I know for me growing up, I always looked to see how mixed celebrities identified or how they described their own experiences growing up. Now this was often as empowering as it was disappointing. To me, it seemed as though, much of my “interracial inspiration” left me hanging, when all I yearned for was to hear someone say: “It’s OK to be who you are, whether that’s both black and white. You don’t have to feel pressured to embrace everything that makes up who you are.”
The following quotes are from 5 rather interesting Biracials who have had their share of the spotlight and have also had a lot to overcome. Let the inspiration begin!
1. Halle Berry (49; English, German & African-American)
“Being biracial is sort of like being in a secret society. Most people I know of that mix have a real ability to be in a room with anyone, black or white.”
Being mixed race often makes it seem as though we are caught in the middle and can’t participate fully on either side. However, coming from a diverse background can often make it easier, if you truly hone it, to connect with literally anyone.
2. Rashida Jones (40; Ashkenazi Jewish [Russian/Lativian] & African-American)
“I’m lucky because I have so many clashing cultural, racial things going on: black, Jewish, Irish, Portuguese, Cherokee. I can float and be part of any community I want. I’m happy to challenge people’s understanding of what it looks like to be biracial, because guess what? In the next 50 years, people will start looking more and more like me.”
People often want to shove you into one box because it’s easier to label you solely based on how you look or how people perceive you. Don’t let this restrict who you are though, you have a foot in many doors, which can often make people uncomfortable because they’re not sure how to process it – but have no fear, embrace it and have a little fun with it!
3. Aubrey Graham, aka DRAKE (29; Jewish Canadian & African-American)
“I think part of the whole appeal of me as an artist is that I had things that were initially seen as strikes against me—like being from Canada, being an actor, being light-skinned, being Jewish. There’s all these things that in the stereotypical Rap world don’t really fit the package.”
“I have all these moments in my life where I’m jumping roof to roof. Black to white. Singing and rapping.”
“I get a lot of love everywhere in the world for just being diverse, instead of just being straight out [one thing]. I’m all mixed up and people embrace that.”
As we’ve said, being mixed does lend you some flexibility: you can tap into it and really let go of all the boundaries that have been put up to separate all of us. This in turn can make you relatable to a diverse range of people across the spectrum. I think stepping out of these confined boxes allows us to truly be who we are and as Drake so cooly puts it, “I’m all mixed up and people embrace that.”
4. Jermaine Cole aka J. COLE (31; & German-American & African-American)
“I think people are curious to know. I get those questions a lot. “How has it affected you? Did you have identity issues growing up?” I get those questions a lot but I feel like I represent both sides. The perspective that I’m bringing is a side that’s aware of both. I’ve seen both sides. I wouldn’t be able to say the things I say had I not seen another side. I don’t think I’d be aware of the inequalities […] had I not been brought up with a white mother.”
Growing up in two worlds, as strange as it may be to actually realize that, gives a unique, birds eye view into what it is genuinely like to be part of a said community within society. You are exposed to the realities and can understand the culture and legacy of the varying groups, because you are also a part of it. Know who you are and do good with it, as J. Cole said: “Get it back and use it for good, and touch the people how you did like before.”
5. Bob Marley (1945-1981; British & Afro-Jamaican)
“I don’t have prejudice against myself. I’m not on the white man’s side, or the black man’s side. I’m on God’s side – the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white.”
Now, about a year ago, we mentioned the legend Bob Marley and spoke about his biracial background in detail. It doesn’t matter how much time passes, whether his sentiments resonate with you or not: it’s a very raw and authentic statement about self-identity. I think what we might even overlook with this, is the fact that he comments on not being prejudiced against himself (against either his black or his white heritage) and almost removes the concept of race from his identity and persona. His affirmation that he stands on the side that represents love, purity, compassion and healing is what is most important to him; not the trivial discussion of black or white, good or bad. I’m a spiritual being and merely wish to be, as I am.
Now, I think THAT is beautiful and gives new life to Mixed Remixed. 😉
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed these 5 Quotes & Lessons!
Written by: Terri Rogers
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