Monday, March 12, 2012

IRL Week: It's Not Just Black & White

I was born in Jamaica, so most of my cultural experience came from there until I was around eleven years old. You might be thinking ‘Jamaica cultural’ I assure you it is. It’s a small island with so many flavours its crazy. We had East Indians, Chinese, and sometimes our next-door neighbours the Cubans would pop in for a visit. Plus it’s like tourist central, so believe me when I say ‘I saw it all’.

My family had this stretch of beach that got really busy in the summer with tourist, and I might have been the annoying kid, because I was always on the beach hanging and playing with them. My family thought I was annoying but when their vacations were up and they brought me gifts. It told a different story. I loved being on the beach, and I would say that "I liked all the colors". I was young, but seeing all those people was wondrous and seeing them all together made me happy. I loved it.

I can’t even bring to describe what I am, but I am a mix of many things and I don’t really think it matters. I was so used different races being together, that it was no big deal. It was when I came to Canada that the fantastic bubble I lived was blown. In this country of diversity, I got my first taste of *Sometimes Race Keeps You Apart* Fast forward 5 years of being in Canada, and a boy who I was totally in love with *LOVE*. He made me smile, and everything just felt right when I saw him. I believe he felt the same about me, and could never figure out why we weren’t together. I found out in the worst way possible.

It’s so clear in my mind that day, me walking to my locker and happening to hear a conversation between the boy I loved and one of his closest friends. It went a little something like this...

Friend “So Darien huh?”
My Crush “Yeh dude”
Friend “But she’s black dude. Not that black but still…”
My Crush: Silence… “Yeh I know”
Friend “Think about it Dude”

I wanted to die, and I had never faced any form of prejudice when it came to my race, at least not to my face. It hurt worst than anything, and it affected me so much. Lets just say the boy I loved never asked me out, and I always knew why. I was the black girl deeply in love with the white boy ‘shame on fucking me’. I still loved him though still love him. I realized then that race keeps people apart and no matter the evolution of the times it still keeps people apart and it sucks ass.

A close friend of mine lost the man she loves because she could not deal with the hate from his family. Because their very Middle Eastern son fell in love with a black girl. Or friends who can’t date the boy/girl they like because their parents would kill them for dating outside their race. I can’t bring myself to accept it or understand it, because in my mind it makes no sense.

So when I read it in books, it makes my heart feel super happy, because the world isn’t just black and white and I think the world needs to accept that. I dealt with my share of racial issues, having a Filipino boyfriend for many years and having two beautiful boys. It was rough stretch with his family for a while, and I doubt most of them have accepted that he had kids with a black girl. My kid’s father he’s something else, no one was going to stop whom he loved and no one was going to stop me from loving him.

I got the looks, and I see the looks other interracial couples get, but it’s a beautiful thing. I don’t know their story and most might not have dealt with the hardship, and some might have; which just makes me love it more. I know we have the right to like whom we want, but we shouldn’t avoid/not like someone because of ethnicity.

So interracial week is a celebration of the beauty that is interracial love. My parents are a product of interracial love, and I am from my parents and I am not 'wrong'. My kids are not 'wrong', the millions of biracial kids and interracial couples aren’t 'wrong' because love is love. I am so color blind it hurts and I refuse to stick to my own kind (whatever the fuck that means).

So ‘Hell Yeh’ to the diversity that can be found in books. A hell yeh, to the books I read this week that have such wonderful multiculturalism and to the books I’ve read before with the same. The world isn’t just black and white, or shades of grey; it’s a kaleidoscope of awesomeness. So feel the freaking love.


  1. Great post Darien! Some of my best friends in high school were black. The color of their skin never mattered to me. What was important was their friendship. Just wish more people were "color blind".

    1. Thanks Lisa!

      It's better now, but soem people still have their hang-ups. Can't change everyone.

  2. Thanks for sharing such a personal story. I'm sure for those of who have never faced that kind of challenge it doesn't even occur to us the challenges that an interracial relationship can create for a couple. I'd like to think the world is color-blind but it's definitely not.

    I didn't realize you lived in Canada. *waves to fellow Canadian*

    1. Yep, live in good ole Toronto. Interracial relationships really bother soem people. The time of keeping races homogeneous has come to a close, you can't really stop love and change.


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