Standing Up for My Biracial Identity

Standing Up for My Biracial Identity

Marie Claire

Christine Stoddard

And what no one understands about it.

I realized that my mother was unlike my classmates’ mothers the first time another kid asked if she was my nanny.

From the on, I became a little spy in my own home—seeing my mother as other people did. I suddenly heard her accent. I noticed that the food she packed for me wasn’t the same food my classmates ate. I became aware that in the summertime, her skin got much darker than mine.

But it wasn’t until taking a standardized test in sixth grade that I understood I was biracial—at least by the American definition. The personal information section demanded that we identify our race. It was the first time I had ever explicitly been asked the question. I told my teacher that I didn’t know how to answer the question—I was more than the one box specified—and almost cried when she snapped to “just pick something.” Stumped by the short list, I chose “white.”…

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