As a transracial family, displaying art in our home which reflects our child and his or her birth culture is immensely important.
We are a white couple who adopted transracially and we are never short of racial-mirrors in our life; white is everywhere. There are plenty of television shows, books, art pieces, and movies that portray and illustrate white people. Adding cultural art to our home took some intentional focus at first. Now it has become second nature and I am always on the lookout for ways to bring our son’s birth culture into our home.
Your children should see themselves in your art. I have heard from far too many adoptees who share how lonely and “othered” they felt growing up as a transracial adoptee, not seeing themselves or their birth culture represented in their home. This includes toys, art, people, music, language, food, everything that makes up a culture.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be the reason my children are completely out of touch with their birth culture. I don’t want to raise my children, white or not, to buy into white as default, white as best/superior. I want to serve my children to the best of my ability and part of that is building their birth culture into our family. There is no denying or ignoring their birth culture and to do so is poor parenting.
I spent hours searching for shops and small businesses who sell culturally diverse art; I was really attempting to find art created by people who are a part of these cultures and communities, instead of white people creating another culture’s art. I was unable to include as many as I had hoped, but here are a few! Do you have a shop you love that supports diversity and focuses on a specific culture? Please comment on this post and share with us!
I reached out to quite a few shop owners; some responded and some didn’t. Below is a list/slideshow of seven amazing shops that do just that.