“She can’t be your Mom, she’s not brown!”
Turning, slowly, he looks.
Could it be true, his eyes said, as he ran towards me. Before he even reached me, the words were slipping out of his mouth. “Am I adopted?”
“No, honey”, I said, “God makes Mommies in all shapes, sizes, and colors.”
Yet the pain in his eyes remained.
We live in a culturally diverse neighborhood, have friends and family of various ethnicities, and constantly see inter-racial families and children just as diverse as we are, yet it still affected my son. He reacted as he did because deep down inside, like most of us, he wants to feel he belongs, to feel like the people he loves or looks up to are just like him, especially at that age.
As a Mom, I was angry. I was angry at the doubt put into my son’s head and at the pain reflected in his eyes. The little girl who put doubt in my son’s mind, the many strangers who have stopped us, inquiring if he’s adopted, the many times I’ve been asked if I was a nanny/babysitter, and the people who speak negatively about other cultures of which he is a part of, are just a few of the things we still encounter in this day and age. Does it surprise me? No. Change happens slowly. It is progressive. It starts at home but must be reinforced by the very media our children watch, play and use. For that reason, I applaud Disney for making “The Princess and the Frog”. Princess Tiana is Disney’s first African-American heroine in their long heritage of fairy tale animated features. It will change the world for many young girls. Its a start.
We now challenge Disney to create a movie about a Latina Princess, and a multi-cultural cast of main characters. This movie is a start but should not be the end. It must continue for our children.
Don’t you agree?
Below is a brief synopsis of “The Princess and the Frog”, which is showing in theaters nationwide.
|Walt Disney Animation Studios presents the musical THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, an animated comedy set in the great city of New Orleans. From the creators of “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” comes a modern twist on a classic tale, featuring a beautiful girl named Tiana (ANIKA NONI ROSE), a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, and a fateful kiss that leads them both
on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana.THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG marks the return to hand-drawn animation from the revered team of John Musker and Ron Clements, with music by Oscar®-winning composer Randy Newman (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Cars,” “Toy Story”).
Click HERE to see the trailer.