(I’ll get back to using song titles as my blog posts in a short while, but the last few posts were exceptions…)
I’m Black. I have two Black parents. On my father’s side, I had a great-grandmother who was half-White and half-Indian. I know this because I met her at the tender age of five and my first thought was, ‘Who is this white lady?’. Over the years, I’ve had several people, namely American Indians tell me about my heritage due to my high cheekbones (I’ll take their word for it). I’ve never been one of those people who did ‘I’m a little bit of this or a little bit of that.’ I just am.
M, however, is a little bit of this and little bit of that. He’s Ukrainian, Polish, Serbian (I think?), and a few other things. He speaks three languages fluently, semi-conversational in Spanish, and knows a thing or two in German. Yeah. Me and my one language is looking kinda paltry. (Though I am learning Russian!)
Recently, we went to the mixedremixed festival here in L.A. It was so nice to see other interracial families and children. I attended a seminar on how to talk to your mixed-race children about their heritage and identity. One Black mother suggested that when it comes to race, to be head on and honest about it as often as possible.
During a time where racial tensions in the U.S. are at all-time high, and people are being slaughtered just for going to church, I have to admit, it’s pretty scary out there. I even told M. I was afraid of leaving my house because I feared what was going to happen. That’s a scary thought. No one should be afraid to leave their home.
Today, I watched a video and it shared some light on what my son possibly might go through when he gets older. You see, when I was growing up, I had my fair share of prejudice and racially-based questions – ‘I thought you lived in the North End?’ (a predominantly black area of Palm Springs); ‘Why don’t Black people’s hair grow fast?’, ‘I thought all Black people like watermelon.’ ‘Oh, she’s your Aunt? She’s White, though!’ I still get those questions in different forms.
Bear, when he gets older, is going have to deal with other questions. While there are more racially- and ethnically-mixed children nowadays, there will be some people who just won’t get it. I hope my son is patient enough to explain or worst case scenario, just ignore.