Have a complicated identity? America’s future looks ‘A Lot Like You’

Posted in Africa, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-01-25 22:18Z by Steven

Have a complicated identity? America’s future looks ‘A Lot Like You’

The Seattle Globalist: Where Seattle Meets the World.

Sarah Stuteville, Cofounder

“The bibimbap, is that dolsot?” asks documentary filmmaker Eli Kimaro looking up from the menu of Wabi-Sabi in Columbia City.

She’s trying to gauge the authenticity of the Korean dish in question. This version doesn’t come in the traditional heated stone pot (dolsot), but she goes for it anyway–calling the rice bowl a favorite “comfort food.”

Kimaro couldn’t be more at home ordering Korean food in a neighborhood with an African American history and a growing reputation for international diversity.

Her father is Tanzanian and her mother is Korean. They both worked in international aid and development in Washington DC and Kimaro grew up in a community where being cross-cultural “was the norm.”…

…Kimaro, who identifies as a black woman and a “Tanzkomerican” explores these themes in “A Lot Like You,” which follows her journey back to Tanzania to explore her family’s roots in the Chagga culture while telling the story of her unique childhood…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Woman traces her Tanzanian roots in film

Posted in Africa, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2012-02-05 07:00Z by Steven

Woman traces her Tanzanian roots in film

The Citizen
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Tyrone Beason

Sometimes a journey begins with a song. In the case of Seattle documentary filmmaker Eli Kimaro, it was a transporting version of the classic lullaby Summertime from the African-American opera Porgy and Bess, this one sung by the Benin-born artist Angelique Kidjo as a West African spiritual, full of cooing background vocals and soul-tapping percussion.

Kimaro’s father is Tanzanian. Her mother is Korean. She’d always been comfortable with her mixed-race background, but something about hearing that song eight years ago sparked a longing to better understand the people she came from, particularly the relatives in Kilimanjaro region, where her father grew up and where she’d visited many times as a child.It dawned on her that she should make a film about her father’s side of the family, even though she’d never directed a movie in her life.

The result, A Lot Like You, debuted at the Seattle International Film Festival last year to positive reviews.

The film helps raise the profile of a population in the United States that many people who identify with just one racial or ethnic group scarcely understand…

…Elikimaro is part of a new wave of multiracial pride, discussion and activism rooted in a very real demographic shift.

America is, in fact, more multiracial. According to the 2010 U.S. census, more than 9 million Americans identified themselves as belonging to two or more racial groups, or about 2.9 per cent of the total population, up from 2.4 per cent a decade ago.

Since 2000, the census has made it easier than ever for people answering its surveys to pick more than one racial group; and Americans who have mixed-race backgrounds, long a cause for derision and marginalization, are ever more comfortable checking all the boxes that apply to them…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,