Trinidadian | English

Zara Williams.jpg

I identify myself as mixed race, my mother is from the Caribbean and my dad is British. I do and I don’t feel mixed race, it’s something that is not in the forefront of who I am even though it’s something central to my person. It’s not something that I think about everyday as its normalised if you have grown up in a family that is mixed. It’s not something you question; my family are all different colours and skin tones but this is normal for me.

I spent the last two months living in Harlem, New York. This was a place where I was asked repeatedly of my background, even being asked on the street. It’s interesting that race is more of a focal point in the US than in the UK. In the UK I do not encounter this at all. When I was younger I didn’t think about my parent’s heritage. I grew up in Hampshire which is mainly middle class white although I have travelled a lot. I loved South Korea as I was considered different only because as I wasn’t from the country. It was nice to share cultures and experiences with different people. My boyfriend is white middle class, his brother was the first to bring home a black girl to the family which did cause a shock as they were unsure how this would affect future generations. They were particularly nervous of how the children would look, change scares people. I don’t think this was racism, this was just a change to the norm. The lighter you are the better your life will be and the less issues you will have. Being mixed is having the best of both worlds, you have a foot in both doors. You have the benefit of living in the Caribbean and not being stared at or living in the countryside and not being looked at like an alien. You need to realise the privileges you have. If I was to be born again I would love to be Native American, for me it’s not about the race it’s more about what the people represent to me and Native Americans represent a closeness to nature and an affinity with the natural world which I love.