Originally Posted by Bad Mama Jama
Black folks are a mix of things and mine range from Native American to Creole, so it is difficult to pin down one specific culture to incorporate.
It is easier to say that we are a Black family because for me, I have always acknowledged that, for me, Black means a host of influences. Is that pretty clear? Or is there a better way that I could phrase it?
Although our families are different, I think you've said it pretty well. I had gone into this in my original posting, but then read the guidelines and interpreted them as not being so cool with dialogues of this nature. I don't know. It seems a bit weird to me to create a multicultural forum and not realize that there will be different ways in which race and culture are understood, and, seeing as this is often so closely tied to racism (at least for the folks of colour) that things might get...uh.. a little heated.
But in the interests of NOT getting heated
, we ID my son (and myself) as Black for political reasons. Historically, our roots are haunted with the realities of colonialism, such that the "purity" of race becomes a farce. Thanks to the brutal realities of slavery in my history, trying to piece myself off into fractions doesn't work very easily and also resurfaces scientific racism (octoroon, quadroon, yikes!). And also I wonder, to what purposose does it serve to move away from blackness by making sure to ID the "other" parts of you? We know that many people who read as "white" are also probably part Aboriginal/indigenous/native/African/?? (as are many "Black" people) but often they don't see the need to ID as variously raced. Also, Blackness is so often vilified, it took quite radical politics to make it something positive to ID (black is beautiful - free Huey!) and that is something I want to reclaim, for myself and for my son.
Anyhow, as for my son, his donor is Ukrainian-Canadian (white), one of his moms is New Zealand/Ukrainian-Canadian and one of his moms is me, African/Caribbean-Canadian and variously raced due to a West Indian lineage. My son is shades lighter than me, but lives in a very structured society that only gives him so much room to move. For now, that means we are politically identifying him as Black (trying to use the one drop rule subversively I suppose) but know that race identifications change so quickly and so often, that the door is open for him to create whatever racial ID he wants (and gender ID, and sexual ID as well). His ID as Black is a political category as well as a racialized one. He is donor conceived and queer parented, from a family with multiple adoption histories. So his 'roots' as it were are quite complicated as it is, we will see how he puzzles them all out as he gets older.
I'm sure that sounds more complicated than it should be. Maybe a thread on this would be beneficial.