Letter: Mixed parentage yields black pride

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am of mixed parentage. However, unlike Emma Lindsay ('What's black and white and lives in a political minefield?', 16 August), I had no direct access to my father, my parents having separated and he living on another continent.

My mother instilled in me a great pride in my African heritage. I was encouraged to correspond with my father on a regular basis, and there were irregular visits. Consequently, as an adult, I have never felt estranged from the black community because I am part of it. It did not require a 'conscious effort', because it seemed perfectly natural to me that, although of mixed parentage, I was a black man. There is no confusion - it is, and has always been, a fact made patently obvious to me by a loving white mother.

Perhaps if Ms Lindsay's parents had instilled within her the pride I have, she would not have retreated into the sad argument that she is in some way a 'special person', somehow different from the rest of the black community.

The black community is rich and varied. It has no problem with the concept of mixed race people. It does, however, have a problem with those who are not at ease with themselves or other black people. Ms Lindsay should not project her insecurity or inadequacy in a black setting on to those around her - it is her problem, not theirs.

Yours faithfully,

KOBINA LOKKO

London, N1

17 August

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