The Mixed Identity - Jessica

What does it mean to be mixed race?

I love being mixed race! Mauritius is beautiful, I am so proud to say this is where my family are from. The food is always sensational with recipes my nan will never disclose. I don't have to spend time trying to tan and I have a uniqueness that is based on lived experiences related to both cultures.

Although being Black and White isn't black and white. It causes an inner tug of war. I am black and white, English and Mauritian but when you do not have a connection with one side it becomes quite confusing. I connect with being English but I do not connect with being white. From a young age I had to cut ties with my white family as my sisters and I were treated different for "looking different." We've been referred to as monkeys and labelled "as all the same". My nan feeling so comfortable around me that she would tear my dad down for nothing else but the colour of his skin. It is sad that you expect that from society and strangers who are uneducated but you do not expect it from those who share your blood.

Despite the internal racism in my family and of that I have experienced, I am definitely fully aware of the benefits from having lighter melanin, white features and straighter hair but fair skin and white features are not synonymous with being white.

Overall I think that societal expectations try to define us, try to categorise us and try to make us a pick a side. You're too black or you're too white. Tick a box. We do not have to publicly unravel the percentages of our ethnicities, we are whoever we feel we are, the side of us that ignites passion, the part of us that feels like home. That's who we are. That's what it means to be mixed race.
Written by Jessica Murday

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