The Biracial Dilemma
Meet Rachel, a sophomore studying at Howard University who is also mixed with both black and white. Rachel transferred to the Historically Black University from a Predominantly White Institution because she felt as though she was not “white enough” and Howard would better suit her. Unfortunately upon her arrival, Rachel could not help but feel as though she was not “black enough” to attend Howard University. Rachel’s feeling of not belonging are not isolated, they are shared by millions of biracial Americans who, at one time or another, felt as though they did not belong to either culture. These feelings have been brought on, over time, by the way, America, although believed to be a “melting pot” of cultures, often wants people to categorize themselves as one ethnicity and the pressure placed on Americans to solely identify with one race divides the country more than anything else. The only way to rectify this problem is for Americans to stop separating themselves into racial categories and come together to be classified as simply American.
America’s views on biracial individuals can be dated back to slavery when slaves were forced to bear the children of their masters. These children were referred to as mulatto, meaning “the offspring of a "pure African Negro" and a "pure white”(Davis), and their treatment was often based on the complexion of their skin; if they had fairer skin, they were sent to work in the master’s house and were often times treated