When someone’s hair grows longer than the Black average length, our first question is, “Are you mixed?” We tend to ask that question when their skin complexion is much lighter than a caramel tone. It seems like a harmless question; something someone says in order to find out more information about someone else. We think we’re just getting to know them, but in reality, we’ve fallen into the trap of passive rejection.
I’ve often heard people dismiss the length of a Black woman’s hair due to them being mixed with Indian as if that makes her less Black. I’ve read about people who’ve been rejected by the Black community because their speech was more proper than most Blacks. Who invented the “Black card” anyway? Our American history has numerous occasions that, though no fault of our own, birthed mixed races within our Black community. Some of us have just fallen in love with others and that’s not a crime.
The crime here is that we, the Black community, are shunning those who are already rejected by others. We ought to embrace anyone that's mixed because we have our Black heritage in common. We should focus on our Afrocentric culture and unify our efforts to make our community stronger and wiser. It’s our melanin that should bring us together, but it’s going to take education to teach and re-train other’s wrong thinking. We’ll need the patience to deal with bias, prejudice, and rejection within the Black community, something others have taught us to do. All of these words were placed within this Lex Pyerse Clothing t-shirt graphic, representing an outlook on being mixed that I wish we all had.
I’ve never understood why the Black community would take the racist tactics of rejection and categorizing to further divide us based on hair, speech, and mannerisms. We’ve failed to realize that knowing whether or not a person’s ethnic DNA has been intertwined with a different ethnicity doesn’t define or truly give insight to who a person really is. I’m not mixed but if I was, the next time I heard the question, “Are you mixed?,” my response would be, “Yes, I’m proud to be just as Black as you.”