Until recently, I was in denial that the time for me to begin my capstone for the minor in Writing had arrived. The sense of relief, completion, and pride that I felt after completing my Gateway course still feels fresh. In moving ahead, I know that Gateway taught me many lessons that will amplify those feelings upon completion of my capstone project. Both of my projects have dealt with race/race relations in some sense. My gateway project explored colorism and my gateway will tackle issues surrounding biraciality. When I was brainstorming ideas for my capstone, I did not intend for it to be an extension of my gateway project (I truly did not intend for them to be related at all). However, I think I could use this relation to my benefit while still finishing the minor in Writing with two autonomous projects. Race is a topic that is difficult to discuss. Being a racially diverse individual does not give you free rein on declaring what the “minority” experience entails, as it differs from person to person. This is a lesson that I learned during the making of my podcast on colorism, and I will carry it with me this semester as I discuss biraciality and create a product that will be on the internet (which is forever). Though I have had experience with this lesson in the past, it will certainly prove difficult to navigate this time around.
The central questions of my capstone are as follows:
- How do societal and cultural norms impact the ways biracial people identify themselves?
- What does biraciality mean and what personal implications does it have?
- How has biraciality remained stagnant over time, and how has it grown or changed?
- What are the benefits and downfalls of having control over your racial identity, as biracial people uniquely do?
I have long pondered what biracial people “are” or what they “should be” within the broader context of the American melting pot. Throughout my life, I have alternated between identifying myself as “biracial” and “black” more times than I can count. Ultimately, this question is one that extends far beyond personal preference, involving American culture, history, and expectations. I hope to delve into this conflict in my capstone project, using both personal narrative and historical analysis along the way. My main concern in this project is that it is too ambitious. I will need to keep time management (and energy management) in mind as I navigate this semester.