Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reflections on Ferguson, and on Raising Black Children

St. Louis on Nov. 23, 2014 Alexey Furman—Demotix/Corbis. Posted from TIME.com
Even before yesterdays decision on Michael Brown, I've talked at great length with a lot of Ethiopian adoptees about what it means to be Ethiopian and black in America. Adoptive parents often talk about making sure their children are aware of Ethiopian culture, but there is a much bigger issue here.
It's one thing for Ethiopians in Ethiopia to raise their children as Ethiopians. It's completely different for white parents raising adopted Ethiopian children in the United States.



By adopting an Ethiopian child, what obligations do you have to your children? How embracing will you be of black culture? Will you take the path of least resistance and teach your children to only take pride in their Ethiopian heritage, or will you acknowledge the realities of being black?



White America will not give your Ethiopian child a pass. Your child will be subject to racial bigotry and unjust laws. Your child will be pulled over by the police. Your child will be admired for speaking good English, as if that's a novelty. Your child will look like the majority population in U.S. prisons. Your child will rarely see herself in fashion magazines as being beautiful.



It's not enough to eat doro wat at an Ethiopian restaurant or listen to Teddy Afro. Ethiopian children deserve to be raised with black role models surrounding them, loving them, and teaching them. We Ethiopian adoptees are Black in America. I am proud to be black, and to be Ethiopian. I want young Ethiopian adoptees to fully understand their truth.

Please stay tuned to your Fox channel in Washington D.C. tomorrow as Aselefech will be interviewed on her perspective of living life as an adoptee for #flipthescript


Aselefech is an adult adoptee who arrived from Ethiopia to the U.S. in 1994 at 6 years of age, along with her twin sister. She is finishing up her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, College Park as a Family Sciences major. In her personal life, she has presented at workshops and Heritage Camps, interned for adoption based agencies, and spoken on panels on issues of race and what it means to grow up in a transracial family. In the past and currently she works with NGOs, such as Ethiopia Reads, to give back to her country of origin. Her dream is creating a world where no child needs to be adopted, where all children are safe, loved, and educated.

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