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Piggy in the Middle of My Melanin By Optimistic Soul

Photo by Wallace Chuck

The abhorrent murder of George Floyd on Monday 25th May 2020 cataclysmically reverberated across the world and placed race under the spotlight. Race has always been a sensitive and contentious issue for black people, with racism embedded in the fabric of society, like the grains of wood on the tree where Emmet Till was innocently lynched aged 14. This is exasperated by the seemingly never-ending story of widespread systemic racism and relentless police brutality; propagated further by the media and subjective politicians who gaslight the reader with cognitive dissonance which fuels racism. Racism is not a formula - black against white - which unequivocally equals a racial divide. Whilst the spotlight is on race, let’s explain briefly what it feels like to be a Black mixed-race person in the UK.

I am dual heritage, although it mostly feels like I am “duel heritage” racial combat, 400 years on blackness is still under attack.

Early teens

Coiled curls teased straight and laid flat held in place with gel. I feel like I have never fit in; I attribute this to the color of my skin.

My complexion is caramel and epitomizes colorism, referred to as half-caste, out-caste, diluted - piggy in the middle because of my melanin.


My neighbors were Rastafarians - their cousins came to visit; I went out to play but was told I couldn’t join in because of the color of my skin.

At just 6 years old I was told I should play with white children because I wasn’t black - piggy in the middle because of my melanin.


I am dual heritage like a domino, comments are exchanged in disbelief; that can’t be your mother because of the color of my skin.

Reflecting as an adult, at 6 years old I no concept of my ethnicity, a harsh reality in the form of horizontal hostility; here begins the rebellion.

Color cannot define me

Watch me elevate - I am overly proud of my brown/black mixed-race skin. Today I lay to rest being piggy in the middle because of my melanin.

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