Surviving the White Gaze by Rebecca Carroll is a book that should be read by anyone who is considering adopting a bi-racial child. But, I think it should be read by everyone. This book is an eye opener. Rebecca Carroll does a wonderful job of articulating what it is like to grow up in a household that doesn’t celebrate our individualities.
In a world that accepts “white” without any preconceptions, raising a bi-racial child in that “whiteness” can be a difficult road. It leads the adopted child to wonder, question, reject or accept, that they are “different”. Oh this might not matter in the early years from newborn to say 3 or 4. But, once that child comes into contact with the “outside world” things will change. This will happen whether you want it to or not.
Raising a bi-racial child means that you need to be extra vigilant in the everyday of your child. There are so many little nuances that need to be addressed and taken into consideration. Not because of any bias on the part of the parents, but, the reality, for the child. Not everyone they meet will accept them with open arms and an open mind and heart. Some people hide their prejudices quite well. While others are quite open about it with the comments they make, all the while thinking they are not prejudiced at all .
Bi-racial children need mentors and benefactors that can relate to them and they, to the mentors. Seeing all white people as achievers and the mixed races as losers, hinders and excludes these young vital minds from becoming all that they can be.
I found this book to be interesting, informative and enlightening. It would be recommended reading for teachers, professors, clergy people and anyone dealing with the public and individuals!
Being raised in a “white family” in a “white neighborhood” and you being the only person of color, would make it hard to relate at the best of times. Given that Rebecca was raised in a household that didn’t really hold strong values on a lot of things, she is even more confused.
Her birth mother’s relationship with Rebecca, leaves her frustrated even more. Tess (the birth mom) has an obvious bias against her child’s father! She has no problem with pasting names on all men of color and confusing Rebecca even more. After all she is part of him too! She can’t deny that part of her existence.
Childhood, adolescence and young adulthood is already difficult terrain to navigate, but when you throw racial biases into the mix, it can become a powder keg just waiting to blow up.
Surviving the White Gaze will only be available February 2, 2021 and I would suggest that you pre-order this book. It is a really good read and an eye opener for all of us who think they know, but really don’t!
I was privileged to read this book in advance of publication as a member of Netgalley.com!