My kids are BLACK… and its NOT a bad word

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I have been an adoptive mom for over 5 years now and I still shocked by the absurd fact that people do not want to use the word “black” when describing my children.  To me the color of your skin is no different than the color of your hair, eyes etc…  It is a descriptor word and that is all.  So, why is it that when I use it I receive gasps, nervous laughter and avoidance?  It is NOT a bad word.

My children are delicious… every one of them.  They are shades of pink, tan, brown and black and are all equally beautiful.  Yet, our world is so sucked up in being politically correct and pretending racism doesn’t exist that mum is the word when it comes to naming a color (specifically of the darker versions).  And, what makes me sad is this is a learned behavior.

If you listen to kids they will talk about color with such innocence when in a group together.  Then they go out in the world and tell their mom about their brown friend only to be shushed… “We don’t use that word Timmy.”  This behavior is super harmful because by trying to avoid the topic we are teaching our children there is something wrong with being darker skinned.

So, do me a favor the next time your child mentions their friends skin color… don’t gasp… don’t shush.  Instead re-affirm what they say with pride.  Something like, “Yes, I know what friend you are talking about and he does have beautiful black skin.”   Maybe we can make the world a little bit better together!

What are your thoughts on this topic?  Let’s discuss…

12 Comments

  • Rachel G says:

    I teach two 4 year olds at my home 5 days a week–one is Chinese and the other is Indian. I think it’s awesome how they talk about each other’s hair and skin and eyes and sometimes all three of us will put our arms together to marvel at how beautiful the range is. It’s very powerful for children to grow up appreciating the little differences between every individual, and the bigger differences between cultures and ethnicities, too.
    Rachel G recently posted…Ask Me AnythingMy Profile

  • samantha says:

    You are so right that kids should be taught to view different skin colors as beautiful. My husband is Hispanic, so my kids are a beautiful tan color. I always want them to be proud and comfortable in their own skin and to view people of other cultures the same way. Being a certain skin color is nothing to be shushed or ashamed of.
    samantha recently posted…My Review: Jasmine & Co. Breastfeeding CoverMy Profile

  • Natalie says:

    We are all beautiful in our own ways, no matter what our skin, hair, or ear colors are! I think you’re teaching a powerful message to your kids that what’s on the inside matters. 🙂
    Natalie recently posted…Odds + (Week) Ends: A Weekly Travel Round-up | Vol. 2My Profile

  • Tammy Greene says:

    What a fantastic post. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom on the subject. I hear my parents sometimes lower their voice when they say “black” like it is a bad word and I just cringe. I hope that I am taking my beliefs and the lessons that I have learned to teach my children that we are all people sharing the human experience. The only thing that can diminish our worth as humans is how we treat others. Not our skin, not who we choose to love, not what God we worship.

  • I think part of the reason people (me included!) don’t like the words black & white is because they are so inaccurate. People tend to be tan, peach, brown, light pink, dark brown…not black or white. I love that when my kids describe a friend at school they use accurate descriptors like, “my friend with the dark brown skin and puffy hair” or “the girl with peach skin like mine and yellow hair.” It seems so much more real and nonjudgmental – it’s just a description and not a classification.
    Colleen Lanin recently posted…All Things Eloise at The Plaza HotelMy Profile

  • Diana says:

    I think we try to avoid it because we don’t want to offend someone, and like you mentioned, it might not even be an offense, just what it is.
    Diana recently posted…Third ExpatversaryMy Profile

  • Well said!!! I couldn’t agree with this more! BTW your kiddos are lovely!!!! They are all so dang adorable!

  • erica says:

    I loved reading this, do you mind if I use this picture and link it back to your blog for one of my next post? I think my readers will love this. Thanks
    erica recently posted…7.18.16My Profile

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      Absolutely, feel free to use it and link back as long as it’s kept in original context and not edited 😉

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