(KNBC) Zoe-Raven Wianecki was raised to reject her Blackness.

Her mom is Italian and her dad is Black. She spent most of her childhood with her mother’s side of the family in St. Louis, Missouri. She attended 15 schools before reaching college in Missouri and California. As a teenager, Wianecki’s Black classmates would often ask, “What are you?”

“I’m Italian,” she’d respond. “That’s what I am. That’s how I was raised.”

Her classmates would say, “How can you say you’re Italian when the whole world views you as Black?”

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