Although I am not of mixed heritage, I am raising a daughter of mixed heritage. She is half African and half Caucasian – hope that qualifies. (Mixed Heritage Day team – it does!)
I moved from Nigeria to the Netherlands over 12 years ago for study and stayed on afterwards to work and live there. We welcomed my daughter in 2012 and she came out so ‘white’ with bluish, greenish eyes, I couldn’t believe she was mine. The complexion and eye colour gradually toned down and settled into a still white-looking complexion, at least compared to me, and brown eyes.
Through my daughter’s eye I have lived and experienced what it means to be of mixed heritage. I believe that most biracial children actually gets the best of both genes. My daughter as she grew began to realise that she was different.
From as early as three years old, the questions started to stream in; Why are you so black and Papa so white? what colour is my skin?
Then at 5, as she attends school with predominantly white kids, she questioned why her hair was not straight and long like the other girls. ( she had gotten the kinky afro hair type from me)
Raising a mixed heritage child means, I had to learn about the other half of her and help her make sense of both worlds by fully embracing all of what makes her uniquely mixed.
It is still a work in progress but I can see that now at the glorious age of 10, she is becoming more self aware of who she is and she is proudly loving all of the beautiful cultural elements of her heritage.