11/18/2013

Confession: I Look At Black People Differently

I have a confession:

I look at black people differently.

Let me preface this post by saying I don't want to sound racist.

Because I'm not.

But I'm more culturally aware.

And I'd be lying if I said I don't look at black people -- especially girls and women -- differently
since Olivia joined our family.

Not better or worse.

Just diff erently.

Like in an, "I wonder if Olivia will have hair like hers?" kinda way.

Let me clarify...

I don't know what it's like to have a biological child.

If I had a daughter with red hair, would kids and women with red hair stand out more when I'm
at the grocery store?

Would I still ask myself, "I wonder if my daughter will have hair like hers?"

Or is this something unique to me because my daughter does not have my genes is quite possibly
the cutest girl on the planet?
Another note...

If I hear someone tell me, "So-and-so adopted a black baby and he's the whitest black kid you'll
ever meet,"
one. more. time ...I'mma whip out my Momma bear claws.

Olivia will know her culture.

She will have black role models.

If that means we have to take her to dance class in a diff erent neighborhood or city, so be it.

If that means we have to be the only white people in a church, we're doin' it.

She will know her heritage.

She will be proud to be African American.

She will NOT be a "white version" of a "black baby."

Comments like these have made me wonder how long this type of prejudice has existed all
around me, and why I haven't paid attention chose to ignore it until our sweet daughter came along.

One more thing...

I never noticed Band-Aids only came in a beige color [or some funky cartoonish design] as if to imply that people with black skin might not want a "flesh-colored" Band-Aid for their skin.

[And before someone says, "They make clear Band-Aids" -- check again. Look at the center of the
strip. That ain't clear.]

A final note...

The point of my post today isn't a rant necessarily.

It's that I'm noticing how things in my life have changed since becoming a Mom -- especically
since becoming a white Mom to a beautiful black baby girl.

And frankly, I'm disappointed in myself.

It's frustrating that at 28-years old [Sighhh. Yes. 28. Y'all know my age now.], I'm just starting
to notice people say things like, "She was black" when that detail adds nothing important to the conversation.

I'm just starting to notice some of the salons and spas that I've frequented my whole life don't
have someone who I could trust with my daughter's hair or skincare because the product lines are designed for white women.

It's frustrating that these things have probably been happening my whole life, and I haven't paid
attention.

Until now.

Perhaps most of all, it's frustrating because I want my daughter to grow up in a world where people are treated equally, but I'm realizing it might not be that easy.