Stop being ashamed of your past
Stop pretending it’s not real
Just because things are not happening still
Doesn’t make your history anymore unreal
Stop sitting back denying
Shouting, wailing and crying
About things you don’t like to know and hear
Because nothing will change who you are dear
My extensive family is very diverse in both races and religion; I have seen major battles of race identity and religious identity in my family that have been so fierce, members of my family have been permanently scarred as a result of other people’s denials or hatred.
This poem is dedicated to families who have mixed race and religious members and are struggling to find their identity amongst each group within their family circle. I know in my family alone, there is a lot of denial of the other races and religions existence within our kin, even to the extent that very dark coloured individuals will not recognise their non-white heritage and this is sad, especially as it is happening today, it is very sad.
I have a beautiful female cousin who wishes not to be named who struggles in college and getting a job simply because she is mixed race – she feels she is lucky that she is lighter than her siblings because she can get away with lying that she has Mediterranean roots, when she does this, society accepts her a little better – this is shocking that this still happens! It is true she does have Mediterranean roots amongst her Caribbean and British roots, but it is a shame she feels she has to deny one or other to suit her social situation.
I have a total of nineteen mixed-race Caribbean cousins from 1st cousin to 3rd cousin generations who I still talk to, two of which wanted to join the police force and if anyone tells you that the British police force is diverse and fair, you should know right now that they are lying! Because these two cousins of mine have never been able to be accepted as a member of the police force, so they had to make do as security guards for supermarkets and malls.
I have A Kenyan Hindu mixed race cousin who is severely disabled.
I have five Nigerian mixed cousins.
My great grandmother was born a Jew in Kensington, London and so her whole side are Jewish and we still stay in contact through genesreunited mail, there are fourth cousins who still talk to me who knew my mum growing up.
My grandmother’s great grandfather was Vietnamese.
My grandmother’s great great grandmother was mixed Afro American and white.
I have Romany ancestry apparently.
As well as Italian, Dutch, German, Bulgarian – my sister in law is Slovakian, my other sister in law is Half Irish.
My great grandpa is an Irish Catholic.
My Grandfather is a half Jewish English and half Catholic Welsh raised in Greenford London, when his mother told her family she is marrying a catholic and converting to his religion her half-sister threw her into the fireplace, so much for family love.
An aunt married a Turkish Muslim.
My cousin Julie fully converted to Islam aged eighteen and married a Lebanese, she now has four children.
In my past I very nearly had six mixed-race/religion relations myself, but I was threatened every time I got what mum called – “too close” with a man from another race. I had dated a Sudanese mixed British man called Marvin who was absolutely sweet and doting. I had dated a cute and very generous Jewish Israeli called Gideon, for me, as sweet as he was it was awkward that I was six inches taller than him. I was extremely serious about a mixed Japanese and Italian British guy named Tony, I adored him with all my heart and he loved me so much that according to his mother he never had another girlfriend after me and he permanently migrated to Japan to teach martial arts and English – mum adored him too until she met his Japanese father, then she hit the roof about how deceptive I had been. A Peruvian Indian mixed Spanish Catholic called Genebrardo, I lived with him for fourteen months and mum accepted this which was strange as she wouldn’t accept the others, yet he could offer me less than the others as far as marriage and commitment was concerned. Next mum didn’t accept him either, even after Genebrardo; a Hindu Kenyan called Rakesh he was incredibly sweet and very family oriented and homely, he would have been a great father, but he is incredibly easily hen pecked by all the women in his life, including me when I was with him, he was very sad to stop dating me but we remain friends to this day (though its entirely chats through Facebook now), it is funny but if I had stayed in a relationship with him and married him I don’t think my submissive nature would still be around – his mother encouraged me to make demands of her lazy son, lol, he was never lazy poor thing never got a rest! His mother loved me for my diversity, she was incredibly liberal and elderly, and she was absolutely delighted about my interest in all kinds of cuisine particularly cooking lessons from her. I thought my mother would be pleased that he was born and raised within three streets of where she lived, but no, he was the nearest guy I ever dated. The last one was An Egyptian Muslim mixed Greek Orthodox called Adham; He also found that mixed religious families were too much trouble, that it made him decide on not dedicating himself to any religion either – once again mum accused me of being deceptive with her about his race, because he was white and was a dead ringer for Jordan Knight, seriously. He wasn’t going to surrender me without a fight however and he wasn’t going to allow my mother to disown me either, he wanted to pull her together and keep her as family for the sake of any children we may have in the future. We initially broke up because he went to live in Egypt for a few months for work and when he came home, a cousin of his had lied that we dated together, but we didn’t, however, this cousins jealousy was so bad it made being together nearly impossible. Adham eventually abandoned his family and permanently migrated to Egypt within a year of breaking up. This cousin of his was a devout Muslim who was never happy about mixed relations and was never happy about Adham’s heritage either.
It is not just race and religions that are mixed in my family, classes too. The class factor is a huge thing for my mother; she can’t accept the upper middle and ancestral aristocracy that my father’s mother has.
Over a time, I will share more about my ancestry. Is incredibly diverse and it is so frustrating that so many people are willing to deny their roots. It was proven by a scientist a couple of years ago that everybody in the world is related to each other within twenty five generations, for me and my father’s maternal line, twenty five generations is around the 9th Century and this scientist says that anyone who was alive in the ninth Century AD are ancestors of everyone currently living in the world today.
Consequently my father’s maternal line is the furthest I am able to go back to, because of its royal links; I am descended with only seven daughter lines (removals I believe they are called) to Henry the 1st of France and Anne of Kiev therefore my ancestry there goes back a long way into 555AD to a man named Charibert of Hesbaye. My mother’s paternal family is difficult to follow because my great grandfather was workhouse born and raised.
So, forgive me for upsetting you – if you believe mixed relations should never happen and you feel personally affronted by any other race, religion or class, just remember this – we are all cousins, you are hating on family that you don’t personally know, people who could benefit you and make you happy, if only you thought differently.
The amounts of amazing people you would deny to be your best friend, your carer, your support, your doctor, your nurse, your family, it is such a shame. Because I do believe everybody in the world is my cousin.
I don’t share my ancestry for bragging rights – I share it to show the world we really are all related – I research to try and prove it, I am tired of mindless discrimination and family denying family enough to delete them from family trees and their families verbal memories, it is time to change the world!