I’m just Brown

stephanie - USA
Entered on January 13, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: question, race

This I believe… I am just Brown.

I’m originally from California and now reside on Maui, Hawaii. I grew up with mostly having Asian, Italian, White & Hispanic friends. My mom’s boyfriend was Cuban. My first real crush was in the 3rd grade, his name was Seong, he was Korean. I knew that what friends I surrounded myself with were just people and for some reason never really noticed that they were all that different, beside their color. I am from a Hispanic and Native American background but don’t have real knowledge of my heritage. I always refer to myself as just being ‘Brown’. I don’t know Spanish, never celebrated any Mexican holidays, have no clue about being a Hopi Indian. I’m just brown. Call me naïve but I find myself not really noticing race or ethnic groups. I see pink, yellow, some red, dark brown people… When filling out forms there’s always those boxes asking for what age group you belong to and of coarse what race you are. There’s the White box, the Black box, and then there’s the Hispanic box which always has the breakdown of what type of Hispanic the form is insisting to know. I have in the past drew my own box and wrote Brown next to it and checked that one.

In Hawaii there’s such a diversity of people, more than often there seems to be more Hapas (half white, half something else) and guess what their color is, yup its Brown. I have no real striking features from either my Mexican or Indian side because of this everyone just always assumes that I’m a local girl, which usually involves Hawaiian, Filipino, Portuguese mix. Seems that when races are mixed they just come out Brown. My son’s father is White, his ½ sister’s mother is Filipino and my daughter’s father is Mexican, but the kids are the same color.

You would think after nominating our newest president for who he is and what ideas he represents, hopefully after a while we won’t see a Black President, we’ll see this handsome, brown (after all he is Hapa) talented, special, smart man who will lead the greatest nation. Seems like we’re all grasping that in the end we finally live in nation where we will not be judged by the color our skin but the content of our character¹… only if those blasted forms would stop asking us what color we are!

¹ Martin Luther King, Jr .,”I Have a Dream”, delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., originally was read, “…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…”