An Update from the Fucking Mixed Feminist

Three months ago I wrote an article where I “for the last time!” said that I was fucking white and black, and as a mixed feminist, I would not create a race-section of this blog, but instead just talk about both black and white issues as a mixed-feminist should.

While my intentions were good, I look back on this article now and see how much pain I was going through.

The truth is, only three months ago did I begin to fully grasp the entirety of my blackness.

Now I know that may make a few people laugh, or at least raise some eyebrows, but I can only explain it like this:

I’ve spent most of my American life in a place that told me for so long that I was not white or black, but this special race called mixed. I internalized that so deeply that even backpacking through Southeast Asia in which I had multiple experiences where Thai and Khmer people would put their light skin beside my glowing darkness and say to me with empty faces, “Wow! So dark! So ugly!” were just the first few nudges leading to this awakening.

These experiences, no doubt, helped me to realize how common anti-black racism is globally. And I made sure to lay out in the equatorial sun while their mouths hung open in shock and disgust. My skin in Asia became my biggest fuck-you. Because at the end of the day, I could always go back to cold, dark, cloudy Germany (or 4 seasons-Washington, DC) where my skin lightens back up to that “mixed-girl-pretty”. And it was in that knowledge that I found my security. In being “mixed”. In being “half”.

I had been nudged, but as a mixed person, you are in a strange position of privilege and oppression, and like many mixed-black people, I clung to my value in whiteness.

At first.

Just like when you are sleeping and are nudged, with every nudge I got closer and closer to waking up. I took the year off to travel. I backpacked through Eastern Europe in February, lived in white-ass Spain until April, went to Tanzania — my first time in the Motherland — and all of this happened while my base over here is GERMANY. Every trip was a nudge. Every experience I had this year has in some way or other been ripening me for my awakening. Just…. Everything happens with time.

Of course I have known that I am black and white, but I have lived so much of my life separated from Black people that I hadn’t realized how much of my experience was systemic. And in realizing this about my identity, I have been forced to review my concept of it. I cannot separate my black from my white. I cannot be “half” black in a society that deems one drop full-n***er. It’s been a coon luxury to believe in that, but I’ve unplugged. The veil has been lifted, and I cannot un-see.

By continuing to take an intersectional approach to feminism what I’ve most realized these last few months is that these issues really are inseparable from one another. And they’re not some set of theories or trendy notions, they’re often presented as an interruption in a conversation, a racist punchline, or a microaggressive comment.

Three months ago this review was just starting to take place. If you’d asked me, I wouldn’t have admitted it unless you were really close to me. I was at a point where I felt like a white person trapped in a black body, realizing the world hated me! (“They weren’t just pulling the race card!” lol I never said that but put those words into a feeling and that’s what I felt). I’ve gone through transformations these last few months that have been revolutionary in my way of thinking. And although it’s been mostly painful, I feel nothing but love and inspiration and appreciation that the universe aligned in a way that I could allow myself to be nudged instead of snapping at the world and retreating back into white sleep the many racially-confronted people (of all colors) often do.

These last few months I have learned not just about the oppression that comes with blackness, but the *privilege* that comes with being mixed-black, because while I am black, my identity is complicated. Very important: It is dangerous as mixed-black people to claim 100% blackness, because the biological aspect of the situation is that we are not 100% black. (Race is social and biology is biology Rachel Dolezal!) And while most African Americans also have some mixing in their lineage, I would categorize “mixed” based on the distinguishable features due to whiteness and white beauty ideals. As mixed people we are in a unique position of privilege and oppression because of our genetic makeup (curly white-textured hair and/or lighter brown skin). One privilege we have as mixed-black people is society’s elevation of us as embodiments of “exceptional” “beautiful” blackness that may make us feel personally warm, fuzzy, and flattered, but ultimately creates an unspoken parallel to our darker-skinned brothers and sisters that dehumanizes, imprisons, rapes, and murders all of us (go google the numbers). Don’t let the elevation fool you, it’s only to keep this system in place.

So yes, I am a fucking mixed feminist. I claim mixed-black not because white is the default, but because in blackness I have found myself.

x feminewbie

One thought on “An Update from the Fucking Mixed Feminist

  1. I love this article. I’ve gone through similar realisations being mixed, finding comfort in being “only half black” in those countries where that is considered better than pure black. I haven’t quite figured out where I stand exactly and it actually doesn’t really matter but this piece of writing really hit home. Thanks for sharing that!

    Like

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