Had to write about the comments and questions that will no doubt follow me for the rest of my life.
“What are you, anyway?”
My whole life I’ve been told that I should be a white girl or for a black girl I act “too white.” In a way I’ve been conditioned to just laugh it off and ignore people’s ignorance. But recently a question that has caught my attention is “what are you?”
First of all, the question is degrading. I know the person who asked didn’t mean to make it sound rude, but to me it implied that I was somewhat less than because they didn’t know what category to stick me in. My conditioned response was that I was black, but they wouldn’t take that as an answer. They then started peppering me with questions: “No, you aren’t mixed with something?” “How is your hair that way? Black people hair isn’t like that.” “Why do you talk like a white person?”
At this point I found myself shutting down. These people were relentless. I mean children are dying all over the world and you’re main concern is if I’m black enough to be black. It’s insane. Anyway, I honestly don’t even remember how the conversation ended but I remembered how it began.
What are you, anyway?
What am I? Well, I am a black young woman. My mother is mixed and my father is black, but that doesn’t mean I’m less black than the next black woman. My hair lays a certain way, but that doesn’t mean that my hair is any better than the black woman with supposedly “bad hair.” I speak well and I even have a hint of a country accent, but that doesn’t mean I’m not black because I “talk white.”
Besides all the things I just listed, I am Bayli. No matter what color I happen to by mixed with; I am human. I am a child of the Most High God. I have special gifts and talents that God has blessed me with to bring glory to Him. I am a successful young adult. I have potential to do great things on this earth. I can make decisions, and wise enough to ask when I don’t understand or when I need counsel. I have hopes, dreams, plans, and I know I will fulfill each one of them by God’s grace.
That is what I am. Who I am. What I have been made to be.
I am not the black girl who talks white. I am not to the black girl mixed with some white. I am neither dark-skinned or light-skinned. I am no better than the girl who’s fully black and I am no less than the girl who is fully white.
So what am I, really?
I am a young woman named Bayli.