“The number one thing I wish I my parents understood when I was growing up was that my identity as a black girl mattered. I couldn’t just ignore the fact that I had dark skin, that my hair was textured, that people treated me differently. I couldn’t not see my color like they suggested. Because we never talked about it, because they always dismissed my experience, I grew up ashamed of my entire self. If my parents weren’t proud of my blackness, they couldn’t have been proud of me. So I didn’t like me.” -Transracial Adoptee (name withheld out of protection of herself and family)
As she shared this with me, her eyes were soft and her voice was kind. It felt sacred that she would share this not-so-little piece of her story with me.
She went on to explain what made her parents’ reasoning confusing was the fact they said “God’s will” was for them to not acknowledge her color, to ignore it, to treat her as though she was “white like them.” There are many layers to this that frustrate me, but in the end of our conversation, it was clear we shared our conclusion: God values color, God created color, God acknowledges and celebrates diversity.
Our son’s racial makeup is Black/White. Our commitment to learn about and celebrate black history goes far beyond one month of the year, as should yours. But during the month of February, we are extra intentional.
During the month of February, I am also hosting a series of Black Voices on my personal blog. Be sure to hop over there and don’t miss learning from them!
Here are some ways you can celebrate Black History Month as a transracial adoptive family: