Black White Man

My mother is black, and my father is white. I walk among you.

Archive for June, 2013

Raising multiracial children

When I became a parent, I had to rethink a lot of my childhood. I had never really considered a lot of the family from their point of view before. As a child, your parents are simply there. It doesn’t occur to you to think of their personal, internal lives.

One of the things I think back on now is how it was for them as interracial parents. Having children who identify as a different race than you do is an odd feeling. I consider myself Black, but my son considers himself White. It’s not a bad thing, or a good thing, for that matter. It’s just a strange thing. And it’s also something that people have emailed me about in relation to this blog.

In some ways there’s a tribalism that we have to overcome. We think of our children as an extension of ourselves. And race is part of how we think of ourselves. So, when our children look or are identified as something different than we are, that causes a bit of a disjoint. They are part of us, but also not part of us. Of course, that’s something we just have to get over. I’m sure it only gets worse when they get older and start pursuing different interests and just generally being their own person. My older son is 7 at the moment, and although he’s a clone of my wife — blond, blue eyed — he takes very much after me in personality.

Anyway, not much by way of answers or direction. Just sharing my feelings. Hope it helps someone out there, somehow.