Two things that are of utmost importance to me as a transracial adoptive parent are learning from adult adoptees and gathering tools for my child that encourage her identity. That’s why when I read Sharon H. Chang’s article “Why Mixed with White isn’t White” over at Hyphen I was thrilled as she included the Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage.
I have often written in this space about the pressures multiracial children face from others to define or choose their identity. So often the pressure from peers at school, clubs, places of worship, and in their neighborhoods dictates to them who they can and cannot be. My daughter faces these ‘identity-choosing’ conversations almost weekly. The first time she read Maria P. P. Root’s Bill of Rights, she smiled, asked if she could have the printout and promptly hung it in her room. For her, and for us, it has become a touchstone in conversations, holding space for her, and breathing affirmation into old wounds that often start with the words “you cannot be…” and “you are not….”
It is because of this that I wanted to pass along this tool here at Blended. Ms. Root penned this Bill of Rights over two decades ago but perhaps today it has increasing power in the changing landscape of America. May it be helpful also to you and your family today.