by Antonio Hunter
Living as a multiracial person can be quite the mixed bag. This is especially true when you’re half African-American and half Puerto Rican – with hints of French, Italian and Cherokee Indian in that blend.
What I love about being such a diverse mixture is the fact that I can immerse myself in a variety of cultures, experience different cuisines, participate in an abundance of traditions/celebrations and interact with people of similarly mixed backgrounds.
However, there’s a dark side that goes with this journey. Some of the negatives include: people assuming your race and language, feeling like an enigma, novelty or outsider, certain family members not accepting you and scrutiny or ignorance from strangers and friends. Worst of all, there’s the process of filling out forms that require you to check one box for race. This is something that could lead to an identity crisis. Trust me, it’s happened before.
Anyway, now that you’ve been enlightened, it’s time for me to give you my verdict of the whole experience overall. Despite the perils, struggles, pitfalls and mean-spirited jokes designed to disrespect and put people like me down, being multiracial can be a very beneficial and rewarding experience filled with a multitude of opportunities. These would be the opportunity to broaden your horizons, expand your mind, sharpen your intellectual understanding of our complex world, and most importantly, become a more deeply conscious person who is aware of the variety of human experience out there. These are attributes everyone can attain and would make the world a better place. Embodying different races and cultures just gives some of us a bit of an experiential edge.
Racial identity is a controversial topic, depending on whom you ask. What I can say is that I’ve embraced all the differences I contain, and those of others, and that has made me a better person and improved my life. It’s a blessing to be able to express to you, readers, that which makes my life – and many other multiracial people’s lives- just a tad bit different.