“Growing up, until really last year, I don’t know that I would have readily brought up my white mother to anyone. It was not something I’m embarrassed by, but to announce that was synonymous to some black people to saying, ‘I think I’m better than you.’ This whole thing has felt almost like a coming out as biracial – saying ‘this is a thing, we exist, and this is a future.'”–Jordan Peele
We are excited that the Costco Connection has written a story about mixed race artists and the Mixed Remixed Festival. The reporter Hana Medina really captured what the Festival is all about!–Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
You can also download a copy of the article here.
This is a really great essay by Celeste Headlee about her multiracial family.
My grandfather is William Grant Still, the “Dean of African-American composers.” His skin was the color of maple syrup. Mine is the color of café au lait. My grandfather suffered countless indignities and injustices because of his color. I remember them still, almost viscerally. They still feel personal to me.
When he was going to Oberlin College to accept an honorary degree, he drove from Los Angeles with his family. He couldn’t stay at the white hotels because he was black; he couldn’t say at the black hotels because his wife was white. So he drove 2,300 miles without stopping. In photos of the event, he’s stooping; he looks exhausted. I’ve heard that story dozens of times, and yet, my cheeks feel hot thinking about it even now. It still makes me angry.
My grandparents had to get married in Tijuana because their marriage was illegal in the US. That’s personal. He had to build a six-foot fence around his home to protect my mother and her brother from violence. It was the 1940s and people were dragging mixed-race families out of their beds, beating them, sometimes setting their homes on fire. I look at my mother sometimes and think about how lucky I am.
I have the same amount of black ancestry as Sally Hemings, slave to Thomas Jefferson and mother to six of his children. (Side note: three of those children lived their adult lives as white. They passed.)”
Read the rest of the essay here.
Not to many people relate to the multiracial experience or the stories of their mixed friends, this is why forums for open discussion and collaboration are so important. These may take the form of literary festivals such as our beloved Mixed Remixed or may be told through artistic presentations. It’s not always easy explaining your personal experiences to a wider audience who may have no idea where you’re coming from, but the effort within this community is still invaluable to thousands around the globe. With that being said, let’s meet Jason Cuthbert – writer, director, filmmaker, and multiracial dude!
His upcoming documentary circling his, like many other biracials, experiences hopes to tackle the issue head on in a new and refreshing light. His team is a wonderfully diverse and highly educated group whose dedication and incredibly precise work ethic will bring you a film that is multidimensional in context and that combines subjective perspectives with objective experience.
Why is telling the story of the multiracial experience so important to your team, as is evident with your current project?
Multiracial and interracial experiences effect each and every member of our team…directly! My brother James, my sister Teisha and myself are biracial: African Trinidadian (father) and Caucasian American (mother). Francesca D’Amico (Ph.D. candidate, producer, researcher, educator), an Italian Canadian, not only teaches hip hop culture and African American history, but she has personally felt the social obstacles associated with her own interracial relationships. My sister-in-law Jessica Molina-Cuthbert (Ph.D. Candidate, researcher, educator) is El Salvadorian American, and is not only well versed in the effects of race and the American penal system, but she is also raising multiracial children with James. And my brother-in-law Fabian is Puerto Rican American (IT computer network systems) and has mixed race children with my sister. There is plenty of racial ambiguity going on over here.
What do you hope to achieve by producing such a dynamic film?
How would you describe it?
Race needs a real reality check. As rusty, ugly and outdated of a concept that it feels to be in 2015, why do we all still buy into it? “COLOURING BOOK: The Mixed Race Documentary” aspires to define, dissect, document and direct a dialogue about the value of race from not just those that study it, but by those whose identity exceeds its boundaries.
Do you think the growing multiracial community has the power to inspire positive change/enlightenment (through diversity and loving one another across colour lines)?
As mixed race people, we are the living, breathing proof that the concept of race doesn’t really work and may be unnecessary. We are those blurred lines, the colours in-between colors, the reds and blues that make purple. With “COLOURING BOOK: The Mixed Race Documentary” we are pushing to give a voice to those who feel just as excluded from the racial discussion as I did while growing up.
A question for Jason (if possible), what has it been like coming from a mixed family and how did it influence your creative perspective as a writer and director?
I grew to truly love the cultural crayon box that my family is. My love of all cultures comes from experiencing them first hand, whether they were part of my family tree or our diverse social circles. But as a child, I just wanted to fit in. Point blank. But being “normal” was never a reality for me. Racial boxes were rigid and I just didn’t fit. It also didn’t help that I rarely saw myself, a mixed kid, on screen in my favorite films and television shows. To this day, I write and relate to underdog characters in my stories, inherently, even if race has nothing to do with their story, because I felt like a strange foreigner in my own city.
What’s one of the biggest frustrations/misconceptions within the mixed community that you want to bring attention to with this film? If any.
I am not subscribing to stereotypes…like cancel that subscription…immediately. And just like any other racial category, we the “non-race” have some horrible stereotypes too. There is that super corny idea that mixed race people are more “beautiful” and “desirable,” and that we all feel we are better than everyone. Mixed race, or light skinned black, whatever you want to call me, …by no means do I feel that I’m any better than other humans of a darker complexion. You will not see me laughing at or co-signing dark-skinned jokes. Not-at-all. That divide and conquer mentality doesn’t work with me. Dark skin is gorgeous.
What can people who may not be directly part of the multiracial experience learn or take away from Colouring Book?
Our world is becoming more like a coloring book. Like those innocent years when kids use whatever colors they want, before they are taught to make tigers orange and make grass green. Mixed race may come to a shock to those that would rather see life neatly left in black and white instead of full color. We all need to get over ourselves. We have biases that we have learned, not that we were born with. Diversity training is not just for people in the racial majority. We ALL need to “colour” each other in by behaviors, talents and personalities rather than by which shade we were painted with in the womb. Race affects everyone. When diversity wins, we ALL win because it means we are relating to each other as a shared loving species, not as divided, hateful and inhumane beasts.
Here’s your chance to grow your kids’ library of books with mixed-race and biracial characters. Contribute to the Mixed Remixed Festival Indiegogo campaign and you will get a copy of I am Mixed by Garcelle Beauvais and Sebastian Jones, Amy Hodgepodge by Kim Wayans and Kevin Knotts, and Mixed Me by Tiffany Catledge.
You will love these wonderful books that reflect the complexity and the fun of coming from a blended family. Make sure your kids, or nieces and nephews have these books on their bookshelves and support the Mixed Remixed Festival!
To find out what other great perks we have check out our Indiegogo campaign here.
I “discovered” this perfect thing to do in Los Angeles and every time I mention it I feel torn: it’s so special I don’t want everyone to know about it, but it’s so special I can’t help but talk about it.
I took my first day sail on the Cruise Invictus about three years ago when my mom was in town. She loves the water. At first, all my searches for cruises turned up (out-of-season) whale-watching trips, and booze cruises–not exactly the scene for a 70-year-old. But then I found Cruise Invictus. I couldn’t know how perfect it would be when I booked it, but I had a feeling. We had an amazing day sail. There were four other people aboard. Yummy snacks were served and some of the others brought and enjoyed their own wine. And it was, well, perfect.
Why am I going on and on about this on the Festival blog? Well, you and a friend can experience this too with a donation of just $250 to the Festival’s Indiegogo campaign. You’ll have a great day and you’ll be supporting the Festival you love. Please contribute now and get this great perk before it sells out. Only 2 available!
We NEED YOU! We’ve launched our crowdfunder to raise money for the Mixed Remixed Festival and we need you to help spread the word and we need your contributions.
We have some great incentives for you to donate that include a day sail on the Pacific Ocean, a gourmet dinner for 4 people, a Festival tshirt, and a meal with half of the dynamic duo of Key & Peele! Yes, Keegan Michael-Key wants to dine with you and a friend if you contribute to the Festival.
It’s officially the age of YouTubers – funny vloggers, how-tos and everyday insights! What many are perhaps not as aware of is the booming community of family vloggers who take you through their days and make you feel like you’re hanging out with their cool family.
One family that is truly dominating this market at the moment would be the Nive Nulls of Kansas City!
Mixed Remixed had the chance to catch up with the Nive Nulls, where we spoke about race in their relationship, tackling the “What Are You?” question and the beauty of love crossing borders!
Who Are The Nulls?
Well, you have the hilarious Austin, his gorgeously quirky wife Brittany and their two bundles of joy Audrianna and Kailand. And soon they’ll be welcoming a third Null to the bunch! Congrats!
Did we mention they’re a mixed fam?!
The Nive Nulls Interview:
How would you two describe the relevance or presence of race in your early relationship (as well as now, if applicable)?
Early on, we definitely talked about race and how it related to our relationship a lot more. We would make more jokes, goof around more and just focus on it a decent amount. Now, we’ve kind of matured our relationship more and we don’t make as big of a deal about the fact that we’re an interracial couple. However, it’s still a part of our life because race relations in general are things that we experience outside of our personal relationship.
Sidenote: I spied that your FB page is a fan of Love Crosses Borders which is of course awesome! Was either one of you hesitant to spring into an interracial relationship / did you guys even really think about that?
We love “Love Crosses Borders” on Facebook! They’ve been super supportive of us and always share a lot of our stuff. No, we never thought about [us] as an interracial relationship.We just liked each other’s personality and thought each other were hot. lol
What would you say you’ve learned about each other and perhaps, people in general, through breaking down color barriers through love?
We’ve learned to accept the differences we have and embrace them. It also has taught us to just live and not worry about other people’s opinions. If someone is ignorant, it’s their problem and it’s sad for them. It doesn’t affect us.
How do you feel about the racially charged “What Are You?” question and how do you guys think you’ll advise Kailand and Audri as they get older? (If entertaining that question is even an option)
I mean, it’s kind of brash way to ask something but it’s not that big of a deal to us. If they ask our kids, we’ll tell them they can say “I’m Kailand” or “I’m Audri” but we also are fine with them answering “I’m biracial and adorable” lol
Your YouTube Channel is one of those few that is almost always free of the cruel YT trolls, how would you describe the continuously loving support of your online Nive Null Family?
I think it’s because we’re pretty real in our vlogs. We don’t try to put on a front and make our life look SO FUN AND AMAZING AND LOOK AT US ALL DRESSED UP AND PERFECT! We just live. We talk about when we’re down or sad or happy or mad or whatever the case may be. It’s important to be yourself because that’s the only way people will come and stick around.
Mixed family aside, what do you think separates The Nive Nulls from other Youtube families? (Definitely, NO shade to your YouTube-fam buddies!)
Haha! Let’s start drama!!! lol jk jk. No, I’d just say it’s probably our personalities. All of the YT families out there have their own unique niche and vibe to their channel. I would describe ours as fun, funny and real. Also, our kids are hilarious and Audri says some of the funniest things I’ve ever heard a human say. lol
Mixed Remixed wishes The Nive Nulls nothing but happiness as they welcome their third baby Null later this year! Check them out on YouTube!
[youtube width=”500″ height=”400″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKwyg3xEVZg[/youtube]
A new biography about Michelle Obama by a Washington Post reporter, Peter Slevin, is causing a stir because it highlights a forgotten 2004 interview with Michelle Obama’s mother. In the TV interview, Marion Robinson apparently confessed to being a little suspicious of her future son-in-law because he was mixed-race. But even more worrying would have been had he been white. Here are the reported remarks:
“That [he was #multiracial] didn’t concern me as much as had he been completely white . . . I guess that I worry about races mixing because of the difficulty — not for, so much for prejudice or anything . . . It’s just very hard.”
You can also see the interview here.