Highways of My Life

So what are you?

That was a question I often asked friends and fellow students who I couldn’t figure out their racial identity. Racially-mixed children were rare back then. In a classroom full of kids who were Black, White, Latino, or Asian there was always one kid (and it was usually one kid) who was racially ambiguous.

Not so much anymore.

I’ve gone to college with people who biracial and not just African-American/White. One of my closest friends from college is Latina/Native American. Several of our couple friends are interracial couples. It’s actually more common nowadays to find an interracial couple than not.

So this brings us to Yoda bear.

A few weeks ago, I posed a question to my personal Facebook page, asking friends whose child had one Black parent, what would they describe they children as? The responses were interesting. Some said they just put Black. Others said they put Black and the other race/ethnic group. Some say they put ‘Other’ if that was an option. If there was only one option, then they would put the most dominant race/ethnic group.

As I’ve mentioned before, I do plan on raising Yoda as a Black man while still recognizing his Ukraninan roots. It’ll be tricky. Yoda clearly has African-American features and the majority of his relatives are Black. However, I also don’t want him to not acknowledge his Ukraninan heritage just because he looks more like certain relatives or could identify with them more. Ideally, Yoda would be fluent in English and Russian by the time he starts kindergarten. Let’s hope that’s still the plan.

Having a biracial child is interesting. You start to think about things that you never really considered before. Will Yoda’s friends and playmates accept him? Will his playmates’ parents be okay his parents are an interracial couple? How will his patenral grandparents treat him as his skin becomes darker? Would I need to go out and buy special products for his hair?

I guess we have to find out.

I leave this post with a touching photo of Yoda with his daddy. Ugh…his face kills me.

photo (36)



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