A Black mother of three, Ebony Lumpkin, has revealed that she is struggling to convince people that her son who genetically has red hair, is her biological son.
According to the Daily Mail, the Virginia Beach resident said she has even faced police questioning her after a bystander accused her of kidnapping her seven-year-old son, Matthew. Both Ebony and Matthew’s father, Patrick Tebbe, who is white, have no evidence of red-heads in their family tree.
Her son once asked if he was biologically related to his family because his red-hair stood out among them. To make her son feel more included, Lumpkin and Matthew’s older brother Adam, briefly dyed their own hair to make him feel more a part of his family.
“He once spent a whole week asking every red-haired woman if they were his ‘real mummy’ after school kids told him I am not,” she recalled.
Lumpkin says that a five-minute errand run with her son typically turns into an hour because people are amazed by Matthew’s striking hair color.
“They are always complimenting his hair but then look twice at me and make speculations,” she told the Daily Mail. “I can’t count how many times I have had to explain I’m his mother, not nanny nor is he adopted.”
She later added, “I understand it is rare to see a black mother with a white child who has red- I was shocked when I first saw him too.”
Ebony recounted that a trip to the grocery store took a turn for the worst after police showed up after receiving a tip that she kidnapped her son from a white lady. Luckily she had Matthew’s birth certificate on hand after they visited the doctor earlier that day.
“It was the most terrifying thing I have experienced,” she said.
Despite the negative comments and encounters, Matthew’s Instagram page has over 3,000 followers who love every inch of his fiery locs.
Research shows that Matthew’s parents have to each carry the MC1R gene that is connected to having red hair. Only 1-2% of humans have red or orange hair in the world, making it the rarest natural hair color.
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