Black Woman Adopted By White Parents: ‘I Don’t Feel Black On The Inside. Transracial Adoption Is Not The Solution’
On the latest episode of her show, “Red Table Talk,” Jada Pinkett Smith takes on the issue of transracial adoption. Transracial adoption has been viewed as controversial, especially when there are Black kids adopted by parents of the Caucasian race. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 40 percent of adoptions are transracial in nature. This is an increase in 2018 from 28 percent in 2004. In 2013, of all adoptions 21 percent were Black kids, 47 percent were white.
The questions always arise: Can white parents teach Black kids how to deal with racism? Can they teach them about Black culture?
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On “Red Table Talk” Pinkett Smith, 47, her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris and daughter Willow Smith sat down with Angela Tucker, a Black adoptee who was raised by a white family. And according to Tucker, most often white parents of Black kids are ill-prepared to ready Black children for the realities of the world.
Tucker, who had a form of cerebral palsy at birth, was placed for adoption by her birth mother, Deborah Johnson, who homeless and unable to raise her.
She was adopted by David and Teresa Burt. But, Tucker told the “read Table” trio, she doesn’t understand what it is like to be a Black woman in America.
“I have no sense of strong identity,” Tucker said on the Facebook Watch show. “I understand that keeping me alive and prioritizing my medical needs was really important and, look, I’m alive today.”
She continued, “I’m alive but dead inside in some ways without knowing my culture and not being connected.”
She added that she has come to believe “transracial adoption is not the solution.”
“That’s asking me as a Black woman to assimilate into white culture but to also keep my Blackness somehow even though I wasn’t raised within it,” Tucker said.
She continued, “It’s not that I don’t want to identify as a Black woman but not growing up with Black culture and feeling fear when I met my birth mother and my whole birth family, I was a bit afraid to meet them because I haven’t been around a Black family and I haven’t been around that.”
According to Tucker, while she is happy she was adopted and well taken care of she is plagued by a sense of not fitting in. Of this, she said, “I struggle because I’m certainly grateful for the life I’ve been afforded but at the same time it’s hard to walk around and have people see a Black woman but not feel like a black woman. It’s a huge weight.”
Both of Tucker’s adoptive parents and her birth mother appeared on “Red Table Talk.”
“I waited 25 years to thank Deborah, thank her for sharing Angela. She did a hard thing, she did something I don’t think I could do, and I did something she wasn’t able to do,” Teresa said.
Johnson said she “will forever hurt” about placing Tucker for adoption, People reported.