What It’s Like Not Being White

fresh press and so worth the read….


mixed race all the places people think I'm from what it's like not being white
tindereditedI received the above opening line on Tinder last week. I quickly posted it to Facebook with the comment “Just so we are all clear, “you don’t strike me as English” is not an acceptable chat-up line”. My initial reaction was shock and disbelief along with a weary resignation. Amongst the 60-odd likes on were a number of comments which were largely jokey. I can play along to a degree, but the thing is: I wasn’t joking. It’s not an acceptable line.

I’m mixed race. I was born in London. I have a non-Caucasian name. I have brown skin and thick dark brown hair. My name and my colouring, two aspects of myself which I have no control over and were mere circumstances at birth, have far too often become the sole distinguishing features that people latch on to. These features single me out as not being white.Though 13%…

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a raisin in oatmeal — describes my experience growing up in the late 60’s in the Pacific NW at a time when blacks were just beginning to move to the west coast, and not many had made it to the northern most corner of the US. my all white environment was all I knew, and my speech pattern still reflects it.  however, I was not always accepted in that environment – and I felt isolated more than included. as I grew up, got my drivers license and could seek out people who looked like me, I found again that acceptance wasn’t easy because our foundational experiences were so different. these images are a part of a series where I explore self acceptance for the two sides of who I am. #selfLove. #tallieimages
thank you for following my journey….

xo – natalie 


took a quick trip north to stand in front of my first gallery piece. crazy to think that a piece of my work was printed, framed and hanging on the wall of an art gallery – so I had to see it for myself. 

plane tickets – check; hotel – check; family meeting us in Portland – check! everything was ready – except come to find out the gallery has very limited hours. Thursday and Friday noon – 5. 

plans were in motion, so we made the trip anyway. I didn’t get to walk right up to my image, but we did see it through the window!! I’m grateful for the opportunity and hope that on Th/ Fri’s through August 20, others will get to see my work. 

Portland – Black Box Gallery 811 E Burnside. 

thank you to dear friends Dotcy and Vanessa for making the trip and trying to stop by the gallery!! xo!