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Monday, March 29, 2010

Claiming an Identity on the 2010 Census

We've finally received our 2010 census form to fill out. I've been waiting for it for a while now. I started worrying that it wasn't going to come. I hoped I wouldn't need to take drastic measures and hunt someone down and insist that they count me and my little blasian. LOL. As most people know this years census is key for the mixed race community. But for me the census this year holds a special meaning since this is the first time I'm filling it out as a mom.



We received the short form so not much info was required. Still I was excited to see the new options in the race category. For myself I stuck with the basic Afro-American. No need to confuse people by claiming West Indian. Though I was tempted since they had a section for "other" race. LOL



For my son my I happily check off Black AND Korean! I bettcha whoever or whatever recording my info will have some fun with that! How wonderful is it that children like my son can now check off all the races that apply to them. Heck, if one of their races isn't there they can fill it in! Wonder if anyone claimed a new race? It could be argued that someone who is biracial could be a new and separate race...but that's radical thinking...still it's something to wonder.

As I happily scribbled our info onto the census form, my son decided to "inspect" what seems for him to be just another piece of paper. As I sat there, he peeked over the top of the page at me. I smiled at the site of him. His head covered in a curly Afro that remains in a tussled state. I look into his Asian eyes that are filled with a question of...what is mommy doing? I reached for him and showing him the form, I explained that he's no longer just an "other". This form now and in the years to come will give him the choice to define who he is.

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3 comments:

Velour, Woman of Valor says:
at: March 31, 2010 at 12:17 AM said...

I'm about to fill my form out tonight, even though I got it a long time ago. No kids yet (soon, I hope...lol) but I'm excited because this is the first form where I can put my interracial marriage. :)

I'm disappointed that they're still forcing all black people (including those from other cultures) to identify as "Afro-American." I used to cross that out on forms and put "black" when I was younger lol. I never liked the term, even before I got old enough to realize that the existence of West Indian black people was being ignored by these forms. West Indians and Africans were campaigning to have their own category on the Census, so many are dissatisfied with the current terminology...so I hope soon the Census people will get a clue and just put "black" next time. Not that that term is great, lol, but...one step at a time. :)

Anonymous
at: March 31, 2010 at 8:10 PM said...

Happy to hear they census forms have new options in the race category. Daniel looks so confused.lol...the cutest little boy ever.

Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud says:
at: April 5, 2010 at 9:22 AM said...

Nikki, I've been meaning to comment on this post since it was first published but it's been crazy around here! First of all, it's well written. I love that you shared your excitement about the new census form in a personal way. Normally, you see the word "census" and think...boring. Not so in this case. How awesome is it that people of multi-ethnic background can finally honor their diversity, rather than picking and choosing one ethnicity! Great post!
Thanks for stopping by the other day. Don't forget to come by and link your Wordless Wednesday post up this week if you're participating! Have a great day. :)

Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud
@TweetingMama