13 March 2011

Eye Opener

Recently I got in touch with a reader. (Thank you for reading!) She is a white momma married to a white man. They have one white child and two black children, and they live in the South. This momma was born and raised in the South too, and she says it's easier to have a transracial family in the South than it would be in the West. What? I was intrigued! "Listen" to this:

"Actually, and this is just my opinion so take it for what it’s worth, I think it’s easier to raise a Transracial family in the South! And I say that because my kids are used to being around kids of all different colors. (Mostly black, but there’s also a large Hispanic population here as well.) Hopefully [my black children] won’t ever feel like the 'token black kid.' We have black friends and my kids have had black teachers, so they’ll have role models of all colors.
"I have a cousin-in-law who lives in [the West] who has 2 black teenage sons. One has never had a problem with being a minority but the other one has really struggled with it. [This son] says he has always noticed when he’s the only brown boy and he has a hard time with it.
"Plus I feel like some people who have only ever lived in all- or mostly-white communities aren’t equipped to raise black children. Okay, so that sounds REALLY judgmental of me, but after reading a lot about Transracial adoption (and reading White Hands Black Baby, which I HIGHLY recommend although take it with a grain of salt—the author is hypersensitive about everything so his views are pretty extreme), I know it’s going to take more than just love to raise our black boys our white world.
"Okay, stepping down. Move back to the south!! It might take your husband some getting used to but like everyone else who moves here, he’ll fall in love."

Wow! I have considered it would be easier for Destiny to be around more children of her race, but the fear of racism was so prevalent in my mind that I could hardly see around it to concentrate on any other factors that might affect her. Parenting is a learning experience and being a "black mother" is no different. I am learning.
I have always realized there are many factors to consider when deciding where to raise my kids, but like I said, I was so worried about racism and someone being mean to my babies that I have never seriously focused on other factors. Something to think about for sure.
I also think that people who were raised in an all-white community are ill equipped at raising a black child, but that does not mean that they cannot learn. I was raised in an all-white neighborhood, but went to school and stores and everywhere else with black people, and I don't even think that I'm well equipped to raise a black child... yet. I am learning.
From the description she gave of "White Hands Black Baby" I think I have read that book two or three years ago, but didn't like it enough to recommend it. I too remember the author being very sensitive about black children being raised by white parents and seem to remember thinking him extreme at times. I never recommended it because I felt there has to be other books that get the same point across but in a less extreme and harsh way. I haven't found one yet though.
Thank you, dear reader, for getting in touch with me and sharing a bit about your life. As for where we'll end up, who knows? There will be good and bad about wherever we live. For now, we're staying put.

P.S. Despite the map I have never considered Texas, Oklahoma, or Florida to be a part of the South. Okay, so maybe they are, but they are not Southern.

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  1. Just like anything else I think that there are benefits and drawbacks no matter where you live. Here in the West the benefit is less overt racism and the drawback is less diversity. While in the south there will be much more diversity, but could be more overt racism too, but we all just have to make the best of where we are right now for our kids.

  2. I totally agree with you. So true!


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