dealing with race for the first time


it was bound to happen that an issue relating to zelda’s race would pop up. lucky for us it was relatively minor and inadvertent, but it underscored the role we have as parents of a black child. the issue was completely due to zelda’s skin color. let me explain.

yesterday when picking zelda up from daycare there was a new 2013-2014 guidelines and rules handout from the daycare. the daycare included pictures of the kids along with general guidelines, what to bring when, like snow and rain clothes, more diapers, and it also had short teacher bios. nothing out of the ordinary. after i got zelda home and took a closer look, mainly scanning the pictures included for our little z, i noticed i couldn’t find her. then the front page picture caught my eye. here it is below. can you spot zelda?


after noticing she was obscured in the shadows, i did a quick internet search for etiquette around black and white photography to see if there was something that would tell me some basic guidelines. i found nothing, which surprised me. zach and i as avid photographers of our darling zelda have had this issue crop up for us and have adjusted photos accordingly, especially when converting them to black and white. after some discussion with zach, we decided i would talk with the front office person to point out the issue. we were sure it wasn’t intentional, but something the daycare should be more aware of, especially since it prints the handouts out with a black and white printer and then photocopies them.

so today, admittedly amongst some nerves, i arrived at zelda’s daycare early for the pick up and talked with the front office staff person. she was surprised and hadn’t even noticed zelda in the picture. once pointed out she was understanding and said she would look into it, maybe find a better photo. zelda was still having lunch so i left and grabbed a bite myself, satisfied that the oversight wasn’t intentional and being addressed. when i returned the office staff was in the classroom asking for the electronic file of the handout. that satisfied me even more knowing my concern was taken seriously and being looked into.

this is i am sure the first of many issues that will crop up in zelda’s life and a very minor issue and is being resolved easily and quickly. i’m sure not all the issues we will face as a family will be so easy. anyway, it is a good lesson that about ensuring that everyone is represented, which when zelda may be the only minority or black child, that as her parents we need to double check things to ensure that happens.

pjs homme says:

Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The
words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.
I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to
let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get
the problem solved soon. Thanks

gary miller says:

i think it’s a bad photo too, for the other boy across from Z also has his head turned. why not have a redo shot. gary