About a month ago, my stepbrother, nephew, niece and myself all had a conversation about being black. It was quite disturbing to hear what they had to say.
Let me set this all up first. My nephew and my stepbrother were being kids and poking fun at each other when my nephew runs up to me and says, “Dominique! He keeps calling me black!”
Me: You are black, baby.
My nephew: No. I’m brown.
I thought about it.
Me: You’re both.. (I’m smiling)
He looked lost.
Me: You don’t wanna be black?
My Nephew: No.
Me: Why not?
My Nephew: Because all black people are mean!!
I thought some more.
What the hell?
Now, my first reaction was anger. I felt angry because some place, somehow… my seven-year old nephew is being taught that he is mean because he is black. I mean he honestly believes this.
Me: I’m black. Am I mean?
My nephew: Noooooo…but I see all the television shows…
No more tv.
The four of us had a mini-debate about all our complexions. According to them, I was black, my niece was white, and anyone any other color didn’t have a color. Our convo ended with me trying to let them know that it’s okay being black. We all chanted, lol.
“I’m Black. You’re Black.
Guys, this bothers me so much.
Our children are being fed these stereotypes STILL. It’s 2015 for God’s sake. 😦
I say all this to say that some things are etched into society. Media, adults, and children send messages everyday to African-American children that black is bad. It’s so normal. It’s sickening.
MY NIECE BELIEVES SHE’S WHITE.
This has got to stop.
It starts with parenting.
I want my niece to love and value herself.
It’s a cycle. If your children hear you say negative things about your race, complexion, hair texture, body type, you are teaching self-hate. They will believe the same things and blindly teach their children the same.
Children imitate everything.
Watch what you do. Watch what you say around these precious and absorbent little souls.
I’m black. Youre black. 🙂