fbpx

An Awkward Daddy/Daughter Discussion About MLK Day

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.


Tags: , , ,

Tiffany says:

Great job, Dad! We have interesting conversations like this in my home as well. My kids are a bit older, 19 and 9. A white husband, 19 year old biracial son, 9 year old black daughter makes for awesome race relations talks!

That’s awesome Tiffany! I’m a little excited/nervous to see what else is ahead.

Aida Yohannes says:

Awesome job dad and daughter! Not in an interracial family but raised my kids to know that love has no color! ❤️

Kim says:

You have such a sweet family. I really enjoy your blog.

Aww, your comment made my day! Thank you so much for reading Kim!

Dani says:

Lol only you! Glad he rolled with it and glad she is such a smartie. Ro is 3 so we haven’t had any talks yet. I figure next year we will start.

Girl it comes on fast. We started talking about discrimination and ended the night skirting around the birds and the bees. WHY are they growing so fast?!?!

Joy Glynn says:

That is very cute and shows she is understanding of the basic principles. Let me tell you something by biracial daughter said about this MLK Day. While I was out of town for work, my husband had been blessed to stay home and deal with all the activities that I usually handle. At dinner last Tuesday, she asked…”since we are mixed, do we celebrate Martin Luther Kings birthday?” Now let me tell you something. I am biracial(American Indian and Black) and my husband is Caucasian or white. At 15, our daughter honestly was curious. What was funny was my husbands response that was quick and without laughter. He said “we only celebrate 1/2 the month…or we could celebrate it every other day. He and our son could not believe she actually asked the question. But when he told me over the phone I laughed because she sometimes asks silly stuff without thinking. She Was serious! Afte I got off the phone laughing, I began to think. We don’t necessarily celebrate his birthday nor do we celebrate anything black or white. Now many people may be upset with me for not “being black enough” or whatever. I will tell you that I was raised to not distinguish someone by their color or race. I was adopted into a black family and we were educated on black history. I also have done some education of black history with my children. I think her question was honestly one she was unsure of how to celebrate his “birthday” vs celebrating Black History. She is a very smart girl that is still quirky and giggly. I hope no one takes offense to mydaughter and her inquisitiveness, although funny at times, meant in all seriousness. Being part of a biracial family, we do not over teach our children, but lovingly we educate them and allow them to form their own opinions using observation and other learning tools. At the time it seemed like a silly question, but she just wasn’t sure what part of the holdiday was to be celebrated or just observed.

Joy Glynn says:

That is very cute and shows she is understanding of the basic principles. I think he handles it well. Let me tell you something by biracial daughter said about this MLK Day. While I was out of town for work, my husband had been blessed to stay home and deal with all the activities that I usually handle. At dinner last Tuesday, she asked…”since we are mixed, do we celebrate Martin Luther Kings birthday?” Now let me tell you something. I am biracial(American Indian and Black) and my husband is Caucasian or white. At 15, our daughter honestly was curious. What was funny was my husbands response that was quick and without laughter. He said “we only celebrate 1/2 the month…or we could celebrate it every other day. He and our son could not believe she actually asked the question. But when he told me over the phone I laughed because she sometimes asks silly stuff without thinking. She Was serious! Afte I got off the phone laughing, I began to think. We don’t necessarily celebrate his birthday nor do we celebrate anything black or white. Now many people may be upset with me for not “being black enough” or whatever. I will tell you that I was raised to not distinguish someone by their color or race. I was adopted into a black family and we were educated on black history. I also have done some education of black history with my children. I think her question was honestly one she was unsure of how to celebrate his “birthday” vs celebrating Black History. She is a very smart girl that is still quirky and giggly. I hope no one takes offense to mydaughter and her inquisitiveness, although funny at times, meant in all seriousness. Being part of a biracial family, we do not over teach our children, but lovingly we educate them and allow them to form their own opinions using observation and other learning tools. At the time it seemed like a silly question, but she just wasn’t sure what part of the holdiday was to be celebrated or just observed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

headshot

I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



follow @jenniferborget on

watch @jenniferborget on