I’m Black Like That

The dictionary describes race as “a local geographic or global human population distinguished as a more or less distinct group by genetically transmitted physical characteristics.” With all of the mixing that occurs in society Does race still exist?

Australian Aborigines looking as black as me.
Months ago I read this article in “Newsweek” regarding genetics and the current state of racial characteristics. And it sparked a question in me. What do I consider myself. Let me first begin by saying that as a visual person, The cover was off the hook! It was four identical panels of a woman’s face. All of the features were the same except the skin tone and eye color and in each she looked to be of a different race.
I have always identified myself as African American because my entire family is black. I’m sure that their was some mixing, generations ago but as far back as I can trace I’m Black. I actually am pretty close to what Aboringines look like and most people do think that I’m mixed. I have friends who are White and have nappier hair than I do and friends who are Black with lighter skin than some Whites. If all these factors are in play then how can anyone say who is what and how do we measure race?
All of this questioning has brought me to the importance of culture in racial identity. I am black not because of the way I look but because of the common experience that I share with people of African decent here in America. One thing that segregation did was enable us to create our own culture and preserve it seperate from anything else. Being Black is in the details. Details like getting your hair braided, cleaning greens, and falling asleep at church because your grandmother brought you to Suday school,choir rehearsal, morning service, and evening service.
Being Black is even in things like seeing the looks in the faces of white classmates when you get better grades or shame you feel when you don’t. I’m learing to not to put too much stock into our music or the dancing and art because those thing can be stolen. But no other people know whays it’s like to really be Black.
Because I could never identify for anyone else what being black is like please leave a comment. This is what I think as 17yr old and I don’t know everything (as my mother would tell me).
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