I identify as being mixed or black. I have a lot of Welsh in my family and I feel very connected to Wales and their history and stories. I also have this huge connection to Africa, but Africa’s a big continent. with many countries and many languages. Being from Egypt, is very different than being from Nigeria or South Africa. One of my favorite words that I wish we still used is “Afro-American.” It feels more authentic because points to the flavor, history and more ancient connections. It’s the seasoning of who I am.
To me “Black” is about what you look like and has a lot more to do with how other people treat you, whereas “African American” is safer for other people to say. I don’t usually use the word African American for myself.
“Black” is more comfortable to me. But the phrase “the black experience” drives me crazy... the idea that there’s one black experience. There is no one black experience. Most people define it as something they saw on TV but when I’m talking about being black, I’m talking about my experience, which is why sometimes I’m not black. Sometimes I’m in a place and I really genuinely feel mixed. Other times I’m in a room and I’m black." n
Rhiannon Evans MacFayden
Curator and Project-Based Artist