Ep. 13: Colorism & Parenting with Norma Newton of The Hermosa Journal
In this episode we interview Norma Newton founder of the Hermosa Journal. She recently wrote and published an article for the parenting section of the New York Times entitled “I’m Darker than my daughter. Here’s Why it Matters.” In the article she shares an incident that occured with her daughter that had her confronting her own feelings of internalized colorism, and how she experienced this throughout her life. Colorism in and of itself is such a complex and yet important topic in the Latinx community. We are glad to be having this conversation with Norma to flesh out some of these complexities, especially as it relates to parenting and raising children while unpacking our own intergenerational traumas.
I often hear that children learn racism, and sexism and colorism and other discriminatory and oppressive ideas in the home. And though I think that is true, I also think that it's only one part of the picture. As you will hear in our interview with Norma, these ideas can also be gathered outside of the home, they are the very social norms by which we all live. Even for those of us who work hard at creating home dynamics that are loving, and accepting, and aware of the oppressive social dynamics, we have to remember that White sumperacy, male domination, oppressive power systems are the very air that we breath. It’s in our media, in fashion, in literature, it’s everywhere. So for all of our well intentions, we still cannot escape how the outside world will influence our children and bring these violent ideas home. Norma points out so well, that on the contrary we have to be overly intentioned on opposing these dynamics by, being transparent with our children about our own journeys toward self love, self realization and social justice.
Norma speaks so well, and so direct to the larger responsibilities of parenting beyond discipline and behavior monitoring, but really about establishing value in the home in a way that are aware of oppressive social dynamics, and gift our children with the tools to be able to navigate those on their own while feeling confident in who they are and their value in the world. This of course is but one part of the larger conversation that must continue to be had on colorism, but we think Norma shines a particularly powerful light on the need for healing and self compassion.