For some reason, I am always meeting parents of biracial and multiracial children. Maybe I attract them to me. Maybe I have a special radar that I use to seek them out. Whatever the case, these parents and I start talking about something basic and then one of us says something and the other picks up on it. The next thing I know we are sharing pictures of our children and swapping stories.
The latest encounter involved a white mother of a 41-year-old black man. We were talking about art and then writing. We talked about raising children and about race. She had a photo of her son on her cell phone as well as a print that she keeps with her.
We chatted about the one-drop rule and how her son has always identified as black. She added that although she raised a black man and identified with the culture, she couldn’t use the word we. She couldn’t start phrases with “Well, we black folks” because, well, she wasn’t black.
It makes sense to me. If you’re raising a child of another race, you’d probably become part of the community. If you became part of the community, you’d probably feel some ownership. But this mother knew it was not acceptable for her to strongly identify with the culture.
I started to wonder whether I had ever done that. I don’t think so.
Have you noticed you can’t claim something your child can? If so, how did you deal with it?