Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Mixed-race children and racial identity?

Posting for a friend:

"My wife is Mexican-American with a very traditional family. I'm white as can be with a rather conservative family (minus my mother and father). We will be parents in the near future.

One thing we've noticed about mixed-race children, both famous and those we know personally, is that they tend to identify with one race predominantly. For example, Barack Obama identifies as black. Drake identifies as black (even though both of them were raised by their white mothers). Ice Cube's son identifies as black. Perhaps it is the skin color that influences this. On the other end of the spectrum, we know two Mexican-white teenage girls and both identify as white. We know a Mexican-Asian boy that seems to identify as Asian.

I guess my question is twofold. One, what are the factors that influence which race the child identifies with? Is it their friends, parents, society, their skin tone, anything else? Secondly, will it be possible for our child to share values of and embrace both of his or her cultures?

Thanks so much! Feedback from any parents would be appreciated, but especially feedback from parents of mixed-race children."

Answer on Mixed-race children and racial identity?

I grew up biracial. (black mom and white dad),and I identify as both black and white. I don't claim just one half of me. I claim both. My parents raised me to embrace both sides of me.