Author – joyeglenn

Facing Racism: Our Family’s Journey in Spain

As we commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21st, I feel compelled to share our experiences as a Black American family living in Andalucía, Spain. In our time here, we’ve encountered both moments of warmth and instances that have left us disheartened. 

Reflecting on our encounters, I find myself drawing parallels to the different cuts of a pig. Just as each part of the pig has its own taste and texture, racism takes on various forms depending on the context. It’s a spectrum we’ve come to understand all too well.

Many wonder if Spain is a racist country. It’s a question I contend with, considering the rich traditions and history that define this beautiful land. Spain’s embrace of its heritage is both its charm and its challenge. The deep-rooted traditions sometimes overshadow the need for inclusivity and openness to change.

In my observations, I’ve categorized Spaniards into three groups: 

1. Racists:  Those who harbor animosity and prejudice, desiring the absence of people of color.

2. Neutral:  Individuals who are indifferent to diversity, neither opposing nor supporting it.

3. Accepting and Open to Change:  The minority who embraces diversity and advocates for a more inclusive society.

Sadly, it seems that the first two groups dominate, casting shadows on the progress we hope to see.

Despite the complexities we face, our family cherishes the life we’ve built here. We’ve found pockets of acceptance and warmth amidst the challenges. Our hope is that our presence can serve as a beacon of light, nudging Spain towards a more inclusive future.

As we navigate the highs and lows of our journey, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fostering understanding and dialogue. Our experiences, though unique to us, shed light on broader issues of race and identity that resonate far beyond our own story.

In sharing our journey, we hope to spark conversations and inspire change. Together, amid an inevitably changing world and society, we can work towards a Spain where diversity is celebrated, and where everyone feels valued and accepted. Our path may be challenging, but it is also filled with hope and possibility. And for that, we remain grateful.

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