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By Brianna Suslovic. I remember turning on the morning news in eighth grade, shoveling cereal into my mouth as my mother poured herself the second cup of coffee that morning.

A man who looked like me was on-screen, announcing his candidacy for the presidency, answering questions from the nice white mxied interviewer in the Rockefeller Center studio.

His name was Barack Obama. Reading through his Wikipedia page that afternoon had me sold—I was ready to see myself represented in the Oval Office, ready to watch a man like me take the presidential oath of office.

That fall, as tirl high school freshman, I campaigned my heart out for this man, holding Obama signs at the busiest intersection in my small upstate New Love in whitleybridge hometown on weekends leading up to the election.

As a mixed race student in a majority -white school district, I had always let my racial identity go unspoken. At the time, I had no relationship with my father and no relationship to my blackness.

Nearly a decade later, I remain steadfast in my desire to avoid contact with my father. Racial justice has become a large part of my ethos. Perhaps now, I have a better understanding of what it is to be mixed like Obama—or black like him.

While acknowledging the ways that the Obamas have been the target of racism, Coates is still willing to posit that Obama has a relationship to whiteness that both protects him from racism and gives him access to the approval of white America.

Coates quotes Obama to drive home this point: As an example, the feminism that I grew to love as an adolescent was a whitewashed one, one that did not take black or mixed girl for Philadelphia man account racism and the experiences of women of color, and yet I was able to trust in the ways that this white feminism might serve me.

In those moments, I was able to ignore the color of my skin and imagine my own potential achievements as on-par with those of my white peers.

I was able to rely on white feminism as a kind of unmarked belief system that promised me a nonexistent version of color-blind gender equality. I can remember hearing the n-word tossed around by white classmates of mine in my presence.

I can recall the racist stereotypes played out in the back of the school bus by kids on their way home to suburban mansions, mimicking black characters from movies, memes, and Youtube videos.

This was anti-blackness directed at the black parts of me—and unfortunately, I internalized a lot of it. The unlearning process has taken years.

Throughout the Obama presidency, I wondered about his first encounter Phialdelphia that word.

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I wondered how he might have coped with that feeling of being an unnamed outsider among white folks. I wondered how he might have negotiated his simultaneous proximity to whiteness and blackness as someone who did experience racism.


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For a college-aged Barack Philadellphia, identity negotiation means splitting time between his predominantly white campus—where his college ID protects him from racist campus security guards—and the rich blackness of Harlem.

Most salient to me were the moments when Barry is forced to confront his racial identity interpersonally, as he does frequently when dating his white girlfriend, Charlotte.

At the same time, when he brings Charlotte to Harlem, it black or mixed girl for Philadelphia man clear that she has had access to black culture before, nearly whitesplaining the best black authors and the best Harlem fried chicken joints to. At the same time, Barry tries to hang out with black classmates and realizes that there are stark differences in their experiences and his—he has never been to a cor project. I, too, had experienced racism, but in a different way big black tit dating site my black classmates with two black parents.

I could be both, and I could live in a white supremacist world as a survivor of racism with an understanding of my own light-skinned, white-raised privileges. Brianna Suslovic is a biracial black queer lady with lots of feelings.

She's been published over at Black Girl Dangerous, The Tempest, and The Establishment, she tweets at bsuslovic, and she can black or mixed girl for Philadelphia man found blogging at briannasuslovic. Blog Menu. o

By Brianna Suslovic I remember turning on the morning news in eighth grade, shoveling cereal into my mouth as my mother poured herself the second cup of coffee that morning. Close menu. Log in Create account.

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