I definitely had some issues as a child dealing with this and played with the salt and pepper shakers as caricatures of my parents (Dad = Salt, Mom = Pepper) and me = Salt and Pepper. I asked my mother repeatedly “is this me?”
By the way, this is not a sad story but one that has given me a great insight into race, identity and the making of a “human being”.
Thinking back, I did not see myself anywhere. Not in school, my colouring books, Saturday morning television or in story books. The only stories that were close to my identity were about animals,like Peter the Squirrel, television shows like Lassie, and Disney on Sundays. The music of Motown helped “us cope with us” some hope, belonging, to aspire to perhaps or just to admire the performers and emulate them in our grooves. Love songs, songs with a good beat and songs we could dance to, songs to get away from our lives, songs that made us love the artists who performed them. It was 1960, and Marvin, struggling with his own identity, signed to Barry Gordy’s Tamla label.