In some instances the choice becomes a matter of skin color perception. Native Americans are white, light, tan, or cream in skin tone —right? Right? RIGHT?… Wrong! Native American skin tone is a range of colors. It was a range even before African and Indian blood lines began to mix.
When the question was posed to a Cherokee Elder, “What is the skin color of Native Americans?” The answer was. “They are the color of the soil.” So, if color is not the determination of race. What is? The answer is –your personal conviction.
In other instances it is a matter of what ethnic upbringing feels most comfortable. What music feeds the soul, what slang or dialect communicates the sense of belonging, what clothing defines your style, or what persona best directs your mode of operation.
To be black and red are not two worlds or roles that guarantee survival. Rather it is potentially an opportunity to be hated for bearing two racial identities. Neither of which are particularly loved because they cause others to be found guilty of caring more for themselves than for others.
Are choices to be made? Of course there are. These choices are observed when questions of race or ethnicity are found on employment applications, census forms, and other formal requests for classification. Checkboxes must the selected and this always causes a pregnant pause of reflection. Why?… because we ‘walk in two worlds’ –one Black and one Red.
Article by: CherokeeCloud
Written: August 18, 2006