I have spent the last week re-reading, editing and adding to my book Growing Up Black In White. The whole push behind the second edition was to add more “meat” and I gotta say this is turning into a Dagwood sandwich.
At the end of each chapter I have added a section entitled, Lessons Learned. In these sections I speak to families and share from my transracial adoptee’s perspective on different subjects all TRA families should know. So far I have addressed subjects such as: self esteem and the adoptee, race, culture, should a TRA family move to a different neighborhood, honoring your own biological children and advocating for your children.
After I address a topic I follow it with an action item; something the family can do to address the topic and strengthen the family. By the end of the book each family with have 20 action items that will help them become like Major Steve Austin, better, stronger, faster. Boy, am I showing my age today or what?
After I speak to families I then speak to communities, which can include businesses, churches, corporations, school districts, etc. I speak to them on such topics as race, culture, diversity, inclusion, exclusion, White Privilege, and seeing things from a perspective that is different than the majority’s perspective. This portion has been very exciting to write because it gently points out what so many large groups miss when it comes to the conversation of race and diversity. They are also given action items to help them address these topics.
I can’t express how excited I am about this project. I think this is really where I will be able to change lives! Below I have included a portion of what I have come up with for the second edition. This addresses advocating for your children and it gives you an idea of how the book will help. This is directed to parents where an issue has come up at school.
On the subject of advocating for you children of color I wanted to share this.
1. Be calm and controlled. If you can’t be calm and controlled today, today is not the day to go to do it. If you go into an office screaming no one will hear you.
2. Not every injustice needs to be fought. They should be challenged, but you just don’t have the time to fight them all so choose wisely.
3. When you do decide this injustice is worthy of your time avoid the topic of racism. For many once you say the “r” word everything you say after that isn’t heard. You have to speak the language that will get attention. If you talk about how you feel your child has been bullied instead of the racism that tends to get more attention. Learn the buzz words and topics and use that to your advantage.
3. Keep them honest. Get follow up dates on when you can expect to hear from them. If they aren’t met follow up. Many will hope over time if they keep stalling you will go away.
4. Include your children in the process. Teaching them to stand up for themselves in a calm, professional manner will do great things for them in the future.
5. Above all protect the child. Don’t sacrifice your child to teach city hall a lesson.
One thing I learned when writing this book was the power of a story. I found that if you can draw people in with a good story you can teach so much more. The story is there, now it’s time to teach!
I should have the edits done in a few weeks and my hope is the funding will be there to pay for the edits and additions. We are more than half way there! I have updated the funding page and have included an incentive. Anyone who donates $50.00 or more will get a signed copy of the new edition. I hope you will partner with me to make this happen so lives can be changed.
For those who want to share to your groups, pages, agencies. Feel free to do so…after you contribute a small donation. If I don’t value my work who will right? Also please be sure site my blog as the source.