I am African-American. However in the loosest sense of the word as I am not an American citizen. I was born in Nigeria, coming to this country when I was three years old. Although my family came to this country near penniless, through my father's hard work, our standard of living was constantly being elevated. As such, he wanted us to live in the best neighborhoods, and attend the best schools, at least within economical reason.
During this time, my family moved around a bit, as my father was reluctant to settle. Although the schools I attended were racially diverse, they still remained predominantly caucasian. I learned to see past and through skin color at a very early age, I'd say around six or seven, when I discovered that skin color was based on the concentration of melanin in the skin.
Sadly, other people don't see it as such. They see their skin color as a cultural identification, keeping the racial barriers and misconceptions that still exist even harder to overcome.
I have a very diverse group of friends, however, they are of predominantly Palestinian and of Arab origin. We all share the same view, although it remains unspoken. We all date interracially without a second thought, just people with people. However, my anger does arise when people display their ignorance. I have been called "white," before and it completely befuddles me.
Because of the way my voice sounds, that I speak in a manner that is "proper," or my clothes aren't of an urban style, I am not truly "black." That I don't represent a culture that is foreign to me because of where I have lived, and my own personal experiences, I am somehow betraying a chemical in my skin, or some identity that should be integral in my mannerisms and character.
This kind of ignorance that is prevalant in our society is very heartbreaking. If we are to move forward, as a culture, society and civilization, we need to reaffirm the scientific principle which so many forget. WE ARE ALL HUMANS. Homo Sapien, although most behave as though they belong to the extinct Homo Erectus. Skin color is an adaptation. An adaptation that made the people of Africa and of similar latitudes more resilient to skin cancer, and those who ancestrally hail from more northerly regions able to produce more vitamin D. To base your entire self, and make judgments based on this is a sort of ignorance that should have never existed, and should not exist in our scientifically driven world.
I am African American, but I am not black, my skin is not the color of obsidian. It is a shade of brown. And I don't appreciate being labeled by a color. I am beyond definition by color. We are all beyond this sort of categorization.