Black mom. Blonde daughter. She yours?

Amber-and-HAmber Duke,
New Albany, IN.

My bi-racial daughter has her father’s blond hair and fair skin. Soon after she was born, I was shocked when people would randomly ask, “Is she yours?” Once, in an airport, when I responded yes, a woman challenged me saying, “…but she has blond hair.”
Due to a new upgrade at our doctor’s office, I learned that she’s been categorized as white in their system since her birth. As she grows older, I’m concerned about how these types of comments and missteps will make her feel about her racial identity.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • Cute.

  • Zuni

    White is White. I have a Black mother and was born in the United States living my first 5-6 years there, before leaving to Argentina to live with my European father’s family. In the US I was called “Mixed”, but in Argentina am more appropriately labelled and viewed as White. Since I have dark brown hair,green eyes,and pale olive skin I obviously much prefer being White. My father even took it upon himself to give a European name which my Argentine Passport was issued under and I have been known as for the past 15 years.
    Life is so much easier to be White.

    • Nina Symone

      How is your life easier ?

    • barry irving

      …what is White exactly…surely you know that White is a social construct based in assumed superiority? Life may easier to be “who you are”…

      …I am African / Caribbean / American…advanced degree in my field, Father, Grand Father, Educator, life time self employed. To me life is so much easier to be educated and accomplished. Race has nothing to do with it!

    • the guest

      Easier or not, you have every right to identify as white even if you have a black parent.

  • Foreverxfiles

    My quadroon daughter lives in New Albany, Indiana. I am mixed living across the river in Louisville until I move over to here. I have seen a few Quadroon/biracial families like ours here despite the overwhelming shock. I went through this myself. If you need local support, contact me.

    • barry irving

      …Quadroon???…that’s a Slave term for a person who is 1/4 African.
      Ever heard of Bi-racial…Mixed Race???…jus say’in!

      • Foreverxfiles

        And I am biracial and the term Quadroon is still used by Mixed people to describe someone who is 1/4th black and 3/4th white. My daughter is a Quadroon and proud! She’s not biracial, she’s a Quadroon! We also use the term multiracial and mulatto as do tons of mixed people. Just look at Mixed websites. It’s our terms and we use them!

        • barry irving

          …it’s a Slave term…no one uses the word today c’mon??

          …Mulatto is not used much either except in Europe and some former Colonized countries…they’re archaic.

          …go on be different…..feel better?

          • Foreverxfiles

            Different, no actually it’s the norm! I could care less if it’s archaic or not. And you are trying to tell me no one uses the term anymore. Really? Because every mixed, interracial website/magazines I belong to for the past 18 years have used the terms mulatto and Quadroons. I used to write articles for two online mixed newspapers. Look on FB, there’s a page called I’m Mulatto and Proud.

            Also Multiracial Activist here the terms, biracial, multiracial, Quadroon and Octoroon is used.

            I used to belong to a group of Quadroons online because I am a mother of one.

            I know the history but we still use these terms to this day. You may not like it but that is NOT going to change what we use as our definitions for ourselves.

          • barry irving

            ..as I said…go on..be different if it makes you feel better. I repeat… They are “SLAVE TERMS” . Affectation often resides in the lives of the descendents of Slaves. This particular one is yours, maybe one of many…most likely!

            …I am an artist, educator, performer…professionally,
            I move in the real world of progressing people with respect to politics, culture, social activism and education. I never hear anyone using your chosen terms and I mean never. I’m from N.Y.C.

            …I spent the height of my working career as an Educational Contractor in Albany, N.Y. and the Greater Capital District. This is the Capital…the center of Law and Education. If I used terms like that, I would have been ostracized.

            …We shed long standing affectations and labels that were put on us and that have derogatory or
            non-humanistic meanings. Octoroons, quadroons, mulattos…all bred like animals…deny that!

            …sometimes turning a negative into a positive can be fruitless and even absurd. I care not what you call yourself. I was just telling you the status of your Racial terminology in the very real and regular world. The Constitution allows you that privilege.

            …Official classifications of Ethnic populations are another matter. The Government would “NEVER” use a term like Quadroon today on any official correspondence or in the body of any written policy!

            …In Society, derogatory terms are frowned upon and going around calling yourself an Quadroon will get you more pity and disbelief than criticism.

            …Change is for the taking and understanding. Growth and self realization comes from that if it sought in ernest. You feel you have already done that. If so, congrats… but I wholeheartedly disagree!

            …Names and terms carry legacy. I guess yours is slavery!

          • Foreverxfiles

            I think you are just looking for an argument. If you don’t care what we call ourselves, why do you keep posting? It’s pointless!

          • barry irving

            …I am involved in life as an educator. You need education. No biggy!

            … I don’t care what you call yourself. As I tried to explain, there is a bigger picture. I am involved as an educator on those issues. So lucky you. I care about the issue as it relates to society. You commented and I responded. That is what this is all about!

          • Foreverxfiles

            I have a Bachelors degree in Religion and a minor in Cultural Anthropology. I also own my own business. In every post you bring up your education. If you were truly educated you wouldn’t have to constantly prove how intelligent you are! Not only that, but your attempts to insult me shows more about you than you realize! Please move on, perhaps stand on a street corner and shout it to the heavens because your argument is falling on deaf ears.

          • barry irving

            …not making an argument or trying to convince you that you should see my way. I merely told you that you are quite the archaic one. You comment…you get a response. Deal with it!

          • Foreverxfiles

            I said I knew the history but we use those terms anyway. I don’t have time to keep going back and forth with you. You aren’t going to change my mind or that of the mixed community. I’m moving on. Have a nice life!

          • barry irving

            …you can’t change a fool or give them advice!

          • barry irving

            …oh, and you typically clam up when you are presented with commentary that you can’t refute…that’s why you’re offended.

  • Johnny Yip

    This is the life of the bi-racial child you brought into this world. Don’t be shocked when people think you are not the mother, since she looks white. I’m black and Chinese, and when my mother was carrying me as a baby people thought my mom was a nanny since I came out looking all black. As an adult, my parents apologized for not understanding how being bi-racial was growing up. Although they had their own challenges being a mixed race couple, it still isn’t the same as being bi-racial. Understand that society will see your daughter a certain way, but it’s your job to instill her dual identity in her. People still think I’m all black, and I don’t spend time correcting every single person because it’s a waste of time. But I know who I am- black and Chinese, society doesn’t dictate how I identify myself. She might have growing pains trying to find where she fits in, but as long as you give her an even upbringing celebrating her white and black genes she should be alright. P.S, she’s a cutie!!

    • barry irving

      …people make those comments and ask those questions out of ignorance and insult. Lets be real. A polite person would never do that!

      …If you are Half Asian then I doubt that you look “all Black”. That may be your conception and you are entitled to it. All Black ( African ) is like my Grand Fathers and my Cousin Bob…they were all “Black”…genetically.

      I have English Blood in my direct family so I am reddish Brown – fairly dark, I don’t pretend that I am pure African genetically because I know different. Besides, it’s irrelevant. I am an Educator and an Africanist. You would say that I am Afro centric meaning that my African roots and heritage is at the fore front of my identity as an American citizen. That’s all that counts.

      …how society sees one is irrelevant too in reference to your individuality and the functions of that trait. You need not be ruled by societies projections.

  • Maurin Quina

    Beautiful photo

 

Tweets by Michele Norris