Something happened that made me want to punch the person responsible in the throat, but being that I’m a good member of society, I clenched my hands by my side instead and decided to explain why I write diverse characters.
First, a little bit of background information. My husband’s mother is Creole, which is a mixture of African American, German, and Cuban. (I think there’s also some French in there too.) His father is Norwegian and has/had blonde hair, clear blue eyes, and fair skin. The mixture of their DNA produced my husband who has skin as white as snow and eyes that turn green or blue depending on the color of clothing he’s wearing. When he had hair, he had a caramel colored afro that turned a deep reddish brown by the time I met him. He has thick lips that are pillow soft and a bit of a wider nose than the thin, “white man’s nose” his father has. His parents split when he was two and for the first few years of his life he lived with his mother. As he grew older he spent more time with his father, but his mom was his primary caretaker. Because of this, my husband mostly identifies with the black culture and considers himself black. (When he told me he was black I laughed, and offended him, rightly so.)
Because my heritage is mostly English and Swedish, we have very white looking children. This has caused some major issues with my children in school when other kids and unfortunately, adults say racist things thinking that they’re in the company of white people only. The really sad thing is that these people don’t consider themselves racist.
Because of my children’s skin color and because society is not accepting of them, I write about children from mixed families. These stories are for them, their cousins who are Latina, Asian, and black, and for all the other mixed children out there who don’t feel they really belong anywhere.