No Nation Pickney

A therapist asked a man to write a letter to himself as a teen, he asked when she replied that he should begin at thirteen. I thought to myself, and realised that I could not recall my thirteenth birthday. Then I made an effort to remember any birth day and I could not, but I have had one spliff earlier on and I just had a hit of stone. My memory is possibly affected in a negative way atm. I did have another memory pop up, don’t know why I was about seventeen and drinking in a late night blues, somewhere in Moss Side, and I approached the bar for a drink but only ended up having a loud argument with some woman. Cant remember the argument but one sentence from her mouth gave me so much to think on that I remember it now. “You fucking no nation pickney!” she blasted out. I am born and raised in Manchester, England, UK but she did not mean that I have no nation to call mine. I am mixed race of a Jamaican father and English mother, my skin colour is a lighter shade of brown than my then peers. Half caste was the term widely used until pc  deemed me to be mixed race, half being derogatory as in I am not half of anything, I am fully mixed race. As youths we state who we are at one time or another. Most of my friends were black, not by colour but by what we are called, by ourselves and others. I, for all intents and purposes I was black. After being called a nigger and also made to feel different in a more subtle manner, I would state that I am obviously not white so I am black. My white mother left the family home so my main and only influence came from my Jamaican father, I am black. Then that night partying, chasing women, drinking alcohol and smoking weed I heard that phrase, no nation pickney, and I was forced to re evaluate my thoughts and beliefs. Just the words alone changed something inside me, as soon as I heard the last bit of pickney, ney, I felt something inside move. It was not a nice feeling to begin with I will not lie. So why did it jump to the front of my head when remembering came into play? Birthdays are a mystery but hey, I was called a no nation pickney once, was around seventeen years old.  Birthdays were usually not a big thing growing up. I remember lots of other stuff, some good.

Now after dealing with the emotion that rose up in me in response to her outburst, I began to look at things differently than before I heard it. No more, “i am black” I am aware that this was positive because I was not black. Ignorance of youth reigned obviously, I was comfortable being black, like my mates who went through the same racism as I, until I realised that black people were racist toward me also. Not white, not black, I am mixed race, a breed, the best of both, and the worst that was conveniently left out. I am not black, I am not white, I have my own identity. Mixed race persons do have a personal experience that must get confusing for teens that have not been instructed early. I know mixed race boys that consider themselves white and hold a passionate hatred for the black side of themselves. Some were exposed to seeing their mother violently attacked by the father and this has an effect on their image of themselves. It can be a rough ride as a youngster because I as an adult went through it.

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