Nefertiti Austin – Each year, thousands of Americans choose to go through the adoption process to build their families. Those who know me, know that my 2 children were both adopted by my husband and myself and also happen to be full blood siblings. Just a little bit over 12 years ago, we began the adoption process and went through the many feelings that come with adoption, and for us, an open adoption, with our children’s birth family. We did it again just 16 months after my daughter was born with my son. Every adoption is deeply personal and different depending on who is involved and the decisions that the many people involve make or has to make in order to ensure that the process ends with a well-cared for, loved child. It’s not a cookie-cutter process. Adoption is just a piece of what we are going to discuss today- because there is a very important layer of discussion that my next guest brings to light as well and that is, race and gender as it relates to fostering, adopting and parenting in America. She puts high beams on the question; “what are the challenges that single black women must face when fostering, adopting and parenting in America? And a secondary question that we will also explore which is, how can we raise black boys in America understanding the racism and stereotypes that seem to be weaved into the fabric of American culture?
We remember the past stories of young black boys senselessly killed such as Trayvon Martin—but then hear recent accounts of young black men killed because they were jogging in a white neighborhood or a woman calling the cops on a black man watching birds in Central Park because he requested that she leash her dog. How does a mother parent a black boy in an America that assumes that black boys are doing the wrong thing even when they are doing the right thing? Or, where my next guest writes, “where a hoodie plus a black male is synonymous with danger?” This is an important topic for everyone. If changes are going to be made when it comes to racism, the foster-care system, hyper-masculinity, sexism and how black boys are raised and regarded in today’s culture, we have got to talk about it and set some intentions to make the changes in our ow lives- in the way we raise our children and the way we see other children in America. For this, I am excited to have a conversation with Nefertiti Austin.