All Mixed Up: What Do We Call People Of Multiple Backgrounds? : Code Switch : NPR
To date, only a few studies have examined birth outcomes of interracial infants, and all of these First, they didn't examine groups other than Black and White race. . Other comparison groups included White–Mexican, White–American Indian, .. Gestational duration and birthweight in White, Black and mixed-race babies. When I met him, I didn't know his parents were Indian. When a black man and a white woman date, they are both are making personal This treating of mixed- race babies like dolls who come in a range of attractive hues. While marrying someone of a different race can have added challenges, Have you dated interracially before and if so, how did your family react?” For my part, I had to face the stereotypes I had about white Southerners. my name — it felt really difficult for me, like I was letting go of my Indian heritage.
National Center for Health Statistics; 2. Preliminary Data for National Center for Health Statistics; 3. Determinants of low birth weight: Bull World Health Organ ; Social causes of low birth weight. J R Soc Med ; Gestational duration and birthweight in White, Black and mixed-race babies. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol ;5: Birth weight trends among interracial Black and White infants. Adverse perinatal outcomes among interracial couples in the United States.
Risk of low birthweight infants among Black and White parents. Race and birthweight in biracial infants. Am J Public Health ; Polednak A, King G. Birth weight of US biracial Black-White infants: Even Christine Iijima Hall, the pioneer scholar who popularized the term "multiracial," doesn't have a uniform answer for the question "What are you? The language we use is also distinctly regional. In places like California and Hawaiiwith relatively high rates of multiracial folk nearly 4 percent and 23 percent, respectively, "mixed" gets tossed around pretty casually.
In much of the rest of the country, where the rate hovers around 2 percent, the vocabulary seems to still be in flux.
It's also dependent on the particular racial makeup of a place — as we've seen, there's a long, well-documented history of how black and white multiracial folks have been identified, but the same can't be said for other combinations. They change their identities. They go with the path of least resistance for what identity they pick up.
Or they live in places where not as much emphasis is put on racial identity. This episode from a multimedia project called "Evoking the Mulatto" is a good example of young people grappling with how they identify as well as how they are identified: Evoking the Mulatto is a multimedia project exploring black mixed identity in the 21st century. YouTube The last word So back to my original dilemma: After all this hand-wringing, time travel and jet-setting, where do we stand on these words?
Do I start calling myself "mixed"? Have I found something better? In thinking about this too much, am I becoming the tragic mixed-up mixed blood that everyone warned me about? As with all of my small crises, I wind up calling Mom again.
She is, after all, the one who started me down this rabbit hole. I tell her about my research, and in our respective kitchens, we have a conversation. We talk about segregation, and beauty standards, and colorism.
We talk about adoption. We talk about antiquated medical instruments. I remind her of that day 20 years ago in the mall, with Anna. She tells me more stories from my childhood — like how once, when she was nursing me, someone came up and asked her, "Is that baby yours? Where are you from? Yes, interracial marriage was legalized in the s, she says. But in the same decade that law was passed, and even after, several states also passed laws to limit and in some cases ban interracial blood transfusions.
Me, Mom, and my siblings, Sarah, David, and Anna. Dad was taking the photo.
Where is the love: How tolerant is Canada of its interracial couples? - The Globe and Mail
Courtesy of the Donnella family hide caption toggle caption Courtesy of the Donnella family As Mom puts it, it was considered "better for a white person to bleed to death than to be ruined by getting the blood of a black person. Whose right is it to do that?
Strangers don't often, or ever, come up to me and ask me 'what' I am or speculate about it. Someone can't immediately put you in a box or a frame of reference, that's their problem. It should never be yours. However, I wasn't prepared for the confusion of emotions I would feel when I look at her.
When I was pregnant and people said things like "Ooh another little blonde one, then? This treating of mixed-race babies like dolls who come in a range of attractive hues like options on a Dulux colour chart shocked me.
My mixed emotions
My daughter should not be defined by her colour. She is an individual with unique talents and qualities - now, there is my mother talking.
And in an ideal world, the way she looks shouldn't be an issue. But we don't live in an ideal world and the way we all look matters.
My daughter's appearance is an issue to others as well as myself. A white friend visited yesterday and having examined the baby, she announced: As I read that, I am horrified.
But, then, having a mixed race baby forces you to face uncomfortable truths about yourself and the outside world that it is possible to be entirely unaware of if you stay within an easy, uncontroversial all-white sphere. All parents have fears for their children. We worry they will be knocked over by a car, or snatched like little Madeleine McCann. I now look at my daughter and wonder whether her future will be in some way proscribed by the colour of her skin?
And, if I, her own mother, am already so acutely aware of it, am I not already narrowing her horizons for her? I console myself that my swirling emotions are part of a process. I am coming to terms with my daughter's existence in exactly the same way I had to process the reality of having first one son, then another, when I had always imagined myself the mother of girls.
I am now quite good at building Bionicles, but I had to get over my grief at the loss of the pink, girly fantasy first. Part of the grief I am going through with my daughter is the loss of the possibility that she will look like me. Both mothers and fathers, not to mention grandmothers and grandfathers, routinely bend over the crib, examining a newborn's face for some sign of their own genetic heritage.
Paternal Race/Ethnicity and Birth Outcomes
People say my daughter has my eyes or my mouth, but I know they are just trying to be kind. She looks as similar to me as I do to Naomi Campbell. I didn't expect this to matter to me, but it does. I look at my baby and wonder if people will look at her and assume I am not her mother?
I realise that this is a deeply shallow and vain thing to say. There is also an inescapable issue of status. Judgments are made about a white woman who gives birth to a black child.
She is stereotyped as a Vicky Pollard figure, eking out her days pushing a buggy through a supermarket car park, wearing saggy leggings and fagging it. This image has been captured on screen by Kathy Burke as Waynetta Slob, who memorably declared that she wanted her very own "little brown baby" just like all the other mums she knew on the estate.
Am I one of these women now? Apparently, yes - particularly since I am now a single parent, having split up from my daughter's father.