A Picture Book Summary About Biracial Racism

Growing up as a biracial child, I experienced racism from white and black people. I actually remember being shocked that racism would come against me from a black person because when I was living in a white community, I was the nigger, the dirty minority, the third wheel, or in contrast, I was the girl who didn’t meet my date’s parents or the girl who was secretly acknowledged as being desirable, yet publicly ignored. My eighth-grade teacher never scolded my white classmates for saying nigger, but everyone would instantly look at me. So, I had this idea that blacks were the victims and I longed to be among my black people. 

When I began living in a black community, I suddenly was on a pedestal by black boys, which was unnerving, yet tragically I was hated—and I mean HATED— by black girls. I was instantly hated for no good reason. I would get set up, lied about, scoffed at, laughed at, and ignored just for entering a room. As I became an adult, other things happened. I’ve had black men tell me that my color was not “in” as if I was a commodity. I had a black, hotel waitress in St. Louis boldly tell me about five times that I needed apple juice for my color instead of the lemonade that I tried to order. I did business with a black hair company for five years until I met them at a trade show and a couple weeks later when I tried to place an order, the same lady I thought I knew was suddenly condescending and spoke to me “like a white girl.” 

Black women still continued to hate me throughout my twenties and thirties, but racism did not end even by whites. I’ve had a group of white people in a not-so-populated mall, purposely try to knock me over while I held my infant. I knew in my heart that it was racism.  Once while I quietly got my nails done at a white woman’s house, her southern boyfriend who claimed that he had black friends maliciously called me a half-breed. One would think that because many people found me attractive, my life was easy, but in my experience, it was often an excuse for someone to hate me or assume that I was stuck-up.

This type of stuff nearly killed me. The good news is, I survived.

The picture book that I wrote is about the overt racism that I experienced– not only as a young biracial girl among black girls– but also as a woman. The main character named Mercy is one of my favorites because she ultimately does what every child should know how to do when faced with a hater. Although this story derives from racism, it is also about bullying and how it has the power to change the victim.  Furthermore, even though this story developed from painful events, this grade-school, picture book supports godliness and figuratively shares eagerly anticipated scenes from moment to moment that leads a child wondering, “What will happen next?”  The ultimate conclusion enables room for conversation about Mercy’s ultimate choice in rising above ignorance.

Sometimes it seems that people are unable to acknowledge the depth of the biracial experience. The black experience is bad and I fully understand it, but if you are black in the black experience, you’ll always be black and be accepted by your own. Try being biracial, or being black and appearing biracial, but being rejected by whites and by blacks because you are never white enough nor black enough.

Where does one fit in? For me, after age 18, I did not have a mother or father in my life, so it was a difficult time.

Well, God fit me into His family and anyone who is part of that accepts not only my color and diversity, but me. Diversity is a beautiful thing and when white people realize that not all black people are the same and when black people realize that black is no longer one color, but a plethora of shades and experiences to be embraced and supported– rather than exalting one above the other, it will be a good thing because the plight of the slave has also affected biracial “blacks” even unto this day.

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