Black biracial child's racial identity
My husband and I have a 4-year-old who seems to be really struggling with their racial identity. I am white, husband is Black (born/raised in an African country until adulthood). I feel knowledgeable about and comfortable with the generally "recommended" approach to teaching young children about race and racism. We have long had direct discussions about skin color, buy our child books with diverse characters, send our child to a school where their class is 1/3 Black children (including other biracial children) in addition to many other non-white kids. We frequently eat food from my husband's country, listen to music, talk to his family, etc... though of course with the pandemic and high cost of travel it's hard to see them in person. I am familiar with Black history and talk about it -- including the many positive aspects to celebrate -- with my kids.
What does "struggling" look like? For many months our child has referred to themselves as "light-skinned" or "peach-skinned" (how I describe my color to them) -- sometimes "caramel" but consistently "light skinned." They are definitely light-skinned among Black people, but there's no doubt they will navigate this society as a clearly / recognizably Black person. When we read books that show discrimination my child will talk about "changing the rules" and "treating people fairly" but doesn't seem to (want to) personally identify as a member of the group being treated badly -- in some ways totally understandable, but not a healthy or tenable life strategy long-term.
When I recently said something like yes, you're Black and your skin is a beautiful caramel my child resisted in tears: "I don't want to be Black!" When I explained that being Black is beautiful, and that "Black" doesn't mean literally the color but means you have family from Africa, just like mom's skin is "white" but isn't literally the color of printer paper they responded: "I don't want to have family from Africa!" When we tried to probe for "why?" we didn't get any answers.
I know that explicit racial bias peaks in kids around this age, but I frankly didn't expect it from a child who is so close to their (dark-skinned) father, attends a diverse school, enjoys my husband's culture in many ways, talks warmly about his family, etc.
Is any of this familiar to other parents of Black children? Or to people raising biracial children? I haven't found many resources online and would appreciate some perspectives from people who've been there. Thank you.