Home > fatherhood, race > Which box will he check?

Which box will he check?

I held off on posting this too close to the election because this is not a political post (although I do wonder about that as well), but if you read the “About” section of this blog, you know that I’m in an interracial marriage, and therefore my son is biracial. If you ask me, he would be perfect if Kia ever needed a two year old version of Blake Griffin for one those commercials where he goes back in time. He’s a little darker than Blake and doesn’t have the reddish hair, but it’s not that far a stretch.

I have always wondered how he would choose to identify himself when he gets older, and I recently got my first insight into how he sees himself.

The book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?” is probably the one book we’ve read him the most. He’s loved it ever since he was an infant, and now at age two he can “read” (aka recite from memory with pictorial cues) the book. That alone was awesome for me to experience because it was the first time he “read”, but then this happened: Toward the end of the book there is a page with a bunch of children, and my son decided that the kids in the book were the kids in his class.

I have no idea why or how he got this idea, but he began pointing at each child in the picture and naming someone from his class. For himself, my son chose the black child with the flattop in the green shirt.

I’m looking forward to having race-based discussions with him. It can be a popular topic of conversation in this house, and beyond, as was done on ESPN about Blake Griffin.  The fact that he is named after Jackie Robinson is a good conversation piece, as is the fact that Barack Obama is the first president in his lifetime. I guess this was a partly political post after all.

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Categories: fatherhood, race Tags: ,
  1. May 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I, too, wonder how my girls will identify themselves. Their mom is Italian American and me being African American/ Irish American I was always too black or not black enough or “you know no matter what you call yourself you will always be black in America” or too white or not white enough etc. etc. I had my fair share of persecution but was fortunate enough to stop caring fairly early on. Good post, my good dude. Thought provoking. Keep us posted.

    • May 11, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks Mike, means a lot coming from you. This was an old post, and there are some updates, so I’ll need to write about this again soon.

  1. May 15, 2014 at 6:44 am

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