Black White Man

My mother is black, and my father is white. I walk among you.

Archive for September, 2010

If My Mother was Irish instead of Black

People wouldn’t question me when I claimed her ethnicity as my own.    On my father’s side, my great-great grandfather and mother were off-the-boat Swedes.    Their grandson (my grandfather) consider himself Swedish and passed on that cultural identity to me.    That kind of thing seems not uncommon in the White community, where claims “I’m Irish”, “I’m Jewish” or “I’m Italian” can be traced to a source many generations of inter-marriage back.   So, why is it so different for Blacks?    Of course it’s because being Black gets reduced to a skin color.    My knowledge of my mom’s side of the family is a bit sketchier than my knowledge of my dad’s side — both because of the obfuscation involved in slavery, and because I happen to have an uncle on my Dad’s side who’s a professional archivist and historian.    But, I do have some idea that my great-great-grandfather and mother were off-the-boat Guineans.   So, I have exactly the same relationship with Guinea that I have with Sweden.    Just because the Swedish skin genes seem to have beaten out the Guinean ones shouldn’t mean as much as people want to make it mean, I think.