Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Biracial Kids - Hines Ward Making a Difference

I pretty much read the sports pages everyday. This is a by-product of being the oldest child (my brother did not come along until 10 years later) and wanting to be close to my father. Let's face it, men and sports go together like milk and cookies. Take communication anyway you can with your parents, right, even if you have to discuss football along the way.

Perusing the sport headlines is all that I do now but I always get suckered into a good sports backstory, so much more interesting than the athletes actual sports accomplishments. Because my father was African-American and my mother was Japanese, I was interested to read of Hines Ward's of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Super Bowl XL MVP) racial heritage, his mother is Korean and his father is African-American.

The story focused on Ward's hosting biracial children from South Korea in Pittsburgh. As a result of his MVP and "celebrity" status, South Korea  was all too happy to highlight his South Korean background. As a result, it bubbled up the fact that biracial kids not only exist in South Korea but are treated like second class citizens. This of course does not surprise me since South Korea like most countries are homogenous and mixed race kids are not treated well.

What I loved about the article was that Ward embraced his heritage and the culture but wasn't afraid to say that these kids should be proud of their heritage. From the quotes and the videos, I think that it gives hope and a sense of self worth to these kids.

I was lucky, my mother's parents embraced as children and even when we went back after my mother's death, her family cared for us. We were lucky but again we did not grow in the Japanese community or went to Japanese schools. I am sure our experience would have been different.

Check out the story, it'a great read plus the videos of the kids who met him will bring tears.


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