Mixed Up, But Not ConfusedSunday, April 03, 2016
A few years back I wrote a paper entitled "Mixed Up, But Not Confused", where I discussed mixed-race female identities as empowered beyond what academic literature recognized. In other words, I talked about how mixed-race females know who they are despite what research says. This paper was the groundwork for my Major Research Paper (thesis), which I finished almost a year ago.
My thesis used social media to challenge the idea of mixed-race females as disempowered. One of the themes I kept coming across on YouTube in particular is the story of mixed-race females as confused because of their multiracial identities. It makes me upset to see that so many mixed-race females out there are not taught to recognize the strengths associated with their identity. So many mixed-race females identify with the story of confusion and struggle, and very few (at least from what I could find) actually seek to break free and empower themselves.
It also upsets me to know that so many mixed-race people have had bad experiences growing up due to complete failure of parents and teachers to educate their children about diversity. In a world where mixed-race people are "the next big thing" according to National Geographic, it's sad that we aren't able to love ourselves in the way we should.
The message I tried to get across in the paper I wrote a few years ago, is that all mixed race people are not confused about who they are. We just identify ourselves in different ways than the norm. For us, we sit in between categories and above definitions, and that's normal and okay for us. Conforming to the the boxed-in identities that people with monoracial identities are comfortable in doesn't work for a person who belongs to multiple racial categories. And that's okay.
I hope to further my research in this area one day, and delve more into the complexity of mixed-race identities. Ultimately, I hope that one day I can contribute to the academic knowledge on identities such as my own, and help people understand that mixed does not mean confused.
Cheers to complex identities, and the power they hold to challenge the norms!
xoo, Jayy (The Defiant Dougla)