A Curious Confluence: Where Racism & Privilege Collide

A Curious Confluence: Where Racism & Privilege Collide

(1)ne Drop Project

Rema Tavares, Founder
Mixed In Canada

Rema Tavares

When two sources of water come together to form one body, it is called a confluence.  This is a place where two distinct sources of water crash and tumble over each other, churning and frothing. Here, a new river is born that cuts through the terrain as a single system. Some of these amalgamated rivers are rough and rocky, others are smooth and calm; however most consist of intermittent turbulence and serenity until they meet their final destination: a lake or an ocean. This concept stems from an analogy shared with me by a great friend and colleague, one with whom I often discuss my Mixed-race identified experience. So how does this relate to racism and privilege? And how does this fit into my story? Arguably a more pressing question for the reader: Who am “I”?

Born in the 80’s, I am the daughter of a Jamaican-Canadian immigrant father of African & Sephardic heritage and a European-Canadian mother of Irish & Italian descent. I grew up in a village of approximately 1000 people in rural Canada. This country was colonized by Europeans, not unlike the U.S., and the legacy of colonialism can still be felt by people of colour (and infinitely more so by Canada’s Aboriginal population). With respect to the African Diaspora however, Canada is often stereotyped as “the good guy” and the haven beneath the North Star. I am proud of that aspect of Canadian history; however this is by far not the whole story…

…Choice—especially around identity—is a fascinating subject in and of itself. How we choose to identify is intensely personal for many, and perhaps particularly perplexing for some Mixed-race identified people, as it inherently calls into question our notions of “race”. Having said that, I can only speak for myself, and I have chosen to identify as Black-Mixed. Although how I have identified in the past has evolved, and will most like continue to do so into the future, I have always held my Blackness as the centre of gravity – the place from which all my many other identities flow

Read the entire article here.

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