Is There Such a Thing as “Reverse” Stereotypes?
(This is the first excerpt of a multipart blog to unravel during the coming weeks.)
My life hasn’t been much different from any other life of a young adult from northern Illinois. Since I was young, my family supported me in all of my decisions and always pushed me to be my best and pursue my aspirations. Because of my family’s influence, I always strove to be the best both academically and outside of the classroom with extracurricular activities. As high school in a different, yet similar small town to that of my earlier years began and finished, the choice of having to pick a college bore down on me. It didn’t take long for me to “sign, seal, deliver” on the college I currently attend, and I couldn’t be happier about my choice. But, this blog isn’t about my time in college so far. It’s about what most people wouldn’t have thought is any different about me at this point in the article: my ethnicity.
My mother was born and raised in the Caribbean, and my father is a white, Illinois native. Being a biracial, multicultural woman raised in a predominantly Caucasian environment for the first 18 years of my life has not only shaped who I am today but also resulted in a major eye-opening experience when I started college two years ago. As far as my family associations go, since the majority of my mother’s side of the family still live in the Caribbean, the family and family friends with whom I associate the most are those of my father. And, small town schools in northern Illinois don’t have much diversity either. So, I mostly have lived according to my “white” roots. And, if I had the decision to choose again (knowing what I know now), I would choose that option of life again. Why? Well, in our country, citizens of color (specifically citizens of African-American descent) have had negative connotations associated with them well into the mid-1900s. As a whole, we have come a long way towards equality and elimination of prejudice, but stereotypes are still ever-present. Moreover, those stereotypes are often not two-sided. What do I mean by this you may ask? Well, it all starts with how you were raised, also known as one’s “roots.”
[More to come.]