My name is Lara, I am mixed raced Black/White.
We’ve seen worldwide the movement “Black lives matter” but I have a bit of a different opinion. All lives matter. Color, studies background, religion, cultures, they all matter. When I say this is that because mom is Black and my dad is white, my sister is darker than me and we always made a joke that all color and inspiration went to my sister because she has darker skin, perfectly round tiny curls, she tans when she goes to the pool or beach and me, well, my hair is reddish dark blond, curls in half my head, I can’t handle the sun because I get red and my skin falls just after 2 days and it hurts….
I was born in Portugal and never in my entire life I felt left out for coming from a mixed-race family, but 8 years ago I moved to Mozambique, and then it hit me. I was being stopped by police if I was driving the car by myself, however, if my assistant was in the passenger seat that never happened.
The hype of this made me start to question a lot of things, so with time My husband got me a driver and never I was stopped again.
This was not a big issue but limited my freedom.
I had a getaway, every two weeks I would drive to South Africa and go back to Mozambique, just the feeling of being alone driving, and the change of scenery always made me happy.
Upon my last trip, coming back I passed the border from South Africa and arrived at the Mozambican post. The officer looked at me and my passport (something I’ve done hundreds of times) and directly he asks me how can I have a Mozambican Passport if I was born in Portugal and how many Mozambican Passports did I had all my life. The questions did not end there, I was a bit annoyed and asked him why was he asking me these questions, his reply shocked me, he looked with a very inquisitive look holding my passport as if I was a criminal and bluntly said “You are too white, You were not born in Mozambique, You don’t speak Portuguese the same way Mozambicans do, so either you reply to me or we will hold you until we can verify all your document!”
At this point I was not afraid, I was so angry that I pulled out from my bag something my dad had given me the year before and never thought I would have to use it. I take a plastic envelope with both parent’s birth certificate (Mozambique), sister birth certificate (Mozambique), Grandmother birth certificate from mom side (Mozambique), Great Grandmother from my father’s side (Mozambique). At this point I started to shout at him for discriminating against me for my too whitish skin tone and the head of border services came out because I really was screaming and crying, full-blown panic attack huffing and puffing and ready to kill someone or call the news.
After this ordeal I understood something, racism is not on;y white against black, racism is a state of mind that affects all in different ways, for me that was a tipping point and made me start the 1-year plan to leave for good Mozambique and never look back.
I was not racist, I was humble, I helped whoever came my way and asked, 8 years in Mozambique made me lose everything I loved about being me. What it hurt me more is that not only strangers but my own family pushed me aside for being different.
I’m back in Portugal, where I am writing again, I speak with my parents every day and they know I will never go back, even my company there is still opened and running, I made all arrangements and gave full power of attorney to my dad so never again I will step foot in that country.
Am I being drastic? Yes.
Could I have dealt with the situation a bit better? Most definitely.
Did I try? Yes, for 7 years.
Did I learn something? You bet I did.
All lives matter including my own, and I don’t even have a name for my mixed race and I was a victim of discrimination from Black people countless times in the last 8 years and I never once did anything to deserve it. At least I don’t think I did.
If you like this article, check out : https://www.harnessmagazine.com/visions-of-black-girl/