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I can’t believe I’ve yet to share a book list for parents/families raising mixed raced children! I’ve received emails from many of you asking for more resources, so let’s start with books for us, the adults raising our multicultural kids.
I haven’t read all of these books yet. If you have, please share your thoughts!
6 Books On Raising Mixed Race Children
Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?: A Parent’s Guide To Raising Multiracial Children by Donna Jackson Nakazawa: The mother of two mixed race children, Nakazawa researched and interviewed parents of multiracial children for this book. She discusses how race is perceived at different ages and offers parents examples of dialogue when kids ask questions about their skin color versus their parents. There’s also a section on how to deal with intrusive comments or “Your kids are sooo beautiful!” comments. (I guess I should have read this book sooner.)
I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World by Marguerite A. Wright: Wright believes that a child’s concept of race is very different from ours. Based on her research and clinical experience, she aims to help parents and teachers guide the positivite development of children’s self esteem. The book discusses race perception at different ages/stages and important issues as how we discuss black hair.
Mixed Race 3.0: Risk and Reward in the Digital Age by Ulli K. Ryder and Marcia Alesan Dawkins: As a someone who is not mixed race, I will never truly understand what it will be like to grow up as such, but I try to learn by reading about others’ experiences. Dawkins, who is mixed, has written many books and essays about race. I’m especially looking forward to reading her latest, a collaboration with Ulli K. Ryder. It’s a combination of memoir and case study that aims to take the conversation about being multiracial past “What are you?” This book is the most recent book on I’ve found.
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.d. As one of the two Asian Americans in my high school (the other being my sister), I definitely noticed the self-segregation in my school cafeteria. Tatum explores this even further with different races/ethnicities in college and corporate cafeterias. Tatum asserts that we’ve waited far too long to begin our conversations about race. Considering this book was written in 2003, we still have a lot of talking to do about racial injustices. Her words can help guide parents who aren’t sure where to start when discussing race.
Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories edited by Andrew Garrod, Robert Kilkenny, Christina Gomez: Filled essays from students at Dartmouth College of diverse backgrounds, this book gives a glimpse into the complex lives of those who identify with more than one race. The college students share how their parents’ views shaped their childhoods and how their perceptions affect their relationships.
When Half Is Whole: Multiethnic Asian American Identities by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu: As the parent of children who are Asian American and African American, I find that many books focus on the raising biracial children who are black and white. This book discusses multiracial families who are part Asian American and part “other.” The book blurb also mentions people who identify themselves “Mexipino” and “Blackinawan” which makes me smile as my husband and I joke that our kids are “Blackinese.”
That’s just a short list with the little research I’ve done. If you know of more, please share in the comments!
Next up, I’ll share a my favorite bloggers who write about race and children.