ok, so it’s no secret that I am headed to the UK in (gasp) 6 days.
Going there has got me to thinking. about me and my ancestry and the whole idea of coming home. I have at least one great, great grand-parent who was from Scotland, a (white) missionary who settled in Sierra Leone, Fathered my grandfather’s father and over time aided in bringing me into the world, I guess.
Supposedly there is some Scottish ancestry on my grandma’s side too, but that lineage over time has been harder to verify/recall.
It’s funny cuz, in college the whole being somewhere between 1/8 and 1/16 Scottish was the butt of jokes. Missy Elliot came out with a song called the Dutch or something, and I railed about it defacing the culture of my ancestors. If you were to place me and my friends in a line-up I would be the dead last pick for a person with some white ancestry. But here I am.
I used to say it jokingly, but I still do reflect on it seriously from time to time. Why is it that a an individual with as much black ancestry as I have white (and knows as much about the “black culture—- however malleable this term may be) can call themselves black and be recognized that way by the larger community?
yes, I know the historical legacy of slavery and colonialism blah, blah, blah. But it’s the principle dag nab it. I want to proclaim and discoverr my whiteness from the roof tops!!!!! just as some of my not so black sisters are encouraged to explore and express their blackness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….lol . I am half-serious, half joking.
You know people say all the time that race in Europe is not an issue (I of course must comepletely disagree based on my personal experiences oh well). Yet, I have to admit that the UK’s approach to race def parrallels the US’s in many ways. It should be interesting to see how I am viewed.
will I be the American? African-American? the not really American since I’m actually an American immigrant? Not really all that American since half my family lives in the London?
hmmm, thinking about this stuff makes me a little excited.