So, since we're adopting from Ghana, we're looking at becoming African Americans. I mean, obviously not exactly, since Stephen, Ezra, and I are all obviously white, and we just don't have access to "what it's like" to be black in America.
But still, we must educate ourselves on being of African descent and living in America because that's exactly the experience our child will have growing up. And though it's more fun to educate myself on what type of hair my son or daughter may have (especially since E still has very little hair to speak of), it's much more important for me to educate myself on how to parent him or her as a member of a community of which I am not a part.
What I am still trying to figure out is this weird question of how much emphasis do we place on our child's African-ness? Because he won't have an accent, or memories, or anything to really explicitly show that he was born in Ghana, not Texas. So in many ways, it seems like he may be treated by most people as an American of African descent, rather than an African who is also American.
Gosh, am I making sense? I sometimes feel just so out of my element when thinking through this that I don't even know if my thoughts are logical or not. Our child will not have the same shared history of African Americans with ancestors who were slaves, or who were subjected to Jim Crow laws, or were burdened with the injustice of segregation, though she probably has ancestors who were taken from Ghana to become slaves. But does the fact that her relatives didn't experience what her black friends' relatives experienced matter in the light of the fact that she will often be treated as though they did? I don't know, and I don't even know how to know. Anybody?
So this is the first book I'm ordering to read. I'm hoping, as time passes, that I'll be guided to other meaningful books and discussions. Living in an area of the United States that can still be prejudiced, and frankly hateful, towards non-whites, it is imperative that we not stick our heads in the sand and pretend like a "color-blind" philosophy of parenting will suffice.