Thursday, March 29, 2012

Can A White Parent Really Raise A Black Child?

A few weeks ago news spread like wildfire that Academy Award winning actress Charlize Theron had adopted a baby boy. I thought it was great that a single woman like the South African born beauty would embark on parenthood alone. So I did a quick google search to find out additional details of the latest celebuspawn.  Minutes into my search I started seeing the headlines about the baby's ethnicity. Seems that Charlize secretly adopted an African American baby. Color me surprised! I don't know why I was in the least bit shocked at the news of Charlize adopting a Black baby but I wasn't quite ready for that. After about 2.5 seconds I quietly reminded myself that love comes in all colors and that the most important thing was that this new born had now found a loving home.

Whenever you want to get people's true sentiments always read the comments section of a blog or news article. A comment one of the sites I came across linked an article questioning Charlize's ability to raise a Black child.

Essence writer Demetria Lucas wrote "A mother like Theron is facing an uphill battle. Will she understand what she will have to teach her Black son about this place in the world? That as much as she, a loving mother, sees him as an equal, as worthy of respect given to her as a White woman of means, that he will not be given the same?"

While I understand Demetria's point of view, I have to respectfully disagree. A few years ago, I had a very candid conversation with a very good White friend of mine. She didn't seem to understand what I meant by saying that as close as were, she would never get to fully understand what it means to be a Black woman. While we have similarities as women, she will never be followed in a store, racially profiled by police, or denied an opportunity because of her race. However when it comes to parenting I think we do the human race a disservice by looking at love within racial confinements. Yes its true that Charlize and her son will without a doubt have different experiences on this earth based purely on color.  But the values embedded into the baby and subsequent young man are extremely important and transcend racial boundaries. Knowing the difference between right or wrong, having common sense and respect for one's self are all values that can be taught without racial constraints.

Charlize joins a laundry list of White celebs that have adopted Black children. Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bulllock are among the high ranking celebs touting Black children in their families. I sincerely hope and want to believe that the Hollywood stars are adopting because they want to share their extravagant lifestyles and abundant love instead of this being a fad. I'm curious to see how the children will feel about their famous parents when they grow up.

What are your thoughts on White celebs raising Black children? Does race matter when it comes to adoption?

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