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My Experience as a Black Mother Raising Bi-Racial Kids

Avatar • Jan 27, 2016

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In an interview given recently, Taye Diggs said he doesn’t want his son to be called black, instead encouraging people to call his son what he is: biracial. As a black woman raising two beautiful biracial children, I disagree. I want my kids to love being black. I also want them to love being white. More than anything, I want them to love being who they are.

Even though I know we all say this, I have the cutest children. Because they came from me and their dad. They’re this perfect mix of both of us. From their eyes, to their noses, to their little limbs, down to the color of their skin. They also do this cute thing where, when they sing together, they harmonize perfectly. (Conveniently this also happens when they cry.) I’ve always thought that they were beautiful because they’re my babies. But from the time I became pregnant until now, people have made sure to remind me that “mixed babies are the most beautiful!” And now, because my kids are old enough, people will go so far as to them how beautiful they are because they’re mixed.

It makes me cringe.

When both kids were born, everyone was so curious about what they looked like, not who. When my son was born, he had sandy hair and grey eyes. People on Facebook “hoped” they’d turn blue, but I prayed they’d turn brown, like mine. When they did turn brown, Facebook was disappointed, as if his blue eyes would make him more white, less black.

Over the years I’ve stood idly by, watching my friends touch my daughter’s hair, looking her straight in the eye and saying,

It’s lucky that you didn’t get your mom’s hair. Your hair is so soft and beautiful.

Reminding her that her whiteness was better than her blackness. Like it was something she should be grateful for. That she should be proud not to to look like her black mom, the woman who helped create her, the person who provides for her. That she should be proud her hair didn’t reveal her Otherness, despite the fact her skin would.

Read the Rest at Romper.com

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cryssi
cryssi
4 years ago

My sister has mixed children and my middle nephew had blue eyes when he was born, now they’re hazel. Her oldest is not mixed and he is super handsome. All of my nieces and nephews are beautiful, not in spite of thir blackness, but because of it.

Other relatives tried to make it seem that they were cute because of their mixed background. It annoyed my sis and me. They’re adorable because of our genetics.

TWA4now
TWA4now
4 years ago

My black.IS beautiful! Embrace and celebrate.not cringe and .put down who you are. We are ALL mixed to some degree.

ad
ad
4 years ago

While I sympathize with her as a black mother of a biracial child myself, I honestly think the mother needs acknowledge what beliefs she has internalized herself. I mean, why did you marry a white man then? You weren’t forced into having biracial children. No shade here, I just feel like these, “I feel so bad my children are praised for thier biracialness, boo hoo — when I went and married a white man” story is kinda lame. I don’t know what her experience is but I had to do the same, especially after I started my natural hair journey.… Read more »

Dreame W
Dreame W
4 years ago
Reply to  ad

Totally agree.

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
4 years ago
Reply to  ad

Just because you love a white man, doesn’t mean you stand idly by as people spout ignorant crap. People putting down blackness is not a “perk”.

Emma W
Emma W
4 years ago

I think your comment isn’t helpful.

Dana Brown
Dana Brown
4 years ago

Why?

This is a piece written by a BLACK woman about her children. Not sure exactly what you’re tired of.

Dana Brown
Dana Brown
4 years ago

This is how I feel.

As a Black woman married to a White man, I frequently worry about what our children’s lives would be like. We don’t even have kids yet, and we won’t for a while, but his family has already begun the “mixed babies are the cutest” bs.

My greatest fear is that they will completely internalize those White supremacist perspectives.

alt-K
alt-K
4 years ago

I am the black mother of a biracial child. It seems my teenage son has none of the issues that SOME biracial/multiracial people have (including my best friend who is biracial). Biracial/multiracial people only develop issues when their parents have issues. Some of us black folks privately (or not so privately) believe our children’s mixed race status is their saving grace due to internalized racism. Racism is real, y’all. I’ve noticed that biracial children with a black mother relate more to black people than those with a white mother (like my best friend). Black moms tend to keep their children… Read more »

Desya_beloved
Desya_beloved
4 years ago
Reply to  alt-K

This is 100% true in my experience, every biracial person I’ve known where the mother is white has had serious issues with race and racism, self-hate and hatred of their non-white half, it’s disturbing.

fudgeicecream
fudgeicecream
4 years ago
Reply to  Desya_beloved

Well, I’m biracial, with a German mother and Ghanaian father . I didn’t even understand what raciism was, until I came to the U.S. I consider myself biracial, and acknowledge and I’m part of both my German family and Ghanauan family. I actually live in Ghana , and I’m married to a Ghanaian man. So maybe your experience is with biracial Americans, because this is not my experience in Africa or Europe at all.

CocoaGoddess
CocoaGoddess
4 years ago
Reply to  Desya_beloved

Not bashing anyone, but my friend who is Columbian and black said she has good hair, and I have bad hair. She said I needed a perm, and I was all like, “we’re all natural, so we’re all in this togehter”. And her mom happens to be the Columbian one

LittleBabyBug Jones
LittleBabyBug Jones
4 years ago
Reply to  CocoaGoddess

note, colombian is a nationality. are you trying to say she is white colombian or black colombian or native american colombian (indigenous)?

Mrs0507
Mrs0507
4 years ago

I agree. I feel like it only continues a barrier that is present between Black and mixed beings. It continues the “Who has it better” mantra.

black&proud
black&proud
4 years ago

100% agree…

Kitkat
Kitkat
4 years ago

As a biracial girl I disagree with some of the stuff she said about embracing their whiteness. I embrace that I’m mixed and I’ll have certain unique experiences and privileges because of it but I don’t see how it’s possible to embrace being white as I don’t reap the benefits associated with it. It’s not like they have much of a culture to embrace (that I’d be welcomed into anyway lol). When it comes down to it I guess I really just don’t like being looked at as separate from other black people because I’m mixed. I know my life… Read more »

CurlsGalore
CurlsGalore
4 years ago
Reply to  Kitkat

As a mixed race woman your experience will be unique and different as you said. Black men will gravitate toward you more than darker Black women. Music videos with dark or brown skinned Black males hold the mixed or light skinned Black women as the beauty standard. And the closer you look to being white the more whites will accept you atleast more than darker skinned people.

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
4 years ago

I hope you didnt just stand there, and let your “friends” spout such ignorant crap about black hair to YOUR children! Especially about YOUR hair , right in front of you!

Olympia Sherron
Olympia Sherron
4 years ago

As long as you teach your children to LOVE themselves they will be fine and so will you. Model self-love for them by loving yourself 100% and they ARE beautiful children. There are beautiful children of ALL skin colors and hair types. How they look externally is only one small part of what makes them who they are. Unfortunately we do live in a world full of racism, ignorance, discrimination, and stereotypes but knowing, accepting, and loving who/what you are will make you a healthy, happy, strong-minded individual who is at peace with herself so give that to your children… Read more »

Kasee Kane
Kasee Kane
4 years ago

I agree self-love should be the focus, everything else will sort of fall into place. BLACK IS SO VERY BEAUTIFUL. Teach them that from day one and watch it flourish

fudgeicecream
fudgeicecream
4 years ago

Me too!!!

Kasee Kane
Kasee Kane
4 years ago

There are some comments on here that say that they are “tired of these biracial stories”. That comment is the most ridiculous thing ever. The story does not create the divide, but that feeling of being so sick of hearing this biracial struggle is the real issue. This sight I believe is built on uplifting black women through speaking of the beauty of our hair and body, skin, and other nuances that we do not get in people, and vogue. Unfortunately for some of you ignorant people black mothers with biracial children as well as biracial (of black decent) is… Read more »

Milos Mom
Milos Mom
4 years ago

The audacity that some people have to says such things about other people’s children. F*cking. Amazing.

Sosso
Sosso
4 years ago

I’m a mixed girl and it makes me so upset when people ask me WHAT am I, if I feel more black or white ? Wtf ?? We are in 2016, black and white aren’t separated so stop asking me stupid questions please. Or when my (black) mother brought me to work when I was a child and her (black) friend said “She’s WHITE???” that’s rude okay? Imagine walking somewhere with people screaming “A BLACK WOMAN???” like yes do you have a problem with that ? Anyway, I love being biracial, it’s very interesting to see different cultures in the… Read more »

Abby
Abby
4 years ago

I have two mixed kids, now teenagers, and I left it up to them to decide how they want to identify. Growing up, they spent time with my family and my husband’s family, and made sure they knew their heritage on both sides. They now identify as bi-racial: not one or the other, but both. Almost like a whole new category. I feel like they have the best of two worlds.

Ashley Merce
Ashley Merce
4 years ago
Reply to  Abby

see i think that’s fine but there no bi-racial on college form or applications and lets just be honest. In a corporate world they’re black. Hell in this world, they’re black.
It just is what it is

Leave It To An Idiot
Leave It To An Idiot
4 years ago
Reply to  Ashley Merce

False. You will be treated as what you look like to white people not how nonwhite people think white people will see you. That can mean black, white, Asian, Hispanic, etc. regardless of your actual background. How you see someone racially means nothing if we are being real. Not to mention, applications have both an other box and a two or more races box. Funny how it’s always the ignorant fools trying to tell people what they are and are not. As a black woman, I really wish one of you would fix your mouth to tell me what my biracial… Read more »

Ashley Merce
Ashley Merce
4 years ago

that makes no sense what you just said. How is identifying yourself as black not having respect for being black?

LorMarie
4 years ago
Reply to  Ashley Merce

It makes perfect sense, you simply don’t understand the issue. Biracials included as and identifying as black leads to the erasure of authentic blackness. In spite of what many would like to believe, blacks are not a salad where anything and everything can be tossed in and included. Example, a black woman has not won the academy award for best actress and Obama would not be president if both his parents were black.

Yemi
Yemi
4 years ago

I will never understand why people say stuff like this. Just because a particular story doesn’t mirror your experience or interest you doesn’t make it unworthy of being shared. This is a site for discussion of black culture and beauty and for some black folks, this IS a relevant conversation to have. Not interested? Keep it moving! Not everything out there is going to be tailored to your specific interests and that’s perfectly ok.

Leave It To An Idiot
Leave It To An Idiot
4 years ago

People really need to learn to mind their own business. Why is she commenting on biracial children not her own? Live and let live. Other people do not have to live or raise their children according to your personal views. Personally, I have no interest in how other black women will raise their biracial children. I certainly have no interest in what black men will do with theirs. It’s not my business just like what I do with my children is none of their concern. I disagree with her take on raising biracial children and will not be following her… Read more »

guest
guest
4 years ago

This thread should be called the self-hatred of black women, trying to experience whiteness through their children.

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
4 years ago

I am kinda over these “biracial” stories to be honest.

LorMarie
4 years ago

As a black woman raising two beautiful biracial children, I disagree. I want my kids to love being black. I also want them to love being white. More than anything, I want them to love being who they are.”

This is misleading. Diggs did not state or imply that kids should not love being black. It’s ok to have strong opinions but this was written in a way that she would lose credibility with the reader. Overall, if she has any respect for blackness, she would not encourage her children to identify as black (as the link at Romper implies).

NaturallyMe
NaturallyMe
4 years ago

Both my husband and I have biracial children from previos relationships and we have a biracial infant together. Yes, I was annoyed with both his and his mother’s curiosity of the boy’s “final features” (skin color and hair texture), and I’ve made it plainly clear that such nonsense had no place in the boy’s life. My husband’s kids are very diverse inappearance and my daughter is brightest out of everybody. She’s even lighter than my husband lol. I used to call her my Pillsbury dough girl until she finally gained a slight tint lol. I remember going natural for a… Read more »

carrie00987
carrie00987
4 years ago

This experience may be one of the reasons why some Black women are ambivalent about having bi-racial children and marrying outside of their race. I think it can also be annoying when you’re out with your mixed kids and strangers assume you are the nanny. Not fun lol.

Guest
Guest
3 years ago

I went through this with my girlfriend, who is black. Actually she was more curious about the hair of our then-unborn baby. She said it was grounded in a practical matter, as straight hair was easier to take care of, though I wanted her to have full, African hair like her mother. We both wondered how dark the baby would be. The baby was a mixture of us both, though it looked more like my side of the family, and was very light. We’re pregnant again. I am hoping for a darker baby that looks like the mother’s side, but my… Read more »

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