Mocha Parents, Awesome Kids: My Parenting Story

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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?”

The lack of racial diversity in parenting magazines

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.

About Author

I am Dr. Joanna Scott, creator of Mocha Parents, Awesome Kids. I am also a mother, researcher and racial equity consultant. I have worked with numerous organizations across the country who aspire to be more intentional about race in their organizational policies and practices. In this space, I borrow from my work and my parenting experiences living at the intersection of race and gender. I have an extensive background in public policy analysis, family counseling and years of experience as a child advocate. I hope my work mirrors my heart’s song – a deep belief in the brilliance of every Black child.

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