On Being Black But Not Too Black… Or Not Black Enough

Making peace with the fact that people who don’t know you hate you for being you.

Ada J. Raven
2 min readJun 24, 2021
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

Plato says once you step out of the cave, you can’t step back in.

Black and brown children are forced to step out of the cave long before they reach adulthood.

Ignorance is not a privilege we are afforded.

White children, however, have a choice.

It is only by moral virtue — their own or that of their parents — that we can hope they’ll come to join us one day.

That is, instead of standing at the cave mouth shouting at us that what’s outside the cave doesn’t exist.

I am biracial… mixed-race, multiracial — a mulatto, as we have been coined in the past.

In my current country of residence, I’ve been called “half-cast” to my face by well-meaning people who didn’t know any better. Of course, when I told them why it wasn’t acceptable, they blamed me for being “too sensitive” about the topic.

And no, the irony of being called too sensitive while politely correcting a slur is not lost on me.

It seems to have been an expectation of BIPOC and BAME individuals since the moment we were integrated into colonized societies — be nice to the white man while he continues to beat you, degrade you, humiliate you, and deny your humanity.

He knows not what he does.

Now I know Jesus couldn’t have been white…