I grew up in Central Florida. Sorry I wasn’t clear about that in the essay.
My parents met in Maryland then moved far, far away. My brother and I were the only Jews in our elementary/middle schools.
My mom’s experience growing up Jewish was very different than mine, and mine different than my daughter’s.
I wrote more (then cut it to possibly save for a future piece) where I more clearly spelled out how I acknowledge as a Jew I don’t experience the institutional racism Black and some other POC do.
I don’t know if you read this one I wrote last year, but I get into that a little bit more there.
Growing up, I always identified as Jewish. Black people usually read me as mixed (half Black). White people were always asking what I was.
I’m not gonna start thinking of myself as white just because some others see me that way now, but identifying as Jewish definitely doesn’t mean I think I face the same issues as Black people.
I am aware my daughter is fully passing, and that prompted a lot of the thoughts in this piece. I’ve got a lot more thoughts in other drafts.
One last thing: the kiddo in the one Jewish family we’re friends with here is adopted and Black. Her birth parents are Muslim, and her parents are trying to raise her with all the celebrations. I think about that too, that my daughter’s only Jewish kid friend is Black, so to her, being Black and Jewish might seem more or equally normal to being Jewish and looking white.
Anyway, a million thoughts! Thanks!