Anguillian | English

Nathan Harrigan.jpg

I’ve always identified myself as mixed race but in a wider sense I identify myself as a black person because of my experiences. Often to white people, particularly those who haven't grown up in a multicultural area, I am seen as a black person. It’s one factor of a larger generalisation that happens to most people of colour.

I guess a common theme for a mixed race person is feeling like a bit of an outsider in any situation. Ultimately that's what I feel like. I do feel a connection to my Anguillan side but I also feel ‘other’ from that. I feel the same with my English side and I was born in England and I would consider myself English but I also feel very ‘other’ from that as well.

In terms of the future, if you look at the past, the public perception of being mixed race has changed dramatically over the last 100 years from being seen as being some sort of weird unholy disgustingness to being something that is being celebrated by the media, maybe more than any other race at the moment. I think it is a bit unsettling. I think it leads to a lot of negative perceptions on everyone's part.

For me, personally, where my race and identity balance, as far back as I can remember, it has always been a complex puzzle for me to work out. Something that I have been thinking about recently that has really struck a chord with me is the idea that as a mixed race person you kind of have a really limited personal history, it's always borrowed from somewhere else. On top of that you don’t have any motherland. There’s no place on this earth that I can go where the majority of people will look like me, have the same hair as me, same facial features. Although it is not something that maybe acutely affects you day to day, it's kind of this idea that grinds away inside me. It's stuff like this that makes it really hard to not make you feel like an outsider wherever you go.

I hope that when I get to a point where I am really secure in my identify and my race, it will be quite an incredible power to have, to have the idea that there is not one place that I am connected to. But also it makes it very hard to come to terms with your identity.