by Chani the Hippie
It’s not my fault how I came into this world.
Why hate me because of the love I’ve come from?
My mom never thought she’d fall in love with the beauty of Africa.
I doubt my father knew the plains of Ireland would capture his heart.
As a young child I heard what people said and thought nothing of it.
How could a pre-schooler think “coon” was something other than a silly nick name?
Mom decided to raise us as the world would see us and brought us to Detroit.
Then I became something different.
That day in the bathroom when the girl beat my “white ass” up.
When me and my little brother and sister had the epiphany that we would no longer take it.
“Zebra, Oreo, Millato, Chocolate Vanilla Swirls, Whitey, Cracker, Honkey” those were all fighting words.
Earned the reputation by the time I was 9.
I hated going places and people asking me “is that your Mom?” like I’m not the spitting image of her.
Hearing things like “black men get successful and want white woman.”
My father followed his heart, not your stereotypes.
Mother taught me pride, and even though at times it made me cry I found to love who I am.
Looking at pictures at my older siblings and wondering why I couldn’t be that color.
I loved the summer time because my tan made me darker like them.
Sometimes I would just come home and cry in my pillow, but I could never show my parents those tears. How would they feel if they knew I was ashamed?
I grew up and accepted the European in me.
Then I went off to that sweet little Catholic school and became too dark.
I couldn’t get into some parties and people always assumed I was some hood bitch with a gat.
I wasn’t used to that.
I was used to being too white, but before I could really know what was going on was I too black.
It’s like no matter where I go I’ll never fit in.
I’m either too black or too white.
I have this internal struggle with my external appearance.
I’ll never deny either of my parents or my heritage, but sometimes the white jokes aren’t funny.
The “why do you act so black” questions are offensive.
I am Chantel. From the deep tribes in Africa, the roots I have in the South, and the ones that came up North.
From the Scottish hills to the Irish castles. The Boston accents “I paaaarked my caaar in Haaarvard Yaaard.”
I am me.
I’m not what you make of me.
I’m not what you take from me.
I’m Chantel Elizabeth Watkins a product of the love Michael and Catherine still share despite the family members who opposed and friends who walked away.
The uncomfortableness of the “what are you mixed with” topic doesn’t even matter.
I just politely correct “I’m biracial. Mixed is a term used for paint and drinks. I’m human.”
I am beautiful.
I am who I am
I love who I am.
I am biracial.