“She’s so pretty for being Black”

mo-and-ryanMorgan Cooper,
Stockton, CA.

In 2007, when my ex husband and I were expecting our baby girl, we jokingly called her “Blackanese”, a term I still use endearingly. Most simply put, I am half Black and half White and my ex husband is half Japanese and half White. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect to welcome a towhead with blue/green eyes into this world. Ryan is amazing on many levels.

My six words are a direct quote from a Hispanic woman I met 4 years ago, yet it’s been paraphrased a few times since then. I was so shocked and at a loss for words, I simply walked away. I have since (with the help and input of friends/family) developed a response that goes something like this, “I know you think you were giving her a compliment, but your words are very racist…I’m going to let you think about that now” as I again, walk away.

Often times, people have a hard time believing that Ryan is my daughter and even more of a difficult time processing that, “No, her dad is not White with blonde hair”.

In all fairness, I get it, her features are unexpected and eye catching. Even I have found myself questioning Mother Nature at times. I’ll even admit that I sometimes like the shock value we get from curious strangers, but ultimately, I love that Ryan defies what most people think of when they hear the term “mixed race”, she definitely adds some spice to the already colorful conversation.


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