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Does it Matter if You’re Black or White?

A couple weeks ago, I was visiting a friend, just me and the boys, Lavar was gone for a basketball game.  My friend, who is white, is married to a fellow basketball player, we’ll call him E, (also white) and they have 4 beautiful children whom I completely adore.  They are such a wonderful family.  My boys love them and they get along great.

All the kids were outside playing, and one of E’s teammates stopped by.  He entered into the backyard and saw all the kids playing and said “Hey, whose are the little black kids?”

Black kids?  There are black kids out there?  Whose are the black kids?

Oh wait.  Those little black kids are my kids.

It was kinda a weird realization for me.  I have always known it, but it hit me differently that day.  I am raising black kids.  And I am white.

I don’t think of my kids as black or white, they are just my boys.  I don’t categorize them.  But I have to be completely honest with myself and be completely aware, people will categorize them. 

And I think as people of one race or color, we don’t know what it is like to feel like we have to identify with a particular culture or color.  We just are who we are.  But some kids, like my own and many others out there, will probably feel pressure to be a certain way, to fit in to a certain group.  Because they don’t fully fit anywhere.

I think we mothers all want the absolute best for our kids.  We want to beat up the meanies, hold their hand when they are hurt, and be right there when they need it.  And we ache when we can’t.

I suppose part of this loving, protecting spirit that God gave us mothers is to do our best to teach our babies that they are perfect the way they are.  They don’t have to be a particular color to fit in anywhere.  And if someone isn’t okay with it, you don’t have to be their friend.  As my ever-so-secure husband tells me “I gotta love me.  Because if I don’t love me, then who will?”

On top of this, I am raising men.  I want to raise my little men to be able to run a company, be a president, and lead a family.  And part of raising these eventual men is helping them understand that God made them perfect, two colors and everything.  That they don’t have to fit in anywhere, they can just be who they are.  That they can be secure in themselves because of God’s love for them and our love for them.

So far in our life we haven’t experienced any real issues with our boys besides people ‘noticing’ the difference.  I had a group of little girls ask me why Tae was black and I was white.  It was complete innocence and I was happy to explain that ‘Tae’s daddy comes from a completely different place where most of the people are black.  In fact, you would be considered different if you were to go there.’  It was eye opening to them, and so cute as they tried to understand.

What do you think about interracial children today?  They world is getting smaller, they say, but are there people/cultures/generations that still categorize and stereotype?  And seriously, if you just saw my boys on the street, would you think black or white?  Totally just curious on this one… 🙂

30 Responses to Does it Matter if You’re Black or White?

  1. Isa June 9, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    I think you are raising human beings and that's all we're all supposed to be:)

  2. J A C Q U E L I N E June 9, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    I see handsome boys. They are mixed and yes that would be my first thought. Not black or white. On that note however…I teach my children that we are NOT black we are brown. Grownups just don't know their colors very well. I show them a pair of black pants or shirt against there skin and remind them that we are not BLACK people we are brown. I also tell them that really we are all some variation of brown even WHITE people are not white…there are in the words of my four year old PINK. Raise them to be confident, men or integrity fearing God and not man.

  3. J A C Q U E L I N E June 9, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    …confident men OF integrity…

  4. Mrs. I {Heart} Hicks June 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    First, I love your blog and your boys are precious! Secondly, I teach 1st grade and in my 8 years of experience my classes have always said “so and so is very tan.” My student's never say he is black or she is white. It's really super cute when they compare their arms and say “he is tanner than me.” This year I had several mixed race students as our county grows and the kids even used the word tan (this was in reference to hispanic, black, and Iranian children) who didn't think anything of it. Sometimes I point out where they are from on our globe but mostly, the kids are sincere. I think this generation is a lot more communicative and thoughtful when it comes to looking a certain way. However, you never know what their parents say at home. I think you're doing a great job parenting!!

  5. Megan June 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    first off, your boys are GORGEOUS. simply gorgeous.

    i grew up in virginia. totally not the best place for mixing races…or is it? where i lived it was about 60% white and 40% black…maybe closer to 50/50. i saw interracial couples ALL the time, and they always had the most beautiful kids and i really never saw them getting picked on… BUT, the older generations are the ones who still have the racist mentality, and you can sometimes see that trickle down through generations. i wouldnt even call them all racist, they just didn't appreciate differences (ignorace is more the word).

    anyways, sometimes it does suck to have those comments made, even if it is out of innocence, but you do have to realize that interracial or intercultural children are becoming more and more prevalent in today's society and i don't even look twice when i see a kid from this type of background.

    have a great day…i think i just rambled LOL!

  6. Emily June 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    I would just think they are adorable! I think people should realize we are all the same no matter what.

  7. Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims June 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    I'd see cuteness! lol love the hair on your little one in that picture. such cute little curls

  8. Suzzie V June 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Your kids are so cute. That's what I would think if I saw you and them on the street. And you are right, God did make them perfect 🙂

  9. Bevin @ June 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    I agree with Jacqueline. They look mixed, but probably still some of the most gorgeous kids I have seen. And I don't think it should matter what color you are. =D

  10. Jessica June 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    I would think Hispanic, I also asked my husband and he said hispanic also. Your boys are beautiful and he are doing a great job raising them.
    My hubby was also VERY interested in the fact that I follow someone that's husband is a pro basket ball player!
    Now he thinks my blog reading maybe interesting!!!HaHaHa

  11. MiMi June 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    I would think Peurto Rican or something.
    They are a beautiful “shade” of caramel and I wanna eat em up! The most beautiful people in the world are a mix of more than one race. 🙂

  12. Jennifer June 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    I'd see little hunkies!! 🙂

  13. Grammy Goodwill June 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    To answer your first question, after 28 years in education, if someone asked me, I would think your boys were mixed. However, that wouldn't be the first thing I noticed. I would notice how they act. (Think school teacher!) I love the idea of being brown (not black – she is so right about that – where did black come from?) or tan. Kids will work out everything if given a chance and no adult interference.

  14. Melissa June 10, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    I would not think black or white, just beautiful!

    A very similar story happened to me about three years ago. Some new neighbors were moving in and they came over to introduce themselves to me. My son was riding his bike around and one of them said to me, “who does the little black boy belong to?”

    Ummmm….ME!! The other thing I get A LOT, is “Oh, is he adopted?”


    Great post!

  15. Bewildered Bug June 10, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    Hi Natalia,
    My mother used to get strangers coming up to her and asking if she was our nanny … some also accused her of kidnapping. That could not have been easy.

    It's because my mother is Chinese and we all look like my Indian Dad.

    Because of this – I totally get where you're coming from.

    I've subscribed because your blogs are incredibly interesting 🙂 Hope to hear from you one day on mine!

  16. inHERshoes June 10, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    i think i've said this before in one of my comments, interracial relationships and the product of them are beautiful. it's not about color – it's about the kind of people we are or we become. i practically don't see color as an issue. i grew up in l.a. – the whole united nations is represented there, yet sometimes, i still think people associate everything with race. interracial children, are the same children we see at every park or zoo in this country. they're just as important as those born from a “one-race” family. case closed.

  17. Jessica Manuel June 10, 2011 at 5:53 am #

    Your boys are so handsome!

    You are blazing our trail, that's for sure. I wonder what it will be like to embrace the difference without giving it emphasis.

    I love that on top of everything else- they will be fluent in French.

  18. TimeOutWithMamaG June 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    First of all I am new to your blog but absolutely love it! Now, if I saw your boys the only thing that would come to mind is how adorable they are!

  19. Suze June 12, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    I often wonder the same thing about my kiddos, even when I have to fill in some papers for them…I am not sure if I should put black or white but when I am in a really good mood I check both…I think, we just need to teach them that they are wonderful, beautiful and doesn't matter what other people think. They are different because God wanted them to be different because people are going to categorize them. You are going a great job with those kids and they are gorgeous 🙂

    PS. We are a family of four different colors who love each other and so are yours 🙂

  20. Laura June 13, 2011 at 4:06 am #

    Visiting from the link of your post on Travel Babble. Your comments are quite insightful and I look forward to reading other posts.

  21. Nay June 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    I know how this is…completely. My husband is filipino and I am latina. My son looks like my side (a little white boy, I guess) and my daughter like her Daddy (an exotic filipina). So we get a lot of looks…
    …but this is what everyone looks like, right? We are all mixed in a way and I think it's awesome…
    And your babes? It doesn't matter what I think. Remember that, it only matters that they are good and have wonderful parents like you and your hubby.

  22. kp June 14, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    If I saw your boys on the street, I would notice their skin. I would notice how smooth and mocha-ish it is. And I would smile at the little guy's adorable wavy hair.

    People are race-aware. Even those of us who take pride in our “color-blindness” have to admit that there are some differences among ethnicities. Those differences are what makes our world so beautiful. Imagine a garden with only white daffodils – I'd want to see some roses!

    Sure, there will come times when your boys will have to respond to questions about color. So what? My black brothers, quarter-black son and half-Peruvian son will too. I hope they (and my white children) learn to take pride in their heritage as children of loving parents, rather than identifying themselves by the color of their skin.

    That was a little long; oops =P

  23. Jacki June 16, 2011 at 2:34 am #

    Jacqueline brought up a very good point, one that my son was quick to point out when he was very young. He tended to say things like brown, really brown, dark, pink, and any other color that truly described the persons skin color.

    I think the thing that we tend to forget is that race is completely culture defined. In other parts of the world, you would not hear Black and White, but some other defined races.

    Sadly, I don't like that in this country you are always expected to identify with the minority race if you are mixed. What if you don't identify with that race at all? Or what if you are VERY “white” looking but identify with your Native American heritage?

  24. Tara June 16, 2011 at 2:42 am #

    Your children are gorgeous! All I can say is someone needs to teach that guy some manners – I would never come into someone's home and ask who “those black kids are??”. That is just rude. But to answer your question, I would assume looking at your children they are mixed. My mom is remarried to a black man, and my sister is mixed. Either way, that wouldn't be my first thought. My first thought would be how beautiful they are!

  25. Seasoned Air Force Spouse June 16, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    This post made me smile.
    Kids can be so 'honest' at times. My husband and I have both been told on separate occasions that we weren't our child's parent. This was by their little school mates when we'd pick them up.
    Once they realized that we were the parents, they were on to other world issues. LOL
    We're in the south and get curious looks but it doesn't bother us or our kids.

  26. Cindy November 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Hello! I found your blog from NSPottery! I am now a follower of yours too. 🙂 As I'm breezing through, trying to “get to know you” I have found some different links that I can totally relate to. My husband is African American and our children are, of course, biracial too. I definitely think outsiders looking in see Black chiildren, but like you I don't see them or love them for their skin color. I do think it is important though, to never forget how society views them as it will bring for them, sadly, issues down the road. All you can do is teach them love and self-confidence. Raise them with the love of Christ and they'll be set. Looking forward to following you blog and your adventures overseas. I spent a summer in Eurpoe and what a blessing you get to live there. Be well.

  27. Mama Mandolin November 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    I'm new here! But I wanted to comment on this…I'm a mama to twin boys who are mixed. My husband is Nigerian (his parents moved to the US from Nigeria before he was born) and I'm red haired, freckled, German-Irish. Our boys are a perfect mix of the both of us, a shade of brown right in the middle.

    I've have had people made a couple of ignorant comments before about why the boys are different colors but people mostly comment on how cute they are or comment that they must get their curly hair from their daddy (which is just a nice way of asking what color he is lol).

    I will never consider the boys to be black. They aren't. They're mixed race, which is completely different. I'll always teach them to check both boxes, to tell their curious friends the truth and not just a category based on the color of their skin. Because if we were going on skin colors, I'm not white, I'm freckled. (But that's not a box to check!)

  28. Mama Mandolin November 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Oh and i forgot to add- here is my blog…

    Stop by and say hi 🙂 I love reading blogs of other moms going through some of the same things we are.


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