the worst of both worlds= the best of both worlds (?)
I am currently taking an Ethnic Studies class where my teacher quotes and summarizes her expiences in racially diverse California. She devoted a class to how the concept of white was an unbrella term and that most white people did not seem to see any ethnic or racial identity past that. My teacher is a smart, open-minded lady and is doing something somewhat innovative in tems of letting white people know that there is more to them than the term "white."
It got me thinking that I view myself as more racially and ethnically complex than just a white person. There have been times I have even been told I am not white despite my caucasian appearance. In fact as she describes the orginal settlers of the U.S. of Anglo-Saxon descent and the minorty experience, I feel I have the best of both worlds in a way. Maybe not the "best" but at least I have one foot in two of the opposing sides.
My dad's side of the family can be traced to the First Families of Virginia. They are nearly as old America as white people can be. That side of the family always held their Scottish descent in mind but more or less focussed on the future. Eventually they made their way to Louisiana and thrived. My great-grandmother was the only child (until she reachedadulthood, oh happy accidents...) from a very prominent family who founded the town of Ruston, LA and gave ample land to Louisiana Tech. She married a man who was of a modest middle class upbringing who had a knack for business and made much more of a fortune than anyone in the family up until that point. Needless to say, my dad was born into wealth and never had to worry about getting money from his parents to futz about on a weekend. The concept of "making ends meet" seemed more of some Dickensian orphan exaggerated concept than a worry people actually had.
My mother's side of the family was from Russia. My grandmother came to the U.S. when my mother was in utero and her biological father was presumed dead. She married my Pawpaw (adopted granddad) and allowed him to adopt her two children and had one with him just to apease. They were poor. They were not destitute or on welfare because Pawpaw took great measures to avoid that stigma. He shelled out money for a maid to keep up appearances in their small Mississippi town. They never went hungry but constantly went without. Only a delicate balance of finances by my grandmother kept them solidly middle class (though the lowest rung of that).
When my grandmother first became acquainted with Pawpaw, she was living on the more liberal (though still plenty conservative coast). When he brought her back to his small central Mississippi town, she was met with initial skepticism. She was very pregnant and had a funny accent but she had lovely light brown hair, a fair complexion and light eyes. When it was revealed she was Russian she became "not white." She may have been able to move past that but being Jewish on top of all that made her definitively not white.
During her middle and high school years, my mother was very popular for her intelligence, sense of humor and overall ease with people. It was not until her hair began to form a tight afro that it resonated with her friends that she was of color and not to be seen with.
She married my dad and had only me. She moved to a different more liberal Mississippi community and was still met with cofusion about her race. She stood out among the teachers at the vastly predominantly African American school she taught. She was not black but she looked not white either. She had an afro that even hours of tending to and countless straightening products could not tame. She had a dark complexion