yes we know we're Scot-Irish, Choctaw and African descent but my last white ancestor died right after the CW. The plantation was a long time ago. But when I talk my friends who are from Latin America, they all argue me down insisting I'm not black. I think the difference is in the US, in order to make Jim Crow work, whites supremicists made it if you are even a little black then you're black aka one drop rule. In Latin America it seems the general feeling is if you are even a little anything other than black then you are not black. Not saying everyone thinks this way but that has been my experience. My dad couldn't believe it when I told him people were telling me I'm not black. Not just Latin America. I saw a lady on YT who looks like me who said she went to Namibia and they told her she wasn't black. She was hurt because she was expecting this "return to the motherland experience."
I think the big problem with stereotyping of how "mixed" people look or even what kind of hair they have is that genetics can be tricky. So someone who has a parent of a different race may not look the stereotype while someone with an ancestor from 200 years ago does.

According to Dr. Henry Gates
58 percent of African Americans have at least 12.5 percent European ancestry (equivalent of one great-grandparent);
19.6 percent of African Americans have at least 25 percent European ancestry (equivalent of one grandparent);
1 percent of African Americans have at least 50 percent European ancestry (equivalent of one parent); and
5 percent of African Americans have at least 12.5 percent Native American ancestry (equivalent to one great-grandparent).
Originally Posted by Ayedee
But then, this is the problem for me. People do not accept the diversity of biracial people. My Father is white, my Mother black and I most definitely I.D as biracial, not black or white. Yet, because I have full lips, a button nose and my skin is a little more tanned than some other mixed people, people INSIST I am black, or that I shouldn't 'bother' I.D as mixed because I look black. As it bothers black people to be told they're mixed or must be mixed, it bothers me to be told I must ID as black because I 'look' black. I think I clearly look mixed. I don't feel black, and biracial people are not all very fair with golden-brown hair and green eyes. This is just my take on it, though, as a biracial person. It's made me insecure. I am what I am, and I am sick of people trying to shove me in a box I don't belong to.
Originally Posted by CurlyCarmenCurly
I hear you, Carmen. There is a lot of diversity within the human race but not everyone can see that or accept that.

Look at Halle, Barack, and Wentworth Miller...three biracial people who look very different from one another. I think some folks have a specific idea of what a "mixed" person looks like and it can be difficult to see the broader spectrum. I've also met people who think that mixed people should be brown-skinned and the Black genes should be more dominant, or that all mixed people should have loose curls.

My skin is VERY fair, lighter than some supposedly "pure" white people. My features are delicate. But my 4B mid-back length hair, juxtaposed with my coloring and features, confuses people.

I've encountered all kinds of people throughout my life. Some will look at me like I'm either crazy or lying about my heritage, some will ask "what are you?", and others will simply form their own assumptions. I also remember when I was in my teens, I went to see about getting a job at the local YMCA and the lady there asked me my race, then wrote down "white" because that is what she saw me as.

My ex's family had this wack notion that I didn't want to acknowledge my black roots and they would always beat me over the head with the ODR. I have no problem at all with being seen as a Black person, but I felt that they were trying to put me in a box. The conversations about my race were endless and it frustrated me. I think they had some anxiety about whether I thought I was better because I was so much lighter. Obviously not, because my ex was very dark and my family ranges from white/blonde/blue to deep chocolate with all hair textures. And my ex himself had some kind of self-hate going on because it made him feel good to mistreat a woman of mixed race (me) gave him a sense of power.

My husband's family seems to accept me for who I am to some extent, but I can tell that it puzzles my MIL to hear me defending Black folks and other people of color if racist comments are made in my presence. Sometimes people think that because my skin is white, I share their ignorant sentiments and it's OK to say those things. She often says that I look Polynesian or something and I'm like, "what the hell?" I think it's a way of trying to downplay my heritage or pretend that her only son is married to a more "acceptable" minority. I'm sure that if I were what people view as a more "authentic" Black woman, she would be more vocal in her disapproval. But I'm not sure she means to be malicious. She was born in 1936 in the Deep South, after all. She still lives in an all-white community.

But you are a gorgeous girl and I can relate to people wanting to push you into a box because this has been my experience as well. Just try to hold your head high because you have nothing to be ashamed of.