Author: Trinity Johns
Get Out: A look from A biracial standpoint
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to go watch Jordan Peele’s hit film “Get Out”. While watching the film I noticed that I was one of the few individuals in my friend group that was both biracial and had grown up in a predominately white community. Due to these factors, I believe I approached the movie from a different angle than many of my friends. While watching the movie I heavily identified with the use of micro-aggressions that were displayed in the film. I was very pleased to see that Peele has highlighted this important social issue that many individuals face. Also, while watching the movie I began to think more about my black identity. Being biracial, your kind of swinging back and forth on a pendulum until people decide how they want to categorize you. I’ve been told “you don’t act like black people”, “you’re not really black”, or I’ve had people assign me a black identity simply because that is the easiest category to place me in. While watching the movie I started to realize that the way people categorized me really did matter. In a white society, the more people identify you as ‘less’ black, the more they’ll identify with you regarding race relations. For a lot of people, I’m not “really black” therefore the treatment I receive from them is different than someone else’s. However, on the other hand people only see me as black and I’m treated strictly from their perspective of how a black woman should be treated. Yet, what I noticed through all of this is that at some point people will see me and mentally understand that I’m at least partially black in my racial makeup. I began to wonder, if the cops had arrived at the house after the deadly fights between Rose and Chris and I had been in the movie, how would they categorize me? Would the cop take one look at my hair and categorize me as a black woman? Or, would they view me as something else due to my skin being lighter and me having a look that is more racially ambiguous than most? Would I be considered a threat to them? I had never asked myself these questions before, which is inherently a privilege, and once I began to ask them, I wondered what the white community I grew up in truly thought of me. Was I their outsider? Through Peele’s film I was shown that I live in limbo between two societies and that I have to just allow them to choose where they place me. I can racially categorize myself and multiracial/ biracial, however that may not always be considered by the public. The shifting ideas of what life is as a biracial person are always changing; they will continue to shift and be molded as time continues to pass.