Trans-racial Mothering: Double-Edged Privilege

Trans-racial Mothering: Double-Edged Privilege

Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless
Volume 17, Issue 1-2 (01 February 2008)
pages 8-36
DOI: 10.1179/sdh.2008.17.1-2.8

Martha Satz, Assistant Professor of English
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

In this essay, the white adoptive mother of two bi-racial children reflects upon her thirty year experience of parenting to make several philosophical claims. She argues that through the unique mother-child bond, trans-racial mothering may produce knowledge of others’ experience that crosses the racial divide. She claims that in this way trans-racial mothering produces epistemic and ethical privileges that may give the mother an advantaged position in public dialogue. Yet, paradoxically, in light of this epistemological transformation, highlighting the works of Black legal scholars and theoreticians, she argues against the general practice of trans-racial adoption of which she is the beneficiary.

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