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A meet up for Black biracial people
May 19 @ 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
My name is Ashanti and I am a black biracial women in her mid-twenties, I am based in Oxford. I’m currently trying to get hold of other black biracial people to hear about their experiences growing up in interracial households.
The reason for this is that I am aiming to start a support group for parents – in particular white parents – of black biracial children, in order to help navigate the unique challenges parents of biracial children face. Most importantly, I hope to provide an environment where the children can learn to embrace their blackness, rather than growing up feeling under pressure to conform to a eurocentric beauty standard or feeling constantly out of place. The group would hopefully respond to the demands needed but crucially would provide support teaching parents how to look after Afro-hair correctly.
As such my first step and as precursor to this, I thought it would be good to meet with other people who grew up in black biracial households, to hear about the experiences of different people and households and what support other people feel would have benefited them and their parents.
I feel like this is important in order that the group is first and foremost centered around biracial voices and the foundation is built from the needs and experiences of those this group is really established for. Moreover, every household is different and no group of people is a monolith, so I really want to establish this correctly by basing it as much as possible on the shared common themes that arise and I can only do this effectively by talking to and hearing as many biracial voices as possible!
The trigger for starting this group stems from a conversation I had with my sister, in which she was telling me about a group of the “cool girls” at school who used to appropriate elements of black culture while demonstrating racism within their treatment of their black friends and use of language. My sister told me that the majority of those girls had had kids with black men. We started discussing problems unique to being biracial; practical problems from learning how to embrace and style Afro hair to the more intense, such as feeling, or being perceived as – literally for want of a better way to express this – either “too black” or “too white” for certain environments. And more seriously, the struggle black biracial children can face growing up among white relatives that have yet to confront their inherent socialized racism. Or more generally – or to put it more gently – the problems growing up when half of your parents have never had to face or even think about racism before in their lives and therefore do not recognize it, much less are equipped to confront it.
This is something Reni Eddo-Lodge explores really well in her book “Why I’m no longer talking to White people about race”, but is something (I feel) is still not adequately talked about or addressed – I mean, we can take the Kardashian family as exhibit A of what I feel a group like this could help avoid happening.