Back in the 80’s there was no “mixed race/culture options there was just “PICK ONE” which was confusing to me because I was of different race. From my first memory as a child I remember my mother being white and my step-father being Italian. I was maybe 3 or 4 years old. I remember sitting in my step-father’s lap telling him I was white and him screaming at me that I was a “nigger”. I used to pinch his skin and pinch mine and say “were the same color” but he would make sure I knew I wasn’t white.
When my alcoholic mother came to the conclusion that she couldn’t take care of me or my older half-brother (who was 100% white..green eyes..red hair).she threw us in the system. Basically she dropped us off at daycare..and never came back. We stayed there for maybe 3 days before social services showed up and put us in the system.
My first memory was a white couple (super old and RACIST). The social worker told them that we were brother and sister and didn’t want to be separated. They had a 4 bedroom house and took in multiple foster kids. They put my brother in the third bedroom with 3 twin beds (other two vacant). They put me in the closet. Yes, the hallway closet. They fed me bread and butter and powdered milk and made me walk to school and back in kindergarten. Would you let your 5 year old walk to the mailbox right now?
I was told I was ugly and an abomination, and lastly a bastard. After I walked home from school, I was greeted with a belt by a white racist lady that would whip me from the door to the closet and lock me in. Yes, I was locked in a closet…I had no access to going and just getting a sandwich or a cup of water…I was in there till they let me out. They would let me out around 9pm to eat a slice of bread and butter and a cup of water and time me before they whipped out the belt to beat me back to the closet.
I remember one time they didn’t let me out for hours on a weekend and I pee’d on myself and they beat me to oblivion. I remember one time they bought me fake sterling silver earrings and I woke up in the middle of the night because my ears were bleeding and they beat me for waking them up.
They got so overly tired of being racists on my (what you think is a light skin privileged ass) that they called social services and said I was a menace. They kept my brother and threw me back in the system. Even though my white brother was helpless at the age of 10, he was all I knew..now I had nobody. I was confused and scared out of my life..no mother to comfort me..no brother to protect me…just a 5 year old half black girl.
I was nowhere near old enough to understand racism in 1985, I just thought I was a piece of shit..I couldn’t walk right..talk right, or be enough that my foster parents could take me out of the closet when they had friends over. I was ugly…embarrassing…but just enough for them to collect a foster home check on my behalf.
Being put back in the system they connected me with a single black mom. Oh they thought that was instantly where I needed to be. She was rich..worked for government..but she had dates every other week..bringing strange men and their children in her house that would only molest me. She was more focused on a man loving her than finding a good home for us both.
I then was contacted my social worker at 6 which I told them I miss my brother protecting and loving me and just want parents to accept me for who I am. My social worker found my parents who are both BLACK that accepted me through all my flaws as a traumatized foster kid. Through all our ups and downs they never gave up on me and raised me to be the strongest black woman I could ever be.
So when you look at my skin and think for one second that I think Im better than you or I’m privileged, please know I never forgot what I went through or where I came from. This was just a small chapter of the hell I went through for being black. Do not challenge me on my pigment..I am a Black Woman..I stand for Black Women..and will always.
Please don’t ever look at me in a light that my skin isn’t dark enough or tell me I haven’t been through enough racism because I’m too light. Keep your stereotypical bullshit to yourselves.