Race Identity Essay Title
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In the US there are 1. 1 million plus interracial marriages. Along with these marriages come millions of biracial children. Not everyone believes having biracial children is a good idea. Some believe these parents are committing a grave offense against their children, and thus they are unintentionally hurting their own children (Washington 278). This a problem which many people are concerned about, teachers and social workers especially.
They are scared biracial children will not get the extra time and energy they need to live as a normal child. Adults are needed to help the children understand why they are different and how to deal with it. Biracial children must learn to cope with the problems that come with being multi-cultural. One of the biggest problems biracial children have is finding their identity. "What are you?" is one of the most commonly asked questions that biracial children have to answer to. Being unable to give a one race answer causes problems for both the child and whom ever they are talking to. Many people do not understand how someone can be two or more races.
In their eyes you can only have one race. Since being biracial is not normal to them, they look down on these people. This kind of behavior can make growing up especially hard for children. In the past children were identified by the parent of color. If one parent were black, then the child's race was black also. But if the child were able to pass as white then he was considered to be white (Wardle 2).
This eliminated a lot of problems for biracial, because children they were not expected to give an explanation for their race. Eventually this system no longer worked because the number of single mothers began to increase, making it hard to be sure of the father's race. Now many parents are trying to teach their children it is okay to be biracial. Children who identify themselves with their minority race are not asked for further explanations by other children and adults.
While those who choose both races usually receive a reaction of shock, amazement and sometimes disapproval. This causes children to feel as if they must choose between the two races, resulting in confusion and guilt over having to decide between both heritage. They feel they are unable to identify with one parent. Thus parent / child bonds to weaken Buttery 39)...
Society teaches biracial children to choose one race, this is what is "acceptable." Having to make such decisions can be very difficult. Often the struggle for identity leads biracial children perceive themselves as alienated from the mainstream, neither one or the other. This is why finding a racial identity is so important. Racial identity is defined as "pride in one's racial and cultural background. " It helps children to shape attitudes of themselves and others. It also helps form the way biracial children interact with others and how others react (Nash 22). When you have pride it is easier to answer questions and know where you fit in.
First, a child must realize they belong to some racial category and decide which one they want to identify themselves with and also be happy with their decision. There are two ways most biracial children go. One way is choosing a multi-ethnic race. Meaning both parents have heavy influence in the child's life.
The second way is to choose only one race. This depends on the status, social and personal aspects of the child. For example would be the type of neighborhood the child lives in could represent their status. How family and friends accept interracial families represents the social aspects and the child's physical features could represent the child's personal feelings (Nash 25). Most children choose the race of the minority parent. So if a child's father was black and mother white, he would most likely identify himself as black.
My sister and I are of biracial backgrounds. Our father is Hispanics and our mother is White. When asked our race, we both respond "Hispanic." When asked, why Hispanic over White, we say it is because that is where most of our culture comes from and that we look more Hispanic than White. "The uncertainty about where and how one will live being neither white nor black is about as great as any problem a human being is likely to face" (Washington 277). Once a child has figured out their identity, who they are, he then must be prepared to defend themselves from society's prejudices. "Even though their numbers are small, biracial children have inherited a society different from the one their grandparents and great-grandparents found" (Davis 2). Race is an issue that affects a child from the very beginning, starting at the hospital when the parents must select a race for the birth certificate. As biracial children grow they seem just like every other child they play with.
Although race is always a factor to most parents, it begins to be noticeable by the children themselves in their teens. At this age they are more aware of themselves, more conscious about who they are, what they look like and what others think of them. They begin to develop their own ideas and feelings about everything they are exposed to. This is a very trying time for biracial children. Junior High is usually the beginning of finding individuality. It is the starting point where biracial children begin to feel excluded from others.
They are looked down at because of preconceived notions other children have learned from their adult peers. From there it goes to high school and so on, only getting worse. As a result the social activities of biracial children are limited because of the way others feel about them. For example many times there is refusal of white parents to permit inter-dating among their children. This can also go for social gatherings, a biracial child may not be invited to a party because of who they are. Resentment can build up inside mixed children as a result of being discriminated.
This resentment is very unhealthy for them and at times even dangerous. Along with feeling outlasted from his peers biracial children must also learn to...
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Research essay sample on Racial Identity One Race
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