If you would have asked me 20 years ago what I envisioned my child would look like I would probably think…yeah he will look like me. You know the same amber brown skin, dark eyes and negro hair :).
Now at almost 30 with a 9 month old I love more than life itself I find myself walking in a restaurant watching the eyes and my subconscious thinks…They think he isn’t yours!
I once had someone look at Jude’s picture, then back at me, then back at Jude and ask “Who is the baby.”
Or even while holding him people asking me if he is mine….
I want to shout to the world “He is all Mine! He sprung forth from my womb and I still have the baby fat to prove it” lol
So I find myself thinking what does it mean to have a child who doesn’t share my sun kissed hue? How do I raise him to be proud of everything he is, proud to be a man of color, and know that in our so called post racial world he is a Black Man and he has to know and understand what comes along with it.
So here’s the run down on my son’s racial and cultural milieu: I am black, I have black mom, I have a black dad, but of course like any other family we have a lineage that comes from Africa, Scotland, England, Native American, Asian and the West Indies. All my bothers and sisters have “light eyes” (except for me that that is for another blog), I am often told that I am mixed because of my long thick hair, I have been asked countless times if I am part Asian, a comment that I just cannot wrap my head around. (Did I mention I’m Black… Like…just regular Black)
Ok and here is the fun part culturally I have been a mixed bag that continues to shape who I am today. I am fluent and Spanish I lived in various countries, met my husband in Puerto Rico and I am a self proclaimed Bla-tina. I have spent some time in Asia and my nephew and his family who are now like family to me are Vietnamese. (Its pretty cool, as a black girl, to walk int Lee Pho’s Sandwhich Shop Downtown Cincinnati check it out! and be treated like family and get the strange looks from all the usually customers hehe) So I grew up with predominately Jewish friends (I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t going to temple in 3rd grade!) And now my husband and I fellowship with a group of Christian’s mostly comprised of South East Asians. (I asked and I was told that I can get my Indian card 🙂
And the fun doesn’t stop there! My husband is half Italian and half black, but every where he goes people think he is Mexican. He was adopted into a German and Romanian family and was raised in the Romanian orthodox church. My husband while bearing black genetics is culturally the furthest from it that I have ever seen. ( Before he met me he did not know what a YAM was… Yes people a YAM).
Is anybody else’s head spinning? So what will life for my son be like who is surrounded by cultural diversity and looks Hispanic but is more black than anything else?
I was once told that racism only persist to exist because people like me keep talking about it but I beg to differ. I think it still exist because when I was in the 4th grade a little white girl called me a derogatory term and her mom apologized to me for it as if she didn’t learn it from her. I think it still exist because when I was 20 years old in college I was called the N word and spit at from a car. I think it still exist because just the other day my sister and I saw a white couple clutch their belongings and draw to the other side of the road when a young black boy crossed their path.
A friend recently told me “We will all soon be a pleasant shade of beige”
Will there be any rules I have to tell my little beige baby whom I love dearly? Will he ever be degraded as I have been?
The fact is I do not want people to not see color… I want Jude to see color and celebrate it. I want him to see his cultural background and enjoy the fact that diversity is a revelation of a God who has STYLE!
I don’t know all the answers but the one thing I will tell my little one is this… Love God and Love Others the fullness of the law is fulfilled in these.