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The following Featured Post comes from TV Series Group 3, Thread 2.

4. the tv show
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 2:17 PM/EST

Being a father of 6 mixed children black/white, I can understand why the parents would try to shelter them the best they could, my ex-wife did and still does preach family is everything,it is a haven when the pressure becomes to great at times.

I found that blacks are kinder then whites when it comes to mixed children,what are you're experiences....

5. the tv show..
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 3:34 PM/EST

as far as experiences with which race is more open to our multiracial child i would have to say both equally-so far-however he is only 1 and hasnt gone to school or any groups of other children yet...what have other parents experienced?

6. Tv series
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 3:37 PM/EST

I loved the show. I thought the mother was a
superb loving caring parent. Dad was loving too,
but he also admits he had a bit of growning up to
do. Together,they provided a very protective and
loving environment.

I was disturbed by the behavior of African
American kids on the trip. I think they've
bought into being "victims" of the racism in this
country in a way that is extremely harmful. It
seems that they enter each new experience with
whites by defining all the parameters of
interactions at the outset. I absolutely
understand the urge to make those choices, but I
would argue that they should stand back and review
their options.

I know they could make a legitimate argument for
their behavior based on the many times they had
allowed themselves to be vulnerable only to find
themselves humiliated by some racist attitude or
behavior. But as Cecily said, "two wrongs don't
make a right." You can't say you abhor racism and
then turn around and treat someone else poorly
because of their racial background

7. re:dana
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 4:06 PM/EST

thanks for your insights into the african- american kids on the trip i had some trouble grasping where they were coming from with their logic in their interaction with whites until i thought about their experiences in the larger context of race relations. Obviously i cant trully understand how they feel since i havent gone through what they went through.
I was really surprised by the white kids they seemed spoiled and ignorant of how the african american kids felt and incapable of even attempting to try to understand their positions.

11. definition of race
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 6:05 PM/EST

What amazed me about Cicily's trip to Nigeria was that in that country she was considered white and in the US she's considered black. Doesn't that kind of make the whole idea of the assignment of race seem like a philosophical construct? She is no more white in Nigeria than whe is black here. As she says, she's just Cicily.

I was speaking with a dark skinned friend the other day and saying that there will always be ways humans find to define someone else as "other". In Ireland, one certainly can't tell by looking whether a person is friend or enemy, but that doesn't make the animosity any less than among US whites and blacks.

If you look at the Sims parents together you find that, yes, one is very dark skinned and one is very light skinned. You also notice that one is very tall and one is very short. The daughters, just as they are darker skinned than their mother are also taller. Imagine telling them they have to decide if they are short or tall based on those attributes in their parents. They are what they are, neither all of one parent or all of the other.

19. non-viewers
Wed, Sep 15, 1999 - 2:24 AM/EST

I'm impressed by the responses on this site, but that's kind of what troubles me. PBS tends to attract a more thoughtful type of viewer. While I'm encouraged by the millions who try to understand the issue of race in our country, I'm afraid that the message of this TV series will never reach the tens of millions who are intolerant or who are too ashamed, embarrassed or defensive to have their views about race challenged. While the series shows that family can be a salvation and a sanctuary, it also shows that family ties -- that is, the need to be accepted and validated by your family -- can perpetuate racism. It is certainly easier to accept the biased views of friends and relatives (and I mean of all races) than to challenge them and be ostracized, as Karen was by her family and friends. Bill was right: his daughters represent a challenge to everything many people were taught (either actively or passively) growing up, and people really hate to be confronted with the fact that many of the concepts and beliefs passed down from generation to generation in their families may not be absolute truths.

20. RE: definition of race
Wed, Sep 15, 1999 - 3:05 AM/EST

Unforunately race in the US is not a philosphical construct; it has historical context. Plantation owners and slave traders took great care in racially describing slaves. Words like mulatto (biracial) and quadroon (1/4 black) were used to describe slaves with both white and black ancestry. Having a "drop" of black blood made you black which was (and sometimes still is) a stigma.

Look at the quandary over Thomas Jefferson having fathered at least one child by his biracial slave. This has basically been known for centuries, and yet the keepers of his estate would not (and some still don't) recognize it until science caught up with family history of the slave decendents.

So, this is part of the legacy of race in America.

Cicily was probably considered white in Nigeria because it is a country of dark-skinned black people. They are probably accustomed to people being either black or white and not shades in between (although I have a college friend who is Nigerian and biracial--I think this is much less common than in the US).

21. Thank you
Wed, Sep 15, 1999 - 3:05 AM/EST

The responses are so thoughtful and heartfelt, whether I agree with it all or not does not matter.I deeply appreciate your thoughts and feelings! As to tonight's first was a relief to leave the race "thing" aside for 60 minutes, and see the parenting issues of dealing with the preteen stuff.Tony, your words seem so wise and true...

22. the tv show
Wed, Sep 15, 1999 - 7:26 AM/EST

I was amazed that anyone would make Cicily "choose" her race when she went to Nigeria. That is when I decided to join this discussion group. I just love this family. I think they have been great parents and adore their children.

I don't think Cicily made a big deal of being bi-racial until she went to Nigeria, and felt the pressure of having to "choose" also while Bill may be a bit dysfunctional (sorry Bill)(Who in this discussion group is not)I see him as a very loving father who adores his children!

23. good
Wed, Sep 15, 1999 - 8:51 AM/EST

This is the first time that I have joined a group discussion like this or of any kind,I find it very interesting,it is amazing how set in our thoughts we can become,and therfore can not see other view points,this is going to be very enlightening for me. Keep it going people,I am enjoying this. Hopefully it will open some eyes and minds.

It sems to me that Cicily (I maybe wrong) feels that everybody dislikes her before hand.I think that she should take it a little slower and not jump the gun, base it on individual reaction to her, like we all have to do, weather it's dealing with whites or blacks or any other race.

I beleive that we, as parents of bi-racial children should make our children aware, but not to the point that we make them paronoid.

Read more featured posts here or continue reading thread 2 from TV Series Group 3.

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