I was told by a friend to share my experiences on finding my cultural identity as an Afro American-Caribbean British female. I had many positive and negative experiences but continued to persevere for myself. In my youth, I spent continuous summers in Barbados. Despite being from America my parents weren’t. Now reflecting on those memories, it was a way for my parents to help me stay grounded and connected to not only their culture but mine. I continue to connect and embrace my family from both the Caribbean and British side and it has been sweet!
One of my experiences…
At a young age, I had a very hard time balancing my identity. With certain groups of people, I was only seen as an African-American. To them, I was nothing more regardless of my background or my parent’s dialect. To some people, it was more believable to be Caribbean than British because of my dark skin. This is an ignorant and thoughtless comment because it was far from the truth. Like America, people from other nationalities come in different shades.
In High School, I mostly listened to rock music. A dark skin girl listening to rock music didn’t fit their view of being “black”. It was always one thing after the other for them. I didn’t pay attention to the comments because not only was I happy but I was comfortable. I hung out with people that had the same music taste yet to many it was odd. Till this day we don’t fit the “norm” but we continue to unapologetically live our lives.
In conclusion, people should try to learn more about a person than just their appearance. Sadly, ignorance will always exist but you must continue to feel comfortable with yourself. Ignore those who rather judge you than get to know you.