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SHADES OF  YOU

We see color.

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.” – Audre Lorde

olivia

Name: Olivia 
Occupation: Public Relations Consultant

Race: Black

Have you ever been mistaken for another race? Most people don’t realize that I am half Cuban. The assumption is that a Latina only have olive complexion skin and long black hair. However, I have dark skin and kinky hair; I am an Afro-Latina.

How did that make you feel?
It’s frustrating at times. Black people are everywhere including places like Cuba. 

What would you like people to know about understanding other races? There were more than two million Africans that were brought to Cuba as part of the Atlantic slave trade. Cuba did not end slavery until 1867. Those descendants live on the island.
 
What would you like for people to know regarding your race?
While I am a black woman, I have Latino roots. 
 
What would you like for people to know regarding your ethnicity (culture)?
There are so many other cultures that are embedded in the Cuban culture outside of European. We have Chinese and Lebanese Cubans.

Any final thoughts?
The African Diaspora is a collection of worldwide communities where people from native sub-Saharan Africans are living and thriving in the Americas. Black people are everywhere.
Tysha

Name: Tyisha
Occupation: Middle School English Language Arts Teacher

Race: Black

Have you ever been mistaken for another race? Another race? Not very often. I am always asked if a parent is white. Nope. Both parents are black. And both of their parents are black. Now, before that is where things were “mixed.”

How did that make you feel? The question of am I mixed has never bothered me. I’m very light skinned. Why wouldn’t people think that?  I know people are curious, and it just never bothered me.  I always have students or adults who assume or ask if I’m mixed.

What would you like people to know about understanding other races? I wish people would stop being afraid of other races. True, we fear what we don’t understand, so then take time to understand. People are people and want the same things in life. We have differences, but we have similarities to on the basic human level. We all want love, validation, safety, and to have our needs met. And let people celebrate their heritage and where they are from. And then learn about other cultures. It will open your mind and heart.

What would you like for people to know regarding your race? I am second generation American. I am a black woman in America with sisterlocks. There’s too much to talk about regarding Blacks in America. I’ve never personally experienced racism that I am aware of, but it’s there. I celebrate being an American, my Caribbean roots, my African heritage, and it shouldn’t scare anyone. Embrace roots.

Any final thoughts? Celebrate who you are in all aspects. Celebrate others. Love. Be kind. 

A former coworker is from Morocco and is Arabic. He told me that since living here, many people start speaking Spanish to him because they assume he’s Hispanic. He has no idea what they are saying. Then those people would always look confused when he did respond back in Spanish.

Have you ever been mistaken for another race?

Share your story.  Email us at info@naturallybrownwoman.com.

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