Hi, my name is Kira, and I am mixed.
I was adopted as a newborn into a White family. I have two biological half-sisters who are White, and an also adopted Hispanic little brother. We have no contact with my biological father, who we assume was Black, but really, we don’t know. As a result, I do not know what I am mixed with. I am the only Black person in my entire family. And while I live an incredible life that I do not deserve, I have always struggled with my identity. Growing up interracial was not easy.
Sometimes I think I would give anything, ANYTHING to have just one family member who gets it. I have a Hispanic little brother, but he faces a different aura of oppression. I wish someone was there when a girl in my kindergarten class told me my mother couldn’t be my mother because she looked different from me. I wish I had someone there when my biological sister told me “If Black people can say the N-word, then White people can,” or someone there to experience both the awkwardness, and the hope I felt when my Nana, who was raised in a very southern setting, told me she was racist before I came along and she saw the world in a new light.
I wish someone was there when my mom and I fought with my hair for hours on end, and every time that I called myself ugly because I couldn’t get my hair to look a certain way. I wish someone was there when my parents and I had a huge fight because they got onto me for “ranting” about the Black Lives Matter movement, and the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. They didn’t understand that I was hurt and angry. Until they came around a few days later, hungry for change and ready to listen. Growing up was a challenge. And I will continue to face challenges for the rest of my life. But that’s okay, because these challenges make me strong. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
It’s hard to come from two different sides. It’s hard to not know your identity, and to make yourself into the best version of YOU you can be regardless. And mixed girls face challenge with beauty and grace, because that is what we are here for. Bring it on world, we’re ready.
Written by Kira Hope