Tag Archives: family

Being daddy: Talking to my interracial son about race

A conversation I had with my three-year-old son Saturday:

Noah: Daddy, my skin is light, momma’s skin is light, Nanna’s skin is light and everybody else’s skin in the family is light. But yours isn’t. Why are you dark-skinned and not like everyone else?

Me: Well, son, God made me different. Why do you ask? Did someone say something to you about me?

Noah: No one said something. I can see it myself, I can see it real good. But with me being light, its like I’m camouflaged, and so when we play and hide and seek, you can’t find me.

Me: Camouflaged? Ok. Well, how does it make you feel, my dark skin I mean.

Noah: Glad. I know its okay that we’re different.

And with that, we were off for the rest of our day of fun.

I’m sure, as Noah gets older, we’ll no doubt have more conversations about race. With me being black and his mother being Hispanic, the racial narrative of Noah’s life may be somewhat different. (And on a side note, he’ll probably have better luck than I at finding someone to cut his hair.) I know what its like to be black and his mother knows what its like to be Hispanic. But neither of us are interracial. Still, whatever and whenever we have a deeper talk about the matter, I’ll tell him this: “Treat people the way you want to be treated, regardless of their skin color.” and “If you work your butt off, you can be a success in life no matter what you look like.”