Parenting intersects with race in both wonderful and frustrating ways. Many parenting blogs don’t feature Black parents. Here is my story…
Becoming a parent has been one of my life’s greatest joys. I love it. My Treasured One (TO) is a beautiful, smart little burst of blessing. I am thoughtful about everything that concerns her. For me, one of the most challenging aspects of parenting has been its intersection with race–parenting while Black. Trust me, I encountered it early. Beginning with the parenting blogs and magazines that I scoured for advice and guidance before TO’s birth, and certainly ever since. No matter how hard I looked, I could not find a space that raised issues that I struggled with or featured faces that looked like my family.
I am a researcher by training, so I read everything. I remember while pregnant, a Black woman that I greatly respect said of my very long book list, “Jozie, you know that you won’t find all the answers in those books!” Of course I know that, but it’s my nature.
As I mentioned, my struggle started with parenting magazines and books—finding my own face. There were almost no Black parents represented. It was frustrating. I remember flipping through a popular parenting magazine and thinking, “Where are the Black and Brown people?”
I started Mocha Parents, Awesome Kids to meet this need–as a place to engage Black parents raising Black children in areas that most impact our lives: parenting, play and learning activities; planning, reading and kid’s books.
I care deeply about issues of race, and I believe that the challenge and reality of race also impact the way that people of color (PoC), we, parent our children. I write about issues that I am confronting in my own parenting journey.
My blog will focus on the following areas:
- Parenting Mochas. I will use this forum to explore the challenges of parenting in a world that often does not respect brilliance from kids of color.
- Play Ideas and Learning Activities. Play is so important for all kids. I’ll share activities, toys, and books that my Treasured One (TO) loves.
- Planning for Parents. You will find here planning tips for managing the business of family. By no means do I have it all figured out, but I do have systems that work for me.
- Reading and Kid’s Books. I will lift up kid’s books. Finding books with Black characters has been a struggle for me, so I will share what I have learned.
One of my goals as a parent is to quip and educate my Treasured One (TO) in ways that best prepare for her for future success. I want to accomplish this seemingly huge task in ways that both center and celebrate our Blackness.
I encourage you to take the journey with me.
Dr. Joanna Scott
**Updated January 27, 2015.