Growing Up w/Racism

Paul was a very dark skinned Black man. With his beautiful smile and charming disposition, it surprised know one that he created 10 children in his lifetime. My siblings and I did not grow up together. Rather, meeting at various funerals over the years or hearing about one another via the small town gossip vine.

Of the 10 of us, I am pretty certain I was the only child that was born to a White woman. Growing up around my cousins, I was definitely the only mixed grand child around. Often times feeling out of place on weekend trips to grandmother’s house. Sunday service meant all 15 grandkids were up before sunrise to a plate of cheese eggs, grits and pork bacon.

Hotcomb Horror!

I would anxiously eye the hot comb on the back burner that mocked me silently as I ate my food. While my cousins would take turns bathing and getting dressed, I would sit between Eloise’s legs sweating bullets as she combed my unruly curls. Often catching my ears with that heat. She always told me how pretty my hair was. This was a straight contradiction to the taunting I received from my cousins who never let me forget that I was different being raised by a white woman.

Being the Black Sheep…

The luxury of relief when it was time to go home to my mother after church was never something I experienced. Growing up bi-racial came with being ostracized on both sides of my family. I was never in touch with the culture enough to be accepted by my father’s family. I was too much like my father, often catching the brunt of my mothers frustrations at being disowned by her family for laying with a black man resulting in brown child.

Racist Undertones

In her frustrations, I would hear my father called every thing except his God given name. When the monthly child support didn’t come through she really went off. Most often, my dad was a black porch monkey, sorry ass nigger, no good piece of shit, the names would go on and on. Heaven forbid his personality traits come to the forefront when parenting me. She never hesitated to tell me I was just like my father.

As I grew older I began to question why I would feel rage when seeing an interracial couple. Specifically a white woman with a black man. Being of sound mind, I would question myself, how can you be a product of a bi-racial union and have such an issue with it. Connecting the dots between my childhood and my adult issues regarding interracial unions was akin to 100 light bulbs going off in my head.

Confronting the Issue

People have a hard time holding themselves accountable. Especially when it comes to actions that help shape young minds. My mother was never able to admit that her carelessness when interacting with my father and I contributed to the painful issues I developed regarding my self worth. Later in life, I realized she was only mimicking what she had been taught in her childhood.

Growing into a woman that can’t appreciate the bloodline that makes up the feisty personality, determined nature, beautiful skin tone and smile is unheard of. The anger and disappointment I carried toward my mother was eating me alive. I will never forget the day I woke up making the decision that I would forgive my mother for making me feel less than because of my genetic make-up. Releasing that anger did more for me than her apology ever could. Forgiving her had to come without an apology. Forgiving her was more for my own piece of mind and growth.

Shining Bright Like A Diamond

I no longer feel rage when I see a White woman with a Black man. Instead, I am happy to be able to witness love, in all forms. With that release and appreciation for love in all forms, I am attracting love in all forms. Most importantly, I am embracing my differences as a bi-racial woman. I am grateful for being exposed to both cultures growing up. That exposure has positioned me to win in life! That is exactly what I intend to do!

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