Saturday, January 19, 2008

Getting A Little Personal: The Prelude

The Prelude
Part 1: Early Education
Part 2: MisEducation
Part 3: Educating Them & Us
Part 4: Home Schooling
Part 5: Return to Education
Part 6: Education of a Mayor

This is just a quick note to the few who do read my blog. These post have a little different tone than the typical post that I do about adoption. I just wanted to interject how they relate. The stories that I will tell in this series of post point to why I developed a heart that beat loud and strong for young black children. It explains why I became so heavily involved in working with children by the time that I was 16 and why I was so committed to the idea of adoption at an early age.

I also think that I have a unique perspective on race, how it affects the self-identify of children, and what some of the long and short-term consequences are.

  • I lived in an all black working-class neighborhood and went to an all white school in an upper middle-class neighborhood.
  • My father married a white woman with three children in 1970's Indianapolis, so I was part of two transracial families from age 10 into adulthood. Whew...we survived it!
  • My father's mother was mixed (Cherokee, Scottish, Black) and the politics of that were very present in almost all of my interactions with my grandmother. For black readers, my grandmother was COLOR STRUCK and not ashamed to let you know it.
  • Both of my parents interacted socially with friends of different races but RARELY was race ever discussed in our home while I was growing up. Except for the white friends that were no longer allowed to visit my stepmother after she married a black man.
  • I attended a black church where I was told that, "I could do all things through Christ..." That I was created in God's image and to never hide my light under a bushel.
Through this series of posts I hope to give at least a glimpse into the complexities and hurdles. Hopefully you will read along with me. Your comments all help me a lot too it would be great to start a real dialog. I'll try not to take too long to sum it all up.


Amber said...

Hi Valerie,

I read through all of your posts on this subject on your blog. Had lots of responses, many just like I can't believe that, except that I do. It's not that I would ever question what you are saying but that some of the things are so stunning in their stupidity. Really. I should stop feeling so surprised but I still do. As usual, I learned a lot from your posts and appreciate you taking the time to put your experiences on a public forum so I can access them. Thanks for sharing.


LoveNotes4CocoPrincess said...

I'm sitting here reading, shaking my head and saying, "Finally, someone like me-someone who knows what I say is not some made-up-for-tv-but-real-raw-experiences."

I've never sat down and written about my childhood/academic experiences because of the deep wounds, hurt and questions of whys that I know I have buried. In fact, the social worker for our homestudy for adoption mentions the struggles I overcame due to the cultural differences I experienced as an Ethio-American child in "gifted" classrooms at a time when Habashas were few in California.

Again, I thank you Valerie for your voice that is my voice and that is the voice of so many children of Color.

May the LORD continue to shine HIS Grace and Favor on you!

Deanna Rolffs said...

Did you seriously just call the author stupid? Unbelievable and unacceptable.