Biracial Families on Kids’ TV Shows

My daughter is just starting to get to the point where she’s really into “her” television shows. While we’re getting ready in the morning, I turn on PBS Kids.  Two of the shows that run back to back just before we run out the door include biracial families.

The first family like ours is on Sid the Science Kid. To be quite honest, I found this show really annoying at first. I’ve started to get into it, though, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that part of the reason I got into the show is because I finally noticed Sid’s parents. Sid’s mom is black, and his dad is white (Jewish, in fact). Actually, more accurately, his parents are orange. But I think it’s pretty apparent that his mom (despite her orange skin and blue hair) is supposed to be black, and his dad (with his slightly lighter orange skin and dark red-orange hair) is white. This was made all the more obvious for people like my husband who just aren’t that convinced, by their holiday episode. Sid celebrated Christmas and Kwaanza with his mom and Hanukah with his dad. You don’t get more matter-of-fact than that.

The second of the biracial families is on Super Why!. Princess Pea [whose Super Reader alter-ego is “Princess Presto”] is biracial. The Wikipedia entry for Super Why! describes Princess Pea as “a girl of biracial descent.”   Honestly, I had thought she was just a black girl with green eyes – my family is full of them – but after doing a lot of Google research [sorry, I’m obsessed with this idea now], I’ve discovered that her father, Prince Charming, is indeed white. And her mother – the princess from the Princess and the Pea story — is black. It took me a while to finally see the episode with her parents, but in true PBS Kids fashion, once it ran, I saw it 10 more times within the next month.

Seeing biracial families on television is a treat for me always. And it is especially sweet when the biracial families include a black mother and white father. It is actually rare to see a black woman with a white man (it is much more common the other way around), so it’s amazing to see two shows that play back to back which have that sort of family structure. It’s wonderful to think that my daughter will see shows with biracial families who look like her own, and that she will see how we are perfectly normal. So YAY for PBS Kids!!

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