About Me — Valerie Alexander

More Than A Single Story in Black and White

Valerie J. Alexander, Ph.D.
About Me Stories

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Photo by Author

I remember her well. We lived with my paternal grandmother in a small rural town when I was a young child. She was fair-skinned with a mane of thick, wavy “salt-and-pepper” hair. Despite her lighter complexion, it never occurred to me to question her heritage.

I was well into adulthood when I found out that my paternal grandmother was of mixed race. My father had long since passed away (when I was 27), but in those 27 years, he never mentioned that his mother was biracial.

I discovered my “mixed” heritage when my cousin traced our family genealogy on my father’s side. Now, there is some confusion with names and dates, as vital statistics were not always recorded accurately within Black communities. Nonetheless, my cousin shared that my grandmother was listed as “mulatto” on census (or birth) records. Her father (my great-grandfather) was listed as white.

In this article, I am choosing to write about me — not my credentials, not my education, not my work. Just me. When so much of my life is spent trying to prove my value through work; or trying to convince people of what I am capable of and trained to do; or trying to earn a living by touting my credentials, this is my opportunity to set all of that aside and just write about me!

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Valerie J. Alexander, Ph.D.
About Me Stories

Political scientist, sociologist, and theologian by training. I write about politics, racism, faith, and whatever hits me. Twitter: @Alexander247_9