Racism in the Family

an intermedite level lesson

Read this letter from the Dear Abby Archive

February 8, 2012

Dear Abby:

I am the product of an interracial relationship from the late í60s. My maternal grandmother wanted nothing to do with me and made my teenage mother give me up for adoption. Before my biological mother passed away a few years ago, her dying wish was for my grandmother and me to form a relationship. She didnít want her mother to be alone in her final years.

I made an attempt to forge a relationship with my grandmother only to be told she didnít like me because of the color of my skin. Since then, I have been having bad dreams of my mother being disappointed in me because I didnít fulfill her wish.

ó Unaccepted in North Carolina

Discuss the writer's problem with your group.

What would you do in her position?

What should she do to solve her problem?


Try to figure out the meanings af the following words and phrases. Check the context for clues. Write the definition and the part of speech:


interracial relationship

biological mother

dying wish

final years

forge a relationship

fulfill a wish
Abby's response:


form a relationship

reach out

unfair burden





Now read Abby's response, and see if you and Abby had the same idea

Dear Unaccepted:

It takes two people to form a relationship. By reaching out to your grandmother, you did the best you could to fulfill your motherís wish ó which, from your description of your grandmother, was an unfair burden to try to place on you. Thereís no reason for you to court another round of rejection and, for your sake, Iím advising you not to.

It may help to write a letter to your mother, explaining to her what happened when you reached out to your grandmother and how it felt, then read it at her grave. But please, stop blaming yourself for your grandmotherís inability to love.

Was your solution different from Abby's?

Do you see the situation differently after reading Abby's response?

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