Today Ross Oscar Knight interviewed Mayor Peter Bossman of Piran, Slovenia. Slovenia, part of the former Yugoslavia, was the first country to gain its independence in 1991. Now part of the European Union, the country received ample media attention after Bossman was elected its first black mayor in 2010. The interview details the story of how Bossman fled Ghana in 1977 and eventually settled in Slovenia to become a doctor. Bossman and his wife are parents of two biracial daughters. During the discussion Bossman speaks of pride in his African heritage and how he has balanced his identity with Slovenian culture.
More on this story from 50 Shades of Black.
Sister at the Farmer’s Market? Are we related?
On my weekly retreat to the farmer’s market to collect fresh fruits and vegetables, I heard a woman whispering behind me. “Wow. He has pretty eyes. I bet those two are brother and sister.” I turned around and saw this woman (Jocelyn) standing with some of her relatives. We smiled casually and then shared a defining moment that many light-skinned African Americans face. For some reason, if your eyes are blue and your hair is red/brown/blonde and you have African American features then we are all supposed to be related? Its like we are an anomaly or something.
I’ll admit, I had Jocelyn take off her glasses so that I could examine her face further. We share lots of the same features but we are not related. I found out that Jocelyn was young enough to be my daughter!
So then we did a test. I selected two darker-skinned individuals at random with similar features and I said, “You must be related.” They asked me why would I think that. I told them because their skin tone was similar and I noticed features that looked generational. The two people rolled their eyes and went separate ways. Jocelyn and I got a laugh out of that.
- Ross Oscar Knight
(Director of International Initiatives)