Every mother wants the best for her children. Most mothers like myself would love to live in a country where racism and white privilege are no longer an issue. When my husband and I started dating, we faced many obstacles associated with being an interracial couple. Some friends and family members weren’t too keen on our relationship at first. We were strong enough and smart enough to know challenges were ahead.
Thirteen years and two kids later, Andy and I have some advice for our boys. We want to arm them with tools to face the world, respond respectfully to other’s curiosity, and at times stand tall in the face of ignorance.
1) You have an identity; it’s uniquely you. Be proud of who you are. Some people might have an identity issue with you. Embrace both sides of your heritage – Liberian and Scandinavian.
2) Chuckle at those who ask, “What are you?” Simply reply, “I’m a human being.” When they persist, continue by introducing yourself. You’ve been raised to define yourself by your character, not your color.
3) Education is the foundation. Stand tall and wow them with your intelligence. No one can take your education away from you.
4) Love should not be constrained by race. This never stopped mommy and daddy and it should never stop you. Some people who’ve left our lives during our courtship resented the fact that we were an interracial couple. Ironically, their negative energy strengthened our relationship.
5) It’s okay to check more than one box. Every form in your life – from pre-K screening to college – will ask you to check only one racial/ethnicity box. Take pride that you are multicultural and never apologize for it. #mixednation #beautifullyblended
What are some life lessons you’ve given your biracial or multiracial children? We’d love to hear your thoughts – leave in comments or post to Facebook!