For Mixed

naspa diamond

Sara Blair-Medeiros

July 10, 2017

This is for those who look
at their feet
straddling borders drawn by
imaginary hierarchies.
Am I this, or am I that?
Skin, this skin, brown yet
black and white, classified by a box or two being checked
Time and again so that lines
can be drawn influencing the political landscape of society.
My existence is radical...
Carmel colored complexion
topped with a swirl of dark chocolate waves
The legacy of Loving v. Virginia
projected through deep brown eyes.
We are taught to embrace the
racial ambiguity leading to confusion of others,
Confusion of self.
Am I this, or am I that?
And we should be taught to
embrace the beauty of the revolution that is being mixed,
green eyes and nappy hair,
freckles and almond shaped lids, fire red locks and mocha colored skin.

This is for those who are
standing tall,
At the crossroads of “you
must choose.”
Am I this, or am I that?
I am not the only one who
struggles with being “enough.”
What does that even mean?
To be enough?
To me?
To you?
To who?
Staring longingly into the
bathroom mirror I see a face with lines drawn,
Black side, White side, no
I see all sides most of the
time, while my brown skin deceives others into thinking
I am something I am not.
So we float, in the ambiguity,
sometimes letting others choose for us,
To be welcomed, to survive,
to be enough.

This is for those joining
in radical interracial love
Fighting invisibility and
proclaiming, “we are here!”
Am I this, or am I that?
Loving is our legacy...
From the ashes of 40 acres
and a mule, colonization, violence, rose love, strength, and life,
Breathing into existence our
My existence is radical, your
existence is radical, our existence is radical.
Feet planted firmly on earth
that absorbs our revolutionary energy,
The blood of our colonizing
ancestors flowing freely with the blood of our ancestors colonized.
We are radical, in our essence…
We are bold, punctuating the
silence that comes after the question, “What are you?”
We are the creation of our
parents coming together and sharing themselves with one another in radical interracial love.

This is for all the beautiful
mixed race babies
Who come into the world declaring,
“my diversity is beautiful!”
Am I this, or am I that?
Variegated curls pushing their
way out from underneath a do-rag crafted of silk,
wrapping braids woven with
bright colors in a top knot.
Waves falling in sultry black
loops down our backs,
A comb stuck at the very end.
Blue eyes blazing from curtains
of chocolate,
Hazelnut from behind curtains
of cream.
Am I this, or am I that?
Mirrors in the make-up aisle
proving that I am forever going to need two shades
Of that foundation because
I am forever in-between.
Like a chameleon, my tones
change with the seasons
Following the strength of
the sun.

This is for those who look
at their feet
straddling borders drawn by
imaginary hierarchies.
Am I this, or am I that?
For those that check all the
For those that exist in all
their beautiful radicalness,
For those who stand at crossroads
and choose to stand in the middle.
This is for the revolutionaries,
the breakers of hierarchies, the ones that do the Loving and the ones who do the fighting.
This is for the chameleons,
embracing every color with the changing of the seasons,
For those with the complexities
of holding more than one racialized community in our veins.
This is for the beautiful
mixed, transracially adopted, and multiracial people
Who answer am I this, or am
I that, with:
I am power, I am revolution,
I am beautiful, I am mixed… 

About the Author

Sara Blair-Medeiros is the Assistant Director for Outreach at the Women’s Resources & Research Center at UC Davis.

Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NASPA. If you agree or disagree with the content of this post, we encourage you to dialogue in the comment section below. NASPA reserves the right to remove any blog that is inaccurate or offensive.

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