Episode 5: Ryan Haynes - "Black Fatherhood Abroad"

In 2016, American Ryan Haynes wrote a deeply personal piece for The Black Expat reflecting on raising two young sons of color abroad.  Since 2002, Ryan and his family have lived internationally with all their  moves being within the continent of Asia.  As a result, his experiences as a child raised by a Black American father and Trini mother differ very much from his children who were born and raised outside of the U.S.  and much of that was explored in his initial story.

Fast forward, four years later  and Ryan is now based in Taipei, Taiwan.  This episode revisits this discussion now that his sons are high school age, with one prepping to head to college in the near future. We also discuss addressing racism within the international school context,  how to bring up the topic of safety and race when it comes to talking to prospective international employers and when to have the “Talk”   with your Third Culture Kid of color, if they are considering living in the U.S. for college.

Here are some excerpts from Amanda’s conversation with Ryan.  You can listen to the full episode on Spotify, Anchor or wherever you get your podcasts. You can can also visit The Black Expat YouTube Channel to listen in. 

For Ryan’s original article, visit Fatherhood Abroad

Excerpt: How His Family Is Received

Well, I always tell my students, you want to be an informed consumer. So when you're moving abroad or just moving in general... That's huge, especially when you're moving internationally, that's enormous, and so I wanna know heads up, “How am I gonna be received by faculty? by my colleagues? How am I gonna be received by my neighbor?” Anytime we've moved. I've always been concerned about how is my family gonna be received” I was talking about that recently, we're having some discussions on race and diversity and inclusion at school, and I said, “Look, as an African-American male, with a mixed race family, that's one of my concerns every time I move is.." So, yeah, I'm blunt. I'm very upfront, I wanna know.

Excerpt: On Raising Sons of Color in Asia

Not as stressful. I don't have to worry as much. Don't get me wrong, I worry. Ever since becoming a father. I'm always thinking about something, and especially raising two young men of color. But we're very blunt with our children, with our boys, I tell them if we were raising you in the States we’d be raising you very differently.

Excerpt: Addressing Diversity Issues in International Schools

Actually, that's something that we're exploring or implementing right now at school. Because this summer, we had so many powerful letters from alumni saying how they were not prepared. Let's be honest, many international schools operate in a bubble, be it in the school environment or the city or what have you. Many of the alums wrote really passionate letters just saying. "Look here's what you need to do…” You need to see the letters. Detailed letters about what we should be doing as educators and with a timeline of when you should be doing it.

To hear the full episode, click below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.

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