Posts Tagged ‘multiracial family’

One of the books we read a few months ago as a part of our 365 books challenge was Grace for President. A book about a little girl who is distraught at the fact that there have been no female presidents and she decides to run for president of her elementary school class. We read it on election day last year, but it was the first time we’d picked it up since.

Black History Month books for kids

In the story the teacher opens up a poster displaying all of the presidents.

“ALL of the presidents?” My daughter asked me determined for a clarification. “Even Trump?” She emphasized his name with a hint of disgust.

My husband gave me a disapproving look.

“President Trump isn’t on the poster in this story because he wasn’t president yet when it was made,” I explained.

“Ok good,” she said.

“Why is that good?” I ask. “Why are you acting like you don’t like him?” I mean, I have my reasons but surely my then 6-year-old wasn’t as up to speed as I was.

“Because he wants to build a wall to keep people out,” she replied. “That’s not nice. Plus people could just fly over it in an airplane!”

Her answer was so simple, yet political issues can be so complex.

I haven’t hidden my feelings about our new president. During the election cycle I was careful not to have too much of the news on, never knowing if his words or tone would be appropriate for my children.

Leading up to the election my daughter and I read books about blacks and women finally gaining the right to vote. My daughter stood with me in the ballot box as we prepared to make history. It didn’t go as we imagined.

election day 2016 ivoted with daughter

My disappointment was no secret November 8th. And now here we are in the middle of what I feel will be a very telling time in history. The thing is, history never looks like history when you’re living it.

“Well, what are some things you’d do as president if you were elected?”

This got her wheels spinning and turned the discussion into an educational one.

Our history

As we read about different presidents like Abraham Lincoln who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Roosevelt who helped pull the nation through the depression, established dozens of national parks, and gave us gems like “Comparison is the thief of joy,” it’s hard not to feel a little discouraged. Like we’ve gone backwards.

During President Obama’s presidency our country not only witnessed our first black president, which was historic, but our nation repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, established laws allowing those who love differently to get married, and helped bring us out of a recession. What will this era be known for? The president who tweets daily about news organizations he doesn’t like, throws fits and calls people he doesn’t agree with names? The president who doesn’t know who Frederick Douglass is?–Which by the way, after that press conference, without any context, I asked my then 6-year-old if she knew who Frederick Douglass was and this is her exact quote:

“Frederick Douglass was a slave for 20 years and he escaped and he became friends with Abraham Lincoln. A war was going on and there were teams of people who thought brown people should be slaves or should be free, and Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were on the team of people who thought slaves should be free.”

I was impressed but not surprised because history is one of her favorite subjects. In our homeschool curriculum we read it nearly every day. Then for fun we read more about history. My daughter has a wild imagination so she’s constantly asking for clarification on what’s fiction and non-fiction, historical fiction or myth. I don’t blame her for asking. Some of the things in our nation’s history can be hard to believe.

Confronting racist friends and learning to be the change.

On MLK Day my grandmother told us how she was a teenager when she plotted to go down to D.C. for the march and speech at the Lincoln Memorial. “But my dad wouldn’t let me,” she told us.

I’m frequently asking my relatives what it was like, where they were, and what they thought about issues and events we only read about in history books. What was it like during the Civil Rights Era? What did you think of everything going on? Where were you when things were going down?

In 50 years, my grandkids may ask me the same questions.

What was it like during Trump’s presidency? What did you think of everything going on? Where were you when things were going down? What did you DO?

We have an extreme advantage today my friends. Not everyone will agree with me, but I’m an optimist so I’m going to go out on a limb here and say we have more allies, less hatred and hey… the internet! We have an advantage our grandparents didn’t have. What are we going to do with it?

Growing up I felt like I always had to tiptoe around racism. Part of it was my personality, not wanting to offend my classmates, or people at church (though obviously they weren’t as worried about offending me). Another part of it was fear. Saying the wrong thing to the right person could mean trouble.

Now, I’m not as worried about offending people, certainly not the ones who aren’t worried about my feelings. And I’m not worried about someone physically hurting me for boldly stating my opinions.

I don’t have the answers for what will cure the world of hatred, or at least bring our nation together in our lifetime. But I do have a theory on what could help. And with that, a suggestion for everyone.

Be the change

Never pass an opportunity to correct an act of racism. Don’t allow it in your presence, don’t condone it, don’t support it or be around people who do. And correct every single instance you hear it. Be a walking censor for racism. Yell BEEP, blow a horn, scratch a record, sound the alarm, nip that ish in the bud. And just to clarify, if you’re asking yourself if a conversation you’re hearing is racist, it probably is. So call. It. Out.

Confronting racist friends and learning to be the change.

I know it’s hard to know what’s ok, not ok, or socially acceptable now that we have a president who skews all sorts of offensive remarks about different groups of people. But whether you voted for him or not, we can be better than that.

Years ago, I was alone in the editing booth with a fellow reporter, who happened to be white. I was lamenting about being ripped off with something. I said I was gypped.

“That’s racist,” she told me.

“What?” I asked.

“It is a word stemming from gypsies, who are stereotyped as being thieves.”

I backpedaled, tiptoed, and danced around my use of the word because I was feeling some kind of way about this blond chick who I may or may not have thought was racist herself, schooling me on racism.

Ok. I eventually resolved. I didn’t know. But now I did. And I have never ever used that word since.

“Now that I know better, I do better.” – Maya Angelou

She could have laughed at my story, or easily let my slip slide. But she chose to put me in my place. And honestly, I’m glad she did.

This particular woman was always extremely blunt. Not a strong suit of mine, nor a characteristic I have ever really grown to appreciate (though I do admire). But she didn’t pass this opportunity to correct an act of racism. My act.

Have you passed an opportunity? Who am I kidding, we all have. But let’s do better.

There are countless ways to do this. My personal least favorite is public shaming. That’s just not my style, and I don’t believe it’s the most productive. We all hope it’ll make the person retreat to their home, lick their wounds and come to their senses, but that may not be for a long time, maybe even a lifetime. Their wounded pride will close off doors, conversations and progression.

I felt embarrassed when the woman called me out even though it was just the two of us alone in a small room. Had that been in front of other colleagues I likely would have more feelings of animosity than admiration right now.  But hey, you know your crowd better than I do. And sometimes public arguments on a Facebook timeline result in others looking further into an issue. I guess what I’m saying is if you go this route just proceed with caution and be honest with yourself and brutally aware if it’s doing more damage than good.

That isn’t to say that you don’t call it out in front of other people, just be aware of the way you do it. If you’re at lunch with friends and you hear something you think is racist you don’t have to wait until later to pull that person aside and talk about it. The last thing you want is everyone at that table letting it go and walking away without doing a dang thing. A corrective statement could start like “Well actually…” “Did you know that…” or “I didn’t realize this at first but…”. Or keep something simple locked away like “Let’s not generalize.”

People don’t talk about negatively about blacks around me. But I’ll hear smack said about Hispanics. And if they’re talking about Hispanics around me, I imagine around their white friends everything is free game. Don’t let it be free game around you.

Look, NO ONE wants to be called a racist. And I’d say at least half of the country thinks the term is thrown around too casually and/or doesn’t understand that racism has many layers from subtle and overt to the blatant everyone sees as racism. I think that’s part of the reason we’re so scared to confront our friends about it. It’s why we let a joke or comment slide when we could instead insist on change.

Again, I’m an optimist. I have hope that even the most racist people could be reformed with the right conversations and intense therapy. But it’s never going to happen if we allow these things to be said in our presence. So be brave. Plant the seed of change.

Every time we let an act of racism go by, we’re passing up an opportunity to make a little impact on history. Leave the world a better place. Be the person you want your grandchildren to be proud of. So when they ask you what YOU were doing 50 years ago you can boldly state that you never ever allowed that. That you listened to minorities, then spoke up, and fought against racism every chance you had.

Pass it on.

 

 

 

 

Our little family is sprightly, loves adventure and is sometimes obnoxious. But we are a family. Legally. And a little more than 50 years ago that would not have been the case.

In 2017 it’s hard to imagine our family being seen as anything but normal. But less than 50 years ago, our marriage would have been illegal in 16 states. Not just frowned upon, not just shunned… ILLEGAL.

Loving Day- A Day to celebrate interracial couples.

You didn’t realize you’d be getting a little history lesson today did you?

Chances are you may have heard of Richard and Mildred Loving–Especially since last year a movie titled Lovings hit theaters, bringing more attention to their important story.

My husband and I finally sat down to watch it last night. We’re both very familiar with their story but with Loving Day upon us, we made it a point to finally watch this movie about them.

It was hard not to cry at some parts. And shout “holy cow!” more than once. And throughout the movie we both baffled at how all of this happened a mere decades ago.

Richard and Mildred Loving

Richard and Mildred Loving: elebrating Loving Day

Short story about the Lovings… An interracial couple, white man and black woman, who fell in love and were going ot have a baby. In June of 1958, they left their home state of Virginia and got married in Washington D.C… Well, that wasn’t good enough for Virginia. Police raided the couple’s home at night when they were sleeping and the couple was charged for leaving the state to get an interracial marriage then returning to Virginia.

The trial judge wrote: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

Years later, after being frustrated about not being allowed to travel to visit their families together in Virginia, they began to protest the law.
In 1967 the United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia struck down all anti-miscegenation laws citing “There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause.”

Now, June 12th is known as Loving Day, the largest multiracial celebration in the U.S. And this is the 50th anniversary.

Loving Day

Every year, since I learned about this holiday about seven or so years I’ve taken some time to stop and reflect on my gratitude for the Lovings, and how far our country has come. I can’t imagine not being with my husband because of some misguided law, and people who thought us loving each other was wrong.

I make a point to talk about this special day with my kids each year. My daughter loves the children’s book The Case for Loving. We read it together every few months, but always on this day. She has a hard time understanding how people could have thought there was anything wrong with families that look like ours. But it’s a great conversation-starter for how some people thought (or think), and how people can change.

I try to explain how decades ago, people were afraid of people who are different than them. And how dangerous that fear can be.

Fear holds us back. Hatred, misunderstanding, and lack of empathy pushing those who love each other away from one another, instead of spending more time just loving one another.

Richard and Mildred Loving: elebrating Loving Day

Each year we make sure to take some time to talk about the past, the present, and the future. Specifically with families like ours, and other people striving to be families.

You don’t need to be in an interracial marriage to celebrate this holiday. It’s something we all can appreciate and share with our families. Looking at how far we’ve come as a people, and how we can continue to do better. I want my kids to lead with love, not hate or fear. I hope we can spread that message together.

I’m thankful for the Lovings, as well as the people who backed them up, supported them, and continue to support what they stood for.

I hope you’ll take some time to read a little more about Mildred and Richard Loving and maybe even share the story with your families. You can learn more here and find out about celebrations going on near you.

Our interracial family celebrating loving day

Happy Loving Day 2017 my friends!

Loving Day- A Day to celebrate interracial couples.

Every once in awhile I’ll have a generally well-meaning person tell me they don’t even notice I’m black. “I’m color blind,” they say. I personally believe this statement is coming from one of two places. Either one where they’re trying to defend themselves from the appearance of being racist. Or (more commonly) in an attempt to say that they don’t care what someone looks like.

I smile, because I know it’s intended to be a kind statement, but in my mind I’m debating opening up a dialogue.

why you shouldn't strive to be colorblind

I want to say: YES, you do notice (at least I hope so), and that’s okay!

I love one of the infamous lines from Dr. martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream Speech:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

I think one of the keywords in this statement is “judged.” Dr. King didn’t say he dreams of a nation where his four little children won’t be seen by the color of their skin. There’s a big difference.

It’s natural to notice if someone has red hair, is extremely tall, or has lots of freckles. Just as one might notice those attributes, it’s natural to notice someone’s race.

We all have unique characteristics that make us who we are and it’s wonderful. No two people are EXACTLY alike. We are as God intended us to be. You don’t need to feel like you should avoid noticing who I am, or the fact that I’m black. I’m black. It’s a fact. It’s part of what makes me who I am. Not the whole part, but a significant part. To do that would be to ignore a part of my heritage and where I come from.

I remember when I lived in southern Utah once a young child not-so-quietly pointed at me and asked her mom what was going on with my skin. The embarrassed mom whisked her child away as she changed the subject.

There’s this idea that it’s wrong if our children notice skin color. A notion that we should raise our children to not even see color.–To be colorblind. I think we should do the opposite.

I’m not saying to walk outside and have your child point out every person they see and call out skin tones. But have an open dialogue and embrace diversity. It exists. We’re all different and there is beauty in that.

When your child starts to notice race (and they will, not in terms we use like “African American” “Caucasian” etc. but literal skin colors) don’t shy away from it.

“Yes, you’re right, she does look a little like Doc. McStuffins, what did you notice they have in common?” Your child may say because the little girl has pigtails like Doc, or because they share the same skin color.

“Yes, her skin color is darker, like chocolate! Isn’t it pretty?”

When your biracial daughter says she wishes she was white: How to stay calm and work through the situation.

Lil’ J and I bought a beautiful new book earlier this week called The Colors of Us. The book takes a little girl on a walk through the town with her artist mother and describes different shades of brown skin; from toffee to creamy peanut butter to butterscotch to dark chocolate cupcakes. I loved Lil’ J’s reaction as she saw all the different shades and commented on each of their beauty (and deliciousness). She’s also a huge art fan, so seeing the colors mix up in different combinations was fun for her.

I think open dialogues, diverse toys and books like this that openly describe diversity (bonus points for being it in a cute way) are less-intimidating for parents, and entertaining for kids. And if you’re in a less-diverse area like southern Utah and you’ve prepped your kids with diverse books, they may be less surprised when they see their first black person in real life.

While I hope that my race isn’t the only thing you notice about me (or my family), I want you to know that it’s OK to notice. It’s who we are, and we’re proud of it!

*This post contains affiliate links.

“I like that picture of me as a baby mom, my skin was nice and white,” my daughter told me last week.

“What?” I asked her. Thinking I heard right, but hoping I didn’t.

“My skin was white, I wish I could go back to that,” she clarified.

“Your skin is beautiful the way it is, you don’t need to be different,” I said.

“But I do! And I wish my hair was straight!”

“Why?”

“Because then when I go swimming it would be silky smooth when I come out of the water,” she  told me.

Ok, well, that kind of made sense. We have some serious detangling sessions after swimming in the pool. But I told her that happens to everyone, whether your hair is curly or straight.

When your biracial daughter says she wishes she was white

“Your curly hair and skin are both beautiful,” I told her. “You’re brown like mommy and white like daddy, we made you the way you are.”

“You MADE ME?” She asked. Oops. This conversation was quickly taking a sharp turn toward another chat I wasn’t ready for.

“I mean, you’re just how you’re suppose to be, and we love the way you are.”

“But I want to be graceful, like Elsa. …What is ‘graceful’ anyway?”

I took this opportunity to try to turn things around.

“It’s when you’re elegant, calm, and gentle.”

“So basically the opposite of my brother?” She asked.

“Right… You ARE graceful.”

Her face lit up and she squealed with glee.

“Ok, I love my skin and hair!”

I knew the conversation was over for now, but not for good.

I distinctly remember in kindergarten was when I started to “wake up” to what other girls saw as pretty. And it wasn’t me. Some even went as far to call my skin ugly. To my knowledge this hasn’t happened to my daughter yet.

It’s left me wondering how I’ll react when she brings it up again, because I think she probably will at some point. I think it’s normal–not preferred of course–but somewhat expected given the society we live in.

I wonder, do little white girls ever tell their parents they wish they were brown? Do 5-year-old girls with straight hair ever wish for a head full of curls? Or has society’s showcase of beauty made that a non-issue?

When you go to school, turn on the TV, or watch Disney princess movies where very few look like you, it can alter your sense of what’s beautiful.

Biracial Disney Princess Series: My Little Princess- A cute and creative mother-daughter photo series featuring a biracial girl dressed up as Disney Princesses.

Ok yea, sure, there’s princess Tiana, and I love the movie, but I’ll be the first to admit how disappointed I was that she was a frog for 90% of the movie. I wanted my daughter and other little girls to fall in love with a dark-skinned princess singing and dancing in her gown throughout the movie, like little girls could during all of the other movies.

Nevertheless, she knows she can embody any princess she wants to be. I’ve made it a point to make sure the books on our shelves are filled with beautiful brown boys and girls who look like me, and my children.

When your biracial daughter says she wishes she was white: How to stay calm and work through the situation.

Now I’m becoming more aware of opportunities to point out people who challenge the norm. Black ballerinas, cheerleaders, actors and figure skaters. Though I’ve always told her she can be anything she wants to be, I think it’s important for me to show her people who are doing the things she loves and aspires to do. People she can see as beautiful and talented who also look like her.

Monica Kaufman, Atlanta’s top anchor for decades, and Oprah both played a huge part in my aspiring to be a news anchor. They were beautiful, talented, doing amazing things, and they looked like me. Somehow seeing them made that dream seem more realistic.

I know to some people it doesn’t seem like that should be important, but I’d argue otherwise. Just like we want our daughters to see women doctors, leaders, and other women doing wonderful things, and being role models; I’m wanting to see more of that for women of color.

My daughter and I have had similar conversations before, and I can tell the way she self-identifies is evolving. I’m trying to be careful not to overreact because the mind of a child works much differently than the mind of an adult. I just want to do my part in making sure she grows up to be proud of who she is, inside and out.

When it comes to teaching our kids Civil Rights history, I’ve seemed to have done most of it so far. So I was amused when I overheard a conversation about MLK Day between my white husband and our biracial daughter.

He says: You need to start getting ready for bed, you have school tomorrow.
She says: No I don’t! It’s Martin Looser King Day!
He says: It’s what?
She says: [hesitating to get it right] Martin Luther King Day!
He says: Who was what?
She says: Martin Luther King Jr.
He says: No, I mean what did he do.
She says: He helped make the world a better place. He helped everyone to get a long, and to be more fair.
He says: Oh yea?
She says: Yea, because there were signs that said only brown people.–No, I mean only white people could go in. So we couldn’t go in. Only YOU.
He says [after peering an impressive smirk my direction]: Yea, and that wasn’t fair was it?
She says: NO

White daddy, biracial daughter MLK Day discission

I think my husband handled the sudden jab well, considering. To be honest I didn’t even really know that she put it all together as well as she had. We talked a lot about Martin Luther King Jr Day last year, and continued to read some books about him (we like this one) now and then through the year, but I’m so impressed that she still remembers, and even asked about eating “Peace Pie” again–A tradition we started last year decorating an apple pie and an excuse to eat dessert.

I think it’s important we talk about these topics at an age-appropriate level to help our kids know what our country has been through, how people have–and continue– to change, hopefully for the better.

Today we will definitely be reading more stories, having more discussions, and sharing our thoughts on the holiday. We may even work on a craft like we did last year. But most of all we’re enjoying extra time together off of work and out of school, and grateful for the people who worked so hard so that our family can even exist as we do today.

Growing up, if I didn’t want to witness or experience racism, I knew which groups to avoid.

You laugh, but it was pretty obvious. People weren’t afraid to be called racists, it seemed more like a badge they wore with pride. I kept my distance from the boys who wore confederate flags, and the girls who clung to them.

My parents didn’t give me a handbook on dealing with racism. I don’t even remember having conversations with them on the topic. But even for me, unarmed with wisdom from my parents, it was just something I’d figure out as a black kid in Georgia.

This, and my painfully optimistic personality made me incredibly naive. In the third grade at lunch one of my classmates gravely told me they overheard another peer call me “the N word.”

“What ‘N’ word?” I asked my white friend, without a clue what she was talking about.
“I don’t want to say it,” she whispered.
“No really, just tell me!” My curiosity was peaked, but she insisted on not uttering the word herself.
“Is it nut?” I asked her. She shook her head.

Eventually I gave up and shrugged it off. It must have been something made up or not that bad if it started with an “N.” The worst words I’d heard of didn’t begin that way.

I never figured out what word she was referring to. Not for years.

I segregated myself to groups based on interests, not culture or race. I liked broadcasting, video production, student council, and cheerleading. My passion, along with church were my sanctuaries.

I knew when people didn’t like me based on my skin color. Well, at least the most obvious. But then there were others who weren’t so obvious. I felt confused when people would tell me “You’re different than other black people” as if it were a compliment. I’m just myself, and what does that even mean? Were black people suppose to all act the same while other groups are free to act as they please, not forced to march to the beat of a stereotype? My eyes slowly began to open.

Somehow, I made it to adulthood for the most part, unscathed. But I’m no fool. I know I’m just one of the lucky ones. I’d be lying if I said my blissful naiveness had nothing to do with that.

But now there’s no hiding, unless you just want to stick your head in the sand. And even then, below the grindy dirt, it will still find you.

I wish I could go back to only knowing a racist when they were physically right in front of me. It sounds silly, but in many ways, I think it was easier then.

Back then the racism I experiences was blatant, and obvious. Now it’s a helpless mix of ignorance, immaturity, and misunderstanding, all thrown in our faces everywhere we turn–Because of the screen that’s in front of us.

Want to see what hateful things people are saying about black people? A quick Twitter search and you’ll find it. Want to see a group of bigots congregating in one place? Read some YouTube comments. Want to know which of your friends just don’t get it or have racist mindsets? Check your news feed after an address from President Obama. Or notice how people react after mass shootings versus mass black churches burning down.

Whether I want to or not, I’m automatically sizing up my friends (and many many acquaintances) based on reactions to news events. And it’s not fair. It’s not. It’s causing what I’m calling Negative Information Overload. And it’s hurting me more than them.

If my daughter’s teacher hates a certain group of people I’d want to know. But if the guy I once took physics with finally shows the world his true colors? I don’t need that in my life.

Growing up the racism I witnessed was personally spat in my direction, or at someone who was dear and close to me. Someone so close they’d share such a horrible experience when we were together. I’d uplift her, and we’d get to the bottom of it hand in hand.

We had a filter of how much negativity we’d experience at any given time based on real life.–Your circle of friends and the community you lived in.

Now, it feels as though the pain of the world is raining down my newsfeed. I want to lift burdens, make a difference, but I don’t know if I’m strong enough to do that without breaking down from all the weight.

Are things getting better? It’s hard to tell. Before so much went unnoticed or swept under the rug. Now we have a giant magnifying glass on our side. … Or is it?

The poison is around every corner and inescapable.

Racism won’t be cured overnight, but it’s going to take a lot of work to eradicate the problem. Love is the answer. It’s simple. But it’s not easy.

If everyone tried to see one another as the brothers and sisters we are, try to see each other as God sees us… Man, the world would look so much better.

I don’t want my children to grow up blissfully naive like I did. I want them to be aware of reality. And to work with me bit by bit to make it brighter. But I don’t want the painful reality of many, to overshadow what’s good. And there is so much good. It’s a delicate balance, but I’m up for the challenge.

Over the weekend I overheard my daughter talking to my youngest sister about sunscreen. (Remember she’s obsessed with the stuff?) And how even though we have brown skin, we can still burn, it just takes longer.

I tuned out their conversation for a moment while I got our pool items packed in the car.

I didn’t hear exactly what my sister was saying next, but I overheard her say “you’re just your color because you’re a little kid, but when you grow up, you’ll be darker like me.”

I didn’t have the heart to explain otherwise.

My daughter countered with her own conclusions for her lighter skin: “No no. I’m kind of pinkish like my dad, and brown like my mom, and like you! I’m like–”

“Yea yea yea,” my sister cut her off.

I called them to get into the car then told Lil’ J she was right. She’s like her mommy and daddy.

“Yea, I’m like everybody,” she said.

how-my-biracial-daughtr-identifies

This wasn’t the first time I had heard my biracial daughter say something like this. Actually, just a week or two before she came into the kitchen and professed the same thing while my husband and I had a discussion at the table.

“Mommy, I’m a little pink like daddy,” while pointing to the palms of her hands, and parts of her forearm. “And brown like you!”

She beamed with pride.

“That’s right,” I told her. “And your friends?”

“Well…” She recounted each of her friends in their various shades and said they each were like her. “So I’m like everyone.”

“Kinda like a chameleon?” I said.”

“YEA!” She answered. Excited by her realization.

“Is mommy like everyone too?” I asked.

“No,” she answered point blank. “You’re just brown, and daddy’s just pink.”

like-sisters

“But we’re all the same in other ways,” I reminded her.

In our usual fashion I related the discussion to a Disney movie… Tarzan and the conversation he had with his gorilla mom about them being the same on the inside. … But even more so human to human.

I love the way she sees herself as not only a little bit of her daddy and I, but a little bit like everyone else. I hope that is a sign of the compassion and empathy she holds for others.

I hope that it doesn’t come to this but if/when there will be days she’s called too light or too dark, I want her to remember who she is. A little girl who is part mommy, part daddy, and a little bit lilt everyone else. All while being completely authentic and uniquely herself.

How does your child see him/herself?

~Lil’ J is 4 years 11 months old.

Hi, I know I’ve been keeping this on the DL for the nearly 7-years I’ve had my blog but I think it’s time to just put it out there in the open… I have a multiracial family.

SURPRISE!

Some of you perceptive readers may have gathered this before today. I mean, sometimes I post pictures of this hot white guy who happens to be my husband, and as you can tell from my bio pic and whatnot, I’m black *gasp*.

Biracial Family- Multiracial Family Interracial Family - Baby Making Machine Blog

Yes, my husband and I are in an interracial marriage and we have two adorable biracial kids (who are adorable because they are adorable, not because they are biracial).

I don’t bring it up (it being the fact that we’re a multiracial family) much. Or make this blog about all that, or shout it from the rooftops. Not because I’m embarrassed or anything, just because… Well, I think I forget sometimes. I mean, I don’t REALLY forget. Occasionally I’m reminded when the Facebook status updates and crazy headlines try to pit blacks against whites or make it seem like we’re in the middle of some kind of Civil War. Don’t get me wrong… Things aren’t perfect. Racism is still very much alive and well. We face it from time to time but by golly… I try to find the rainbows.

Multiracial Family Interracial Family - Baby Making Machine Blog

There are plenty of blogs and websites dedicated to discussing the social injustices, and heartache in our society and I’m grateful for so many of them. So grateful because so many things they write are words I either can’t find the strength to say, or simply can’t say with the power and beautiful fury they can. They are words that help inspire the change that still needs to come. The change I hope to see for my children.

However, here, in my space. I choose to just be. To just be us. To share our experiences as they are, even if most of the time it’s just as ordinary and boring as any other family.

Multiracial Family Interracial Family - Baby Making Machine Blog

So… Imagine my surprise and delight when Alex Barnett, comedian and host of the Multiracial Family Podcast asked me to be a guest. Actually, it wasn’t just out of the blue. It’s a funny story how he found me that started with him swiping a photo of us and posting it on his page (without him knowing we were a “real family” (apparently we are picture-perfect)) but you can listen to it and hear the whole “how we met” (for both Alex and I and my husband and I).

I also delve into a few more things which I’d like to clarify for those people who are A. Visiting after listening to the podcast or B. Mormon, and wondering what the heck I was going on about. or C. Generally super confused after listening to my rambling.

Multiracial Family Interracial Family - Baby Making Machine Blog

1. Although I’m a journalist, I’m used to being the one asking the questions. It was pretty awkward being on the other end of the spectrum. Especially on the topic of being in a multiracial family because like I said, we’re just people. I don’t necessarily feel any different than any other family because it’s all we know. Trust me, there are times that I’m outraged and upset about something that’s happened, but it’s not very often, so it’s hard for me to recall those terrible instances that I usually try to block from my memory, or turn into something silly.

I mentioned a time someone called my daughter a mutt, and a when someone accused me of cheating on instagram. Silly stuff you know? Here on my blog I also have shared some of my daughter’s comments about how she identifies, and other stories that have to do with being in an interracial marriage and having a multiracial family, but it’s not the main focus here right now.

Multiracial Family Interracial Family - Baby Making Machine Blog

2. As far as being black and Mormon. It was my fault for totally not expecting that, especially talking to a comedian, and bringing up the fact that I went to BYU. I love the Lord and I love my church. Nobody’s perfect, and even inspired leaders can mess up. Though I totally fumbled around the topic of blacks not having the priesthood prior to 1978 there’s a great essay released by the church on the topic that I love to reference for those who have questions about the murky history.

3. There are totally more than 30 black people at BYU. I knew AT LEAST that many personally but there were hundreds. Alex had me laughing at the idea of there only being 11 of us, and I probably should have clarified that it wasn’t that bad. BYU seriously rocked! Of course not everyone has as great of an experience as I did, but I can speak for myself. I really hope our kids decide to go there some day.

4. I hint to this multiple times in the podcast but if you couldn’t gauge after listening to it, I’m an extremely positive person. Even when I do encounter negativity whether it be race related or not, I try my best to rectify the situation if I can (either by addressing the person directly if face to face, or deleting a rude comment) or choose to let it go. I pick my battles, and I don’t like to fight.

Multiracial Family Interracial Family - Baby Making Machine Blog

In a perfect world our family would really be seen no differently than any other family, and hopefully some day that will be the case. Until then, I’m going to keep sharing our lives that are mostly just as typical as yours, and sprinkle in some of the uniqueness of our multiracial family attributes when they come up.

I mean… I might as well now that that cat is out of the bag.

Any questions?

All the cute photos in this post were taken by Jordan Huntington Photography and Kristen Jansen Photography

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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