meee

You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself

Lauren Russell, Springfield, MO. Words my babysitter told me when I was 7 years old. I remember–she sat me down one day, studied me for a moment and then spoke cold and low, “I found out about your real father and I know he isn’t white. You should be ashamed of yourself and ashamed of […]

The-Family

I am mom, not the babysitter

Mikaela Rejbrand, San Francisco, CA. Being a person of mixed race, my biological mom is white and my biological father is black, and having married an Irish man, my children are much lighter skinned than I am and therefore am often mistaken for “the babysitter”. The constant theme since my children have been born is […]

12-28-15-girls

I’m their mom, not the nanny.

Allison A, Yakima, WA. Sometimes it’s nanny, sometimes it’s babysitter or neighbor, but being asked if I was their grandmother was a first for me. At times, the question is about adoption . . . “Where did you get her?” The questions come from complete strangers, usually white people. The need to figure out this […]

Kendra, 2: taught to exclaim “n*****”

Rebecca Zeissler Salem, IL I was Kendra’s teenaged babysitter. One day, before he left for work, Kendra’s father gleefully showed me the new “trick” he was teaching his daughter. He turned on the TV and waited for a black person to appear on screen. When this happened, he pointed to the person and asked Kendra, […]

We had a maid I loved.

Christina Koomen Roanoke, VA This was the first sentence that came into my mind as far as saying something about race in my own life. There is nothing new about this “story” — a white family of comparative privilege employs a black woman in the household, and the kids in that household comes to regard […]