Snyder’s Wonder Woman….now with more colour!
I’m just gonna go draw the hell out of this outfit, along with the new Batgirl.
When I was 22 I enrolled in a theatre course at Eora Centre for Indigenous and Performing Arts (which accepts non-Indigenous students). When I shared the news with Nan, Mum’s Mum, her instant reply was “Did you know your Pa was Aboriginal?”
I was stunned. For the first time in generations a family secret had been revealed. My Pa was a Wiradjuri man, his real father one of the Aboriginal workers on my Great Grandmother’s farm – and he was conceived while her husband was at war. This certainly explained a lot about my “rather tanned” Pa and my curly-haired Aunties and Uncles! Everything fell into place, and I was lucky to be studying in one of the best places to learn more about a culture I never knew I was a part of, but yet somehow always knew.
Pa was born “lucky” enough to pass as white, which meant no one picked up on the fact he was Koori, so he didn’t have to go live on the mission. His name is absent from family trees compiled by other distant relatives, and although his father continued to work on the farm, and interacted with him in his early childhood, I’ve still not uncovered records of who he was. So much wasn’t recorded, or kept. He passed away when I was 11, but I remember Pa talking to me about Wiradjuri culture when I was young – tiny bits of information, sporadically, like it was a secret. Now I understood why – there was still that fear of being “found out”. He’d carried it all those years.
I remember being asked one day at Eora if I was Koori. I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t raised Aboriginal. I had only just started to learn about my family and culture – is it wrong for me to identify as Aboriginal if I’ve not grown up knowing I was Aboriginal? I spoke to a lot of people about it, but the moment of clarity came when I was asked “But you feel it, right?” I identify as Aboriginal because I am Aboriginal. It’s not about being a certain percentage. It’s not about the colour of your skin. It’s more than that, and it’s something you feel.
Once I had someone say within earshot “There’s people that have Aboriginal blood, and then there’s people that are Aboriginal.” I still don’t know if that was directed at me, but it hurt. I’d love to know my family, I’m envious of those that do – with their big family photos filled with beautiful Aboriginal women passing down knowledge I yearn to hear. I’d love to know their names and meet my cousins and brothers and sisters and fill that missing void in my heart.
Excerpt from “My Heritage” - first published in Artview Magazine
Read the whole article here
This was scary for me to write, and even scarier to publish. I have a constant battle in my heart between my need for knowledge about my culture and a feat of rejection from the community. I’m determined to overcome this. (via officialraejohnston)