Color Me In, A Novel

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Judaism, Novels, Passing, Religion, United States on 2019-06-12 15:04Z by Steven

Color Me In, A Novel

Delacorte Press (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2019-08-20
384 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780525578239
eBook ISBN: 9780525578246
Audiobook ISBN: 9781984889140

Natasha Díaz

Color Me In

Debut YA author Natasha Díaz pulls from her personal experience to inform this powerful coming-of-age novel about the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds.

Who is Nevaeh Levitz?

Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom’s family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time.

Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but one of her cousins can’t stand that Nevaeh, who inadvertently passes as white, is too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices they face on a daily basis as African Americans. In the midst of attempting to blend their families, Nevaeh’s dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. Even with the push and pull of her two cultures, Nevaeh does what she’s always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent.

It’s only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom’s past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces that she begins to realize she has a voice. And she has choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she find power in herself and decide once and for all who and where she is meant to be?

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Q&A with Natasha Díaz, Author of Color Me In

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-01-27 23:55Z by Steven

Q&A with Natasha Díaz, Author of Color Me In

Underlined
2018-12-21

We love hearing from new voices in YA!

In Color Me In, debut Author Natasha Díaz pulls from her personal experience to create a powerful, relatable, coming-of-age novel. We can’t wait for this beauty to hit shelves on 8/20/19. Get to know Natasha Díaz in the Q&A below!

Color Me In is based on your personal experiences. What inspired you to tell this story? Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I’m the only person on my mom’s side of the family who looks the way that I do, and as a result, I have witnessed blatant racism since I was a child; it just was never directed at me. So often I find that narratives about biracial/multiracial, white-passing characters delve deeply into their internal struggle but rarely touch on the privileges and colorism that are inherently tied to those of us who are mixed and also pass as white. What has been directed at me is an unending amount of microaggression, which led to debilitating self-doubt that I don’t have the right to claim myself entirely. Color Me In was my chance to write the book I never had growing up: a story that acknowledges the privileges of being white-passing without in any way detracting from the right that we as mixed-race people have to own our identities…

Read the entire interview here.

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My Multiracial Identity Isn’t A Party Trick

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-20 22:58Z by Steven

My Multiracial Identity Isn’t A Party Trick

The Establishment
2016-06-16

Natasha Diaz

We sat in a diner at 4 a.m. with a stack of chocolate chip pancakes and chicken fingers between us, the only meal that made sense at that time of night. After a while, the food soaked up enough of the alcohol that we could converse somewhat effectively. He looked up at me and smiled, pancakes drooping from his fork. “Babe,” he said, “the guys and I were talking last night, trying to figure out who had hooked up with the most girls of different races. And I won!”

I sat stiffly as he listed off different ethnicities, not attaching a name or even an anecdote to any of these women, as if he was running through ROYGBIV for some elementary school test. When he finished, he took another bite of pancakes and added triumphantly, “We thought no one had hooked up with a mixed girl, but then we realized: Natasha! She’s ­… what was that word for you? Mulatto?”

I took a sip of water, stalling for time to gather my thoughts. I ran through the timeline of our three-week relationship. I was a freshman, newly free from my childhood; he was a senior, well­-liked on campus. Over warm keg beers, he had vowed that he would watch over me. But this wasn’t the first time I had told myself, “He’s just drunk. He means it as a compliment.”

I had found myself making a lot of mental excuses during my first month of college. I’d been justifying the continual inappropriate jokes, invasive questions, and strange obsession with my lack of melanin: How can you be Black when you’re so… white?…

Read the entire article here.

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I struggle with a permanent guilt for the way my appearance allows me to move through the world so much more easily than my family members, and I am grateful for the constant reminder.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-08-18 00:52Z by Steven

Despite the fact that both Rachel [Dolezal] and Vanessa [Beecroft] seem to have found their “true” identities, I am still searching for where “multicultural” fits within the landscape that is race in America. When I was younger, I had moments of weakness where I allowed racist, ignorant, hurtful behavior to occur around me without repercussion. Speaking out, would mean having to explain myself, and then be questioned and teased for “not really being” who I say I am. I struggle with a permanent guilt for the way my appearance allows me to move through the world so much more easily than my family members, and I am grateful for the constant reminder. As much as I am connected to and proud of my Black and Brazilian heritage, an intense awareness of how I am perceived by everyone around me is part of who I am. It has taken 29 years to get here with far more work to be done. And when these white women proclaim themselves to be spiritually Black, it feels like they’re pouring multiple varieties of artisanal salt (available at the aforementioned, gentrified storefronts) on the wound.

Natasha Diaz, “White People, Stop Saying You’re ‘Black On The Inside’,” The Establishment, August 15, 2016. http://www.theestablishment.co/2016/08/15/white-people-stop-saying-youre-black-on-the-inside/.

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White People, Stop Saying You’re ‘Black On The Inside’

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-08-17 17:49Z by Steven

White People, Stop Saying You’re ‘Black On The Inside’

The Establishment
2016-08-15

Natasha Diaz

White and Wrong

White people are consistent; I’ll give them that. They take Black culture as the blueprint for their fashion, entertainment, music, and new hip terms to enhance their Urban Dictionary posts. They colonize neighborhoods, forcing out people who have lived there for generations, stripping the area of culture, and filling it with ridiculous storefronts that specialize in multiple varieties of a single condiment that could easily be made at home. Just when you thought they couldn’t take any more, they’ll figure out a way to snatch even the intangible away. Take #BlackLivesMatter, a slogan built to anchor a human rights movement, stolen to protect Smurfs. (Presumably that’s what “Blue Lives Matter” is about, since otherwise it makes no goddamn sense.) Usually, white people want everything Black, except to actually be Black. That is, until Friday, June 12th, 2015, when Rachel Dolezal and her circus full of weave and spray tan came marching out into the public eye.

Everyone I knew emailed to tell me about Dolezal. As a woman of mixed race that inadvertently passes as white, I clearly needed to be in the know. A few idiots even reached out to say that they “finally understood now” where I was coming from in explaining my racial background. Let’s have a moment of silence for those poor unfortunate souls, now eternally “unfriended” in all senses of the term—R.I.P. But none of my friends’ and ex-friends’ responses were as offensive as Dolezal’s spurious claim to be Black…

Read the entire article here.

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