Going On Air With The Takeaway On NPR

It started with a simple comment on Facebook. I had shared an interview between a brother and sister on race. This was from The Takeaway on NPR. My friend suggested I should be on it. I pitched the idea that I would like to talk to my twins’ mother about race in the context of our adoption. In a day I heard back from the show’s producers. We had a pre-interview of sorts that lasted 45 minutes and I was excited, anxious and scared about how the actual recording would go.

The emails went back and forth. Finally this week, we had the green light from all parties. I was to go the recording studio nearest me. Mommy B (my daughters’ other mother) was to go to the one in her city. The show’s producer Dana Roberson would join us from the studio in NYC.

On Thursday I took the train from my city. I went over possible things I could raise in this conversation on race between two unlikely participants. In hindsight, I should have written them down. Getting off the train, I walked about 20 minutes before I spied the WHYY studio. I paused to take a picture, took a deep breath and walked in. Less than five minutes later, I was seated in a room with intimidating sound proofed glass windows. The sound engineer sat across from me in another room. When I mentioned I was a huge fan of NPR and WHYY, another engineer Al Banks (shout out here) managed to find some trinkets for me to take home.

I sat, sipping on the cold water, waiting to hear from the other two. At 1:10, we were on. I remember staring at the table I was seated. I realized my mind was blank and all those thoughts I had on the way to the studio had vanished without a trace. Dana’s voice was warm, encouraging as she guided us through the conversation. I rambled, at one point actually stating I did not know why I brought a particular topic up. The conversation was uncomfortable at times (as it should be). Towards the end, both of us mothers were asked about the message we wanted to pass on to our children. I listened to her and realized there was nothing new I had to add. For a moment, I teared up, my eyes stung, I felt overcome.

I walked out and reached the station without realizing how I made it there. The train ride back was a blur. While I wait to find out when the segment will air, here are some questions I have.

Would you talk about race? With whom?

Do you think we should be talking about race?

Do you have experience being raised as part of a multi-racial/multi-ethnic/multicultural family? Will you be willing to write for me at the Parent Voice?

9 comments

  1. I commend you, you are most brave, your words are honest and full of emotion. I hear you.
    I am intrigued to hear the interview.

    I am half Scottish ( my mum) and half Ghanaian ( my father).
    At the age of three my brother, sister and I lived in a children’s home on the outskirts of London, UK for a year. When we were finally fostered it was by a caucasian family who lived in the South West of England on a palatial farm. I immediately became an avid equestrian. My honey hued skintone and defiant curls ensured our weekly jaunts to compete in horse shows at first I was a novelty. Gradually I failed to notice the stares, or perhaps the inquisitive looks ceased…
    I am in the midst of writing my story- partly for my own selfish reasons of understanding my journey, moreso for my children. My childhood was a conundrum that I don’t feel I will ever be able to fully verbally translate to my children, therefore I am attempting to put pen to paper to share the good, the bad and the ugly!

    • Maleeza, thank you for sharing your story. Would love to read/review your book when it is out. Also, let me know if you are interested in writing for theparentvoice.com

  2. Can’t wait to hear it, I’m sure it will be beautiful. That was so courageous – on both of your parts. Congratulations. Look forward to the Parent Voice – these are not easy topics to tackle!

    • Thank you! It is unnerving thinking about exposing so much of my thoughts for the world to hear. The written form is not as intimidating.

  3. Hi Lakshmi, Can I write for parent voice ? If yes, would love to…..also will soon respond to the email da….just stuck with too much happening at work…..I will sure send you pictures…my pleasure./….

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