Black mother. White baby. Didn’t matter.

lisamom1Christine Mitchell,
Reading, PA.

I’m a black woman married to a white man but still, imagine my surprise in the delivery room when my baby came out white. Not “white” like black babies are often very light skinned until their color comes in, but white.

They put our bracelets on so our babies wouldn’t get mixed up but in the inner city ward of the Philadelphia hospital, we were all black mothers and no one confused their child with mine when they wheeled them in for feeding and baths.

As I looked at this child with blue eyes and blond hair I realized that I had to have some recessive white genes in me somewhere for her to be this fair. And, as my fingers traced her chubby legs, inspected every inch of her body as new mothers do, and watched her greedily latch on to my dark brown nipple, I also realized that it didn’t matter. She was a beautiful baby. She was our baby and her color just didn’t matter.

I’d say race matters as a society that has a very recent history of systematically oppressing people of color, and laws need to be passed and enforced to correct that injustice. But race doesn’t matter as far as who you love.

Now she’s a grown woman with her own children and if it’s possible, I love her more now than I did then.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • christopherallen

    touching. My grandparent’s on my mother’s side are brown skinned. My mother and all of her sisters except one are brown skinned. Her sister Nancy, my aunt, came out as fair skinned as your daughter pictured minus the light eyes and hair. Our family comes in many different colors but not so much as to ever be mistaken neatly for white. She had her fair share of being viewed with skepticism growing up. People often questioned whether she was adopted and even other family members entertained the idea of an affair. The latter is low and light-years beyond my grandmother’s conscious. Given her dedication to home and family then, where would she have even found the time?! Despite what seems to be the impossibility of it all, Nancy was and is always treated like a daughter, sister, aunt -no better no worse.

  • We were also truly surprised when both our daughters were so pale. This is more proof that we are all one race, human! Please see my twitter feed for more info on our family. @vote4davyjones.

 

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