Race Talk

>> Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I registered Jazlyn for school the other day. I almost cried. I didn't think it would be this hard sending her to school. If I could stop time I would, but I can't. So forward we must go.

Just in case you aren't familiar with us, if you look at our pictures I'm sure you will notice the difference in the color of skin among our family members. My husband is (let me use PC terms here) African-American and I am Caucasian. As far as I know, nobody has ever made a big deal about this to Jazlyn. I don't want to make a big deal about it either, but I do think we need to have a talk with her so she has an understanding of things, just in case someone at her school does make a big deal about it.

We live in Alabama. When I was in school, people made a very big deal about any kid whose parents weren't both of the same race. There were maybe a handful of these kids during my school days, and I went to a large school. I know things are not the same as they were ten to fifteen years ago, but there might still be some ignorant parents out there raising ignorant kids. In Jazlyn's dance class of about fifteen kids there are four other biracial children, so I don't think I have to worry about her feeling out of place. I still want her to be prepared and have and understanding of who she is, just in case someone does say something to her. Although I don't think she will ever have a problem with her confidence or self-esteem.

I would love to hear any comments or experiences anyone might have regarding this, good or bad.


Becky March 16, 2010 at 9:25 AM  

Although I don't have experience with this because as you know both Edd and I are white, I would just explain to her that every family looks different and let her know that some families have same race parents, some families have different race parents, some families have one mom, one dad, 2 moms, 2 dads,etc.

Melissa March 16, 2010 at 9:52 AM  

Becky - Yeah that is what we want to do....make her aware without making a big deal about it.

Gucci Mama March 16, 2010 at 10:20 AM  

I'm registering my oldest for preschool soon so I sympathize with you there! I can't believe it's this tough!

I hope it all goes well for you; I don't have any sage words of wisdom here because I have no experience with the issues you may be facing. Hopefully, though, she won't run into any stinkiness over her skin color. Hard to believe that crap still goes on in this day and age, but I know it does. Good luck!

Momof3inVA March 16, 2010 at 11:48 AM  

As a mother of 3 biracial children (even though one of them looks whiter than I do), I know what you are worried about...being that my oldest is 10, I can honestly say that I have never been made to feel any different by society...at first, it was my own more-distant family I worried about...but, they came around and lover my children just the same.

I don't know about the culture in Alabama, but here in VA, it is very mixed and very open and diverse.

Ronna March 16, 2010 at 12:31 PM  

I had experiences being the only white girl in my class (in D.C.) then moving to western (aka rural) MD and being the only dark skinned girl in the whole school (my parents are Greek & American Indian) so I have dealt with both ends of the spectrum. I agree with the low-key preparation approach. She has a great foundation so she will do well. Even kids who see color at first will eventually find a pretty, sweet, smart girl. I went from being a pariah in school at first to having wonderful experiences. With God's favor on you, life is good!!

Lula Lola March 17, 2010 at 5:25 PM  

It's so scary not to be able to protect your kids from anyone that would hurt them. I'm sure everyone will fall in love with her. She is lovely! I hope it all goes well!

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