The vast majority of people who walk this earth have no idea what it’s like to walk in the shoes of the pan-African with albinism. We are a very small and unique minority. Our situations are unlike any other group, even Caucasian albinos.
We are out of uniform wherever we go. We are mistaken for mixed race, White, or Hispanic. We are thought to be the result of the rape of Black slaves. When people write or speak about us they label us mutants, freaks, or the mothers and fathers of the White race. None of these assumptions and theories are correct.
I have been in the company of Whites who mistook me for their own kind. They look with disdain when a beautiful Black person walks by them, then they lean close to me and say something vile and bigoted. They feel comfortable talking to and being with me when they would not think of being in the company of a pigmented Black person. For some reason they see me as less threatening than a pigmented person. When I speak my mind on racial issues they are genuinely surprised.
There have been several instances when I was treated as one of the gang until word got around that I was Black. Then I was “boycotted” so to speak. I found I was no longer in the In Crowd. In one instance an old school friend stopped communicating with me and never spoke to me again.
Black people treat us as if we are not really and wholly Black. When I am in the company of Black people, they ask me if there are any other “light skinned” people in my family: They insist that my father is not really my biological father. They assume I enjoy White Skin Privilege. They greet each other as “my sister, my brother” and greet me as “Miss or Ma’am.” They trust me less and many times have acted as if I were a threat or an enemy. Some of them think I am amusing and an easy target. They act offended when I assert myself, as if I had no right to do so. I am often dismissed while in the company of Black people as if I was of no consequence. As if I had no substance. As if I was a dundus.
On one occasion we were invited to a group of so-called progressive Black people. Some boycotted the meeting because we albinos were going to be there. They even threatened to quit the group if any of us joined.
Throughout my lifetime I have been asked, “Are you Black or White or what?” We truly walk a tightrope in this racially charged American society. We have to fight for our place. It will not be given to us freely. We must decide and assert who we are. Nothing about us is a given or taken for granted. We really can’t flow along with the tide. We swim against it no matter what we do. So decide who you are and stick to it. Whatever it is, say it loud and be proud.
note: A dundus is a name of African origin given to an albino. It is a ghost or spirit person possessing a human body but no soul.