Teaching Our Kids to Embrace Multiple Heritages – Dual Nation

I’m Chanelle, creator of Maturing Mama. I’m black and my husband is white… Or if we want to get down to specifics, I’m Trinidadian, with African, Indian, Spanish and Chinese heritage – a slave descendent.

As for my husband… He thinks he’s Ukrainian… That’s all I got from him. He’s not entirely sure of the specifics.

Tonight my husband and I stumbled upon the first television series we could fully relate to; Mixedish. A spin off from the hit TV series Blackish. 

The moment we saw the commercial for it, we hunted it down and got caught up on every episode on demand. It’s content and stories were finally ones we can fully relate to and feel normal about. A white husband and black wife with mixed kids. Most television series today don’t have mixed race families.

It was such an impactful moment for us to watch these episodes together and understand more about why as a mixed race family, we go through what we go through. Many of our friends and family don’t seem to understand that we do go through different circumstances as a mixed race family.  

You see, I’ve noticed from my time spent with my Caucasian friends and my husband’s side of the family; Caucasians seem to believe black discrimination is over. In light of this I’ve had Caucasians say things to me in a light hearted manner that poked fun about me being black, a minority and an immigrant. 

They do so in a naive manner and if in that moment I’m brave enough to speak up about my discomfort- they insist that society is way passed racist offenses and how could I possibly take what they said as hurtful. 

A part of me is forgiving, because Caucasians are not made fun of for the texture of their hair, color of their skin or eyes, on a large scale basis. (I understand red heads can have it hard of course). 

Receiving comments in a disgusted or confused manner when referring to the texture of my hair or difference in color of the palm of my hands verses the back of my hands… I don’t believe that a lot of Caucasians understand that it’s hard constantly having parts of me highlighted, analyzed and discussed. It may not seem like it to them in the moment, but constantly being spoken to in this manner makes me feel like there’s something off about me and I can never truly be accepted as just Chanelle. I am the black girl. 

So now my husband Jesiah and I are tasked with this new dilemma. Raising two half black and half white little girls. Two little girls that have hair which can be easily wildly untamed or silky straight. Two little girls that are a whole other type of minority. We want them to be proud of who they are and appreciative of their racial background. 

My oldest girl Esperanza was born in Australia and grew up there till she was 2 years old. We remind her of this fact because there was a lot she experienced and learned from Australian culture. She regularly ate Vegimite and Fairy Bread. She knew the pacifier as a dummy and knew to say “Ta” as thank you. 

In photos of her as a baby her skin is darker and her hair lighter from time spent in the sun. These are aspects of my oldest that are different when compared to the experiences her little sister has had. We want Esperanza to understand that she can feel proud of her differences.

Just the same, we want our little girl Izabella to embrace being both Trinidadian and Canadian. We took Izabella with us on a visit to Trinidad when she was 8 months old. She was just at the age where she was learning to talk and picked up on the method of communication within our Trinidadian relatives. Since our trip she has had the habit of babbling very VERY loudly. She does not know how to whisper. This is a huge aspect of Trinidadian culture. We are loud and it’s something we are proud of. I don’t want her to feel ashamed of this.  

Izabella also has thin and almost pin straight hair, unlike her sister’s big curly hair. Her hair has a loose curl pattern much like her dad’s. It’s something unique and still just as beautiful as her older sister’s hair. We want her to be proud of having this gene from her Canadian side. 

Dual Nation is an online company that designs layouts of nations’ flags on different products specifically for those of multiple heritage. These are products such as T-shirts, tumblers, coasters and bottles with designs of multiple nations’ flags.

Stores often highlight the nation of which it resides in. Dual Nation reminds us that it’s ok to embrace and feel pride in all aspects of our heritage. Whether we were married into a heritage or born in a completely different nation from our genetic make up. We ought to take pride in what makes us… Us!

Dual Nation offers items ideal for Christmas presents and the like! To Shop, use discount code MaturingMama at: https://www.dualnation.com.au/

Disclaimer:

  • Please know that while Dual Nation does ship internationally ie outside of Australia – shipping costs are higher ( auto calculated via Australia Post) and may take time to arrive.
  • Your will be able to pay from whichever country you are in, and ship to another country if you’d like – all costs get auto-populated based on zip/pin code.
  • IF someone contacts me for a ‘custom’ design – it will take just a bit more time to create the design, the rest is as normal.
  • I’d suggest that you sign up for ‘Signature on Delivery’ – that assures you of delivery as well. Again, this is auto-populated based on zip/pin code and is completely optional – but highly recommended.
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