The importance of the conversation on race

The importance of the conversation on race

“I don’t want to be black Anymore” how powerful are those words?

Those are words that show the battle a child of colour goes through in a society that does not know how to appreciate their differences.

And how do I know this? Well, the younger me said those exact words to myself.

Race matters, and that’s the hard truth. As much as we want to deny it and say we do not see colour, it does not erase the fact that racism still exists.

Being adopted into a white family does not automatically give black children protection from racism. That sounds silly, but it has to be said.

People can assume that because they have chosen to not see colour, others around them will do the same.

That sadly isn’t the case and racial discrimination can be seen in many forms. Most importantly it’s not always strangers that can treat your child in that manner.

Growing up in a white society, the younger me wished I could be white, with long silky hair, which was the opposite of my naturally curly locks.

I had taken to wearing long-sleeved clothing in the sun, in fear that my skin would get a shade darker and I would be deemed unbeautiful.

At a young age, I quickly became aware that no one teased the white kids or the white kids in my adopted family for that matter. It seemed not only did society deem fair skin to be beautiful, society was treating them better.

The day I found myself surrounded by other people that looked like me, I was so overwhelmed but at the same time, I breathed freely.

No one was staring at me like I didn’t belong. There wasn’t any teasing about my hair or “jokes” that I was too dark to see. Or being called “blackie” as if I should be ashamed of my colour.

I felt accepted, and at that very moment, I realized, I never wanted to be white. I wanted the privileges it would have brought me.

As human beings, we can’t control what others say to us. But I believe it’s crucial that parents have an open line of communication on the topic of race. So your child is able to find ways to answer or handle situations that can arise.

Many countries, cities, and towns are becoming more multicultural, but no matter how “good” your neighborhood is or how “kind” people are around your transracial family. A black child will most definitely experience racism on more than one occasion.

If you don’t acknowledge racism in hopes that it will make situations less of a “big deal”, I can personally tell you three ways it can impact your child.

#1. It leaves your child unprepared to handle what they will face in schools, gatherings, or in society in general.

#2. You will miss the impact that it can have on your child’s self-esteem and how they view themselves.

#3. It makes your child feel like you are ashamed to take a stand by them.

4 ways you can support your child

Supporting your child through racism

#1. Acknowledging that racial discrimination happens and that it’s happening to your child.

#2. Creating a healthy space for your child to talk openly and honestly about racial incidents.

#3. Share your feelings, a child is looking for their parent to express some emotions that match how they feel. For example, compassion or showing sadness for the situation.

#4. A child feels vulnerable after experiencing racism, reassure them you stand beside them. Even if it’s wider family members that are causing the harm.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lynelle

    An excellently written blog post! Thank you for sharing on such an important topic. Many adoptive families just don’t understand enough about how our race and skin colour impacts our sense of self nor how we are perceived by the wider world!

  2. Kadijatu

    Thank you Lynelle. It really is such an important topic. Hopefully bringing more awareness to why it’s important will help others be more aware of the impact it has.

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