I found myself thinking this morning on the question of identity. Black, White, Asian, Indian, ‘Native’, Latino, etc. etc. I began to ask the question, is it the colour of our skins that identifies us or how, where and by whom we were raised?
Here are some scenarios:
- A Black African child born and raised in an African country in most cases has many influences on his/her upbringing as per the country’s culture that extends beyond mum and dad to the wider family context. This, I believe also applies to some European countries, particularly southern countries such as Greece and Italy;
- A White Caucasian child born of a White couple in the Northern hemisphere in the main have the identity of, and are raised by the parent couple with staged added influences as they grow from their community (school, friends, computer games, class level and localization etc.);
- Asian and East Indian from the little I know but broad observations are steeped in culture where cultural influences rule as the norm. I have not studied to prove anything here.
Now, back to my original question of identity. What of these scenarios? How do the individuals identify themselves and how are they perceived in the society they live in?
- A Black child adopted or fostered by a White couple (who remembers the movie ‘White Mama’)?
- A White child adopted or fostered by a Black couple/family. (Does such a thing exist? Pardon my ignorance but it will be interesting to know!)
How do these children identify themselves in the outer world away from home? How are they perceived by their peers, unwitting enemies, others? I am Black, with three Black children. One was particularly disturbed while in high school when she was called an Oreo. She needed strong parental help t overcome that.