Black White Biracial Identity

No matter how well informed we feel we are as a society, and no matter how tolerant we are of ethnicity it does not change the fact that biracial identity may be one of the most difficult things to cope with at a personal level.

In today's society that is vastly more informed and experienced in multicultural issues there is always the question of racial identity. If we first consider biracial identity on a personal level, imagine a person who has one parent who is black and the other parent that is white, when that person is asked to fill in a questionnaire they may be asked about their racial identity. They may choose to put a tick in the boxes of both white and black as they will truly say they are both.

If we look historically, (back say about 50 years), adoption agencies were reluctant to put black children with white families and vice versa, as they were more concerned with skin colour rather than giving the child the opportunity to explore their own racial background. Quickly coming back to the present a person who has biracial identity should have the opportunity to explore both racial identities.

It should also be considered that for one reason or another that the identity may not be initially apparent and may develop as the person becomes more knowledgeable about their family origins. Consider also the amount of information that is now available for people who are looking at family trees and genealogy. Some of this is available at the touch of a button, other information may require a bit of detective work and in the age of globalisation visiting areas where ancestors may have originated may help to define that identity.

There are also practical reasons why it is important to find out about background identities, namely health and medical issues. For some races there particular illnesses that are innate or may be more prevalent. If this is the case then preventative steps may be useful in order to live a long and healthy life or it may just mean that there can be adjustments to diet or activity that will help alleviate any long term health problems.

Whatever the reasons why a person chooses to explore their racial identity, it should be because they want to do it for personal reasons and whatever they feel drawn to should be for their reasons alone and not because someone else has imposed a racial identity upon them.


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