What it is like to identify as one race in one ethnic background and give birth to another?  That’s what I’m attempting to tackle in a healthy way from now until, let’s see….the end of my life.

In the meantime, I’m sharing over on Deidra Riggs’ Jumping Tandem blog.  Deidre has been doing a fascinating 31 day journey called “In My Brown Skin,” where she’s shared what it’s like to be in her brown skin.  If you have the time to go back and read some of her posts, they are beautifully written & worth the time.

As a part of “In My Brown Skin” I’m sharing a bit of my journey as a biracial chick identifying as African-American who gave birth to kids who look mostly white, slightly ethnic and not much black.


Growing up in my light skin, which is practically as light as Wonder Bread, I fielded a lot of questions:

“What are you?”

“Yo.  What color is you?”

“So. Like, what’s your -like- race or whatever?”

I hoped – secretly wished- my future children would bear far more melanin than me. Like most carefully laid plans by 12 year olds, it didn’t happen. When I made the choice to marry a white man I did so knowing my future children would have a destiny much different from mine.

My two precious sons -beautiful as they are- are even more pale skinned than me. While one has the hair texture of your average white kid, the other has thicker, curlier hair like mine but still looks like any other white kid. Slightly ethnic at best.

When the boys are out with Daddy no one ever questions him, looks at him sideways or gives him any grief. When they are with me people ask if they’re mine, if they’re adopted, if they’re Jewish, if they’re Latino and yes, if I’m the babysitter. The babysitter. Seriously, I’d like to ask all the nosy-Nancy’s if they’d like to give me a paper cut and pour lemon juice in it.

It’s difficult to write about this with feeling like an arse. I hate that someone may wonder if I do or do not love my kids based on their skin colors. If you would extend some trust here while I explain, man I would appreciate it…

You can read the rest of this post over at Jumping Tandem…


  • http://www.deidrariggs.com/ Deidra

    Thanks for adding your voice to the conversation, Grace! I’m going to have to stop by and visit the next time in Detroit! It was an honor to host you today at JumpingTandem!

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Thanks again, Deidra! I’m so honored to be part of such a wonderful conversation you got going on there! By the way, I live in Kalamazoo which is about 2 hours from Detroit ~ but I’d be happy to meet you in the middle for coffee =)

  • Sharon O

    found you on Deidra’s site, good writings. looking forward to more …

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Thanks, Sharon! I’ll come check out your online digs as well! =)

  • Yetunde

    Loved your post on Deidra’s blog. You were very honest in saying things a lot of people think and feel but would never say out loud

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Thanks, Olusola! the truth is important & that’s my truth…

  • Dina at causerie.typepad.com

    Found you over at Jumping Tandem and left a comment; but, I don’t think it went through. In so many ways we are similiar (White husband, multi-ethnic children (my oldest daughter could “pass” as they say), once black and bruised and a follower of Yeshua). I think though, I’m old enough to probably be your mom. Regardless, I’m so very glad I’ve come across your space.

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