Harper, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
Reviewed by Barbara Lingens
should be required reading for families contemplating mixed-race adoption. This memoir details her struggle to know herself as she really is since her white mother never mentioned she had a relationship with a black man, and the whole (white) family went along with it.
he family was very loving, and Lawton never wanted for anything, but even that was not enough to overcome her feelings about being different and wanting to know the truth. In order to discover it, she first traveled to places that had people who looked like her, and the information she shares about those experiences is eye-opening. She also had to undergo many tests as well as counseling, both for herself alone and together with her mother, who finally admitted her relationship. Lawton's honesty about these experiences is to be admired. She makes us understand how important the truth is - it will make her whole.
awton continuously emphasizes the love she has for her family and for the upbringing they provided, but she also demonstrates how such an important secret can adversely affect an individual. Her comments that racial identity and pride in that identity are a necessary part of an individual's cultural identity and that '
the color-blind parenting approach ... is a form of identity theft
' sum up the experience she shares. Despite systemic issues of inequality that will come up, it is important not to ignore or overlook an individual's racial difference.
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