cylas life: being a mixed kid being black being mixed self-identity
by Mommy Hobbies
In my napsack stash
My son came home from school on Friday with a piece of paper. A self portrait. He proudly laid it on the table and said, “that’s me, mom, that’s me. I’m black.” Then he smiled and went to play in his room. That was all. So nonchalant.
It might not have been a big deal for him, but it was for me. It was a beautiful moment in my life as a mother and a woman of slight color…I say, “slight” because I’m mixed.
My life as a young, mixed kid was confusing, to say the least. I grew up in a small town where almost everyone was white, wore Wranglers, big belt buckles and owned a truck and a horse. All my friends were white and for all intents and purposes, so was I. I was white, until some kid reminded me, most cruelly, that I was not. I was an “ugly, black bullfrog”. *pop* Bubble burst and reality hit. I wasn’t white, I was brown. Not only was I brown, but I had puffy hair and big brows…white girls didn’t.
I won’t go through all of my struggles as a brown girl in a white girl’s world. Waste of time.
Now, thank goodness, my mind is in a different place. And my son is light years ahead of where I was at his age and I couldn’t be happier. Skin is just a color to him, not a measure of a man’s worth. He refers to black people as “chocolate people”. His grandpa and great-grandpa are chocolate men. He loves them dearly, too. For my little boy to show such a self-awareness with confidence speaks worlds and volumes to me. I was completely inspired by him.