Tuesdays evening panel and discussion was facilitated by Kevin Thomas, Ethan Johnson, and Maude Hines. Many facets and personal experiences of growing up bi-racial were discussed by each panel member. The panel then opened up the conversation with individuals in the community.
From each panel member to each community member that shared, every contribution added to the rich flavor of the diverse city in which we live. One of the common themes expressed was, “I don’t think bi-racial. I am simply me.” A common human struggle emerges when one attempts to reconcile ones personal view with an identity imposed on us by how the world treats us.
Some of the statements from that process are, “do you have to know my race to know how to treat me?” and “When someone asks what I am, Bi-racial is not an acceptable answer.” “There was no history of how to be bi-racial. It was illegal for a black person to marry a white person.”
The relief of tension in the room was poignant as each person shared their intimate circumstances and struggles.
Several times the emphasis was affirmed that more conversation and dialog with each member in the community is wanted and needed. Everyone has a unique, important story to tell.
Please share your experiences with how you view yourself, (I am simply me), and work at solving the difference between what the world thinks you should be (the expectations implied by how we are treated).