My ethnic self….

I was always told that one drop of black makes me black all the way……but I do not know enough about my black heritage nor do I know enough about my Native heritage to claim one more than the other, but I know enough to bridge the two together. I sit in the middle, tugging at both ends of the rope.

My features are not enough to go by.  My big nose, my high cheek bones, my full lips…they all come from my Ana’Pau (Grandfather) . He is 100 percent Mojave Native American. My features do not solely belong to black culture.

To the blacks I was never black enough. To the Hispanics I was Dominicana or Puertorriquena. To the whites…..most assumed that I was half white and black and often made fun of my almond shaped eyes which reminded them of Chinese people, who were unfortunately laughed at, by default. I like my eyes, so it was always a compliment to get such great attention.

But I love my blends. I always have. I love twisting my ethnic curls through my fingers and I love putting it into a long braid when it is straightened (which is rare). I love my sandy skin, my freckles, every curve, twist and turn of my body. I love my ethnic self…..being Native and Black.

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