I was born in Panama. My mother was a native of the country and was a blend of European, African and Indigenous people. Latinos call this “mestizo” or “mulatto.” My father was Caucasian, originally from Luverne, Alabama. When I was three my family moved from Panama to lower Alabama. People often want to know where I am from because of my skin tone and light eyes. Although at times in my life my appearance and ethnic background has lead me to experience multiple identity crises and some confusion of where I “fit in.” It has also allowed me to slip in and out of different ethnic and racial circles (for the most part).
Though my ethnicity is hispanic, because of my skin tone I have often joked when people ask if I am black that if Tiger Woods, Vijah Singh, and I (BTW, I’m not even a fan of professional golf) were traveling together in the same car and we were pulled over by the police, with guns drawn and they were screaming, “Get your black a$$ out of the car!” There would be no argument from me.
I am at a point in my life where I have never been more comfortable with my own skin and my own heritage. Although, ever-so-often a negative memory of growing up in South Alabama will still bite me. I love who I am.
I love who I am because Jesus loves and accepts who I am. I was profoundly and forever changed in college by Christ followers who loved me for me. In campus ministry was where I found my belonging, my purpose, and my calling. So that’s why I have included the first link and as for the rest, well I think I’ve explained that already. Much love peeps!
- The Need for College Ministry (ebook) || Neil Reynolds (You can preorder my friend’s book for $3. This guys knows his stuff. Book drops Feb 13).
- Frederick Douglas || History.com
- Black History Month: 6 Facts About The Origins Of The Black History Celebration || Treye Green
- The Crisis in Black Education (2017 Black History Theme Executive Summary)
- ‘Mestizo’ and ‘mulatto’: Mixed-race identities among U.S. Hispanics || Anna Gonzalez-Barrera
This New Bilingual Children’s Book Teaches Young Latinas That Beauty Comes in All Colors || Raquel Reichard (Dania Peguero is my wife’s cousin and author of this book).
What does black history month mean for you?
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