Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? A Parent's Guide to Raising Multiracial Children" by Donna Jackson Nakazama

The topic of racial identity has been on my mind lately. Partly because we are now living in a very white area and I want my kids to not be racist, or think that white is the norm and every other color of skin is abnormal; and partly because my little niece and nephew are biracial being raised in a white family. I've been reading lots of blogs dealing with the issue of racial identity and I just finished reading this book about it--I just picked it out at random from the library catalog but it was good. I just wanted to share a few things:
I'm not going to raise my kids "color-blind;" to teach them that color and race don't matter. In our society, race does make a difference in how people are treated. Don't believe me? Ask someone who's not white or in a interracial marriage if race has made a difference to them. It could be an insightful conversation.
I am going to help my kids process racial differences. At this age, it will be by checking out books from the library about mixed families and books that feature children of more than one race.
I'm not going to stare at multiracial families in the grocery store and try to figure out "what" they are. Or ask them, "What are you?" Apparently this is a big problem--people see families that don't fit into racial categories in their mind and just have to figure them out. Then they ask intrusive questions.
I'm not going to make jokes or broad categorizations about people of other races.
I have more, but my child's awake so I'll cut it short there.


Job and Rachael said...

Good to know that your kids will be taught the importance and beauty of differences between races and ethnicities :) Having married someone of a different ethnicity (and imagining how beautiful, and probably unlike me our little kids will look ;) I appreciate intelligent and well rounded people who teach their children to be the same. Kudos cuz.

The Mom! said...

Oh my gosh good for you! I hope you don't mind if I comment on your blog(s)?? But whenyou write of such things I must!!!! When I was in the 5th grade my best friend was black, her name was Annette - her birthday was in March I wanted to take her a card and a gift. I remember my mom having aconversation with me trying to explain that we wouldn't fit in where she lived and people would ask questions about why we were there. I didn't understand I just wanted to go. She agreed to take me. I can picture still all this long time later very vividly the people coming out of there houses and staring at us drive up one street and down another looking for her house. And then the family standing on the front yard like guarding the house from us as I got out to give her the gift. I wasn't invited in no conversation took place. I gave her the gift she said thank you it was awkward I got back in the car and we drove away. I have never understood why we are seen differently because of color. Just another way we should not judge a book or people by their covers! It's whats inside that counts.

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