kimora lee simons

Kaylani. illustrator. 22. Black and Filipino

I’ve always had a really hard time identifying or claiming my filipino side even though my mom is filipino. My parents are divorced so I grew up with my mom in an extremely anti-black traditional filipino household. My Lola (grandma) used to bleach my skin because I was “too dark.” She used to make me wear clips on my nose and lips because they were “too thick and too Black.” I was never allowed to play outside because I was already born darker. And I wasn’t allowed to have black friends even though I’m black. My sisters are racially ambiguous and light skinned so I was the one who got the blunt end of the stick. To this day my Lola won’t even look at me because she’s disgusted of what I look like, Black. I’ve been ostrisized from both sides of my family because of who my parents are and who I am. I have a half black half filipino cousin who has been given away because their mom doesnt want to be kicked out of the traditionally filipino family. While my full filipino, half white or half chinese cousins mock and ridicule our half black cousins with words like; ghetto, ugly, too-dark, and nappy. I’ve been told by my own blood to my face that I am NOT one of them yet my mother is. Ive met so many half black half asian people that are willing to comprise their emotional and mental wellbeing in attempts to fit into an asian culture that wont except them. I’ve been called all sorts of discriminate anti-black things from non-asians and Asians when I tell them I’m half or when they see my mom and realize what I am. People expect me to look light with wavy hair or they expect me to look like Kimora lee Simons or jhene aiko, but because I don’t they’re disappointed. How do you think 22 years of that has made me feel? 22 years of misognoir because lots of people convince themselves that I was born wrong when I wasn’t. I had to teach myself to love myself and unlearn 15 years of self hate and child abuse instilled in me from a fucked up racist institution based on American AND filipino colonialism. I never want anyone to go through the depression, anxiety, isolation, and self mutilation that I had to go through. I’m here to tell everyone that solidarity amongst Asians should also include those of us who are mixed with Black blood. Take time to understand your thoughts and unlearn the institutionalized racism/discrimination you’ve been taught. God bless.