Chocolate, Vanilla, and Cinnamon…


So I just finished reading "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy and Biracial Children in a Race Conscious World, a guide for parents and teachers."  Long title.  Simple ideas.

It's a pretty good book, though it doesn't talk about the biracial stuff nearly as much as I'd like, particularly my particular issue of interest, that my son can "pass" easily as white.

But this researcher who wrote the book asked a lot of kids about their perspectives about their race, etc.  And she talks about different developmental stages and what that means with regard to race.  She asks the kids "what are you?" and then talks about why they answer different things, etc., and how we can give our kids healthy perspectives on race by using that information.

So I try my own experiment at the dinner table tonight.  I ask Dillon, "what are you?" with no prompting or prior discussion of race, so he has no clue where I'm going with this.  I've been talking to Chuck about the book, though, so he has an idea.  But Chuck has to hide his smile when D looks up at me, smiles sweetly, and says "I'm a lover!"

Me: And?

D: Dreamer…

Me: What else?

D: Big Brother!

Me: But if someone asked me about you, what would I tell them?

D: I'm a good chef!   And a superhero!

Me: But if someone asked what race you were, what would you say?

D: OH!  Mixed!  DUH MOM!

Me: But mixed what?

D: Mixed KID!

Chuck: You know how yellow and blue make green?  What are you mixed with?

D:  Black and white!  But my dad is really brown.  And Rose is Black.  But… (seems kind of lost here)

Me: But maybe she's more cinnamon-colored?

D: Yeah!  

This leads to getting the cinnamon out of the cabinet and smelling it, and then everyone putting some into their various beverages (milk, coffee, water) to taste.  Altogether a reasonably successful experiment.   

One Response to “Chocolate, Vanilla, and Cinnamon…”

  1. Cheri says:

    I love that kid – that mixed KID!

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