As a community-focused company, Kabrita USA strives to be inclusive and to continuously celebrate diversity. In honor of Black History Month, Kabrita USA is featuring a BIPOC Parenting Series, for the entire month of February. The BIPOC Parenting Series centres BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) parents’ experiences. Our goal is to enhance greater representation of BIPOC parents in the media, as well as to amplify BIPOC voices and stories.
Today, we are sharing Eman’s story about her experiences feeling invisible as a parent part of the BIPOC community.
BIPOC parents are invisible in North America.
My son was jumping in the corridor of the X-Ray unit in a local hospital. I was walking behind him to keep a close eye on his safety. We were waiting for the doctor to call us back to her office, so we could figure out the cause of my son's food intolerance.
He was only three at the time, and he was happily chasing down the blue and grey tiles on the hospital floor. Let's face it, three-year-old’s never wait in the designated waiting areas. That’s just a fact. As he was jumping on the floor patterns, he became close to the entrance elevator. I know my son well enough that he would return to me once he hit a dead end. But I was also close enough to hold him back in case he decided to become adventurous.
At that moment, a fellow white man was walking by, and all he noticed was the little boy, walking towards the elevator. He started to yell frantically, "Where are the parents of this boy?" I opened my mouth to reassure him that I was standing right there. But unfortunately, he wouldn't even acknowledge me. He kept repeating himself, and each time he kept getting louder. My son was standing right next to me looking puzzled, and I had to pick him up so that the man could pay attention to my presence.
Finally, he looked at me and asked, "Where are the parents of this boy?" Assertively, I replied, "Sir, I've been trying to tell you that I was right here all along, and I was supervising my child just fine. Thank you for your concern." He seemed baffled as I walked away, feeling frustrated.
That day, I kept wondering if this man would be as diligently concerned for my child if he looked, Black. Also, I wondered what racial and social impression he left on my little boy.
The reality is that this isn't the first time I go through such experiences as a BIPOC parent who is raising an interracial family. Being a BIPOC parent means that I am invisible. I have to continually fight for my presence to be acknowledged and valued in society. And let me tell you, it's pretty exhausting.
Kabrita USA BIPOC Parenting Series shares genuine stories written by parents from the BIPOC community. Each story offers a different perspective from their personal parenting experience. To read more stories, please visit our Nourish Blog.