Kids Parenting

A Letter To Mixed Race Children

Dear Beautiful Mixed Children,

 

You’re growing up and probably noticing that many of the people around you look a little different. See, you are mixed like me, and that can mean so many wonderful things. You have multiple heritages that you represent, so you’ll get to experience various foods, customs, ethnic practices, and some of you will know different languages. People will see your skin color and be confused, judge you, and some people won’t care at all. It seems to be a little confusing right now, but listen.

 

This is me:

Deanna Underwood [Mommygaga.com] 700px
 

When I was growing up, it was much harder to understand mixed race as a child, there just weren’t that many of us. My mother is White and Japanese, and my father is African American. I always had questions in my head, as far back as I can remember: “Why don’t I look like my mom”, “Who do I hang out with?”, “What do they think about me?” or “Will I fit in?” My elementary school was pretty much all white, so having brown skin meant I definitely wasn’t one of them, no matter what my fair skinned mother looked like. Once I got to middle school, all types of races were represented. There was White, Black, Mexican, Asian, Indian, you name it, we had it. At this point, I wasn’t black enough, or white enough, or Asian enough, or anything enough. So where did I fit in?

 

It seems like there is so much pressure these for kids and teens to perform and to fit in these days. As for me, I never completely fit in, I just kinda did what I wanted, what I loved, and things fell into place. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s was a better time, in my opinion, but the idea of mixed race people was still somewhat new and people struggled to be accepting of it. There were many children who didn’t really care what I looked like, so it wasn’t a problem making friends. But the other kids: they gave looks and made remarks that were solely based upon they way I talked and the color my skin was. It was hurtful.

 

Once I got to high school, there were more people, more cultures, and yes, more mixed race kids. That was back in the 90’s, so I can imagine the pressure today! It does get easier. And as you get older, you will realize that your friends and family will love you for YOU. I just want you to know that you are not alone, there are plenty of us who make it through with awesome life experiences and relationships that you may otherwise have missed.

 

These are my kids. They are mixed too, just like you!

 

african american mixed cute kids
 

People will have questions. people will say nice things, and some will say mean or odd things. I know that you might wish you looked a certain way, or that you were different, but don’t. You are accepted, loved, beautiful, intelligent and with your strength, you will be just fine. The whole color and race issue is not going to die down any time soon, not in this life time. All that matters is that you are yourself

 

Sincerely,

 

5 Comments

  • What a great letter, Thanks for sharing it. You and your children are very beautiful! I have mixed children and grandchildren myself.

  • Thank you for writing such a enlightening and wonderfully articulated blog about mixed race children. While growing up, I too felt like I didn’t know where I belonged being half white and half Japanese; and back in the 60’s and 70’s growing up was just as difficult. Hearing those hurtful words, Jap and Ching made me wonder why those children couldn’t see my Caucasian side. I was extremely shy and just ran off crying, but never said anything to my mom and dad. My skin tanned very easily and I was very dark in the summer, but my little brother and cute younger sister were fairer skinned; so I’m not sure if they had the same issues I encountered as a child. Having a parent that didn’t quiet know how to handle her dark skinned, shy, ugly duckling of a child but to make fun of her was, of course, just as hurtful. But as you get older you learn about prejudices, and deal with it and most importantly learn to “forgive”. I now have five beautiful grandchildren, and I remind them that they are an eighth Japanese because looking at them no one would know it. We embrace and celebrate our heritage with my mom as much as we can because her health is not the best at 82. Yes, in our lifetime we will not see the end of race issues, but living in the “melting pot” state of California makes it easier to “just be you”.

    • Thanks for your comment. Some people can be so hurtful, and it’s mostly out of ignorance. Kids may not understand, so it’s good to tell them that they are perfect the way they are. I agree that being in California helps a lot!

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