*I was provided a copy of this book, but all opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*
Before having my son, I was all in as a girl mom.
As a female, I know all the things that I’m glad my parents taught me, and the things I wish they would’ve spent more time talking about, so while parenting them hasn’t been a total breeze, it has come a little more naturally.
Last March, our family will grew and we welcomed a little boy–uncharted territory. I have 3 younger brothers, but this was completely different.
It hit me shortly before his birth that I’d be raising a mixed race son.
As my pregnancy progressed, I found myself wondering how the dynamic in our family would change.
The lessons I teach my son will be similar to the ones I teach his sisters, but I know his needs will be unique. Here are a few things I hope to instill in my son.
If You Are Dark Skinned, People Will Identify You As a Black Man
My husband are raising are children to embrace both sides of them and identify as biracial. However, we understand that as they grow and form peer relationships, they may at times identify with one side more than the other.
Honestly, as a black female, I wouldn’t be totally bothered if my biracial son came home one day and identified as a black.
However, in this country, blackness, especially for a male can be dangerous, even life threatening. Unfortunatly, I will have to discuss the weight that carries–even if he is biracial, if he is perceived as black, it could make his life more difficult.
Thankfully he has 3 black uncles that can help guide the way.
Your Identity Is Your Own
Even if my biracial son is perceived as black, he will own his identity. No one can take away from him who he is, regardless of the color of his skin.
I will teach my son to be confident in who he is as a multiracial young man, and to not let others pressure him into changing who he was born to be.
I hope that he will learn to embrace both sides of who he is, and be proud of that. If people question his identity, I hope that he will confidently answer, or dismiss if it makes him feel comfortable. I want him to feel confident in his own skin.
Females Are Not Objects
With all of the sexual harrassment cases we’re seeing in the news, it’s apparent that women have been objectified in secret for far too long. I want my son to know that women are to be adored and respected.
Hopefully having two sisters will make this lesson a little easier.
Representation Is Important For My Biracial Son Too
Next time you go to the book store, or browse around your child’s book fair at school, I want you to take a look at the selection of books for boys–especially for boys of color.
The selection is pretty bleak. We want boys to read, be encouraged and have high self esteem, but finding books that foster those things while representing who they are (and what they look like) can be difficult.
The selection for girls goes on and on….and don’t even get me started on boys clothes.
I think sometimes our society is so focused on making boys tough and strong, we forget about other important character traits. So as a mom of a boy of color, it will be my mission to seek out books with characters that look like him.
One great book is There’s Somebody In My Room. What I love about this book is the story is centered around a multiracial kid, but the story isn’t about his identity.
It’s all about a 6 year old child’s imagination running wild when he’s trying to go to sleep. The colors are bright and vivid, and the story is so captivating! Looking for the perfect book to add under the tree? Look no further! Every story featuring a character of color doesn’t have to be about their color!
What are your favorite books featuring boys of color??