Beyond FACTS: Debunking Multiracial Myths
Myth #1: Multiracial children have low self-esteem.
Myth #2: Multiracial children are confused about or have ambiguous feelings regarding racial identity.
Myth #3: Multiracial children prefer one racial identity self-designation.
When I meet with book clubs to discuss my novel and the issues it covers, most readers ask about the impact of “biracial,” “mixed-race,” or “multiracial” labels on my children. There are those who still believe children in mixed-race families are impaired in some way, but I disagree. As long as a child has all the basic necessities and is loved and made to feel secure, he or she is going to flourish. Skin color and the differences inherent in one’s own family may make someone stand out, but that should be okay. (In an ideal world, such differences would be celebrated!) Special challenges faced by children in mixed-race families ought to be considered opportunities for discussion and awareness rather than dreaded as difficult and unfortunate obstacles.
Doris Wright Carroll also offers suggestions for parents and teachers concerned with the education of multiracial children. Most are simple as well as practical; all are based on respect for differences and awareness of the possibility that some multiracial children may have special concerns regarding identity. Let’s not assume all multiracial children have identity issues, though. Let’s not assume anything about anybody and we’ll all be better off.