Polish | Jamaican “I identify myself as mixed race I guess. My mum is from Poland, all of her family are from Poland. My dad’s parents are from Jamaica but he was born and raised in England. As soon as I was born I was like oh this is a bit unusual. Especially growing up where i’m from, you don’t really see it in my area. I always saw my friends as having the same coloured parents and then me having different parents. I loved it and it was great, it was a new experience but I just didn’t quite understand it at such a young age. It made me feel happy though. I felt unique. I liked it. I like the feeling of being mixed because no one is like me. Only a couple of people. I feel good about it.
My friends are mainly black and mixed race. My best friend is mixed. I like hanging around with white people as well but it's just the mixed race and black people seem to understand me more. People think that a mixed race person is just black and white, they don’t understand the background. It’s hard. Its difficult sometimes. You are not known for being yourself. You are known as being an ‘oreo’ for instance, being white on the inside and black on the outside. People don’t get that you are both, they will try and label you. You can’t act a colour. It’s who you are, how you are raised. It’s who you grew up with, your surroundings, your friends. It's not a colour thing. You can’t act a colour.
Sometimes people will be like, “oh you’re light skinned, you’re so beautiful, you’re so perfect.” Everyone expects mixed people to be so perfect. I’m always like, we are just normal people! We are not different to you. Our skin is just a bit lighter than black skin and a bit darker than white skin. It’s hard to explain.
I think we should all be accepted as one. There's no black, there's no white, there's no mixed race. Its you as a person. You are just ‘Jasmine’. I think that everyone should be open.I don’t know why people are ashamed to say that they are white and black. Be both. Just embrace it.”