We shall overcome

March 10, 2014

I comb D’s hair in the morning, and I wonder what the hell I’m doing raising an African American child.

When David and I got licensed to become foster parents, we took many classes on being an interracial family, and we didn’t go into this lightly. But still, I ask myself: Can I help her to know her community, her heritage, and protect her from the American caste system that is, in part, based on the color of one’s skin? Can I instill in her that her kinky hair is beautiful, despite messages all around that tell her long flowing blonde hair is the ideal? Can I help her believe that she can be a ballerina if she wants to, despite the fact that all of the other little girls in her class are white?

 

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