Where are you from?
Knives are let loose here
Bread is mistaken for skin
We share or shed ‘you’
‘Where are you from?’ A knife in the form of a question that can either slice bread or skin depending on the sender’s intent and delivery and the receiver’s level of ignorance and/or resilience. For me, bread’s been sliced and shared more than blood, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have scars.
I’m sure what confuses people the most is the colour of my skin, a bit too brown to be Anglo; the broadness of my nose, a bit too wide to be Anglo and the words I use (e.g. ‘brother’ or ‘homie’), a bit too ‘Black’ to be Anglo.
Besides being discriminated only a couple of times for these external traits, what hurts the most is knowing that I’m much more than the colour of my skin or my place of birth, but not being able to quickly and effectively communicate this, and as a result reciting the same story:
‘Born in Australia. Mother’s Australian. Father’s half Maori, half Irish. That’s whr I get my colour from, I guess’
This story is frustratingly limiting because my music taste is influenced by African American culture, my style is influenced by Japanese menswear, my beliefs are influenced by Eastern philosophies. So the next time you ask me where I’m from, I’ll tell you I’m from a place called Earth.’