I raised my sons to be racially neutral

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-19 22:47Z by Steven

I raised my sons to be racially neutral

Salon
2014-10-18

Terry Baker Mulligan

Two mixed-race boys, one lighter skinned than the other. Did I make a mistake telling them they were the same?

One Saturday night in St. Louis about decade ago my younger son, then a teen, was driving around town with two white friends. I’m black and my husband is white, so our two sons are biracial. This particular son has his father’s straight hair and aquiline nose. His skin is brown like mine.

The friend in the back seat behind my son stuck a paint pellet gun out the back window and shot a stop sign. He didn’t see two police cars parked just ahead. The cops hustled out of their squad cars and did the “Whoa, what the ‘F’ are you doing?” routine. The kids were taken to the police station, the gun was confiscated, and eventually all the parents were called to come to the station.

Back up about eight years. As a young family, we usually didn’t talk about race or even acknowledge it, because at the time we didn’t see the need. Then one night at the dinner table I got my first reality check when our younger boy, who was 7 at the time, said, “Dad, I want white skin and braces. And a new first name, like Michael.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Multiracial family embraces twins’ uniqueness

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2014-10-02 15:33Z by Steven

Multiracial family embraces twins’ uniqueness

News 10, KXTV
Sacramento, California
2014-10-02

Daria Givens, News 10 Staff

A Lincoln family embodies California’s melting pot and embraces their uniqueness.

LINCOLNFraternal twins Viviana and Dennis look very different from each other. They are part of the Ng Family, a multiracial family from all parts of the world.

The twins’ parents Kenika and Ashley Ng also come from multiracial families. Kenika Ng’s is African-American and Hispanic; his father is Hawaiian and Chinese. Ashley Ng is Irish and Hispanic.

Combine their racial make-up, and their children have more of a unique blend. Ten-month-old Viviana, who is four minutes older than her brother, has bright blue eyes and light brown hair like her mother and looks white. Dennis on the other hand, with the big brown eyes and black hair looks like his dad.

Read the entire article and watch the story here.

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Black Fathers, Present and Accountable

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2014-09-24 16:38Z by Steven

Black Fathers, Present and Accountable

Lens Blog: Photography, Video and Visual Journalism
The New York Times
2014-09-19

Maurice Berger, Research Professor and Chief Curator
Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

An anxious little girl hugs her father as a shark swims overhead in an aquarium. A man feeds his baby as he keeps a mindful eye on his three other rambunctious children. A single father reveals the tattoo on his forearm that depicts him as his son’s guardian angel. A young man poses proudly with the teacher he sees as a father figure.

While these photographs depict everyday situations, they are in one sense unusual: Their subjects are black and counter mainstream media that typically depict African-American fatherhood as a wasteland of dysfunction and irresponsibility. These images appear in a groundbreaking new book, “Father Figure: Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood” (Ceiba), by Zun Lee, a photographer and physician based in Toronto. A reception and book signing to mark its release will take place Friday night at the Bronx Documentary Center.

In 2011, Mr. Lee began photographing black men and their children from New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Toronto, Newark and other cities. He relied on friends and social media to find his subjects. Intent on creating a nuanced and affirmative view of these families, Mr. Lee spent weeks at a time getting to know them.

“Out of the hundreds of fathers I came across, the ones I ended up photographing were right for this project for very simple reasons,” Mr. Lee, 45, wrote in his book. “Not only did we develop a trust that allowed me into the inner sanctum of their private lives, but something about these fathers’ interaction with their kids resonated in ways that redeemed my own story.”

Mr. Lee’s personal history informs the project in complex and surprising ways. When he was in his 30s, his Korean mother confessed to him that his biological father was a black man with whom she had a brief affair. This knowledge, combined with the physical and verbal abuse he endured from the Korean father who raised him, stoked anger and confusion. Mr. Lee wondered why his biological father abandoned his mother, why he had made no effort to reconnect with his son, and whether his childhood would have been better had he been raised by both of his biological parents…

Read the entire article here.

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Making mixed babies

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2014-09-12 15:08Z by Steven

Making mixed babies

Bump 2 Baby: Pregnancy & Mothering Blog
2014-09-11

Jody-Lan Castle, Linked Data Specialist
BBC News

As the world becomes increasingly more heterogeneous, having a mixed identity is increasingly common.

It’s really important to make children aware of their family background.

The memories of my own parents’ family histories had already begun to become diluted as they were passed down to me.

My Mother had voyaged to the shores of England by boat from the far lands of Malaysia. And my Father, born just round the corner in Essex, was the son of descendants of Irish and Roma travellers.

But specific details were never handed down to me, as they had started fading even from my Mother and Father’s recollections before I was born…

Read the entire article here.

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Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2014-09-10 16:23Z by Steven

Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World

Paradigm Publishers
June 2015
192 pages
Trim size: 6″ x 9″
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-61205-848-1

Sharon H. Chang

Research continues to uncover early childhood as a crucial time when we set the stage for who we will become. In the last decade, we have also seen a sudden massive shift in America’s racial makeup with the majority of the current under-5 age population being children of color. Asian and multiracial are the fastest growing self-identified groups in the United States. More than 2 million people indicated being mixed race Asian on the 2010 Census. Yet, young multiracial Asian children are vastly underrepresented in the literature on racial identity. Why? And what are these children learning about themselves in an era that tries to be ahistorical, believes the race problem has been “solved,” and that mixed race people are proof of it? This book is drawn from extensive research and interviews with sixty-eight parents of multiracial children. It is the first to examine the complex task of supporting our youngest around being “two or more races” and Asian while living amongst “post-racial” ideologies.

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“No Rainbow Families” and the Problem with Race-Based Reproduction Policies

Posted in Articles, Canada, Family/Parenting, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2014-09-08 21:14Z by Steven

“No Rainbow Families” and the Problem with Race-Based Reproduction Policies

Impact Ethics: Making a Difference in Bioethics
2014-09-08

Catherine Clune-Taylor, Doctoral Candidate
Department of Philosophy
University of Alberta, Canada

Catherine Clune-Taylor suggests that we should target institutional and interpersonal racism rather than restrict individual reproductive choice

A July 2014 Calgary Herald article revealed that Calgary’s lone fertility clinic, Regional Fertility Program, restricts patients’ use of sperm donors to those of the same race. This “no rainbow families” policy received both national and international coverage. The media attention prompted the clinic to release a statement on its website, claiming that the policy was discarded a year ago (though the clinic had failed to update its website to that effect). Furthermore, the clinic maintained that the views represented in the article were solely those of the physician interviewed, Dr. Cal Greene, who apparently was unaware of the clinic’s change in practice. This is a dubious claim, given Dr. Greene’s position as the clinic’s administrative director and the full transcripts of his interviews with the article’s author, Jessica Barrett.

This news highlights the need for improved oversight of, and regulation for, fertility clinics. In addition, news of this clinic’s policy has given rise to complex, sometimes heated discussions among many about race, racism and good parenting.

As someone who is mixed-race, I was surprised to hear support for Dr. Greene’s arguments in social media from non-white and mixed-race persons. They sympathized with Dr. Greene’s arguments that parents and children should have an ethnic or cultural connection (presumably secured via shared race). They specifically cited the many experiences of interpersonal and institutional racism they had experienced growing up as non-white or mixed-race. They reasoned that a same-race parent would be better able to prepare their children for, and support them through, such experiences, and that it was better to not bring a mixed-race child into a racist society if it could be avoided…

Read the entire article here.

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Black Dox: Father Figure

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Canada, Family/Parenting, Media Archive on 2014-09-07 22:39Z by Steven

Black Dox: Father Figure

By Blacks: Canadian Black owned everything
2014-09-04

Nicole Franklin


Zun Lee

Father Figure – Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood

Photographer: Zun Lee www.zunlee.com
IG, Facebook: zunleephoto
Twitter: @zunleephoto
Project Timeframe: September 2011 – present
Publisher/Contact/Pre-order: Ceibafoto LLC
Book Release: September 19, 2014.
Awards: Named on “PDN 30 2014,” Photo District News’ annual global list of 30 new and emerging photographers to watch.
Book Trailer: Father Figure – Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood

Over the course of three years, photographer Zun Lee built trusted relationships with Black fathers from different walks of life. He witnessed intimate parenting scenarios that are often missing from the public realm and that he himself did not experience as a child. Deeply autobiographical, the book of photographs titled Father Figure – Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood connotes Mr. Lee’s attempt to deal with his own resentment toward his absent Black father.

Reportage photography has been one of our most valuable resources when it comes to examining the human race from the 19th century through today. Throughout history many have been intrigued by the story behind a single photograph—a captured frame of hope, despair, conflict or exhilaration. The instinct of many professional and amateur photographers to snap that split second of humanity has been a gift to all who seek a glimpse of the past. There is a stillness and an indelible command of focus that leaves an observer transfixed when a documentary image is the epitome of the perfect shot. Self-taught photographer Zun Lee has been on a lifelong quest looking for that perfect image—that loving father.

Lee, a Toronto-based physician and now self-described street photographer, was born in Germany but knew as a boy that his personal story was incomplete. He discovered early on that his upbringing to a Korean mother and father was not his true background. The real story: Lee’s Black father left his mother upon learning she was pregnant. The disclosure of this truth left Lee with a sense of loss and abandonment that stayed with him as an adult. In a search for the compassion of which he felt robbed, Lee and his camera sought out images of strong, involved and devoted fathers—Black fathers—who society has deemed nonexistent…

Read the entire article here.

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Whose Sperm Counts?

Posted in Articles, Canada, Family/Parenting, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2014-08-20 16:54Z by Steven

Whose Sperm Counts?

Nursing Clio: Because the Personal is Historical
2014-08-19

Lara Freidenfelds, Historian of Sex, Reproduction, and Women’s Health in America

Recently, a Canadian fertility clinic made the news because it refused to allow a white client to be impregnated with sperm from a donor of color. The clinic director told the media, “I’m not sure that we should be creating rainbow families just because some single woman decides that that’s what she wants.”

When I first read this, I felt offended. Personally. My husband and I are different races, and our kids are bi-racial. I guess I had never proclaimed us a “rainbow family,” but ok. The clinic’s decision to avoid creating bi-racial children seemed like a judgment on my family. Like, my family’s not terrible or anything, but as a society we wouldn’t want to go making extra families like mine if we can stick to normal, uni-racial families. Am I a bad mother because I ignored race when I chose my spouse? Would it have been more responsible of me to have my kids with a white father?

The media and Canadian officials agreed with my gut feeling. Journalists have written highly critical stories. Through a spokesperson, Health Minister Rona Ambrose declared, “Our government believes that discrimination in any form is unacceptable.” Through my twitter feed came declarations of “old time racism” in Calgary.

So, case closed? If we chastise the backward clinic director and remove the race stipulation, everyone is happy, no one is second-class, and the infertility client can have a “rainbow family” just like mine?…

Read the entire article here.

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Ethnic-Racial Socialization and Its Correlates in Families of Black–White Biracial Children

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-14 20:40Z by Steven

Ethnic-Racial Socialization and Its Correlates in Families of Black–White Biracial Children

Family Relations
Volume 63, Issue 2 (April 2014)
pages 259–270
DOI: 10.1111/fare.12062

Annamaria Csizmadia, Assistant Professor, Human Development & Family Studies
University of Connecticut, Stamford

Alethea Rollins, Instructor, Child and Family Development
University of Central Missouri

Jessica P. Kaneakua
University of Connecticut

Child, family, and contextual correlates of ethnic-racial socialization among U.S. families of 293 kindergarten-age Black–White biracial children were investigated in this study. Children with one White-identified and one Black-identified biological parent who were enrolled in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort participated in this study. Parents’ racial identification of children, parent age, family socioeconomic status, urbanicity, and region of country predicted the likelihood of frequent ethnic-racial socialization. Relative to their biracially and Black-identified peers, White-identified biracial children were less likely to have frequent discussions about ethnic-racial heritage. Findings suggest that ethnic-racial socialization is a prevalent parenting practice in families of young biracial children and that its frequency varies depending on child, family, and situational factors. Implications for practice are discussed.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Mixed roots, common bonds

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2014-07-30 22:00Z by Steven

Mixed roots, common bonds

The Kansas City Star
Kansas City, Missouri
2014-07-21

Jeneé Osterheldt

Her first year at KU [University of Kansas], Jasmin Moore noticed the black students sat together. The Hispanic students sat together. And everyone else did the same. This was over a decade ago.

“For the first time, I was trying to figure out where I belonged,” she says. Her mom is white and her dad is black, and students pulled her in different directions, wanting her to declare herself. She found herself gravitating toward the Hispanic students. She looked like them. At the time, it was easier.

As she and her husband pursued graduate programs, they moved to Little Rock, Ark., where things are still very segregated and being mixed is an anomaly.

“People didn’t know what to make of me,” she says. “I got stares. I realized that for people in other places, being biracial is still a unique experience, and it’s important to support others.”

And that’s why, now that she’s back in town, she is helping rebuild the Multiracial Family Circle, now called Kansas City Mixed Roots…

Read the entire article here.

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