Describing a Character

:That’s your dad? – I often heard when I first had someone meet my father. And they look at me, at him, and they can’t seem to understand. I wonder what goes through their heads. Adopted? Stepfather? Joke?

I know what they see. They see me – my hazel-green eyes. my straight, brown hair. my pale, light white skin.

And they see him. His curly, black hair. His brown eyes. His not pale and not white skin. His lighter, cinnamon brown skin.

:Yes – I say, because he is. My sister has curly black hair. She has brown eyes. Her skin is a shade darker than mine, but white still. Whatever this white means. My brother too. Black hair, wavy when he lets it grow out some. His eyes brown and his skin the darkest of us three. But still white. Whatever this whiteness means.

:You look so much like your mother – I hear this a lot too. I have to agree. I look a lot like my mother. I can be mistaken for my sister’s twin, even thought we are five years apart, myself on the younger end.

But I have to wonder – do they say that because of her pale, pasty white skin? Her lighter brown hair? Her eyes are equally as brown as my sister’s, as my brother’s. As my father’s. Brown is brown. There eyes are brown. Mine are hazel-green.

My father’s father was black. His skin was very dark and he was a hard worker and I can’t recall his voice, but I can imagine it with a thick Puerto Rican accent. My grandmother had lighter skin, but her eyes are lighter brown, almost yellow like. Her children came out a mix and match set. Two lighter skinned boys, two darker skinned boys.

I see my father’s ears and maybe his nose. I see him in my hands and in our approach to Maths. We can both agree in its simplicity, but we don’t really like it. I see me in his humor, or rather him in mine. In our choices of TV shows and films.

I am my father’s daughter. Every much as I am to my mother’s love of literature and crafts and artistic views. My father’s love of sports and activity. My mother’s gentle details and care. My father’s sweet tooth, mother’s cooking style. I am not white, but I am not black.

I am bilingual, by birth. I am multi lingual by choice. He is my father, yes. And she, my mother. Those are my brother and sister. We are not clones of one another. Nor are we distant species where you would not spot our similarities.

:You are so much like your father Рmy friends have said. My mother has said. I have noticed. And much to his amusement, he has too.



I just got to thinking about character, and how little we are what we appear. So should a character, however fictional, be as well.

Thanks Nora, for making me realize that I should be more aware of being unaware.

*Describing Characters of Color

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