Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Adoption 24: BLACK BABIES AND WHITE TOYS


Black & White Baby Dolls Posted by Picasa

25 Comments:

At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Michelle said...

Does your daughter have black baby dolls as well?

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger Sam said...

Yes, not that it matters at this point in her life.

I have a great book on raising children of another race. Kids don't view skin color, race, etc...like we do until they are about 5.

Low racial self-esteem for black children comes not from white people or name calling but rather from people close to them who use words like "n...." or phrases like, "get your black ass over here." Actually it's not these words or low racial self-esteem that is as important as just flat bad parenting that leads to bad self-esteem period that then can get connected to race later.

The book title is something like, "I'm Vanilla You're Chocolate" by a Black psychologist.

It's excellent and I'll post the title.
------------------
anyway, so we get her black dolls...or our family/friends do, but she doesn't care and it doesn't matter to her a bit. She likes doggies, and her Dada who is the center of her universe for sure!

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Michelle said...

I was just curious...

 
At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Michelle said...

I discussed this idea on my blog, using what you said but not your link nor your name. I will be happy to credit your blog if you'd like, or I will keep it quiet as well.

I'm really glad I found your blog..you have different ideas than me on a lot of things and I find that I learn the most that way!!

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Sam said...

you are welcome to credit it. I'm putting this stuff out in hope that it'll be helpful to other people.

I've got to go find that book so I can refer people to it accurately.

 
At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Michelle said...

Great, thanks Sam. :)

 
At 6:01 PM, Blogger Sam said...

ACKKKK,

Hi Michelle,

Actually, my wife is Hispanic/Latina and African-American. (She looks like a lightskinned Hispanic but could be greek or something, and culturally she's Mexican) Emma's father is supposedly Hispanicm but Emma sure doesn't look it, quoting her black birth relatives, "She ain't got no Mexican in her."

We plan to identify Emma as both Hispanic and Black.

Gets kind of complicated doesn't it. Like I said, we put all kinds of emphasis on race and impose our own ideas and perceptions on kids that they do not have....think about how many adults can identify someone's race. We use a whole set of complicated clues...then when we lay perceptions judgements, etc...on top of those ...well, this is hard for adults much less kids.

more later

 
At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Michelle said...

Whoops..Going to edit my blog.

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger MeekoMommy said...

I've been following this book title around your blog... sorry, but I thought I would post it again in case someone doesn't read it above...

It's I'm Chocolate You're Vanilla by Marguerite A. Wright...

Highly recommended...

My a-daughter has black, white and brown dollies... mostly to include the other children/nieces/nephew that come over so there is a wide variety to chose from...

Like mentioned before, though, children don't see race/color at all. If you ask them to make a picture of themselves and color it in, they are likely to color themselves blue or purple depending on their mood or favorite color, not by racial "color".... just a sidenote.

 
At 12:10 AM, Blogger Renee said...

I think this is interesting! My daughter is AA/CC and she is 2yrs4months old. She has both white and black baby dolls however she only plays with the brown dolls. In her story books she point sto the black children and says her name and the white children and says her little friends name(who is white) Older black men are always 'papa'(her grandfather) and older white women are Nanas(my mom)
I havent read the above mentioned book but would like to. I always read/heard kids didnt 'see' color until much older but Im telling you my daughter really DOES! She tells me she has brown skin and that I have pink skin. Well anyway Im rambling!

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger MeekoMommy said...

Renee ~ My daughter does that too sometimes mostly with pictures in books and not with dolls or people.

I have actually bought books with little girls that look like her (it's kind of strange), but she points and says her name...

My daughter is just three months older than Olyvia =-) We are in California as well...

Night all...

 
At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Deb said...

I must agree with Renee, my son did make it clear he noticed from a very early age (10 mons!)Of course I am a big believer that you can't parent a child of another race in a "color-blind" mode of thinking. Our son would prefer dolls similar to himself, he seemed more excited by images on TV, or in the store on packaging of black persons. I remember picking up a copy of a dvd of the Disney movie "Like Mike" and it showed the 2 main characters (1 black, 1 white)and he excitedly jabbered and pointed to the black character saying "Me, ME!". It needless to say was something that stuck with me. He also now will call out to strangers in the store who are black as if he knows them, or responds to me surprised that we don't know them. He is now 2 1/2 yrs old and we continue to celebrate his beautiful brown self.
Deb

 
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At 5:48 AM, Blogger Lorraine Woodward said...

With all due respect to the psychologist in question, I want to agree that kids probably notice more than we think they do. and even if it's just on some subconscious level, I still think it's important to show them dolls that look like them. My friend's 7-year-old insisted on buying a lighter-skinned doll, and she has said enough that we know it has to do with her wishing she looked like mommy and her sisters. she needs to know that she is beautiful just as she is.

I don't have kids of my own yet, but I went nuts at my church when I realized that all of the "little people" (the chubby figures that the toddlers play with) were white, and I went out and bought a bunch of new ones.

how does the author of that book explain the kenneth clark studies, which were recently re-created (with almost identical results) by a 17-year-old girl as a high school project?

 
At 6:51 AM, Anonymous BabbyMomma said...

I was visiting a friend with my sweet little AA baby girl. She has a 4 yr old girl and a 2 yr old boy. Her son touched my babies face and looked at his mommy and said "dirty". I sweetly said, "she's chocolate...you're vanilla"! Maybe I'll pick up that book. My 5 yr old nephew said he didn't like our baby because she didn't look like him. Needless to say I was SURPRISED because people always saying kids don't see color. I think they most certainly do.....they don't pour the same meaning into "color" that adults do, but they see it.

 
At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Momma2Addy said...

Great Blog! Thanks so much for the encouragement. We have a beautiful little girl we adopted through foster care who is now 3. We got her when she was almost 2 and had some attachment issues that she has overcome! She actually prefers white babies. She is african american and we are all white and for the longest time she was scared of any african american people who came near. She's doing great now and I love to hear happy stories about adoption! Do you get your daughter's hair done? That is one thing I've had quite the time figuring out!

 
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