If memory serves me correctly, that was sort of the whole reason for starting this blog. I was trying to figure out how to help my children identify with their Haitian culture while growing up in an American environment. Then about a year later it turned into me trying to get the to identify with their Haitian culture, keep them connected to the American culture they left behind and appreciate the Venezuelan culture in which they were being immersed. Complicated, I know.
Remember back in February when I wrote about identifying with African-American culture, even though I grew up in a predominantly white area? I never thought that my children would have the similar experience, because South Florida is a thousand times more diverse and they move more than I did when I was their age. So, it really surprised me when I noticed that my daughter was really into hip hop. Not only that, she sometimes imitates phrases and slang used in shows featuring African-Americans (I do NOT condone stereotyping, but unfortunately American television is still very segregated).
The thing is she doesn’t watch a whole lot of TV featuring African Americans and her exposure to hip hop is pretty much what I listen to, which is vast but infrequent. I still can’t figure out where this influence is coming from, however I’m happy that the exposure has stuck. Without going into cultural overkill, I’d like my kids to be familiar and somewhat comfortable with various cultures; especially those predominantly comprised of brown people. So, score for me
On the other hand, somehow the negative connotations about the continent of Africa has already seeped into her brain. After hearing her say once that she’s glad she’s not from Africa, we had a long conversation about why she felt that way and I’ve since made an effort to point out the medley of cultures there and how they positively influence the world.
Like I said, self-identity is a complicated issue in my house. It’s a good thing I’m up for the challenge