• Marie M.
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • United States

This conversation is closed.

Biracial Identity

Biracial identity has become an increasing anxiety for individuals mixed with two distinct races or more. Particularly with individuals who experience two different cultures due to two dimensions of race by their offspring, how is this affecting the individual's life growing up. Self identity crisis? Acceptance issues? What am I? Black? White?

Is not being able to label oneself under one group becoming an issue?

  • thumb
    Oct 15 2011: Ah, Americans and your bizarre obsession with racial identity. It's like stepping backwards in time visiting your country. Seriously.

    I am African, Arawak, Scottish, Portuguese, and godknowswhat else. Christmas dinner with my family looks like a gathering of the United Nations.

    I wonder if your country will ever join the rest of the world in the 21st century.
    • Oct 18 2011: Thanks for your response, and yes you're right. I wish we could move forward and by pass the issues of that, but just to inform you, our "integration" was very recent. We are just now seeing an increase of biracial individuals due to interracial marriages which still seems to be an uncommon thing for a country of our size. I'm happy that you don't have to recognize this topic as an issue for you or where ever you are at. But my mother has been ridiculed in the streets for marrying my father who is African American. This was in the late 1980's. My father experienced drinking our of a colored water fountain. He is not that old in age. Just reached 50.
      Very recent.

      So I would not call it an obsession, but something we are working on. There is no right "stage" to be at in the 21st century. Every country experiences the change of culture, technology, growth, and society in different ways and in different time periods. My mother is Muslim and Turkish. Dad is African American and Catholic. So for my family to reflect the "UN" as you say is nothing new. But just because I see it within a household, doesn't make it easy with anyone else in our society.
  • thumb
    Oct 14 2011: Personally ,for me (Libyan and Irish all in one) its an asset.
    Having experienced both Arabic culture in Libya and Irish (come English) culture in good old Eire i find it actually gives me a very unique view point.
    Where one college professor profess' the idiocracy of the Arab world i contradict with the fact we/they invented the modern number system ,conquered near all of Europe and currently have the worlds largest growing and practicing religion Islam (im atheist).
    It also gives me a better view-point on democracy ,politics ,war ,drugs (hashashins etc. being a good reference point), corruption, music and a boat-load of other things.
    Same applies if one bashes Ireland.

    Just remember that despite how others (and possibly consequentially you) view a certain culture, race etc ,you can't say sh*t till you've experienced it.
    Be proud of what you have and give the royal finger to those who suppress you because of it.

    And BTW ,you can label yourself under one group "Mixed" :P
    • Oct 18 2011: Thank you for sharing! I do agree.
  • thumb
    Oct 18 2011: I never really thought about this much until I became a teacher at a 90% Hispanic school. I look Anglo/Caucasian, but I am half Hispanic (Colombian). It never mattered much to me, but I find that my students feel more comfortable with me knowing that I have a Hispanic background. The students and parents feel more comfortable with me. My first year teaching the students treated me terribly until they found out my background. Once they found out that I am half Hispanic, I actually had students tell me "Oh, your like us. We can be nice to you now..". They told me that they did not like having white people telling them what to do. This became a learning opportunity and every year I embed tolerance and diversity into my lessons.
    • Oct 18 2011: Wow! Thanks for sharing.
  • thumb
    Oct 15 2011: What a weird question if I may say so.I hope Americans will move on and accept that we are all one.In Malaysia, interracial marriages are considered as a norm.In fact, we celebrate it because that is what makes us beautiful and wonderful.So, the question I want to ask you now : What is wrong with being a white and a black at the same time?
    • Oct 18 2011: I agree. It is very disturbing. But as I mentioned before segregation was not long ago and interracial marriages have only recently been accepted like I stated below. But it is good to hear that that is not an issue else where in the world. I just wanted to see how this issue related in other areas of the world.
      • thumb
        Oct 18 2011: Just an interesting aside...my parents were of two different races...Anglo and Hispanic, but I vividly remember seeing my first black and white couple. I was like 6 years old at Disneyland. This was in the early 1970s and I grew up in, then, predominately white Orange County. I was surprised to see the couple at first, but then realized that they were no different than anyone else. I do remember black and white couples being somewhat of a novelty in the 1970s, but nowadays that is no longer the case. Some of my students date interracially with no problem. Many of my Latina students still tell me that their parents forbid them to date African-Americans so issues of race are not completely behind us yet.
  • Oct 14 2011: They just need to remember they are of one race and that's the human race. Most of us are mutts.
  • thumb
    Oct 26 2011: So there are 'distinct' races?Thats a new one to me.
    Gisela is right in the UK this type of conversation mainly died out in the 1980s, most of the conversation now on 'race' as you call it is on integrating our Muslim communities. Culturally in the UK there are not many differences between a working class white or black person in London, except skin colour
  • Oct 22 2011: Anxiety is fear of future hurt. What are you afraid of? Face your fear. Don't demagogue about it.

    Make your own identity. Everyone in mixed. My children are mixed. The amount of melanin is only relative.
  • thumb
    Oct 14 2011: Your group is your close ones.