We Are Owed.

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Poetry, Texas, United States on 2021-09-22 17:56Z by Steven

We Are Owed.

Grieveland
2021-07-29
98 pages
6 x 0.21 x 9 inches
ISBN: 978-1-7353527-6-3

Ariana Brown

We Are Owed. is the debut poetry collection of Ariana Brown, exploring Black relationality in Mexican and Mexican American spaces. Through poems about the author’s childhood in Texas and a trip to Mexico as an adult, Brown interrogates the accepted origin stories of Mexican identity. We Are Owed asks the reader to develop a Black consciousness by rejecting U.S., Chicano, and Mexican nationalism and confronting anti-Black erasure and empire-building. As Brown searches for other Black kin in the same spaces through which she moves, her experiences of Blackness are placed in conversation with the histories of formerly enslaved Africans in Texas and Mexico. Esteban Dorantes, Gaspar Yanga, and the author’s Black family members and friends populate the book as a protective and guiding force, building the “we” evoked in the title and linking Brown to all other African-descended peoples living in what Saidiya Hartman calls “the afterlife of slavery.”

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Choosing Blackness

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2021-09-20 15:18Z by Steven

Choosing Blackness

The Philadelphia Inquirer
2021-09-15

Elizabeth Wellington, Staff Columnist


Columnist Elizabeth Wellington poses for a photograph with her mother Margaret outside of the family home in New York. MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer

Black identity is usually wrapped up in not having choice. My family used their light-skinned privilege to flip that choice and turned Blackness into a celebration of pride and identity and love.

I thought my mother was a white woman until I was about five years old.

So I will never forget the day she told me she was Black. The conversation started simple enough: I described someone on television as white, like she was.

If um, hell to the no was a person, she would have been Margaret Wellington in that moment.

My mother is so fair that whether she styled her hair in a Pam Grier-esque, mega Afro or a blonde-streaked press and curl, she was sometimes mistaken for a white woman. I’m sure she wasn’t surprised by my question given my milk chocolate hue. But she wasn’t angry. She settled into her rocking chair and motioned for me to sit next to her. We were wearing matching green cardigans. I may have been darker, but to her, I was still her toddler-sized replica. She took my chubby little hand into her slender one, and looking me in the eye said, “Beth, I’m Black.”

Clearly I looked confused. Because she said it again. This time with more soul. “I AM BLACK. I do not have the same pretty brown skin that you have. But I AM BLACK. And I am YOUR MOTHER.”

My 5-year-old self was relieved….

Read the entire article here.

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Defying Categories: An Interview with Hollay Ghadery

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Canada, Interviews, Media Archive on 2021-09-14 02:25Z by Steven

Defying Categories: An Interview with Hollay Ghadery

White Wall Review
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2021-09-13

Rosabel Smegal and Isobel Carnegie, Managing Editors

“A lot of people are saying I’m brave for writing this,” Hollay Ghadery tells us, grinning through the screen. “But I wish it wasn’t seen as so brave. I wish it was the way everyone was, or felt comfortable being.”

Brave is just one of the words that Ghadery’s memoir Fuse has been called since its publication by Guernica Editions in May 2021. Other words include: edgy, powerful, raw, and profoundly honest. Written in short, thematic vignettes, Fuse follows the experiences of a young woman of Iranian and British Isle descent growing up in a biracial and bicultural household in small-town Ontario. Ghadery is as honest as her prose is lyrical, unpacking her mental health journey and lifelong struggles with substance abuse, eating disorders, and anxiety. The memoir jumps back and forth through time as Ghadery tells powerful stories from her first (and only) night in a brothel to being unable to fluently communicate with her Farsi-speaking aunts and living with OCD. Meditating on the complexities of the biracial female body, Ghadery challenges traditional, clear-cut ideas about identity, motherhood, and family.

Ghadery studied English Literature and holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. For several years, she worked in freelance and corporate writing but now, as a mother of four, she devotes her time to writing creatively. Her poetry, short stories, and non-fiction have been published in various literary journals including The Malahat Review, Grain, Understorey, The Antigonish Review, The Fiddlehead, and Room. She has also written for White Wall Review, publishing a review of Anna Van Valkenber’s Queen and Carcass in April 2021 that you can read here.

We were fortunate enough to sit down with Ghadery over Zoom this summer and chat about writing authentically, navigating Biracial Identity Disorder, and defying categories. Much like her memoir, she was open and honest and so willing to share…

Read the entire interview here.

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Phil Wang: I wouldn’t be a comic if I weren’t mixed-race

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2021-09-12 23:43Z by Steven

Phil Wang: I wouldn’t be a comic if I weren’t mixed-race

BBC News
2021-09-11

Helen Bushby, Entertainment and arts reporter


Phil Wang says the face of “every Eurasian person I’ve ever seen sings with loneliness”

Phil Wang, the stand-up comic you may recall for his viral video spoofing a Tom Hiddleston advert, has been baring his soul, or at least some of it, in his new book Sidesplitter.

Wang, 31, whose TV duties include Live at the Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Taskmaster, insists it’s not a memoir, as his life doesn’t merit one.

“I haven’t escaped a gulag or revolutionised an industry,” he explains, adding memoirs are a “saturated market” anyway.

What he really talks about in his book of essays is the impact of being mixed-race, of being “from two worlds at once”.

But although it has its serious moments, Sidesplitter is eloquently laced with laughs and bittersweet observations…

Read the entire article here.

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Sidesplitter: How to be from Two Worlds at Once

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2021-09-12 22:46Z by Steven

Sidesplitter: How to be from Two Worlds at Once

Hodder & Stoughton
2021-09-16
304 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781529350272
eBook ISBN-13: 9781529350296
Audiobook ISBN-13: 9781529350302

Phil Wang

One of the UK’s brightest and best comedians takes an incisive look at race and belonging.

‘But where are you really from?’

Phil Wang has been asked this question so many times he’s finally written a book about it.

In this mix of comic memoir and observational essay, one of the UK’s most exciting stand-up comedians reflects on his experiences as a Eurasian man in the West and in the East. Phil was born in Stoke-on-Trent, raised in Malaysia, and then came of age in Bath – ‘a spa town for people who find Cheltenham too ethnic’.

Phil takes an incisive look at what it means to be mixed race, as he explores the contrasts between cultures and delves into Britain and Malaysia’s shared histories, bringing his trademark cynicism and wit to topics ranging from family, food, and comedy to race, empire, and colonialism.

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A Black-white, biracial life is one of immense alienation

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2021-09-11 18:31Z by Steven

A Black-white, biracial life is one of immense alienation

The Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2021-08-29

Nichole Shaw, Editorial Fellow


Nichole Shaw

The United States bombards its constituents with stories surrounding the division between white and Black culture, livelihoods, experiences, politics, social class and economic hierarchy. Being biracial in a world that starkly contrasts the division of white and Black means being at war with oneself, never truly feeling that you belong to either group. Rather, the biracial condition can leave a person stranded in a gray continuum, a place where only those who are neither accepted or rejected are subject to ridicule, pity, envy and hate — both for their mixed color but “tainted” soul. They struggle with the weight of white privilege and systemic racism, among a continuing list of complex identities that complicate the ways in which they aim to fit into the box society constructs for stereotypical racial roles.

The condition of a Black-white biracial life is one of immense alienation…

Read the entire article here.

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Fuse

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Women on 2021-08-31 20:02Z by Steven

Fuse

Guernica Editions (MiroLand)
Spring 2021
200 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781771835923
ePub (eBook) ISBN: 9781771835930
Kindle (eBook) ISBN: 9781771835947

Hollay Ghadery

Drawing on her own experiences as a woman of Iranian and British Isle descent, writer Hollay Ghadery dives into conflicts and uncertainty surrounding the bi-racial female body and identity, especially as it butts up against the disparate expectations of each culture. Painfully and at times, reluctantly, Fuse probes and explores the documented prevalence of mental health issues in bi-racial women.

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A birth certificate masked my multiracial truth. For me and 33 million others, the 2020 Census asserts it.

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Census/Demographics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2021-08-31 13:57Z by Steven

A birth certificate masked my multiracial truth. For me and 33 million others, the 2020 Census asserts it.

The Washington Post
2021-08-31

Steve Majors


More than 33 million people in the United States identify as being of two or more races, according to the 2020 Census, a 276 percent jump from the 2010 head count. (Paul Sancya/AP)

My face burned — whether with anger or shame, I wasn’t sure. In 1994, I stood outside human resources at the CBS offices in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Studio City and listened to my future boss over the phone. You want the job? You need to complete the paperwork and check just one box, he insisted. Hours earlier, my pencil had marked X’s in two boxes on the application form. One designated my race as White, the other Black. The HR representative had called him to intervene, and now she waited inside her office for my decision. In a split second, I decided. I wanted the job at CBS’s flagship TV station in Los Angeles; it would be career-changing. So, though no one had told me which box to check, I had a feeling what the HR rep wanted. The recruiter who had first connected me with the opportunity had explicitly told me CBS was looking to increase diversity among its producer ranks. So I grabbed the pencil and erased the mark that declared me half-White. After all, I thought, no one — not even my own family — had officially told me I was of mixed race. The only evidence I had otherwise was written all over my face.

Decades later, when the “23andMe” response jumped into my email inbox at work, I stopped talking to colleagues mid-meeting to read the results. After years of looking at my pale reflection in the mirror and questioning my identity, I already knew the truth. When I walked out into the world, people looked at my fair skin and perceived and treated me as White. I sensed that the birth certificate that claimed I had the same father as my all-Black siblings was a lie, as was the story of my birth that my mother held on to until her death. Even my family’s nickname for me, “High Yella,” has been a signal to me that I was different from them. Now the results I read confirmed it: 56 percent European, 42 percent sub-Saharan African, with a fraction of East Asian and Indigenous American and other thrown in. I felt a sense of recognition. Science had validated who I was.

This month, I felt a similar sense of validation. After filling out the 2020 Census and checking the box to declare myself as two or more races, I saw the final results. My multiracial identity counts, and I’m far from being alone. According to the data, I’m among 33.8 million people who identify as multiracial, a whopping 276 percent increase since the 2010 Census. It’s proof that the United States is truly a racial melting pot, with the most diverse population in its history…

Read the entire article here.

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High Yella: A Modern Family Memoir

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Monographs, United States on 2021-08-31 02:13Z by Steven

High Yella: A Modern Family Memoir

University of Georgia Press
2021-10-01
280 pages
Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in
Hardcover ISBN: 9-780-8203-6031-7

Steve Majors

They called him “pale faced or mixed race.” They called him “light, bright, almost white.” But most of the time his family called him “high yella.” Steve Majors was the white passing, youngest son growing up in an all-Black family that struggled with poverty, abuse, and generational trauma. High Yella is the poignant account of how he tried to leave his troubled childhood and family behind to create a new identity, only to discover he ultimately needed to return home to truly find himself. And after he and his husband adopt two Black daughters, he must set them on their own path to finding their place in the world by understanding the importance of where they come from.

In his remarkable and moving memoir, Majors gathers the shards of a broken past to piece together a portrait of a man on an extraordinary journey toward Blackness, queerness, and parenthood. High Yella delivers its hard-won lessons on love, life, and family with exceptional grace.

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I Color Myself Different

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, United States on 2021-08-31 02:07Z by Steven

I Color Myself Different

Scholastic
2022-04-05
40 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1338789621

Colin Kaepernick, Eric Wilkerson (Illustrator)

An inspiring story of identity and self-esteem from celebrated athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick.

When Colin Kaepernick was five years old, he was given a simple school assignment: draw a picture of yourself and your family. What young Colin does next with his brown crayon changes his whole world and worldview, providing a valuable lesson on embracing and celebrating his Black identity through the power of radical self-love and knowing your inherent worth.

I Color Myself Different is a joyful ode to Black and Brown lives based on real events in young Colin’s life that is perfect for every reader’s bookshelf. It’s a story of self-discovery, staying true to one’s self, and advocating for change… even when you’re very little!

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