What is the ethnic background of your parents?
My father is Black and Sicilian, my mom is Cherokee and Spanish
What type of colorism have you had to face and how did you deal with it?
Since I was very young I remember being called Oreo, mutt, half-breed, etc. Many times I would face opposition from both sides of the fence, Blacks would call me White, while Whites would call me Black. It became difficult for me to know where I fit in, so I would usually retreat into myself with reading and painting. As I got older, it became less of an issue with friends, but more of an issue with men who considered me ‘exotic’ or became stuck on light skin and long hair. Having moved to the south recently has brought up color issues in my life again, I’ve learned to move past all of that and be comfortable with myself. What others think of my nationality is no longer my concern.
What do you think of the terms mixed, biracial, or mulatto?
I think that those terms can be used by some to make themselves feel better about who they are as people. When someone needs to claim Spanish, White or Indian in their lineage because they don’t think being Black is good enough, it’s more of a crutch or status symbol. I think those terms can be used factually, but more often are used to make biracial people feel better or worse about themselves, depending on who’s using them.
What do you have to say to people that think if you look White that you are not Black?
Know yourself and know that you are far more than the color of your skin. Allowing other people to dictate who you are racially or as a human being is detrimental to your spiritual health. YOU make the decision about who you are and what you represent. It’s your life, your heritage and your decision to be true to who you are, all of your life. To be the best you, regardless of what color you represent or how others see you.
Where can we find you online?
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