Growing Up ‘White,’ Transracial Adoptee Learned To Be Black
by NPR STAFF
Chad Goller-Sojourner, center, and his family.
Courtesy Chad Goller-Sojourner
A couple weeks ago, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin spoke to Rachel Garlinghouse, a white adoptive mother of three African-American children. Our conversation on transracial adoption drew a lot of responses, so we decided to follow up with another perspective.
Chad Goller-Sojourner is African-American. In 1972, when he was 13 months old, he was adopted by white parents in Tacoma, Wash. He and his siblings are all different races than their parents.
They were raised in a white suburb, but worked hard to expose them to other people who looked like him, and checked out every library book with a black author they could find. They even sent them to a more diverse school in a different neighborhood.
But Goller-Sojourner, now a writer and solo performer based in Seattle, says there was a limit to what his parents could provide.
“One of the things I think was hardest for me is I didn’t have any independent relationships with black people, especially adult black people, till I was an adult,” he says. “I was 25 before I saw a black doctor.”
As a child, he experienced racism before he had the language to understand it, he says.
“For instance, shopping: I learned pretty early on that when people knew I was with this white lady, that they treated me differently,” he says.
Read More: http://www.npr.org/2014/01/26/266434175/growing-up-white-transracial-adoptee-learned-to-be-black