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My Internal Divide: Part One

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Old Westbury chapter.

I am interracial. I have experienced 21 years of life and this is the first time I have discussed my physical appearance in writing. I had hopes of giving you a blank face to accompany with my works – perhaps a whiter one.

As I write, I sit patiently between my ethnicities with a book atop my head desperately trying to maintain the balance. I cannot allow myself to be too white or I will lose respect from my black counter parts. I cannot allow myself to be too black or I will lose credibility from my white counterparts. I search endlessly for my Native American roots in hopes of understanding my connection to nature and my need to worship the sun. I am lost in a constant stage of adaptation with hopes of “fitting” somewhere…. anywhere really.

People constantly look to me to bridge the gap and be an unofficial representative of a single race, not particularly my race, but the one least represented in the room. I have found that blacks and whites alike expect me to be a mouth piece for a people that show no allegiance to me. No matter how accepting my white friends are, I have found that except for a mere few I am still seen as an outsider. I am an accepted outsider, an exception to the rule, I am “not a real black person.”

I am light skinned. It was caused by my Caucasian and Native American mother, the woman who gave up an inheritance and a trip around the world to run away with a black revolutionary. My father was a Black Panther, a United States Marine Corps General, a scientist, the first black racecar driver in Europe, a philosopher, a Gangster, arms dealer, and an environmentalist. He proposed recycling to Congress, he wrote the world’s food demands and presented them to the United Nations. But still, as the daughter of this great Black American, I am not black enough.

I am constantly told that I am not black enough to suffer the same injustices as my dark skin counterparts but I argue that the injustices I suffer are worse. I must stand alone with no one race willing to fully accept me. I am a knight in search of a kingdom to call my own. I am nothing until I belong.


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Otelia Mabry

Old Westbury '20

A tenacious journalist, feminist, and model fighting the good fight for equality, information, and intellect. "Give me one firm spot on which to stand and I shall move the earth."- Archimedes
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Deirdre Bardolf

Old Westbury

"With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?" Student, 22. Long Island