What are you? These are the words that you ask me, Stranger on the street, classmate at school, supervisor at my job.
I’m tired of explaining what I am. Why can’t you try and discover who I am? They tell me I am exotic. They also told me, when I was young that I was not black, I was not white, I was not Native, I was different, weird…exotic….. They called me mixed, mulatto, a zebra….
Why is your hair so wild, why is your skin so light, why are your lips so big?
They tell me now that I am exotic.
How dare you tell me I am not Black. For the woman that raised me has beautiful brown skin, kinky curls and graceful hands.
How dare you tell me I am not White For the woman who gave birth to my father has clear blue eyes, fair skin and flowing long hair.
How dare you tell me I am not Native For the woman that gave birth to my mother has keen almond shaped eyes and strong cheekbones.
You tell me I am exotic. But exotic is foreign to this part of the world. Exotic is intriguing Exotic is excitingly strange A young woman who questions my place in this world, my intrigue and my strangeness.
Who am I? I am not strange and I am definitely of this world. In fact, I am a mix of all the things that make up this world, both near and far. They will not ask me what I am anymore. They will discover who I am. They will not call me exotic anymore, For I am my Black mother’s daughter, my White grandmother’s grandchild and my Native grandmother’s grandchild.
And yes, I have wild hair that matches a wild spirit. Yes, I have light skin that glows similar to my White Grandmother’s. And yes, I have full lips that speak eloquently like my Black mother.
I am not exotic. I am a daughter and mother and woman of this world.