Author: Laura Parker Castoro
Author, Laura Castoro is a racially-admixed woman
who is also of 100% African-American (AA) Ethnicity.
Like more than 70% of all people who are of 100%
AA ethnicity, Ms. Castoro's ancestry consists of a
tri-racial admixture of black-Amerindian and white.
Here is an excerpt from her interview with `Essence' magazine:
"My mother tells the story of what happened when visitors
came to my Negro-college-based elementary school
in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in the late 1950's.
The visitors spied me and another student, a boy,
and remarked in surprise, "Oh, you're integrated".
The may be forgiven their mistake.
I was naturally blond with green eyes and freckles, while the
boy had blue eyes and what we used to call "nice" hair.
We were both so fair we burned in the sun.
Yet we were "colored", as our birth certificates read.
I grew up in the segregated South, in a town where
three generations of my father's family had lived,
and everyone knew me as Dr. Parker's daughter.
My father was a dentist and a leader
in the AME church and the Boy Scouts.
As one-time state president of the Arkansas
branch of the NAACP, he organized civil-rights
boycotts and rallies in our hometown.
I didn't have to wonder what I was.
I knew what I was, and I'd always been proud of it...
In 1966 I went to Howard University on a scholarship,
convinced that here, at last, would be people who
understood my situation and thought nothing of it.
But Black Power reached campus the same year,
and reverse prejudice came into full bloom.
I was again an outsider-this time among my own.
I met and married my husband while at Howard.
He is a second-generation Italian-American.
As I tell people crass enough to
ask why I married White, I didn't.
I married a man with no racial agenda.
But marrying Chris did plunge me
for the first time into the White world.
From my new vantage point, I learned that nearly every
White person carries innate prejudices about my people...
It embarrasses Whites to confront the truth that it is their
attitudes that make it a liability to be [categorized as] "black".
That word again: black.
Applied to me -it's confusing- yet both my parents and all
my grandparents are African-American ... there is ...
Native American and European blood in our lineage.