I’m Chocolate!

Well, I’m black and Brett is white. Funny way to start, but keep reading! 🙂 So, one day Journey and I were playing and somehow the subject of the difference in skin color came up. I told her that I was chocolate and she was mocha and Daddy was vanilla. We still don’t know what flavor Faith will be 🙂 She might be vanilla bean. Anyway, then a few days ago Journey started calling herself “chocolate, like mommy.”

Yesterday the girls and I went to the grocery store. We were in one of the aisles when Journey sees a little girl and says, “Chocolate girl!” , “like me” It kind of took me by surprise because we had only talked about “chocolate and vanilla” skin at home. She is a very smart and attentive girl. Then she told me that the girl had a “chocolate” momma too! Made me laugh because she was just stating a similarity that is so simple and so complicated.

All of these moments have made me think about how I want to speak with her about race and understanding peoples differences besides their race. Because I don’t want her to think that just because of her race she has to behave in a certain way; positive or negative. As I was growing up I always had to deal with this, but I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it.

For whatever reason I have been teased by people and even my family before for the way that I speak and act. People would say I acted like a “white girl” and because I had longer hair that really made them tease me. Well, even my own family has said that to me, that I acted like a “white girl” and I don’t get mad at them anymore because I know where they have come from. My family is from North Carolina and they have had different experiences that have shaped their opinions. But while I was a child those words really hurt and confused me. I was just being me! After the second grade I really took the time to figure out how to pronounce all words the way that they were in the books. As a second grader I had asked my teacher if I could “Axe her something.” She sayed, “Oh no, you don’t want to axe me! That would hurt!” I really loved this teacher so of course I didn’t want to hurt her! lol So, she said, “Say is like this, a s k. Ask. Not axe!” And that is the moment when I began pronouncing words right and “talking white.”

Now living in Santa Monica, CA we don’t see very much diversity. And especially without a car it is hard to go to any other city. I would like to think that some little kids stare me down at the park because I am just so beautiful. But I know it is because they have probably never seen a black person before. I don’t know. Just my initial reaction. It is situations like this that make you delve deeper into yourself. The only way to overcome this is to really understand it. Anyone can say that race isn’t an issue anymore, but it is. It is what shaped our country, we are still living it. There will always be a race undertone in the United States. It may one day change completely but that may not happen our kids are having grandkids. What is that another 30 years? I’m not good with math 🙂 It could last forever who knows?…

So, as my daughters are growing up I want them to understand that we are all special and unique individuals. Journey and Faith will follow their own paths so I want them to be secure and confident in who they are as whole people. Inside and out. I am doing that now in motherhood. Having my two girls has helped me in finding myself. It is teaching me to really lead through example by showing them how to take race lightly. What I mean by this is that, by taking race seriously they hinder themselves as people to break free from stereotypes. By taking race lightly they will focus on the whole person and not pass initial judgment. Race in any way will always be a topic in some situations just because we are a mixed race family. Brett and I joke about it. In honesty I don’t like my coffee like I like my men, I like my coffee black with lots of sugar! Brett would say he’s the milk to my coco puffs! lol We say this lovingly because we love the person and the package.

That is all I want for Journey and Faith. They should love the person and the package, especially in themselves.

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