Poem: “We are talking about” (biracial)

This will be my last poem from Arnold Adoff’s book “All the Colors of the Race” that I featured a couple of days ago. There are many more great poems in the book–buy it or check it out from your local library!

We are talking about

by Arnold Adoff

We are talking about

                           the ones who pick        their friends

                           because of how    black      they act

                                                                             or

                           because of how    white     they can

                                                                             be.

Sometimes blackness seems too black for me,

                    and whiteness is too     sickly pale;

                    and I wish every

                                        one were golden from

                                                                    the

                                                                   sun.

                         Golden from the

                                                   inside

                                                out.

“Race: Are we so different?” Part 6 – What race would you be somewhere else?

In this activity, you will see how race and ethnicity are reflected in census catagories across the globe. What race would you be somewhere else? What type of affect would it have on you in that country? Very interesting to think about!

We are winding down our highlights from the exhibit “Race: Are we so different?”.  If you have missed any, you can catch up here: Part 1, Part 2Part 3Part 4 and Part 5. To learn more about this exhibit visit Understanding Race.

Poem: “On my applications” (biracial)

Here’s another great poem from Arnold Adoff that was in the book All the Colors of the Race that I featured yesterday.

On my applications

by Arnold Adoff

On my applications   I can

                               put:

this girl:

          a black,

             white,

Christian,

Jewish,

            young

            woman:

                 student,

                 musician,

singer,

dancer,

runner    in the middle distance races,

                 is willing to help you

                 if you take her as she

                                             is.

Poem: “The lady said” (biracial)

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 said

by Arnold Adoff

The lady said:       what are you going to

                                                 be

                                when you grow

                                all the way up?

And I said:      a woman.

And she said.     No. I mean what are

                                          you

                                          now?

And I said:   a girl.

And she said:   No. I mean what do you call

                                        yourself?

And I said:   Honey. Baby. Sweet

                                       potato

                                       pie

                                       face me.

If she finds it hard,

                     I find it easy

     to make it hard for her.

Poem: “The Cold Within” by James Patrick Kinney

The Cold Within

by James Patrick Kinney

Six humans trapped by happenstance
in black and bitter cold
Each possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story’s told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
the first woman held hers back
For on the faces around the fire
She noticed one was black.

The next man looking ‘cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn’t bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man’s face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

And the last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death’s stilled hands
Was proof of human sin,
They didn’t die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.

“Race: Are we so different?” Part 5 – Does race matter in sports quiz

 

This quiz made me think of the movie “White Men Can’t Jump”. While I haven’t seen it in a LONG time, I remember the gist of it. White boys shocks everyone because he can play ball. Is it a stereotype that race plays a factor in how good of an athlete you are? Test your knowledege.

Surprised by anything?

We will continue to look at a couple more highlights from the exhibit “Race: Are we so different?”.  If you have missed any, you can catch up here: Part 1, Part 2Part 3 and Part 4. To learn more about this exhibit visit Understanding Race.

Children’s Book: “Peanut Butter Brother” (Interracial)

I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother

by 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.

“Race: Are we so different?” Part 4 – Human variation quiz

Can scientists determine a person’s race by looking at their DNA?

Can experiencing racism lead to serious health consequences?

These are 2 of the 10 questions on the Human Variation Quiz. Run over and take it, I’ll wait…

How’d you do? Were you surprised by any of the answers? Tell us!

Stay tuned as we continue to look at a few more highlights from the exhibit “Race: Are we so different?”. If you missed our previous highlights, check them out: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. To learn more about this great exhibit visit Understanding Race.

“Race: Are we so different?” Part 3 – Who is white quiz

This is a continuation of our look at the “Race: Are we so different?” exhibit highlights. If you are just joining us, you might also want to check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Today I’m linking to the Who is White? quiz. Take it and see what you think. In her own words, this is why Vernellia Randall, Professor of Law, University of Dayton Law School, developed it:

I created this survey to help show that we make judgments not only about who is white but also about what countries are white (or predominantly white), and to call attention to some of the questions this raises.

For example, when someone is not considered white is a citizen of a country that is considered white, that person is often perceived as a foreigner. For instance, even though the families of many Japanese Americans have been in the U.S. much longer than the families of European Americans, they are often viewed as outsiders.

Our opinions about who is white and who is not can affect how we relate to one another. Race matters because discrimination based on perceived racial grouping continues to exist.”

Your thoughts?

To learn more about the exhibit, visit Understanding Race

“Race: Are we so different?” Part 2 – History of race

Today is Part 2 in the highlights of the traveling exhibit “Race: Are we so different?”. Check out Part 1 if you missed it.

Today let’s look at the history of race:

To learn more about the exhibit or dig deeper, visit Understanding Race

Dr. Laura’s Racist Remarks and My Response to Jade

Okay, so I have never been a fan of Dr. Laura Schlessinger (aka Dr. Laura). But, yesterday she made sure that I never will be.

Today she issued an apology and “hopes Jade will call back” so she can give her the help she needs (really?). I hope Dr. Laura gets the help SHE needs and spends some time examining her remarks and beliefs.

Jade, if you’re out there, here’s the answer you were looking for on dealing with friends and family who make racist remarks:

Communication is key. If you never share your feelings, they will never know they are offending you. Begin by believing the best in the person and stating so. “I’m sure you never intended to be hurtful, however…” 

Anticipate and rehearse. Take some time and prepare possible responses beforehand. This is good to do with your children too.

DARE – Here’s a great acronym to remember how to handle the situation.

Duplicate the offending statement (repeat verbatim): “When you said…”

Articulate how the statement made you feel: “I felt…”

Request a change in behavior: “I need for you to not make those types of statements in my presence anymore because…”

Explain consequences if the behavior is repeated: “If you continue to make these types of negative statements…”

Follow through! If you say that you will leave if “x” happens again, then follow through and leave the next time. And the next. And the next. If it is a friend, I would limit how many “next times” there will be before letting the friendship end. However, with family, I would prove to be the “bigger” person.

As for your husband, I would continue to keep the lines of communication open with him as well. I’m only guessing that he ignores the situations because he doesn’t know how to handle them either. Maybe the two of you could sit down and discuss some “anticipated responses” together. Don’t let race come between the two of you, let it be something that brings you together!

“Race: Are we so different?” Part 1 – Introduction

There is a traveling exhib that was developed by the American Anthropological Association, titled “Race: Are we so different?”. The exhibit examines racial issues through history, science, and experiences. This is a wonderful exhibit that offers a wealth of information. I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of my favorite parts of the exhibit over my next several posts.

Let’s start with an introduction to the exhibit:

To learn more about the exhibit or dig deeper, visit Understanding Race

Rug – Children Around the World

children around the world rug

Show your love for all people with this bright and colorful rug! This would look great in a playroom, bedroom or classroom! Available here in several shapes and sizes.

Music: “Free to be You and Me”

A couple days ago my 15 year old daughter called me in to watch a new back to school commercial from Target. “Listen to the song in the commercial!”, she said. She recognized one of her favorite childhood songs, “Free to be You and Me”. If you aren’t familiar with the song, I have included the song above. These songs used to be on Sesame Street when I was a kid and are still very relevant today–your kids will LOVE them! What I love most about the songs are they are positive, encouraging and free of sterotypes based on gender, class and race. The cd is on Amazon for just $7.98 (5 star review) and all of the songs are available for preview. This cd would be a great gift to keep on-hand for both boys and girls! Some of our favorite songs have been, “Boy Meets Girl” (below), “Parents are People”, “It’s Alright to Cry” and “William Wants a Doll”. What are yours?

Children’s Book: “Andrew’s Loose Tooth” (multiracial)

Andrew’s Loose Tooth

by 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:

Read it, let me know what you think!

On local radio show today

Today, I will be on a local radio show with Beatrice Johnston from the YWCA and the “Reading to End Racism” program. Tune in to AM 1140 at 2 PM or listen to the podcast online here! Did you know that the YWCA’s mission is: “Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women”? Contact your local YWCA and see how you can get involved!

Poem: “No Difference” by Shel Silverstein

I spent many hours as a child loving Shel Silverstein’s book of poems, Where the Sidewalk Ends.Today I ran across an old favorite. Enjoy!

No Difference

by Shel Silverstein

Small as a peanut

Big as a giant,

We’re all the same size

When we turn off the light.

Red, black or orange,

Yellow or white

We all look the same

When we turn off the light.

So maybe the way

To make everything right

Is for God to just reach out

And turn off the light!

Love it? BUY IT!

Interracial Marriage Legal 43 Years

Today is a very special anniversary for my family. Forty-three years ago today, Mildred and Richard Loving won the Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, allowing interracial couples to marry.

Illegal to marry in Virginia, the Loving’s drove to Washington DC to take their vows. Upon return to Virginia, they were arrested and sentenced to one year in prison for violation of the Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924 that criminalized marriage between whites and non-whites. Their sentence was suspended for 25 years on the condition they agreed to leave the state.

The Lovings appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case, Loving v. Virginia, was decided unanimously in the Lovings’ favor on June 12, 1967. The Court overturned their convictions. 

The couple never wanted to be famous, just happy. They went on to have three children.

Richard Loving died at age 41 in 1975, when a drunken driver struck their car. Mildred Loving died of pneumonia on May 2, 2008, in Milford, Virginia, at age 68. Her daughter, Peggy, said, “I want [people] to remember her as being strong and brave, yet humble—and believ[ing] in love.”  The final sentence in Mildred Loving’s obituary in the New York Times read, “A modest homemaker, Loving never thought she had done anything extraordinary. ‘It wasn’t my doing,’ Loving told the Associated Press in a 2007 interview. ‘It was God’s work.’

On a personal note, I, too, think it was God’s work. His signature is in their last name!