I was trolling through the New York Time website and found an interesting article on families of mixed races. Many would believe that race relations in the United States has changed over the years or that things have gotten better, considering the fact that we elected an man of mixed heritage into the presidency. Except, this is not always the case, especially for those who are multiracial. In the article, “In Strangers’ Glances at Family, Tensions Linger,” by Susan Saulny, the Greenwood family tree is emblematic of a family of mixed races. Heather Greenwood is the daughter of a black father and a white mother; she was later adopted into a white family as a child. Heather Greenwood is also married to a white man with whom she has two daughters and a son who is half Costa Rican from a previous relationship (Saulny). Various people would think that it’s great that people are intermarrying; it is a clear sign that Americans are moving forward from their old views on race.

However, the experiences of multiracial Americans can be vastly different. Many multiracial youths say that they feel a wider acceptance than past generations (Saulny). But when looking at the particular case of the Greenwoods there is not much acceptance from the public. When the Greenwoods are at home they “strive to be colorblind,” but what they face outside of the home is a whole other matter (Saulny). When walking down the street what others only notice is race, strangers gawk, make rude and racist comments, and ask inappropriate questions. An instance of this was when Heather Greenwoods was once asked by a white woman who was standing behind her in a store’s check-out line, “‘How come she’s so white and you’re so dark?…It’s just not possible. You’re so dark’” Heather was holding her toddler, Noelle, who has platinum curls, fair skin, and ice-blue eyes. Heather was hurt and shaken by the woman’s aggressive words, the only thing she could reply was that God had made them that way (Saulny). The experience of the Greenwoods provides an insight into current race relations in the United States and it is a  reminder of the tensions about race that still remain.

Citations:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/us/for-mixed-family-old-racial-tensions-remain-part-of-life.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ref=race

Video of Greenwood Family:

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/10/12/us/100000001090280/just-a-family.html

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