I was late for school, and my father had to walk me in to class so that my teacher would know the reason for my tardiness. My dad opened the door to my classroom, and there was a hush of silence. Everyone's eyes were fixed on my father and me. He told the teacher why I was late, gave me a kiss goodbye and left for work. As I sat down at my seat, all of my so-called friends called me names and teased me. The students teased me not because I was late, but because my father was black. They were too young to understand. All of this time, they thought that I was white, because I had fare skin like them, therefore I had to be white. Growing up having a white mother and a black father was tough. To some people, being black and white is a contradiction in itself. People thought that I had to be one or the other, but not both. I thought that I was fine the way I was. But like myself, Shelby Steele was stuck in between two opposite forces of his double bind. He was black and middle class, both having significant roles in his life. "Race, he insisted, blurred class distinctions among blacks. If you were black, you were just black and that was that" (Steele 211).
Since Altoona is a primarily white city, I grew up being around white people 90% of the time. The only time I really spent being around blacks was with my father everyday, and with family members on my father's side. So of course I consider myself as being whiter because of the fact that I was raised mostly around white people. I know I don't look like the average white person, or the average black person, but who's to say what blacks and whites are suppose to look like. I have my own unique color. It is what my biracial friends a...
... middle of paper ...
...nce is that blacks aren't trying to make me to be black. They just want to make sure that I don't forget about that side of me.
Steele expresses, "What becomes clear to me is that people like myself, my friend, and middle-class blacks generally are caught in a very specific double bind that keeps two equally powerful elements of our identity at odds with each other" (Steele 212) But as long as you, yourself, are ok with your double bind, it shouldn't matter what other people think. You can't help what you were born into.
I've learned a lot from being black and white. It has made me much stronger of a person. If I ever had a chance to choose between one or the other so that I wouldn't be stuck in this double bind, I wouldn't. I'm not just white. And I'm not just black. I am both. I am biracial. And the way I see it is that I have the best of both worlds.
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