Home Actors TAYE DIGGS TALKS ABOUT RAISING A MIXED-RACE CHILD & MORE

TAYE DIGGS TALKS ABOUT RAISING A MIXED-RACE CHILD & MORE

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Actor Taye Diggs recently sat down in a round table discussion with several bloggers to promote his new book Chocolate Me. While in discussion, Diggs addressed race and self-esteem as they relate to his life experiences.

On race.

“At five-years-old, none of us knew the can of worms we were opening… the little white kids who were making fun of me, they didn’t know. Their whole questioning was coming from the fact that I was different. None of them ever used the N word or negro. They just knew, ‘Ok, his skin is brown, my skin is white, his skin is white, his skin is white, let’s make fun of him.’ It wasn’t even in a nasty way at 5. But I obviously didn’t take it well. And then the older you get, once that understanding came, then that was a whole different issue. Then you have to deal with serious self-reflection. My mother was very fair skin and my dad was dark. And back in my mother’s day, she was seeking out the dark men because she didn’t feel black enough. So it’s a continuing issue. We’ve come a long way, but I don’t think we’re fully over it as a society.”

Taye’s self-esteem as a child.

“My mother and my father made sure that whatever we were going to see, whether it was a movie, play, TV, they always brought attention to black performers; without in any way being discouraging to other races. It was just this, ‘we want to make sure you understand who you are and regardless of what mainstream society puts out there or may think, this is what is happening. These are positive people that look like you and are doing great things so there’s no excuse for you to not be doing things just as great’”

On raising a mixed-race child.

“Me and my wife, we discuss this and we’re still trying to figure some of this out just with Walker and what he should call himself and how he views himself. When I was growing up if you were half a shade darker than white, the white people would not accept you. You weren’t white. These days, thank God, people are a little bit more accepting and people’s views are broadening and it’s not as accepted to just choose one, how you might have been forced to in the past. I think it depends on the parents’ perspective and how they feel about those issues and how they kind of want to pass that down to their child. As proud as I am of my blackness, I think it’s important to show Walker that he should be just as proud of his Jewish mother and all of the culture that that includes as well.”

Why Taye wrote Chocolate Me.

“The idea to write this book came far before I was a father. I knew that I wanted to be a father, but that had no influence on the actual writing of the book. The inspiration came straight from more of an experience of being a son… my mother’s son. That being said, once we got pregnant, my perspective completely transformed and though the words didn’t change, though the message didn’t change, how I felt about what I was writing changed and I just started to get really excited for the day that I could read my book to my son. And every time I continue to read the book to my son—now he can say the words along with me—words can’t explain how it makes me feel.”

Read the full interview here.

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87 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Taye, you are an inspiration to fathers and husbands out there. Please continue to raise the issues. ignore the haters just remember you are making a difference in the lives of children out there facing the same challenges and confusions you faced. well done and i love your book and so does my family, we are biracial and love who we are. Thank you.

  2. Why is it that we as Black people are so uncomfortable with our own hair. There are always comments on this site talking about how one child’s hair or another needs to be cut. I comb my sons’ hair everyday, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to go out and tumble and play then come home looking wild. My youngest son just used his hair as a napkin at dinner last night. Should I shave my 1 year old’s hair so that it doesn’t make other Black people feel uncomfortable to see it all messy?

    Give it a break. Our hair sticks up and out. That’s what it does. It doesn’t have to be perfect all of the time. Stop with the self-hate. And stop pushing it onto little children, who clearly don’t care if their hair is sticking up or not. We need to let our kids be kids just as all the other races do. If only we as Black people were more concerned about what was in our heads rather than what was on top of it, we’d be doing a lot better as a group.

  3. His son doesnt even look mix, he looks like a light skin black child. My son isnt mix but he look mix. People should stop focusing on complexion, who cares? Blak people are the only ones that are concerned about skin color. We need to get it together!

  4. To the commenters who are suggesting that Taye Diggs married a white woman because he does not like being black, does this also apply to black women who marry white men?

    • He didn’t marry a white woman, he married a Jewish woman. She doesn’t look white to me – if she would’ve been from Saudi Arabia I would have believed it too.

      • To Black people his wife is white..no matter if she is jewish, middle eastern..or a fair skin hispanic..she is white lol.. Nice try tho

  5. Does this dude EVER talk about anything else? I don’t really follow him I only see stories if I happen to be reading a blog or flicking through a magazine but really I can’t recall that last time I saw him talk about his career or his favorite movie or his favorite sports team, nothing. He spent a long time complaining about how people hate on his relationship but he’s far more stuck on race than the average person. It seems that his mother had issues with her color to so maybe her lack of comfort with herself lead to his as well.

  6. juice and jewell I have to agree with you. I came to this site, not because i am black, which I´m not, but because I like to read about celebrities.

    Since i started to visit this site I have started to think more and more about race and not in a good way. it’s sad, because in my country, sure we have some racial issues like any other country, but far from the problems you seem to have in your country.
    I feel like the people visiting this site is going backwards by beeing so against marriage outside one’s race and what not. It´s ridiculous and so many people here are so uneducated it seems. Talking about latinas, mexicans, biracial etc like they are all races….no they are not!

    By visiting this site the people here made me feel like black people are the one’s with the most racial thoughts and hate towards other races. I know its not right to think like that so i am going to stop visiting this site, or atleast stop reading the comments and go back to my old thinking.

    • Maybe I haven’t been reading the right posts but I don’t really see people hating on interracial relationships that way you’er making it out to be. I see people hate/get annoyed with certain actors who have made certain comments or displayed certain attitudes.

      Seal, Heidi and their family seem to be one of the favorites here. People like Paula and Robin. Kimora and her husband are well liked (and yes I realize Kimora is Black as well so one could argue that that’s not necessarily an interracial relationship.) Halle gets a lot of hate lol but not for the race of the men she’s dating.

      To be honest Taye is the only one who is in an interracial relationship that I really see get a lot of hate towards and frankly it’s well earned.

  7. Maybe in United States his child will be considered black. I have talked to Africans from diferent countries trust me there do not see mixed race people as black. Even other blacks who do not looked mixed because those Africans know majority of us negros from Americas are mixed. Only in America having one drop rule in certain kinds of minds makes someone black. Any where in the world mixed people aren’t black.Even in the motherland of white land Europe mixed people aren’t seen as black America has issues period.

    • It’s true that the parents won’t have a hard time raising the child.The child is the one that might have identity issues if his father keeps acting like this.Either way a biracial kid is pretty much raised up just like a black kid,maybe without the spankings and whopings.I think taye is just trying to find something to talk about so he can get some attention.I mean we heard his poor sad story in the last article about him.Why do we need to hear it again.If this child gets any darker God help him.

  8. Co-sign 1000% with the majority of statements made. He is a self-hating and color-struck and he needs to let this mess go!

  9. ” My mother always seeked out darker men because she did not feel black enough ” that sounds exactely like a Malcolm X ‘s line. People should not be writing about raising a bi-racial child because it is exactely the same as raising a white child, a black or asian child (it’s your child so you won’t have any issues raising them just because of their race ; unless you adopted a child of a different race/ethnicity). People like to raise issues that do not exist ; it’s like creating negative thoughts about things that should not matter or be a problem and confusing the whole world by spreading the negativity. I am a 23 year old black african girl born in France and when I was younger, I never used to think about race but because of all the things I have been hearing , reading , watching , etc… I feel like I am developing some serious racial issues : I do not have a problem with myself or with other people , it is this kind of article that makes me think about it , and I DO NOT WANT TO.

    • Ah- someone who shares my sentiments atlast. Ever since I started visiting BCK, due to some people’s negativity, I’ve started To have a negative view on race and I HATE it. Before, I accepted inter-marriage between people of different races and their offspring without question…now I suddenly have issues with people who marry or date outside of their races! I’m 22 and I’m a South African black from the Xhosa tribe- I can’t ever remember having a problem with my skin colour (almost all my friends are either white or light skinned)
      PS: Taye is a bit irritating- why is he so fixated on race? Once you love and befriend someone, you stop noticing their race…

  10. First of all mixed is not a race.Mixed can mean anything.Biracial is a race.Why does he keep bringing this up like its that important.

  11. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH,

    TO 98% OF WHITE FOLKS YOU IS BLACK EVEN IF YOU ARE MIXED ALBEIT

    MAYBE A PRETTY OR EXOTIC BLACK. CAN I GET ME AN AMEN?

  12. I have two biracial little boys. I’m black and my husband is Hungarian/White. It has never crossed our minds to sit them down and talk about their race. I look and my kids and I never look at what color they are. This guy is a moron. He is so proud that his son isn’t dark that he is tripping over his own two feet about this silly issue. Who cares Tay what race your son is, let him be a kid and if and only if he brings the subject up is it that important to share your feelings, other wise leave him alone already about his shade of brown.

  13. “…We’ve come a long way, but I don’t think we’re fully over it as a society.”

    I agree!

    Mr. Scott Diggs is getting REAL annoying. At this point I’d rather hear from Idina, his wife, about anything Walker Nathaniel related. After this just shut it SCOTT-TAYE!

  14. I have a 3 year old neice who is mixed with white, black and peurto rican, but when you see her she looks like a white child. Often times we get stares in public like we kidnapped her or something and some people even ask if she’s white. I think it is sad how some people act towards biracial people in general. I often wonder how she will be treated when she gets older or if she will be confused about her race.

  15. And, really, he doesn’t think his parents love each other? His mom just married his dad because he was dark skin?

    • And money.I think that some of these women like Tiger woods ex would have no interest in them if they weren’t rich and famous.I hope Taye knows that his so ncould get darker.

  16. His son is biracial and a boy. As a man, he will be seen as a black men. How he identifies is his choice. How people identify him is their choice. In the grand scheme of things, it does not matter. But, it’s interesting how Walker’s color is becoming more of a prominent discussion for Taye as his hair gets kinkier and skin gets darker.

  17. Although his son is biracial, society will see him as black because that is how he looks. His son also needs a haircut.

  18. I might be wrong but it seems Hollywood is getting to him. Think about it. When you wacth tv and movies, there’s hardly any black actors.

    Have you notice in commercial’s where are the black females. You might see them here and there. All these new tv shows (if you have cable you might see more of them) where are the black females and males.

    There are plenty of really good black actress out there but Hollywood seems they don’t want them in leading roles. Robert De Niro famous words from A Bronx Tale is: The sadest thing in life is wasted talent.

    • …JANUARY YOU BRING UP A GOOD POINT. NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO THE REAL ISSUE..RACE IN OUR COUNTRY. PARENTS (ESPECIALLY CAUCASION) NEED TO TEACH THEIR CHILDREN HOW TO LOVE AND RESPECT OTHER RACES!

      • The REAL issue is this man trying to say he is an author and selling a book targeting children. He’s no expert on race relations and thank goodness he is not professing to be.

        • THE REAL ISSUE LIKE I SAID BEFORE IS THAT RACE IS STILL A BIG PROBLEM IN OUR COUNTRY AND NO ONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT IT. INSTEAD THEY JUST WANT TO MAKE IGNORANT COMMENTS ABOUT THIER OWN RACE.

  19. The real problem is really about how that child’s psych will be in the future. I mean he may grow to be so self conscious, feeling self hatred and scornful of his kind. The father is the one lowering his chances of being able to feel that he will later on fit in with others.

  20. Maybe when Walker Diggs grows up he’ll look like Lenny Kravitz or Lisa Bonet – they’re black-Jewish too. They mix well, and they have some good-looking children, it seems! :P

    Taye, get over yourself and be happy of what you’ve accomplished. Be more like Seal and less like Uncle Ruckus from the Boondocks. :D

  21. Staying in the reality of the here and now, his son looks just like him and his nappy/curly hair is screaming for a haircut or at least a good combing and brushing already at his young age. T.I. and Tiny’s children look more “mixed” than Walker.

    • Tell him Pisces. He needs to focus on finding a barber or some Curly Qs products instead of whom Walker will identity with.

      • LOL, Sherley! Thank you for even further clarifying what I really meant to convey. He got what he wanted in a son…just a light skinned version of himself or how he wishes he would have looked growing up.

        • “…He got what he wanted in a son…just a light skinned version of himself or how he wishes he would have looked growing up.”

          THIS IS COMPLETELY TRUE. I THINK YOU NAILED HIS “PASS” PROBLEM 100%.

        • hey Pisces. How’s it going. I see this man is back here with his same old story. That’s probably the only way he can get people to notice him. I would suggest he work harder on his films.

          • @Khrish..HELLO! So nice to see you back again. You are so right about this guy. He’s just getting worse and worse. Now he’s really trying to sell his book focusing on such a lame so called “mixed kids issue.

            He sure isn’t worth arguing over.

            Hope all is well with you Khrish and I love seeing your name pop up. It made me cheerful. Thanks! I’ll be talking to you! Have missed you.

          • Pisces, Did you hear the president singing Let’s Stay Together at the Apollo? Girl, you know I’m a political junkie and I’m having the time of my life. This is my superbowl periot. LOL
            I don’t know how this fool would handle it if his son looked like Paula Patton’s.

          • Hi Khrish. Yes I heard President Obama singing “Let’s Stay Together”. He sounded and looked good doing it. Love it. So nice speaking with you again.

            You remember I’m from San Francisco so all I gotta say is GO NINERs, GO NINERS! :)

      • HIS HAIR IS FINE. PLEASE DONT START TALKING BAD ABOUT THE CHILD’S HAIR JUST BECAUSE YOU DONT LIKE THE DADDY! NAPPY HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL. AA’S NEED TO BE MORE ACCEPTING OF THEIR OWN HAIR TEXTURES!

    • T.I AND TINY’S CHILDREN DONT LOOK MIXED AT ALL. TAYE DIGGS KID COULD PASS FOR MIX BUT IT REALLY DOESNT MATTER. I LOVE NAPPY/CURLY HAIR. EMBRACE IT AND STOP TRYING TO ALWAYS CUT IT OFF!

      • You need to stop always telling people off that you disagree with. It’s rude and makes you seem so immature. Not all kids re cute and not everybody has to love nappy or curly hair just because you do.

        T.I. and Tiny’s kids look as mixed as this kid to me and just because you disagree doesn’t make you right.

        Why don’t you ever just rwrite your own opinion and leave others alone? No on is writing specifically to you…I know I wasn’t and did not ask for your feedback or backlash. You are such a rude and uninformed thing.

        Always trying to start ish.

  22. My son is biracial Colombian and african. It has NEVER even crossed my mind to think about his complexion and how he’ll fit in. My son will be exposed to both cultures, but will be raised to know he’s a human being first and color has nothing to do with it. Why make a mountain out of a molehill tay?

      • THIS IS A SITE IN WHICH PEOPLE CAN GIVE THEIR OPINION. I DONT AGREE WITH YOU BUT I DIDNT SAY ANYTHING DISRESPECTFUL TO YOU.IF YOU THINK AA HAIR IS SO BAD THEN YOU NEED TO NOT COME ON THIS SITE BECAUSE IT IS A WEBSITE FULL OF AA KIDS WITH THAT KIND OF HAIR. SO PISCES YOU NEED TO RETHINK THE THINGS YOU SAY! BY THE WAY PISCES, YOU ARE RESPONDING TO MY COMMENT SO WHY CANT I RESPOND TO YOURS? UNFAIR TO ME.

  23. btw your son still will be labeled as a black child no matter if he is mixed he will still be black thats just how the world is

  24. In another interview he said Tyrese made him start loving his complexion. I get the whole I was raised around white people & was made fun of thing, but ugh! My son goes to a private school with all white people & he doesn’t have any issues with his complexion. He seems to prefer white girls, but his girlfriends have all been black.

    Taye has many, many issues. He was teased but marry into the race that teased & made him ashamed of who he is? Not getting it, but whatever makes him feel closer to white.

    • I think the poor man is lost..

      Its like he, his self, is focusing on his son’s race. No one else is putting the emphasis on it but him.. He is either color struck or trying to compensate..Taye is just a lost cause, he’s already stuck in his ways..

      My brother goes to a predominately white school and it’s sad to say they do have racism in that school but my brother brushes it off and stays away from negativity..

      • He is the only one so focused on his son’s identity. How many other people have mixed children & have parents who are fine? All this man talks about is complexion. Ugh! I wish BCK wouldn’t post any other interviews this confused lost soul does.

        • I guess if his baby had been born looking like Paula Patton’s son he would have written a set of reference books by now. Give it a rest, this is all he talks about.

      • I don’t think he is proud of his race either and that’s probably why he married a white woman.I don’t know if he feels like he has to explain this to us or if he’s just trying to get some attention.Maybe he’s just trying to find ways to promote that book since people aren’t buying it.

    • annoying to the 10th power im half black and my 1st child is pale with sandy brown hair but who cares he needs to stop like his child is some rare breed black people who are not even bi-racial have children that come out this way errrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • THE TRUTH IS THAT YOU NEED TO SIT DOWN AND TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT RACE AND THEIR COLOR OTHERWISE SOCIETY WILL DO IT FOR YOU! PEOPLE DEFINATELY NEED TO TEACH THEIR KIDS HOW TO RESPECT OTHER RACES AND COLORS. THATS WHY SO MANY CAUCASION KIDS MAKE FUN OF BLACK KIDS EVEN STILL TODAY!

    • Exactly…..ENUFF already! He acts like he’s the first person to have a mixed raced child. Who cares!!!!!!

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