3 Comments

  1. says:

    February 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Oh, Martha – I love your comment about how you aren’t worried, but wondering. I feel that way so often too! I rarely worry (yet) about what my boys’ experiences will, but I definitely experience a sense of curiosity about what will unfold and how and why.

    You raise a really interesting point about how the experience of black Americans whose families are not tied to a history of racial injustice in the U.S. may have different experiences of what is means to be black in America, though I suspect many of their experiences – as far as how they are perceived and treated, and how they feel about that – would be similar. I had not thought much about that before. And now I really want to read Obama’s book!

    Funny, I just posted about race stuff today too…trying to understand where my 5 year old is coming from as he works through the fact I don’t “match” the rest of our family (which is actually kind of funny since, based solely on skin color, he and I probably “match” more than anyone else in our family…but he is recognizing that everyone in our family is African-American except me).

    • Martha says:

      February 3, 2012 at 11:02 am

      For sure the experiences are similar, but they are not holding on to the racist past inside their hearts, so it is probably perceived differently. For example, Annika’s dad has told me that when he first moved to the U.S. and other kids wanted to touch his hair, he didn’t mind. He was interested in touching their hair too. He was just a little kid, but still, there was no animosity at all. Pure interest. That’s probably not the greatest example. But anyway, yes, it will certainly be interesting to see how our children evolve and how the world will change as they grown into adulthood.

  2. says:

    February 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    You’re right, the experience of a new African immigrant — especially from a country with a good standard of living, like Nigeria — is different from that of a black person whose roots stem back to slavery in America. But other people may not know that, and she may encounter people in the future who project those injustices upon her. Good thing that you’re thinking about these issues while your daughter is young.

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