Publication in: Spring 2023 Issue

White Moms Raising Multi-Racial Children: Dedicated Methods of Color-Conscious Parenting
Makenna Clark
Faculty Mentor(s):
Megan R. Underhill
Abstract / Summary:
Objective: The purpose of this study is to investigate the ways that White mothers racially socialize their multi-racial children. Findings are connected to widespread and public demands for Whites to become racially literate, following the 2012 Black Lives Matter movement and increases in race-motivated hate crimes in the United States. This study examines three primary research questions: 1),. Do White mothers with multi-racial children use color-conscious or color-blind methods to racially socialize their children? 2),. How do the racial socialization practices of White mothers with multi-racial children compare to the racial socialization practices of White mothers with White children? 3.), How might the racial socialization methods used by White mothers raising multi-racial children contribute to demands for Whites to become racially literate? Method: To answer these questions I conducted in-depth, qualitative interviews with 5 White mothers whose multi-racial children were between the ages of 3 and 18. After each interview, I transcribed and qualitatively coded participant interviews, identifying themes related to racial socialization and Whiteness. Conclusion: Parenting multi-racial children in the era of the Black Lives Matter movement motivated the mothers in my sample to understand how the history of systemic racism in the United States differently shapes the racial identity, experiences, and outcomes of themselves compared to their children of color. White mothers’ lack of racial trauma and personal investment in the topics of race make them an ideal demographic to educate other Whites on these topics. This empirically supported proposal provides a possible path forward, directly responding to widespread and public calls for Whites to become racially literate, hoping that this change will halt the perpetuation of racial harm.
Publication Date: