I have been lucky enough to know the Vaught family for almost 5 years. In fact, I see Kelly Vaught 5 days a week because he is my boss at BeCore, an experiential marketing agency he is a partner in. They are a vibrant, welcoming family who also happen to throw great parties at their home in the View Park neighborhood of Los Angeles!
I will never forget when Kelly invited my daughter and I to Thanksgiving at their house, with their family our first year in Los Angeles. That is a good example of the kind and generous personality this family shares. They are also a very busy family with Sailor's basketball, Chloe's performing arts, Kelly's traveling for work, and Sylvia working as a celebrity hair stylist as well working towards her degree at UCLA!
Luckily they had a little time to share with us:) Enjoy getting to know the Vaughts!
MEET THE VAUGHT FAMILY:
Kelly Vaught, age 55
Caucasian / French and English
Sylvie Vaught, age 44
Multiracial / African American, Choctaw Nation, Irish, Russian/Romanian Jew
Chloe Vaught, age 17
Multiracial born in Austin, TX
Sailor Vaught, age 14
Multiracial born in Los Angeles
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
View Park in Los Angeles area.
HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET?
We were neighbors at one point and I became friends with her brother. Several years later, our paths crossed and we began dating.
WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
Not really. This is probably due to the fact that we were both raised by parents who were Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the religion seeks to unite people of various backgrounds.
WHAT TRADITIONS DO YOU CELEBRATE IN YOUR HOME?
Family meals together that tend to fall on traditional holiday dates.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR PARTNER'S CULTURE?
Kelly- The appreciation of diverse and global culture.
Syl- witty comedic communication.
IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN DIVERSE?
Yes, it was a choice to live in a city where our kids would be exposed to diversity. It was important that the schools they went to included kids with different backgrounds. As a biracial child growing up in mostly all white neighborhoods I didn’t want my kids to experience the isolation that was imposed upon me by other kids.
IS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR MULTIETHNIC RELATIONSHIP?
Yes for the most part. When we were first dating and I brought Kelly to meet my African American grandfather he made a comment on my liking a white man which seemed to be an acknowledgement of “dating outside the norm.”
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR PARTNER'S BACKGROUND?
Music was the common bond for both of us. Kelly loves my family's southern influenced dinners. We now keep that tradition alive.
WHAT ACTIONS HAVE YOU TAKEN TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT EACH OF YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
We share photos and stories all of the time. Stories intertwine a historical element that grounds the kids into their backgrounds. It is extremely important that they know that some of their ancestors were enslaved, beaten, and murdered so that they could be here now-- very deep and meaningful to know.
DO YOUR CHILDREN IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?
HOW DO YOU RAISE YOUR CHILDREN TO HONOR DIVERSITY IN OTHERS?
We speak of it and celebrate it daily. We acknowledge openly both the great achievements of diverse peoples and the failures/flaws of those who are narrow minded.
WHAT UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS DO YOUR CHILDREN HAVE FROM YOUR AND YOUR PARTNER?
Our children are highly socially intuitive as a result of their mixed background. They adapt well to new environments, and feel comfortable about their presence no matter the race or ethnicity of who they are around.
WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOUR CHILDREN?
It means acknowledging their races (Black, White, Native) as being who they are, and knowing that their ancestors come from a variety of different places. I’ve taught them that they must acknowledge all of their races, not just one.