Help! My “Brown” is Coming Off!

My wife and i have adopted one son and are in the process of adopting our first daughter. They are both local kids from S.F. county and are of mixed race.

We have always celebrated racial diversity in our family and continue to do so in the philosophy of raising our children. My son, who is now 5 and half black/white, had a scab on his knee from an incident at the local park about a year ago. He was picking at it, as i was unaware, while in the back seat of the car and began screaming and sobbing.

In shock I pulled over and quickly turned around to find him with scab in hand and wearing a look of terror. “I told you not to pick it,” I said referring to an earlier conversation regarding scabs, pain, and such. When I questioned him as to how bad it hurt his only reply was “my brown is coming off!!!!”

It took a while to convince him that being adopted by white people wasn’t going to turn him white. While this is an amusing tale, it does show how connected to his culture, and his skin, he was when we brought him home. He still looks at people of different colors with an expression of interest and sometimes asks me why there are different colors for people. I even went so far as to describe the differences between equatorial skin types and polar skin types. He then stared at me and asked “what’s the aguator?”

Thanks to Rob Adkins for submitting this story

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=821882 Aleesha Nash

    Wow! What a thought coming from such a young person! and the emotions that came along with it. I love the “aguator”?

  • Nrahni

    If your child has one African American birth parent, that parent is multi-racial also. A mix of African, Native American and white. There is no such thing as half Black when the child is of African Americqn heritage. As he grows older his African features(skin,hair, facial features) will likely become more pronounced.

  • http://yourswithbutter.com Tammi L. Coles

    Perhaps you could start with examining your own race labeling? If race is blood, then you are reaping what you’ve sowed by affirming old notions of “one drop” and “muxed race” (like what we experience really comes from biolology). No wonder there’s screaming! There is one human race within which there are ethnic groups defined by skin color (which ranges even within ethnic groups), cultural ties, nationality, and prejudices based thereon. That’s social, not biological — give each child a fighting chance against racism by making that clear.

  • http://yourswithbutter.com Tammi L. Coles

    Perhaps you could start with examining your own race labeling? If race is blood, then you are reaping what you’ve sowed by affirming old notions of “one drop” and “muxed race” (like what we experience really comes from biolology). No wonder there’s screaming! There is one human race within which there are ethnic groups defined by skin color (which ranges even within ethnic groups), cultural ties, nationality, and prejudices based thereon. That’s social, not biological — give each child a fighting chance against racism by making that clear.

  • Ota kun

    Cute story. I don’t know what’s up with these other wierd commenters though.