Growing Up Mixed, Blended In The New American Family

Posted in Audio, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2011-04-26 20:50Z by Steven

Growing Up Mixed, Blended In The New American Family

National Public Radio
Tell Me More

Michel Martin, Host

New census figures show that the number of mixed-race Americans has grown by nearly 50 percent in the last ten years. And that rise in number is most pronounced in the South. Census data also reveals that 17 percent of kids in the U.S live in blended families. In Tell Me More’s weekly parenting conversation, host Michel Martin explores the experiences of mixed-race and blended families. Weighing in on the discussion is Suzy Richardson, founder of the website,, Karyn Langhorne Folan, author of Don’t Bring Home A White Boy: And Other Notions That Keep Black Women from Dating Out and NPR editor Davar Ardalan.

Read the transcript here. Listen to the story here (00:17:41).

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Ladies Remember Elizabeth Taylor, Weigh Modern Beauty Standards

Posted in Audio, Live Events, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2011-03-23 21:00Z by Steven

Ladies Remember Elizabeth Taylor, Weigh Modern Beauty Standards

Tell Me More
National Public Radio
2011-03-23, 14:00-15:00 EDT (WAMU, 88.5 FM, Washington, D.C.) For other broadcast times, click here.

Farai Chideya, Guest Host

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Visiting Scholar
Brown University

Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79. The screen icon became a 12-year-old sensation in the movie, “National Velvet”. She went on to star in 53 films, winning two Oscars for her work. In Tell Me More’s occasional “Beautyshop” conversation, guest host Farai Chideya looks back on the Taylor’s life and discusses a new survey on changing notions of beauty in America. Weighing in are Latoya Peterson, editor of; Galina Espinoza, editorial director of Latina magazine, and Marcia Dawkins, visiting scholar at Brown University.

See: Marcia Alesan Dawkins. “Mixed Race Beauty Gets a Mainstream Makeover,” TruthDig, March 7, 2011.

Listen to the episode here. (00:17:49)

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New NAACP Leader Looks Ahead

Posted in Articles, Audio, Media Archive, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2011-01-16 21:22Z by Steven

New NAACP Leader Looks Ahead

National Public Radio
Tell Me More

Michel Martin, Host

Benjamin Jealous is the new president of the NAACP. Jealous, a former news executive and lifelong human rights activist, discusses his new post and the ever-changing role of the NAACP in the civil rights movement.


I’m Michel Martin, and this is Tell Me More from NPR News. In a moment, the Mocha Moms on going green as a family. They’ll talk about ways to get started. And things never to say to Asian-American colleagues. We start our series on how to be mindful of the sensibilities of others in our increasingly diverse workplaces.

But first, one of the country’s oldest civil rights organizations gets a new leader. The NAACP chose a new president on Saturday, 35-year-old human rights activists Benjamin Todd Jealous. He will be the youngest president ever in the history of the 99-year-old civil rights organization. His election comes after the organization tries to recover from a period of internal strife to engage a new generation of members and to refocus its mission. Ben Jealous joins us now to talk about his new post and hopefully a little bit about himself. Welcome to the program. Congratulations.

Mr. BEN JEALOUS (President, NAACP): Thank you. Thank you. It’s great to be here.

MARTIN: You’ve had a couple of days to take it all in. Can you describe what it means to lead this historic organization founded by giants like W. E. B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells Barnett.

Mr. JEALOUS: Those two are a big deal to me. I come out of the black press, that’s how I learned how to do what I did for Amnesty [International], and so it’s extremely humbling. You know, at the same time, as a parent of a 2-and-a-half-year-old girl, I’m extremely impatient and want to focus on the now, you know, want to focus on the schoolhouse-to-jailhouse pipeline and on making sure that this great association is as important in the 21st century as it was in the last century…

…MARTIN: Your profile is a bit different from past leaders in a number of respects—I mean, the fact that you are not a minister or a politician. One other interesting thing about you is that you are also biracial, as is Barak Obama, as is the lieutenant Governor [Anthony G. Brown] of Maryland, as is the mayor [Adrian Fenty] of Washington.

Mr. JEALOUS: Can I, can I make a small correction there?

MARTIN: Of course.

Mr. JEALOUS: I’m black. You know, the only thing that we have, you know, the only definition that’s out there on the books, if you will, are state laws, and my family is from Virginia. When I was born it said, the law said that you had to be 1/32nd, excuse me, if you were at least 1/32nd of African descent, you were black, end of story. White was an exclusive definition, black was an inclusive definition. I do have biracial parentage but quite frankly…

MARTIN: You don’t consider yourself biracial.

Mr. JEALOUS: No, I mean, I don’t understand it, I mean the… my grandmother’s much fairer than I am, has straight hair. You know, the reality is that, you know, our family, like most families were sort of created in the Jeffersonian model. You know, we were raped on Virginia plantations, and you know, all of those kids were black.

MARTIN: But your parents weren’t? I mean, that’s not your parents.

Mr. JEALOUS: Yeah, right but what I’m saying is that…

MARTIN: What I’m curious about though is that, is there something, is there an important cultural moment here, or not?

Mr. JEALOUS: No, I mean you know, yeah it is significant, I think the most significant thing about my parents is that you know, a year after their marriage was illegal, it was made legal because of the work of the NAACP and the Legal Defense Fund.

You know, my parents—when they were married in Washington, D.C., in 1966, they had to be married there because they couldn’t get married where they lived in Baltimore. When they drove back for the party in Baltimore, people pulled off the side of the road, took off their hat because they thought it was a funeral procession passing, because there was a Cadillac in front of a bunch of cars with their lights on.

So, you know, and my father was disowned not by his two brothers or his mom, but by the entire rest of his family. And his family was in Salem in 1636, and they’re a big family. And they disowned him, not because they didn’t believe that he loved my mom. You know, his great uncle, I mean my great uncle drove out, sat down with them, said we believe that you love this woman, but you know I’m a man, I know a man can love many women, and you need to fall out of love quick or you’re going to be out of this family.

So, you know, the notion biracial I just think is blunt and crude and ahistorical, and to say biracial parentage, of course. I completely, you know, I’ve done more research on my father’s history, I think, on all the white cousins that I’m in touch with, and the ones who didn’t disown us were much in touch with, I love very much, if you know somebody named Jealous it’s probably one of them…

Read the entire transcript here.  Listen to the episode here (00:17:13).

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Biracial Children Learn To Self-Identify

Posted in Articles, Audio, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, New Media, United States on 2010-04-21 17:16Z by Steven

Biracial Children Learn To Self-Identify

Tell Me More
National Public Radio

Michel Martin, Host

Interview with:

Kip Fulbeck, Professor of Performative Studies, Video
University of California, Santa Barbara
Author of: Mixed: Portraits of Multiracial Kids

Peggy Orenstein
Author of: Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Two Continents, Three Religions, Five Fertility Doctors, An Oscar, An Atomic Bomb, A Romantic Night, and One Woman’s Quest to Become a Mother

Heidi W. Durrow
Author of: The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
Co-Host of: Mixed Chicks Chat

An installment of Tell Me More‘s weekly parenting segment focuses on the new book Mixed. It’s a collection of photographs of multiracial children that includes stories celebrating their heritage. Host Michel Martin is joined by the book’s author, Kip Fulbeck, as well as authors Peggy Orenstein and Heidi Durrow, who discuss their own experiences living in multiracial families.

Read the transcript of the interview here.  Listen to the interview here.

Note by Steven F. Riley: The term “Hapa” is incorrectly spelled as “Hoppa” in the transcript.

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Husband And Wife Duo Paved The Way For Blacks In Diplomacy [Interview with Adele Logan Alexander]

Posted in Biography, History, Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2010-02-22 04:53Z by Steven

Husband And Wife Duo Paved The Way For Blacks In Diplomacy [Interview with Adele Logan Alexander]

Tell Me More
National Public Radio

Michel Martin, Host of Tell Me More


Adele Logan Alexander, Professor of History
George Washington University

Tell Me More continues its Black History Month series with a conversation with Adele Logan Alexander. Alexander is professor of history at George Washington University and a member of the National Council on the Humanities. She’s also author of “Parallel Worlds,” a new book that details the lives of married couple William Henry Hunt and Ida Gibbs Hunt. William Henry Hunt was the first African-American to have a complete career in U.S. diplomacy; Ida Gibbs Hunt was an intellectual on world issues.

…MARTIN: And I have to ask you a question, which might be a delicate one for some people, which is these were both very light-skinned people.


MARTIN: And, you know, this is an issue which has kind of newly surfaced because of, you know, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s comments about Senator Obama, or rather President Obama’s complexion. But I do want to ask whether these two people moved in the world as African-Americans, or were they seen as white? Were they passing?

Prof. ALEXANDER: I am convinced, and many other sources that I quote in this book are convinced that one of the reasons he lasted so long with the State Department was that they really weren’t quite 100 percent sure. But one of the tricky points with this comes when what do you do when people simply assume in a world where you don’t think in the middle of France, where certainly the local people didn’t run into African-Americans all of that time – here is this sophisticated man, here is this consul who likes to do sporting things and ride horses and eat fine food and wine. He is not part of their image of what a black man is supposed to be. And, of course, in France a lot of the things that black people were pictured as had to do with their colonial visions, and they didn’t fit this picture…

 Listen to the interview and/or read the transcript here.

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