Posts tagged stereotypes

Grow Gratitude Returns for Biracial Awareness Month!

Yes, it’s true. Grow Gratitude returns to celebrate Biracial Awareness Month (BAM)! Couldn’t let you carry on without me. We’re a little late getting started with BAM, possibly due to the inherent effects of the bth_2260507778_c5f00b7084CPT culprit. That is, according to the darker-hued half of me.

Who amongst us is not familiar with CPT? If you don’t know what CPT is then this probably isn’t going to make much sense, which defeats the purpose. Somewhere along the slippery stereotyping slope, Black people slid into group notoriety for perceived frequency of lateness to just about everything… including our own funerals!

I’m fairly sure most African Americans (and others) of my generation know what CPT stands for. Before we were “African American”, “Black is Beautiful”, and “Negro”, we were “Colored People”. Combine colored people together with time and you got CPT, “Colored People’s Time”.  Admittedly, I’ve enjoyed some pretty good giggles about CPT and I’ve witnessed some pretty angry “CPR” (Colored People’s Responses) to CPT.

My understanding of CPT originated from other Black people and in the context of some hilarious storytelling or commentary that made light of the CPT stereotype. This stereotype about Black people did not originate with Black people. I imagine some “non-colored people” imagined “colored people” as genetically predisposed to taking our own sweet time Snoop Dogg Style… “Laid back, sipping on Gin and juice…with our minds on our money and our money on our minds”. CPT is a myth, and evidently the myth lives on. Or does it?

To get a sense of CPT transference, I texted my intergenerational guru of all things biracial (aka, my daughter) and inquired as to whether she knew what CPT stands for. She did – she heard it from me…a number of times… in the context of time. What? Given my daughter happened to be with one of her African American friends at the time, I texted back, “Ask your friend if he’s ever heard of CPT”. To which his response was “No”.

Generalizations about a people, while sometimes humorous, have the potential to enlighten through levity, but seemingly have a greater propensity to promote and perpetuate racial stereotypes, which often leads to prejudice, which often leads to discrimination. But enough about CPT…

I’ll take “Biracial Slurs I’ve Been Called Before” for $500 Alex. What is Half-breed, High Yellow, Zebra, Oreo, Half-Caste, White Wanna-Be, and Nigger? The biracial jeopardy game gets played simply because people have a time figuring out who we are (racially) and accepting what we represent. The result: an inaccurate perception of mixed up, racially mixed misfits who become so pervasive that they render the number of “pure race” Americans minorities and destroy the perceived “wholesomeness” of America due to an overwhelming belief that, if this keeps up, one day we’ll all look alike. Maybe it’s frightening. The neat and tidy census categories of days gone by with an “other” catch all for the trouble makers who insisted upon making what “American” was traditionally perceived to look like, look like what America really looks like, are no more. I didn’t fit easily and neatly into a mutually exclusive box and I’m certainly not an “other” who you can’t figure out where to put because I refuse to be swept under the RIG (Racial Identity Rug).

One thing I know for sure: I was born biracial and I’m going to die biracial. I am African American and White. My mother is British and my family was substantially influenced by that culture as well. I identify more with my African American side because that is my American experience and I very proudly proclaim my White, British side. I know that pisses some people off, but I’ve grown to not be too concerned about other people’s perceptions and opinions. I’m proud and grateful that you can’t box me in. I don’t fit in and I wouldn’t want it any other way! We be diversity naturally, and that’s something all Americans should celebrate.

Please join us this month as we once again explore the unique experience and perspectives of being biracial in America. We’re diving deep and shedding light and we couldn’t be more on time!

Next week Grow Gratitude welcomes our first guest blog! Stop back for yet another perspective on being biracial in America. Hot-diggity BAM!

See You Next Time!   Pink Heart     OXOXO

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