Helping mixed-race Asian kids navigate a world that isn’t post-racial

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-03-18 02:12Z by Steven

Helping mixed-race Asian kids navigate a world that isn’t post-racial

The Seattle Times

Jerry Large, Columnist

Sharon H. Chang is author of “Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Children in a Post-Racial World.”
(Courtesy of Sheila Addleman)

Seattle author writes about the challenges of raising multiracial Asian children in America and helping then overcome racial biases.

If you have mixed-race kids, teach mixed-race kids or know any mixed-race kids, you should read Sharon Chang’s book. Chang is a local writer and mom who saw a vacuum and tried to fill it with information she wishes her own parents had.

The book is “Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World,” and yes, that last phrase is meant tongue in cheek. This definitely is not a post-racial world, and one of the strengths of Chang’s book is that it helps people see how race continues to shape our lives.

Chang grew up in Southern California, the daughter of a Taiwanese father and white American mother. She’s lived in Seattle for 16 years and is married to a man who grew up on Vashon Island. His father is white and his mother is from Japan, so they’ve had lots of conversations about growing up mixed and not having anyone explain how people might react to them, or why.

How does a kid feel when relatives, or strangers, openly comment on their features — “That’s a good nose” or “Too bad about the eyes”? What does a parent say when a child says, “Mommy, I want blond hair”?…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Mixed race in a world not yet post-racial

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-03-21 15:03Z by Steven

Mixed race in a world not yet post-racial

The Seattle Times

Jerry Large, Staff Columnist

Populations of humans have always been mixing genes, but we still have trouble with the concept.

Two recent books by University of Washington professors address what mixed means in America, particularly examining the period between the Census Bureau’s decision in the late 1990s to allow people, beginning in 2000, to choose more than one race, and the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Both books say something about how mixed race as a category is sometimes used to further marginalize African Americans.

Troubling the Family: The Promise of Personhood and the Rise of Multiracialism,” by Habiba Ibrahim, an assistant professor of English, is written largely for an academic audience.

Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial,” is written by Ralina Joseph, associate professor in the Department of Communications.

Both are important works, but today I’m going to focus on Joseph’s book, which is also scholarly, but written with the general reader in mind.

We’re not post-racial yet, Joseph told me when we talked over coffee this week, and more mixing isn’t getting us there, because we haven’t shaken old ways of categorizing people. The combination of black and white, weighted with centuries of racism, raises the most issues.

Joseph noted the census change was most notably championed by Susan Graham, a white mother who wanted her son to be able to mark down multiracial, and, Joseph said, “had her young son testify before Congress, so that he did not have to identify as black.”…

…But seeing multiracial as a separate category, a way of transcending blackness, is not a step forward, and it isn’t racially neutral, Joseph said. It is, instead, a new use of old concepts, an affirmation that blackness is something to escape.

Embracing all parts of a mixed heritage is a more positive act than migrating to a new category. Joseph calls herself a mixed-race African American. “One can’t think about one’s own identity choices without thinking about power realities.”…

The African-American community has long been multiracial, ranging from milky skin and green eyes to deep chocolate, but to be counted as white still requires “purity.” It’s a protected status…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,