Monday, May 16, 2011

Race Relations

 I've been blessed with a child who knows who she is. 
All "the books" say that kids start noticing race around 3 or 4.  She definitely started
at or before age three.  She notices everything.
Talking about race (thus far) is easy with her because she asks,
she notices, she challenges. 

I had to include a photo of Lucy's aunt Jen because Jen is about the whitest (especially at the end of winter) person we know.  Hey Jen!

It's also a challenge, Lucy's ability to pay attention to and
really see the people around her.  It challenges me to keep us
surrounded by more then just white people.  She notices.
The other day we had just sat down at Fasika and Lucy was looking around, meeting most
people with her direct eye contact.  Her eyes got bigger and bigger as she scanned the room.
Suddenly she reaches over and grabs my hand and in a low voice she says "momma, I dont' think they
allow white people in here".   She notices.  It was sort of funny but the message I took home in the end
was to do whatever I can, while I can, to see to it that she never feels that way about herself and black people. 

Today we were driving to the grocery store to pick up dinner from the deli.
Lucy says "momma, do they have injera at this deli?"  I say no.  She
lets out a disgusted sigh ....  "we should just go somewhere where it isn't just
boring white people"  she quickly added "not you momma, you're not boring, you're not
really white you are more like ummmm you're like, well hmmmm" 
It was almost like she predicted that we'd be eating tasteless boring dry turkey breast but that's another blog post for another day.

Every day I pray "let me do this job as good as i possibly can" 

Thankfully I have a village here to help me out and teach me.

We're counting on your help.


M and M said...

And we, yours.

Malia'sMama said...

Malia noticed race LONG before 3, as well. And while she has not made negative comments, she is identifying herself, very much, as to race and heritage right now. I think they'r ejust finding out who they are, and how they "fit" into the world. Tough, isn't it? :)

jayme said...

Ditto what Meghan said. We're all in this together, and I'm so glad we've got one another for support. Can't wait for the teen years!

Nancy said...

It's been interesting to observe the awareness unfold in M. At this point she seems more concerned about how I will fit into situations :)

Though I know her awareness changes at different phases of her development, I think it is important that I am able to support her in her decisions about who she is at each phase. It will change through the years.

I know for my son it wasn't until he was in middle school and more so in high school that he stepped into his identity. I always hoped inside that he would choose the box so to speak that was inclusive of my racial heritage; but he chose to embrace the man he is through his eyes.

Ultimately, I want M to decide who she is beyond the color of her skin but for the contribution she came to this world to make.

Nice post friend.

fiddlehead said...

sounds to me like you are doing a beautiful job.....

Mama Papaya said...

By your side.