” Too black for the whites, to white for the blacks”
Now, don’t get it twisted, my hair is nappy – in it’s natural state – and my skin is black.
My first 13 years were spent in Haiti. Growing up in a fairly comfortable environment where I could relate to the individuals around me, there was no doubt at that time that with the language that I spoke, my hairstyle and my life choices that I was Haitian (and comfortably black). I hadn’t been exposed to race/social issues, where black people would be wondering where they fit…Because I fitted – at least I thought I was.
Moving to Canada, I have never really been exposed to direct racism – as Canada was seen as a multicultural country where one can be whoever he wants and not be judge or treated differently. Though I’m still marked by an event, in my first year of schooling in Canada. It wasn’t a big deal really… In history class we were set up to watch a movie and I remember the tv not working. I offered to help – as I wasn’t that bad with technology and knew a thing or two – this other student (Caucasian – not that it matters…) came up to as he looked at me and said : ” Owhh so you can help eh ! Is there even TV’s in Haiti ? !” – I must say, there is some corners in my 1st country where there is no TV (so the question wasn’t that bad) but I believe that there is some people in Canada leaving with no TV as well – after all it is all about money no ? – At this point for some reason I felt hurt, not by racism but by the blatant ignorance of the society that my parents decided that would be best for us to grew in, I realized that I was not looked at as a normal student, I was “stereotyped”. But, looking back at it, one cannot blame one for assuming things about another – no one is perfect. I myself would automatically judge people by their looks sometimes but I have learn throughout the years not to judge the books y their cover – since then, life has been eye opening as every human being is interesting and have a story (usually really interesting). Therefore, the guy’s question (whom we at the end of high school became good acquaintances) was not racist but just a reflect of the real nature of human being. Other than that, I have not encountered any direct discrimination – yet (maybe once – but that will be another article on the human being and ignorance – maybe Part 2 ?).
Now after a few years in Canada / Quebec & Ontario, I was able to frame myself as what one would call a mutant. I adopted other values that I thought were more interesting and related to my own personality. As I grew, I became this person torn between two civilization and way of thinking, I picked out what I wanted to be and I wanted not to be – just like when I pick my food at a buffet.
By doing that, I was affirming myself , I had an Haitian guy told me : ” I wouldn’t date you… You are to Haitian for me ” while some of my friends sometimes say: ” Wow you are so white ” after taking a look at my interests or seeing what I cook for myself sometimes. Now that I am in the dating scene, I dated a few different races – not that it matters – but I would feel that I was too black for some and to white for others. From caucasian guys assuming that I only listened to black songs and being shocked that I knew other culture ones or feeling offended that I do certain things because that is technically ” cultural appropriation (Well you are black you are not suppose to do that” *insert eye roll*) . The question to me was :” Where the hell did freedom rights go ???” and the answer was :” Well you are in Canada were you can be whoever you want to be so If he doesn’t like it – he is not worth it ! Now with that being said, the pool becomes pretty limited. Who wants to date a black girl that is neither black or white ? People like comfort, stability, that is why many run back to the motherland to get an husband – maybe if he comes here he will grew to be just like me – or the reason why suburbs people marry suburbs … He will date you girl – temporarily – but there is always the “childhood” love back home – the one with the same roots – the one that understands…. What about you, were are your roots, since you don’t quite directly relate to were you come from and you are not completely here either – who are you ? Can I handle you ? Will you understand ??