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.

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