Until I was 11 I grew up in a diverse community near Boston. I loved loved my neighborghood, my school, my friends. That is until my Mother moved me and my siblings to the burbs, about 45 minutes away from where I called Home. We moved to an all Caucasian town. Let me repeat that, we moved to an all Caucasian town.
My Mom is African American and that guy, my sister’s father, is Colombian. But no one ever thinks I’m Spanish, booooo. I’ve gotten Blackanese before, lol, a mix of Black and Asian, because of my eyes. But I look black, I am black…and Spanish :)
I hated the burbs, and still do to this day. I never faced outward racism. My oldest Sister and Brother did though. Someone even called them a n***** once (damn shame). My experience in middle school and high school was 100% awkward. I never felt like I fit in and the obvious skin color difference made me feel inferior. So I acted out, I was known as the ‘loud’ one and got into trouble a few times. Don’t remember if I ever got suspended though. I don’t think so, but there is a good chance I did.
My feelings back then were that I wasn’t white enough. I didn’t dress like everyone else, didn’t have the same kind of family life as everyone else. Didn’t have the monographed bag packs, didn’t have the Five Star notebooks, didn’t have the adidas sandals, and didn’t have the Abercrombie shirt. I thought that that was what I needed to fit in. So I tried and tried to fit in, to be friends with the cool kids, but it didn’t feel natural. I didn’t feel like me. I felt like I was putting on a show. A freak show, and I was the star.
My Mom talks proper. I grew up in her house, so I talk proper. I pronounce all of my sy-ll-ab-les. I don’t use slang. Growing up, I talked like everyone else, so no one viewed it as different or weird.
Well that all changed once I moved into the city and an urban environment. People couldn’t connect the way I looked with the way I talked. Suddenly, I wasn’t black enough. I wasn’t laced in Baby Phat, Air Forces, Rocawear, or gold rings. So what did I do? I went out and bought a Rocawear coat and Baby Phat shirts. I never did get into all the gold rings and such, I’m not a flashy person. But, again I didn’t fit in.
I was so wrapped up in trying to be someone else, that I wasn’t being…me. And that’s because I didn’t know who ME was, didn’t know what I wanted. I’m still learning and growing, so I haven’t completely found out who I am yet, but I’m searching for her and having fun getting to know myself in the process.
It just utterly irks my NERVES, when people go through my pictures and ask…why don’t you have pictures with more black people? Why are there so many white people? I still get asked why I don’t live in the hood or inner city and why I ‘talk funny’. People assume I’m stuck up because of the way that I talk…I look at them funny, because since when did talking using zero slang become a thing of the past??
I don’t choose my friends by their skin color. I don’t look in a room and say to myself, I can’t be friends with her because she is Black. I don’t look at my group of friends and count how many Black and White friends I have. I’m friends with people based on their character, their values, and their personality.
I am me.
I am Alexandra Elizabeth.
I am a Woman, a Mother, a believer.
I am me.
I am who I am,