“Please select one”: Growing up with a multiracial identity

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2016-11-22 01:28Z by Steven

“Please select one”: Growing up with a multiracial identity

The Seattle Globalist
2016-11-31

Jaya Duckworth, Senior
Garfield High School, Seattle, Washington


Jaya Duckworth (second from right) and friends hold signs showing pride in multiracial identities at a school district-wide walkout in protest of the election of Donald Trump. (Photo courtesy Jaya Duckworth.)

Race: Please select one”

It’s an instruction mixed-race people are all too familiar with. These days, surveys have become more nuanced, and usually read “select all that apply.” But growing up, I faced dozens of surveys, questionnaires, and tests that all made me choose one race.

As a half-white, half-Nepali child, I never knew what to select. Do I select white because I act like white kids and talk like white kids, go to school with white kids and have been raised like a white kid? Or do I select Asian because I look brown, because I eat curry, because on Christmas morning I always had to wait until puja was over at my Nepali grandparents’ house before I could open presents? White kids don’t do that, do they?

I usually ended up choosing “Other,” as if instead of being human, I was a stray dog; some lost object or animal that no one could categorize. Sometimes surveys also listed “multiracial,” which didn’t sit well with me either. The label feels like a message: here, these are the important races, and anyone who doesn’t fit these categories can be lumped together under the “mutt” category…

Read the entire article here.

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BrownBox Theatre and Sound Theatre Company to Present Encore Reading of BLACK LIKE US

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2016-11-10 21:22Z by Steven

BrownBox Theatre and Sound Theatre Company to Present Encore Reading of BLACK LIKE US

Broadway World
2016-11-05

BWW News Desk

To celebrate the publication of the play Black Like Us, BrownBox Theatre joins forces with Sound Theatre Company to present an “encore” staged reading of the Gregory Award Winning Play at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Black Like Us is a funny, poignant, and deeply relevant story about the bonds of family, the struggles of identity, and the far-reaching effects of one woman’s decision. The play is set in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood, not far from the location of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, and spans decades of change that have impacted that community.

In their second collaboration, BrownBox Theatre and Sound Theatre Company present the staged reading of Gregory Award winning play

Black Like Us at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Performances are Saturday, November 19 at 2:00pm and at 7:00 pm and free and open to the public. There is a reception between the performances to celebrate the publication of this script and the work of playwright Rachel Atkins and the companies of artists who helped to develop this multi-award-winning play.

Sound Theatre Company and BrownBox Theatre last collaborated on the 2015 production of Marcus Gardley’s visionary and poetic play, …And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi at the Center Theatre at the Seattle Center Armory.

In 1958, a young African-American woman makes the life-changing decision to start passing for white, creating a ripple effect through multiple generations. In 2013, her granddaughters accidentally discover her secret and seek out the family she left behind. Moving back and forth through time, what happens in between is a frank and funny look at the shifting boundaries of tolerance, as they are all faced with the many questions of what identity really means…

Read the entire article here.

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From Raised Eyebrows To Raised Curtains: Rachel Atkins Tackles Racial Identity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-11-10 20:57Z by Steven

From Raised Eyebrows To Raised Curtains: Rachel Atkins Tackles Racial Identity

KUOW.org 94.9 FM: Seattle News & Information
Seattle, Washington
2014-02-27

Marcie Sillman, Arts and Culture Reporter


Actresses Kia Pierce and Marquicia Dominguez in Rachel Atkins’ play, “Black Like Us.”
Credit Courtesy of Annex Theatre/Shane Regan

When Rachel Atkins was 7, she and her sisters got a new stepfather. Atkins loved this man, but when she and her family went out in public, they raised a lot of eyebrows.

“My stepdad, who raised me, was black,” says Atkins. “We were three little white Jewish girls in New Jersey, when multi-racial families were not that common. We would get asked all the time, ‘Who’s that guy with your family?’ And we’d say, ‘That’s our dad.'”

Decades later, Atkins’ experience was part of the impetus behind her new play “Black Like Us,” currently having its world premiere production at Seattle’s Annex Theater.

“Black Like Us” is about two black sisters in 1950s Seattle. Feisty Maxine is attracted to the nascent Civil Rights movement; lighter-skinned Florence is in love with a white man. Following her heart, Florence passes herself off as white and estranges herself from her entire family…

Read the entire article here. Listen to the interview here.

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‘Raising Mixed Race’: An Evening with Sharon H. Chang and Tangerine

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-24 16:14Z by Steven

‘Raising Mixed Race’: An Evening with Sharon H. Chang and Tangerine

The Seattle Public Library
Central Library
Level 1 – Microsoft Auditorium
1000 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104-1109
Thursday, 2016-09-29, 19:00-21:00 PDT (Local Time)

Join us for an author talk, and live music by Seattle band Tangerine, to celebrate the final stop of Sharon H. Chang’sRaising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World” book tour.

Drawn from extensive research and interviews with sixty-eight parents of multiracial children, “Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World” examines the complex task of supporting our youngest around being “two or more races” and Asian while living amongst post-racial ideologies. “Racist America” author Joe R. Feagin hailed Chang’s work as “one of the best field interview studies of multiracial issues yet to be done,” one which captures “the gritty realities of being mixed-race in this country.”

Following an interview with Sharon H. Chang about their experiences as multiracial musicians, Seattle indie band Tangerine will perform a live set with songs from their latest EP, Sugar Teeth

For more information, click here.

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Seattle’s multiracial identity evolves along with census

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-19 00:44Z by Steven

Seattle’s multiracial identity evolves along with census

The Seattle Times
2016-08-18

Gene Balk

Now that Americans can select more than one racial category, we rank high nationally in terms of multiracial population and percentage.

TODAY — WHEN NEARLY 10 million Americans identify as multiracial — it’s strange to think that just a few decades ago, this community was practically invisible.

That’s because it wasn’t until 2000 that the Census Bureau allowed Americans to choose more than one racial category to describe themselves. Before that, you could pick only one, and people with mixed backgrounds often struggled over the decision about which box to check.

When the Census Bureau made that change, it had an especially profound impact in Seattle. That’s because even though Seattle ranks only 15th in size among U.S. metropolitan areas, our population of multiracial people — about 233,000 — is the fourth-largest. New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are the top three, in order…

Read the entire article here.

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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
2016-03-16

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.

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Mixed but not matched: Being mixed-race in America

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-26 02:39Z by Steven

Mixed but not matched: Being mixed-race in America

The Daily Evergreen
Washington State University
Pullman, Washington
2016-01-21

Sophia Stephens, Evergreen columnist

The experience of being a mixed-race person in America can be described in one word – mixed.

Depending on how a mixed-race person looks and is perceived, the experience of being an ethnic or racially mixed person can vary the scope of a sociopolitical spectrum as broadly as one who identifies and is perceived as being mono-racial.

Race is a biological fantasy, but a social reality that affects the life experiences of millions of people every day in varying ways. There are some voices that dominate the conversation, some others that are beginning to gain traction, and others that are barely being heard at all or are being denied the opportunity to speak on their experiences…

…”For a long time I struggled with the fact that I wasn’t just one race,” said WSU junior Victoria-Pearl Young. “(I am) Native American (Choctaw and Comanche Nations), Chinese, French and black. This is incredibly difficult because my cultural experience as an Afro-Latina, specifically Afro-Boricua, living in America gets discredited simply because I don’t look like what people expect. I constantly have to prove myself racially and culturally. Here at WSU, most of my peers just assumed I was completely Black simply because of my appearance, and that really used to bother me until I learned more about my history as a black individual.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Native lawyer takes on tribes that kick members out

Posted in Articles, Economics, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2015-12-26 20:05Z by Steven

Native lawyer takes on tribes that kick members out

The Seattle Times
2015-12-19

Nina Shapiro, Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle lawyer Gabriel Galanda, a longtime defender of Native American rights, is fighting what he calls an ‘epidemic’ of tribal disenrollment.


Native American lawyer Gabriel Galanda, center, listens to Nooksack members talk about disenrollment. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

DEMING, Whatcom County — In his big gray truck, Gabriel Galanda makes a notable entrance into a Nooksack tribal-housing development of a couple dozen modest homes, set on a winding road about a half-hour east of Bellingham. Many of the residents, members of a sprawling clan who move easily in and out of each other’s homes, appear with platters of fry bread, chicken adobo, baked halibut, salads, cupcakes and pies.

It’s a feast befitting their biggest defender, one who has made their small tribe of a couple thousand members well-known throughout Indian country, and not in a good way. The Nooksack tribal government for the past three years has been trying to disenroll the clan in this housing development and its extended family — which would strip all 306 of tribal membership.

And for the past three years, Galanda, a Seattle-based Native American lawyer, has been fighting it. The cause has taken the 39-year-old Galanda on a journey, personal and professional, that taps into the heart of what it means to be Native American…

…Galanda’s own ancestors were Native American, Scandinavian, Portuguese and Austrian — a mixed heritage that caused him to question his identity during his formative years.

But he says he kept remembering his grandma, born on California’s Round Valley Indian Tribes reservation, putting him on her knee and saying, in her smoky, gravelly voice, “You’re Nomlaki and Concow. Don’t ever forget it.”

“Before I undertook this work,” Galanda says, “I was really caught up in blood quantum.” Now, he says, “I don’t really care.” He has settled instead on an expansive, evolving notion of “belonging” that takes into account lineage without precise blood calculations or federal documents…

Read the entire article here.

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Raising Mixed Race: Seattle author shows realities facing multiracial children

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-12-10 03:35Z by Steven

Raising Mixed Race: Seattle author shows realities facing multiracial children

The Seattle Globalist
2015-12-09

Sharon H. Chang

The day my mixed race son was born in 2009 was a turning point for the way I thought about race.

Despite living for decades as a multiracial person myself, suddenly I started asking deeper questions about race, racism, and mixedness. I realized I needed to move beyond reflecting just on self-identity, and start placing our family in critical conversation with a national global politic. What was our relationship as mixed race Asian peoples to a planet devastated by European colonialism and to our home, a colonized nation, devastated by four centuries of violent white racism?

How would my son experience this world? What would he learn about himself? And how would he grow to contribute to its transformation, or perpetuate its ongoing devastation?…

Read the entire article here.

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New UW center to encourage race, diversity dialogue

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-26 04:00Z by Steven

New UW center to encourage race, diversity dialogue

The Seattle Times
2015-07-12

Katherine Long, Seattle Times higher education reporter


Ralina Joseph is the new director of the University of Washington’s Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)

A new center at the University of Washington aims to help people figure out how to better communicate about race, equity and diversity.

University of Washington professor Ralina Joseph thinks what we’re seeing in the nation today could be the start of a new civil-rights movement. And at times, college students are leading the charge.

“It feels like a moment at the UW — a potential moment of change,” Joseph said. “Students are more radicalized now, talking to faculty, than people have seen since the ’60s and early ’70s.”

Into this moment steps the university’s new Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity, which opened its doors on the Seattle campus at the end of May and is headed by Joseph. Housed in the Department of Communication, it knits together 40 faculty members from a variety of departments, from American ethnic studies to history and sociology…

…She knows some critics may see the mission as another example of political correctness, and that naysayers may argue the country has moved beyond these issues — given that the nation elected a black president, Seattle elected a gay mayor, the Supreme Court affirmed same-sex marriages.

Yet Joseph says the data show a person’s race, class, gender and sexual orientation “dictate how your life is going to be lived.” Those factors still influence whether you’ll be able to get a mortgage, or be approved for an apartment rental, to name just a few of the implications, she said…

Read the entire article here.

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