Dear White and Black People

Mixed Girl Monday, Race

First things first, if you haven’t watched Netflix’s new series Dear White People please find the time to do so. If you have watched it, then you are aware of how the context of this post is going to go. So let’s get this thing started.

Dear White People, I am biracial, I am American, I am human. Please stop acting like I’m an exotic species.

Dear Black People, I am biracial, I am American, I am human. Please stop making me feel as though I’m less than any of those things.

Dear White People, for the love of all things holy please stop telling me how bad you want to have a baby with a black guy just so you can have a “cute mixed baby.” Mixed people aren’t some special breed you can just pick. If you want to adopt, adopt because you want to give a child a loving, safe, happy home. Do no adopt because you just want to have a mixed baby, we are not dogs.

Dear Black People, I am very much aware of my light-skin privilege. I know how colorism works in society and the black community. Do not assume that I think I’m better than others, get to know me first before you make rash judgments.

Dear White People, I wake up and wash my hair. That’s how I get these curls. That’s all.

Dear White and Black People, stop trying to put me in a box. I am biracial. Being biracial is a thing, do not make me discredit half of who I am just so you feel comfortable.

Dear White People, stop telling me I can’t get offended when you make a racist comment “because I’m not really black.” And to piggy-back off that, I have the right to take offense to any prejudice or racism I see, half of who I am is black and if you feel that way about black people, you feel that way about me. There is no “oh no I don’t think of you that way because you aren’t really black.” Yes, I am. So just think of that next time.

Dear Black People, I know I will never understand the full extent of your struggle, but just remember that there are people in the world who think I am you and treat me the same. Just because I’m half white doesn’t mean I’m protected from the racism and ignorance of some people.

Dear Black People, you can be racist too. Racism is not just limited to white people. By assuming that all white people are racist and out to steal from the black community, you are conforming to the same mindset of those white people who assume all black people are illiterate thugs.

Dear Entire World, until we can all realize that no one is their stereotype, there will continue to be racism and hatred in the world. Until we can all accept each other for our differences there will be no peace. I understand that there is deep rooted institutionalized racism in our world and that may never go away. But we can not continue to turn a blind eye when we see someone become another victim of an unjust society.

Dr. King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman, they did not sit quietly and wait for someone else to do something, They got up and fought for what they believed in. They didn’t just sit around and complain about how unfair the world was, they got up and fought to make it a little more fair. We have come a long way from then, but there is still much more to be done.

Dear White and Black People, will you stand with me? Can we put aside our differences and accept that God made us all different for a reason. Can we work on respecting each other’s culture and not appropriating it for fame? Can we learn from each other?

Sincerely,
A biracial millennial trying to find her voice

Curly Hair Struggles

Mixed Girl Monday

Throughout my life, one of the first things people comment on when they meet me is my hair. They love the way it looks and can’t believe that it is all real. My family is even baffled and amazed

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This is my hair when it was at it’s longest.

To me, though, my hair is just my hair. It’s this long, curly, thick beast that I am still learning how to tame. Although I have learned to manage it a thousand times better from when I was younger, I still have a long way to go.

I know I’m not alone in this curly hair struggle, and I’m sure there are hundreds of girls who can relate with me when I say, one does not just wake up with perfect curls. It’s a process, and each day is never the same.

Some days I am fortunate enough to wake up and my hair does not look like this weird half bird nest, half I don’t even know how to describe its style. But, those days are few and far between.

I love my hair, I am thankful that I can wear it curly and straight. When I was younger I begged my mom to let me get a perm to make my hair straight all the time, and I am very happy that she never allowed me to. I have heard horror stories from people with similar hair textures as me about how when they went back natural, their curl pattern was never the same.

I would be lying if I said I haven’t had my share of hair horror stories. Let’s take a trip back in time, to what I like to call The Dark Ages….

Once upon a time, my mom took me to this small country hair salon, and bless the ladies heart, I don’t think she had ever dealt with my type of hair before.

I wanted to cut my hair short, I was tired of it being long, and I wanted layers. All the other girls I went to school with had layers. All the other girls I went to school with also had relatively straight hair, so just keep that in mind.

 

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We all have that “one” hairstyle…

My mom semi-willingly agreed that I could cut my hair and get layers. I was so excited, the lady cut my hair, dry, *red flag #1.* When she was done, I looked in the mirror and stared face to face with a girl that looked like she had a pyramid on top of her head. I was mortified.

 

From that day forward, I vowed to never cut my hair short, ever again. Well until Christmas 2015. But I was older and more mature, and have found the best hair stylist ever. Kylee, you’re my hero.

Honestly, I’m not sure what state of awfulness my hair would be in had I not met Kylee. She always listens to the ideas I want to do with my hair, and if she doesn’t think what I want will look good on me, she offers an alternative that still embodies my idea, and when finished, looks 100 times better than what I had wanted in the first place.

The keys to surviving in this world with curls are simple:
First, find a hairstylist you would trust with your life because if you’re like me, your hair is your life.
Second, be willing to spend the big bucks on hair products
Finally, love the hair you have. Don’t try to change one of the things that make you unique.

What are some of your hair horror stories? Share with me in the comment section!

 

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My hair is slowly growing back, and I’m so in love with my bangs!

 

Mixed-Girl Monday Spotlight

Mixed Girl Monday, Race

Hello, all! It has been awhile since I have posted something new for Mixed-Girl Monday. I have been super busy moving back into college and getting everything set up. As promised from my last post this one is going to be all about a mixed girl that inspires me daily.

*Drum roll* It’s Alicia Keys!Alicia Keys

When I was younger and trying to understand what it meant to be biracial, my mom told me about Alicia Keys and how she was biracial. I had heard her music before but it felt nice knowing someone that famous and successful was biracial like me.

To this day Alicia Keys inspires me to be the best and truest me possible. I am not going to get into a super long biography about who she is and where she came from, but I do want to highlight a few of her most recent projects that have inspired me.

A new hashtag as been trending throughout social media, and I am all for it. #nomakeup is a campaign that prominent female celebrities like Alicia Keys have taken hold of to fight against the contour movement the Kardashians have started. It is all about feeling strong and being beautiful in your own skin.

In an interview, Keys said that she has vowed to stop covering up, “not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”  It is very refreshing to see someone of her status take a stand on an issue that has been overtaking young girls across the world.

Another movement that Keys has been a part of is taking a stand against gun violence and police brutality. Along with other celebrities, she shared a video telling of 23 ways you could be killed for being black. To me, this is very important because she is biracial and she is taking a stand with other black celebrities and no one is judging her for doing so.

Here’s to a Mixed-Girl that is rocking the world and making a difference!

 

Black or White?

Mixed Girl Monday, Race

In one of the many amazing Michael Jackson songs, he talks about how it shouldn’t matter if you are black or white when it comes to certain things. That statement couldn’t be any more relevant to my life than it already is.

Curious about what I mean? Let me explain it to you real quick.

Growing up kids used to make fun of me because of the way I talked. You would think since I was born and raised in Arkansas it would be for my southern accent, but no, it was for something even more ignorant. They would say that I talked “white.” I would get super defensive and try to fight back but there was just no changing their minds. They would tell me that I wasn’t a real black person just because of how I talked.

I remember going home and occasionally crying and telling my mom everything that the kids would say to me. She would give me a hug and then tell me that those kids were not very smart and that no one can talk “black” or “white.” She would tell me, and I still remember and live by this today, that people can either talk educated or uneducated.

To this day people still tell me that I sound white and what’s crazy it’s not just from one group of people. Black people will tell me that, white people will tell me, really anybody will tell me. But the thing I have noticed through all of the encounters are, that the people telling me this are usually not well educated and are using it as a defense mechanism.

I am not saying that this only happens to biracial people, it happens to anyone. I have friends, who are black, that get told the exact same thing.

Society painted a picture thousands of years ago that black people were uneducated, ignorant, and oblivious to everything. Sadly some people still only see that picture, so whenever they encounter a person of color (POC) who is well spoken and knows a little something about current events their response is to strip away their culture and say that they’re acting white.

This doesn’t just end with the way a person talks, I’ve been called white for the music I listen to, the shoes I wear, the hobbies I enjoy, even the movies I have seen. But guess what. The jokes on them because I am white. I am also black. Being biracial shouldn’t matter, though, people, myself included, should be able to enjoy the things they love without having to be categorized by race.

Continue to follow my journey, and be on the lookout next Monday when I highlight my favorite Mixed-Girl. Can you guess who it is?

Mixed-Girl Problems

Mixed Girl Monday, Race

Am I “other”?

Its benchmark testing day, we are filling out all our information, it’s going well for me until I get to what ethnicity I am. I raise my hand: Excuse me, teacher, what do I fill in, do I circle black or white? My teacher stands there a while before answering: just circle other. This confused me, I’m not other I’m both.

From that day forward I have been forced to choose a side because most forms, up until recently, have never offered a “biracial” or “multiracial” option. It’s always exciting when I see one of those options instead of other, because like I said, I am not “other,” I am a person, I am biracial.

When those options aren’t given to me, I usually fill in “African American” because in my mind that’s what strangers see me as. I don’t like feeling like I have to choose one or the other because I am both, but I refuse to put myself in the “other” category.

Twinning or nah?

Mixed GirlsIn high-school one of the most common question, my friend and I got from almost every single person in the world was: are you two twins? We would always reply: no, we’re both just mixed and tall with curly hair. It got so bad that we just stopped trying to explain and just started saying yes before people would even ask us.

What’s funny about this problem is that I always get asked if I’m related to so and so if we happen to both be biracial. It’s turned into a joke amongst biracial people because people always try to assume that we’re siblings or twins, not just two individuals.

Another problem that I have to deal with occasionally is actually quite random and confuses me every time. Someone random person will walk up to me and ask: Are you Mexican? I just look at them and reply: No, I’m mixed. So they reply: Oh so you’re white and Mexican. At that point I don’t even bother to answer, I just walk away.

My Name:

Jasmine, Jaz, Jazzie, Sissy,  Jazzy-Joe, Jazmean, I turn my head to all of them. I have many nicknames thanks to my real name. I also have some “mixed” people names as well; for instance, I’ve been called Oreo, Zebra, Penguin, Half-and-Hal, and so on. None of the names really bother me, but some of them do get a little old and overused.

I find my name to be pretty easy. Jasmine Yvonne Conley, nothing special, just Jasmine. For some reason, though, whenever I was at a basketball game in Missouri the announcer decided to mess my name up completely….

“And now your starting lineup for the Fayetteville Lady Bulldogs!” is what he said. He called out everyone else’s name just fine. Then we get to mine. “Starting at post number 45, JAZZZMEEANNN CONNN!” I didn’t even run out. I just stood there confused, my whole team busted out laughing as I went to shake the other coaches hand.

“How could he mess my name up?” I kept thinking and asking people. “It’s not that hard, it’s just Jasmine. Conley. Nothing complicated at all.”

Needless to say, ever since that game, I am no longer Jasmine Conley, I am Jazmean Con, that’s MY name.

I know a lot of these problems sound silly, and that’s the point. Not everything regarding race/ethnicity needs to be so serious all of the time. It’s good to be able to laugh about yourself and the things that make you who you are.

Being Biracial

Mixed Girl Monday, Race

Hi y’all, Welcome to Mixed Girl Monday!

As I mentioned in my introduction post, I am biracial and it is something I am very proud of. However, I have only become truly comfortable with this part of my identity recently (sometime in high school).

You might be wondering why this feed is called #mixedgirlmonday yet the post is titled “Being Biracial.” The proper name for my ethnicity is biracial, “mixed” is just the slang way of describing it.

Some people get offended whenever they’re referred to as a “mixed” person and would rather be called biracial. Personally, I don’t have a strong opinion, but since the amount of biracial people in our country is increasing, I do feel like “biracial” needs to be the go to term.

Mixed Girl Monday is a time where I can talk about the experiences I have had throughout my life as a biracial individual. I am using the hashtag #mixedgirlmonday simply because it is catchy, and biracial does not have a day of the week that it can be paired with and sound jusIMG_0018t as catchy.

I am a blend of black and white, my mom is white and my dad is black. I don’t see a reason to make it a super complicated topic. It’s honestly really simple like I mentioned in my earlier post it’s the best of both worlds.

I will elaborate on that more throughout the weeks, but in a nutshell,
therefore I have been exposed to two different, therefore, like to think of myself as a well rounded individual. I don’t want to get into too much withFullSizeRender this first post, I just wanted to give a general overview of this part of my life.

It is my hope that, as part of my journey, I will be able to share with you all different things I have discovered  about being biracial. Some of them are funny, others are a little serious, and most are just interesting and insightful.