Biracial Child - Who am I?

by Matthew Youngson
(Maryland, USA)

Our little cutie pie LILLY!

Our little cutie pie LILLY!

My daughter is two years old and last night while my wife and I were bathing her she said she wanted to be white not black. I am the dad (white) and my wife is black. Needless to say my wife was really hurt by her comments. So much so that she began to tear up. I explained to my wife that she is only two. I did however understand why my wife was so hurt. I tried to explain to my daughter and my wife that she is what she is. She can not choose to be black or white. She is both. She definitely favors the white side in appearance (green eyes) but she is obviously biracial.

I tried to explain to her that she is both and regardless her appearance is what it is. She can't really choose her race. She understood what I was saying but I am not sure she bought it. The fact of the matter is her world is mostly white. My wife works three days a week and my mom watches her on those days. We rarely see my wife's side of the family as her dad is not real interested and her mom is always on travel and has little time for my wife or our daughter. All of our friends are white.

Despite the fact that she has very little exposure to black people, nothing or nobody in her life reflects black as bad. From the beginning she was always told that she was black and white which I guess is fairly obvious by looking at her parents.

She is so young that I hope this passes. I have told some of my black friends about this and they said that we should have been telling her all along that she was black. I don't really agree with this tactic but I am almost willing to go along.

I never thought this was going to be an issue. Her older sister (14), from my first marriage is white with long straight hair. She always says she wants hair like Caroline. This is a two year old. Because she is only two I feel like dismissing the whole issue but in the same light what if these feelings she is having snowballs into to something much bigger? HELP ME!

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Dec 28, 2010
Tell Your Daughter that She is Black
by: Roo

This may go against popular belief (at least from what I've seen posted here) but I agree 100% with the friends who told you that you should tell your daughter that she is Black. I really hope what I'm about to say makes sense to you, so here it goes...

The child needs to identify with the disadvantaged ethnic group to a greater extent, so as not to grow a disdain for that part of her. It will be understood that she is partially Caucasian (which is not where any shame would lie, especially in this society),but the more stigmatized half needs to be appreciated early on so as to avoid real internal conflict (i.e self-hate) in the future.

I know we, as a society, would like to think that we've progressed beyond racism, but there are still undeniable traces lingering around us. Don't think this means that she will not acknowledge Caucasians because it is so obvious that she is half white which is no getting around that, but trust me when I say that she needs positive and encouraging examples of African-American and Black people in her life (and historical examples especially i.e Dr. Charles Drew/Garret Morgan/C.B Brooks/Henry Blair etc).

You are not doing her any justice by surrounding her only with White people. Expose your daughter early on to people of Color (Hispanics/Blacks/Africans/Asians etc.) and their achievements. Please do this. It will make a world of a difference. Trust me.

Feb 09, 2009
It's normal...
by: Dave

I want to tell you that are totally normal your daughters feelings. I live in Venezuela (South America) and here is actually normal biracial, triracial kids, but my sister whom share with many biracial kids at her school desires to be white and blonde as my mother.

My mothers family is native from deutschland (germany) so they're all white, blonde with blue eyes, myself is tall and darker than my mother, my hair is brown not totally straight with brown eyes, and I have had the same problem that my sister has now.

Firstly I wont recommend what your black friend told you. My stepfather (I'm the son of my mother's first marriage) is black and he always call her "negrita" which means something like (lil' black girl). This has created the thought that she is black and not pretty as her mother, because the media made her think so. On tv the blonde and white girls are the beatiful ones.

I'm always trying to make her see that it doesn't matter what color you are, people are beautiful anyway. There are ugly white and black persons , and what really matters is one's inner beauty. I told her that she is brunette, that she has some good heritage and she has the best side of both, and I told her that she is a pretty girl the way she is.

I also try to show her the cons of being white as her mother, who can't take long sun bathing because her skin gets severely burned, and etc...

The important thing to do is show the kids that they are different and in those differences makes them specias, and that they have the best of both side and that every side has their pros & cons.

I had a similar problem ... both side, I'm lighter than most in the country so I'm the target of some abuse or mocks (nothing serious), and in Europe, I had the same problem for not being totally white ... but now I can deal with it, and I'm good enough the way I am.

For me it's good to be biracial. My mother has been told that my sister is not her daughter and that hurts. People can be so cruel and ignorant... But we have to keep strong and teach our children that the problem is not them, the real problem is society and ignorance!

Sorry for the bad english, it's not my mother language!

Dec 03, 2008

Why isn't your daughter not exposed to much black culture?! Is she exposed to any other cultures? I am black and my husband is white. I come from a family with lines of African-American, Native- American, Asian, and white. My husbands family is Sottish, Irish, and English.

We we embrace every one of these and have taught our children to be proud of every part of their being. We live in a predominantly black, African, and Spanish community, but we send our children to a mostly white school for balance.

We have friends from many ethnic backgrounds as well as, social and economic backgrounds. We are Christians and our children take comfort in the fact that God made everyone and we are ALL beautiful for it.

I am proud to say that my autistic eight year old son refers to himself as African and Scottish (as those are predominant is his make up).

It is good that your daughter is young and you have time to teach her about herself as well as everyone else. I have met too many children who are confused and full of self-hatred due to lack of balance and understanding of their whole family and their whole self. Good luck! She is a beautiful child!

Oct 07, 2008
Mother's Hurt
by: Enoch Hagans

Your wife was hurt because the color of her skin is something she cannot erase, nor should she want to. So much hatred is attached to the color of one's skin that people of color suffer greatly during the course of an average day.
As a African American Jew, I was exposed to smart and cruel remarks going to school, in school and on the way home. I was just a child who asked my Mother and Father why did people hate me so much.
Even at the age of two I knew there was something special about me, because everyone would let me know. I was blessed with strong parents who explained to me about my proud hertiage from both sides of their families, one no greater than the other. That was my blessing and without it, I do-not know how I would have made it through that struggle.
One day soon someone will call your child out of his/her name and it will hurt! This will anger both you and your wife, but know this your wife already knows that day is coming and is preparing for it.
Stay in love with each other!

Sep 06, 2008
Acknowledge and Encourage Biracial Girls
by: Anonymous

Since she is only 2 years old, I would have responded, "Well Honey, you are white...and, black! You are SO-O-O lucky!! Some kids are just white and some are just black. But, YOU are BOTH!! That is so great! Look how beautiful you are! (look in the mirror at this point...) Your eyes are SO-O-O pretty. And you looks like princess hair! are so SMART, too! We are so proud of you and we love you very much!"

Lots of acknowledging of her feelings and lots of stroking to increase her self-esteem. Remind her of how smart she is, too, so that she knows its not all about looks.

Good luck to your sweet girl!

Here's an excellent resource for parents of biracial and multiracial parents:

Although Amazon has supplied no image for the front cover of this book, don't let that put you off. It is excellent reading material for those who want to raise their kids to feel good about themselves.

Another book that is excellent is:

It's written by the mother of biracial children and shows how she combined beliefs from two different cultures to raise children who have a strong sense of who they are.

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