"I'm a mixed kid" - MID WEEK CONFESSIONS -#BHM Edition
Growing up I never had a clue of what #BHM (Black History Month) was- I actually concluded that it was just a poster in my elementary school and a few good quotes on the morning announcements.
I wonder when #BHM started?
-I will look into finding out.
I joined the Black History Club in highschool as an attempt to miss class and get free food-it lasted about a day(I was obviously not that interested or hungry and clearly missed the point).
I'm a "mixed" kid.
I was raised for the most part by my mother to never care too much for race or colour-but have had undeniable experiences through the years of my life that have seemed to be related and have caused me to look outside of this upbringing.
I remember the first time someone referred to my hair as "good".
I remember in that same experience the hairdresser referred to my sisters as "not so" and suggested a relaxer (It was probably around the second grade this would have put her in kindergarten).
I remember the first time someone suggested that I was "mullato"
I remember the time I concluded that I was a "half-breed" and my mother quickly educated me that term was mostly reserved for dogs and the like.
I remember the first time someone called me "white girl".
I remember the first time someone told me I wasn't really "that black" as a compliment.
I remember the first time someone called me the "N" word.
I remember saying the word a couple of handfuls of times "the cool way" and concluding in my heart that it just wasn't right and not even mildly cool even though a lot of the music I was brought up on was saturated with it (I'm assuming in an attempt to rob it of it's power.)- p.s. I will never be yours.
To this day I still dig artists that use the term and chalk it up to artistic freedom- I just can't relate all the time.
One of my best friends (Akeicha) wished me a Happy Black HISandHERstory month this week and asked me what I had done to celebrate so far- I didn't have a definite answer but was proud of myself that I added a banner to my blog and decided on sharing about most things "Black" even if not that historic-and even at the risk of isolating some of my readers (I've heard it).
I'm going to do it for the rest of the month-share some of my experiences probably.
#BHM has become important to me because I have kids now and my kids have been classed in the school yard and have asked me questions.
I've banned them from using Black, White or Yellow etc. when describing their friends to me. I tell them to find out the country they are from or sometimes ask them if they look like anyone else we know...sometimes colours are just to primary.
I still sing the song "Jesus loves the Little Children" to my kids.
I understand that race is a very important issue and I am not politically correct by any means so please if I write something insensitive or not that clear- understand it's only my simple opinion and take on my experiences (or leave a comment I'd love to talk about it further with you).
My Mom is white and I am relatively "light" skinned and my oldest son is much like me and a lot of this started when he caught my attention when I heard him telling his little brother "I'm white like Mom and Nana and your black like Dad, Grandma and Grandpa."
I let them know that they are Bajan, Jamaican, British and Scottish but would mostly be called Canadian when we were in Canada but if anyone called them a colour it would probably be "black"- I'm ok with this.
In this month I am committed even if it does not show up in a post on this blog to considering as much of the whole story of my "Black History" as possible.
I know a ton about my "White/European" history and there has never been a month dedicated to it- I don't believe in a mandate secretly established by a certain society to blanket the Black Experience...but I believe that in every culture of the world, painful pasts can be easily overlooked or better left unspoken and the wrong people get the credit for right deeds (don't be mistaken I am not trying to downplay slavery or anything related at all-like at all!)
I know this topic is a touchy one but in my Canadian experience it's one that needs to be embraced.
I've chosen to be "hands on" in this season...as I celebrate a legacy that is not so much a colour as it is a people.
a blog that I dig for encouraging this week's confession. :)
Posted by Growing Up Toronto
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