My Mother Is White. I Am Not: On Being Biracial Without Identity Issues

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2017-12-06 02:13Z by Steven

My Mother Is White. I Am Not: On Being Biracial Without Identity Issues

Very Smart Brothas
The Root
2017-12-05

Panama Jackson


Panama Jackson, 1 year old, with his dad (Panama Jackson)

Editor’s note: This piece speaks from the perspective of being biracial with black and white parents. I realize that other biracial ethnic mixes may or may not share any of these experiences.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece called “Black Folks Who, Though Invited, Probably Wouldn’t Come to the Cookout.” On this list I included the following people: Mariah Carey, Meghan Markle, Rashida Jones and Lenny Kravitz. Would they come? We many never know, but sure as shootin’ an early comment on Facebook pointed out, solely, that “Mariah Carey is biracial. I believe Megan Merkel [sic] is biracial as well …”

While I can’t speak for the commenter, my assumption is that their biracialness excludes them from the list with the lead of “Black Folks,” though I’m surprised he didn’t realize that Rashida and Lenny are also biracial in the way that Sean Fury can appreciate. Put a pin in this…

Self-identity is defined as the recognition of one’s potential and qualities as an individual, especially in relation to social context.

Self-identity.

Here is where I point out some facts about myself. I am mixed. I’m the product of a Caucasian woman from France and a black man from Alabama. I will tell you, without hesitation, that I am biracial.

What I will also tell you, without hesitation and with pride, is that I’m black. I identify as black. I was raised that way. I was raised in a household by my black father and black stepmother and my black sisters. My upbringing was full of blackness, not even intentionally but by virtue of who my parents are. My white mother obviously had a hand in raising me—we spent summers with her in Michigan—but largely, my foundation, self-esteem, pride and identity were crafted by my black parents….

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

A Way of Sharing

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Judaism, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2017-12-05 22:20Z by Steven

A Way of Sharing

UMKC Today
University of Missouri, Kansas City
2015-06-08


Photo credit: Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Knowledge, Expertise and Experience

Women from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and nearby states in North America attended the 2015 Women of Color Leadership Conference.

MC Mia Ramsey strolled across the stage in her black sweater, black skirt, white T and pink sneakers. An energetic lady, Ramsey was ready to inspire and encourage women through song, jokes, personal stories and rousing introductions of presenters.

The 10th annual conference, “Together We Rise: 10 Years of Paving the Way,” at the University of Missouri-Kansas City focused on improving the lives of all women of color. More women of diverse backgrounds attend each year to share their expertise and to learn from facilitators and speakers.

Shortly after keynote speaker Lacey Schwartz took to the podium, she made an emphatic statement: “Tell the truth about things that are hard to tell the truth about.” If that had been the case, her life would have been less complicated, and she would have known far sooner exactly who she was.

In the documentary “Little White Lie,” Schwartz tells her story of growing up in New York with her parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity, only to discover she was not white, but biracial. She created the documentary to start a conversation about difficult conversations…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

National Identity, Citizenship, and Belonging: Afro-descendants in Spain and Catalonia – Agnes

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Europe, Media Archive on 2017-12-05 22:07Z by Steven

National Identity, Citizenship, and Belonging: Afro-descendants in Spain and Catalonia – Agnes

The Afropean: Adventures in Afro Europe
2017-10-27

Abena Wariebi

The second excerpt from interviews taken from a Master’s thesis carried out by Abena Wariebi at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.

Entitled “National Identity, Citizenship, and Belonging: Afro-descendants in Spain and Catalonia”, the thesis is an investigation of black identities in Barcelona, specifically exploring what it means to be black and Spanish, or black and Catalan.

These interviews represent a small part of the black community in Barcelona. This thesis is in no way conclusive or overall encompassing. It does not represent the views or opinions of all Afro-descendants in Barcelona or Spain. Nevertheless, these accounts are powerful, enriching, and demonstrate the unquestionable solidarity that exists within the diaspora.

Name: Agnes
Age: 20
Profession: Teacher and Photographer


Agnes, teacher and photographer

“I think my mum is the only person in the world who thinks I’m Spanish. Because when I go out on the street, when like a policeman comes and they see my passport or whatever they keep asking ‘oh but where are you from? This says Spain; this says you were born in Barcelona but where are you from? Where is your dad from? Where is your mum from? So, I feel like, I don’t want to be Spanish.

I really feel like I’m Cameroonian. And in a way my dad always tried to raise me to feel like I’m not Spanish, I’m Cameroonian.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Life in The Hinterlands; Growing up Gay & Mixed Race on The Isle of White

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-12-05 17:26Z by Steven

Life in The Hinterlands; Growing up Gay & Mixed Race on The Isle of White

The Afropean: Adventures in Afro Europe
2017-05-09

Ashley Thomas

Life as a mixed gay man seems a singular experience.

Who, what and where are the fluid foundations on which I’m constructed, construed and constrained. To some I am black but not Black, clearly not white or not Black enough. To others, I am an undecided shade of, well, I suppose you might say…

…Brown?

The Isle of Wight is a brilliant homophone. With its crumbling chalk and its crumbling people, it’s REALLY FUCKING WHITE. It’s located somewhere between the English south coast and 27 years ago. The island could seem blank or barren, but this is no creative backwater. At best, rural seaside racism is imaginative: I admired coconut-kicker most for its tropical rhythm…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

How my mother’s fanatical views tore us apart

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-11-28 04:41Z by Steven

How my mother’s fanatical views tore us apart

The Daily Mail
2008-05-23

Rebecca Walker


Maternal rift: Rebecca Walker, whose mother was the feminist author of The Color Purple – who thought motherhood a form of servitude, is now proud to be a mother herself

She’s revered as a trail-blazing feminist and author Alice Walker touched the lives of a generation of women. A champion of women’s rights, she has always argued that motherhood is a form of servitude. But one woman didn’t buy in to Alice’s beliefs – her daughter, Rebecca, 38.

Here the writer describes what it was like to grow up as the daughter of a cultural icon, and why she feels so blessed to be the sort of woman 64-year-old Alice despises – a mother.

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

What We Lose, A Novel

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Novels, South Africa, United States on 2017-11-27 02:13Z by Steven

What We Lose, A Novel

Viking (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2017-07-11
224 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0735221710
Paperback ISBN: 978-0008245948

Zinzi Clemmons

From an author of rare, haunting power, a stunning novel about a young African-American woman coming of age—a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, family, and country

Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother’s childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor—someone, or something, to love.

In arresting and unsettling prose, we watch Thandi’s life unfold, from losing her mother and learning to live without the person who has most profoundly shaped her existence, to her own encounters with romance and unexpected motherhood. Through exquisite and emotional vignettes, Clemmons creates a stunning portrayal of what it means to choose to live, after loss. An elegiac distillation, at once intellectual and visceral, of a young woman’s understanding of absence and identity that spans continents and decades, What We Lose heralds the arrival of a virtuosic new voice in fiction.

Tags:

Julie Lythcott-Haims on Being a ‘Real American’ and Growing Up Black

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-11-27 00:46Z by Steven

Julie Lythcott-Haims on Being a ‘Real American’ and Growing Up Black

Forum
KQED Radio
San Francisco, California
2017-09-14

Mina Kim, Host


Julie Lythcott-Haims

Julie Lythcott-Haims sold Girl Scout cookies and later ran track in high school. But as a black and biracial woman, Lythcott-Haims says her identity was often questioned, even though she felt as American as her peers. As the descendant of a South Carolina slave and her owner, Lythcott-Haims writes, “I’m so American it hurts,” She joins Forum to talk about her book “Real American: A Memoir”, what it means to be a real American and the racism and microaggressions she faced throughout her life…

Download the interview (00:53:00) here.

Tags: , , ,

Real American: A Memoir

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2017-11-20 02:50Z by Steven

Real American: A Memoir

Henry Holt and Co.
2017-10-03
288 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781250137746

Julie Lythcott-Haims

A fearless debut memoir in which beloved and bestselling How to Raise an Adult author Julie Lythcott-Haims pulls no punches in her recollections of growing up a biracial black woman in America.

Bringing a poetic sensibility to her prose to stunning effect, Lythcott-Haims briskly and stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of a marriage between an African-American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called “micro” aggressions in addition to blunt force insults can puncture a person’s inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Lythcott-Haims’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered “the other.”

Tags: ,

I don’t usually do this, but…

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography on 2017-11-20 02:16Z by Steven

I don’t usually do this, but…

Simply Eartha
2017-11-18

Kitt Shapiro


Eartha Kitt leaving hospital after giving birth to her daughter Kitt (c. 1961-11-26).

I don’t usually respond to negative comments, but I am compelled to do so here because I feel there is an opportunity for dialogue on a subject that many struggle with and is very relevant in today’s times.

As the most popular post on my blog, ‘Why Don’t You Look More Like Your Mother?’, continues to receive a lot of attention, one recent comment has brought me back to the subject of race, specifically, mixed race, and the desire of some truly ignorant people to deny the existence of others, because they do not ‘fit’ the stereotype of how ‘mixed race’ people should look…


Eartha Kitt with daughter Kitt Shapiro

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

‘I tried to be what white people valued’ — a searing memoir of growing up biracial

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-11-20 01:30Z by Steven

‘I tried to be what white people valued’ — a searing memoir of growing up biracial

The Chicago Tribune
2017-11-10

Heidi Stevens, Contact Reporter


Julie Lythcott-Haims’Real American: A Memoir” tells her story of growing up with an African-American father and a white British mother in the 1970s and early ’80s in New York, Wisconsin and Virginia. (Julie Lythcott-Haims photo by Kristina Vetter)

Julie Lythcott-Haims has written a deeply affecting memoir about growing up biracial.

It’s poetic and candid, and it dives into discussions we really ought to be having about race in America — past, present and future.

Real American: A Memoir” (Henry Holt) tells Lythcott-Haims’ story of growing up with an African-American father and a white British mother in the 1970s and early ’80s in New York, Wisconsin and Virginia. It’s a series of essays that read like individual poems — some brief, some ballads — that work together to narrate her life.

One goes like this:…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,