at my uncles 50th last night our seating was racially segregated. my fam got there first and so we picked one of two long tables to sit at. by the time my cousins arrived with their (all white) family friends every single one of them chose to sit at the other table. including my cousin with her white boyfriend.
her younger sister tho, bless her heart, came to sit with my cousin an i, and she said to me the greatest thing.
“Isnt it funny how M____’s at the white table with her white boyfriend and i am at the brown table with you guys???”
“Lol, J, theres a white person in every brown family. AT LEAST ONE”.
she then went into an intense discussion about seeing Drake later this month with another one of my mixie cousins who IDs as brown over white or mixed.
and i realize so many things about race and family last night.
There is a whiteness you can assimilate to, and a racial otherness you can also choose to understand and identify with. The important thing is that we have a choice.
My two cousins who are half-white and sisters are so interesting because one of them clearly acts white like their mom and the other has mostly brown friends and dates MOC. They are like night and day its amazing to see.
also bonus points to my uncle and aunt who spent the evening apart from eachother each sitting at one table for a while before switching to make conversation with people at the other table. i dont even think they ate together. And i really appreciate my aunt for the efforts she makes.
LIKE THAT is a concrete depiction of how you make an interracial relationship work. You gotta put some serious effort into being present on both sides. You gotta make everyone feel welcome even if it puts you out a little. IT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE.
but white dudes like some of my uncles (who sat with us) put up with that cause they love my brown aunties and our family. we are crazy and loud and unreasonable and so obviously brown it makes white acquaintences sit at another table.
I want a partner strong enough to be on both sides, like most POC already have to do because of white supremacy. I can fake nice and thrown down with white folks easy, some of my best friends are white!!
But i think in terms of building family what i really seek is people who are more willing to meet me in my end of the court.
So often i have to meet my white friends and lovers on their terms, under a set of rules most white folks downplay, dodge, or deny the existence of. It is exhausting to be a brown girl who wants her brown family in a white world. it will never happen. i have trrrrriiiiieeedd. I need folks who are willing to meet me where i am at. come to my house and wear slippers inside and smell the curry. meet my grandma, sat hi.
i have a white friend coming over to jam tomorrow and im stoked to take her upstairs to eat good food and chill with my cousin. it will be nice.
1st gen diaspora have a lot of feelings and shit to negotiate.