A Poem by Jessica Williams
Musings on Black and White
When you are a white woman married to a black man, your family is black.
Your father-in-law, your husband’s aunties and cousins, whom are now your aunties and cousins, and your dear husband, who is of course your love and soul alive in another; and so, you look white on the outside (because you are) and yet, you are changed on the inside.
Sometimes, you’ll be in an environment with other white people, and they will somehow think they are “safe” to say whatever they “really think” because they are not in mixed company, and yet, although you are sitting there, a white woman alone, in truth, there is an entire black family that is sitting inside of your heart;
So, someone at the party may say something inappropriate, and something they wouldn’t say if they knew you were married to a black man; and then you speak up, of course, and they shuffle back, explain themselves, and swallow their words, but it’s out there now and they can not take it back.
When you are a white woman and you have children with a black man, you birth children who are a different race than you; they grow in your body and are birthed by you, and you are even more connected to this other ethnicity, that technically, you are not.
And your children are mixed race so their skin tone is different from each other, and different from you, and different than their father. And their features are different from each other and their hair is different from each other. Sometimes they ask about this. Sometimes your young daughter may say, “I want to cut my hair short so it will be blonde.”
In the super market, when shopping with your little daughter, upon seeing an older black woman, your daughter says to her, “I have an Auntie,” and what you know she means to say is, “I have an Auntie who looks like you.” She is at the market with her white mother, and she is three years old, and she wants this woman to know, “I see you, I know you, I am you.” She is claiming her own.
About Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams created L.O.V.E. Parenting with a series of techniques for effective communication, deepened connection and more joy in parenting and life. Jessica is also the creator of www.UltimateParentingCourse.com with the best of today’s progressive parenting experts together in one program. Jessica is a featured expert internationally on both Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert and the upcoming www.KidsInTheHouse.com. Jessica is a regular contributor to Mothering Magazine’s All Things Mothering, LA Parent Magazine, LA Mom Magazine & DailyBuzzMoms. She has been interviewed on television and radio and taught workshops at family wellness centers, schools and doctor’s offices. Her BirthKit has helped women have a transformational & empowering birth. Jessica maintains a private coaching practice in her native Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and their three children. “Truly amazing woman. I love her advice.”—Carrie-Anne Moss. “All you have shared has helped tremendously.”—Lisa Bonet. “I am experiencing nothing short of a miracle thanks to your laser beam approach.” –Andrea Bendewald.