Being: An Oreo

Posted by Dominiquea, 27 Dec 16

The Chocolate outside: The apparent blackness that runs through each kinky curl and radiates from my melanin drenched skin.

The Vanilla Inside: This seemingly hidden surprise that I’m just as much white as I am black.

So…who’s white and who’s black? That’s generally the next question I’m asked after I get hit with the initial, ‘What are you?’. I find it kind of annoying. What do you mean what am I?

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Anyway…

My mom is white and my dad is black. A mix of familiarity with a hint of exoticness.

I had some serious identity issues growing up. I think most people of mixed race do though, I would be amazed at anyone who didn’t. I never really leaned more towards identifying with a certain side; I was sort of laying in a limbo of self-identification. There’s this overwhelming pressure that as a mixed person you have to fit into these different stereotypes for both ethnicities, but what no one tells you is that you will fail and then be rejected from both sides.

I was never ‘black enough’. I talked ‘white’, I listened to Nirvana and I’d eat cold pasta salad at bbq’s (ha). Some girls in high school did not like me at all; they’d throw things at me from across the hallway or cafeteria, run up and yank on my hair, and often made threats about jumping me. At first I couldn’t understand where their negativity towards me was generated from; then they made comments about me being ‘light skinned’ and thinking I was better than other people. Dang. That was tough to hear; I had never even had a conversation with those girls in my life.

I was never ‘white’ enough either. By outward appearance alone I was already set out to be too ghetto to fit in. God forbid I ever related to or found interest in anything a stereotypical white girl did; then I would be the ‘whitest black girl they knew’. Ugh, and that was always the worse.

After growing up and dealing with ignorance, insensitivity, and intrusiveness, I came to realize that my identity issues were not of my own, I had adopted them from others. I had allowed other people’s confusion to confuse me. There’s this beauty I found through my struggle; that I am blessed to have the opportunity to understand both the white and black experience, despite how messy it can get. It’s insightful, entertaining, and has an interesting vantage point and perspective that a lot of people don’t have the ability to have. If I only knew then what I know now; it’s lit it be multiracial and I will proudly own it.

My name is Dominiquea I am 25 years old. I am from Tacoma, WA and I work as a dental assistant. I'm half white/half black. I believe God and family proceed all else and being yourself is the best thing you can be; don't let anyone tell you who and how to be. What I want from my writing is for people to feel me; I want others to read something I've written and say to themselves, "Ya I know what she's talking about." I'm just trying to be relatable through my experiences.

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