I know we don't think of the 1970s as a time of racial progression, but listening to this song had me thinking. Was it easier to talk about race in the immediate aftermath of the civil rights movement? Could we acknowledge race without being afraid to say the words? Can you imagine a song today that said, "White boy?"
There is a part of me that feels silly blogging about race. After all, I'm a lawyer, not a racial activist. It's just that people ask me about race quite a bit. They wonder about my opinion on interracial families and things like how parent custody is influenced by race. I tell them that in an ideal world, it makes no difference, but that we don't live in an ideal world.
So, for all of my parents out there who are fighting for custody of your bi-racial children, I say first- deal with it. Deal with the fact that you at one point were very close to someone of the opposite race. Deal with the fact that their family may not be as open minded as you would like. Don't, however, deal with your child being abused. Don't keep your child from activities or events that will allow them to feel close to their other racial heritage.
The standard for child custody remains- The Best Interests of the Child. If you can show that you will do your best to embrace your child's unique racial and cultural heritage, you will present better in court.
At the end of the day, don't be afraid to talk about race. Don't let your children grow up ashamed to ask questions. And sometimes, you may need to put on your cool dancing shoes and sing, "Play that Funky Music, White boy."
By Jacquie L. Jones
Join us on a journey of discovery as we explore issues of custody, criminality, and Probate especially in Delaware County, PA.