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bd's picture

United Statesbd

One always wonders, How do we start a dialog here?

Firstly, the notion of 'race' is a myth. Race is not a biological fact. Ethnicity is real. Race is a construct, and race-ism was devised as a tool of power to build economic wealth and allow one "race" of people to rule over the rest [of the "races"]. Amazing how a false notion can have real-life effects and consequences. It's time to change that.

Your Racial Autobiography
Tell us about yourself, your experiences based specifically on your race.

I live in Seattle, WA, located in the Northwest region of the United States. I was born here. My grandparents migrated from, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Italy. Varieties of ethnicities run through my ancestral lines, though culturally, I strongly identify with my rich African American (or Black) roots – and, historically, most people who descend from the African Diaspora in the United States were legally bound to identify as Black if we had even one drop of African blood. It was called the One-Drop Rule (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jefferson/mixed/onedrop.html)

This history and legislation has shaped my life in interesting ways: I have light-skinned privilege as a brown woman in the U.S.; my family history is, at times, difficult to sift through and understand because many records were burned or destroyed, and because of legislation that disallowed whites and blacks to marry, many of our family stories were kept in secret, for fear of legal consequences.

Still, my grandparents married when it was still illegal in other states (but not Washington State) (yay!) and I am personally a site of embodied resistance: my parents also married before the Loving Act was passed http://www.lovingday.org/the-loving-story. (Interestingly enough, my mother's birth certificate reads, under RACE: 'Negro', and she presents as a 'passing' African American woman (her mother was Italian), though it was often the case that Italians couldn't be "proved" as being 'white'. In other words, someone else determined her racial identity based on what, exactly?

See? And that's just a sliver of the story....
...What's yours?

Solidarity in Healing,
bd

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