A new study on black relationships picks apart dating and marriage myths and shows how media have manipulated facts and figures.
For example, take the popular statistic that more black women than black men have earned bachelor’s degrees. It’s true. So is this: “Nationwide, although more than 800,000 more black women than black men have at least a bachelor’s degree, almost 200,000 more black men than black women earn more than $75,000 per year.”
That piece of information helps put the matter in perspective, and the debate has often lacked balance. As the study notes, “entrepreneurial elements of America have found a variety of creative ways to benefit financially from black females’ anxieties at the expense of black males’ egos. Preachers, entertainers turned relationship experts, filmmakers and news documentaries have manipulated statistics to stoke the fear necessary to sell their preferred cut-rate brand of catharsis or solace.”
I’m familiar with one of those “creative ways” some have found to deal with the matter. It is easy. Date and marry someone of a different race. A number of web sites, businesses and books tout the idea.
It’s not that easy, though. For years, women and men have dreamed about their ideal mate. They have pursued this vision, playing it over and over again in their minds. It is tough to insert a new man or woman in the leading role. In other words, change is hard. I can’t change how someone thinks. She has to do that.
There are probably more reasons than I can count for why I was open to dating and then marrying someone of a different race. I lived on military bases as a child. I lived overseas as a child. I was exposed to many cultures, thoughts and ideas. I witnessed two interracial relationships in my extended family. No one told me I couldn’t, shouldn’t or better not date someone of another race.
Believer that I am, I’ve stopped suggesting my black girlfriends date someone of another race. Some are not open to the idea; others are offended by the mere mention of it. I accept that I can’t organize love and that what works for me may not work for you.
Okay, this is a bit off topic, but I just had to share this save-the-date video that has been making the rounds on the Internet. You will see why when you view it. After all, it is February. One more thing: I do not know the couple featured in the trailer. Enjoy.
I will be a guest Wednesday on the Mixed Chicks Chat, the only live weekly show about being racially and culturally mixed.
Fanshen Cox and Heidi Durrow host the show each Wednesday at 5 p.m. Eastern/2 p.m. Pacific to discuss all aspects of the Mixed experience. The Mixed Chicks Chat hosts the annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival each year in June. For more information about the 2010 Festival visit the Festival website. The Festival, a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts, is an inclusive event targeting the growing population of multiracial and multicultural individuals and families.
- Visit www.talkshoe.com and sign-up for a talkshoe account. You’ll receive a pincode that you will need when you call to participate.
- On the day of the show, dial 724-444-7444.
- Next you’ll be asked to enter the talkcast id number 34257 followed by the pound sign.
- Finally, you’ll be prompted to enter your personal pincode, followed by the pound sign.
- That’s it. You’re LIVE on the show. Remember, you’ll be muted when you first join, so if you want to comment please request to chat by pressing the request to chat button. You can also submit a chat message that we can read on the air.
The Cooperative Children’s Book Center is a resource for children’s books and features several book lists. Below is one I will use over and over again.
50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Know
Compiled by Ginny Moore Kruse and Kathleen T. Horning
Updated by Kathleen T. Horning and Megan Schliesman
© 2006, 2001 Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Ada, Alma Flor and F. Isabel Campoy, selectors. English adapations by Alice Schertle . ¡Pio Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes.. Illustrated by Viví Escrivá. HarperCollins, 2003. 64 pages. Ages birth – 6 years
Heo, Yumi. One Afternoon. Orchard, 1994. Ages 2 – 4
Morales, Yuyi. Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book. Chronicle, 2003. Ages 4 – 7
Reiser, Lynn. Margaret and Margarita/Margarita y Margaret. Greenwillow, 1993. Ages 3 – 6
Steptoe, John. Baby Says. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1988. Ages 1 – 3
Tarpley, Natasha. I Love My Hair!. Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Little, Brown, 1998. Ages 4 – 8
Te, Ata. Baby Rattlesnake. Illustrated by Mira Reisberg. Children’s Book Press, 1989.
Thong, Rosanne. Round Is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes. Illustrated by Grace Lin. Chronicle, 2000.
Weiss, George David and Bob Thiele . What a Wonderful World. Illustrated by Bryan Ashley. Atheneum, 1995. Ages 2 – 8
Wheeler, Bernelda. Where Did You Get Your Moccasins? . Illustrated by Herman Bekkering. Peguis, 1986.
Williams, Vera B.. More, More, More, Said the Baby: Three Love Stories. Greenwillow, 1990.
Cheng, Andrea. Grandfather Counts. Illustrated by Ange Zhang. Lee & Low, 2000. Ages 4 – 8
Cisneros, Sandra. Hairs/Pelitos. Illustrated by Terry Ybånez. Knopf, 1994. Ages 3 – 7
Dorros, Arthur. Abuela. Illustrated by Elisa Kleven. Dutton, 1991. Ages 4 – 7
Greenfield, Eloise. Honey, I Love, and Other Poems. Illustrated by Leo & Dianne Dillon. Harper, 1978.
Harjo, Joy. The Good Luck Cat. Illustrated by Paul Lee. Harcourt, 2000. Ages 4 – 7
Hausherr, Rosemary. Celebrating Families. Scholastic, 1997. Ages 4 – 9
Look, Lenore. Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding. Illustrated by Yumi Heo. Anne Schwartz / Atheneum, 2006. 32 pages. Ages 3-7
McKissack, Patricia C.. Mirandy and Brother Wind. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Knopf, 1988. Ages 4 – 8
Pinkney, Sandra L.. Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children. Illustrated by Myles Pinkney. Scholastic, 2000. Ages 3 – 11
Swamp, Jake. Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message. Illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr. Lee & Low, 1995.
Vyner, Tim. World Team. U.S. edition: Roaring Brook Press, 2002. Ages 4 – 9
Waboose, Jan Bourdeau. Morning on the Lake. Illustrated by Karen Reczuch. Kids Can Press, 1998. Ages 5 – 8
Ada, Alma Flor. My Name Is Maria Isabel. Atheneum, 1993. Ages 8 – 10
Alarcon, Francisco X. From the Bellybutton of the Moon, and Other Summer Poems / Del ombligo de la luna, y otros poemas de verano. Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez. Children’s Book Press, 1998. Ages 7 – 10
Cha, Dia and Chue and Nhia Thao Cha . Dia’s Story Cloth: The Hmong People’s Journey to Freedom. Denver Museum of Natural History/Lee & Low, 1996. Ages 8 – 11
Hamilton, Virginia. The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales. Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. Knopf, 1985.
Krull, Kathleen. Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez. Harcourt, 2003. Ages 5 – 9
Lester, Julius. John Henry. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Dial, 1994. Ages 4 – 12
Look, Lenore. Ruby Lu, Brave and True. Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf. Atheneum, 2004. 105 pages. Ages 5 – 9
Ortiz, Simon. The People Shall Continue. Illustrated by Sharol Graves. Children’s Book Press, 1988.
Ringgold, Faith. Tar Beach. Crown, 1991. Ages 5 – 11
Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Indian Shoes. HarperCollins, 2002. Ages 6 – 9
Walter, Mildred Pitts. Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World. Lothrop, 1988.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Show Way. Illustrated by Hudson Talbott. Putnam, 2005. 40 pages. Ages 5-9
Bridges, Ruby. Through My Eyes. Scholastic, 1999. Ages 9 and older
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy. Delacorte, 1999. Ages 8 – 13
Erdrich, Louise. The Birchbark House. Hyperion, 1999. Ages 8 – 12
Grace, Catherine O’Neill and Margaret M. Bruchac, with Plimoth Plantation . 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving. Photographed by Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson. National Geographic, 2001. 48 pages. Ages 8-14
Hamanaka, Sheila. The Journey: Japanese Americans, Racism and Renewal. Orchard, 1990. Ages 9 and older
King, Casey and Linda Barrett Osborne . Oh, Freedom! Kids Talk About the Civil Rights Movement with the People Who Made It Happen. Knopf, 1997. Ages 8 – 14
Nye, Naomi Shihab, editor. The Tree Is Older Than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems & Stories from Mexico with Paintings from Mexican Artists. Simon & Schuster, 1995. Age 8 and older
Park, Linda Sue. A Single Shard. Clarion, 2001. Ages 9 – 12
Ryan, Pam Munoz. Esperanza Rising. Scholastic, 2000. Ages 10 – 14
Shange, Ntozake. ellington was not a street. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Simon & Schuster, 2004. 32 pages. Ages 8 and older
Skarmeta, Antonio. The Composition. Illustrated by Alfonso Ruano. U.S. edition: A Groundwood Book/Douglas & McIntyre, 2000. Ages 9 – 16
Taylor, Mildred D.. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.. Dial, 1976.
Yep, Laurence. The Rainbow People. HarperCollins, 1989.
This list may be reproduced and distributed by educational and/or nonprofit organizations so long as credit is given to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
I have to say the mahogany Crayon is a close match to the color of my skin. Ken is more of an apricot, while the girls have peach tones.
I stumbled upon Crayola’s Mutlicultural Crayons while conducting research for this blog. They come in skin tone hues so that children can create realistic pictures of their world. The colors are: black, sepia, peach, apricot, white, tan, mahogany, and burnt sienna.
I played with these Crayons, and they look realistic enough. They’re just Crayons. I drew the best people I could, and they looked like a multicultural bunch. For the girls, any Crayon is as good as the next. Simone made stick figures with them, while Nadia made swirls.
I am on the fence about whether such packaging is needed. I don’t remember having any trouble finding the right Crayons to color my family when I was a kid. My favorite box was the one with 64 Crayons. Besides, who says people have to be realistic colors? Why can’t they be blue, or purple, or orange? Simone can’t seem to pick one color for her projects. We’ve watched her give people, dogs and cats multiple colors. One day, she gave a dog pink and purple ears, a green tail, and a gray body. We told her she had done a good job.
I understand why teachers want Multicultural Crayons. They wouldn’t be on market if there weren’t some kind of demand. I say teachers because I couldn’t find them at any of my local discount stores and purchased my box at a teacher supply store. Crayons may help show students how they are different and how they are alike, and I’m willing to bet more than one kid has beamed when his teacher or classmates pointed out that he could use this or that hue to color his family. In the end, though, young children aren’t into precise meanings of color as much as adults, and I look forward to seeing how this issue plays out in our household.