I have been interested in different cultures and especially accents since I traveled to London.
With that interest I have never asked anybody if they were mixed. I suppose I simply have some class. Over the past few years I have been asked if I was mixed so many times that I emphasize that I am ClassyBLACKGirl....and nothing else.
I discuss race and ethnicity all of the time, from a Black Girls perspective, so I am not shy to the topics surrounding the Blackness of things.
Recently I was working with a colleague and she asked me if I and my Mother were mixed.
I know right, who does that?
I quickly responded with a vehement "no" and continued with our original conversation. She continued and stated, "you look like you are mixed with Mexican or white." I stated again, "We are Black."
Why was it her personal business where my family came from? Would it make me a better business partner or more interesting to work with?
She said, "oh you just have that pretty skin."
So in her opinion, skin different from mine was not pretty?
I was done. No this person is NOT Black and I was highly offended. But I have been asked this question by Black people too. I have met men who asked me if I was mixed and were disappointed when I proudly shared with them that I am a Classy Black Girl. Because all of the sudden I wasn't as beautiful or exotic? GTFOH.
It made me think inward.
I have a niece that is mixed, she is beautiful, I also have another niece, she is not mixed and she is equally as beautiful. Being mixed is not the standard of beauty that I wish to define myself or others. I think about my own unborn daughter, who probably will not be mixed or even "light skinned." So will she NOT be seen as attractive because she will not be mixed?
I'm not buying that.
No shade on mixed people. I happen to think that whatever Black touches is gorgeous. That one drop rule is STILL very real and like I learned in biology....Dark is dominant. But it still doesn't stop me from being uncomfortable and angry when people ask me if I am mixed as if it's a compliment and assists comments on my beauty.
Just a note to the World:
Black comes in many shades. AND...it's inappropriate to ask people if they are mixed. If somebody is attractive to you, just say that. Please do not try and figure out who you need to couple with to create my concoction of Black.
Classily Yours and Extra Black.