For those of you who don’t know (and less for those who don’t care ) neither my wife nor myself consider ourselves fully any one race. What I mean is this…
On my side, my mother is of Choctaw Indian and Irish descent. Her maternal grandfather was a first generation pale Irish immigrant with green eyes and her grandmother could’ve been named Pocahontas. I only have a few pictures of my mother when she was younger. She had long raven-black hair all the way down her back, and the most beautiful sun-kissed blemish-free skin you could ever wish for.
On my wife’s side; her father, who is black, was born in Philly and has blue eyes because of his paternal and maternal grandparents. As a matter of fact, every single one of his siblings has either blue or green eyes and now in their golden years they all have stark white wavy hair. Have you ever seen a naturally blond, green-eyed boy with a deep brown complexion? Those are my wife’s nephews whose mother would often be questioned about whether or not they were her kids because she has brown eyes and black hair. My wife’s mother was born in Canada and is of German descent. Her mother actually has dual-citizenship (which I didn’t know could be passed on to your children).
My point is that people often look at us and have already determined that I’m either 1) Black or 2) Hispanic, and she’s either 1) Anglo or 2) Jewish. We somehow reflect what people consider the stereotypical interracial couple. Wow. Really?? I would think that based on the multitude of places around the world that each of us could trace our roots we’re probably more alike than we are different. It’s fascinating when you think about it. I just wonder why there’s a tendency to stop there when there’s so much more to our ethnic story. I mean, what are we really? Dre’s father identifies himself as black, but she is rarely if EVER described that way by others. Most people don’t even bother to ask her ethnicity. Maybe it’s because in lieu of the possible embarrassment of being wrong, it’s easier to assume. But still it begs the question: Are we considered a particular race based on our ancestry or purely because of our complexion? Something tells me it’s more the latter than the former.
I have to wonder what people will say about our children. Being of such diverse ancestry, they will probably epitomize those who legitimately check the “other” box when identifying themselves on most forms. We will never force them to identify more with any one race. Besides, I think culture, in its most basic form, is determined more by how and where you are raised, than what country your ancestors come from. In that vein, I pray that they will remain a comfortable shade of gray and that they will grow to appreciate everything that came together to create the honorable people they will undoubtedly become.
So today, I salute an America that embraces my children as a product of a dream come true.