My Biracial Life: A Memoir

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2015-02-08 16:53Z by Steven

My Biracial Life: A Memoir

Philadelphia [Magazine]

Originally published as “My Wild, Chaotic, Complex, Crazy, Ambiguous (Biracial) Hair” in the February 2015 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

Malcolm Burnley

What 25 years with wild, chaotic, complex, crazy, ambiguous hair has taught me.

It’s 1:30 a.m. on a Saturday night at the barren 24-hour Melrose Diner in South Philly. I’m there alone. The hostess is hawkeyed at the cash register, as if I’m going to steal her silverware. She eventually moseys up to my booth. “Do you have a tan, or is that your natural skin color?” she asks. Natural, I tell her. “What are you?” I give her three guesses. “Hawaiian?” Nope. “Samoan?” Getting colder. At this point, a nearby server who’s been eavesdropping on the conversation decides to join in. “Puerto Rican,” he says. Wrong. “Dominican.” Wrong again. Then, five minutes after I’ve told them my ethnicity, a third member of the waitstaff comes up to me. “Hey, I like your skin color — what are you?”

Welcome to my world…

Read the entire article here.

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