|Articles, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-06 02:20Z by Steven|
There are three things you should know.
First: I’m not biracial.
“What are you?” people ask, and they expect me to say something thrilling and tribal. I answer, but still they press. “Where are your ancestors from?” people ask, and they want answers that aren’t San Antonio and Wheeling, West Virginia. But that’s all I got. My story is both simple and untold.
The bones of it, of me: I’m black, despite the skin that goes virtually translucent in the winter. Despite the thin unpredictable curls. My mom and dad are black, as are my grandparents. That’s all she wrote. That’s all there is, even as I write this sentence. My parents, usually liberal employers of nuance, have always been militant-clear about drawing that line. We aren’t biracial.
When I tell people I’m black, they find it unsatisfying. “That’s no fun,” one girl joked to me recently. “I thought you were going to have a story.”
Second: I’m 44% European, 49% African. Not exactly an equal split, but pretty damn close.
I hear the same sentence twice…
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