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Commentary

Deconstructing Race: The Experience Of Race Is All Too Real

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Asha Brogan
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WYSO

I’m not a millennial, but I’m multiracial and multicultural. And I’m Black.

 

I was 11 years old when Loving v. Virginia was decided in 1967. That case ended hundreds of years of anti-miscegenation laws that were on the books in 26 states when I was born.

 

I am the child of a colored man from Springfield, Ohio and a white woman from Liverpool, England. I grew up on the borders of Blackness, with little affinity for white America. All of my extended family members, here in the United States, are people of color. Even with my ambiguous appearance, I’ve always known the legacy of my melanin. It isn’t just the one-drop rule that has me check the African American box.

 

Identity is complex: class, culture, sexuality, gender expression, ability…but the historical, systemic oppression that depends on skin color still trumps everything. Regardless of what I might look like to you, I’m not white. I’ve seen it all in my almost sixty years—from subtle microagressions to outright discrimination.

Race may be a social construct, but the experience of race is all too real, even here in our so-called liberal community. This is Southwest Ohio, after all, just a short drive from the Mason-Dixon line.

Jocelyn Robinson is an educator, activist, and independent media producer based in Yellow Springs.

 
Deconstructing Race is a series of commentaries about racial identity by Miami Valley residents. It's co-curated by Dr. Kimberly Barrett, vice president of multicultural affairs and community engagement at Wright State University.