My assistant is white and is married to a black guy. She brought her daughter in today. The daughter is three and very beautiful, but she looks white, but not white white. More like a golden brown or a suntan. My assistant tells me that she's started to ask the question about why her dad has a different skin color.
Anyway my question is, when you're biracial do you let society decide what color you are? Do you embrace both sides equally? How does it work?
OP = the "my assistant" troll.
Whenever the OP wants to start a topic or make a comment which may be remotely incendiary, he/she will claim an assistant.
Those of you who've been around here a while will recognize the OP.
I'm a quadroon. Does that count?
I honestly believe that this is only a problem in America, where the old racist "one drop" axiom still suffuses most people's thinking about race. The distinction is essentially binary: are you black or white? And no matter how light your skin or hair, having some amount of African ancestry makes you count as "black".
And in the US blacks are, ironically, far more dogmatic about this question than whites.
Your assistant's daughter is an American whose ethnic ancestry is partly European and partly African.
There. Is that so hard?
I embrace my English and Canadian heritage equally. Here's to resenting the inability to hail a cab in big cities.
Biracial is just a phase.
Your daughter is mulatto.
Had a college roomie who was truly stunningly beautiful, and 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Black. Looked very exotic but of neither race. She was constantly stared at and asked about her ethnicity. She always politely responded, adding that her skin color naturally dramatically changed in LA, from summer to winter. OP, those who "look different" whether tall basketball players, or those of mixed race, should get used to being asked personal questions, and learn to take it as a complement, whether it's intended as such or not.
Her skin could darken as she gets older, so she may end up looking more like her father in that respect.
I'm biracial and am always amazed that people think it's perfectly polite conversation to tell me that biracial people are "always" strikingly beautiful OR "weird" looking or distinctly ugly. There's no middle ground, apparently. I've heard this a disturbing number of times in my life.
As to OP's question, troll or not, I would divide it into social and cultural spheres. Socially, I completely think of myself as black, a racial minority. I cannot by any means pass for white and most people assume I am black or Puerto Rican (though in this day and age, there is a small segment of people who just assume I'm biracial). Thus, people's reactions to me are based on being a racial minority.
Culturally, since I grew with both of my parents and around both sides of the family, I would consider myself "bicultural"
But, it's different for everyone. I have a biracial friend whose black father was never in the picture and he grew up mostly in a white environment. He too wouldn't pass for white, but he used to struggle with his identity, especially around black people, where he never felt like he was black enough - culturally.
I'm Eurasian (German father, Japanese mother) and look it, so no one really "questions" me all that much. That said, I have plenty of biracial and multiracial friends whose looks are "combined" enough that they could pass for Eurasian, Native American or even Hispanic, and they tend to get queries.
That said, I think R3 is mostly correct. America is really the only major country that still has such bizarre hangups when it comes to both race and sex (by that I mean having sex, as well as discussing it openly and teaching it in schools). Maybe it's just because miscegenation wasn't all that commonplace in the U.S. until relatively recently, but still.
I've never understood why "one drop" of African-American blood makes someone Black, but one drop of European blood doesn't make someone White. Stupid.
R2 = Dinah Shore, from the Great Beyond...
I'm biracial. Triracial, really. My family is Melungeon. Most of us look whitey white, although some cousins pop out with coarse black hair and African-looking features, or straight black hair, high cheekbones and ruddy skin so you'd swear they were fresh from the reservation.
We all grew up identifying as white, although other people identified us otherwise, especially if we were "back home."
Now everyone, including the oldest, most conservative ones among us, actively embrace the mix. Photos that were never put out are now proudly displayed.
But, OP, just as a caution, commenting about people's skin color often comes across as offensive, with or without a racial component to your excruciatingly trollish "curiosity."
I hate checking "white" on forms. I'm "mostly" white, but have African, Native American and Middle Eastern ancestors.
Race is such a bullshit category and should be abolished.
Are you from Sevier county? If so, we're probably related.