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Old 12-23-2008, 01:25 AM   #1
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My sister is pregnant and the baby will be biracial. This sounds silly, but how can I prepare myself for some of the idiocy of bigoted people?

We live in a non-diverse area. In fact, I tend to do a double look when I see an african-american because we are mostly white with some hispanic.

I know that there are going to be issues and I was wondering what some of the common ones are. I want to be prepared and I want to be able to help my sister cope with this. She is pretty sensitive already. I love my niece, even though she is not due to make her appearance until Feb. 2nd, but I feel so protective of her already.

Any helpful tips?
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:47 PM   #2
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I am the Aunt of 3 georgeous biracial nephews here in a relatively small town in Maine. Although we are a suburb of Portland,our town is not very diverse either.

My nephews who are now 22,20 and 18 have grown up in the same town and attended the same school district their whole life which I think has made it easier for them.

I think sometimes we put our fears on our own children/family where it sometimes is not warranted. We worry about things we may not need to in order to protect them.

I find my nephews to be polite, smart, social, well behaved and liked. I think in the end thats all you can ask for in someone regardless of race or anything for that matter.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that we are who we are and we can't change that. Be proud and stand strong and let the card fall where they may. God knows we can't change things!

Enjoy her.
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:02 PM   #3
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I think it depends on the area and what nationality it is and how that area thinks of that nationality. I can say that my kids look white to me ( my daughter you can kind of tell) but many people around here can tell they are mixed. My son gets in some situations at school do to this unfortunately he gets both ends. There is some kids that are harrassing him for being white yet the white kids call him a tunnel digger and boarder jumper. to the point that he has gotten into fights. luckily he understands that there is idiots in this world and he is much like his dad and is interested in all nationalities, his 3 best friends one white one muslim and one asian. So yeah it does affect him but he doesn't look down opun himself based on his mixed nationality just human stupidity
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:27 PM   #4
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It's funny..I dated a kid when I was about 15 years old for quite a while...He was goregous & all the girls loved him! His Mom was white & his step dad & brother were white! It never entered my mind that he was half black...but he clearly had the darker skin/hair etc..He found out about his biological Dad later in life & of course he was Black. But to all of us that grew up with him he was just this great kids that had a fantastic personality & was fun to be around etc.. We never saw the color!
I live in a pretty affluent town...but the complex I live in has a mix of kids! The boy next door has a white Mom & Black Dad. He is the sweetest, most polite, handsome, well mannered boy you would ever have the pleasure of knowing! Not one child here thinks twice about playing with him or teasing him...he's just "Mike"!
Your niece will obviously be well loved!!
People can surprise you & be more accepting than you realize...especially kids! You are already a GREAT auntie!!
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:36 PM   #5
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as the father of a mixed kid...(his mom is black)...it hasn't been an issue since she left...she read into many things, and constantly brought up the race issue...since she has left, not one person has said anything about it...

bubba has olive skin and dark hair, but his features aren't far off from mine...except that I follow my mom's scandinavian heritage and could be a poster boy for the aryan nation (just my looks people, just my looks)....

but overall, we haven't had any issues in the past 10 months...
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:13 PM   #6
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I like this book: "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World," by Marguerite A. Wright.

And this book, too: "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race" by Beverly Daniel Tatum.

I think that above all, you'll want to talk openly with this little girl about how she looks and the color of her skin. Some well-meaning adults favor the "tell her she looks just like everyone else" approach, which is what I would caution you against.

Kids are capable of noticing differences in facial features and skin color at a very young age. Telling a child with brown skin that she looks exactly like a child with peach skin confuses them and they'll tend to wonder what you're trying to pull...It's possible they'll start to suspect there's something wrong with their skin color, which is the exact opposite of what you intended.

Of course, what we mean when we say things like that, is that we value people with all kinds of skin tone in the same way. And we want to teach that appreciation and respect to our kids.

A toddler/preschooler doesn't have the awareness of the history we have with the attitudes towards skin color in our culture. They do see the differences. They don't see the differences loaded with our tortured past of dealing with race issues.

Acknowledge the differences. Appreciate the differences. It's much healthier to make comments about her "beautiful brown skin."

Another great book, when she's older, is "All the Colors We Are," by Katie Kissinger. This book explains skin color from a scientific point of how we get our color in terms kids can understand.

This is, of course, assuming that your niece has darker skin from her father. As someone mentioned before, you really have no idea what she'll look like until she's here.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:13 PM   #7
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I like this book: "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World," by Marguerite A. Wright.

And this book, too: "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race" by Beverly Daniel Tatum.

I think that above all, you'll want to talk openly with this little girl about how she looks and the color of her skin. Some well-meaning adults favor the "tell her she looks just like everyone else" approach, which is what I would caution you against.

Kids are capable of noticing differences in facial features and skin color at a very young age. Telling a child with brown skin that she looks exactly like a child with peach skin confuses them and they'll tend to wonder what you're trying to pull...It's possible they'll start to suspect there's something wrong with their skin color, which is the exact opposite of what you intended.

Of course, what we mean when we say things like that, is that we value people with all kinds of skin tone in the same way. And we want to teach that appreciation and respect to our kids.

A toddler/preschooler doesn't have the awareness of the history we have with the attitudes towards skin color in our culture. They do see the differences. They don't see the differences loaded with our tortured past of dealing with race issues.

Acknowledge the differences. Appreciate the differences. It's much healthier to make comments about her "beautiful brown skin."

Another great book, when she's older, is "All the Colors We Are," by Katie Kissinger. This book explains skin color from a scientific point of how we get our color in terms kids can understand.

This is, of course, assuming that your niece has darker skin from her father. As someone mentioned before, you really have no idea what she'll look like until she's here.
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:39 PM   #8
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Thank you so much for the words of wisdom and the books.....I would not worry so much if we did not live in a town that still has some racial issues....At least that is what my friends tell me at school, having experienced it themselves.

Capt: What you said reinforced what I was thinking about talking openly about her skin tone. As I told my sister, it will be a fact, and something she will see when she stands in front of a mirror or looks at a family picure.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:33 PM   #9
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BTW, I just added a picture of my biracial daughter in my signature line.

Check out her beautiful black hair and her beautiful brown skin...
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:14 PM   #10
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She is GORGOUS. I think biracial children have the most beautiful skin ever! I am prepared to envy my niece.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:32 PM   #11
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Interesting topic here....perhaps I can add my 8 cents here as well.
All the old crusty members here know but for those who don't Hannah is biracial so I know a little about this topic...

One thing to keep in mind is that most black/African American babies are very light when they are born and get darker as they age and are exposed to the sun. So I'd suggest holding off on tagging her before her true color shows itself. I also have to agree with Cappy here in that telling the child the truth is the best avenue. Here's the thing...they're innocent and color makes no difference to them. It's only when they get older and people make remarks or someone suggests to them that they are somehow different because of color. Hannah takes more after me in her features but she is much darker than i am...which doesn't take much as I too come from Scandinavian descent. And she gets much darker the more time we spend outside or at the beach...even an hour at the beach and she is darker for a couple days. She'll flat out tell you that Mommy is brown and daddy is white and she is brown and white....no biggie to her. Color makes no diff to her as daddy is very white but at mom's house her brother and grandpa are as dark as a car tire with mom not as dark and to her we are all just her family and thats the way it is. Tell the child what she is and let her grow to respect that she is brown and white and not just one color.

As far as people making remarks...they will and I hear it all the time and so does Hannah. We just ignore it and go about our business. Hannah has been taught to not let it bother her and having a healthy knowledge and respect for the fact that she is brown/white it really has no impact on her and she knows it just comes from stupidity.

A couple other good childrens books we have are...
Black White Just Right....one of hannah's favs...
We're Different We're The Same...this one from Sesame Street
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:16 PM   #12
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Wow, she is beautiful!!!! She looks like a little doll
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