Residential Racial Diversity: Are Transracial Adoptive Families More Like Multiracial or White Families?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, Social Work, United States on 2017-03-24 14:48Z by Steven

Residential Racial Diversity: Are Transracial Adoptive Families More Like Multiracial or White Families?*

Social Science Quarterly
Volume 97, Issue 5 (November 2016)
Pages 1189–1207
DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12242

Rose M. Kreider, Chief
Fertility and Family Statistics Branch
Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division
United States Census Bureau, Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Raleigh, Associate Professor of Sociology
Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota

*The views expressed on statistical and methodological issues are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Census Bureau. Doctors Kreider and Raleigh contributed equally to this publication.

  • Objective: The purpose of this article is to examine whether and how the residential racial diversity of transracially adopted children (i.e., nonwhite children adopted by white parents) varies from those of biological children in white monoracial families and biological children in mixed-race families.
  • Method: Using the restricted access 2009 American Community Survey, we take advantage of the large number of adoptive families not only to investigate differences among these families, but also to explore whether racial socialization within transracial adoptive families varies by the race and nativity of the child.
  • Results: We show that the context of racial socialization for transracially adopted children is more similar to that of white children in monoracial families than that of children in mixed race families.
  • Conclusion: This article adds a quantitative, nationally representative picture of the context of racial socialization for specific groups of transracially adopted children, complementing existing research published in this area.

Read or purchase the article here.

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“What Are You?”

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-22 20:47Z by Steven

“What Are You?”

Scholastic Choices: The Award-Winning Health & Life Skills Magazine for Teens
April 2017

Kim Tranell, Editor


By Lexi Brock as told to Kim Tranell

Lexi, 18, grew up hearing that question again and again in her small Georgia town. Now she will proudly tell you she’s multiracial—and what that means to her.

Imagine sitting down at a restaurant with your family and the couple at the next table ask to move. You aren’t sure why, but you’re no longer hungry.

Now think about going to church on Sunday, but all of a sudden you can’t, because no church will welcome your family through its doors…

Read the entire article here.

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Two Halves Of A Whole: On Japan’s Habitual ‘Labeling’ Of Bicultural Kids

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2017-03-21 01:10Z by Steven

Two Halves Of A Whole: On Japan’s Habitual ‘Labeling’ Of Bicultural Kids

Savvy Tokyo
2017-03-15

Louise George Kittaka

Half Or Double, It’s About Time We Let Them Speak For Themselves

In Japan, Japanese are nihonjin and foreigners are gaikokujin and never the twain shall meet. But what does this mean for our bicultural offsprings?

The term hafu (literally, half) is commonly used in Japan for anyone who has one Japanese parent and one from another cultural background or nationality. The term grates on many foreign parents because it implies that the non-Japanese side of their background somehow renders them “incomplete.”

I certainly disliked the term when I became a mom for the first time following the birth of my son. I spent a lot of time and energy earnestly asking people, friends and strangers alike, to refer to my child as “daburu” or “double.” I even wrote an article for a bilingual magazine, entitled “Please Don’t Call My Baby a ‘Half’” and advocating for the use of the term “double” instead.

Looking back at the article now, I cringe inwardly. By the time the second of my two daughters arrived to complete my trio of kids, I was beginning to tire of the “what to call bicultural children” conversation. I began to think, “Why do we need to label them at all? They are kids who just happen to have parents from two different backgrounds. Get over it already!” Older and wiser, I now know that it isn’t that simple…

Read the entire article here.

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‘My mum always told me I was white, like her. Now I know the truth’

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Europe, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-03-19 01:10Z by Steven

‘My mum always told me I was white, like her. Now I know the truth’

The Guardian
2017-03-18

Georgina Lawton


Georgina Lawton: ‘Even though I would look in the mirror and see a brown, dark-eyed girl, I couldn’t identify as black.’

As a child in a white Anglo-Irish family, Georgina Lawton’s curiosity about her dark skin colour was constantly brushed aside. Only when her father died did the truth surface

You might not think it to look at me, but my upbringing was a very Anglo-Irish affair. I grew up on the outskirts of London with my blue-eyed younger brother, British father and Irish mother. Many happy weeks of the school holidays were spent in Ireland and I was educated at a Catholic school in Surrey. We ate roast beef and yorkshire puddings on Sundays, and Thin Lizzy, Van Morrison and the Clash formed the soundtrack to our lazy weekends.

The only peculiar aspect to all this was the defining aspect of my identity. Because, although I look mixed-race, or black, my whole family is white. And until the man I called Dad died two years ago, I did not know the truth about my existence. Now, age 24, I’m starting to uncover where I come from…

Read the entire article here.

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Interracial Delaware couple ignores critics for nearly 50 years

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-14 17:42Z by Steven

Interracial Delaware couple ignores critics for nearly 50 years

Delaware Online
2016-11-25

Margie Fishman


Sara and Pat Aldrich of Lewes. They got married the day after the Supreme Court legalized mixed-race marriages. Jason Minto/The News Journal

She grew up in the northwest corner of Missouri, a blip on the map, where you could afford to be color blind because the only “person of color” was an elderly black woman who would slip into church and make a hasty exit before the benediction.

He grew up near prestigious Yale University, the son of domestics who saw his parents three times (in a good week), and was one of three black kids in his high school graduating class, always on the social periphery.

They might never have met, though they nearly crossed paths several times during their young adult years. Even if they had met then, strident objections against mixing races would’ve filled the background, contaminating their relationship before it had a chance to blossom.

But Sara Beth Kurtz, a shy, determined dancer, and Vince “Pat” Collier Aldrich Jr., a medical records specialist who listened to his gut and to the occasional opera, did meet in 1965 in a sleepy German village — courtesy of the United States military…

Read the entire article here.

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Number of Interracial Marriages, Multiracial Americans Growing Rapidly

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2017-03-07 01:34Z by Steven

Number of Interracial Marriages, Multiracial Americans Growing Rapidly

VOA News
Voice of America
2017-03-04

Elizabeth Lee, West Coast Bureau Reporter

LOS ANGELES — Delia Douglas’ experience growing up has been different from the rest of her schoolmates.

“In any of the storybooks that I was reading growing up, I remember the families always looked a certain way. Both parents matched,” she said. “Even it seemed like in many of the storylines that were about animal families, both bears kind of looked the same, and the baby bear looked the same.”

These storybooks did not reflect her family. Douglas’ father is African American and American Indian. Her mother is white. And Douglas is married to William Haight, who is white. They have a 5-year-old daughter who is fair skinned, with light hair.

“Especially in the first three years of my daughter’s life, people often would stop and ask me if I was the nanny. There were days when that would be incredibly frustrating,” Douglas recalled…

…“In the year 2000, the U.S. Census actually allowed for individuals to check more than one box, so now each person was able to see, for instance, I’m Mexican and black, so I was able to check more than one box. And so we’ve noticed an uptick in the amount of multiracial folks,” Smith-Kang said…

Read the entire article here. View the story here.

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I Thought I Was Prepared to Marry a Black Man, But I Had NO Idea

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-06 01:55Z by Steven

I Thought I Was Prepared to Marry a Black Man, But I Had NO Idea

For Every Mom
2017-03-05

Chelsie Dort

I had no idea what racism was until I married a black man.

It was a little over two and a half years ago, right before I was about to be married that I was asked the question, “Are you prepared for what you and your family will experience seeing as how you are marrying a black man?” Being a white girl raised in Salt Lake City, Utah I was offended. The man I was speaking with took notice to my offense and simply said “I don’t mean to hurt you, I just wanted to make sure that you were aware that things will be different than I think you are expecting. Things will be harder.” I explained that I was fine and that things were going to be great.

Two and a half wonderful years later, our son is now 5 and our youngest is almost 2 and the woman that I am now often looks back at that day and wishes I could have understood what he meant. I wish I would have understood that my husband would be pulled from his car and handcuffed, placed face down on the ground and arrested while I watched his helpless face, all because he had recently expired tags on his car. I wish I would have known that people would accuse my husband of kidnapping our oldest son because he’s white while simultaneously praising me for being a saint who graciously adopted a little black boy. I wish I would have understood the mean words that can escape someone’s lips when speaking about our mixed little family and the heartache that follows. I wish I would have used that time to consider how I would explain to my boys why people weren’t always nice…

Read the entire article here.

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My Mysterious Son: A Life-Changing Passage Between Schizophrenia and Shamanism

Posted in Africa, Books, Family/Parenting, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation on 2017-02-27 21:58Z by Steven

My Mysterious Son: A Life-Changing Passage Between Schizophrenia and Shamanism

Skyhorse Publishing
2014-11-18
432 pages
6.00 x 9.00 in.
Hardback ISBN: 9781629144870
eBook ISBN: 9781629149578

Dick Russell

What a father will do to fight the mental illness that has destroyed his son.

What does a father do when hope is gone that his only son can ever lead anything close to a “normal” life? That’s the question that haunted Dick Russell in the fall of 2011, when his son, Franklin, was thirty-two. At the age of seventeen, Franklin had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. For years he spent time in and out of various hospitals, and even went through periods of adamantly denying that Dick was actually his father.

A mixed-race child, Franklin was handsome, intelligent, and sensitive until his mental illness suddenly took control. After spending the ensuing years trying to build some semblance of a normal father-son relationship, Dick was invited with his son, out of the blue, to witness the annual wildlife migration on Africa’s Serengeti Plain. Seizing this potential opportunity to repair the damage that both had struggled with, after going through two perilous nights together in Tanzania, ultimately the two-week trip changed both of their lives.

Desperately seeking an alternative to the medical model’s medication regimen, the author introduces Franklin to a West African shaman in Jamaica. Dick discovers Franklin’s psychic capabilities behind the seemingly delusional thought patterns, as well as his artistic talents. Theirs becomes an ancestral quest, the journey finally taking them to the sacred lands of New Mexico and an indigenous healer. For those who understand the pain of mental illness as well the bond between a parent and a child, My Mysterious Son shares the intimate and beautiful story of a father who will do everything in his power to repair his relationship with a young man damaged by mental illness.

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Call for Papers: Power, Intimacy and the State: Mixed Families in Europe and Beyond

Posted in Anthropology, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Family/Parenting, Gay & Lesbian, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2017-02-20 02:17Z by Steven

Call for Papers: Power, Intimacy and the State: Mixed Families in Europe and Beyond

Power, Intimacy and the State: Mixed Families in Europe and Beyond Conference
University of Amsterdam
June 12-13, 2017
2017-01-20

Betty de Hart, Professor of Migration Law
Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG)
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

CALL FOR PAPERS (View PDF version here.)

Historically, mixed couples and people of mixed descent have been seen as a problem, in popular culture as well as in academic literature. ‘Ethnically’ and ‘racially’ mixed relationships were described as dominated by power imbalances and as devoid of love. This perspective was brought to bear upon relationships and marriages in colonial times and in times of slavery. Even today, within the context of global migration, mixed couples are often perceived in negative terms, e.g. in discourses on ‘mail order brides’ (marriages between white men and migrant women) or ‘beznez marriages’ (marriages between white women and migrant men).

There is no denying that mixed couples and relations are fraught with power inequalities as they developed in the context of historical and modern-day global inequalities, colonialism, post-colonialism, slavery and racialised hierarchies. However, issues concerning the entanglement of power and privilege with intimate relationships are much more complex than they are often envisioned to be. Since the 1980s, scholars of ‘mixture’ and ‘mixedness’, including critical race and critical mixed race studies, have been questioning this pathologisation of mixed couples and mixed descent. They have called for more nuanced approaches to the lived experiences of mixed couples and persons of mixed descent, that should help us strike a proper balance between an overly negative view on the one hand and an unwarranted romanticised view on the other, which regards mixed relationships and mixed heritage as a means for creating a boundary-less and race-less world.

Hence, this conference addresses questions such as: how we may gain a fuller understanding of the lived experiences of mixed couples, power, and intimacy, without pathologizing and dehumanizing them? This conference aims to approach these questions from international comparative perspectives. How can a balanced view be achieved in the European context, where mixed couples are mostly studied with respect to the contradictory imperative of cultural assimilation on the one hand and respect for cultural difference on the other? And what about other continents such as Africa or Asia?

The conference

The conference seeks to bring together people from different disciplines (ethnic and racial studies, critical (mixed) race studies, history, (post)colonial studies, film and media studies, literature, sociology, anthropology, geography, law, gender studies, sexuality and queer studies, migration studies, et cetera), and from different national backgrounds. We believe that an interdisciplinary and comparative approach is key to gaining the ‘thick’ understanding of mixed relationships that this conference aims at. We especially hope to give a boost to the study of mixture and mixed intimacies in the European context.

The conference is a joint initiative of the Amsterdam Centre of European Law and Governance (University of Amsterdam), and the Maastricht Centre for Gender and Diversity, in cooperation with LovingDay.NL. It will take place on 12 and 13 June 2017, when Loving Day is commemorated as the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Loving v. Virginia American Supreme Court decision, that held that interracial marriage prohibitions were unconstitutional.

Papers may relate to, but are not limited to, the following topics:

1. Mixed couples and persons of mixed heritage navigating power and inequality

In order to study power differentiations within mixed families adequately, obviously, not only race or ethnicity but also gender and class are relevant identity markers. How can an intersectional approach of race, gender and class illuminate power dynamics within mixed families? How do members of mixed families respond to them? Another issue is how youngsters and persons of mixed descent negotiate the different social dynamics and power relations that shape their experiences? How and by what means do they claim the power to define themselves?

2. Activism and NGOs of mixed families and people of mixed descent

Across the globe, mixed couples and people of mixed descent have become activists and established NGOs to facilitate the telling of their stories and to challenge the disempowerment caused by dominant negative, pathologizing understandings of mixed couples and mixture. Who are the persons and parties that speak in the name of mixed families, and what are the interests at stake? What alternative discourses do they put forward? How do stories and experiences of mixed families and persons of mixed heritage matter in public and political debates on multicultural/multiracial societies, and anti-racism? And how does discovering ‘hidden’ historical stories of mixed heritage function in these debates?

3. State and institutional policies shaping power and inequalities

Power dynamics within mixed couples and families are closely intertwined with the power hierarchies of race/ethnicity, gender, and class within society at large. State laws and policies shape identities of ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ and determine the definition of who or what is ‘mixed’. State and institutional policies have both struggled to discourage or prevent, and to encourage or even celebrate mixed relationships. If state and institutional policies decide the meaning of difference, how should we understand various meanings of ‘mixed couples’ and ‘mixed descent across Europe and beyond? What are the transnational linkages between continents, colony and metropole, global north and global south? How does the state shape and regulate mixed families and identities and which effects do they have on the internal power dynamics of mixed couples?

4. Performing mixed relationships in the arts, popular culture and news media

In the present and in the past, the arts, popular culture and news media have been enacting specific scripts for mixed relationships, which have confirmed and critiqued perspectives implied in social policies, and state politics. We will study in what ways the arts, popular culture and news media have constructed, mediated and challenged the dominant, problematizing approach to mixed couples and people of mixed descent, as well as unwarranted romantic idealizations of mixed couples as the key to a fair society. What concepts of mixed identity have been produced by these media and how were these perceived by the general public? What were the agencies of mixed individuals and families in dealing with the written texts and visual images about them? And how have these changed through time and across space?

5. Studying mixedness in Europe

Until today, Europe does not have a strong academic tradition in studying mixed couples and mixed descent, as opposed to, for instance, the US or the UK. How can the study of mixedness in Europe be given a boost, and move beyond the exclusive association of mixed couples with the ‘assimilation versus difference’ debate? How is European research linked to dominant, politicized categorizations of what and who is ‘mixed’? How is research in Europe linked to policy perceptions of the social meaning of mixed relationships and mixed heritage? Do European research traditions challenge the binaries between ‘us’ and ‘them’? And what about the heteronormativity of much of the studies on mixed couples and families? How can the development of an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach help us understand the relation between power, intimacy and the state in the European context? How can we take inspiration from the Anglo-American research traditions? And in what ways can we employ approaches from critical race and critical mixed race studies?

Abstracts of maximum 400 words to be submitted before March 1, 2017 at: mixedintimacies-fdr@uva.nl

Check our website for regular updates of conference information and practical matters http://acelg.uva.nl/mixedintimacies

The conference will be held at University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Conference organizers:

View in PDF here.

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Mixed race and proud: LA’s multi-heritage kids navigate their identity

Posted in Articles, Audio, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-08 21:03Z by Steven

Mixed race and proud: LA’s multi-heritage kids navigate their identity

89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio
Pasadena, California
2017-01-15

Deepa Fernandes

Soleil Simone Haight loves saying all three of her names, running them together with sheer glee in her voice. She also proudly declares that she is five years old, that she has curly hair like her mommy, and that she is from Africa.

But when she announces that she’s from Africa, she often encounters a momentary look of confusion from listeners that might have something to do with her blonde hair and fair skin. Dealing with that confused look is one small part of what it means to be a young mixed race child.

On the other hand, this sparkly kindergartener who has a black and Native American mom and a white dad is not confused. When asked why people have different colored skin, her response is matter-of-fact: “Because that’s the way they’re made.”

One of the biggest demographic changes over the last few decades has been in the number of children under five who are mixed race. In 1970, just 1 percent of babies had parents of different races. Today, it’s 10 percent…

…“Navigating identity, having to balance, having to favor one over the other in certain circumstances, all those things are really difficult and our children are going to go through it and so we have to equip ourselves with the ability to deal with it,” said Nayani.

Both these families had a rare moment of public celebration this past August when the Dodgers honored mixed race families by dedicating a game to people of multi-heritage. It came after years of advocacy work by a group called Multi-Racial Americans of Southern California (MRASC) [MASC].

At the game, the mayor’s office presented an award to the group for it’s work. Sonia Smith-Kang, vice president of MRASC, said it was an important moment recognizing the movement’s “collective dedication to the multiracial community.”

While families are themselves organizing to bring attention, resources and recognition to the needs of their multi-heritage children, the early education world is not really helping.  Erika Frankenberg, a professor of education and demography at Penn State University, who authored a report on preschool segregation, said too often children go to preschool with children exactly like themselves…

Read the entire story here. Download the story (00:04:22) here.

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