I Am a Proud Black Teen Who Happens to be Half White

I Am a Proud Black Teen Who Happens to be Half White


Jazkia Phillips
Portland, Oregon

I grew up in a community where black was the thing to be. My friends and family members had an ample amount of pride and confidence when it came to their racial identities and weren’t afraid to let people know. I too had this visceral sense of pride in my identity as a child. When we learned about the Civil Rights Movement and the pioneers of that era, in my mind I would think, “Yeah, those are my people on the frontlines.” When I was asked that dreaded question “What are you?” I never knew how to answer because I felt black in every way. But, my mother had white skin and I chose to acknowledge that. So I settled on the term “mixed” and the rest just fell together nicely. Throughout my elementary school years, I moved along with this pride and the notion that I was, in fact, a black girl. I just had lighter skin, that’s all…

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