That Awkward Question | Sojourners

That Awkward Question

An excerpt from ‘Mixed Blessing: Embracing the Fullness of Your Multiethnic Identity.’

“SO WHAT ARE you exactly?”

I’m asked that often. When people see my dark-black and curly hair, my somewhat “almond-shaped” eyes, my pale skin with a yellow undertone— and yet freckles—they wonder. They can’t place my ethnicity in a box, so they feel unsettled, maybe even threatened.

Depending on my mood, I choose one of a few answers. If I’m feeling sarcastic: “I’m human, thanks. And you?” Or if I’m feeling cryptic: “ Exotic, obviously.” If I’m feeling sarcastic and preachy: “Me? I’m part of the Colossians 3:12 ‘Beloved Community,’ part of God’s people that he loves from the center of his being.”

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