Not just the “pretty” side….

bbThe brief two minute interview with Common says much in the way of how we look at those in interracial relationships. The voice-over (JanetStillSpeaks) by Janet, speaks to a larger issue going on in the Black Community though. There is a sub-culture, especially among young Blacks (18-25) that says it’s okay to actively seek members of other races simply to have a “pretty baby”.  As if having a brown or chocolate-colored child would be a disgrace.

Having grown up between the Midwest and East coast, outside of my own biracial family, there were very few other “mixed” families. My parents and grandparents raised all of us as black, even though we could tell we were different. Despite that, there was never an instance where self-hate was taught or tolerated  by anyone (white or black) in our family. We learned as much about Marcus Garvey as we did President Harding.

What I find disturbing now however, is that there are quite a few young Black people that do not like who they are or how they look. Living in Arizona for the past six years, I have come across a wide-variety of races and culture. None has baffled me more than the blacks that I’ve run into since I’ve been here. No sense of cohesiveness among each other and a lack of individuality – same weaves, nails and styles; same extra-large jeans hanging around the knees. Napturals (the fro’) give way to weaves, traks and wigs. None of the Afro-Cuban style that many of the Black men in Florida have adapted or the mile-high, elegant hairstyles that many women of color sport in the Midwest and East.  Okay, so I know I’m not in Kansas anymore, but even Blacks in Texas and Colorado have their own defined style that’s hard to miss.

Many are having interracial children here and are only focusing on the “other side” of the family. Black history and ancestry is not being told. What is worse, these children are being exploited as the “Honey Boo Boos” of their immediate families and as outcasts from the “other” side of their families. Add to that toxic mix the identity of the [black] parent becoming inextricably tied to that of the child. If it sounds confusing to you, think how it sounds and feels to a 6 or 7 year old.

As Janet said in her voiceover, certainly there are many of us who date outside of our race, and it has nothing to do with whether or not we want our kids to look a certain way or that we’re exhibiting self-hate….we just generally like/love the person we are with and for all we care, they could look like The Incredible Hulk…wouldn’t matter. But this is an issue we need to continue to pay attention to and make sure that no matter what cultures are mixed, both sides should have equal footing and the children of these relationships should know their full heritage…not just the pretty side.

 

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