Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Sosa Reaction/ A Girl Like Me (Video from 2005)

This video  (see below--I got carried away with the Sosa images) was posted on the Love Isn't Enough Website- in response to so many of the viewers not seeing a problem with Sammy Sosa's recent DRAMATIC intentional skin lightening.  [My own musings here, are directly inspired from there: Love Isn't Enough (formerly Antiracist Parent) website. I always have trouble posting their link here, but the address is: ]

A high school student recreated research done as evidence for the Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) where children of color were asked to chose which baby doll was "better" or "nicer"-the brown one, or the white one. 

In 2005, the results are not different then fifty years before: 

For the entire seven minute long documentary you can You Tube "A Girl Like Me".

I read on an adoptive parent focused web page where the white parent was told it was normal for her African American child to want to be white like them. What disturbed me was not that a child would want to look like her parents, but that the assumption that this is normal from a developmental perspective was not separated from the implications this has for the parents in terms of the child's identity formation. Wanting to be white is not normal, wanting to look like your parents is.

When my Sammy saw these two pictures, he looked at them very carefully and finally said; "That's weird."

When I asked him what was weird he said; "He looks white there." I did not recreate the experiment with Sam by asking which picture he liked better-because I found myself anxious to not leave him alone in that moment. So, I agreed that it was weird, and followed up that it made my heart sad that this man did not love the way he looked before. Sam and I then agreed that he looked better as a brown skinned Dominican man.

This also brings to mind Sammy's noticing that MJ wasn't brown when he died. I wonder now if he isn't thinking that brown skinned people turn white when they get sick! That you lose all your color and turn white.

*A special shout to KJ for bringing this conversation up this morning in terms of the daycare/what does a princess look like/can she have brown hair?/bring on Princess Tiana please!

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