When your mom is Italian Iranian and your dad is African-American, how do you self-identify yourself, how is your identity impacted by your family upbringing, the media and other people’s perceptions and how do all those elements affect your relationships?

 

Louise is a wife, mom of three kids aged 4, 2 and 1, photographer who lives in Chapmage, Illinois.

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biracial identity and raising biracial kids

Photo Credit: Milou Photography

We talk about the following:

  • Growing up biracial with a mom who is half Italian and Iranian and dad who is an African American
  • How Louise’s biracial identity affected her friendships with other kids
  • Dealing with identity issues when you have a biracial identity
  • What other people think when they see Louise with her two adopted black siblings
  • Raising three biracial children as a mom with biracial identity
  • Random strangers interactions and perceptions of them
  • How where you live can impact one’s identity
  • Seeking out diverse communities for your kids to relate to
  • How others see Louise and her kids and what she wishes they knew about her family
  • Teaching one’s biracial kids to embrace their mixed heritage and biracial identity and be open to different cultures and people
  • Discussing racial segregation with your biracial children

raising biracial kids podcast

Photo Credit: Milou Photography

biracial identity and biracial Italian Iranian African American adopted family

Photo Credit: Hilittlebird

Louise Knight-Gibson shares:

  • 15:33  We never saw ourselves or our siblings as different from each other or our parents. We would see other biracial couples, and I’d be like: ‘Oh, that person is black, and that person is white,’ but we would look at our own parents and not see that color, which I think is really interesting. I’ve noticed that my daughter does the same thing.
  • 16:25 – One of my favorite parts of growing up in a multiracial family is that no one sticks out. We all look different.
  • 17:14 My mom did a great job of seeking out people that were diverse and didn’t really fit the norm. She really did a good job of exposing us to all different cultures and all different people. Something that we’ve always appreciated about our parents is trying to give us a bigger view of the world.
  • 31:34 I remember in middle school I was feeling so alone sometimes because I didn’t feel like there were other people like me. While growing up I had my sisters, which was awesome, but I didn’t have a whole group of people that knew how you were supposed to take care of curly hair and things like that. I feel like when people around you are all different, you can appreciate that.
  • 38:21 – There’s still a lot of confusion about multiracial families and sometimes the way people approach it isn’t always the best way. I don’t think they mean to say some things out of disrespect, but sometimes just out of ignorance. So I try to be patient and try to educate rather than to take offense.
  • 36:40 When I’m looking at brands for my own kids, if I see diversity in their little models I’m automatically on their side. We were looking for a new dress for my daughter Evelyn, and I was showing her the pictures of different dresses, and she said: ‘Oh mama, that girl looks like me,’ and I started to cry because I never had that growing up. That is what it’s all about – being able to see yourself represented in clothing or something else.

biracial identity and raising biracial kids

Photo Credit: Wright Photographs

Louise discusses her biracial identity and raising biracial kids on episode 23 of podcast

Photo Credit: Milou Photography

Get to know Louise

Louise discusses her biracial identity and interracial marriage on episode 23 of podcast

Photo Credit: Hilittlebird

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