The Minority Report

What are you? If I could have a dollar every time I heard that.  Well, I’m a woman. A human. A mother.  However, this question is always tied to my facial features or my curly hair.

I was born to an African-American mother and a Hispanic father.  Growing up, I always felt included within each spectrum of this cultural melting pot.  If I was watching my Aunt Teresa make homemade tortillas, or watching Grandma Azoree cook full course meals that always included sweet cornbread or peach cobbler – it always felt warm and welcoming.  Grandma Azoree took me to daycare in our Third Ward neighborhood, where I could have been perceived as the minority in the class because of my skin color.  However, the children saw no color whatsoever and hide and seek was always the business.  I was later enrolled into a magnet elementary school in the middle of River Oaks, which is the pinnacle of high society in Houston.  Periodically, my mother would come to the cafeteria at lunch time and kids would abruptly ask if that was my “REAL mom”.  I was apprehensive about responding, but then we would proceed to trade Capri Suns and the world was normal again.  It was not until after elementary school that this acceptance began to change.

This was a critical, transitional time where I didn’t know what box to fit in.  School was all about cliques, and I was extremely awkward.  It was my mission to be cool with everyone, but I didn’t really have a home.  I made it a point not to stand out because I was fearful.  That one question – what are you?  At 13, how do you eloquently answer that?  After one summer of swimming and subsequently growing into my chubby physique, I discovered I could possibly fit in as a cute girl.  I figured out boys kind of had a thing for me despite my horrible glitter eyeshadow and lip liner.  This fear of fitting in slowly manifested into frustration.  I was still not good enough. I dated a Hispanic boy, and his family despised me.  Not because I wasn’t polite or personable.  They turned their nose up at me because I wasn’t 100% Mexican, and I wasn’t fluent in Spanish.  Some of the black girls in school even picked on me, calling me names because I wasn’t black enough according to their standards.  “Just that little mixed girl”.  This became a constant cycle that was discouraging and directly impacted my self-confidence over time.

As I matured, I set my sights to learn about diversity and inclusion and how important it is to society.  Diversity brings a variety of viewpoints, expansion of experience, and so much innovation.  By respecting a diverse culture, you can unlock your own potential.  This is specifically why companies leverage diversity within the workforce.  It drives productivity and gives others a chance to learn by increasing exposure to multiple ways of thinking.  We can ALL learn from others.  Diversity adds value and amplifies social development.  Instead of harboring the fear of the unknown, let’s celebrate these differences.  Learning about someone and their background provides insight to newfound perspectives and behaviors.  By diminishing stereotypes or misunderstandings, we will begin to lessen the prejudice that creeps around every corner.  Be a catalyst for change.  Perpetuating this change can steer your whole outlook in a positive direction.  Great leaders understand diversity and inclusion, and this is how they build effective teams around them.  Have you looked at your “team” lately?  Honestly, it is a blessing to be able to witness so much uniqueness in the world today. Show pride in where you come from and who you are while advocating for others.

While I continue to battle my seat at the table as a minority and a woman, I encourage you to elevate yours by embracing diversity. Sometimes, it can be a challenge for me to promote understanding in our current climate.  Redirect hate and discrimination to filter in love.  As a parent, it is especially important to show my children.  We are all so much more than a check box on a form.  I am so much more than an “Other”.



  1. Jessica Nair

    This is perfect, I use to be embarrassed of being Indian because of the stereo types, judgments etc.. . I use to lie growing up saying I was mixed with either trini or Hispanic, and they believed it! Until one day I was like what in the world and NOW… psshhhh!!!! Moving to Houston they didn’t even know what who or what Fiji was, and they thought I lying about being Indian because I didn’t have the DOT or I didn’t smell. The two different worlds we grew up in… crazy!


    You are perfect LOVE YOU!

    • Cassidy

      I am so glad that this post meant something to you. Isn’t it liberating to be able to embrace your background. Your family has ALWAYS treated me as their own. Love you too!

  2. Marion Edwards

    Perfect read….as you know my children are bi-racial and went through the same things as you experienced..My children have all different skin colors, hair textures, personalities….I always hated the box: Other…what is Other???? Really????
    Unfortunately we stil live in a world where Racism is real….strive for success and let nobody tell you, you are not good enough, you don’t fit inbecause of the color of your skin….

    • Cassidy

      I am really happy that I am able to reach others with similar experiences. Definitely striving for success! Thanks so much for reading! 🙂

  3. Mr.Eagles

    Awesome read!
    Please continue dropping these jewels please! This one hit home with me. I will be looking forward to reading more of your work. Thank you!

    • Cassidy

      Thanks for reading! Many of us share the same experiences and challenges so it is important to share and learn from one another. 🙂

  4. Donna Fernandez

    I have always tried to show you and your siblings diversity and the value of being around everyone–including you and your sisters and brother in all that diversity encompasses. You have gained insight and knowledge of your own cultures and therefore seek to show others. As your mother, I am proud of your sense of diversity as well as your mission to teach others❤

  5. Revel Anderson

    With having nephews and nieces that are bi-racial, I hope that they grow up being able to embrace every part of them and not feel the pressure to conform to just one. I’m grateful for my family because growing up, our family was a melting pot and I had bi-racial cousins, a german cousin that I figured was black but just extra light lol because we weren’t told any differently. And he was treated no different. So thankfully I was used to it and I was always inclusive whether someone was black, mixed, etc. I welcomed it all. I didn’t really see a difference or treat anyone badly because they weren’t black enough or because they were different because that would be like saying something was wrong with my family. <3

    This was a great read and a reminder that love should always trump everything. Love you.

  6. Katie Edwards

    Enjoyed the read! Could see myself through your eyes
    the whole way thru. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me… SAME! I have actually sat and contemplated which box to check… i just started not checking anything. . I do NOT agree with the other box at all.. We are all human!
    Choose Love

  7. Sophilia

    Who knew you felt that way??? I always thought (still do) you were a cool chick. This is really good information to share to others who may have been going through the same thing. I just wish I knew you had the gift of writing at LECJ…girl you could’ve really helped me in Mrs. Cokers class!

  8. Dope words. I used to get bullied for a while because I was part-time American. It never really bothered me much, simply because I’ve always loved that fact about myself. Can’t wait to read your other work.

  9. My grandparents and great grandparents are mixed race which is why all of family have different complexions. And totally love how each of us are unique and beautiful! I wish everyone felt that way! I love hearing your story because it speaks to me and my families’ experience.

    • Cassidy

      Thanks for reading Lanae! I like to find beauty in all, and it’s wonderful that you can experience so much diversity within your own family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *