When I was at BlogHer last month, I had to perfect
my “elevator pitch” – that two sentence explanation of what my blog is about. I’d
start off with “I write about parenting and family life,” which would garner a
non-reaction, since that did absolutely nothing to set me apart from 50% of the
other 4,000 bloggers at the conference. Part two of my spiel – “And I write about
my experiences in a mixed race family and raising biracial kids to have a
strong, healthy identity” – was what resonated. I couldn’t believe how many
people told me that they are in a multiracial family too, or “My
sister is in an interracial marriage” or “My best friend’s kids are biracial.” And I’d do a silent squeal of delight every time because suddenly
my family wasn’t such an exception. Suddenly
this group called mixed race families was bigger than I realized spinning
around my largely white social circles a home.
thing that happened was that I finally had time to read again and came across some fabulous blog posts touching on the intersection of race and family.
And so, I thought it would be fun to start
bringing you all a little “Multiracial Round-Up” every so often, sharing recent
posts I think are worth the read or other blogs featuring multiracial families.
Here we go, yo…
posts I came across while hanging out at the airport for 2 hours before my flight.
Hands? Guest post by Chad
Goller-Sojourner at Racialicious
things I learned about having white parents was that when it came to dealing
with people in authority, they got listened to. In sixth grade, after still
another racially-charged incident, mom threatened to go to the papers and for
the rest of the year things actually got better. In junior high, the Black
Parents Association enlisted Mom’s help. Suddenly, it got a whole lot harder
for the school administration to write them all off as hysterical,
over-reactive black parents.
I Want You To Know About Being A Young Black Man in America Guest
post by Wesley Hall at Rage Against the Minivan
hurt when my mother would tell me I couldn’t put my hood up or that I couldn’t
stay out as late as my white friends. She told me I was a young black male and
I couldn’t afford these things, and I figured she never knew how much it hurt
for be to know that she did not have faith that I could transcend the many
stereotypes that swirl around me and be seen as an individual.
and some posts of theirs that you may want to check out (although, don’t stop with these!). For
the sake of space, today I’m focusing on fellow POBK (parents of biracial kids)
with African-American kids. I know there are many more great ones out there. All in good time…
amazingly smart and offers insightful, well-read analyses when it comes to
issues of race and culture.
- Blogging to my Ph.D.: We Always Judge FromWhere We Stand. (This
is a dense read at the start, but keep going.) – That’s what was at the heart
of the sagging pants ban to begin with. Sure, sagging your pants is a nonstandard
way to dress, but to criminalize it assumes that it is a substandard
way to dress. Meanwhile, fashion trends that are also nonstandard
but aren’t racialized are not treated the same way.
- Reflections on White Privilege While RaisingA Child of Color, Part 2: I Am Not Trayvon Martin’s Mom – There are, indeed, many hard lessons for white parents in this
story. It brings to light that the world is unfair in ways we may have never
imagined. But the lessons for those raising children of color are even harder.
If children are our hearts beating outside of our bodies, the Zimmerman verdict
demonstrates that they are walking through the crossfire of a barren war
Grace Biskie at Grace Biskie –
Grace’s blog has a strong Christian orientation. Whether or not you share
her religious beliefs, her posts on race are well worth the read. Here are two
great ones, the first of which earned her designation as a BlogHer Voices of the Year honoree). Both posts happen to be guest posts on others’ blogs so be sure to check out Grace’s actual blog too.
- ChurchStories: A Plea to Engage in Racial Reconciliation – But I simply can’t untangle myself
from the racist web into which I was spun. And it’s for these same reasons I
feel terribly sad when I watch whites disengage. To
not know African-American history is to disengage. To attend a large white
church and never ask how the church got there or why it’s staying that way is
to disengage. To never admit, let alone assess, your power and privilege as a
white American is to disengage.
- InMy Brown Mind, In My Light Skin – … the truth is there often bearing down on me, the
overwhelm, the discombobulation the glaring reality: I have given birth to two
white men… That would throw anyone would it not? I hope so. Because really, I’m
just your ordinary biracial, African-American woman married to a white man
trying to navigate my own racial baggage and teach my precious little white(r)
sons how to love themselves and others around them.
Melanie at She’s Write – I met Melanie at
breakfast, when I mentioned to the person next to me that I blog about my
interracial family. “Did you say interracial?! My family is interracial too!”
(Inner squeal.) That night I had the
privilege of hearing Melanie read aloud the first post below, as she was
honored as one of 12 Voices of the Year readers at the conference.
- Talking About Race With My Biracial5-Year-Old – “What if I was on a bus though, would I have to sit with the white
people or the brown people?” “Uhhh,” I admit, I fumbled for words. He’s 5 years
old. I want to protect him from the ugliness of racism. But I don’t want to lie
to him as there’s no stronger weapon against racism and other ignorance than
- Being Brown in the ‘Burbs: No Burnt Crosses,But A Few Cross Looks (on Huffington
Post) – I should have
known by the look in his eyes. The middle-aged white man looked at my chocolate
self, then to my light-skinned baby and back to me. “Excuse me,” he
said walking closer. “But is his father white or Asian?”
Thien-Kim at I’m Not the Nanny – Thien-Kim is
one of the first POBK bloggers I “met,” and she was gracious enough to offer me
my first opportunity to guest post, shortly after I started blogging. I finally
got to meet her face-to-face at BlogHer (hunted her down may be only a slight
exaggeration), after she joined Melanie on stage as a VOTY reader.
- Talking Race With My 3-Year-Old – After returning to DC last
week, out of the blue Jaxson announces, “Mommy, you’re the only Vietnamese
person in this family.” I paused and thought about his observation.
“You know you’re Vietnamese too, right?”
- Choosing Between Vietnamese or African-American Grandparents – One thing I
think about every now and again is who would take care of my kids if I die in
some freak accident. Or worse, both my husband and I died? It seems morbid to
think about our deaths, but it’s a valid concern. My husband and I have talked
about this before. I know it’s a hard decision for everyone who considers it.
For me, it’s also about making sure my kids will be raised with full knowledge
and experience in all of their cultures: my Vietnamese heritage, my husband’s
black history as well as being American.
Martha at Momsoap – I haven’t met Martha in
person yet (someday, Martha!), but she is one of the first POBK bloggers I ever followed. She is always unapologetically honest and has
offered me some great food for thought, both around race and parenting.
- Kids React to Biracial Cheerios Commercial,An Example of White Privilege – But here’s the thing. If you’re
going to teach kids about something, I mean really teach them, you have to
teach the whole thing. You can’t just say, “Everyone’s equal, treat everyone
the same,” without teaching them where that came from.
- One Thing I Can’t Pass On To My Daughter:White Privilege –
While I listened to the people who said
racism still existed, before Annika was born, I never really felt it for
certain until I began to raise a daughter. I daughter who will become a woman
Have you read something great recently? Have a favorite “multiracial family blogger”? Don’t keep ’em all to yourself – share below!