Growing up interracial

Biracial Dawn Greenidge, featured
Dawn Greenidge

 

BY INDHIRA SUERO ACOSTA, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG – Dawn Greenidge owns a deep voice and a strong presence that has helped her to flourish in her job as a local realtor. Born in Indianapolis, Ind., she grew up with an African-American father and a Caucasian mother.

“They met back when you couldn’t get married in Indianapolis, so they had to go to Chicago. That was the only place that an interracial couple could get married at the time,” she said. “They struggled a great deal in terms of society accepting the marriage, but it made them strong and made their children strong.”

Her dad’s job as an officer in the United States Army forced the entire family to move around a lot during his 22 years spent in the military.

For the family, being interracial wasn’t such a big deal. The most important thing for them was staying together.

Dawn Greenidge, featured“Peer group is always a tough thing. I don’t know if I experienced as much [discrimination] because I don’t think a lot of people knew that I was black. I would say [that] my sister, who’s a little bit darker complected than I am, encountered more racism than I did,” she stated. “Growing up in the military and traveling around made my immediate family very close.”

Greenidge grew up to identify with the African side of her family.

It could be because when she was a young child she was always told by society that if you had one drop of black blood in you that made you black. Also, getting along with her father’s relatives was easy, but when it came to her mother’s family, things got a little rocky.

Her mother was an only child and her father, Greenidge’s grandfather, never accepted her husband.

“I don’t recall ever meeting my grandfather because he didn’t approve of the interracial marriage. He didn’t want to have anything to do with my mother after she married. Her mother accepted us, but her father never did,” she said.

When asked about the most relevant teaching from her parents, she didn’t hesitate:

Honesty was a value that her father always expressed. She considers herself as an honest individual when dealing with both business and personal aspects.

Rewarding career

For Greenidge, the most rewarding aspect of her job as a real estate agent is to see the smile on her client’s faces when they finally buy something.

Her work gave her the flexibility of raising her sons and meeting new people.

“I did that in New York and then when we all moved to Florida, I took it up and I love it. It gives you a chance to meet different people and I enjoy helping them in one of the biggest assets that they will ever have, which is real estate,” she stated.

Moving from New York to St. Pete 11 and a half years ago was exactly like going back to her youth when she was always traveling with her family.

This one was a nice transition.

Now, she says that there’s nothing like waking up in the morning to hear the birds chirping and getting the sunlight through her window.

“I used to enjoy shoveling snow. As you get older [with] more aches and pains, it’s like, no,” she said with intense laughter.

Bits of advice for renters

1. Get your credit right, both private and public

2. Speak to somebody to find out what you need and also get a credit card to have a base for your loan

3. To get benefits for a first-time homebuyer, you need to read and research. Find out about the programs that are all free to buy a home. There are a lot of different incentives out there to take advantage of

4. Start saving money to pay off your small bills. She sold a house to a lady who first started saving her money and paying off bills and credit cards.

5. Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) does a great deal as far as seeking and finding shelter for women of domestic violence.

6. If you’re a landlord, you can get a realtor that will be able to put your property information on the market.

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