My parents successfully passed me off as a dark-skinned Italian for 19 years of my life.
Ja Du says she loves Philippine food and music and enjoys TV shows on Philippine culture.
Unlike some who assert that race is irrelevant and try to minimize its importance by pointing out that it is purely a social construct, I believe it DOES matter.
Somewhere along the line I left behind not feeling Latina enough and not feeling mainstream enough and in the process strengthened cultural muscles that I can humbly flex within a moments notice.
Despite every attempt by mainstream society to render us invisible, Native Americans are very thankful. After more than 500 hundred years of colonization, Native Americans are still here and always will be. Please remember that when you sit down at your Thanksgiving meal this year.
Seventeen years ago this month, I was in the middle of a full-blown identity crisis. I didn't know who or what I was anymore, let alone what to call myself. As our nation turns to observe National Adoption Month, I'm reminded of accidentally discovering, at the age of twenty, that I was adopted.
At some point, your child may identify with one race over another. This may not be yours and you may feel hurt. Biracial children build healthy self-concepts when they are taught that they are both, not 50/50.
Fair-skinned, single language learner, Mexican/Puertorican Latina placed in a Latin paradigm where I felt I did not identify at times and yet in the same breathe was not accepted either. Feeling as if I was questioned of my authenticity? I had to ask myself "Who and what am I?" everyday of my life.
In the summer of 1998, only a month after I turned 20, I accidentally discovered that I was adopted. The experience threw me into an identity crisis. It also had the curious effect of teaching me about religious freedom.
Many immigrants attribute their success in America to blending the old and the new, or to linking their past lives with their current one. However, Mr. Jindal calls on them to completely discard their old values for superior American ones, and to "learn English, roll up their sleeves and get to work."
Ever since I got into travel writing, I've been told to read the works of Joseph Conrad, Jack Kerouac, Edward Abbey, Bruce Chatwin, Paul Theroux, William Dalrymple, Bill Bryson, and other white men. While I learned a lot from their stories, I was also repeatedly left with questions about misogyny and racial insensitivity.
But that's not the main reason parts of Black America are upset with her. People are upset that she CHOSE to live as black woman, and she can CHOOSE to live as a white woman with all rights and privileges restored while everyday black folks can't shed their blackness in favor of being white for a day.
Until we learn to confront the good, the bad and the downright absurd, we will keep having the same stale, worn out, going nowhere conversations.
I love being black. I don't really care what label you use -- African-American, negro, black. You can even call me colored, or change the label a few more times, and it won't matter to me. I love the creativity, style, resilience and heart of being black.
I would like to think I'm black. And at first glance, it's apparent I am. My skin and hair say so. And if anything, I've got a birth certificate that solidifies my heritage. I would like to think I'm black. But sometimes, I'm not sure if others of my race agree.
You've always wanted to be black. Well now you can be with the Blackness Card™. The Blackness Card will grant any white person honorary black status and a certified black experience™ anywhere within the United States.
The timing of Dolezal's racial transition is extremely important. She benefitted from the inherited privileges of whiteness while growing up and through most of her adult life, then she later exploited light-skinned privilege while identifying as an ethnically mixed person.
I live and teach in the same community as Rachel Dolezal. "What are you?" is an anxiety-producing question for me and for many mixed people. Calls for "proof" of heritage overlook the oppressive histories people of color have with respect to documentation.