LISTEN NOW to Author and Multiracial Identity Expert, Tiffany Rae Reid as she is interviewed on The Joys and Challenges of Becoming a Transracial Family Through Adoption
LISTEN NOW to Author and Multiracial Identity Expert, Tiffany Rae Reid as she is interviewed on The Joys and Challenges of Becoming a Transracial Family Through Adoption: CLICK HERE: http://bit.ly/13WPnwD
April 20, 2013 Hosted by Kelly Ellison [Download MP3] [itunes] [Bookmark Episode]
If you are considering adopting a child of a different culture or race than your family, or you are already a transracial family formed through adoption, don’t miss this show. Our host this week is Amanda Grant, President of USAdopt, and an adoptive mother in a transracial family, who is joined by guest Tiffany Rae Reid, expert in a racial identity development and host of Mixed Race Radio. Contemplating the adoption of any child takes courage and honesty. The adoption of a child of a different cultural or racial heritage adds another layer of both complexity and celebrations. Learn the realities of transracial adoption, how to prepare your family for the change in its composition, what to do to support the healthy development of your child’s identity and what resources are available to support your child and your family in every aspect of living as a transracial family.
I’m hoping Kip Fulbeck will agree to be a guest on Mixed Race Radio….I’ll keep you posted!
Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model
Girl Rising is a groundbreaking film, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, which tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries, written by 9 celebrated writers and narrated by 9 renowned actresses. Girl Rising showcases the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world. Explore the film in detail at girlrising.com.
We are honored to have Alicia Keys as one of the actress narrators of Girl Rising. Her hit song “Girl on Fire” has become an anthem for us, and its steady rhythm has provided the drumbeat for our growing success. But Alicia Keys isn’t just a pretty voice. She’s behind Girl Rising and what it stands for – all the way. Here’s what she had to say about the film: “It’s a powerful film that has potential to inspire change in the world. If you’re not moved, you’re not breathing.” Alicia, we couldn’t agree more!
Having the support of celebrities is great for 10×10 – but it’s the grassroots action of people like you that makes all the difference. The more people who come to this screening, the closer we are to driving change for girls. PLEASE SHARE THIS EVENT WITH AS MANY PEOPLE, BUSINESS OWNERS, STUDENTS, ADVISORS, NON-PROFTIS, CHURCH GROUPS & COMMUNITY GROUPS AS YOU CAN!!!!
Trevor Noah: That’s Racist – Tacos
Trevor Noah: Crazy Normal – Death at a Funeral
CHECK OUT THIS LINK TO A CNN STORY ABOUT TREVOR NOAH BY JESSICA ELLIS:
Thank you Pastor Frank Robinson for sharing this amazing concept with us.
Thank You for Being You
Hart’s best line of the night: “Look, the Constitution used to say I’m three-fifths of a person. Don’t get me wrong … I’m short, but I’m not that short.”
I’m not an exhibitionist, or maybe I am.
Since adopting my son three and a half years ago, I have had many occasions to try and crack the door open to further understand the world that black people live in. Through adoption, my son and I have become a family; a loving transracial family. And yet, I remain very aware of just how difficult it will be for me, a white mother, to gain access to a world that still looks at me one way and my black son, with totally different eyes and expectations.
I was thoroughly trained during the adoption process to understand that it would be my responsibility to help my son connect with his black heritage. It would be up to me to expose him to people who share similar life experiences and to provide him with a community where he can connect with other diverse families. What my training failed to teach me was that every day, we would share in surprising experiences unique to transracial families and then, on my own, I would have to learn how to incorporate those into my family’s life as teachable moments.
I have discovered what a delicate fence being a transracial family is to straddle. I want to shout out to the world that my son is black, that we are a transracial family and proud of it! I want people to know that I am excited to learn as much as I can about what my son will experience in life as a black child and later man, in a society defined by white privilege. But as comfortable as I am with my pride in our family, it makes me squirm in my seat (sometimes literally) when I wonder how we are perceived by other people. This is the discomfort that I have had to become comfortable with since we became a transracial family.
Recently I was riding the train to work and reading the black history month issue of Ebony magazine. I am excited every time the latest issue arrives in the mail. Perhaps naively, I hope that each time I read this great publication I will gain a little more understanding into black culture, a little more empathy into issues of particular concern, and a little more acceptance into the black community. But as I turned the pages I realized that half of my attention was pulled to the people around me and if they were wondering why a white woman was so engrossed in this magazine. After every few sentences I glanced furtively around me to see who was watching and what their faces could tell me about what they saw me reading. And then I had to ask myself why I was doing this? Was I paranoid? Was I ashamed? The answer I realized was neither. I was actually proud. I wanted to hold up the magazine and shout, “See this? I am a white woman reading the ultimate black magazine. I am different, I have a transracial family, this is my world too!” I feel proud to be reading Ebony and to perhaps have a little more insight as a result.
This small act of trying to integrate myself and to become comfortable in the transracial skin of my family was a result of a funny and unpredictable chain of events.
It all began with a picture.
(Art by Jodi Queenan)
Last year I discovered the wonderful paintings of Jodi Queenan, an artist who specializes in portraying multicultural families. In the harried first years of single parenthood I had never quite gotten around to having a formal family portrait of my son and I done. So I decided to take a different tact and commissioned Jodi to create a painting of us; It’s beautiful and captures our bond in a unique way.
Then came the holiday season and the frantic activity of gifts and celebrations and the annual last-minute order of holiday cards. I decided to share our beautiful painting with our friends and family and had holiday cards made with the painting on the front. This visual image of us said loud and clear, we are transracial and a loving adoptive family.
When it came time to mail the cards I dutifully went to buy my holiday stamps and noticed one with a black man on it. I bought them and decided they would be a nice addition to my efforts to exhibit my pride in being connected to black people. I didn’t even know who the man on the stamp was at the time, so went home to do some research. It was John H. Johnson.
(John H Johnson)
Among his many notable achievements, John H. Johnson (1918-2005) was an academic star and president of his high school class, founded the publishing empire that included Ebony, Jet and Ebony Jr. magazines and was the first African-American on Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. Mr. Johnson started his business with a $500 loan that he acquired using some of his mother’s furniture. His was a remarkable life.
And so Mr. Johnson’s image adorned each of my holiday card envelopes that held a picture of a white mother (me) embracing her black son. I felt vaguely self-conscious choosing the John Johnson stamps but I did it for my son, in honor and recognition of his history and culture.
But it didn’t end there. After reading about Mr. Johnson’s life, I did some research into Ebony Jr., thinking it would be a great magazine to expose my son to. I was disappointed to find out that it’s no longer published. Oh well, so much for bringing more resources into our home that show case and celebrate black people and black achievement. Then I realized that if I couldn’t get a black magazine for my son, I could get one for myself and maybe learn a thing or too, peer a little behind the curtain of black culture. So I excitedly sent off my subscription payment, feeling elated, and strangely nervous but mostly proud.
When that first issue of Ebony arrived it felt foreign in my hands. Like I was a voyeur in a place I wasn’t welcome. To some extent that may be true. I know that I will never be black. I will never experience many of the same challenges or celebrations as my son and other black people in our society. But I can try to understand, empathize and advocate for those experiences and the people who have them. It’s just that sometimes I feel like an intruder. And I can’t help but wonder what do they think about me? What would the newsworthy people on the pages of Ebony think if they could see it was me reading about them? What do the black and white people around me think as they see me engrossed in Ebony on the train? Are they looking at me?
It’s become clear to me that I am making conscious efforts to integrate myself into my son’s black world. Sometimes it can feel like I’m trying too hard or being disingenuous. Ok, I realize that reading Ebony magazine does not make me black, nor does it give me a well-rounded perspective into black history. Hopefully my continued reading, community efforts and dedication to lifelong learning will help to fill these gaps. But reading Ebony is one small effort I make to bring me closer to my son and the history and present lives of other people that look like him. Though he and I are forever intertwined as mother and son, I feel like it’s my responsibility to do what I can to exhibit my pride in our family, in his roots and cultural history and to be an educated parent. This is a road that is sometimes difficult to travel, with the path often marred by tenuous relationships between black and white communities, experiences and opinions. But it is a path I gladly travel to be a better parent to my son and at least a knowledgeable observer and supporter, even if I can’t be a member, of the black community.
Adoptive parents who form transracial families live interesting experiences that other single racial families will never have. It’s fascinating and a privilege to live this life, to be thrust into thoughts, questioning, empathy and advocacy in a way that other families never have to consider. I have learned that my son’s world is now my world. We don’t inhabit different spaces. We coexist in a way that our lives together will be enriched by seemingly small every day experiences that teach us enormous lessons about each other and our greater community.