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Posted by / 20-Jan-2020 21:29

“Part of that is how others understand us, and the other part is how we understand ourselves.” For many biracial people, that understanding can be both elusive and arbitrary.

From checking boxes on forms to fulfilling quotas, race is used to define and control so many aspects of everyday life.

“I don’t know if I identify with being black or white, one more than the other.

It’s hazy how a mixed person is supposed to define themselves; people are always defining it for them.”Nearly two-thirds of people with a mixed-race background do not identify as multi- or biracial, according to a Pew Research Center study of Americans with at least two races in their background.

It becomes intensely personal in a way that’s different from Americans of a single race.

At first, Samantha and Ashley Ferguson’s maternal great-grandparents—who are from southern Mississippi—didn’t accept that their mother was with an African-American man.

The fraught history between the two races can present myriad struggles mentally and emotionally for those grappling with being a blend of both.

’” Before middle school, Ferguson didn’t think she was different from other children.

But, she says, the students at her predominately-white school, “dressed a certain way, looked a certain way, their hair was straight.

It wasn’t until Ashley was born, and appeared to be white, that they were “okay” with her parent’s relationship.

Sarah Sneed, 31, a guidance counselor from Newark, Delaware, thinks that—multiple boxes on government forms or not—there’s so much animosity between whites and blacks that choosing both is not an option anymore; it’s one or the other.

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