Can you imagine the look on people’s faces when I say it, “yes, their dad is AFRO CARIBBEAN”. Some look like they’re about to have heart failure, whilst others come straight out with it, “you go girl! Wish I was that brave”. I learnt very quickly that my circumstance was either admired or secretly detested.
It seems the union of two races coming together tests the very thing that distinguishes racists from non-racists. And not only did I learn this as people often had me mistaken for been mixed race myself, I would soon see the challenges my own children would face.
Everywhere we went questions would begin, almost as though a level of distress would be caused until people had us figured out or put in their little boxes. My son would come home upset because the Pakistani’s would test his level of Pakistaniness by asking him to speak ‘our language’, whilst the Jamaicans indulged in the same behaviour setting challenges to affirm a level of acceptance ‘one of us’!
It takes a lot of energy to accept who you are, especially when you fail to connect in identity, speech or clothing with anyone. I looked Asian and was expected to behaviour with everything that belonged to that group. When in fact for some reason my soul was far more attracted to a group that was a lot darker than my original skin tone.
As time has evolved I have met beings that resonate with me the same having gone through the same trauma’s of life. I learnt very quickly that music played a large determining factor that shaped not only my attitudes and beliefs but my very desire.
Today I see the power of music transforming a generation that struggles to acknowledge who they truly are as they engage in the very dialogues that I once was a big part of.
In conclusion many lessons can be learnt and for me the greatest lesson of all was from an ayat in the Quran (40.13) where it says,
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”
It isn’t an easy task, especially if you don’t even know you are racist, but the outcome is definitely a great one, that being when you are liberated from an oppression of the mind you didn’t even know existed.
I am who I am and I’m no longer ashamed or influenced by what you think of me. Contentment comes from knowledge which empowers what you’ve been force fed at a time when you had no choice.