Last night I went to hear Jennifer Beals speak at the NY Times Center. Um….amazing!! I was mere feet away from her. She was beautiful, radiant, kind, eloquent. Everything I thought she’d be. But better. I got a little emotional when she first walked out. Jennifer Beals is to me what I seem to have become for a few people. When I realized I was biracial and that that actually meant something to me and means a lot in this country, I was left feeling a little lost. I mean here I’d been thinking I knew myself quite well, knew what I wanted, knew where I wanted to go, and all of sudden this paradigm shift had me questioning everything. I was all fired-up about my discovery, but I didn’t know what to do with it. Someone suggested I watch The L Word because Jennifer Beals’ character, Bette Porter, was biracial and it was actually a part of the story line. I watched it and I knew I wasn’t crazy. I knew that it was ok to embark on this journey. I knew that who I had an inkling that I really was, well, I really was, and I was not alone. I saw myself reflected in the world and I had a sense of my right to be. I learned to say that I’m not “exclusively black” and that phrase has become invaluable. For these reasons Jennifer Beals is my biracial hero. Last night put all of that in perspective. So, if I’ve helped anyone stand firmly in their biracial truth, J.B. is to thank for that. So grateful!!
Googling “why blacks hate mulattos” also led someone to this blog today. I would love to hear Jennifer Beals’ opinion on that one. And I’m a little curious as to what instigated that particular search.