Love and Culture Do Mix

Gabby BarnettDecember 20, 2021Love

Growing up mixed, love was shown in multiple different ways. Having a white father and a black mother made it very difficult for me to understand the concept of love and what exactly it was. When I was younger, I was shown by outward parties, whether that be family or people at school, that mixing races was wrong. I was told that I was worth less and I wasn’t as important as other white people. Society disowned people that looked like my family. Growing up and hearing that my being mixed race made me less loveable made me believe that love was something that only people that looked a certain way could get. Which is beyond not true. I learned this from my mother’s side of the family. To a lot of POCs (people of color), community and love are very important. The black community has been through many things, from slavery to the Black Lives Matter protests; we have gone through a lot.

On my mother’s side, we are all extremely close. Family always comes first, and we have always been accepted and loved by her family. I was raised around black and African culture, which is all about community and staying together. We showed that we loved each other by having big meals and always bringing food when we went over to someone's house. Even though the word love wasn’t said often, we had little gestures to let others know we cared about them. My mother’s family has always shown me and my sister love, even though we do look like them. They never saw us as half black or half white, we were whatever we wanted to identify as and they loved us for that. Being shown that kind of love was amazing and I tried to make it a goal of mine to show people of all races, genders, sexualities, and anyone else who doesn’t fit the “ norm” love and kindness.

So how did my culture affect love? Well, it made me want to show others the love that I didn’t get, to show them that community and kindness are more important than hate.

Gabby Barnett is a student at the Robertson County School in Kentucky.