Can I Call My Nonbiological Twins Black Because My Husband Is?

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science, United States on 2016-01-27 22:02Z by Steven

Can I Call My Nonbiological Twins Black Because My Husband Is?

The Ethicist
The New York Times Magazine

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Professor of Philosophy, Law
New York University

Illustration by Tomi Um

I’m a Caucasian woman married to an African-American man. Shortly after we married, I discovered that I couldn’t conceive my own biological children. We opted to ‘‘adopt’’ two embryos. (Couples who have successfully undergone in-vitro fertilization and don’t wish to have more children can donate remaining embryos to other couples.) I was soon pregnant and gave birth to twins. Based on the records of the fertility clinic, we know that our children are genetically mixed Hispanic and Caucasian. I am not comfortable being open about the origin of my children, except with family and close friends, until they are old enough for me to explain it to them. However, several times in the last three years, I’ve been asked about their race, most recently on a pre-K school application form. On this form, there is no option of ‘‘mixed race’’ or ‘‘other.’’ Therefore, I identified my children as black. Was this the right choice? Name Withheld, Chicago

Ethics generally commends telling the truth. But in a situation in which our ordinary ways of thinking are at odds with reality, there can be no easy truth to be had. When it comes to race, confusion is the most intellectually defensible position. Let’s try to sow some. If your children were your biological children, many people in our society would say that they were African-American, because we have a tradition, going back before emancipation, of treating people with one black parent as black . . . or Negro or colored or whatever the favored term was at various times in American history. That’s the ‘‘one-drop rule,’’ so called because consistent application of it would mean that anyone with any African ancestry at all was black. (Of course, unbeknown to those who started this system, we all have African ancestry in the long run, which shows how much our thinking is shaped by our lack of knowledge.)…

As it happens, millions of Americans are black according to the one-drop rule but don’t have any of the features that people associate with African ancestry. Lots of them ‘‘pass’’ for white. Many don’t, though. Walter White, the early-20th-century leader of the N.A.A.C.P., was able to travel the South investigating lynchings because, although his parents were ex-slaves, he ‘‘looked white.’’ His autobiography begins: ‘‘I am a Negro. My skin is white, my eyes are blue, my hair is blond. The traits of my race are nowhere visible upon me.’’ (In a bio­pic, he could have been played by, oh, Bryan Cranston.) ‘‘ ’Cause it’s swell to have a leader/That can pass for white,’’ wrote Langston Hughes, who with his ‘‘copper-brown skin and straight black hair’’ — his description — was himself taken for white during a trip to Africa and could have passed for Indian if he troubled himself to do so…

Read the entire article here.

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Race Policy and Multiracial Americans

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Campus Life, Family/Parenting, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Latino Studies, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-01-27 14:41Z by Steven

Race Policy and Multiracial Americans

Policy Press (Available in North America from University of Chicago Press)
226 pages
234 x 156 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781447316459
Paperback ISBN: 9781447316503

Edited by:

Kathleen Odell Korgen, Professor of Sociology
William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey

Race Policy and Multiracial Americans is the first book to look at the impact of multiracial people on race policies—where they lag behind the growing numbers of multiracial people in the U.S. and how they can be used to promote racial justice for multiracial Americans. Using a critical mixed race perspective, it covers such questions as: Which policies aimed at combating racial discrimination should cover multiracial Americans? Should all (or some) multiracial Americans benefit from affirmative action programmes? How can we better understand the education and health needs of multiracial Americans? This much-needed book is essential reading for sociology, political science and public policy students, policy makers, and anyone interested in race relations and social justice.


  • Introduction ~ Kathleen Odell Korgen
  • Multiracial Americans throughout the History of the U.S. ~ Tyrone Nagai
  • National and Local Structures of Inequality: Multiracial Groups’ Profiles Across the United States ~ Mary E. Campbell and Jessica M. Barron
  • Latinos and Multiracial America ~ Raúl Quiñones Rosado
  • The Connections among Racial Identity, Social Class, and Public Policy? ~ Nikki Khanna
  • Multiracial Americans and Racial Discrimination ~ Tina Fernandes Botts
  • “Should All (or Some) Multiracial Americans Benefit from Affirmative Action Programs?”~ Daniel N. Lipson
  • Multiracial Students and Educational Policy ~ Rhina Fernandes Williams and E. Namisi Chilungu
  • Multiracial Americans in College ~ Marc P. Johnston and Kristen A. Renn
  • Multiracial Americans, Health Patterns, and Health Policy: Assessment and Recommendations for Ways Forward ~ Jenifer L. Bratter and Chirsta Mason
  • Racial Identity Among Multiracial Prisoners in the Color-Blind Era ~ Gennifer Furst and Kathleen Odell Korgen
  • “Multiraciality and the Racial Order: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”~ Hephzibah V. Strmic-Pawl and David L. Brunsma
  • Multiracial Identity and Monoracial Conflict: Toward a New Social Justice framework ~ Andrew Jolivette
  • Conclusion: Policies for a Racially Just Society ~ Kathleen Odell Korgen
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Trans-racial Mothering: Double-Edged Privilege

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Work, United States on 2016-01-26 02:21Z by Steven

Trans-racial Mothering: Double-Edged Privilege

Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless
Volume 17, Issue 1-2 (01 February 2008)
pages 8-36
DOI: 10.1179/sdh.2008.17.1-2.8

Martha Satz, Assistant Professor of English
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

In this essay, the white adoptive mother of two bi-racial children reflects upon her thirty year experience of parenting to make several philosophical claims. She argues that through the unique mother-child bond, trans-racial mothering may produce knowledge of others’ experience that crosses the racial divide. She claims that in this way trans-racial mothering produces epistemic and ethical privileges that may give the mother an advantaged position in public dialogue. Yet, paradoxically, in light of this epistemological transformation, highlighting the works of Black legal scholars and theoreticians, she argues against the general practice of trans-racial adoption of which she is the beneficiary.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Mixed-race children are not ambassadors for anti-racism

Posted in Africa, Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, South Africa on 2016-01-23 16:32Z by Steven

Mixed-race children are not ambassadors for anti-racism

Parent24 (News24)
South Africa

Aneshree Naidoo

Why it’s unfair to lay the responsibility to prove that “love conquers all” on their little shoulders.

The events of the past few weeks have spurred a shift in South Africa, from tight smiles and blank faces at work and dinner tables, to voices now being raised very loudly against racism, and – as is inevitable and still somehow shocking – for it.

One particular act of anti-racism has me quite concerned though.

I have in the past few weeks seen pictures of interracial couples and their mixed-race children, or white families and adopted black children, circulated as ‘proof’ that love conquers all. That some sort of interracial utopia exists when we love and have sex across the colour line and birth biracial children.

It’s a dangerously naive sentiment, and places responsibility on tiny shoulders that do not ask for such, nor need it thrust it upon them…

Read the entire article here.

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Family inspires book on life

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Oceania on 2016-01-23 03:06Z by Steven

Family inspires book on life
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Bryce Luff, Fremantle Gazette

The idea of family has changed: Matthew Green and Naomi Kissiedu-Green with their children Savannah, Kobi and Ebony Green. Picture: Matt Jelonek

An Atwell mother disheartened by a lack of books depicting multicultural families has decided to fill the gap in the market herself.

Naomi Kissiedu-Green, a woman of Ghanaian heritage, has three children under four years of age with her Australian husband Matthew Green.

The qualified childcare worker said she searched high and low for books depicting families with diverse backgrounds to read to her kids.

Locally she could find little so she imported literature from overseas.

That is when The Colourful Life! series, Kissiedu-Green’s first publishing venture, was born…

Read the entire article here.

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Photographing Multiracial Families In Scotland: Celebrating mothers, daughters and diversity through portraits

Posted in Articles, Arts, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2016-01-19 15:21Z by Steven

Photographing Multiracial Families In Scotland: Celebrating mothers, daughters and diversity through portraits

Medium for Pixel Magazine

Interview by Emily von Hoffmann and Polarr

Image courtesy of Kim Simpson.

Portrait photographer Kim Simpson began her Exottish project after her daughter, who is of mixed heritage, experienced a series of racial insults in her primary school in Scotland.

Kim says she hopes her portraits — which feature families with some “visual differences” between their members — will encourage viewers to revisit their engrained ideas of what it looks like to be Scottish.

For Polarr, Emily von Hoffmann spoke with Kim about the work and her experience as a parent in a multiracial family.

Emily von Hoffmann: “Girls and Their Mothers” is one part of the larger Exottish project. What does “Girls and Their Mothers” entail? Who are these women?

Kim Simpson: “Girls and Their Mothers” is a collection of portraits of mixed race girls, of all ages, with their mothers — 48 portraits featuring 16 different families in a mix of individual and group portraits.

Instead of questioning their ancestry or scrutinizing their appearance, I chose to photograph girls and women of mixed heritage and their mothers with an intent to question social perception. These images display their relationships, linking these girls and their mothers together while at the same time respecting their disparity…

Image courtesy of Kim Simpson.

…EvH: What sort of national dialogue, or vocabulary even, around race and appearance exists in Scotland? Is it discussed in school, for instance? I’m interested in thinking about this in comparison to the current Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., and the greater mainstream attention to identity issues of multiracial individuals.

KS: Black Lives Matter is extremely relevant in Scotland, especially at the moment. We have had an awful tragedy that saw the senseless end of Sheku Bayoh’s life at the hands of police officers as he was suffocated during an arrest in Fife, Scotland. Justice has not been served in this instance and it echoes all the hallmarks of what has been going on across the water with concerns of interactions between police officers and members of the black community…

Read entire the interview here.

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BOOK REVIEW – Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post Racial World

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-06 02:22Z by Steven

BOOK REVIEW – Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post Racial World

Mixed Roots Stories

Chandra Crudup, PhD, MSW

Sharon H. Chang’s inaugural book, Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post Racial World, lays out a blue print that outlines the history of white supremacy and how it has corrupted the way people treat each other, specifically Mixed Race/Multiracial and Multiracial Asian individuals. She develops an important foundation that provides a glimmer of hope for moving forward toward improving our future world, despite the powerful suppressive system before us.

The title might make you think it is a parenting book, and it is (or could be), but it so much more! The language/verbiage used in the book makes this potentially academic/research strong book accessible for those who might have the most questions…parents. Though this book has a focus on multiracial Asian children, it is not just a book for parents of multiracial Asian children. It is a book for all children of color…and even for parents of white children! This book is for anyone who comes in contact with children in any way. This means if you are a teacher/educator, a child care worker, do research with children or on race and intersectionaility…or if you are a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or once was a child. This book is for everyone!…

Read the entire review here.

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Mothering, Mixed Families and Racialised Boundaries

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Canada, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Religion, Social Work, United Kingdom, United States, Women on 2016-01-02 21:47Z by Steven

Mothering, Mixed Families and Racialised Boundaries

120 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781138953697
Hardback ISBN: 9780415733748

Edited by:

Ravinder Barn, Professor of Social Policy
Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom

Vicki Harman, Senior Lecturer
Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom

This pioneering volume draws together theoretical and empirical contributions analyzing the experiences of white mothers in interracial families in Britain, Canada and the USA. The growth of the mixed race population reflects an increasingly racially and culturally heterogeneous society, shaped by powerful forces of globalisation and migration. Mixed family formations are becoming increasingly common through marriage, relationships and adoption, and there is also increasing social recognition of interracial families through the inclusion of mixed categories in Census data and other official statistics. The changing demographic make-up of Britain and other Western countries raises important questions about identity, belonging and the changing nature of family life. It also connects with theoretical and empirical discussions about the significance of ‘race’ in contemporary society.

In exploring mothering across racialised boundaries, this volume offers new insights and perspectives. The notion of racialisation is invoked to argue that, while the notion of race does not exist in any meaningful sense, it continues to operate as a social process. This crucial resource will appeal to academics, researchers, policy makers, practitioners and undergraduate and postgraduate students.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction / Ravinder Barn and Vicki Harman
  2. ‘Doing the right thing’: transracial adoption in the USA / Ravinder Barn
  3. The experiences of race in the lives of Jewish birth mothers of children from black/white interracial and inter-religious relationships: a Canadian perspective / Channa C. Verbian
  4. Researching white mothers of mixed-parentage children: the significance of investigating whiteness / Joanne Britton
  5. Social capital and the informal support networks of lone white mothers of mixed-parentage children / Vicki Harman
  6. Narratives from a Nottingham council estate: a story of white working class mothers with mixed-race children / Lisa McKenzie
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Diving Into Race, Identity of Multiracial Families In ‘Raising Mixed Race’

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-01 02:32Z by Steven

Diving Into Race, Identity of Multiracial Families In ‘Raising Mixed Race’

NBC News

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Sharon H. Chang’s son with a copy of Kip Fulbeck’sMixed: Portraits of Multiracial Kids.” Photograph Courtesy of Sharon H. Chang

Scholar and activist Sharon H. Chang’s new book, “Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World,” published in December by Routledge, is generating excitement among reviewers and readers. More than a research study and more than a parenting guide, the book was awarded #1 New Release on Amazon before it had even begun shipping, and it sold out the first weekend it was released.

“‘Raising Mixed Race’ represents not only years of work on my end but a multitude of others’ lived racial realities; stories about and involving mixedness that are poignant, sharp, relevant and vital, and yet – remain mostly untold in America and around the world,” wrote Chang in her blog, Multiracial Asian Families, when announcing her book. “It is my sincere belief if we engage with ‘Raising Mixed Race,’ it can (will) challenge our thinking on mixedness to go deeper and contribute to moving society as a whole towards justice, healing and true transformation.”

With interviews with 68 parents of 75 young multiracial Asian children about race, racism and identity, Chang delves into history, critical mixed race studies, changing demographics, personal experiences, and includes advice for parents, families, teachers, and friends of multiracial Asian children.

NBC News spoke with Chang about her new book, her research on mixed race families, and why it’s important for parents and children to talk about identity.

Please tell us a little about your family background and how you came to this project. Why did you decide to write this book?

My father is a Taiwanese immigrant who came to America in the 1970’s, not long after the Immigration Act of 1965 lifted anti-Asian exclusionary restrictions which had been in place for decades. He met and married my white mother in that same decade which, of course, was also not long after the landmark civil rights Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia which struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriage. My mother is white American of fairly recent Slovakian, German, and French Canadian descent — my Slovakian great grandmother escaped Eastern Europe when she was sixteen and migrated alone through Ellis Island. [The people in] her family were farmers and she became a factory worker in the U.S.

Today I am married to a mixed race man whose mother is a Japanese immigrant, came in her 20s as well, and whose father is white of longtime white American descent, many generations back, it is thought, to colonization…

Read the entire interview here.

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Mixed Race Experience in Celeste Ng’s EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2015-12-28 01:45Z by Steven

Mixed Race Experience in Celeste Ng’s EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU


Sonya Larson

Not many characters in literature look like me. Half Chinese and half white, I’m used to reading about people who could occupy one half of my family tree, but rarely about the person who emerges where their branches join. I’m speaking about the mixed race experience: complex, elusive, and with a racial identity wholly separate from either person who birthed and raised you.

So I felt grateful and enriched to read Celeste Ng’s masterfully constructed Everything I Never Told You. Many have praised the novel’s confident drive, deft omniscience, and intricate storytelling, but I want to discuss its exploration of race around—and inside—of one mixed American family.

The novel concerns the Lees—a family of five struggling to make sense of the mysterious drowning death of Lydia, their middle child. James Lee, a Chinese-American, has married Marilyn, who is white, at a time when interracial marriage was illegal in much of the United States. From the beginning many see their coupledom as problematic, especially Marilyn’s mother. “Where will you live?” she says. “You won’t fit in anywhere. Think about the children. It’s not right, Marilyn. It’s not right.”…

Read the entire article here.

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