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What Does Society Have In Store For My Mixed Race Daughters?

We watched Twincredibles on BBC Lifestyle on Sunday night…. It really got me thinking….

JamesDanielKelly

Twincredibles,+BBC2

431506-twincredibles

These are all sets of twins from mixed race parents.

My daughters are both mixed race, in South African terms… because we are so racially diverse and hung up on labels, what that means is that each one of them has a Caucasian birth parent and a Coloured (interestingly, in the UK, the term Coloured is considered offensive) birth parent. Ava  has a Caucasian birth mother and a Coloured birth father, Hannah has a Coloured birth mother & a Caucasian birth father. My girls are statistically speaking …. racially… the same. And yet, they’re not. One of them is distinctly Caucasian looking and one of them is distinctly Coloured looking.

As a side note…. during the documentary last night, the mother of the boy/girl twins visited a geneticist and had DNA analysis done…. statically speaking, the Dr who saw her, explained that the likelihood of having a mixed race child look more Caucasian is less than 10% and that statistically speaking, a mixed race child is 90% more likely to look more Coloured…. but I digress…

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What will this mean for them when they grow up? How will it affect their identities? How they see and value themselves in a society so hung up on skin colour. Its something I have often thought of, but more so since Hannah’s placement with her being more obviously Coloured than Ava is. Because ultimately that IS what mixed race is… Coloured. Will they be teased? Will Hannah be bullied school because she is darker or has Caucasian parents? Will Ava be teased because she has a Coloured sister? Will Hannah be teased for being different to the rest of her family?

What does the future hold for them?

What will happen when they start dating? Will they be accepted by their partners families, because lets be honest, racism and prejudice is alive and well in our society! I’ve encountered it myself, many times since Ava’s placement, its never more apparent for me than in the supposed innocent comments laced with prejudice of how one would never know Ava was of colour and we shouldn’t worry to tell. And what of Hannah? To the people who have made those comments… what will they think of her? How will they treat her? And my friends? Who always joke over how they wouldn’t mind Ava dating their sons, would they feel the same way if it were Hannah?

Parenting is hard. But it certainly does come with an additional set of challenges when creating a “different” family. There are so many things to consider and to worry about that I never thought of before. Would I change my family for a minute? No, we are beautiful and perfect in our diversity and Ava has touched the lives and changed the views of so many previously closed minded people and I have no doubt that Hannah will do the same, but it does not mean it’s easy.

I love my children. I don’t want to see them hurt.  But this has been weighing heavily on me for a while now.

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41 Comments

  • Reply Sally-Jane

    I have a theory that it won’t to that long before the human race blends into one more generic colour. As people move around the world do much and mix all over, it is going to happen. I have a mixed race nephew ( Chinese and Caucasian)

    I wish I could say it is not going to affect your girls in the more immediate term but I think it will. You just have to teach them, like with some many other life lessons that the way people act has a lot more to do with them than you. But these are not easy lessons, we all want to be accepted.

    May 21, 2013 at 8:17 am
  • Reply Amee

    My husband is coloured and i am caucasian. We have a set of three year old boy/girl twins. My daughter is the image of her father in all aspects (coloured) and my son is the image of me in all aspects (caucasian). People stare when we are out and they cannot believe that they are twins, let alone brother and sister.

    May 21, 2013 at 8:37 am
    • Reply Sharon

      How old are they Amee? And how do you plan to help them deal with society’s prejudices as they grow up and are faced with it? It’s something that really concerns me.

      May 21, 2013 at 8:39 am
      • Reply Amee

        They just turned 3 in March. Honestly, i have not even thought about that yet. I really do not have a clue as to how or when.

        May 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm
  • Reply Tiina

    Shoe, this is difficult. We are waiting for a baby who will most probably be coloured/caucasian. Our very good friend said to us a few weeks ago that we shouldn’t then expect him not to make jokes about coloureds and how they speak and to be offended, just because we have a coloured child. I was so mad I couldn’t even speak.

    May 21, 2013 at 8:40 am
    • Reply Sharon

      That is disgusting Tiina! Seriously! Our family and friends have enough self awareness and common sense to know that making racial jokes is unacceptable, regardless of the fact we have mixed race children but also because of it!

      May 21, 2013 at 8:42 am
  • Reply Tracey

    My son is mixed race….he is half indian and half Caucasian. He has a friend who is also half indian and half caucasian. He has another friend who is half coloured half caucasian. Its not a phenomenon.

    Yes he has been teased for being slightly darker, but strangely by African children. I have always been open about who he is, I have always told him that he has so many cultres and traditions that he can follow. Now he doesnt care, when asked why are you “browner” than your sister, he bluntly replies because I am half indian.

    Its not whether the”look” a specific race, its how we raise them to be proud of WHO they are.

    But from experience, the gap is getting smaller, there are more and more mixed race children than we realise. And I honestly believe that if we raise them NOT to see colour, it will make no difference to them.

    Lets face it 1994 was 19 years ago, and even if you dont see the changes, they have happened, as the younger generations mix together socially the colour lines are becoming more and more blurred. Its usually us parents that see it.

    May 21, 2013 at 8:43 am
    • Reply Karen @ MiriMoo

      I love that you mention the issue of being teased for being darker. I’ve found that this isn’t restricted to mix race children. I know in America (thank you Oprah) many African American children have reported being bullied by other African Americans for having darker/lighter skin.

      May 21, 2013 at 8:52 am
  • Reply Retha

    Interesting read, thank you. Also planning to adopt either a mixed race or white baby, I must admit, I have been wondering about the future for a mixed raise child. I choose to believe that enough love and direction will give them the tools to become who they should be, irrespective of their skin colour! I think our country is also developing more tolerance for that which is different every day, and who knows, maybe they will be the pioneers!

    May 21, 2013 at 8:44 am
  • Reply Karen @ MiriMoo

    I’m from Cape Town. The younger (teenager/early twenties) people I know don’t seem phased by race. My daughter and I are ‘caucasian’ and ALL of her cousins are mixed race. Maybe its because the’re all so young, but they can’t see the difference and I hope that never changes.

    Yes they should be taught what makes them unique, but in the same way that they are taught why girls and boys are unique to each other. I agree with Sally-Jane, there will be so much ‘mixing’ that before long even the old people can’t take issue 🙂

    May 21, 2013 at 8:48 am
  • Reply Sian

    Its an interesting one Sharon. I worry about it too and like you I really don’t want my boy to be hurt. I will have to give it some thought and write my own post on this one. All the replies so far are very interesting.

    May 21, 2013 at 9:04 am
  • Reply Lizan

    I have a coloured daughter along-side my two very white very blonde older son and daughter. I have found that how society perceives you lies mostly with YOU. If you get offended and stroppy for someone giving you a funny / disapproving look you indirectly say that there is something to be upset about. I have learned (with time and many failed attempts NOT to throw a hissy fit) to just smile @ these people and engage in some kind of neutral conversation, offer help, and just be VERY kind towards them. This caused many an obious racist and prejudist individual to engage in a conversation regarding your child and this becomes a valuable education opportunity. These people leave the conversation not noticing the very obvious skin and hair differences in my youngest. We live in a small town farming community in Limpopo and I must say, with responding rather than reacting to people’s mostly rude stares and comments, the community has accepted her and she has even cracked the hearts of a couple of really tough nuts. By having a Rainbow family we are pioneers in our generation and communities, and we should expect opposition as ground breakers. How we deal with that opposition will set the stage for future generations. Adopting our youngest is such a blessing, for our entire family, and NO one should let the fear of racial prejudice stop them from adopting. Remember – taking a stand for what is RiGHT almost always receive more opposition than for making a stand for what is WRONG (eg abortion etc etc). It comes with the territory. Accept it and use it to create a better society for our children!!!! And ps: Sally-Jane – I support your theory 100%!!!!! Mixed race will eventually become a global majority!!

    May 21, 2013 at 9:32 am
  • Reply Melinda

    Sharon, my ex husband was coloured.(He would have taken offence to being called mixed race…cause he was proud of being coloured) I spent 17 years of my life with him. What I found was that, although there is racialism it was not as bad as I thought. One of the things that made is alot easier was that I surrounded myself with people that did not have a problem with colour.
    Should we be given a child through adoption, it would be a mixed race/black child. We have made it very clear to everyone that if they are not happy, they are not welcome. People who make jokes about “blacks” or “coloureds” do NOT respect your decision and should not be part of your future.
    Once kids get to school, they will always be teased about something. Ava and Hannahs generation is very different to our generation. They are growing up with less “colour” conscience. There is alot more racial tolerance at the schools. The school around the corner from me is all races, adoption, child homes…
    Through all this waffling I did above…the thought I wanted to put across to you is “surrounded yourself and family with open minded and accepting people. Do not compromise. Racialism is any form must not be accepted in your daughters lifes.

    May 21, 2013 at 9:47 am
  • Reply Lise

    I must say, I have found very few people who have been in any way derogatory or rasist towards Mark. We get the odd stare in shops and restaurants, but people always smile and chat to him.

    Interestingly the only difficult comments have been from black people when I have been alone with Mark – the sexual,” I see you like the Black Man”, type comment, which is very uncomfortable to deal with.

    Mark talk about his brown face and his dad’s white face. But other than that, it hasn’t dawned on him yet. They are learning rhyming words and his little friend calls him Marky Darky, much to the amusement of the parents.

    Mark is nearly 5 and in a very mixed school, but no teasing, no anything so far. I agree with the comment that you need to make your children proud of who they are and strong in themselves; no matter what colour they are.

    Children, because they are children, will find the one sore spot with any child and tease or taunt them about that. So if their colour is a non entity, the bullies won’t be able to take hold.

    Maybe we have been very lucky so far.

    May 21, 2013 at 9:52 am
  • Reply jenny

    I may be very wrong but in my experience with Dylan being six and in the schooling system so far, kids find other things to be bullied about. Skin colour is (so far) not an issue in this generation – perhaps that changes with time? I do think every child has their own quirks and foibles that will be picked out by their peers – so if it’s not skin colour it may be a personality trait or weird toes. Kids can be harsh and all we can do (in my opinion) is build our children’s self-esteem so much that none of that ever affects them

    May 21, 2013 at 10:14 am
  • Reply Emy

    This is a subject very close to my heart. My daughter is mixed race. She looks like Ava, I am white and her father is colored. While she is quite possible the most beautiful person I have ever seen, I always worry about her future and what it holds. Growing up in a white household and hearing stories of my husbands upbringing are so different. And if we have another child what will he/she look like?

    What saddens me is that we live in a society where you have to think about these things. That we can’t just raise our little girls without worrying about things like that. I was in Checkers once, at the till, and the teller actually turned to me and said “her dad isnt white hey, you can see”.

    May 21, 2013 at 10:22 am
  • Reply Laura

    I can relate to this post. As you know my older 2 are coloured. We make for an interesting family – 2 little brown children and my blond hair blue eyed toddler :))

    People often ask me whose children are the older 2 and the kids at school still ask me why am I white and Cameron/Kiara brown. Cameron often gets asked if Jack is his cousin.

    We deal with it one question at a time and I am open and honest with the child asking and explain that Cameron’s dad was coloured and that Jack’s dad isn’t etc etc..

    Neither of them have ever been teased about it though and both have a very mixed and varied friendship circle.

    Yes I think there is still prejudice but walking around our school I see how the boys and girls of different colours are mixing more and more now.

    May 21, 2013 at 10:22 am
  • Reply Kim

    Move to Australia Sharon where this will be a non issue 😉

    Kim
    xxx

    May 21, 2013 at 10:51 am
  • Reply Clarissa

    We have a fair amount of friends in mixed race marriages with mixed race children. I do, however, see their children as better off than my daughter as society (the business world I’m referring to) favours people of other races. I just think of all the opportunities that will be open to them that P will be turned away from because she is white. This is a hard pill to swallow because I honestly don’t see differences between the various races. We are all the same.
    Society is also progressing and I think that each year that goes by ‘mixed-race’ will be the norm as opposed to the exception. Knowing you, Sharon, you will raise both of your girls to be strong, confident and brimming with self-esteem. Children can be cruel and will tease others about a variety of things. There’s a good chance that it may not even crop up. It’s the adults that need to be sent to the naughty corner.
    PS Your girls are beautiful!

    May 21, 2013 at 10:59 am
  • Reply Isabel

    My very dear friend has just lost her 22 year old son. In all the sorrow I was able to see the most amazing thing. Wes was a caucasian boy but his close friends were from all race groups, mixed race, etc. These boys were so close and they all cried the same colour tears for their fallen friend!! In the long run our children will decide for themselves who they will love and who they will surround themselves with..

    May 21, 2013 at 11:14 am
  • Reply Raymond

    Hi Sharon.

    I don’t think you need to worry all that much. Just the fact that there are even mixed race babies out there means that society is changing its closed minded views on race and race relations.

    Your children will be growing up in a far more open minded generation of friends and family than that of your current or parents generations.

    May 21, 2013 at 11:17 am
  • Reply Callie

    I’m 19 weeks with a mixed race child. The babies dad and I are not together, he is mixed race himself so the chances are my baby will have some mixed race looks. My parents are not particularly friendly towards black people, so I don’t know how I will deal with issue either. You aren’t alone

    May 21, 2013 at 6:09 pm
  • Reply Sharon

    Thanks for the comments everyone, I think it needs to be noted that the documentary that I was referring to was filmed in 2011 in the UK and ALL of the people interviewed had faced prejuidice, racism and bullying of varying levels and degrees. If its happening there, it most certainly is happening here too. How wonderful it would be if it didn’t have to be that way, but I think it’s unrealistic to assume that it doesn’t happen, or that it isn’t that way, or that it isn’t a concern for those of us raising mixed race children.

    May 21, 2013 at 7:30 pm
  • Reply sophie

    Hi Sharon, I hear you !!

    I agree with Bratt / Melinda, surround yourself with like-minded, open-minded people is a first thing.
    Then, I believe it is good that you and your husband have coloured friends so your girls can find “role-models” (re. looks, hairstyles, color schemes … that fit their skin shades etc.) in your near environment and identify with them. It will make them feel “at home” in both race groups.

    I understand that in SA, races have a special dimension to it. Here in Europe, you have all kinds of races and mixes and we have mixed class rooms, playgrounds, families …. however, when I considered putting Zoé in a private Kindergarden because I believed the pedagogical approach made more sense, I noted that there were (almost) only white children from higher social classes attending this kindergarden …. it is ambivalent !!
    Also, I know Ethiopians who find it strange to see adopted Ethiopians having same looks as them but having manners like “whites” …. I guess the point is that racism is not only a “white privilege”. I personally believe that best is to acknowledge differences and encourage respect for diversity from a young age … Also, the more we manage to make our kids grow into confident adults, the more they will have the understanding that they are the “bright future” and that the “racists” are the “has been stupids” !
    For Zoé we have no choice to boost her self-esteem, her growing as black AND jewish !! ;-))
    Follow your heart, you are doing great !!

    May 21, 2013 at 9:23 pm
  • Reply Pandora

    I have the same concerns as you, Sharon. A lot of great advice in the comments above. Kids will be teased, and in laws will be hated. Our kids have little extras to contend with, being adopted and looking different to their family. Kids are not naturally prejudiced. A few kids have asked me why L looks different, but it was always just out of curiosity. Parents add that extra layer for their kids. For me it has been so far so good, not too many comments. But then I am not a person that invites conversations with strangers, nor do I notice other’s reactions in public. I don’t care.
    So this is how I am trying to prepare us for these issues:
    Teach my child that if others have an issue with us it is their issue and does not deserve our energy.
    Try to raise her as a confident person who knows that how you look is not the most important thing, but how you act is.
    Talk to her about her day every day, care about X smacking Y, what A said and who really, really did have chocolate for lunch. If we don’t talk to them now they won’t suddenly want to open up when they are teens.
    Talk to her about being adopted, and being different and help her to prepare some answers so she doesn’t get caught unawares.
    If she does get teased, ask her if it is a nice feeling, and does she want to do that to others.
    Teach her that just because someone calls you a ‘poo poo head’ does not actually make you one.
    Teach her I will always give her the benefit of the doubt, and that she can tell me anything. Even if she has done something bad. We don’t punish her if she comes to tell us she has done something bad, but we do if she tries to lie about it or hide it.
    Teach her to be proud of yourself and not set her value by how others see you.

    Putting it all down like this makes it seem like an enormous task, and I am certainly not going to get it all right, but if I can just remember to do some of these things, I hope that at the least she will want to talk to me, tell me what is happening, and trust that I believe in her.

    Lastly, the comment about moving to Australia, how lovely it sounds. I know you mentioned it before, and it is something we talk about, except to Europe. There is a lot less prejudice there, as I experienced on holiday last year, but there she would always stand out. Teasing is a major issue, my sister deals with it all the time with her girls, so it is not that she would be singled out for being different, they all get teased for any little thing. But she would always stand out. Here she would face other racial issues all her life, but she would blend in much more. (And people don’t want to touch her hair all the time here.) I feel a bit damned if we do, damned if we don’t. It weighs heavy on my heart, it really does.
    One part it seems I don’t have to worry about is her finding a husband with a lovely family, as she is determined to marry one of her 2 little best friends, both little blond boys, who’s families we have become friends with. They will live in our granny flat and be waiters. So we are sorted on that front! I can dream that. It will be so easy, can’t I?

    May 21, 2013 at 9:31 pm
  • Reply Toni Long

    I must say ,it

    I must say that it’s the first time I’ve heard of
    ‘caucasian” where does the word come from and mean?

    May 21, 2013 at 10:14 pm
  • Reply Ayesha

    I have many friends with mix race children, and while adult society might think its different, and pass comments on it, the current generation of children are so much more accepting. To them it is the norm, and my own kids when referring to others use colour in terms of clothing, not skin colour! Eg. ‘That yellow boy is my new friend’, would most likely mean the boy with the yellow tshirt!

    A lovely manner of conveying the concept to mix-race children used by my friends:
    Bake a batch of cupcakes
    Make 2 different colours of icing, that can mix to make another colour(pink and blue)
    Ice some of the cupcakes pink
    Ice a few in blue
    Then combine the pink and blue in different quantities to make different shades of purple

    As you go along, explain to the kids, see mummy is like pink icing. Daddy is like blue icing. When you mix them together you get so many different types of purple… Just like when you!!! And although you might look more like one parent, you’ve got both of us in you, and we both £ovε you so much!!!

    P.S: this is my all-time favorite blog to read!

    May 22, 2013 at 8:02 am
  • Reply Robyn

    Yes, they will be teased. I am Coloured myself but was teased because I am fair! Even compared to my siblings – my sister and I are fair, but my brothers are dark – all four of us from the same coloured parents. I clearly remember kids telling me that I was like a “whitey”, except for my “croes” hair! Kids can be cruel! But thank God our parents raised us to believe that we were beautiful and wonderful and what other people said didn’t matter – and honestly, this is the most important thing. We were prepared for the nastiness of the world, and because our parents had instilled that self worth, although it stung, it truly didn’t matter. And I think if you raise your girls this way, they will be absolutely fine! These days my friends still joke about how fair I am, and I can laugh about it too! And not just regarding race, I am trying to instill in my own kids that being “different” in whatever way, is not necessarily a bad thing – it sets you apart because you are special and chosen by God! xx

    May 22, 2013 at 10:04 am
  • Reply Anne

    Hi Sharon,

    Although I’ve been reading your blog for a while, I never left a comment but this topic is close to my heart, so I will add my tiny stone to your wall.

    I am French (white) and my husband is South African (black). We have a 16 months old son and we decided to give him an African first name. My husband works abroad and only comes back for a week every few months. So I’m basically raising Neo on my own.

    Race in South Africa matters and it will still for a long period of time. The history of this country was based on race and you cannot scrap out the consequences of racist policies in 20 years. As long as you are aware of this and as long as you make sure that your children are aware of it, you will be fine. We live in Joburg (a rather open-minded city) and when we started dated, the looks of people on us was too much for me. The day I told my husband that I did not know if I could deal with this, he said to me “You have no choice. This is SA. You know our history. You will not change people so deal with it or we have to break up”. This was a wake-up call for me. I could not change people but I could ignore them. And guess what I did?

    Since Neo’s birth, I’ve had people ask me if I had adopted him (hubby being away, people often see me alone with Neo). I knew that this would happen. And I know that this situation will carry on especially if Neo is only seen with me. And this will be made even more complicated from the fact that my husband and I come from 2 different social classes.

    In my modest opinion, what is important is to maintain the channel of communication open with your children. I agree with the fact that children will always find ways to tease one another (I draw a line between teasing and bullying – the last word being overused and abused, in my views. But that’s another topic). I was teased at school because of my last name – something I could not change like the colour of one’s skin.

    I strongly believe that SA is changing, slowly but surely, and that our children will experience a different society from the one you experienced (remember, I was not born here 😉 ). What is important is what you instill in your children and what the people who surround them instill in them. I’m saying that because racist comments can also be made about other people in front of our children and I think these are the worst. The common “coloureds are all gangsters” or even the “you know how coloureds are…” generalising underlying racist comment will hurt your children as much as if it is directed to them.

    For me, it’s about making sure that my child knows where he comes from, who is parents / grand-parents / siblings (in the African sense) are and to try and guide him on the best path possible for him in a sociey that may reject him sometimes but also show some curiosity about who he is.

    Good luck.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:17 am
  • Reply Anne

    PS: Sorry for the length of my comment and the many mistakes I can clearly see now… 😛

    May 22, 2013 at 11:19 am
  • Reply Precious Segoe

    I really cannot say much because I will never stop.

    All I wanted to say is that your children are beautiful.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:23 pm
  • Reply Kerry

    Hello Sharon….

    I am white and my husband is coloured, we have a 9 year old daughter who has perfectly straight light brown hair with an olive skin. She tells us often that she wishes she was skinny (her term for white skin) with blonde hair. It is heart breakind but all one can do as a parent is tell them that God makes us all and we are all beautiful to Him.

    People say they dont have issues with mixed race people but like many of the above comments have stated that the underlying racist remarks are still there…even from my coloured in laws! I personally believe that young children are more inquisitive than racist but the kids do feed off the adults reaction and comments. We have “unfriended” a few of our friends as I never want my daughter to be hurt or made to feel inadequate due to racist “jokes” or “well meant” comments such as ” at least her hair is straight “.

    We still have a long way to go before racism no longer exists in SA but surrounding yourself with like minded people and people that love you and your children regardless of their colour will go along way towards them having a good self esteem and surviving in a world where they are considered “different”.

    Good luck x

    My daughter is 9 years old now and

    May 23, 2013 at 10:55 am
  • Reply Already a 100% mom, but not legally. Considered foster for now.

    Racism is alive & well in South Africa. It exists is various shapes & forms, from outright hateful comments to slightly more subtle comments like white people saying to me: “I would love to adopt, but there are no white babies available & very few coloured babies so we can’t adopt”, which in my (very biased opinion) is a ridiculous reason not to adopt. If people really want to adopt a baby, there are plenty of black babies who need homes. Our social worker told us that they have a number of adoption queries from white parents who express an interest in adoption, but these “want to be” parents back off when they find out how long the waiting list is for white babies. The scary thing is people who say or believe such things are in denial about it & claim not to be racist but use the reason “you know what black people are like” or “I know you are black, but you’re different”. It is heartbreaking, but a reality of our country, that I hope & pray will not persist forever.

    Wishing you well in raising your girls Sharon. This parenting journey is an awesome, challenging, wonderful one for us all. Ava & Hannah are adorable.

    May 24, 2013 at 8:52 am
    • Reply Anne

      I hear you so well… Ordinary racism is the worst form of racism and it is the most persistent. Any sentence that starts with “I’m not racist but…” makes me so angry!

      May 29, 2013 at 8:38 am
  • Reply Lynne

    We live in Malaysia and we have the most beautiful soft curly hair children, born in South Africa. (mixed race). Here in Malaysia the people will look at bella’s hair, touch it, and say: ‘is it real’? (i’m thinking, no, we permed it. or no, it’s a wig’ 🙂

    It will happen for the rest of her life, but we as parents, can prepare them for all the questions, teach them to be proud of themselves and where they come from and to love themselves will every little and big thing in them.

    i believe that God has already planted every answer to every question they will ask us one day, into our hearts, and we, the parents and our children, will be advocates, not only for adoption, but also for self-empowerment, standing up and loving who we are.

    at the end it is not about being black or white. it’s about having a soft and kind heart, about loving ourselves and about knowing how to look people in their eyes with respect and love when they say something that hurts us. It does not matter what color our children are… we make color a something, when it clearly is something so simple. I asked our son the other day what he will answer someone who ask him why his brother/sister is darker than him (waiting to adopt in malaysia)… he looked at me, smiled and said: i’ll just say he is from another country.

    Parents, believe in yourselves, in the reason why these little human beings have been placed in our lives… it was planned… looongg before we even thought about adoption, and we can prepare our children for their futures xx

    May 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm
  • Reply Fahranaaz

    I know what it feels like to be looked down upon because of the colour of your skin. But I never viewed it as something wrong with me, instead I pitied the people who thought they were superior to me. As you grow up, you learn to deal with it. The great thing is, that I can say for certain is that things are definitely changing. I see more and more how races are mixing especially with the younger generation; whites boys dating coloured girls, coloured girls dating black boys. It was unheard of just a few years ago. But now its normal and the parents of those children who date outside their race, have to accept that this is society today, weather they like it or not.

    May 29, 2013 at 9:24 am
  • Reply Lacie

    I loved this post and the the comments that follow. I have a biracial baby whose birth dad is caucasian and birth mom who is of mixed race. He looks like a baby of color, however it’s hard for people to put their finger on. He looks like he could be hispanic, asian, african american or of mix of all of the above. I like all commenters are embracing the diversity and trying to navigate how best to deal with this within their own families. I like the approach of teaching our children to be proud and to model how we would want them to respond in these situations.

    Now, I must figure out how I can see “Twincredibles!” It looks like a fascinating documentary.

    May 31, 2013 at 4:42 pm
  • Reply Nicky

    Pretty late, but just found this post now. We live in Cape Town, and my partner is caucasion(Afrikaans), and I am coloured. We have a six year old soon, and he has very fair skin(I’m dark) and straight hair. I often get asked if he is mine(although he clearly has my features). I don’t take offense to these things anymore, I ignore the stares in shops and so on. It never bothered me, but an incident occurred at my son’s daycare recently which really upset me.
    A kid in his class told him not to kiss me on the lips because I am black, and you shouldn’t do that with black people. He was very nervous when he told me, and he wouldn’t kiss me when I dropped him off.
    We had a long talk about it later, and he said it doesn’t matter if his family in pe(where I’m from) have brown skin, he still loves them all, and will kiss them all. I was so sad for him, but so proud of him for coming to this conclusion!! And since then he kisses me everyday as normal, no issues at all.
    We’ve had some issues with Afrikaans white people, a friend even told me once that she can’t understand why people of different races would want to be together – she said “look at animals, they don’t take mates from different species”. Well.

    September 13, 2013 at 2:28 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      OMG! Different species??? Seriously? That is the dumbest comment I have ever heard, I am so sorry Nicky! Different races are not of different species, we may have different skin colours, but underneath it all, we are still the same! Under our skin, we have the same hearts and souls, the same hurts and hopes and dreams. What a revolting thing to say!
      And bravo to your son, but how sad that he and children like him and my daughters are going to be faced with such insensitivity and cruelty. It breaks my heart but strengthens my resolve to raise amazing, confident and loving little girls. May our children be an example to society of what is good in the word.

      September 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm
  • Reply Peselemoen

    My girlfriend is black but very light skinned her daughter is abit darker, sometimes she makes the comments like “i have accepted it”, for me there is nothing to even accept she is beautiful just the way she is, even as black people we grow up in an environment where dark skin is seen as undesirable, its not uncommon to call a dark skin child “this black thing” when they do something wrong.

    I used to think i cud only date coloured girls bcos of the light and fair skin but I fall for a dark skinned coloured lady and thats when it sort of changed for me started to see it different.

    If that is Hannah on the picture she is very adorable, just raise her to be a kind compassionate human being, teach her right from wrong, tell her she is beautiful and special, be especially a good example for her then what happens in the streets wont affect her if she has a strong foundation at home.

    July 27, 2016 at 11:25 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      Thank you for your kind and compassionate comment Pselemoen. I am horrified by the “this black thing” sentiment.
      As a mother of mixed race children, my eyes have been opened to societies stereotypes and prejudices.

      July 28, 2016 at 9:13 am

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