Who Am I? A Cultural Stir-fry
Hundreds of years ago a bunch of sea-faring entrepreneurial white folk sailed to a faraway land called Africa. There they saw business in the habitants. Not quite the bespoke suit, 7am board meeting-type business one might expect such upstanding citizens to endure, no. In lieu of ‘doing lunch’ with their new pals, the black folk, they took them in ships out of their land and sold them as slaves for items such as money, sugar, tobacco, varying styles of buttons and bits of string.
Then, after some years on the plantations, some white folk got fruity with some black folk. The end product was a bunch of mocha-flavoured illicit offspring, or ‘naughty no-no light brown mini-folk’ like me. Thus, integration was born. Literally.
Today in the UK, mixed race people are the fastest growing ethnic minority. It is predicted that by 2020 they will also be the largest minority group. In 2005, a reported 3.5 percent of all babies born were mixed raced. If this is always ever-growing, that percentage will get higher and higher till there are nearly no indigenous people left. See how this works below.
Before we know it, evolution will have occurred. A world of people who don’t belong anywhere; who have so many different genes in their gene pool they won’t know whether to empty the water or learn how to swim. The human race has joined together in a crisis: the war of identity.
For many years now when a person was of two or more races they have had, at some point, a dispute of identity. Who are they? Are they British? Are they African? Are they so watered down there isn’t any flavour left in the squash?
Growing up mixed-race all over Bristol has had its difficulties for me. I lived in St Pauls where I was Caribbean, then Sea Mills where I was British. Not to mention all the places inbetween where I had no idea who or what I was. I’ve learned now of course, that I am simply me. Technically I grew up in Britain so that makes me British in culture anyway. For a while though I was searching for my ‘culture’ – trying to embrace the traditions of my ancestors; trying to find myself. What I did find however, was that race really has nothing to do with one’s self. One’s self is simply materialised by one’s experiences and upbringing. It does not surprise me that a lot of youth today, innocently searching for themselves, are winding up adhering to a stereotypical portrayal of race.
Candice also provided illustrations for the book. A sample of the images are provided below: