Thank you for sharing this and as a Dominican-American woman, I understand why you don't identify as black, although our culture is mixed with Africans because of the slave trade. I had a conversation with my cousins about two years ago asking if any of them identified as black and we had this whole discussion about what does that really mean. I article an article about it on Medium and at the end its really up to the person to say what they identity as and no one else. Then, I further learned that race is a social construct and really we should identify with an ethnicity more than "a race." Thank you for sharing and opening up this conversation.

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I understand all of this. I’m mixed with African American, Native American, Irish and Dutch descent (among other things), and the story of my family’s mixture is loaded with a history I’m still learning how to unpack. I’m trying to learn to have freedom where I once felt caged in. Coming to confidence in saying, I am Black, I am Native, and I am White…and yes, I am Mixed. Learning to embrace all and not negate any part. Learning I can lean into whichever sides I want…not for the sake of privilege, but to lean into any side so I can learn and dig deeper and claim more of who I really am.

I, too, have been and often am judged by my outward appearance. I see this in my kids’ lives now too. It feels like erasure. And it irks me because I want to honor all of who I am. Wish people asked more questions than they did in offering statements.

Cheering you on as you keep sharing and unpacking all these things — it’s so needed. Such rich, good work.

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