Who’s watched Black AF on Netflix?
Did you see that episode where Rashida Jones was annoyed at people questioning how in tune she was with her black side? As soon as she got in her soap box, Steven looked over and asked, “Is that how it is being mixed?”
Yes. Oh My God yes. Rashida was just getting it from one side. I get it from both.
Growing up in California I would spend the weekend with the black side of my family and my cousins and aunties would always make fun of how light skinned I was and had every light skin joke in the book ready for me.
The following weekend I would be with the Latino side of my family and I would get the same thing. I was also “Too light skinned” for them and they would make fun of my broken Spanish, otherwise known as Spanglish. I was so used to communicating with my mom and dad at home that I couldn’t just speak Spanish all day like my cousins. If I did, my dad wouldn’t have been able to understand me. Vice, versa, if I just spoke English, my mom would have had a hard time understanding me.
The most ridiculous one I’ve heard looking back now as an adult was “You’re too Americanized”. Of course I am, my dad isn’t from a Central American country like the rest of our family. He’s from South Central Los Angeles.
Even now being married to a black man, I still get the jokes. Steven will be shocked that I don’t know about some things that are considered obvious when you’re being raised in a black home. News flash dear husband, I was raised in a single parent home where the parent was 100% born and raised in El Salvador. While Steven’s parents were blasting R&B, mine was blasting Cumbia and Salsa.
It’s not until I make my famous pot of greens, wear my hair naturally curly, sing along to every old gospel song that comes on, or am braiding Cayden’s hair that Steven gets reminded that I am mixed. Thanks to my grandmother, I was able to still learn about the culture even when my dad wasn’t around. I’m so thankful to her for showing me what my dad couldn’t.
In a way I’m prideful about my mix. I have the best of both worlds. Two of the best worlds — Latina and Black. Both cultures have so much flavor and I couldn’t imagine my life being without one or the other. All my life I’ve been asked what ethnicity I am and I love that people are curious instead of being able to assume.
I don’t know if Cayden will get the same growing up. The difference between him and I is that he will grow up with both cultures very active at home so he’ll be able to hold his own with both sides of the family.
I’m proud that I’m passing that down to Cayden. Like they say, “If it ain’t foreign, it’s boring”.