The Multiracial Round-up was a big hit when I started it last fall but, alas, life got in the way and it slipped onto the back burner. I’m going to give it another try, with a goal of posting a round-up at the end of each month that shares great posts I’ve come across touching in some way on the intersection of race with parenting and family.
And I’d like to add one more piece. If you have a question about parenting and race – and it can be anything – email me at email@example.com. I’ll ask the question on my Facebook page (anonymously or not, your preference) and share the responses, as well as my own, in next month’s round-up.
Now, grab a cup of coffee and settle in. It’s been a long while and I have LOTS to share!
First, three amazing posts on why the underrepresentation of black people in children’s books matters.
- EVERYBODY Should Read Black Children’s Books by My Brown Baby
My hope is when I pass along a black children’s book or a black doll baby to my daughters’ friends, that they get the same subliminal lessons — that brown children matter. Books like “Ruby and the Booker Boys” speak to our experiences and show both our differences and our commonalities with white culture. Introducing books like these to white children is the most simple, basic way to introduce a child to another race in a positive, thoughtful way. Read Denene’s post.
- Where Are The People of Color in Children’s Books? by Walter Dean Myers for the NY Times
Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books? Where are the future white personnel managers going to get their ideas of people of color? Where are the future white loan officers and future white politicians going to get their knowledge of people of color? Where are black children going to get a sense of who they are and what they can be? Read Walter’s Op-Ed.
- The Apartheid of Children’s Literature by Christopher Myers for the NY Times
The Market, I am told, just doesn’t demand this kind of book, doesn’t want book covers to look this or that way, and so the representative from (insert major bookselling company here) has asked that we have only text on the book cover because white kids won’t buy a book with a black kid on the cover — or so The Market says, despite millions of music albums that are sold in just that way. Read Christopher’s Op-Ed.
Three posts about experiencing (and responding to) hurtful and aggressive comments:
- When it Comes To Fighting Stereotypes, I Want My Children to Dare to be Impolite by Ama Yawson for The Atlantic – I can totally relate to Ama’s struggle to speak up when someone says something offensive and choosing to be polite instead of “courageously leaning into the awkwardness.” I also agree entirely that we need to teach our children to speak up, and that starts with us. Read Ama’s piece.
- 9 Things I Want to Say (But Don’t) To Your Curious But Racially Charged Micro-Aggressions Against Me & My Children by Grace Biskie – Grace’s posts highlights that even when strangers’ comments come from a place of curiosity or well-meaning, they can hurt. Read Grace’s post.
- Three Things I Learned from Teasing: Raising Multiracial Children by De Su Mama – When Vanessa’s little girl came home from school and sadly reported that a classmate had made fun of her “crazy” hair, she turned to her on-line community for support. In this post, she shares the 3 lessons she took away from that experience. Read Vanessa’s post.
My Brown Baby also has two fabulous posts on hair. Actually, the site has a lot of great posts, period, and if you aren’t following them you really should be!
- White Mom, Brown Daughter, Natural Hair: When “Beautiful” Means Different by Stacey Connor (aka Any Mommy) – read here
- For White Mothers Who Don’t Know How to Style Their Black Children’s Hair: I Feel You by Lori L. Tharps – read here
|Image by Cards In Color|
And a great new resource I just learned about: Cards In Color. This company specializes in greeting cards for multiracial families and couples, and their team has a personal stake in doing so – every one of them is either multiracial and/or part of a multiracial family him/herself! I’ll be ordering this card for my stepsister’s wedding next month. I was so excited to find a card that looks a little like her and her fiance!
I’m sure you all have already seen Lupita Nyong’o’s AMAZING speech at the Essence magazine’s Black Beauty in Hollywood Luncheon, but just in case you haven’t, let’s end this round-up on a goose-bump worthy video. I officially love Ms. Nyong. She is nothing short of phenomenal. This speech is eye-opening regarding the power of colorism, which is something parents of kids of color need to be aware of.
Don’t forget – if you have a question about race and parenting or family life, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll share responses from the MM community and myself in the next round-up!