Wednesday Round-Up: Being Black in Maine, Jewish for the Holidays, and Black in America

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time for some fresh, hot links to share. So, let’s get to it.

The first place I must send you to is Maine. I’ve been following Black Girl in Maine via twitter for a long time, and never realized she had a blog. Duh! Well, apparently BGIM has some serious fans over at because for the second year in a row she landed on their 100 Best Mommy Blogs List. She doesn’t consider herself a mommy blogger and I can see why. She just happens to be a mom, who lives in Maine, with a lot of White people. And it’s interesting. So, she writes about it. Check her out if you have the chance.

Next. I don’t know about you, but it takes me an entire week to actually read the entire Sunday New York Times. So, it was just today that I was making my way through the Book Review and I noticed an interesting trend. There are a lot of books coming out, just in time for the holidays, about Jews and Christmas. I’ve always thought it must suck to be Jewish at Christmas time in the United States, because everyone from the government to the retail industry shuts down as if everyone believes in the holy, baby Jesus. That’s got to be annoying. Like seriously annoying, considering there is supposed to be a separation of church and state. Anyway, there’s a book for adults called Kosher Christmas that is all about how “Jews cope with Christmas,” beginning with Jewish emigres from German-speaking countries back in the day and continuing on through history. It sounds fascinating. For the kids, two books caught my eye, Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama, which is about a ‘mixed’ family during the holidays, and Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue which is about Sephardic Jews from Portugal who move to Massachusetts in the 18th century. Doesn’t that sound cool? Are any of you dear readers, Jewish? Do you get annoyed around Christmas time? What do you do to cope?

Finally, this Sunday, a lot of people will have their TVs tuned to CNN to catch the fifth installment of the Black in America series. This time around, host Soledad O’Brien will be asking ‘Who is Black in America?’ They will be covering everything from colorism to transracial adoption to try to understand what it really means to be Black. Is it the color of the skin or the neighborhood where a person is raised? It sounds like it’s going to be really interesting. I’m curious to see what new information they will discover or debate. You can preview some of the stories here. I don’t have cable, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to see the full episode, so feel free to let me know what you thought of it.

That is all.





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4 Thoughts to “Wednesday Round-Up: Being Black in Maine, Jewish for the Holidays, and Black in America”

  1. Susan:)

    I’ll have to check out those books. I’m not Jewish, but I live with my sister and brother-in-law, and he’s Jewish. And we’re raising my nieces Jewish. We celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, but we don’t do the religious aspects of Christmas. I know my BIL finds Christmas somewhat annoying and he doesn’t like listening to Christmas music. He gets annoyed when people say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. I know a lot of people who get all het up about pointedly saying Merry Christmas, but there are plenty of people who don’t celebrate that. Living with my BIL has made me more sensitive to that. We live close to a lot of Jewish cousins, and it’s really been interesting for me to see all their various holidays and traditions that are perfectly normal to them. My nieces love Hanukkah just as much as Christmas. It’s very special to them to light the menorah each night and sing the songs.

    1. Ms. Meltingpot

      Thanks for sharing your story. It definitely adds to our own growth to ‘see how the other half lives.’ And for awhile in my early 20s I stopped celebrating Christmas and it really did get on my nerves that it seemed the whole world assumed I was celebrating Christmas. Good for you and your family for giving your nieces the best of both worlds!

  2. Olivia

    This is a bit unrelated, but today is Sinterklaas in Belgium, and the good man brought gifts throughout the country. But every year again we cringe as we look around at the Zwarte Pieten (usually white men in black face). They have changed the official story to claiming that he is black because he goes down the chimney, but the practice of blackface remains and it’s hard to experience. Yesterday, my son’s class performed at the school show (he’s in 1st grade) and he was in blackface. My American husband almost lost it muttering at our backwards ways… Nevertheless, we feel we can’t really skip the holiday, but we have tried to explain the origins and nuances as best we can.

    1. Ms. Meltingpot

      What to do, what to do? Thanks for sharing though, and tell that husband of yours to keep muttering 🙂 Happy holidays. Kiss the babies for me.

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