Brit Bennett’s novel ‘The Vanishing Half’ combines fiction, history in examining passing

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-12-08 20:49Z by Steven

Brit Bennett’s novel ‘The Vanishing Half’ combines fiction, history in examining passing

The Columbus Dispatch
Columbus, Ohio

Nancy Gilson, Special to The Columbus Dispatch

Brit Bennett Miranda Barnes

In Brit Bennett’s novel “The Vanishing Half,” light-skinned African American twin sisters are separated when one of them decides to pass as white, leaving her family behind.

The novel, which delves deeply into the concept of identity, was a New York Times best-seller and designated as one of the newspaper’s best books of 2020.

Bennett, 31, who grew up in southern California, attended Stanford University and the University of Michigan and now lives in New York. She published her debut novel, “The Mothers,” in 2016. She has written numerous essays, including “I Don’t Know What to Do With Good White People” and “Addy Walker, An American Girl,” about the Pleasant Company’s first Black doll.

These days, Bennett is working on her third novel and occasionally appears in public events, mostly virtual, such as her event Sunday presented by the Columbus Metropolitan Library. She spoke recently by telephone with The Dispatch…

Read the entire interview here.

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A condensed history of multiracial identification in the United States

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2021-12-08 16:33Z by Steven

A condensed history of multiracial identification in the United States


Caitlin Gilbert, Jasmine Mithani, Lakshmi Sarah, and Kaitlyn Wells

(Image by / Freepik)

How to write about mixed and multiracial people, Part 1

Mixed-race identity is chic right now: Our fictionalized stories are bestsellers, and public figures such as Naomi Osaka and Kamala Harris are a regular part of the national conversation. Heck, we’ve even made the news as one of the fastest-growing populations in the 2020 United States Census. As our identities have become trendy and more journalists seek to write about our experiences, it’s important that they respect what we have to say and honor who we are.

We multiracial people reject many assumptions, generalizations and categories. We are not a monolith, and we may even disagree on the terms multiracial versus mixed. Yet this is who we are—we’re both and neither, and our identities can be fluid depending on context.

When it comes to writing about mixed-race and multiracial people, it is critical to understand the historical context behind the terms, learn how to speak to sources and write about them, and examine any bias throughout the journalistic process. To help journalists produce nuanced reporting about mixed-race and multiracial people we’ve compiled a two-part guide based on our SRCCON 2021 presentation, “When ‘Check One’ Does Not Apply: Covering and Being Mixed Race in Journalism.”

In this article, we are going to review an abbreviated history of mixed-race people in the United States. If you are looking for a reporting guide, please see our companion article: Guidelines for reporting on multiracial people

Read the entire article here.

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A Conversation with Jewell Parker Rhodes and Kelly McWilliams

Posted in Interviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2021-12-08 02:10Z by Steven

A Conversation with Jewell Parker Rhodes and Kelly McWilliams

PEN America

Award-winning novelist and educator Jewell Parker Rhodes and her daughter, young adult author Kelly McWilliams, came together in conversation to discuss book bans and young adult literature. As individuals, it is our duty to provide the next generation of writers, teachers, journalists, activists, and readers with an education that includes all facets of life, an education that is free from unreasonable censorious threats. This discussion addressed the vital role that children’s and young adult literature plays in the process of education, and how we can work to protect our youth from the threats to free expression.

This discussion was presented in partnership with the Miami Book Fair.

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