In his book, Black Berry Sweet Juice, author Lawrence Hill describes to as the question as a hobby by the people of Canada. “They like to ask- they absolutely have to ask where you from are if you don’t look convincingly white” (Hill, 2001, para. 1). The author says how the Canadians can’t resist the urge to inquire from where on the map you actually come from and your entire ancestral background.
The persistence at which they ask could seem to actually satisfy a basic need basing on the numerous numbers of times he has been asked in his lifetime. He informs us it is not wrong to ask the question as long as it is within acceptable boundaries.In paragraph thirteen the author brings to our attention that with a kin observation it is mostly people of black ethnicity that are often asked this astounding question. The irony being that black people hardly ever put any other race to this kind of questioning owing to the familiarity of this insulting behavior. Anyone who seems to have a trace of being white with an intonation of Canadian speaking can never be put to task of such questioning.
The author informs us that the insulting part of this line of questioning is the assumption that as long as one doesn’t appear to be white, they are from a different ancestry. This is further backed by the ignorance that just because they are Canadian they indeed have a right to inquire anything about you. Being raised it was common courtesy not to ask certain questions that exceed personal boundaries like personal income, political affiliations, religion or sexual preferences.
This was considered invasive compared to exploring into ones existence based on skin color that seemed to be termed okay. One doesn’t look at oneself according to color; they only realize this by how the community perceives them. The author in paragraph eighteen tells us that he doesn’t mind if his identity is based on skin as it consists of many aspects. That could easily be the basis as to why multiracial people find it insulting, because it implies the existence is only based on the skin color.
Author Lawrence Hill relates the topic of The Question, in the Greater Toronto Area by introducing several people he had a chance to interview on the said topic who resided in southern Ontario (page 177, para. 4).