Monday, May 24, 2010

What does all this mean?

Over the weekend, I discovered Tiffany Jones. She has a Vlog on YouTube called the Mulatto Diaries, and she simply has open and honest discussion about the biracial experience. I find that I'm drawn to her for many reasons, but mostly because I am a future parent of biracial children.

Through her comments, Tiffany has opened my eyes to a whole world of ideas that were foreign to me. She talks about everything from what it has been like for her to have a black mom and a white dad to, how she self-identifies, to experiences that have shaped her biracial existence, to how she deals with her hair. She's open and honest, and seems to be going through a period of discovery during which she is also teaching (me, anyway) what biracial children kind of go through. Of course, not every biracial child has her exact experience, but anyway, it's been helpful to me.

What stands out a lot to me is that she grew up learning that she was to identify as a black woman. That was taught to her, and that's how she initially saw herself. As she grew up, she noticed that she wasn't exactly welcomed into the black community with open arms. . .not that all black people treated her in some weird, awful way, but that it just wasn't what she expected after having been taught that that's where she belonged. She also, of course, realized that she wasn't exactly white, either, and had the same experience in the white community. It's not that her white family didn't love her, or that her black family didn't love her. I mean, she grew up in a very loving environment from both sides of her family. She realized that because of her white dad loving her black mom, that it was true that love could cross color boundaries. Outside of the safety of her loving family, however, she had some very challenging experiences to learn from. It's just that she struggled with placing herself in a compartment (like society often teaches us to do - especially during our awkward middle school years).

I think she is still working on some conclusions, but what I've learned is that she is exactly as much black as she is white and that she is exactly as much white as she is black. I know this may not sound as profound to some as it did to me, but I'm guilty, folks. Like society has taught me, I have bought into the one drop rule. I see my future biracial children as black. . .at least, more black than white. I mean, when I think about my future little girl, I think about how I'm going to do my her hair like I do mine. Well, her hair won't be like mine. It won't be like her father's either. It will be her very own. She won't be black, and she won't be white. She will be equally both. I can substitute anything for hair in the above situation, but the point is that this is quite a paradigm shift in the way I think, and how I will need to parent.

I don't know. . .I mean, Tiffany covers so much. She has regular insecurities that lots of women have, but there is an extra twist. I guess, this is all conversation that I want to engage in with other people. Not just biracial people, but everyone. There is a lot of research about mulattos in America and miscegenation. I mean, miscegenation all in itself is crazy to me. I mean, my marriage was absolutely illegal until June 12, 1967. (Loving Day - Yes, we will celebrate.)

I'm sort of rambling, but the bottom line is that I'm truly intrigued by the biracial experience now. Just the idea that biracial people want (and should be able to) self-identify as such is a bit mind-blowing for me. And not all biracial people feel this way, so I shouldn't make sweeping generalizations, but still. . . They shouldn't have to push out one parent or race or complete historical context from their lives. They shouldn't just ignore or be taught (by society or elsewhere) that one parent - in most cases, their white parent - just doesn't matter to their genetic makeup. I don't know. I'm just very interested in the research and the discussion. I want it to help inform the way I/we will parent, and I want to positively contribute to the idea that biracial is not black or white. It's absolutely and unequivocally both. Biracial is its own race, kind of. . .maybe?

Now, to understand (?) what that means. . .

Anyway, check out Mulatto Diaries on YouTube, and tell me what you think.


  1. Oh, I will totally go there. Fascinating, and good for you for digging in to the information ahead of time. Very insightful post, chica.

  2. Thanks Rachel. Tiffany has really been intriguing for me. I hope that you will check her out. I would love to hear your opinions, especially as a parent. . .a very very good parent!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...