*blink, blink* (where's a hidden camera when you need one?!)
I should mention that my son was sitting in my lap, with my arms around him, playing on my ipod touch that has a case with a photo of us on it. For all arguments sake it was clear he was with me.
As I looked at this women who still seemed clueless when none of the white women claimed my son as their own (would they even dare?!) I wondered what she saw....or rather didn't see.
As I turned back to the black women I was talking to, 3 pairs of eyes collectively rolled together. I think we might have sighed also but I cant remember. I do remember the conversation that immediately followed the side eye all 3 of us gave that white women.
- A conversation with comments validating that my son looks just like me
- A conversation that validated that people don't take time to pay attention to anything besides skin-tone
- A conversation about how more people need to know that black women have biracial children that are a different hue, heck even a black mom with a black child can be different hues.
My point was proven when this same women, passed my son and I repeatedly during the night and never stopped to say anything, not a sorry for the misunderstanding, not a can I get to know you, not even a hello. Nothing, just kept looking at us and not speaking.
What's even more interesting is this women knows of me in the mom blogging world. We may not be friends in the same circle but I'm certainly no stranger to her. So again I wondered what she saw....or rather didn't see.
What is it that people are NOT seeing when they look at me as women and mother? This was the thought on my mind as I looked around at the people also at the conference. They were mainly white. While that's nothing new at these types of events, as I entered the area where dinner was being served I felt uncomfortable.
As I looked around to see where my son and I can sit, I made eye contact with a certain high profile mom in the blogging world. The look in her eyes made it clear, in her mind, there's no place for me and my son at this event. I immediately lost my appetite.
As I walked back towards the exit, I said goodbye to the few that were friendly and pointedly ignored the others. Could I have stayed? Yes, I payed the fee to be at this conference but which mom want to expose their child to people who are confused and unfriendly with a family that's different then their's?
That to me seems to be the answer to my question. People in that world still don't see me on the level with them.
Black motherhood is still a mystery, a black mother is still something to be kept as separate and an outsider. For the last 2.5 years in the mom blog world, I've held my tongue, played nice and paid my dues when dealing with rudeness, discrimination and sometimes out right hostility. In the end for what?
At an event where I'm suppose to be part of a community of influencers, I'm reminded my "motherhood" influence doesn't apply to them.