As a mom who is present on social media platforms, I knew the importance of shaping our daughter’s world around high self-esteem. I always taught her the importance of embracing both her heritages. My ideology stemmed from listening to biracial celebrities explaining how they dealt with, and felt about identity issues. Some shared how mentally draining it was never knowing which ethnic/racial groups would accept them, if at all. They often shared how confused, and the sense of loneliness they endured. Knowing this, I vowed that my interactions with our daughter would focus on her experiencing a balanced life loving all of who she is – her total self. To date, our daughter only identifies as biracial. She is adamant about not solely identifying as Hispanic or African American. Just recently Kelly informed us that she’s okay with using the word mixed (in a more relaxed setting), but always biracial (in professional settings). I’ve never advocated for the use of words such as mixed, swirl or mutt (as non-canine dogs are often called). Kelly will be 19 years old in three short months, so now she takes the lead.
During Multiracial Heritage Week, and throughout the years, I search for Instagram posts featuring multiracial family unions. I’m often disappointed when I read posts where moms refer to, or identify their biracial/multiracial children as one race. I’ve especially noticed that whenever I read these posts, oftentimes, one parent is black, therefore their children are told they’re black. In these instances, I do my best carefully thinking through the right words to use before leaving my comments, being sure to compliment the parents on their children, or their posts, and then I inform them that I’m a mom of a biracial child who solely identifies as biracial person in wholesome healthy ways, and I share my reasoning. I’m also certain to introduce the Project RACE link in hopes that they’ll take a closer look and understand the importance of lifting up, and esteeming their biracial child’s race.
Because of the current racial tensions surrounding the death of George Floyd, many parents are going LIVE on FB and/or writing posts on social networks – lovingly advocating for their ‘black’ children (who are clearly biracial). While I admire parents advocating for their children’s rights, I feel this one-race ideology is not fair to biracial children, and will ‘play into’ low self-esteem issues while damaging the outlook of their biracial children’s true identities. In addition, I feel strongly that due to these scenarios, the fight for race status on behalf of biracial people is an ongoing, uphill battle.
It is so important for biracial children to have their rightful identities. They are not one race over the other. They are indeed biracial/multiracial and can be taught to own their total self.