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…