Last year for my master's I wrote a thesis paper on the discrimination that Biracial individuals receive from all walks and facets of community and life depending on their mix and how much they lean towards it. Now what I plan to do since my skin tone leans to the more Caucasian side is to let my hair grow out. (it has to a ridiculous length) and I will go to a stylist and have my now annoyingly long hair changed to look more like it belongs on a Northern European individual and see if I am treated any differently for it. As for my voice, I sound like how Americans think a stereotypical British person sounds for the most part (you can hear the Igbo a bit if you know West African accents). I likely will but this will confirm or disprove what I wrote about in my thesis paper so that I can have physical evidence to back it up. I will walk around stores, drive down the street with a nice looking car (rented), and go to more "white areas" and see.
Day 1: First few hours after styling the hair, I am being constantly mistaken for a person of Spanish Origin. First notice of the day, went to a branch of my bank that I had not been to before. Decided to talk business with a Caucasian teller, gave a very warm and friendly handshake and spoke in gentle and pleasant tones. After business was conducted, pretended to sit down and wait to meet up with someone, saw individual greet a Black American client, conversation was noticeably a lot stiffer and teller was a lot less warm and inviting and seemed like he wanted the man to leave. Edit: It was pointed out that I did not state the behaviour of the client after me. He was, as is colloquially said, all smiles and tried to be friendly with the teller, more so than I was. Whilst I wore a t-shirt and jeans he wore a business suit, so logically he should have seemed a more desirable customer than I.
Day 2: Went book shopping for some textbooks, nothing occurred that I noticed. Will buy more textbooks when the rest become available. Learned that I need 3 different gels, had to learn to use them in order, and two kinds of brushes and a comb plus how to tie a bonnet around my hair properly and will have to purchase a hair dryer. Perhaps the most levity of the day was my fiance asking me if I wished to get my hair done with her at some unspecified date in the future. That should add more to people consistently mistaking me for a woman all the time but I digress. Just adding some filler, I should not realistically expect to find evidence of racism every single day, if I find less than I assumed then that should be a good thing right?
Day 3: No activity of note that occurred today except me somehow failing to properly use a hand held hair dryer. For those who asked here are the before and after pictures of my hair.
That was me before the style
This is myself now.
Day 4: Martin Luther King Jr Day, not expecting to get any data on this day.
Day 5: A lot more results and data this time. I sat on the bus near a bunch of Nigerians commenting in Igbo (Baltimore has a lot of Nigerians) on how that "white man" (me, though the word they were using for white person was not exactly a nice word) had been styling his hair. I told them after a while in Igbo that I could understand every word and they were in shock and asked how a "white man" could speak a Nigerian tongue and I had to inform them that I was half-Nigerian myself. I also surprised the Slovakian bus driver who was thinking that I was a British/Spanish mix. To note, even before the hair change I have never been acknowledged by Nigerians as being one even when I lived there because I looked to different from them so that was not exactly new. Especially in my home village I had to convince a lot of the people that I was my mother's son . In more interesting news I sat down for hot chocolate in Starbucks after buying some textbooks ($500 to rent a bunch of textbooks for just one semester is a robbery in my opinion). Then I had the opportunity to run into 3 police officers who immediately spotted that I was mixed from the onset, they said it was their job to be observant about facial structures and genetics when doing forensics and other law related things. Interested in my paper one of the policemen, who looked as Stereotypically white as you can possibly get, complete with a semi "porn mustache" informed me that he was actually ethnically Jewish/African-American and that he had a lot of experience in this regard. The other two cops were Polish and Czech (Baltimore has everyone it seems). They did answer a lot of questions and got into a philosophical discussion with themselves about biraciality and how Biracials should not be forced to identify with either of their parent races just because of their parent races and that they should forge their own identity. Although their biggest surprise was the news when it came up that in all my years of living in the United States I have never had a Taco or a Hamburger. They asked if that was a British thing. I was later recommended that if I wanted to get more interesting results to visit Hartford, Jessup, Cecil and Salisbury county in Maryland as the local people there are known to be less than amicable to minorities especially Cecil county (which is where my American High School was located) which has a well established KKK membership (was not fun encountering those elements when I was a teenager).
Day 6: Waaaay to cold for anything to be done. Major shops and other places are closed due to inclement weather.
Day 7: No data to be found, except finding the wavy hair at war with the straight.
Day 8: As I was walking I came upon a wall that had the hashtag #blacklivesmatter posted all over it with faces of the dead. To my surprise there was a Nigerian name on the list, and it was my sister's friend that had been killed by police on January 1st. As I was observing the mural an African-American man walked by saying, "Nice to see a white man taking an interest and seeing what that's about." Well, for one thing, it's not fair to say that white people would have no interests in how these individuals died just because of the colour of their skin.
Day 9: No data collected
Day 10: No data collected
Day 11: I don't see how someone could mistake me for Al Sharpton. They said it was the hair but I don't see it. Frankly I'm too light to be confused with Al Sharpton, also I have no idea what Al Sharpton would be doing in Baltimore right now. Ran into another Nigerian assuming that I was British, so to surprise the person I switched my accent to a Pidgin English (a form of English spoken in Nigeria) one and enjoyed the surprise on the man's face.