Guest Bloggers

A collection of blog posts from my dear friends. Join the conversation!

ZeZe: “East Africans are not really black”…..Yes we are!

Throughout my life I heard “East-African’s are not really black” countless times which can confuse anyone growing up in an already confusing world. During my early years (11 years old and under) I remember having the odd comment of “you have lovely curly hair”, “where are you from?” and “I thought you was mixed” here and there from people which never bothered me. I would just correct them by explaining that I was not mixed and both my parents were African and that was that.

Kris: Choosing sides

I'm 1/2 east Indian 1/4 black 1/4 white, and as a young child, I spent most of my time being raised was mostly raised by my maternal Indian Grandmother. I remember her telling me so many times as a child how happy she was and how lucky I was that I could pass as 'full Indian' and that being of a fair complexion with "good hair" ( what ever that meant) added to my beauty. Even from a young age, I could see how she treated my half black-half Indian cousins adversely because of their dark skin and course hair.

Moniqué: No-LYE, I’m Black…

Who am I? I’m Moniqué, the product of a marriage between my Vincentian Mum and my Jamaican Dad, but “Coolie Gyal” “Red skin” and “Chocolate drop”, are some of the terms I’ve been addressed with during my 28 years of life.

Ravae: Love is Colour Blind

That incredulous question popped up for the millionth time, always with the same disbelief. “But …why do you like white guys?” With my boyfriend’s fingers interlaced with mine, we couldn’t get any further apart on the spectrum of complexion. The rich mahogany of my skin seemed even bolder against the startling white of his. As I lay there beside him, swirling his question around my mouth, I felt my response slowly expand. Where should I begin?

Nandi: Being Biracial in Sweden

I grew up in a medium size city in Sweden in a pretty multicultural area. I don't remember when I realized I was "different" from most of the other kids because I had light skin and straight hair. I just remember wanting to have bangs like the other girls in daycare; this lead me to cut my bangs myself at around age 4 or 5. I was very disappointed when my bangs did not lay down over my forehead like the bangs of my friends, but instead stood up reaching for the sky.

My Sister, Osaorion: Learning to Love the Chocolate Skin I’m In

  Well, I was born in Middlesex and raised in East London; Hackney to be precise. Growing up I never had any problems with the colour/shade of my skin, because I was comfortable with the colour as both my parents were black, and Nigerian. Despite saying this, when I was in primary school, I would always want to be mixed with something, not necessarily in race, but nationality. I grew up around many different races of people: black, white, Asian and people of mixed heritage. Even though I knew there was a difference between me and an Asian child, it wasn’t a barrier to my social development, because I maintained the thought that we are all one, all equal and all part of the HUMAN race.

Chloe: “You Can’t Sit With Us!” – My Experience of Shadeism

At the time I didn’t see how my treatment at school affected my external image until after leaving secondary school. When I first started secondary school my hair was always in cainrows. I had long hair, which reached my hip, and my mother never let me wear it out. As I got older the other girls would laugh at how my hair would start looking messy as the weeks went on. All those fly away curls trying to pop out. So I persuaded my mother to let me wear my hair natural without the cainrows.

Rayna: Being Dark Skin in a “Light Skin Preferred” World

  Growing up I didn't love my brown skin. My mother is a deep chocolate brown while my dad is more caramel in complexion. Although my mother is absolutely beautiful, growing up I always wanted to be the same color as my dad. So let me break down some of my experiences being dark skin in a "light skin preferred" world. Well, that's how I saw it...

Shannon: Picking Sides

I have been through different stages in my life when it comes to how I felt about being mixed race. The earliest memory I have from school was me being introduced to the fact that I no longer was just a human being but that I had two races, two categories, that there were two types of people and apparently I had to choose one.