Raising My Black Son

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-22 21:56Z by Steven

Raising My Black Son

Brian, Child: the magazine for thinking mothers
2016-08-09

Suanne Schafer

Twenty years ago, I adopted an interracial child—I’ll call him M—thinking a mother’s love could overcome all barriers, even racial ones. Twenty years later, I’m not sure I did my son any favors. I’m a white mom trying to figure out how to raise a black child in a hostile—and potentially lethal—environment.

M came up for adoption during my fourth year of medical school, the unwanted love child of a sixteen-year-old white mother and a black seventeen-year-old father. Unable to take her mixed-race baby home to her blue-collar family, the young woman kept her pregnancy secret from everyone except her mother then gave the baby up for adoption.

My family was tickled to have a grandchild, whatever his color…

Read the entire article here.

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How White Parents of Black and Multiracial Transracially Adopted Children Approach Racial Exposure and Neighborhood Choice

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-09 18:49Z by Steven

How White Parents of Black and Multiracial Transracially Adopted Children Approach Racial Exposure and Neighborhood Choice

Sociology of Race & Ethnicity
Published online before print 2016-08-02
DOI: 10.1177/2332649216661851

Kathryn A. Sweeney, Associate Professor of Sociology
Purdue University Northwest, Hammond, Indiana

Although past research on racial socialization tends to concentrate on providing cultural knowledge and pride, this paper focuses on exposure to environments as a means of understanding preparation for racial discrimination, specifically in regard to transracial adoption. This article looks at how 19 white adoptive parents of black and multiracial adopted children perceive their neighborhood choice and decisions of where to send their kids to school and whom to befriend in order to understand how they approach racial socialization. Analysis of data from in-depth interviews illustrates how those who adopted transracially both domestically and internationally stressed that they did not want their children to be in environments where they would be the only person of color because they were concerned about their child experiencing racism and feeling isolated. Even so, they tended to live in white neighborhoods and send their children to predominantly white schools. Parents expressed being conflicted by what they saw as opposing measures and perceptions of school quality and racial-ethnic diversity. The parents in this study said that they sought out social support through organizations and friendships to expand their social networks for themselves and their children. Findings are not meant to challenge or support transracial adoption but rather to gain insight into perceptions of racial diversity, neighborhood and school choices, and friendship networks as a way to understand aspects of racial socialization associated with environmental exposure and preparation for racism.

Read or purchase the article here.

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White KC mom of mixed family on why she constantly checks white privilege

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-09 18:19Z by Steven

White KC mom of mixed family on why she constantly checks white privilege

The Kansas City Star
2016-07-24

Aaron Randle, Culture Writer

  • Amanda and Kenton Campbell have a mixed daughter and adopted son from Haiti
  • “I’m so past the warm and fuzzy point,” the 36-year-old mom says

Amanda Campbell is ready when you are.

Ready to get uncomfortable. Ready to share that article on your Facebook feed about why “Black Lives Matter” is necessary. Ready to explain to you why “All Lives Matter” is not. Ready to check you on your white privilege.

“I’m so past the warm and fuzzy point,” the 36-year-old mom says, exasperated, as she leans back in the sofa in her Brookside living room. Her husband, Kenton Campbell, 33, who is black, lounges his 6-foot-3 frame on a chaise to her right.

Their mixed-race daughter, Jocelyn, 5, with cocoa butter skin and a head full of curls, lies across her lap fiddling with a baby doll. Isaac, 8, their dark-skinned, Haitian-born, adopted son, is in the sunroom around the corner toying with a video game.

“When people are like, ‘I don’t want to see (race), I don’t want to hear about it,’ that doesn’t exist for me,” Amanda says.

“Post-racial America” can try to be as blithely colorblind as it’d like. That isn’t an option in the Campbell household. Race permeates the fabric of their existence.

Amanda recalls the time her aunt, who’s also white, told her “she doesn’t see color.” Amanda began to tell her that was a load of crap. “Well actually, Aunty, being colorblind is …”

That’s when Kenton, feeling his wife about to enter “White Ally” mode, tugged at her arm to reel her back in.

“He was like, ‘Don’t go there!’ ” she says with a laugh. “But it’s like, if I don’t go there …”

The sentiment is understood: If Amanda or any other white person who gets the complexities and struggles of black America doesn’t take the opportunity to educate other whites in casual white-privilege moments, who else will?

“I’m ready to talk about (racism). But overall I would say 90 percent of America is not open to it,” she says. “I’m not a percentage as vocal as I’d like to be, but I know that if you are too much, and some people think that I am, that there’s a wall that comes up. It’s a constant balancing act.”

For the Campbells, everyday life as an interracial couple raising both a mixed and black child requires skillful straddling. On one hand, Amanda gets weary of having to educate others. But then again, as the sole white member of the family, she feels an obligation to operate as an ally and advocate, to call out prejudice when she sees it…

Read the entire article here.

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Three Takeaways from Interviewing 110 “JewAsian” Couples and Kids

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2016-07-31 20:10Z by Steven

Three Takeaways from Interviewing 110 “JewAsian” Couples and Kids

The ProsenPeople: Exploring the world of Jewish Literature
Jewish Book Council
2016-07-18

Helen Kiyong Kim, Associate Professor of Sociology
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Noah Samuel Leavitt, Associate Dean of Students
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt are the coauthors of JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews. With the release of their book earlier this month, the couple is guest blogging for Jewish Book Council all week as part of the Visiting Scribe series here on The ProsenPeople.

We have always acknowledged that what drew us to the research that would become the foundation of our book, JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews, started from personal questions based on our own experiences and relationship. When we began our project in 2008, Helen was pregnant with our first child. We were in the throes of trying to figure out not only diapering, sleeping, and feeding a newborn but also how we would raise our child to navigate and contribute to a very complex world. We were curious how other couples— JewAsian because of racial, ethnic, and sometimes religious difference—were figuring out, in light of these types of differences, how to sustain and nurture a marriage and family.

Fast forward to the present: our son Ari (almost 8) and daughter Talia (almost 5) challenge us every day with their endless curiosity and argumentative demeanor. We often find ourselves at a loss for words in their midst, particularly when it comes to in-the-moment questions and statements about identity, whether racial, ethnic, religious, or all three. But then we remember that we talked to roughly one hundred and ten individuals whose own experiences have taught us a great deal about how to think about the challenges we experience every day in our own family.

What have we learned about our own family by writing a book about families like ours? Here are a few takeaways:…

Read the entire article here.

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Planning for German Children of Mixed Racial Background

Posted in Articles, Europe, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Work on 2016-07-30 19:58Z by Steven

Planning for German Children of Mixed Racial Background1

Social Service Review
Volume 30, Number 1 (March 1956)
pages 33-37
DOI: 10.1086/639959

Hans Pfaffenberger (1922-2012), Professor of Psychology
University of Trier, Trier, Germany

Translated by Susanne Schulze

On January 1, 1955, there were approximately four thousand mischlingskinder2 in the West German Republic. This number is still increasing by 250 to 350 a year. More than 70 per cent of the children are living with their mothers, and about 5 per cent with other relatives—grandparents, aunts, etc. About 12 per cent are in institutions, about 10 per cent in foster homes. The remaining children have been adopted, either by American families or, in a few cases, by German families, or they have emigrated to the United States with their mothers, who have married. According to the social agencies responsible for them, 90 per cent of the children remaining in Germany are well cared for. In 10 per cent of the cases, special services have been found necessary, but these have been general services—better housing, convalescent care, etc.—unrelated to the special situation of these children as children of mixed racial background.

The approximately four thousand children of mixed racial background pose many problems for child welfare agencies, and it is good to know that many attempts are being made to find solutions and to suggest remedies. Not all of these suggestions, of course, are equally acceptable, and it seems that the time is ripe to examine some of them in relation to the situation of these children, as it is known through reliable reports, and in the light of some basic considerations.

EMIGRATION OR ADOPTION?

Many people are suggesting general solutions that would supposedly “clean up” with one stroke all of the emerging problems or at least would cover them up; for example, it has been suggested that the problem be solved through adoption abroad, through emigration of the mothers with their children, through emigration of the mischlingskinder, or through segregation of all these children in order to rear them together. Many strong objections to these general solutions may be raised. Recently several welfare organizations, as well as individuals with long years of experience, have warned against adoption abroad, including in the United States, especially when children of mixed racial background are concerned. A most careful investigation of the potential adoptive family seems definitely indicated.3 When we consider the social and economic circumstances of these children, as well as the attitudes of the community toward them, transplanting them to America through adoption or through marriage of the mother…

Read or purchase the article here.


1 From Newes Beginnen (New Beginning [periodical of the Workers’ Welfare Association, published by National Headquarters of the Organization, Bonn]), VIII (August, 1955).

2 Mishlingskinder refers to children of mixed racial background. The children considered in this article are those born to German women and nonwhite soldiers stationed in Germany.

3 See U. Mende, “Adoption deutscher Kinder durch amerikanische Staatsangehörige,” Unsere Jugend, May, 1955, S. 207; E. Hochfeld and M. A. Valk, “Experience in Intercountry Adoptions” (New York: International Social Service, American Branch, 1953).

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My Name Is Leon by Kit de Waal review – a touching, thought-provoking debut

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-07-30 02:19Z by Steven

My Name Is Leon by Kit de Waal review – a touching, thought-provoking debut

The Guardian
2016-06-03

Bernardine Evaristo


Insight and authenticity … Kit de Waal. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

A young vulnerable boy is taken into care after his mother is no longer able to cope

Kit de Waal has already garnered praise and attention for her short fiction. She worked in family and criminal law for many years, and wrote training manuals on fostering and adoption; she also grew up with a mother who fostered children. This helps explain the level of insight and authenticity evident in My Name Is Leon, her moving and thought-provoking debut novel.

It is set in the early 1980s and, like What Maisie Knew and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is told through the perspective of a child who is keenly observant, although we understand more of what is happening around him than he does. In this case, the narrator is eight-year-old Leon, who becomes a foster child. The novel begins with the birth of his baby brother, Jake. Immediately we realise that there is something wrong with their mother, Carol. Rather than cradle the child she has just given birth to, she leaves the hospital room to have a cigarette. The nurse leaves too and tells Leon, “If he starts crying, you come and fetch me. OK?” Leon is left on his own with Jake. The novel is full of quietly shocking moments like this, which reveal how much child protection has moved on from 30 years ago.

The brothers have different, and absent, fathers. While Carol and Jake are white, Leon is mixed race. His father, Byron, is in prison, while Jake’s father, Tony, has rejected Carol and their child. Home is on an estate near a dual carriageway. Carol often leaves her boys alone in the flat when she goes out…

Read the entire review here.

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My Name is Leon

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Novels, United Kingdom on 2016-07-30 01:24Z by Steven

My Name is Leon

Viking (an imprint of Penguin Press)
2016-05-31
272 pages
153mm x 234mm x 19mm
359g
Hardback ISBN: 9780241207086
Paperback ISBN: 9780241207093
eBook ISBN: 9780241973394
Audio ISBN: 9780241976203 (Read by Lenny Henry / 07:51:00)

Kit de Waal

A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you’d least expect to find one.

Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not.

As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile – like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum.

Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how – just when we least expect it – we manage to find our way home.

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Painful but necessary: Why I stopped putting off the racism talk with my daughter

Posted in Articles, Canada, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-26 15:02Z by Steven

Painful but necessary: Why I stopped putting off the racism talk with my daughter

CBC News
2016-07-01

Samantha Kemp-Jackson
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Demonstrators stand in front of the East Baton Rouge Parish City Hall doors on Monday. (Reuters)

Talk opens door to a world where ignorance is not bliss and racism must be confronted head-on

“There are people who will not like you because of the colour of your skin.”

As a woman of colour raising biracial children, I have always been very aware that their reality will one day include the experience of being discriminated against solely for the way they appear. It’s an uneasy truth that I’ve not wanted to address, because who wants to think of anyone hurting their children?

And so I muddled through. Tomorrow, next week, next month — that’s when I’ll talk to them.

Then Alton Sterling was killed. Five gunshot wounds to the chest and back from a pair of Baton Rouge, La., police. Philando Castile the next day in suburban St. Paul, Minn. Five Dallas police officers killed by a sniper two days later as they worked to protect protesters who had gathered to demand justice for the deaths of Sterling and Castile…

Read the entire article here.

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A JewAsian July 4th

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2016-07-22 15:03Z by Steven

A JewAsian July 4th

The ProsenPeople: Exploring the world of Jewish Literature
Jewish Book Council
2016-07-22

Helen Kiyong Kim, Associate Professor of Sociology
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Noah Samuel Leavitt, Associate Dean of Students
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Earlier this week, Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Leavitt determined the three takeaways on raising Jewish-Asian families worth sharing from their research for their coauthored book JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews. They are blogging for Jewish Book Council all week as part of the Visiting Scribe series here on The ProsenPeople.

The publication of JewAsian, coming just prior to the 4th of July holiday, provides a unique lens through which to observe the United States and try to learn about the state of our nation in 2016. Indeed, the way that young mixed-race Jews think about themselves allows us to make larger observations about our society.

On one hand, we are in the hot season of a mean-spirited presidential campaign in which race and diversity are focal points for voters’ anger and activism. On the other, on this final Independence Day during the administration of America’s first mixed-race President, the multicultural cast of Hamilton is on magazine covers and red carpet runways, challenging us to think in new ways about our nation’s founding story and current identity. Moreover, the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold the University of Texas affirmative action admission plan reminds us that we cannot avoid taking race into consideration when we attempt to describe America.

Writing JewAsian helped us confront the central role that race plays for the young people at the center of our investigation. Like our nation, our mixed-race Jewish interviewees feel both the stress and the optimism of their complex identities…

Read the entire article here.

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How white parents talk with their black and biracial kids about race

Posted in Audio, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-21 18:54Z by Steven

How white parents talk with their black and biracial kids about race

The Brood
89.3 KPCC, Southern California Public Radio
Pasadena, California
2016-07-19

How does “the talk” about race and policing play out when a parent is white and their children are black or biracial?

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

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