A Mixed Perspective on Our Current Times and 20 Years Ago

Hey all,

It’s your boy, D here...

This past week has been extremely busy and fast-moving here at USEFULL, formerly Coffee Cup Collective. However, in light of the week's events, we will share a bit more about our journey next week. In the meantime, I wanted to share something personal, as I pause to reflect on current events as well as an apprehensive anniversary of my own.

As a person of color, I’ve been struggling to put words to my thoughts & emotions given the current context. If you’ll allow me a few minutes of your time, I’d like to share a little of my perspective on our current times and 20 years ago.

First, I should say that my perspective is framed by experiences unique to me, as well as by the experiences of others. Second, I realize my perspective also comes from a position of privilege, as I have led a mostly charmed life surrounded by love and support. Third, as an person of Cape Verdean and Swedish descent, I identify as an "African-American" though as two of my sisters like to say “we’re mocha, you’re more of a cafe au lait.” The accepted term often used to describe similar people is "Mixed", though that term in itself has connotation issues; as many, like myself, believe the concept of "race" is an artificial construct.

My racial ambiguity has always been a double-edged sword, especially when dealing with police. Let me give you two examples from my own experience, one from 2018 and the other from 20 years ago this very weekend.