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Simone, Cars, and Race was published on theroot.com this week. Today, slate.com picked it up. Below is a response I received from a Slate reader who said she didn't mind if I shared her story with Honeysmoke readers. Enjoy.
I am so white I am almost translucent. My husband (now ex-) is Italian, of immigrants from Naples and Stromboli and very dark skinned. Our children always put it together that the Italian side of the family has dark skin and the non-Italian side has lighter skin. On the day my son started 1st grade he came home to tell me he had a new friend! He's a nice boy and so much fun and likes to play guns and build forts and so forth and so on and didn't seem to know his name or anything else about him but he wanted him to come over one day after school. And then added "He's even more Italian than WE are!" Sure enough a couple of days later the little boy came over and is black/African American!
My son was in 3rd grade when we all went on a trip to Italy and later in the year a trip to Senegal and The Gambia before he realized maybe heritage has something to do with skin tone and not everyone is Italian.