Love Sees No Color

Back in the 90’s there was this clothing brand ‘Cross Colours’. If you were black or urban in the early 90’s you probably had a Cross Colours tshirt, a Malcolm X hat and an African medallion. Or if you were in my family you probably had all three. At once. It was quite a look. Very ‘Do the Right Thing’. In fact everyone in my family, mom, dad, sister and brother and me, all had this shirt (and yes we all had to wear them at the same time to like Boblo Island or Cedar Point or Disney World):

For those who are just tuning in or who don’t know me personally I am a biracial baby. A brown girl. A mixed kid. Or as I have explained on average once a day since I’ve been old enough to answer: My Dad is black and my Mom is white. I just had this conversation at the grocery store today in fact. (I am NOT however mulatto. So please don’t call me that. It’s offensive.) Or you can call us Future Babies. Cause we’re pretty sure that in the future everyone will be all mixed up. Just like us.

To add to the multi-cultural-ness of my family I married a man who is also biracial. His Dad is Lebanese and his Mom is white.

So that makes Cedella & Little Nugget half white, 1/4 black and 1/4 Lebanese. Talk about a melting pot.

Needless to say I was quite upset with this little bit of ‘news’ on Facebook the other day. (click on the quote below to read the whole article)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A tiny all-white Appalachian church in rural Kentucky
has voted to ban interracial couples from joining its flock,
pitting members against each other in an argument over race.

The thing is that it has always been completely normal in my family to date whomever you like. To be with whomever you love. That we are all one human race. In fact for the most part we never knew we were ‘different’ from other kids. Our parents went to great lengths to put us in a diverse school district (though somehow we lived in a primarily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood where WE were the diversity). It wasn’t until we were school age and being called things like ‘oreo’ and ‘zebra’ that we started to recognize that some people just didn’t get our family.

There was even the time when we were all shopping in the mall, Dad on one end, Mom on the other with us kids holding hands in between, that we were harassed by some racist bastard. He called my Dad a nigger and told my Mom to take her nigger and nigger kids home cause decent folks didn’t want to see us. Then he threw his drink at my Dad. That man was lucky that us kids were there, or my anger-prone father would have been arrested for kicking his ass.

That was in the 80’s. 20 years ago. And nearly 20 years after the Civil Rights movement was at its height.

The scary part? That something so terribly racist and close-minded is still occurring today.

But despite being disgusted and more than a little irritated by this situation in rural Kentucky I’m not surprised. And I’m not silly enough or idealistic enough to believe that electing Barack Obama, a biracial man himself, was enough to put an end to centuries of racial inequality in this country. Nor do I think that this country is capable of putting such a deep-seeded feeling of superiority and entitlement behind itself in a matter of one generation or even three.

What I am is hopeful. Hopeful by how many mixed race families I see out and about these days. How many biracial actors and singers and authors there are. And that all of these diverse people and families are being represented (though minutely) in shows like ‘Parenthood’ and ‘Happy Endings’.

I’m hopeful that our generation of parents is capable of teaching their children that people are people and it’s ok to love whomever you love. Hopeful that this is the generation which accepts not only people of different races and religions but of different sexual orientation into their families. That we stop putting people into the neat little boxes marked ‘white’ ‘black’ or ‘straight’ and start seeing people as individuals. These are the values I will be passing on to my children. These are the lessons that I have been blessed with knowing and learning throughout my life as a biracial person.

Raising children that are compassionate and conscious is just as important as any other aspect of parenting. It’s our job as parents to nurture and protect not only their growing bodies and rapidly-absorbing brains, but to help them know right from wrong, and good from bad. It is our job to water their souls with love and kindness so that they go out into the world with positivity. But how do you teach compassion? How do you teach that we are all one?

I haven’t talked a lot about what it’s like to raise a multi-cultural family on this blog. In fact I don’t think I’ve talked about it at all.  But after writing this I think that I need to. But at the end of the day it’s not just about being mulit-cultural or biracial, it’s about being American global citizens. We’re an American family that are interested in teaching their children how to be open-minded individuals who celebrate their culture and their country, but live in an ever narrowing and shrinking global community. I’m interested in exploring how to take my kids there.

Hope you’re all in for this new journey 😉

Our Big Fat Black, White and Lebanese Family

Love really doesn’t see in color…

Comments

  1. This was such a beautiful post – I love hearing about your gorgeous multi-cultural family and agree that you should write about it more. Also, I laughed out loud at the Boblo Island reference. How cool was that place and how sad is it that it’s closed?!

    • Alexia says:

      Thanks friend!! Knew that probably only a handful of readers would know Boblo, but remember how people would wear matching outfits? We would count them on the boat. We were THAT family 😉 Wish it was still around!

  2. Chris Tyler says:

    Great post. We have a picture on our fridge of me in 8th grade with a cross colours shirt on!

  3. Marsha Cosgrove says:

    I also had a cross colours shirt about Sistahood that my co-worker friend Diann Couthen at Hill HS gave me when I was a sub secretary. She said she bought it at our favorite place, the VC Boutique (Value City). Then I was tranferred to Otto Jr. High and told her I wore it on casual Fri. She was shocked that I actually wore it but the kids loved seeing it on an old lady (48). Love your post and the pictures…you were a beautiful bride!

  4. Cheryl Lyons says:

    Lovely post!

  5. I’m in love with the pics of your families! To quote a line from “Rachel Getting Married”, that’s what heaven looks like :-)

    p.s. Cross Colours always makes me think of TLC, Kross Kross and Radio Raheem

    • Alexia says:

      Thanks Teresha! I think they’re just like heaven too!

      Proud to say that I wore CC to a concert featuring both TLC and Kris Kross! lol

  6. Beautiful post and I agree with what you said about “in the future everyone will be all mixed up.” At least I hope so!

    You are an absolutely gorgeous woman with a beautiful family! Thanks for sharing your background!

    • Alexia says:

      Thanks Erika! A ‘ mixed-up’ future sounds great to me! Glad to share my background and pictures with everyone 😉

  7. Katie E says:

    Wonderful post – your family is beautiful. And so are your words.

    I remember Cross Colours clothes being popular at my high school – for none of the reasons you described :)

    • Alexia says:

      Thanks Katie! Guess this is why it’s always better to write from the heart, right?

      Hahaha! I think it’s great that CC were popular everywhere! It was such a great message for teens to sport. Wish they were still around!

  8. April says:

    Girl, what a great post! Your family surely is the “new” American family…one big melted mix! I love how you posted the pics in black & white…great touch!

    • Alexia says:

      We are American through and through, that’s for sure! I thought black and white captured the sentiment of the post. Thanks for noticing!

  9. kim says:

    I’m sickened by that article (that I’m NOT reading) and inspired by you. Future babies indeed. And for the record? I never considered your race. Just you.

    • Alexia says:

      Thanks Kim! It never even occurs to me that people would take me for anything other than who I am. It’s sad that other people in this country look at only the color of someone’s skin and make arbitrary rules against who they can and can’t love. Glad that someone else is inspired by this ugliness to look at the world differently! <3

  10. Jennifer says:

    (Cross Colours! HAHAHA! I TOTALLY remember that AND wore it – ugh, I cannot believe it was so long ago!) As half of an interracial couple (I’m filipino, my husband is white), a mother of two beautiful mixed babies, and a product of a super melting pot community, I get so deeply saddened (and ANGRY!) by that kind of hatred. And I agree with you, I’ve seen and heard too many similar stories to believe that there are no more hateful, ignorant people out there. But love trumps hate any day, and those of us who know what’s really going on can look forward to a future where the only skin color we see is L.O.V.E.! 😉 Great post!

    • Alexia says:

      NICE!! I love all the Cross Colour folks coming out of the woodwork!

      So glad to hear from another interracial family! Whether we mean to or not we are leading the charge towards more acceptance and love. And damn it feels good to be for a little positive change and love in this world 😉

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