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say it loud…i’m brown and i’m proud!!! (a la james brown) November 4, 2008

Posted by jonesgurl in brown boy pride, children, gotta love it, my baby. my boyl my joy, raising children.
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if you open your eyes and drop your guard long enough, you can get a better perspective on things, ya know. 

my five year old never ceases to amaze me.  i know that i talk about him lots, but, you really have to be around him a while and you too would say that he is worth the conversation:)

so, lately, he seems to be really proud of the fact that he’s brown.  proud, as if he just discovered that he is brown and is truly fascinated by this.  when he looks at television and sees other brown people like him he would proudly shout out, “they’re brown like me!” it was quite funny at first and surprising to hear him say it (as if he had never seen another brown person before).  anyhoo, i was very proud of him for embracing the beauty in being brown.  and for that, i can take no credit.

we took a bit of a vacation to texas and we visited friends that are family to him and us.  we were at a market and myles looked around and asked me, “mommy, do all brown people live in texas?”  though i didn’t notice, he certainly did.  i guess, where we live, he wasn’t used to being in the market surrounded by many of his fellow brown people.  this is the kind of stuff that i take for granted and have simply lived with difference.  i really didn’t think much about when the topic would come up, with him.

anyhoo, as election day approaches and i tell him how exciting it is to vote and i let him know that when he is 18 years old, he too, can vote.  i tell him that he will get to vote for whomever he wants.  he then asks me, “who are you going to vote for?”  as i try to adhere to what my mom told me “your ballot is all your own and you don’t have to tell anyone”, i explain to him that i’m going to keep my ballot a secret.  he then proudly informs me (even though he’s only five) “i’m going to vote for barack obama!”  surprised and interested in picking his brain, i ask him, “why are you going to vote for him, myles?” he says, “i’m going to vote for him because he’s brown like me.”  he then continued to play with his trains.  my silent response:  there goes that brown pride thing again.  i guess people really do relate more to people that look like them…tiny tots and all.

i realized a couple different things, i felt a little weird and almost inept that i did not purposely speak to him about what it means to be a proud little brown person.  but i’m not sure if that is something that any of us were taught.  perhaps it’s learned from one’s environment.  i’m not sure. but for some reason he has it.  he has pride and confidence.  although, there was one day (earlier in the school year) that he came home wondering about not being brown.  it was kind of a sad conversation because in his homework folder, there was a picture that he drew of two people.  one of the people had a sad face.  i asked him why the one person was sad and he responded as he pointed to the sad face person, “he doesn’t like to be different”.  that indeed, was a hard moment for me.  so i guess, through that conversation, maybe i instilled in him something that stayed within him.

it really just goes to show that it is innate that most people just want to relate to something that is familiar to them, that looks or reflects them.  don’t ya think? 

whenever he gets excited about something, i make sure that i explore, celebrate and make a big deal for him.  as is with this election season.  he somehow understands the shift, within people, that is happening in our country and he is passionate about it. 

out of the mouths of babes, you will hear some surprising and honest stuff.  over these past few months we’ve had the news on, nonstop.  yes, you can be attributed that to me, the news junkie.  anyhoo, he’s asking lots of questions and seemingly understanding most of the answers.

i can’t wait to see what this kid does in and for this world we live in. 

he’s proud to be brown and i’m proud of him.  he recently heard the term – african american, and he did not know what it meant.  so he asked me, “mommy am i an african brown boy?” my response…oh, what a beautiful little african brown baby you are!”

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