Caught in a culture war, this multiracial family navigates a predominantly White evangelical world

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

AUSTIN — Deacon Ivey is used to the lingering stares in restaurants and on vacation. As a biracial teenager with White evangelical parents, Deacon said he often feels uncomfortable going into public with his multiracial family in their predominantly White community in Texas.

“Waiters will ask, ‘Are you all together? Who’s paying?’ ” said Deacon, who is 15 and learning to drive. “We’re kids.”

Deacon and his three teenage siblings live comfortably in a five-bedroom modern farmhouse in a rural part of south Austin. His family also sits awkwardly on the sidelines of tense debates about race taking place both in the country and in their church’s denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention.

Culture war discussions about critical race theory (CRT), an intellectual framework used to examine structural racism, are expected to flare up in June at the next Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Nashville, where at least 10,000 Baptists will elect their next convention president.

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