Advanced Essay #3

When speaking about race or ethnic background in any conversation, the room always seems to sit still. It is as if an imaginary piece of tape forces lips to shut and ones’ task is to find the strength and courage to break the seal. Race is one of those topics that holds back another's’ thoughts and opinions, filling the room with an uptight vibe. In most cases when specifically speaking about black and white races, they are their own quantity. It seems as though people with biracial backgrounds that origin from African American and Caucasian parents are forced to choose to be identify as either an African American or Caucasian individual and such being that there is no in between.

A prime example comes from the forty-fourth President of the United States, Barack Obama. Obama’s parents comes from array of ethnic backgrounds. Being that his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, is an Irish-American and his father, Barack Obama Sr., born African, that makes President Obama equally half Irish-American and African. Though, society says otherwise. Barack Obama is not identified as “the first biracial President of the United States” he is said to be “the first black President of the United States”.  

Coming from a biracial home myself with a black father and white mother, I was told that when you have a black father and white mother then the children are considered black, so with that being said I am an African American. Growing up I would always struggle telling people my race. It is not that I did not feel comfortable, it was that their reaction would shock me in a way.  If a person asked what race do I identify as, I would simply say, “I am black,” with no hesitation. And in an instant, that person’s expression would change.  They would either respond with, “No you are not, you are a white boy. ” or “...if you are black why is  your skin so white?” Yet hearing their responses, I come to my senses to automatically compare myself to someone who is known with the same struggle. Steph Curry, for instance. With Steph Curry having both his parents African American, he just has light skin. Therefore, it is possible for African Americans to have very light skin.

So growing up and being biracial I would not say it was hard for me but I definitely felt different.  My neighborhood is mixed with black and white people.  I went to a mostly black school, there were maybe eight or nine white kids in the entire school that I went to.  So coming from a biracial family I feel like that set me apart from the other kids I went to school with.  My physical appearance has stood out as well.  Going to a mostly black school and having light skin and reddish hair immediately set me apart.  Difference doesn’t bother me its something that i have gotten use to through my life, I just wish society could embrace different the same way I do.