Life Links 1

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September 12, 2007 by multiracialsky

Links written by friends (and others) on multiracial families, as well as race, racism, and multiracialism in the U.S.

  • My American Meltingpot (herself Black American with a White Spanish husband) has a new post about seeing an Amish/Mennonite family with a White mother, Black father, and a biracial daughter. She says, “This is what I love to see, racial stereotypes being shattered by regular everyday people. Just by being out at the zoo, this couple made people stop and think and question.”

  • I was talking with a long-time friend who has become recently hyper-aware of White privilege and multiracial family issues, especially through the experiences of our family and another mutual friend who is interracially married. She told me about a children’s catalog of Halloween costumes that just arrived in her mailbox–and how all the child models are White. “Black and Asian mothers buy Halloween costumes,” she said to me. “Why aren’t there any pictures of their kids?” (Conversely, my friend said the new Red Envelope catalog features several multiracial couples/families and individuals.) She has a great break-your-barely-cognizant-family-member-into-the-existence-of-white-privilege post about colorblindness.

  • Then our conversation turned to the message that mostly-White women’s fashion magazines send to our country’s children, which made me view this Reuters article (about the lack of racial diversity of models in U.S. designers’ fall fashion shows) as all the more relevant. The article actually contains an insightful view into the contemporary fashion world–if you can overlook the journalist’s apparent belief that Black and Asian are the only racial (the article calls them ‘ethnic’) alternatives to White. Are there literally zero Native American or Latino runway models? Oh, and the references to the non-White women models as ‘girls of color’ (i.e. Black) and ‘Asian girls’–separate categories (of professional, mostly over the age of 18, women).

  • All this talk about catalogs and fashion shows being consciously visibly multiracial seems relatively minor, until you consider what it says (pictorially and literally) about what–and who–we as a society value. The next story I read was this trainwreck of a case: 6 (or more?) White Americans (including two mother-child pairs) who kidnapped, tortured, and sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman–reportedly because she is Black. Teach your children well, parents; it all starts at home.

  • Shannon (White lesbian mother to two transracially adopted daughters, both daughters have African American heritage) over at Peter’s Cross Station has this great response to how to teach kids about racial and sexual diversity in a racially and sexually homogeneous (read: White and straight) community.

  • Lastly, Dawn (of This Woman’s Work) has an article in the new issue of Brain, Child. In this article, Dawn talks about fixing her daughter’s hair. Her daughter is biracial (Black and White) and transracially adopted through an open domestic adoption. She speaks to some of the exact same things I think of (why White friends can let their White daughters go out with impunity, sporting unbrushed ‘birdnest hair’) and questions I answer from White friends and family. Although I will say I do believe there is no such thing as bad hair (More complicated to care for and style? Yes. Bad? No.) And yes, one of my daughters has very kinky-curly hair.

Read and enjoy, folks!

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© 2007-2014 All rights reserved by Natasha Sky. Posts, essays, photographs, and art may not be republished, reprinted, or repurposed without permission.
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