What’s your full name?
How old are you?
Where were you born/brought up?
I was born in Accra, Ghana, moved to the UK at 16, and finally down to London in 2010.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a Chartered Accountant.
What’s your ethnicity?
This is where the mathematician in me comes out …☺ I’m 3/8th Ghanaian, 3/8th English, 1/8th French and 1/8th Irish.
How did your mum and dad meet?
They met through mutual friends. I think in a bar, but let’s say restaurant.
How old were you when you became conscious that people saw you differently? What impact did that have on you?
Honestly, I don’t actually think I’ve had that moment yet. Growing up in Ghana, race wasn’t this minefield of political correctness that it is in so many other places. I went to a very multi-cultural school and we were aware of everyone’s differences, but in what I think was a normal and healthy way. In my experience, being mixed race wasn’t anything particularly special or different.
Did you want to change your appearance when you were a child?
No, not really. I went through a phase of wanting straight hair, but I grew out of that pretty quickly.
Describe your most memorable moments when you were made aware of being mixed race.
I was meeting some of my boyfriend’s friends, and my boyfriend (who is mixed too) thought that it would be funny to put one of his friends (who is white) on the spot and ask him if he thought I was white or black. His friend’s response was “I don’t get it, is this a trick question? She’s black of course”. Up until that point, my identity, if I had been pushed to define it, would probably have just been “mixed-race Ghanaian” without any real thought to my non-Ghanaian side, but the moment that I had someone so casually denying that other part of me, I was all “Oh no you didn’t”!!
Do you feel your parents prepared you for life as a mixed race person?
Both of my parents are mixed race as well, so I would say yes
What ignorant comments have you heard about being mixed-race that really rile you?
When people say “you have to pick one”. Very annoying.
Do you think mixed race people/families are well represented in the media?
Definitely more so in recent years. I will say though that I do think mixed-raced-ness is slightly fetishized at times, so when I see an advert or something on TV with an interracial couple and a mixed-race child, I sometimes question the motive behind it. Which is a bit of a shame and a bit cynical… I should probably stop doing that…
Back in the late 19th century/early 20th century being mixed race held a stigma, as it was clear proof of interracial relations which was seen as an affront to society’s morals. Do you think it’s easier nowadays to be mixed race or is it more that racism has become subtler?
A mixture of the two, but from my experiences I would say more so the former. The younger generations seem to be more and more about the acceptance of differences and the appreciation of individuality, which is great and in general makes life easier for people who do not fit the cookie cutter mould.
Is being mixed race a burden or a blessing for you?
Definitely not a burden, but to say it’s a blessing feels a tad dramatic. But I’ll say it anyway... it’s a blessing!
Have you felt a struggle with your identity? If so, how did you deal with it and if you are now at peace with who you are, how did you come to a place of self-acceptance?
No, luckily I never have.
What advice would you give to your younger self?