As I was getting ready for work this morning, Malia was proudly showing Yikealo her older siblings' elementary school yearbook in the family room. (Don't ask me why she wanted to bring that along with her this week?!) Anyway, as I listened in on their conversation, I heard the following:
Mimi: "Hey, Yikealo, do you want to see a black boy?"
Y: (in a slightly awe-struck and very excited tone) "Yeah!"
Mimi: "Look. There he is."
Y: (sounding rather disgusted) "He is NOT black. He's brown, just like me."
Mimi: "Well, that's what I meant."
Me: "Hey, Yikealo, sometimes when people have a little bit darker brown skin like yours, they're called black. But that's not really the right name for the color of your skin, is it?"
Y: "No, because I'm brown."
Mimi: "Well, sometimes I get black and brown mixed up, because they're almost the same."
Y: "They are not! And besides, white is the opposite of black, and people can't be opposites!" (Not sure what this had to do with anything!)
Me: "Well, we are certainly a lot more alike than we are different, aren't we? Because really, we're all just different shades of brown, right?"
Y: "Right! You and Mimi are really light brown, and I am a little bit darker brown."