by Danielle C. Belton from The Root.com
Does love know no color?
The ad campaign for Kevin Costner’s new film Black or White definitely supports that idea, pushing the hashtag #LoveKnowsNoColor while promoting the transracial custody drama.
Black or White pits a child’s white maternal grandfather (Costner) against her black paternal grandmother (played by Octavia Spencer) in a legal battle for custody. Think Losing Isaiah meets The Blind Side, dealing with the matter of white parents raising black or biracial children. In both those films, as in Black or White, the main focus seems to be on the adults in the room, fighting over the future and well-being of a child of color. But what of the children put in this situation, raised by white families?
The Root talked to three transracial adoptees, all adopted by white families in the 1970s, about their experiences and views on transracial adoption, as well as Costner’s new film. While all three appreciated the love and foundation their families provided, a common theme evolved: In a racially polarized society, children of color cannot be raised devoid of their history and culture. All three agreed that white families who adopt children of color need to abandon the naivete of colorblindness and deal with the racial reality their black and brown children face.
Here’s our take on this story. Maybe your love knows no color. But in this world….even in this day and age…we can’t say we’re colorblind.
“My parents honestly thought in their hearts they could raise us in an environment where you don’t see color, and unfortunately that’s just not possible,” said Noerdlinger.
Race matters. Identity matters. As an adoptive parent you may feel no difference in love for your child of a different race and ethnicity. But they will still feel different. Don’t pretend it doesn’t exist but go out of your way to create as much diversity and cultural support for your child as you can. Learn how to take care of their hair. Bring them to events pertaining to their culture. Surround yourself with diverse people, at church, at school, etc. Love makes a family. But it doesn’t necessarily cover over the hurt from losing part of your identity, feeling the effects of “not looking like anyone” and being singled out for your differences. Let us know your opinion on the movie or these adoptees thoughts.