Friday, January 1, 2010

More about families

In another post to the child lit listserv, librarian and professor Sarah Park brought up a book that sounded interesting to me, Shadow and Substance: Afro-American Experience in Contemporary Children's Fiction. My library doesn't have it, but I plan to track it down somehow. Park's work also sounded interesting to me, and I visited her blog, read through her recent blog posts (and watched this video twice, joyously),

then read what she had to say about depictions of adoption in children's literature and followed a link to her friend's Open Letter to Potential Children's Book Authors which I don't entirely agree with--I think many of the tropes she dismisses in children's fiction are not direct metaphors attempting to justify transracial adoption, but reflect more general ideas about nontraditional families--but which does make a lot of great points. And there were other things on her blog that I thought were completely awesome. She has a lot of ideas about adoptive parents' responsibilities, and this post on "Drive-By Culture" makes so much sense, as does her "Adoptive Parents - Be Our [transracial adoptees] Ally" post with specific suggestions. She also links to another blog written by the white adoptive mother of an Indian daughter, "why we go to culture school,", which I found very moving, funny, and thoughtful. Her self-deprecation and self-awareness are touching and inspiring.

So those are some things I'm thinking about, on this first day of 2010. Some topics affecting many people I know, whether as adoptees, parents, friends, teachers, neighbors... and more ways our questions about race and community and family and relationships manifest in this world we live in.

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