i am a product of this:
and this (obviously):
today (and every day), i am grateful that these photos give insight into my family, my values, my upbringing. i am grateful that these three photos color my approach to the world, to my relationships and that they provide the foundation on which i will raise our son.
but today, this year, the context of these photos is different; the power in these photos is so much stronger for me, provides me with so much more strength to be the change that builds a legacy for the future of our children beyond color lines. beyond black and white.
today, i am grateful for:
- being raised in the middle of iowa in a biracial & bicultural home, where we never talked about race because we didn't need to.
- both of my parents working their asses off to provide me and my 4 siblings with the world (as we knew it.)
- access to high quality public education, accessible to everyone, regardless of income, race or neighborhood.
- the understanding that hard-work, dedication and thinking outside of the box can create your future.
- embracing anyone and everyone, as equals, for who they are and their unique experiences of the world, make the world a better place for all.
- rarely ever having to talk about race...even though my skin was brown and the majority of my peers had skin several shades lighter than my own.
- having aunts and uncles from a small town in iowa who were a huge part of my life and for never having to question whether or not i belonged.
- my father's passion for making a difference in the world and joining the peace corps and for my mother's willingness to embrace a new culture.
- my husband and his unique perspective.
- safety, support and systems in place that allowed me to thrive.
- seeing different colors for their beauty and loving just the same.
you see, i have a lot to be grateful for but until we can all see colors for what they are instead of seeing them as lines to divide, separate, push away, the issues that have been thrown into our faces will continue with fury. unfortunately, this is not a place to raise a child without a little bit of worry and a WHOLE lot of hope that things will change.