Mixed Nation

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15 Things I Learned From My Mixed Friends

I love race. Stop-and-frisk, the African Diaspora, Kimye; you name it, I’m there.

But as much as I love debating post racial America in the Age of Obama, there are uncharted territories. As a black woman I know all too well about discrimination, isolation and misconstrued perceptions of beauty. However after some very in-depth conversations with a few close friends, who happen to be biracial, I realized I wasn’t quite the race connoisseur I prided myself to be.

While I’m sure if I search my genealogy tree long enough I’m bound to find a hint of something other than “Black” or “African-American,” as someone who identifies as a full-bred black woman I don’t pretend to know the first thing about what it’s like to be born to parents of different racial backgrounds or all the psycho- and sociological bells and whistles that oftentimes come with being multicultural. Sure I can empathize and watch CNN specials all day, but when it comes down to it, there are some blanks I’m just not equipped to fill in. All minorities were not made alike and biracials have their own set of problems, stereotypes and social stigmas that I regretfully wasn’t aware of.

So, after doing some digging and conversing with my favorite biculturals, I compiled this list of pertinent takeaways. No this isn’t my attempt to explain the plight of the “tragic mulatto” or create my very own Black Like Me experience; rather these are takeaways, insightful and sometimes comical revelations made to someone who thought she knew everything about race. From hair etiquette and dating, to the cringe-worthy, racial ambiguity game, here are a few of the more notable tidbits. 15 Things I Learned From My Mixed Friends:


1. All hair is not “good” hair.”

As one friend put it, “I can pretty much predict the weather based on my hair.”

Photo credit: Imperial Beauty
Photo credit: Imperial Beauty


2. Let’s not play the “Guess the Race” game.

A tactful inquiry goes a long way.


3. Parents don’t always look like parents.

Us full-breeds don’t help the situation with our quizzical looks and “That can’t be your mom/dad” comments at the school Christmas assembly.


4. “Exotic” is a common descriptor but may not always be the best adjective.

As another friend put it, “Exotic means foreign or unusual. I’m from Chicago and play soccer.”


5. Nicknames like half-breed, mutt, Oreo, Skittles, etc. aren’t cool.

Just don’t…ever.

No Name Calling


6. Light-skinned, biracial and Latina are not the same thing.

So assuming one is the same is not cool!


7. It’s really annoying to select “other” on an application when your complete racial make-up is on the form but you can only “select one.”

You can’t just cover all the bases with one check box!


8. Joining an ethnicity based college group can be quite the challenge.

Apparently joining the Black Student Union when you have dirty blonde hair and light brown eyes is kind of a big deal.


9. Finding mixed celebrities with similar racial make-ups is also a big deal.

If you’re out there and are a match to the Kourtney Kardashian/Scott Disick combo, you’re freaking amazing.

Photo Credit: Us Weekly
Photo Credit: Us Weekly


10. Sites like Mixed Nation and Mixed People Problems are godsends.


Photo Credit: Mixed People Problems Tumblr
Photo Credit: Mixed People Problems Tumblr

11. Just because someone dates a person from their less physically prominent side doesn’t mean they are denouncing the other side.

It worked for Paula Paton and Alicia Keys so carry on.


12. People never believe you when you explain your ethnicity.

On the list of racial microaggressions this is up there with, “You’re very [insert adjective] for a [insert race] person.”


13. Buying concealer is not fun.

Every tried matching paint swatches at Home Depot? Similar to us brown skin girls, try before you buy is an absolute must.


14. It’s a little annoying that Barack Obama has a white mother and Kenyan father, and is the first black president.

Gotta love the one-drop rule.


15. The Cheerios commercial is awesome. 

Photo Credit: Urban Faith
Photo Credit: Urban Faith


Please check out more of Chevonne’s work over on Adore Colour!

Chevonne Harris

Chevonne Harris is the founder and editor of AdoreColour.com, an online magazine celebrating the style, flair, vibrancy and overall awesomeness of “Coloured” women. She is a fashion and entertainment loving twenty-something whose work has appeared in EBONY magazine, the Huffington Post, Clutch Magazine and more. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toledo and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is a lover of all things pop culture, Oprah and Beyonce, and specializes in African-American and female news and entertainment. Follower her on Twitter @mesochevy

11 thoughts on “15 Things I Learned From My Mixed Friends

  • LeRoyABartellJr

    This was great! I love mixed nation. I have a lovely mixed background.. However, because I look black(by American standerds. I’ve been around the world a couple of times and we American blacks are clearly and most definately mixed). My exwife is white/black. People come up to her speaking spanish ALL of the time. It’s funny because she has a thick southern accient.(imagine Dewayne wayne and Wittly, that’s us). I joined Mixed Nation because we have three kids and besides my oldest son who looks like a lighter me, y kids slightly match, especially my middle child. He was born with light nearly blonde hair white skin and blue eyes. Needless to say, he didn’t look like either of us. Her mom is blonde hair blue eyed. She has long curly brown hair. So this sight is very refreshing.

  • EmilySeverance

    13. Buying concealer is not fun!

  • ShanBlair

    Loved this!!! 100% truth.

  • That one drop rule is crap. But if they want it, then Prince William is black, Prince Harry is black, Johnny Depp is black and a whole lot of them.

  • AxelSeven

    so apparently being “mixed” is being “ultra picky” “having a a bigger ego than necessary” “feeling insulted when someone wonders where you’re from”. shut the fuck up

    do you know what I used to do?

    I checked “african” and “caucasian”, fucking problem solved.

    also, reality check, being mixed doesn’t automatically mean beautiful and complex.

    • AxelSeven I do get just a tad pissed when someone asks me where I’m from, but that’s just because of the frequency of the question and not because they want to know me, just their prying. I can attest to the ultra picky part, I know a lot of mixed like that. And everyone expects you to be beautiful/good-looking, because you’re mixed, people are just stupid.

      • AxelSeven

        AsaadHutchinson I dunno, I’m being asked the question quite frequently too, whether curiosity or prying doesn’t really bother me. I can understand, sort of, if it’s every single day and more than  once a day. but otherwise eh. if it bothers you just say “I’m mixed, doesn’t really matter where I’m from”, if you truly feel they are prying.
        and I mean, whether yo uare beautiful or not…well…who cares, you attract who you attract xD.

      • AxelSeven

        AsaadHutchinson also general appology because, I realize somewhat that if I  was REALLY trying to…say…find people I can connect with in respect to “race” or “color”, mixed people are  the only ones I would…hmmm…care  to  check out (Idgaf  about  black or white history since I got both in  and it just  so happens 1 of the 3 fucked the other 1 of the 3 up its ass).  So  I get  a little bit angry when I see that the only people I could somehow relate to happen to be so…picky.
        a black person full of ego and air up their asses? whatever
        a white person doing the same? whatever
        a mixed person doin it? … BRO FUCK OFF I RELATE TO  YOU!!! STOP IT!!! I FEEL WEIRD!!!

  • guantai5

    I appreciated all your points, but have some feedback:
    Don’t ask me what my race is. Not even tactfully. I’ll let you know if I think it’s relevant.

    It doesn’t bother me that Obama is the first Black president because being Black doesn’t mean that he is not Biracial. Black doesn’t have to be about purity. It’s about your station in society (amongst other things) and Obama is exactly Black, regardless of his mother’s race. In Kenya, he is white (and Black and Biracial). I know because I was white when I went to Kenya and my dad’s Black Kenyan.

    • guantai5 Being white in Kenya doesn’t make you white. If you’re mixed, then at the end of the day, you’re mixed, regardless of what people call you. Two or more sides make a whole.

      • guantai5

        I think you’re saying that if I were white
        I couldn’t be Mixed and since I’m Mixed, I can’t be white. If this is what you’re
        saying, then you seem to be treating race as a biological construct. But race is
        a social construct, dependent on social context, so I can be white in Kenya and
        Mixed in the UK.
        If, when I am in Kenya, I was to do as you
        say and consider the other people around me to be wrong about my racial identity
        in their own country, I’d still get all the privileges of being white. So who
        would I be kidding?

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