Mom dropped me a note last night. She ran across the word melungeon while doing some genealogy research. It describes someone who is of European, African, and Native American descent. It was popular in the Appalachian Mountains and similar in use to Mulatto in being a negative term.

I haven’t talked about this much on this blog, apparently. Just the one post mentioning I am a product of miscegenation. I was searching for other posts and ran across this draft from 2005 which I did not publish here:

Apparently I make people think of miscegenation. In a way that describes my social status: Other. See, my father is among the darkest African Americans one will see. He works in construction so he has tanned quite a bit. My mother is among the lightest European Americans one will see (former platinum blonde; it changed to brown when my brother was born).I represent what many purists among either White or Black cultures fear the most…. a dilution of the purity of the race. Over the years I have come to realize that as such a tiny (but growing group), mixed race children represent something new and thus are in the spotlight.

I am not a golf fan, but I like that Tiger Woods has excellent personality qualities which made him the top prize in Chapelle’s Racial Draft sketch.

My looks are different enough people do ask. Usually, its a contrived transition, but I am not offended. My favorite conversation went like this:

Laurie: Ezra, where are you from?
Ezra: Right here, born and raised.
Laurie: Oh… Where are your parents from?
Ezra: Dad is from here. Mom was a military brat, so she’s not really from anywhere.
Laurie (Getting visibly confused… Long pause.): Okay, I’ll just say it. Why do you look like that?
Ezra: Oh, okay! I understand now. My father is black. My mother is white.

Truth is there is also some Native American genetics working in my father’s genes. The story is one of my great-great-grandmothers was full Creek. Its so far back that I have my doubts about its influence.

However, apparently, if the features to identify are known, then it can be seen? For instance, back at Valdosta State, I went over to an office to convince a guy to let my office put together their web site. I had not had any luck over email or phone, so I was going to use the face-to-face time to make it happen. Just as I was about to leave, he asked, “What tribe?” That threw me. He explained he saw the influence of Native Americans in my features and was curious which tribe was involved.

Then there is the Nike Air Native N7. It sounds like the perfect shoe for me.

Years ago, when I was young, my aunt was trying to get me interested African American culture. Years later we finally agreed that I am indeed Multiracial which isn’t necessarily the same as just African American. Instead, its my responsibility to pick and choose what works for me.

D is for…

Drinking Alcohol

Living in a college town, alcohol is readily available. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and stores where the purchase should be no problem at all. However, I don’t drink alcohol. Why I don’t is a multi-pronged issue:

  1. My religion, the Baha’i Faith, prohibits the drinking of alcohol. Plenty of religions prohibit the drinking of alcohol, but followers still get drunk. The quote from the Kitab-i-Aqdas: “It is forbidden for an intelligent person to drink that which depriveth him of his intelligence; it behoveth him to engage in that which is worthy of man, not in the act of every heedless doubter.” Its not so much don’t do this because you will go to Hell. Its more you have no need to do this, so why do it?
  2. Alcohol has been a major part of my life. As long as I can remember, I have been around the stuff. One of my earliest memories is taking a sip of beer at age 4 or 5 and finding it to be the most revolting thing I had ever tasted. Wine wasn’t much better. My earliest memory of drinking wine was vomiting soon after the swallow. As a Catholic, I found Communion difficult because of the taste of wine and this bad association.
  3. Alcohol has been a major part of the life of those to which I am close. I have seen moderate and reckless drinkers. Friends have gone to jail, the hospital, or seeming comas over the consumption of alcohol. I have held long-term concerns for people whose lives seem to have been taken over by this stuff. My friends and family who are going through AA seem to enjoy their lives so much more after starting in a group than while being an active drinker.
  4. Its been the goal of many of drinker to make me start. Its like I need to drink alcohol to understand them? Probably I do, but I certainly can pass on that understanding. Does it make you sleep better at night to know you spiked my drink without me knowing?

Its not for me. You will decide for yourself your views. I don’t intend to judge. Personally, I think I have enough character flaws that I do not need to add to them.