Raising kids is a crazy but humbling experience like no other in this world. I have four kids, 2 daughters ages 15 & 11 and 2 boys 9 & 6. I always said I never knew the true definition of love until I gave birth. Even though raising kids is humbling, raising a biracial child is a whole other experience that comes with life lessons I wasn't expecting. When raising any child identity often becomes a number one priority, but for multi-cultural parents race is usually tackled onto identity and I want to be honest, I don’t always feel equipped to handle all the stereotypes people direct towards my kids. The world is quick to put your kids in a box simply because of their race or gender. But I want all of my kids to know they need to be proud of who they are and where they came from. I know I am, and I know that without people like Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Viola Gregg Liuzzo and the thousands of other people who paved the way to end slavery & segregation I would not have the life I have today nor my precious family! And for the people like Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Oprah, Beyonce and Jay-Z who lead today and show my kids they can be anything they want to be, that the color of your skin has no boundaries to your dreams, I thank you all! All of them have installed in me somethings I want my kids and every other child out there to know. So here is my homage to Black History. . .
Since the day my kids were born I have been dealing with people questioning "are those your kids?", "oh, your lucky she has "good" hair", and much, much more. For most people, these types of comments may appear okay, but for mothers of biracial children these comments are a reminder that the world views our kids as "different". I am just keeping it real, but for us "white" moms of biracial kids, the white society in which we were raised is already classifying & judging our kids, putting them into a separate cultural status. I am only speaking from experience. It is awakenly painful to know that even your own family is doing this to your kids. It is a shock to see the way society treats people of different color, culture or beliefs for that matter. And I am ashamed to admit that for people of color, this is nothing new. But as a white mom raising biracial kids my eyes have been widely opened to this painful invisible system of oppression. And I know I am not black so I only know half the battle but, I worry daily for my husband and kids. More so for my boys, when they start to get a little older and just want to be "boys", how the world is going to look at them and treat them. I will have to worry about them wearing certain clothes, being stopped by cops, hanging out late and all because the color of their skin and how the world views them. I know you hear it and see it all the time on the news, but being black and a male in America is a heavy burden to carry. Yes, sadly racism still exist and my kids fall subject to it, and it hurts my heart everyday! I wish this wasn't the case, but trust me it is very true and now being a mom to biracial kids I see and feel it daily! I never realized how cruel and naive people in this world can really be. My prayer everyday is that my kids never have to get a glimpse of how cruel the would can be just because their skin is a little darker. That the world unites and realizes at the end of the day no matter race, gender, sexual preference or religion we are all still "people" and "EVERY" "SINGLE" "PERSON" on this plant matters and deserves respect and a chance to at life!
I am not a product of black and white, but I am a product of mixed cultures and going up I had to face challenges & back lash for hanging out with one race vs the other. I want my kids to know they are free to hang out with whom ever they choose as long as they are a positive influence on their life. The difference between me and my kids is they are raised by a black father with Jamaican roots and a white mother with Cuban and American roots. The blending of our families & cultures has made some gorgeous babies and a crazy family! Not only are my kids a perfect blend of my husband & I in physical looks, but also in culture. At times they may embrace their Hispanic culture, and at other times (most of the time) crave Jamaican food. And that is okay, in fact it is a beautiful thing that makes them each uniquely made.
So, it is my duty to teach my kids how to be fiercely independent, and how to handle questions from strangers that they may or may not want to answer. Here are a few things I hope to instill in my kids. I want my kids to know that race doesn’t define your success, but how you feel about yourself certainly can. I want my kids to see that they can be anything they want to be, despite what the world says they should. That they are so much more than the color of their skin. I want them to know that race is just an adjective that describes one small portion of who they are. That hanging out with one race over another will not make them a sellout. They are free to be who God created them to be…someone who isn’t defined by race. I hope they learn to embrace both sides. And again I say. " thank God for people like Richard Allen, Maya Angelou, Mary Mcleod Bethune and the thousands of other people who paved the way to end slavery & segregation I would not have the life I have today! And for the people like Micheal Jordan, Serena Williams, Mae C. Jemison, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dapper Dan and Russel Simmons who lead today and show my kids they can be anything they want to be, that the color of your skin has no boundaries to your dreams, I thank you all! All of them have installed in me somethings I want my kids and every other child out there to know. So here is my homage to Black History! Stand up and be proud of who you are!
As always, all opinions are my own.