Birth Certificate

As an African American, I understand the necessity of minorities to be treated as equals and not a bloody stain on the white sheets of  society. I recently discovered an old box of important documents. My mother kept them securely tucked away on the top shelf in her closet. Well, needless to say…I opened the box. It was filled with old medical records of my siblings and I, cards, and letters we wrote to her as children. Then, I saw a document that I couldn’t recall seeing before. Hidden in the midst of all the old Mother’s Day cards…was my mother’s birth certificate. I was startled as I read the document. The word “colored” was stamped under the section labeled race. Well, I immediately thought about my own birth certificate. What is listed in the race category for me? My mother was born in 1947 and I in 1983.  I retrieved the second box from her closet, which was positioned under the first box with my mother’s keepsake items. I searched the documents and found my birth certificate. According to this binding legal document, my race is Black. My feelings were quite ambiguous. I have never been referred to as coloured. I don’t mind being labeled black.  From a historical perspective, African Americans have made great strides since 1947 when my mother was born. We live in a global world and we have to embrace change without losing our culture and identify in the process. Your birth certificate may label you one ethnicity however; you look in the mirror you see other features that resemble  a different ethnicity. Just be yourself and enjoy your heritage. There is no pure race as we are all a part of one rainbow.

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