The New York Times reported President Barack Obama identified himself as black on the first family’s Census form. I was not surprised. Biracial and multiracial are relatively new terms, and I don’t expect those born at a different time to embrace them.
Obama is 48 and was raised during a time when children had to choose. More often than not, children chose the race that matched how they appeared to society. Obama has described himself as a the child of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya. It is not for me or anyone else to decide how someone identifies himself. I cannot tell someone who he is or who he should be. That is solely a personal decision.
I expect the matter of identity will be a tough one for me. Writers and sociologists have told me Simone and Nadia may change how they identify themselves as they mature. They may even change how they identify themselves based on their environment. In the end, though, it is their decision. As their mother, I will have to respect that.
So, what do you say? Have any of you had to deal with a child who has changed his identity?