The Origin of 'Mixed With Love'
When I’m on social media I see a lot of “black love” or “Date right, date white” and I'm not one to judge anyone on who they chose to date. I mean - have you seen my husband? We fell in love and we are of the opposite race. 100 years ago- us being together would be so frowned upon. And unfortunately even today, we sometimes get “the look”.
Some of you might not know what I’m talking about so let me try to explain it to you as best as possible.
“The look” is when someone is cursing you out with their eyes. [can I just add that I just had a serious cold shiver as I typed that out] it’s when you mom tells you in the car “don’t touch nothing cause you not getting nothing” then you in the store asking for a piece of chocolate at the check out cause you KNOW she won’t yell at you in public. So instead, she smiles at the lady in front of her who thinks you’re adorable and gives you the “WHAT THE HELL DID I TELL YOU IN THE CAR” look with her eyes. I’m still trying to perfect my look with my kids.
But we get the “wow she must think she is too good to date a black man” or “white men always taking our queens” look. Those looks I can always ignore cause I’ve dealt with it my whole life. I know where to go and who to hang out with where I won’t get those looks. But what I didn't think about when having kids with my husband are “the looks” our children will face.
They will encounter all type of looks from both sides and it’s not fair to them. They didn’t ask for this. They didn’t ask to be judged just for being alive. And as much as I or any parent wants to shelter their child from the evils of the world, we can’t. All we can do is educate our kids and surround them with positivity and love.
Let me tell you a story....
It’s August 2020 and we’re in the thick of the pandemic. [insert “into the thick of it” sound from TikTok] a woman I met in passing back in college and have added as a Facebook friend cause she lives in the same town as me has received hate mail. Not just any 'ol hate mail. It was a racially motivated hate mail. She has a Black Lives Matter flag hanging in her yard and apparently some people don’t appreciate that. It’s a weekday and I see her husband post a copy of the letter on Facebook and tag her. I can’t even begin to explain to you how mad this letter made me. It pissed me off. She is a black female and her husband is white. She has (now) 3 beautiful mixed kids and having to call the cops and report this letter scared her oldest. I messaged her and said “I will come over and hangout with you with my kids so that your son knows he’s not alone”. I like to joke that for some reason “I had time that day". I had no plans. No deliveries. NOTHING. So I was able to pull up. But this letter didn’t sit right with me. So I wanted other moms to pull up too. I posted in my local moms group about the letter and how I was going to go to her house. Other moms who typically didn’t have time - made time.
We meet at her house and its raining. But we still showed up. We walk around her predominantly white neighborhood chanting "Black Lives Matter". People were looking to me as the leader of this protest, but I didn't know I was in charge. I was just wanting to show up and be there for someone who needed me. We took pictures and showed our support for the family. A group of 5 of us stood in the driveway and we were all strong black females. I look to my left and realize our children are all mixed race. I think "how crazy is this...I don't typically meet other black women who are married to white men" and it felt like I met my people. We talk and laugh and I joke that I should make a shirt that says "interracial and it feels so good"! One of the other moms says "I would totally buy that for my children". We part ways with plans to meet up later and as our friendship grew, we nicknamed our little mom group "Swirl Club".
When I went home that day, the events of what happened stuck with me. Why is there so much hate for black lives? Why isn't there much representation and appreciation for mixed race children? Technically, I am mixed. My mother is from the Democratic Republic of Congo and my dad is from Angola. Both countries are in Africa but are also very different. I wanted my children and all children of mixed race couples to know that they are loved, regardless of what they are mixed with it.
And that is when it hit me. Mixed with Love!
For the child or adult that is made of multiple races. They want to show the world that they are no different than anyone else, that they are mixed and proud of all the ethnicities they are. I made the shirt not thinking of how much of an impact it would have on the world. How many people would resonate with this. I made this shirt for my children and my swirl club children. I wanted them to know that even though there is so much hatred in the world and that some people may not like them for the color of their skin, that they are mixed with love and to ALWAYS remember that. I had no marketing plan for this shirt. No purpose...just the message that you are mixed with love.
I didn't realize how many other parents needed this shirt. Needed their kids to know they are mixed with love. Needed this tee for themselves to remind them that they are loved. This blew up in the most positive way and I have received so many compliments and thanks for creating this from parents all over the world.
It's been over a year since I "had time" and went to protest at my friends house. What once started out with toddler tees with the "Mixed with Love" phrase on it has expanded with a new design for infant bodysuits, long sleeve toddler tees, youth sweatshirt and a Mixed with love bae box. I am happy and honored to start the conversation about mixed race children and showing them that they are loved just as much as the person sitting next to me.