"Then I realized that to be able move on and be happy for who I was, I needed to start looking in the mirror and telling myself, “You are Sean and you have the best of both worlds not just one.”
Hello my name is Sean. I am 23 years old and son to the owner of this website. My mom asked me for my story concerning racism and struggles I faced growing up Biracial.
Well, I grew up in Ohio in a predominantly Black neighborhood. I really never understood the persecution Black people face until my teenage years. The reason I never understood it
was because as a child I was never really treated different cause I looked more White than Black. However, when I hit junior high school, I was told by people that my race was indecisive because I talked and acted Black but looked White. When people said these things, it shocked me as I had never separated my races that way, I called myself Biracial because I was not going to neglect one side of me for the other. This was the first time I ever really felt different compared to my fellow classmates.
At my school, nobody really hung out with everyone, instead everybody stayed in groups. This made it hard on me because you could easily see that the biggest separation between
classmates was race. My background related more with Black people than with White
people, which naturally made me more comfortable hanging out with Black people. I realized that when I hung out with my Black friends they never wanted me to say I was Biracial, they wanted me to say Black. As I said earlier, I don't neglect or disown either side of me. Therefore, I refused to call myself straight Black but my friends seemed offended. So, then I felt I was back at square one trying to figure out where I fit in. So then I befriended some White classmates and started hanging out with them. However, I felt like an alien because many of them would look at me with a confused look on their face. I was constantly asked, “What are you?” “Why are you so light skinned?” or “” Why do u look White when your half Black?” After so many people ask you these questions, you get to a point when you ask yourself the same thing.
For years I battled this self judgement. I wanted to be darker, more Black looking, more White looking, or have straight hair. Then I realized that to be able move on and be happy for who I was, I needed to start looking in the mirror and telling myself, “You are Sean Wellman and you have the best of both worlds not just one.” I think the more I said it the more I believed it and after a while other people saw the confidence I had in who and what I was. This gave them confidence in me as well.
Furthermore, if you ask me about my childhood in respect to racism, I did suffer racism. I'm sure some people have had It worse or easier but it all comes down to how you feel about yourself. I was lucky enough to come from a stable home and have wise and caring parents to helped me figure things out. Finally, prejudice only bothers you if you’re not confident with who and what you are. When you master this everyone else will respect you too. Thank you for listening.