Caribbean Island of Carriacou | English

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My mum comes from a small island called Carriacou in the Eastern Caribbean and are of African ancestry. My dad is white English, brought up in London. I remember saying to my dad when I was really young - 'I'm half white and half black so that means black and white people will like me'.. And he said it didn't always work like that... No. I went to a very white school and University and so have a lot of white friends. I also grew up with my white father and his family, which made me very comfortable around whiteness. My mum's Caribbean family was always very distant and it's only in recent years that I've really been able to connect with them and with that aspect of my heritage. And that has coincided with having a more diverse group of friends, which includes black, white, asian, and mixed heritage people.

There may be biases and stereotypes around mixed race people but I do think it's a lot easier for us than for black people in this country. We have lighter skin, sometimes straighter hair, we've grown up with a white parent and that often means that people find our blackness more acceptable, more palatable, to white society - which can be quite uncomfortable. I don't want to be more accepted just because I'm closer to whiteness. But that's the way it can seem sometimes.

I think being mixed-race has its benefits in white society - as above - but that can also mean that you don't fit into the black community. There's a history of lighter skinned people being treated better, that goes back even to slavery days, and that can mean rivalry and resentment between shades, which I think is a big shame. So I recognise the privileges being mixed affords me but at times it can feel like I'm stuck in the middle.

Mixed relationships are becoming more and more common, so I think it will become more normalised and there will be less prejudice. Though I do think that as we mix it is important to hold on to our individual cultures and histories, and to value all aspects of the mix as equal to one another.