The Wooten Family
As sad times surround us everywhere due to racial injustice, celebrating Multiracial Heritage Week with families all around us seems to come at just the right time. My family consists of five, which includes our dog Soleil. Of my sister and I, I am the youngest.
My Caucasian father was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1973, in an all-White suburban area. It was very rare for my father to interact with people of color; especially African Americans. The most interaction he had with someone who was Black was with his tennis doubles partner. My father ate, slept, and breathed tennis. You could always find him training, playing tournaments, or conditioning at his racquet club, which were predominantly White.
Similar to my father, my African American mother, was born in Illinois, but was raised in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, another midwestern town. She was always surrounded by a majority of White people. My mother graduated as one of only 17 African Americans in her graduating class in high school. Throughout her life she, her siblings, and my grandparents experienced many hardships due to the color of their skin with name calling, stereotyping, and threats.
My parents met in Indianapolis and eventually got married. They will celebrate 22 years of happy marriage this weekend! They later birthed my older sister who is now coming up on 20 years old, and then me who just turned 17 years old. We moved to Houston, Texas, where we both attended predominantly White schools. My parents have done well when it comes to teaching us to be proud of our multiracial background and accept our dual races. Even though it can still sometimes be hard to choose when we do not see a proper way to identify ourselves on documents such as a license or other forms, we have learned to accept ourselves and be proud of our multiracial background.
Skylar Wooten, Project RACE Teens, Vice President