For Mixed Family, Old Racial Tensions Remain Part of Life –


Published: October 12, 2011

TOMS RIVER, N.J. — “How come she’s so white and you’re so dark?”

Race Remixed

A Family Tree of Many Colors

Articles in this series explore the growing number of mixed-race Americans.

Previous Articles in the Series »


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Meet the Greenwoods


A Mixed-Race Family Tree


Mixed America’s Family Trees
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When they are alone, the Greenwoods strive to be colorblind, but outside their home it is another story. More Photos »

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The question tore through Heather Greenwood as she was about to check out at a store here one afternoon this summer. Her brown hands were pushing the shopping cart that held her babbling toddler, Noelle, all platinum curls, fair skin and ice-blue eyes.

The woman behind Mrs. Greenwood, who was white, asked once she realized, by the way they were talking, that they were mother and child. “It’s just not possible,” she charged indignantly. “You’re so…dark!”

It was not the first time someone had demanded an explanation from Mrs. Greenwood about her biological daughter, but it was among the more aggressive. Shaken almost to tears, she wanted to flee, to shield her little one from this kind of talk. But after quickly paying the cashier, she managed a reply. “How come?” she said. “Because that’s the way God made us.”

For Mixed Family, Old Racial Tensions Remain Part of Life –


About eddielouis

Retired USN BS Degree
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