Here’s an excerpt from Neisha Wright’s original 1992 interview in Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk About Race and Identity (now available in a 20th anniversary expanded ebook edition):
“The history books my father gave me when I was a kid didn’t do anything for me. So I learned who George Washington Carver was—it didn’t mean anything to me. Until I was in college. And then it was more than just learning about the black culture. I lived in the foreign exchange dorm. So I learned about black culture, all different kinds of black: Caribbean, Jamaican, Haitian, Latins, Asians. Iran. Iraq. Mediterranean cultures.
When I got into college was when I had my first really good friends who were black. I finally felt like I was learning about who I was ethnically. I mean, I knew who I was as a person, personally, as a woman, sexually, but not as an ethnic person.
It’s hard to express what I learned; it’s hard to discuss in a matter of hours or minutes or even days. I don’t know, just the things you learn about black culture. The things you know. The music, the movements, the intimacy, the things that come along with being black that I was ostracized from growing up—I still don’t know how to Double Dutch. Shit like that, I can’t do it.”
Neisha’s 20-year update will be posted in the next few days. Meanwhile, you can read the rest of her original oral history—in which she talks about kidnapping, cross-burning, and chitterlings, among other topics—in the BWO ebook.