Monday, May 11, 2009

Mom On A Mission

I am finding lately that I am yearning for culture -- but more specifically Black culture, exposure for my children, little brown friends for them to mirror. Why? Well, my oldest son reported to me the other day that there weren't many Black friends at his school, a fact I already knew and hoped he would miraculously overlook. Foolish, I know. I mean, my daughter had already gone through the wanting "yellow hair" stage and shunning the brown American Girl right in the middle of the shop (simultaneously ripping my heart out and bringing me close to tears). So, expecting my son to somehow not notice he's one of a handful of chocolate chips in the cookie was being hopeful.

So, now I find myself on a mission: I am hoping for an invitation to join Jack and Jill of America, a Black family organization started back in 1938 by a mom and her friends who wanted their children to experience the same advantages as other children; I have started the process to start a local chapter of Mocha Moms, Inc., an organization created to support stay-at-home mothers of color. My interest in both these groups has me speaking to every Black mom I see in grocery stores and parks, outside the kids' schools and around every cul-de-sac. And I'm normally a shy person, so you should see me go!

I simply want my children to not feel like the minority for ONCE. I really wish for them to not notice color -- this is a perfect world -- but unfortunately, others do. So, I'll continue to teach them to love others regardless of race. But, at the same time, I'll continue to seek out the children who are living the same journey.


Renee Simms said...

Hi Cydni, I'm glad I found your blog. Keep up the good work.

Kids will notice who they are around and what's popular in the dominant culture. Both of my children had those moments where they realized that many of the people around them were not people of color (we live in AZ). For two years, my daughter has gone to a daycare that has black and Latino children and caregivers. We make sure that she and her brother have many friends of color and our home has nothing but images of them and their culture. Still, when she was watching a t.v. commercial the other day she said "I want to be white." It does break your heart. But you do exactly as you described: network with other families and encourage them to love themselves. I know well- adjusted black people who grew up where I now live, but I also know how hard their parents worked to make sure they were okay. Now it's our turn to do this hard but important work.

Mommy of Many said...

I understand your struggle. My daughters are more sensitive to looking differently from everyone else. They want long flowing hair that they can wear "loose" everyday. My oldest son, who is an excellent athlete has a different struggle. At his school there is such a huge gap between the "haves" which are mostly white, and the "have nots" which are mostly black. I think he is beginning to fall into the"white is right" syndrome. We find him constantly complaining about things that he associates with black people and referring to these things as being "ghetto." Like you, I am always speaking to other black families and trying to make connections. I think our strongest connections have come through church which we drive 35 min. to get to. I think you have the right idea. You have to make a conscience effort to make connects with other black families. Great post, I really enjoyed it.