Here is a tiny treasure that I found in the library this summer. A book of poems, All the Colors of the Race, written by Arnold Adoff. Based on his own interracial family, Adoff writes from the perspective of his biracial (black/white) daughter, which I find very interesting. At first I was a bit thrown off because I generally prefer poetry to rhyme, however, his style is considered "free verse" poetry. The more I read (and re-read) them, the more I fall in love with them! I hope you do too.
The lady saidby Arnold Adoff
The lady said: what are you going to
when you grow
all the way up?
And I said: a woman.
And she said. No. I mean what are
And I said: a girl.
And she said: No. I mean what do you call
And I said: Honey. Baby. Sweet
If she finds it hard,
I find it easy
to make it hard for her.
I'm Your Peanut Butter Big Brotherby Selina Alko
Interracially married, author/illustrator Selina Alko came up with the idea for this book while pregnant with her first child. She wondered what the child might look like--and created a darling children's book that reflects the many possibilities.
(from the book) Big Brother wonders whether the new baby will look like him. He blends from semisweet dark Daddy chocolate bar and strawberry cream Mama's milk. He's the baby's peanut butter big-brother-to-be.
Will the baby's hair look like big brother's soft, crunchy billows of cotton candy, or Noel's string beans locked this way and that, or Akira's puffy head of broccoli flowerets?
Will the baby's eyes match big brother's--hot cocoa footballs set wide apart--or will they be a perfect pair of pennies?
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the illustrations! This will be a favorite in our home for sure! Order here.
Andrew's Loose Toothby Robert Munsch
I've been on a quest this summer to find books that reflect multiracial families. This is a super funny one! The book is about...you guessed it, a little boy who has a loose tooth. His parents, the dentist, his friend--even the Tooth Fairy--find wacky ways of pulling Andrew's tooth that no one should ever try! (WARNING: do NOT read to children who have not already lost a tooth...you will scare them to death!)
One of my favorite things about this author (aside from his books being hilarious) is the fact that he incorporates diverse families in the illustrations. This family appears to have a white mother, white father, white child (Andrew) and two brown children. Andrews best friend is Asian, the Tooth Fairy is brown and the people in the city are are very diverse.
Here's dad with the kids:
Another great find!
Father in a multiracial family, Desmond Williams, puts pen (pencil) to paper and creates a soon-to-be-published graphic novel The Painted Man: What My Young Son Taught Me About Race. The collection is a "coming of race” memoir that finds a dad confronted by racially charged questions posed directly by his young son and the people with whom they come into contact.
This book can be used as a conversation starter, a self-reflection inducer, or simply a window into an experience that might not reflect your own.
BTW, I found it interesting that Williams is from Brooklyn, NY. I would have thought "they" were much more versed in this thing we call "race".
More about The Painted Man
One of the best surprises I've had in my life...that's what Blakely is! Born September 8, 2003. I was 35 when I had her and we have truly enjoyed this precious gift. She is FULL of life! She loves to sing, dance, run, play dress-up (the girl changes at least 4 times a day), and she also crushes on the Jonas Brothers (her favorite is Joe). She LOVES all things Princess Tiana! She is definitely a "daddy's girl" but I like to think that she's also a "mommy's girl" too! We have had some unique experiences with Blakely regarding race that I look forward to discussing at some point. She is truly a joy that keeps us on our toes!
(Many have asked if we're going to "try for a boy". When Blakely was around 2, we had some serious discussions about adoption, but now that Sydney is getting ready to go to college, we wonder if we're prepared to start over. Suffice to say, it's still a desire that I pray about).
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="212" caption="Yes, I'm really just showing off her dress!"][/caption]
McKinley is our second daughter and another wonderful blessing! Born July 17, 1995. She is also beautiful, both inside and out, and very different than her older sister. McKinley has a very calm nature. I don't think we ever had "terrible two's" with her. She was always easy to redirect and is a very responsible teenager. You don't ever have to "get on to her" about homework or cleaning her room, she studies hard and loves neat and orderly! Now, she does have a downfall...his name would be Nick Jonas. She just may be his #1 fan! For her 13th birthday we bought tickets for the Jonas Brothers concert (yes, for all of the girls, including me). She told me that she knew it was a longshot, but she entered a contest online to win backstage passes. She told me that she'd really been praying about it and wondered if God would do that for her. The notification day came and went. After youth the following night, she came home to check the voicemail because our youth pastor had left a message. As she listened, she began sobbing (and I mean sobbing)...she said you need to listen..."Hello! This is Team Jonas calling to inform you that you are the winner of backstage passes, please call...."! It has been such an awesome testimony for her and I'm SO thankful that God allowed me to see the precious joy of her answered prayer! Need I say, it was the best 13th birthday a girl could have?
[caption id="attachment_155" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="Kevin, McKinley, Nick, Sydney, Joe"][/caption]
I will be sharing many things about my family on this blog. We have been through a lot and with three girls, we have had lots of experiences! This is Sydney, our oldest daughter. Born November 5, 1991. She is beautiful both inside and out. She is very compassionate and loves people! The last three summers she has been a buddy at a special needs camp and plans on being a pediatric occupational therapist. Sydney is also very creative! She loves art and hates cleaning. She is a very genuine person, a friend to others, and always stands for what she believes in. She is truly a blessing!
I have been privileged to do some diversity training with families who have adopted transracially. One activity that I have seen agencies use is called "Your World, My World". I have seen the activity used with beads that in the shades of people.
Give each family a clear plastic cup. Assign a race to each color of bead (i.e. caucasian/white, african/african american/black, asian/yellow, middle eastern/native american/biracial/brown, etc.).
Ask parents to place a bead of the respective color in the cup for:
Each family member living in your home
Each sibling that you have and their partner (if applicable)
Each immediate neighbor surrounding your home
Your spiritual leader
Your three closest friends (they visit your home, you visit their home)
The school principal
Look at your cup and get a clear understanding of the world your child will enter. Understand that you have the opportunity and responsibility to surround your child with a diverse array of positive role models.