Mixed in the Six pop-up events created to support multiracial Torontonians

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2017-01-08 00:28Z by Steven

Mixed in the Six pop-up events created to support multiracial Torontonians

The Toronto Star

Erin Kobayashi

Mixed in the Six, is a pop-up event aimed at building a community for multi-racial Torontonians. (Cole Burtan/Toronto Star)

An event for the off-spring of mixed-race families hits a chord as the difficult to ‘identify’ find their people.

I am eating a Singaporean and Peranakan-inspired dinner with people who look like my family more than my actual family.

The night before, I sat down to a proper English roast with my mother’s family that is dominated by blue eyes, blond hair and pale skin, a striking contrast to my Japanese-Canadian father’s side of the family.

But here at Mixed in the Six, a Toronto pop-up dining and social event held at Peter Pan Bistro, the more than 40 attendees look like variations of me: Strong, dark hair. Skin that doesn’t burn in the sun. And despite vastly different backgrounds spanning from Jamaica and Norway to Finland and Singapore, every guest is well-versed in the Toronto mixed-race experience. We’ve all felt the invasive gazes and heard tired, othering questions like, “Where are you from?”…

…“People have shared with us that they feel a sense of belonging and acceptance at MIT6,” says Oades. “That feeling of not being, for example, ‘black enough or white enough’ seems to dissolve when you get to connect with other people who have had similar experiences as you.”

Professor G. Reginald Daniel, who edits the Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies, both based out of the University of California, Santa Barbara, understands mixed-race events are naturally fun and exciting but he hopes young attendees recognize the legal, physical and psychological struggles and trauma older multiracial generations have gone through. For example, the U.S. law against interracial marriage was only outlawed in 1967.

And while MIT6 guests often cheekily gush over one another’s attractiveness (many attendees happen to work as models, actors and performers), Daniel hopes mixed-race millennials don’t get caught up in a strictly superficial multiracial discourse.

He notes how the mainstream media has latched onto the “happy hapa,” “magical mixie,” “happy hybrid,” “racial ambassador,” and “post-racial messiah” stereotypes of multiracial individuals that are dangerous because they portray “overenthusiastic images, including notions that multiracial individuals in the post-Civil rights era no longer experience any racial trauma and conflict about their identity.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Beyond “Code-switching:” The Racial Capital of Black/White Biracial Americans

Posted in Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-01-23 23:20Z by Steven

Beyond “Code-switching:” The Racial Capital of Black/White Biracial Americans

University of Connecticut
170 pages

Chandra D. L. Waring

A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Social science has examined the experiences of the burgeoning bi/multiracial population within the scope of three core areas: racial identity (Funderburg 1994; Kilson 2001; Rockquemore and Brunsma 2008; Renn 2004; Root 1996), social psychological well-being (Bracey et al. 2004; Campbell and Eggerling-Boek 2006; Cheng and Lively 2010; Binning et al. 2009) and family racial socialization (DaCosta 2007; Dalmage 2000; Samuels 2009; Socha and Diggs 1999; Twine 2010). In my dissertation, I shift the theoretical focus from identity and well-being to the conceptual development of how race—embedded with assumptions, understandings and histories—shapes bi/multiracial Americans’ everyday social interactions with white and black Americans. Through 60 in-depth, semi-structured, life story interviews, I found that the majority of my participants reported interacting differently during encounters with whites and blacks or when in predominately white settings versus predominately black settings as a means to establish racial in-group membership. In an effort to analyze these interactional patterns, I offer the concept of “racial capital” to call attention to the repertoire of racial resources (i.e. knowledge, experiences, meaning and language) that biracial Americans draw upon to negotiate racial boundaries in a highly racialized society. While past research on bi/multiracials has created conceptual frameworks for racial identity trends as well as social psychological development, these studies have not systematically considered how everyday interactions unfold, and how bi/multiracials draw upon a unique racialized “tool kit” (Swidler 1986) to work within and around racial boundaries. Furthermore, while racism scholars have discussed the negotiation of racial boundaries for other populations that do not neatly fit into racial categories, such as second generation South Asian Americans (Purkayastha 2005), these processes have not been systematically addressed in the bi/multiracial population. Through the narratives of my respondents, I fill this gap in the literature.


  • Chapter 1: Introduction: Why Study Biracials?
  • Chapter 2: Methodological Considerations
  • Chapter 3: Made in America: Interracial Sexuality and Bi/multiracial Children
  • Chapter 4: Race and Resemblance: Exploring Relationships in Multiracial Families
  • Chapter 5: “It’s Like We Have an ‘In’ Already:” The Racial Capital of Biracial Americans
  • Chapter 6: “I’m a Different Kind of Biracial:” Biracial Americans with Immigrant Parents Negotiate Race in the United States
  • Chapter 7: “I’m Exotic and That Intrigues Them:” Gender, Sexuality and the Racially Ambiguous Body
  • Chapter 8: Conclusions, Implications and Suggestions
  • Appendix: Interview Guide
  • References

Read the entire dissertation here.

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Black or Biracial? Who Gets to Decide?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-09-05 19:39Z by Steven

Black or Biracial? Who Gets to Decide?

The Huffington Post

Abby L. Ferber, Associate Professor, Director of the Matrix Center and Co-Director of Women’s and Ethnic Studies
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Is Obama Black? Biracial? And why do we care so much? A new book by George Yancey and Richard Lewis, Jr., Interracial Families: Current Concepts and Controversies, is a nice primer on the subject, and argues that an historical context is necessary for understanding why questions of racial identity are so heated in the U.S.

I had the good fortune recently of sitting down and discussing the issue with two young, bi-racial women, both sociologists, who have had ample opportunity to reflect upon this issue both personally and intellectually. We can all learn from their experience and insight. Why is the issue so contentious? According to Chandra Waring “It is difficult for black and white people to understand that when they label black/white biracial people as black or as white, they are asking—no, telling—that person to deny, ignore or even disown one parent.”…

…Chandra, like Obama, has one black parent and one white parent. While she self-identifies as both black and white, she explains “people still see me as black and that is because society teaches us that black and white equals black (unless the biracial person can pass, then maybe, they can be white). President Obama is a prime example of this ridiculous racial mathematics. He is just as white as he is black, yet he is celebrated and overwhelmingly understood to be black. Obama illustrates how being biracial works—or does not work—because he was raised by his white mother and white grandparents, yet still is viewed as black. If a biracial American who was raised entirely by his white family is not acknowledged as half white, who will be?”…

Read the entire article here.

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