Tag Archives: Bi-Racial

Bi-racial Black, The New Face of Black America?

Mulatto-collage-2

 

Hello World Wide Web,  Welcome to We Check Other.  I tried to find a picture that had as many bi-racial Americans on it as possible.  Don’t quote me on each of them, but they look pretty accurate.  Each person on the collage above is bi-racial.  Taking the focus briefly away from well-known bi-racial Americans to just regular popular culture and media.  Visiting a store in America and I’m sure maybe around the globe in some instances, if you pick up a Pampers box, cereal box or just any normal item that a person buys; normally there is a fair-skinned child with large soft looking curls on the front.  I visited a beauty supply store recently and while walking down the natural hair aisle with products for “black women”, observing the front of most of the bottles, even perms, I noticed there were fair-skinned young woman with large loose curls that are more parallel to the face of someone who is actually biracial.  Just from a preliminary look at what’s popular in music, time after time there are women and men, who are quite popular who are daughters and sons of white mothers and black fathers and even vise versa.  What makes the post topic  relevant is that MOST if not all of them, proudly proclaim they are ONLY black.

I’m not saying that the people above or even in popular culture are wrong in their affirmations.  Most people are aware of something called the One Drop Rule.  It’s not a fantasy.  It’s real.  In most states it was enforced by law at least until the 1980’s or so.  A person owning up to 1/32 black heritage was qualified has black only regardless of father or mother race.

The One-Drop Rule is a historical, colloquial term in the US that a person with any trace of sub-Saharan ancestry, however small or invisible, cannot be considered White unless the person has an alternative non-White ancestry they can claim, such as Native American, Asian, Arab, Australian Aboriginal; they must be considered Black.

What a blow! So anyone else can mix with white and even become “white”?  The answer in plenty of cases is yes, or at least enjoy white privilege.  Of course this law is applicable for claiming “white” as your race but what about Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern with a mixture of black?  Are the rules the same rules? Can you no longer solely belong to the parent group now being mixed black? Then there’s the component of ethnic & features; such as Middle Eastern, or Asian. The strength of their exclusive features can exclude them as well. Passing?  Depends on how you look? Maybe? If you look too ethnic no, if not; lucky you? Maybe. I’m not sure but I would love someone who knows to chime in.

Bringing it all in, so most of the people above were born before 1980.  Their reality was the one drop rule/law.  They didn’t have a choice.  Of course these ideas are also the baby boomer generation and the ones that follow who have the majority of wealth and control in the US and abroad.  This keeps the ideas of what was and how it should be is alive and well.  If you’re mixed black, then you’re black.  Mixed is a concept that doesn’t exist, of course until the Census threw it into the Algebraic human salad in the year 2000 saying, yes you have a choice.

What about the Y generation and beyond? Which is 1980 births and beyond it I might add.  The new census? People being able to at least describe their full heritage, even if they aren’t yet recognized that way by the world.   Will generation Y be the trend setters? “Big dreamers!”   Most people in this generation aren’t exposed to the realities that once were.  If they are it’s because they’re  being taught.  From a sociological perspective we all learn from our parents and environments.  Now with record immigration, and the official striking down of the one drop rule, and Loving vs Virginia, the opportunity for people to love, marry, simply have relationships and even adopt across racial borders are a reality.   We see the world changing and becoming more and more diverse before our eyes.  As a matter of fact a few of the people listed above have children that no longer even “look” black at all because of who they love and married.

What do we do?  Is the solution to continue to pass off bi-racial people as black only?  Even after the rules are no longer applicable.  I think there’s a universal fear of all bi-racial people being carted off to misfit land and not being able to claim how they feel in their soul.  If a person feels black only then by all means they should be allowed to live there.  In fact if they were born before the rules changed, lets not go reversing rules.  BUT if we are to move forward as a country, then we should start having real discussions about the new rules and the identities of children and adults that now hang in the balance because of them.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Please join the conversation.  Every Tuesday night @ wecheckother on Twitter beginning at 9pm EST we will hold a one hour chat discussing topics like this and so many others.  Please use hashtag #wecheckother & #letstalkrace to participate and join in.

Until the next,

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

Diversity! What does it mean to you?

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Hello World Wide Web.  As I dream about a conversation; one that can entertain the uniqueness of the growing individual.  The one that is not defined by a race box, or cultural description.  Single and Pluralistic in form, I keep dealing with this pretty little word called “DIVERSITY”   I just ask what does it mean to you?  When you hear someone say, they teach or practice diversity.  I even saw a quote that said, “Diversity is not a choice, and inclusion is??” Really? Then why is there always a fight on the adult playground?  It’s amazing, that laws change, and then the expectation of, “go now, and everybody play nice” means that someone is actually being diverse.  When we’re young we go to school; make friends, even develop crushes.  Sometimes they don’t look just like us.  I remember my first crush.  He certainly didn’t look like me but I thought he was dreamy!  We talked in school, hung out….at school, and then went home to separate worlds that would never cross.  Did that make us diverse?  How do you get there?  We have all these divided islands and no bridges.  That’s the vision I have most times when I hear somebody talking about bringing people totally different together.  Where’s the bridge?  The relationship?  It takes more than a conversation to consider ourselves diverse.  It’s listening while the person speaks in passion of what you may not agree with and vowing not to change them.  Accepting their individuality. Interracial relationships; people who don’t fit perfectly into “the norm”  Do we have it?  Can we pass societal norms?   I’d like to know what you think.  Chime in below.  Do you have an idea or a vision to affect diversity?  The world needs you!  The safety of the adult playground depends on it!

Thanks for stopping by.  The conversation is going to start on Twitter and I would enjoy the thoughts of open minds and hearts @wecheckother.  Don’t forget to like the facebook page.

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

Race, Do you REALLY have a choice?

beautiful

 

Hello World Wide Web!  I want to share with you where my journey has recently taken me.  As my children continue to grow and become school aged, I’m really being placed into an atmosphere where I’m actually examining first hand the selection of race and ethnicity.  My daughter is now in kindergarten, and my three-year old has entered a pre-school program.   I know I’ve shared this but just for reference, my children are in my eyes, African-American & Latino.  I didn’t know until recently that a final determination of how our school systems view our children depends on their father’s race or ethnicity.  My children’s father is Latino.  When my daughter started pre-school, I entered her race on her school application as “Other” and proceeded to explain in the area beside that box, my race and her father’s ethnicity.  After reviewing her records, I found that her race was changed to Indian, and her ethnicity, Latino.  I thought, do we really have a choice?  Can we truly give an explanation of our children’s background?  Recently, entering my son into a pre-school program; I was advised of the same information.  That his race was determined in our school system by the race of his father.  In essence, now the system is telling me, as an African-American woman, that my children are now Latino/Hispanic.

I want my children to embrace all of their identity.  The fact that they aren’t allowed to and even forced into an institutional box for statistical purposes shows up on my radar with big alarms going off.   Now there are people who have a father that is African-American, and find being placed by their father is ok.  I think the choice should be a personal choice.  The problem is that it is not.

When I take my daughter to school daily, I watch a man enter with his three children.  He has two girls and one boy.  He is white and his children from their appearances seem to be what some would refer to as just “light-skinned” black.  As a white “man” I wonder how he feels that the rule does not apply to him. That the male race rule could never apply just because he is a white man.  I often want to stop and talk to him and just ask.  That’s a unique perspective that I have yet to gather.

We have a box on the US Census called “Other”, that generally Latino, biracial, and even people who fit comfortably with a race, but belong to an ethnicity other than the social norm like Italian, Jewish etc. check to show themselves uniquely.  I’ve even spoken to an African-American man who said he checks the box “OTHER.”  I met a woman who appeared to have African descent, and a man from Haiti, recently at dinner who informed me that they “do not” place themselves as African-American or Black, because they are not.  I find that most people self identify, but do we really have a choice of racial and ethnic identification?  Chime in & share your experiences & information below.

As always, thank you so much for visiting.  Please be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter @wecheckother

Until the next,

XOXOXO,

Others’ Mother

50 Years Later

Banning-Interracial-Marriage

 

 

Good Morning World Wide Web!  Today in the United States the waves of telecommunications are ignited with the commemoration of a milestone.  One that took place 50 years ago.  That milestone was the peak of a movement called the Civil Rights Movement.  There was a march on the U.S. capital led by several Civil Rights activists.  The activist most famous to Americans is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King delivered the famous “I have a Dream” speech 8/28/1963.  The goal of this movement was to make sure that the rights of all people were equally protected by the law, including the rights of minorities.   There were movements that took place around the world that were similar.

The Independence Movements in Africa, Canada’s Quiet Revolution, The North Ireland civil rights movement, The Chicano Movement, The American Indian movement, German Students Movement, France, and so many others.  Simultaneously, there were movements going on around the world.  They all fought for equality in the eyes of the law for whatever the subject or issue was.

Someone recently told me that we can’t understand the future unless we understand our history.  Knowing where we come from is essential to gaining traction in where we are going as people in our world.  Continuing to progress is based on understanding what we are building upon.  Unless people are going to break up and fall out of love, or there are going to be groups of melanin content to just disappear, diversity is going to become one of the single most important elements of our existence.  Changes that will challenge our current understanding and force many outside of their comfort zones.

50 years later, we’ve had laws continue and some reversed.  We’ve seen things change and some that have stayed the same.  The ones that are important to all of us are unique.  Dr. King’s “I have a dream speech” allowed him to open his heart wide when he imagined the 4 most important people to him; his children;  having a life that he could have only dreamed about at that time.  He poured his heart into his words, and people with similar dreams followed, and marched; peacefully.

The Racial Integrity Act of 1924 prohibited the marriage of people classified as “white” and people classified as “colored.” On June 12, 1967 “Loving vs. Virginia” was a landmark civil rights case that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage in the United States.  This landmark case was followed by an increase from that time in marriages of interracial couples.

Anti-Miscegenation-Laws-Map

 

 

Federal immigration and military policies also prevented interracial marriages.  After World War II , American soldiers were forbidden to marry “foreign” women.

A 2012 Study at UCLA showed unmarried same-sex couples and straight couples have higher rates of interracial relationships than married couples.  If you expand the scope of this information to couples that actually adopt children of different races then the numbers of interracial families are higher also.   The fact that interracial couples aren’t marrying shows that our society is still very far from being “post racial” or “colorblind.”  Often the element of couples can marry interracially is used to show that we live in a post racial society.  Do we truly live in a post racial society?  The box OTHER (referring to a race) other than what’s been available since the 1800’s didn’t become a part of the US Census until the year 2000.  This information along with recent activities, like a Cheerios commercial that ignited, support, fury and in some cases racial hatred to come to the surface, should encourage us to explore these factors that shape our understandings, and still limit interracial couples, biracial children and racial relations so that we can truly advance and become the diverse nation we were founded to be.

As Always, Thank you for your time and energy.  I appreciate your support!  Join the conversation on Twitter @wecheckother.  Until the Next,

Others’Mother

Culture + Culture or Ethnic + Ethnic= Multicultural or Multiethnic

2ndAsiaMap

 

Good Afternoon World Wide Web!  Yes that’s a map.  A really big one.  I’m a visual learner so I like to see  what someone is explaining to me.  It helps for a bit better understanding.  Today we’re going on a virtual voyage.  I’ll be your tour guide Others’Mother and I will offer some perspective for the conversation.  I picked this map because it will help to better understand some points.  Most of us can easily find possible issues between two races coming together in a relationship.  Once they have a child; the child is then bi-racial according to how they look physically.  What happens when two ethnic people have a relationship?  I’ve seen tendencies to assume that someone  who “looks” Asian is “Chinese” or someone who “looks” Latino is “Mexican” where in fact they may not be either.  Of course China, and Mexico are the largest countries in their regions, but their sizes is not what I would say is the reason for the lack of understanding.  Asia is huge and so it Latin America.  One part I’d like to offer & what I’ve seen in my journey is that people in Latin America, speak “Spanish” but feel very connected to the countries they are from.  Each country has their own way of using and saying words in Spanish, different preparations for food, and many more items that make them feel in fact very different and not a collective of “Hispanic” or “Latino” people.  You couple this with race and well, I couldn’t type it all in a few pages.  For simplicity, I won’t go into racial differences; I will just keep it uniform and leave that for the comments.  I just want to stick with ethnic and cultural difference.  In Asia, unlike Latin America, the languages are different even in neighboring countries, along with their food etc.  So let’s just say that someone’s mother is from Columbia, and their father is from Mexico.  They grow in a household with two parents who listen to two different types of music, prepare food differently, and so much more.  It’s the same in Asia, the middle east, Africa etc.  You can have people who have similar features on the outside, born in the same region, yet their countries are different in many ways.   A person could be Cambodian and Laotian or Japanese and Korean.  They grow up with multiple cultures, languages, & cuisine in one home yet seem to someone with just a gauge for race as just that; one race.  In fact they may have a rich heritage of multiple ethnicity or culture to share.  My rule of thumb; I ask.  Even when the carnal part of me wants to think a certain way, I force my self to ask even if I feel sure to gain clarity.  You never know; you may learn something new!  Maps ROCK!

As always, Thank you for visiting We Check Other!  I love to spark great conversation.  The comments are open to great minds to finish the conversation below!

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

 

*Bonus (Map of Latin America)

latin_america

A Letter from a Black Mother! Dear World…

Good Afternoon World Wide Web!  I want to share a letter.  This letter could be written by any mother with some of the same questions that this letter addresses.  It will pose some major questions and spark discussion.

Dear World,

I have a few questions.  It’s one that may or may not take very long to answer depending upon your views of the world that we share.  I’m preparing my son to become a productive member of our society and I would like to know what your reaction to the love of my life will be after I add all the love, support, lessons, and self-esteem I can to him at home.   In my home he enjoys a very rich experience of having multiple languages and cultures in his everyday interactions.  After I release him to you, your views, rejection, or opinions could reverse everything that I’ve placed my life into building up.  If I listen to the news, according to his melanin content that I adore, he will be profiled and have to walk in fear of being jailed because the statistics aren’t in his favor.  I love my baby.  There is nothing that I wouldn’t do to make sure that he can have every opportunity that the world could offer him.  I’m his mother!  My son is Hispanic and Black.  I know that the statistics actually aren’t in his favor on either side.  My letter represents so many who have a relationship with someone different from themselves.  We could even imagine that my son was Black and White (Non-Hispanic)  No matter the race, the question would be similar.

My afro isn’t exactly the pillar of beauty in the Latino community.  I watch television in Spanish and I can count on one hand the number of people who look like me or my baby on the collective of their broadcasts.  I fear for him because the love that he feels here at home could cause him to walk blindly into a place where he would not feel accepted.  That’s an issue for me.  When he looks at his father, who provides an un-bias love to him, I’m often reminded that everyone will not be so nice.

On the other hand, in the Black Community everyone with an ounce of black is accepted.  To be honest, in my community, once his or her hair follicle is opened and his or her skin is lightened, he becomes even more accepted.  I would go as far as to say, he becomes even more popular in my community because he or she is now, “light-skinned black”  I’ll admit this is something that if you aren’t apart of this group it may not be of importance to you.  It’s one that my race will continue to work on as time continues on.  So let me ask.

Does my son now forget his father because I’m a black woman?  As I prepare my son to be a “black” man, I often try and expect what you will reverse.   How do I protect my baby from the racism in the Latino community?  How do I prepare my son for the racism in America?  How do I help him properly nurture all of his identity?

A concerned “Black” Mother who Checks “Other” for her child

 

So there you have it.  Let me know what you think.  Thanks for stopping by.

Until the next,

Others’Mother

Great Read! Enjoy!

 

Good Afternoon We Check Other Community!  “Today is a GREAT day! We are all closer to perfection today than we were yesterday!”   I just want to suggest a book that may be a great read for you.  I’ve had the privilege of interacting with the author and his energy is very positive!  Take a look!  Enjoy!

 

 

book2

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

Cheerios Commercial-Bi-Racial Family “Just Checking – YouTube”

Great Evening World Wide Web!  “Today is a GREAT day.  We are all closer to perfection today than we were yesterday!”  I came across a video that seems to be getting some mixed reviews over the web.

Just Checking – YouTube.

 

 

I was actually surprised to see that it was!  I know that racism and bigotry still exist.  It’s one of the biggest hurdles that we face in the human experience.  This just goes to show that although it has been legal for people to choose to marry outside of their race for over 30 years in most of the U.S., there is still plenty of work to be done with our overall understanding of race, culture, ethnicity and the understanding & respect of individual differences and beliefs.  As for the beautiful, innocent angel in this video I salute her and her actor parents for making a conversation invoking commercial.  Way to go Cheerios!  I think I will go and buy some for my kiddos right now!

Let me know what you think?  Controversy? or It’s about time?  Chime in.  I would love to hear from you!

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

 

You’re NOT Black, White or Mixed Enough!!!

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Greatest Afternoon World Wide Web.  “Today is a GREAT day!  We are all closer to perfection today than we were yesterday!” -Marjorie Molina.  Today as the Carolina Blue Skies shower me with beautiful inspiration, I want to speak to you from my heart.  I own a multi-faceted vision.  My heart beats faster and my being becomes engaged while learning and participating in any conversation or function that encompasses race, culture, ethnicity, identity & diversity.  Honestly, the question that has been posed to me in my travels the most is, “You’re a black woman, why do you care about diversity?”  Really? It doesn’t help that I’m multi-lingual and I’m married to a Latino.  I’ve been written off as a “wanna-be” or not owning my “black.”  I seriously thought about calling L.L. Cool J.  We should collaborate.  I get it.  (I truly plan to) Chris Rock  gave his movie, “Good Hair”  So many have introduced this issue, that has soooo many levels.   I’ve had a few people say they were going to take my “black card”  I’m not “black enough.”  “Black Enough?”  Should I snap and roll my neck, speak improperly?  Maybe that would make you like me.  I should submit to stereotypes and help facilitate the progression of wounded social norms.  But the meat and potatoes is, “You’re NOT multiracial”  But…My children are.   My soul is wrapped around my two children.  I breathe to love them, and create a future for them that will allow their integration as productive adults into our society.  That has been my job since I gave birth and it will be my job until the day that I retire.  I see a gap in our current beliefs and understanding that leaves room for my children and children and adults like them to have questions about their identities. I am seeking to fill that gap.  Recently, in a conversation I had someone tell me I was promoting racial assimilation.  That I’m trying to “whitten the race.”  I could just let my children say they’re black, besides, the one drop rule would apply to make it true.    I could just call them “black” and let them have the privilege of being lighter skinned, and having “good hair.”  Here’s what I understand about multi-racial, cultural and ethnic identity.  It’s not about being “let into a club”  Can I check your box?  It’s not about that at all.  Instead it’s about, I’ve grown up in a house with two people who look differently, believe differently,  share different cultures etc, and personally, I don’t want either of “your boxes.”  I am a unique individual beyond the threshold of your post 1776 German doctor views.”  This is what I get most times I meet someone who is “mixed”  There are some who say, “I am mixed”, “I really don’t know how to answer that question” or they solely identify with one over the other.”

The German medical scientist Johann Blumenbach, whose 1776 book, “On the Natural Varieties of Mankind,” established the five-race model we know  today: “Caucasian, Mongolian (Asian), Malay (Pacific Islanders), American Indian and Negro.”

Their parents go through hell trying to exist in a world of turmoil and petty quarrels over their varying existences together. The movements of interracial acceptance didn’t began in the U.S. until the 1960’s and trickled to a post confederate south that never truly opened up to the understanding until later in the 1970’s.    Imagine that it wasn’t until the year 2000 that people of mixed race were able to check more than one box on the U.S. Census.

I am a Mother!  I was born to change my future, my children’s & anywhere that my arms can reach.  I know that’s what I was born to do.

Thank you so much for tuning in.  As always if you would like to reach me; my email is always open.  I’m always looking to connect with like minds.  email me at DiverCityInc@hotmail.com.  I’m on Twitter @MarjorieIam  @wecheckother.   Make your day GREAT!

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

What Makes Diversity Possible?

world baby boy girl

“Great Morning World Wide Web!  Today is a beautiful day!  We are all closer to perfection than we were yesterday.”  I’m going to do something totally out of the ordinary today.  I’m going to ask after you read this content, to exercise your imagination.  It’s going to be hard because most people who are not physically limited, see the entire world with colors.  The greens that protect our vision, the blues both above us and below us that inspire us to dream and even LOVE.  There are all the beautiful hues of flowers that in the western world are currently in full bloom.  My yard now has about 10 different hues that balance me every time I look at them.  Now imagine a world where those gifts didn’t exist.  The human experience with every single person was the exact same size, same color; eyes, skin hair etc.  That the beauty in nature was uniform and without color.   Hair was always the same texture, no variety in eye, nose or mouth shapes.  You look out on the world and the colors that ignite you and even bring you happiness didn’t exist.  I don’t know about you, but I just imagined myself right out of the joy of living.  I think if the rules applied where humans were uniform it would have to apply to nature as well.  Just try it.  You’ll see.  For anyone who feels that, “well yeah…that’s the world I want”, then this blog may not be for you, and that’s okay.  There is a blog and a world for everyone.  But for those of you who are in the right place, my point is to engage your mind.  I understand that I can’t change the world or the people in it.  Besides, the diversity of thought and physicality is truly what makes the experience.   I severely enjoy these gifts of nature.  All of the colors, beauty, and differences of existence.  I don’t want to live without them, I am working for a solution to exist and love within them.  There is a RESPECT: an act of giving particular attention to what is.  Then there is working together to find out what makes peace possible?  How can understanding happen?  What makes diversity possible?  DIVERSITY: understanding that everyone is unique.  It recognizes individual differences and encompasses RESPECT.  This is a collective effort and I feel there is not a right or wrong answer.    So after you have taken a second to visualize, please share.  What do YOU think makes diversity possible?

As always, I would like to thank you for your time & attention.  Please connect with me on Twitter @MarjorieIam.  There is also a growing audience of emerging like minds @wecheckother on Twitter and Facebook.   I look forward to growing towards a solution collectively.  Please share your thoughts.

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother