German | Jamaican
I identify myself as a mixed-race male, of German/Jamaican heritage. I don’t affiliate myself to any religion, but I believe in energy. My mum is from Kingston, Jamaica and my dad is from Berlin, Germany. They met in the London during the 80’s the old-fashioned way, lonely hearts column in the local newspaper. I grew up in Lewisham, South-East London.
I recognised I was mixed-race quite early on, around 7-8 years old. As my parents would have conversations with me about my heritage from both sides of the family. Although, if I’m honest, I did identify as Black, simply because my skin wasn’t ‘White’.
I’ve never experienced external challenges in regards to my mixed identity, the fight has always been internal. I’ve always tried to find where I fit in, where I belong. It’s almost like being lost and trying to find your tribe, except your tribe doesn’t really exist, so the search is forever on going. So, in that respect it's been challenging, however the older I’ve become, I’ve realised that I don’t need to belong, I can just be. I don’t need to identify as anything but myself. I can belong to something culturally, but my identity is mine alone.
My social environment never dictated my friendship groups or girlfriends. From early on I was able to sense the people with good energy. All my close friends are great people, who I would regard a reflection of my myself.
I feel being of a Black/White mix has benefited me greatly, I can’t lie. Within my work, I stand out. How many mixed-race magicians do you know? Within my personal life, it’s cool. Sometimes you get the haters that think you're too nice, but on the flip-side, you get people who are just fascinated by your mixed heritage. But I also get a lot of assumptions made about me. A lot of people assume I’m Middle eastern or North African. The impression I get from that is, I’m ethnically quite ambiguous.
I can’t speak German, which I blame my dad for, because he had every opportunity to make sure I grew up learning German. It would be a huge advantage for me today if I could.
Growing up, because I lived with my dad, we would go to Berlin several times a year to see family, so I definitely felt a lot closer to my German side. Although, culturally I feel very British.
When people ask where I’m from, I always say London, because technically that is where I am from. If they want to know background etc, it’s the wrong question.
I think being mixed-race in today’s society is always going to be tricky, mainly because of how we have been conditioned as a society to think about race. (We still have to tick the ‘other’ box.) I personally think being mixed-race is an internal battle for a lot of mixed people, especially when you are younger and trying to figure yourself out as a person, let alone your race. If I were born again, I wouldn’t change a thing.