I wish I had a crystal ball that would tell me what to expect in the coming year. We all know how terrible 2020 has been with the Covid-19 Pandemic and Black Lives Matter. Washington has been a mess and our politicians still do not get it.
I read a lot of articles about racial and ethnic trends and data. Sometimes I cannot believe what I’m reading. Recently, I read three news stories about multiracial people who decided they were not multiracial, including George Floyd’s niece, Shayla Zartman.
All three people went through many years of questions about their biracial status within their families, at school, and at places of worship. They questioned their racial and ethnic identity and, in most cases, were forced to choose one race only.
When they went through their enlightenment about race, they suddenly, one day, decided that they were black. Only black. They celebrated. There is something wrong with this picture. Why did they have to choose to be only one race? Has the one-drop rule (one-drop of black blood and you’re black) had a gridlock on Americans for hundreds of years? Why must it continue? Why can’t people feel just as comfortable being biracial instead of only black? Why must it go on?
My hope for 2021 is that more people will claim themselves to be biracial or multiracial than in previous years because Multiracial Lives Matter too. So, let’s work together, person to person, and organization to organization to allow multiracial people to be included in racial data, studies, surveys, academia, social focus, and real life.
Happy New Year,
Susan Graham for Project RACE