One of the looming questions for us in raising our cute beige baby is “how should we define the community he is part of?” I know there is going to be that weird moment when he asks about the very stark difference between black culture and white culture. I am quite aware that neither of these are monolithic, but I have never seen a place where the two are the same.
This question, how do you support the community?, is challenging even for otherwise very astute and inclusive people like Mikki Kendall and Skippington. Recently they both have said that anyone who is married to a white person is of questionable value to black communities. I think that is bullshit.
Mikki Kendall, the woman who started #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, and Skippington had an extended thread about the value (or lack) of interracial families for the community of the members. In the middle of their attack on feminism for disenfranchising women of color they broke down into a discussion of whether an interracial child is “Black enough” to be part of the community–that hurts my soul.
One of the things that Rose and I discussed when we set out to find our new home was finding somewhere that Rockford would grow up with access to black communities. In part I want this because I feel like I missed that opportunity when I was a kid.
Ultimately, I want to pass on to Rock that you should know your neighbors. You should look people in the eye and greet them. Even though he will likely want to escape the neighborhood that Rose and I choose, I want him know that his life will be happier if knows his neighbors.