The “Mixed” Narrative

The trailer for Black-ish spin-off Mixed-ish came out yesterday. I have to be honest, I don’t watch much TV so I never really got into Black-ish, but when this trailer dropped on my time line I thought it looked cute. Take a look!

Something compelled me to break the internet rules by doing what you’re never supposed to do: read the comments. Oh, boy.

Maybe people are feeling a certain way because it’s yet ANOTHER spin-off show that no one asked for. I get that. Then, I saw a white man comment, “In the future, we’ll all be mixed.” Which is something white people love to say when they really don’t want to give viable solutions to existing racism. Pass the buck to the future generations!

man in red crew neck sweatshirt photography
“At least I don’t have to deal with it!”

Then I saw black people calling the spin off unnecessary and how there’s really no mixed struggle which feels really ironic considering the people who are always the loudest about this are never mixed or have any proximity to anyone who is.

I get that colorism is real, but saying that being mixed in America doesn’t come with its own set of bullshit is ignorant and narrow-minded. In my case, I have a black parent and a white parent. Does my experience overlap with the black experience? Absolutely, but coming from a mixed family has its own set of problems than if your parents are the same race.

Now granted, I only know what I know. My experience is from going through school in the 90s in a podunk town in Nowhere, Florida. I wasn’t by Disney or a beach. I’m talking I may as well have lived in South Georgia. I’m talking Confederate Flags “Hate Not Heritage” memorabilia everywhere.

doh
YEE HAW!!

The town I grew up in had a railroad that literally divided the socio-economic classes and with that, race tied heavily to it. However, I grew up in a middle class, white neighborhood with my white family. My mom is white, she married a man who ended up raising me that was also white.

I know my family loved me and I never felt out of place in my home life, but going to school and dealing with my peers was hell for a long time.

Black people called me mixed – not black – and were quick to make fun of my green eyes. Sure, I know now it’s jealousy, but when you’re eight years old and all you want to do is fit in it’s like a critical fail to your self-confidence roll. The white kids made fun of my hair. It was straightened at the time, but by the end of the day, the Florida humidity took hold. One kid said I looked like I stuck my finger in a light socket. That always got a laugh.

White people constantly asked what my ethnicity was.

Black people asked what I was mixed with.

Everyone tried to figure out what the ‘black side’ and ‘white side’ of me like I was a Frankenstein creation.

mixed-race
“She’s got those lips, so that’s the black side, but she likes anime and that’s a white thing.”

I was called an oreo. I heard white kids say ‘nigger’ around me but quickly follow it up with ‘not you’, like I was somehow the exception to the rule. I was asked if I was adopted if people saw my parents.

To this day, people still do that slow “Ohhhh…” when they see my mom, or if someone my mom knows meets me for the first time. Lost in that slow noise is the dawning realization that I’m not white. Or that my mom was with someone black at some point.

blown
Interracial relationships? In 2019?!

It’s going to be refreshing to see a mixed girl navigate this space and everything that goes with that. Seeing her in the cafeteria felt familiar. Not knowing what ‘mixed’ is felt familiar too. While there are a lot of black people rolling their eyes and poo-pooing at the trailer, this isn’t your narrative. It’s something I would have loved to have seen growing up. It’s something that I’m sure a lot of mixed kids growing up now STILL need because we’re not as woke as we think we are.

This narrative and navigation of race is just as important today if not more so if we expect to get anywhere in the over all conversation and I am always 100% here for that.

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