In Katie's Eyes

In Katie's Eyes

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brown and Black

So, Katrina is continuing to understand and challenge her surrounding world and language. She is so keen and doesn't miss a thing. And soo talkative that we hear about it all. ;)

It has been fascinating to me to watch her language skills develop and truly see the world through her eyes. As we all know, children are ego-centric. Her first issue with the English language was gender. EVERY doll and stuffed animal she owns is a girl. She may name them after a beloved boy, such as Levi, but the doll remains "she". She used to relentlesly correct adults when they referred to her "Hop Hop" as "he". It saddened me a bit when she stopped correcting people. I guess she just gave up at trying to be heard. Or maybe she just thinks we are all nuts.

She has moved on to unraveling the terms, "black", "brown" and "African-American". She was barely 2 when she surprised me and Dave, announcing she was Black. We didn't quite know how to respond, as we hadn't really used that term yet. We said, "Yes. You are African American. Some people say "black". We had always talked about her beautiful brown skin. She has known her colors for a good long time. Perhaps it is societies' confusion she is stuck on now. So, now, seemingly, in an attempt to appease all the crazy adults in her life, she says, "black and brown". Neither black nor brown is an independent color. If something is of that particular hue, it is "black and brown". Perhaps there is even more insight or analogy in her exclamation the other day that I was "black and brown" like her because i was wearing a brown sweatsuit.

I don't know what is next, but i am sure she is going to keep us on our toes and make me rethink much of my world. Here, in my peach-skined, Euro-American self.

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