Multicultural

Colour Line – A Monologue

Bianka Bell

 

See this line here?

This is the line in which I was born

Like a river it carries me

Straight, but only for so long

You see, a choice is needed to be made, always

Left, or right

But never both

For it is impossible

To go in two directions

At the same time

 

You see, this line defines me

Not only that, but it constrains me

Not only that, but it strangles me

Forcing me to will in its ways

 

But NO, this line encourages me

Its pinching clamps daring me to venture out

 

But if this line is earth, I am its subject

You see, it will allow me to escape

To explore

Anywhere I must

Anywhere I feel

To discover what would be

False connections

 

Because this line teases me, you see

It laughs, spits in my face, and steps on my soul

As I search for my soul

For what is and what’s not

For what I am to thee

 

It has a hold on me, this line

Like electromagnetic energy

Because, like earth, it uses its gravity to remind me

That I need not explore

And I needed not wander

And I need not wonder

For I was born on this line, and this line is where I shall stay

That anywhere else, I simply do not belong

 

It shows no empathy, this line

For it is a mere unit of measurement

180 degrees of burning fire

Fueling a fire inside of me

So hot the devil asks for forgiveness

 

Because that 180 degrees cannot be so mere

If it leeches onto its subjects

Latches onto their backs

And pulls them in

Tighter and tighter

Each time the dare wonder

“What could be?”

 

And that is me

The wanderer

The wonderer

The traveler-to-be

 

This line prompts false hope

Augments curiosity

Ultimately eliciting misery

 

This line tears hearts

Eats souls

Destroys dreams

 

And yet,

No matter how strongly we resent it

Or how deeply we hate it

Or how many times we attempt to part from it

We know, deep down

That we need this line

 

With its honest deceit

With its burning protection

The line shields us

 

From the harshness of the world

From the inconsistencies of ourselves

From the susceptibility of perpetual discontent

The line is our supreme guardian

Or maybe our greatest source of destruction

So, stay on your own line

Or maybe don’t

Just don’t be shocked

When you choose the wrong path

Or the right one

 

Because the line comes back, inevitably

Because, you see

 

You can venture away from the line

But the line will always hold firm within thee

‘Out of Place’ – A Monologue by Marley Alford

“Being multiracial is a gift. It is the gift of choice. You are given a ticket to anywhere. You can inhabit any space as a temporary resident. You have legitimacy but not full ownership of several cultures. It is up to you how you will use this choice.

 

Growing up, I have only been conscious of my race in terms of where I felt out of place. I lived in upstate NY, in the hippy town of Woodstock, but I wasn’t white. I lived in Japan, but I wasn’t Asian. At my aunt’s Thanksgiving dinner, I am not black. These realizations made me uncomfortable, so I buried them away and stuck to what I knew best, trying to fit in with the majority.

 

Now I’m at Bard, and I can’t hide anymore. Now I’m at Bard, and there is tension and dialogue and questions about an identity that I have never explored. I have a cute answer, saying that I am a panda – white, black, and asian! But maybe that is just another way of hiding.

 

I’ve been called many things, and I’m always flattered. They say I could be hispanic, Indian, filipina. I like the possibilities.  But I don’t own them.

 

I’m used to being a minority. In my town, sweet smiling faces complimented my skin tone, glad that their children were friends with someone diverse. My response to this was usually to try and prove that I wasn’t any different.

 

On the flip-side of the coin, POC have said to me, “Nah, you’re brown, but you’re not brown, you know?”

 

I think that trying to fit in for so long has created a barrier that stops me from exploring the rest of my identity. I have inhabited my familiar white middle class role so well that now… I have doubt, like:

 

Do I count?  Am I allowed to talk about race?  Do I count if I’m not part of a defined ethnic group?

 

The truth is that there isn’t one way to perform a race. Although I seem to equate “white” with my accent, my mannerisms, and the ginger approach I take to the topic of race, I know that any person can show these attributes. I cannot let society or my own fears prevent me from reclaiming the title of Woman of Color. I am not an impostor in this category.

 

I am not out of place.”

 

 

Out of Place, by Marley Alford

Performed in the Spring of 2015 Bard College ‘Race Monologues’