I’m pretty sure I am the Black friend for a number of my White mom friends.
I recognize that for some of my White mom friends the journey to authentic interracial friendships can be difficult. Some grew up in towns where they remember the exact date the first non-White family moved in. Others learned about White privilege in college and want to do something to dismantle White supremacy. Somehow our paths crossed and we became friends. Whatever the reason, I recognize that I am a part of their journey.
But it costs them.
I often joke (not really) that I’m the Blackest friend they’ll ever have.
We talk about the joys of raising a Black son and what it means to raise socially conscious White sons and daughters.
We talk about cultural appropriation and why cornrows are sacred.
We talk about transracial adoption and why Black babies aren’t accessories for social justice.
We talk about it all.
It’s not always comfortable or pretty, but we talk about it.
Of course there are times when we search for grace and talk about the mundane. Our friendships are built on mutual respect and genuine care for each other’s humanity. When we talk there is great care to speak life into one another.
That’s what friendships are.
We celebrate each others successes and process the hard ugly truths of being on this planet.
My White mama friends are also a gift to me. I’ve spent 30something years in this body and am still working on understanding myself as a Black mama. In our friendships I am free to not always see myself in opposition to White women. We are different, but often want the same things for ourselves and our children.
So being in friendship with me means having an willingness to process race, racism and all of it’s intersections. That’s a cost that many White mamas don’t have to pay on a daily basis. Unless they choose to engage in these sometimes difficult conversations.