On Color

What about the mixed kid?

I’ve always been between cultures. My mother is German (like from Germany, I have a passport and am fluent in German… none of this third generation stuff) and my father is black; this has put me in a strange position my whole life because my experience growing up was nothing like most of my peers. I was raised by an immigrant, who I look almost nothing like, and everything we did was different than how my friends did. It’s become increasingly clear that my upbringing didn’t lead me to become a part of white America, but an observer of it.

Around my black friends I was the mixed kid, always held at an arms length, never completely trusted. Unfortunately, I still find this to be the case even among some family members. With my white friends I’ve always been tokenized and have played along for far too long because of my fears. I grew up between these two cultures that live side by side, and was never a part of either.

All the conversation around the BLM movement has made me very proud of my black heritage; I’ve always been more interested in black history than the white washed version we were taught in school. In school my heart swelled with pride when I got to learn about the Civil Rights Movement and took the time to learn leaders like Malcom X and Marcus Garvey. The last few weeks have made it more obvious to me that I need to start expressing the love of my blackness more and taking action. It’s always been clear to me that action is the only thing that matters and this is my opportunity to make a strategic move.

Growing up my father and I always had conversations about why the black community struggles; and he always reiterated that we needed to find ways to keep money recycling through the community. Through this blog and with my tech skills I hope to help black businesses build leverage not only within our own community but everywhere. Like the movements of the past we can learn to Plot Plan Organize Strategize and Mobilize an entrepreneurial movement within the community.

5 replies on “What about the mixed kid?”

Great post, Julian!
I’ve always been a fan of yours and apologize if I or our family ever made you feel anything less than fully accepted – and loved. It’s a good time for introspection of all our unintentional and unconscious bias.
I look forward to reading more from you as you clearly have much to offer!
(Btw, I felt such pride while watching Da 5 Bloods and delighted in the inspiration the Bloods found in your heritage in an important pivotal moment. Like many things, parts of the movie were really hard for me to watch, but the truth is like that sometimes.)

Julian, I’ve always had a lot of respect for you, little brother, even since you were a little kid. My quasi-homeboy. Watching you grow into the man you are becoming has been a delight, but not unexpected. I know you are equipped to handle any challenge. I appreciate you sharing your perspective through this forum, you have a valid and important voice. keep speaking your truth!

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