Diaries of biracial individuals

I asked Tova Harris and Elijah McDonnaugh to document their biracial experiences while living on Long Island. 

MARCH 19, 2017:

Tova Harris reveals the discriminatory incident she encountered at work:

“As soon as the interaction itself was over, I felt like bursting into tears in front of everyone at Best Buy. I tried to come up with some type of rationalization for why this moment even happened, I still haven’t come up with one…”

Elijah McDonnaugh discusses his struggle with racial identity: 

“My mom’s white, my dad’s black, but I never fit in with either of these groups, and yet, I was constantly approached and embraced by Latino people. I really had no idea of what was going on as kid. I had no way of understanding who I was or what I was or where I was supposed to fit in.”

MARCH 25, 2017:

How Tova Harris tackles this touchy topic: “What are you?”

“Someone whose identity has literally always been seen as a sensitive topic to them in the past, doesn’t like necessarily want to answer it all the time in the present.”

Elijah McDonnaugh recalls a racist childhood moment: 

“The other three kids expressed pretty quickly and comfortably that they would never let their daughters marry a black guy…”

APRIL 2, 2017:

Curly or straight? Tova Harris talks hair care chronicles:  

“I wonder almost, if it’s worth it, if it’s worth working so hard to change something that is so beautiful all on it’s own.”

Elijah McDonnaugh discloses an uncommon party experience: 

“It’s not like I miss…having my racial identity questioned, but my only concern about that is people coming to the wrong conclusion.”

APRIL 9, 2017

Tova Harris highlights her journey to self-discovery:

“What I hated growing up was just how sensitive I’d become to the subtle differences between communities and how I sometimes felt like a trader to one part of myself as I acted more “white” or “black” or “Jewish”…I now know just how lucky I am in that I can adapt and change with such an ease…”

Elijah McDonnaugh emphasizes a strength of being biracial: 

“I was never really given much of a chance to develop any irrational prejudice based on race, because as a kid, being biracial meant having lots of relationships with real white people and real black people.”



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