Observations and ideas about race, ethnicity and mixing.

Who am I?

In many of my classes, it has become apparent to me that I am deliberating people deliberate themselves. People trying to socialize their right in the world most and be perceived by the world in the same light they perceive themselves.

The journey of identity, both external and internal, is encompassed by philosopher Alan Watts’ quote “I believe that if we are honest with ourselves the most fascinating problem in the world is: who am I?” This is the question we spend much of our life attempting to answer. This is the question we intellectualize through paintings, films, and novels. This is the question we continue to politically disregard though it is the foundation for all our politics. For many people of color in the United States, this is the question dictated by racial stigmas, which demands that the development of who they are is dependent on how they are racially categorized.

And what is a person of color? What by the existence of that identification alone is implied about humanity? I think it means that we, as people of color, live as an additional or almost, accidental people. Why is it not enough to just say person when I speak about myself or when someone else speaks about me?


  1. Bryana Barron

    I understand and debate about this question of “who am I?” It is a question that shifts when given a certain context whether that is political, economical, and social. For me, I think as I experience more and navigate through life, I almost build a “resume” of personality. For example, as a child I accepted the term Hispanic as my categorization but now I exclude it and only accept Latinx as my ethnic title. This is due to many factors but it results on me educating myself and seeing how one’s identity can grow.

  2. yelda

    I think the question of “who am I” sheds light to the fact that we live in a world that is always questioning everything including the origins of our individuality and what makes us unique, but questions like this I think can pose a problem. Asking who we are in a racially divided world will always lead us to fall back into the categories that the superiors set up for us in some way or another. I think it is important to know where one comes, but I think the emphasis should be not on color or race or anything, but on breaking these divisions and answering that question without focusing on society’s values and categories, but on one’s inner most self.

  3. sarmiena

    Reading this made me think of Martin Luther King Jr’s famous quote, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”. Ideally, this question should be answered for one self’s reflection of character for motivation, not for others to understand who we are and how we are categorized. We’re given terms and expected to chose one or two to identify with, but they should not reflect on who we are as a person.

  4. heronca

    This reminds me of Du Bois’ theory of “double consciousness,” and how Black people feel as though their identity is divided into separate parts (intersecting identities), and how they are viewed from these different parts of themselves.

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