What it means to be an American as a multiracial individual.
I’m Makayla. I’m 16 ½. I’m 5’2. Eyes with 2 different colors in them. I have 3 adorable and rambunctious dogs, 1 quiet cat, and 2 siblings. I’m also 50% White/European, 25% Black, and 25% Native American.
There's numerous ways I could continue to describe myself. But, numbers seem to be the most frequently used. Numbers are what makes me, me. But these numbers also put a lot of stress and a very deep, and rooted ideology or interpretation into the American mindset-- Since you're different, you're not american. Define different? What is normal? Was America built on including every race, and religion?
America is the biggest melting pot in the world. Why is there a lack of knowledge or lack of education about multiracial individuals? The first time I ever heard a lesson about multiracial people was the Transatlantic slave trade route. These people were called “Mulattoes” and originated from the rape of african women by white masters. It was a forced history, but not an irrelevant or unteachable one. The history is up to us as people to change that and make it positive.
The history of my background starts in elementary school. In second grade, I was asked “What” are you. Instead of “Who” are you. I was confused. I had never been asked that before. How does someone answer that? I didn't even know that person. They didn't know me. Wouldn’t you ask someone's name first? If anything, it felt like I was under a microscope. There was no context or reasoning behind it, just pure curiosity behind it. Yet, its stuck with me all these years and I’ve thought about it a lot when times of racial tension rises.
I grew curious over time of other people experiences, after having that experience myself. So, I interviewed my good friend Akina about her experience, and my youngest brother, D’Andre, about his. The main focus of the interview was revolving around a single question: “What does it mean to be an American as a multiracial individual?”
Akina’s interview had a very different atmosphere than my brothers. Hers was more positive, seen more as ‘exotic’ and ‘cute.’ When asking what it meant to be American she stated, “To be an American, you should be able to notice all the different cultures. You need to be educated on these different cultures.” Throughout the interview, she kept stressing on the idea of education, and knowledge. I thought that was different. It made me think about how little education we truly have on all different backgrounds.
Akina is Japanese and German. She stated she only knew about the German culture, because she took German in middle school. Otherwise, she would have never known half the information.
That's devastating. Its mind blowing that people are lacking this information that isn't vital, but very intriguing and allows us to learn how far we've come, what’s stuck around, and what hasn't.
D’Andre’s interview was more upsetting. The underlying feeling of oppression was very adamant. His interpretation on what it meant to be American was “being who you want to be, instead of being who you should be.” While he may have thought very little about this response, it was true. Stereotypes in America has been around since the colonization of America. He also claimed that he has been made fun of and sometimes isolated because of this.
I’m grateful to have never been isolated, unlike my brother. Yet, I haven’t had it be a breezy ride like Akina. My definition of what it means to be an American from a multiracial background is that, you should be able to walk out your front door and notice numerous cultures as they walk past your house. or when you walk down the school hallway. You should see different complexions and different clothing and accessories.
To be American, you need to define what that means for yourself. You need to educate yourself about these backgrounds and cultures. You need to have the passion and willpower to crave this concept of blending. We’re all a piece of art. There shouldn’t be hate towards each other. Especially when you have no knowledge of such person or culture.
It alarms me that, there’s polar opposites of reactions towards the multiracial culture. There shouldn’t be two opinions, because regardless of thought, we are here. Even after this generation is gone, there’s going to be many more to follow. Which is why I think it’s very important to educate this part of history. This is a very important part of history. Nothing like this has happened before. The blending of multiple cultures is relatively new.
There’s a lot of controversy about the topic of multiace. The most current is the new Duchess, Meghan Markle. She’s biracial and the first to be deemed as royalty. Which, isn’t a popular idea in Britain. The reasoning for the hate and unnecessary drama seems completely dull minded. The people of Britain should focus on how intelligent she is, what her passion for politics will do in the future. Not whether or not she should be apart of the royal court for being biracial mixed with Black.
The multirace may be a heated conversation currently, but it will never disappear. The multirace is here to stay. Whether you may like it or not, it’s worth the discussion and worth the time to educate and acknowledge. This is the American future.