Loving me = easier to love you

Makeda Zulu-Gillespie, Minnepolis, MN. “The balance in trying to give your children an open road to follow their dreams and making sure they recognize the dangers signs is HARD. It is a complex conversation already then add the dynamics of faith! I see progress and hope beyond my understanding AND I see the reinforcement institutionalized […]

What? They’re not from outer space!

Kathy E. McCabe, Columbia, SC. Yes, these were the words running through my mind back in 1968, while standing outside amongst the rest of the junior high school student body. I watched with curiosity as the two black students made their way ever so cautiously off the school bus. Oh, we had been forewarned of […]


Family matters; race, not at all.

Phyllis Kedl, Little Canada, MN. Ours is a multi-ethnic family. We have fourteen grandkids, only five of whom are ethnically related to us. The rest? Two African American, three Hispanic and four Chinese. We are anything but vanilla, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your project, Michele, may offer our country’s first — […]


We are all brothers and sisters

Christina Williams, Aliso Viejo, CA. Race is such as small idea in comparison to bigger ideas like love, togetherness, family, connection and happiness. I wish to raise my children in a world where people are celebrated for ideas and compassion and not for superficial ideas such as skin color and ethnicity. Race is outside of […]

“Are they yours? Are you sure?”

Adam Conner Washington, DC My sister and I are both adopted from South Korea. Our parents are white. One of my memories from childhood is being at the grocery store and constantly having people ask my mom “Are they yours?” point to my sister and me. I remember one time someone then adding “Are you […]

My children have no heritage day.

Mac Los Angeles, CA My children grew up in southern California and attended fabulously diverse schools that frequently featured “Heritage Days” where the school children were encouraged to wear clothes, and bring in food and other articles representative of their ethnic background. From their earliest years, my kids found this confusing. What were we anyway? […]


That’s weird, your kids are blonde.

Brian Parra, Oxnard, CA. Without fail, the first thing a person remarks on, upon seeing my kids, is that they are blonde and I am not. I’ve gotten used to odd looks and the consistent recitation of a poor understanding of genetics, “Mom must have some strong genes!” Some have literally questioned whether they are […]

Who Will Your Children Play With

Linda Hunt CT I am in a 40 year bi-racial marriage and very early on when my children were small, my grandmother made the comment above. I said they will play with whoever they wanted as long as they were decent.

Fifty shades of brown in a white world

Karen Sulmonetti Falls Church, VA My son was born in Guatemala and is very brown with beautiful dark brown, circle eyes and dark brown hair. As an adopted child, he has grown up with white parents and enjoys life in America. Even though we educate him on his birth country, he is all-American because of […]

My Swahili children: chai ya maziwa

Paula Gormley Greensboro, NC I am white. My children are from two separate worlds: United States and Tanzania. We are living in the US, but I am grooming them for lives in which they, children of privilege, will have an obligation to help their African brothers and sisters. I always tell people that they have […]

Adopted. Raised as white. No identity.

Anonymous Kennewick, WA Being Latina, with a white name, but in knowledge of my Latino surname. I try to be supportive of my friends with their biracial and transracial adoptions, but it is so hard. I have suffered and struggled so much with my identity. People have such good intentions, but the children suffer. Then, […]

Empowered Latina recovering from self hate

Natalia Lopez, Los Angeles, CA. Growing up in East LA and being told I was one of the “good children”, I played into the identity that I was and will always be an exception to my peoples inferiority. Striving to be more like the white girls I saw on television made me feel like I […]

not the nanny

What beautiful children! Are they yours?

Kate Lechtenberg, Des Moines, IA. The statement is spoken as a compliment, and the question is asked with genuine curiosity and is often followed with qualifications: “I mean, are you their real mother? Their birth mother?” Together, these six words set off essays in my mind, essays full of my own questions, frustrations, challenges, and […]

Dad, your words toward others hurt.

Kenneth Hosto, Tucson, AZ. I grew up hearing words and observing ideals that I will not share with others. I still hear those words and see those beliefs in practice when I visit with my elderly parents. I am glad that I can change what my family represents as I pass on new words and […]


Black Fathers Love Black Children, #Shutup!

Nvizaboman, Syracuse, NY. Pointing a gun in the face of a Black boy or choking a Black man, is not a common cultural practice in the Black community. I just feel that needs to be said. Please stop killing us because our lives are an appointment we don’t want to miss. Thank you.


Still afraid for my loved ones

Shari Washington, Clinton, MD. Angry that in 2014 I still fear for my beautiful brown children and their children simply because of the color of their skin. I am shocked and appalled by the brutality and number of incidents brought to light as of late involving the denigration of black people, esp., black men.


How much do they pay you?

Rosa-Maria Lazarovits, Santa Barbara, CA. This happened when my girls were toddlers and we played at a park. A latino woman approached me and asked in Spanish: “How much do they pay you?” Assuming I was employed as a nanny. She gasped when I quickly replied: “nothing!” She could not conceive these beautiful, fair skin […]

But what about your blue eyes?

Dilyn Grasp, Boring, OR. I am a white woman from a small town in Oregon (look it up, it’s a real place). My boyfriend is a first generation American. His parents are from China and Taiwan. When we started dating two years ago (when I was 20 and old enough to make my own decisions), […]

play with everyone

I wanted to play with everyone.

Leigh Marz, Kensington, CA. I remember visiting my grandma in Arkansas in the summer. She took my younger brother and I to a park so we could play with other children. But when we started to play with some African American kids on the monkey bars it was suddenly “time to go.”

My kid’s names will be normal

Anonymous, Canton, MI. As a conscious black man in America, I’m aware of the institutional racism that still exist. I am an educator in the urban community and have seen some names that will hinder some of my students from getting picked out of the pile of resumes. I’m thankful my parents named my brother […]


Will My Children Know White Privilege?

Ellie Myers, Saint Louis, MO. I was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri where the tension around race politics is palpable. Race never played a big role in my life, because it never had to. That is, until I started dating black men. I remember friends in high school joking about me going to, […]


White Parents Raise Beautifully Diverse Children

Louise Bannon, Holly Springs, NC. Raising, playing, growing and living as a diverse family is an extraordinary experience. It brings both good days and tough days – obstacles and disappointments, laughter and lightheartedness. The journey is full of stares – stares full of curiosity, stares full of love and stares of hatefulness from the people […]


My beautiful black boys deserve HOPE!

Maria Roach Bowie, MD My children are too young to understand racism. They see people in three categories: family, friends, neighbors. But I see the moms who fearfully pull their children off the playground when my family arrives. There are good people and bad. Judge by actions, not by skin color!


No, I am not the nanny.

Liliane Dizon, Tampa, FL. Each time I have been pregnant, people (mostly white women) have said the rudest things to me. Most recently, as my daughters were standing next to me, a woman said “You must be excited to finally have one of your own!” I asked her to clarify what she meant. She pointed […]


Where did you GET her from?

Beth Watson, Tacoma, WA. In ‘post-racial’ ( I use this term sarcastically) America, living in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t believe how many times I have been asked outright, “where did you get her from?” in response to seeing me and my bi-racial daughter in public. This question, of course, comes at the end of […]

Never keep secrets from your children.

i, Lulu, San Antonio, TX. I was 52 when I confirmed what I had long dodged: I was adopted — more like appropriated — at birth. Back then and in my part of the world (Texas), those things happened. My adoptive parents are on my birth certificate as the birth parents. Whatya gonna do, right? […]


Changing the path of my children!!

Tina Bradford, Chino Hills, CA. Being raised in a home where “White is Right,” I only had one thing I could do. So I went on my own path of development. Creating myself into the black sheep of the family. Why would I do such a thing? So my children could learn we do not […]


Yes, those boys are my brothers.

Julia Guerra, Austin, TX. My brothers are very important figures in my life. They were born to a white mom and a white dad. They are blonde and red-haired, with blue and green eyes. When they were little babies, my white mom married my Mexican dad and he adopted both of them as his own. […]

But where do you come from?

Caitlin Wong, USA. I am a White American woman who relatively recently started seeing a Chinese man. He was born and raised in American, but he is not biracial. It’s a fairytale romance – I am in love and I couldn’t be happier. At first it surprised me that we got stares, especially in New […]


My children won’t rob you

Shamica, Oklahoma City, OK. I never knew that becoming a mom would be different based on race. I was raised on military bases, everyone got along. I knew that people could be racist but I never really experienced it. I was . . . naive. Then I married my husband, at a young age, then […]


Father, Husband, Soldier, Taxpayer, Voter, Mentor.

M. Peek Fitzgerald, Harrisburg, PA. In my 53 years of life I feel that I must carry something like this every time I leave my home. This is not the America I fought for. Not the America that I have to explain differences to my children. I’m an American too and I feel like a […]

America is not for black people!

Taylor Valdosta, GA Systematic racism exits and is targeted towards blacks. It’s in the government and in schools, Its always and will always continue to be that way in this country. American is not for blacks! Whites don’t want us here but we are here and we have put more work into building the country […]

Because I married a white man

Patricia Osborn Grand Rapids, MI People are always surprised when they see me. My last name doesn’t. “match” how I look. Although my parents are awesome and didn’t think twice about any of their children’s spouses race , my aunts and uncles made so many comments ranging from me not wanting to be a true […]


We’re a’ Jock Thamson’s bairns

Susanna Gourlay Wilbraham, MA This is a saying my dad taught me. I moved to the USA from Scotland and it was a phrase he told when I was talking to him about how sad it was that people get treated differently based on the color of their skin. The saying means, “We’re all God’s […]

Slaves yes, but an “M” in the census!

Nancy Buell Tempe, AZ I expected to find slaves in my ancestors census records but I did not expect to find ” M”. Which meant the children were 1/2 white and there were 3 of them. Who was the father? It sure looked like it had to be the father or the sons, all my […]

Poverty and racism leave children “behind.”

Susan F. Bohrer Merced, CA I started a tutorial program and later worked as a social work intern in a middle school where 70% of the students lived in poverty; 80% belonged to minority populations. From the teachers I learned that college was for other kids, and from the students I learned that it didn’t […]

Not Mexican enough, Not white enough

Tricia Redlands, CA I am a Mexican American that grew up in a home that did not speak Spanish. Both my mother and father were Mexican Americans born in California and their parents didn’t speak Spanish in the home as well. One time I asked my grandfather why he didn’t teach his children Spanish. His […]

Por supuesto que soy su mamá

Sonia Kang Northridge, CA Are you their mom? As a biracial mom (Black/Latina) married to a Korean man with children who look more Asian than anything else, we are often looked at with curiosity. They look at them then at me. Is she the nanny? Who can she be? Whether at their Korean language immersion […]

You are the color of us

Jennifer Davis St. Augustine, FL I am a white mother of two bi-racial children. It is hard when society identifies them as black when they are an equal part white. But more than that, they are Milo as much as they are Jen, they are outspoken as much as they are unsure, they are me […]

What will my children look like?

Madeline Murphy New Orleans, LA My father is white. My mother is black. My experiences and perspective as someone who is visibly “mixed” is something I greatly want for my own children – and can’t help but worry about. What if my children look white and people identify them as such? What if they look […]

Check Race: “Other-American Melting Pot”

Roberta Wyse Torres Houston, TX When I completed my childrens’ forms to enter kindergarten, I was confronted for the first time with that droplist, “Check race: select one only:” Really? It went on to explain that if you did not select, then the school would select for you based on the teacher’s best guess, because […]

My children are people not flavors.

Dionne Bensonsmith Pomona, CA Mother of 4 transnational, multiethnic and multiracial children. My husband is Russian with two children from his previous relationship, I am African American with one child from my previous relationship and we have a child together. Our children are not mocha, java, vanilla or chocolate swirl…they are Russian, African American, So. […]

“He’s not really yours, is he?”

Stacey Golden Portland, OR I am Euro-American and my husband is African American. When we decided to adopt children, we adopted children that had bio-parents that were the same race as us, thinking, at the time, that then our children would feel more comfortable in a family that would have been like their bio-family. That […]

You must check only one race.

Maureen Shuh New Orleans, LA In New Orleans, my children are told by teachers to check one box for race since there is no multi-racial box to check on school and standardized school forms. The teacher will tell my sons what to check based on which race s/he feels is closest to our sons’ appearance. […]

These are my children, enough said!

Jill Dziko Vashon, WA As the white mother of 4 children of color, I am constantly being asked if they are my kids. When they were very young I learned to say, “These are my children” and that no other explanation was necessary! My kids think it funny that I am the only white one […]

I forget that they’re not white.

John Mitchell MS As of July 1, our trans-racially adopted twins are one year old. I sometimes forget that they are adopted and not white like me. As my favorite blogger Carlos Whittaker said in a similar dialogue, “I think that’s kinda the point.”

Tiger Moms eat their children alive

Ethan Tsai Boulder, CO Growing up with the stereotypical Tiger Mom supposedly fosters the growth of amazing children, but I have only seen the heartbreak and misery it usually brings. The incredible pressures brought on by parents that want to live vicariously through their children – raising them to only accept being number one (and […]

Your children really look like Americans

Renu Gehring Portland, OR I am an ethnically Indian woman married to a white man. Our two kids are a happy blend of brown and white. We live in a community that has a large number of recent Indian immigrants. I am surprised by their reaction when they see me with my children. When they […]

My children can never be president.

Barbara Lewis Madison, AL It has been said that one thing that makes this country great is that any child can grow up to be president. This is not true for my daughters. Because of the “natural-born” clause in our constitution, my daughters, who were born in China but legally adopted into the US by […]


One white, one brown, same parents.

Adana, Seattle, WA. I have 2 children. My son looks just like his papa: dark, wavy hair and alabaster skin. My daughter looks like me: golden skin and curly brown hair. When I’m out with my son, I’m asked if I’m his nanny. When I’m out with both kids, I’m asked if they have the […]


No, not the nanny… They’re MINE.

Valerie Grajeda Rountree, San Jose, CA. I grew up not speaking Spanish in a very Mexican neighborhood. My mother sent me to schools out of my area to prevent me getting involved with the local gang population. I grew up with other nationalities and met my future husband in high school. He is white. Our […]

My daughters are not my grandkids.

Terri Hunter-Davis San Francisco, CA My daughters are 11 and 14. I am middle-aged. Like many women of my generation, I had a career before I had a family. Countless times I’ve been asked if they’re my grandchildren. No, I did not get pregnant in high school. Funny, no one questions a white woman in […]

Waiting for, “Are you the nanny?”

Emily Miller Oakland, CA I shouldn’t have been surprised when my youngest daughter was born with White skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair. She looks just like her Dadddy. But she doesn’t look like me. My eldest daughter has my brown skin, eyes, and hair. But I still shouldn’t have been surprised. I’m mixed race. […]

My President is black, and white.

Kenneth L. Fisher Saint Michaels, MD My wife is white and I am black. I want my children to be Black AND white since they are. America loves labels, neat ways to categorize things. We have no problem celebrating and acknowledging an Irish-American person who has never been to Ireland but a child of mine […]

White mom, colorful kids, heart ripped.

Tanya Haney Middleton, WI I am a white mother and school employee; my kids are white, Asian and I have been a foster parent to an African-American child. I have been struggling and driven to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem of institutional racism, but I struggle daily. People look […]

I’m glad my children look white

Mark Mott Hillsboro, OR I am an Asian American who grew up in VA, I was called many things and many were not my name. I struggle to this day with my race, I am glad my children will not have to struggle with not being accepted because of skin color like I did.

Watching my children negotiate racial identity

Kim Y Edmonds Baltimore, MD The issue of race has evolved but we in the US are still struggling and clearly uncomfortable. Those probing questions that my children get (What are you? Which parent is black? Are you Puerto Rican? How did you get blue eyes? That blond hair could not have come your Mom, […]

Determined by our genetics or ourselves?

Jane Hortelano Pewaukee, WI This is a question that first occurred to me years ago when I met a friend’s future husband and sister-in-law. The children of a white mother and African-American father, it seemed to me that these sibling differed in their self-perception: I believe that he saw himself as mixed race, while she […]

Afraid children won’t look like me

Alexandria Jones Columbus, OH As a biracial woman (African American and Caucasian) who married a Caucasian man I’m afraid that our future children will not resemble me and I will have to constantly explain/prove to other people that my children are mine!!

I bet they’re good at math.

Steve Titterton Lindenwold, NJ I’m white, and the father of two Asian children. Went into that thinking that race was irrelevant if I thought so, the social workers told me that I was wrong, and they were right. My card is about how I was made aware of what it means to make assumptions about […]