“For me it was very hard and rough. When you’re a child, the most important thing is to be able to live a life of comfort. You want to be sure that the moon goes up at night and the sun comes up in the morning and dad comes home from work. At school it was not comfortable. My mom would come by my school to bring me lunch – my mom is a cute, ruddy little white woman, and there’s no category for that – the kids don’t know how to respond, and so they tease: ‘That ain’t your mama!’ ‘Why you talk white?’ It’s not to say that every child in grade school talked to me that way, but that’s what I remember.”–Jordan Peele, Storyteller’s Prize Honoree 2014.
Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations is an exciting new exhibit at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The exhibition is an oral history project of more than 100 voices of people of mixed heritage or who are part of the Mixed experience and have called Brooklyn home at some point in their lives. There’s a wonderful interactive website as well that you can check out here. Don’t miss this exhibition. As former director of the Museum’s oral history project and the originator of the project Sady Sullivan says: “What will it be like to listen to stories about the social construction of race in 150 years?”–Heidi Durrow
We were so excited to co-host a special Q&A with filmmaker Lacey Schwartz with Be’chol Lashon, a non-profit organization that works around racial ethnic and cultural diversity in the Jewish community, for the amazing documentary film,Little White Lie.
The film made us laugh and cry and there were more than a few collective gasps. Don’t miss this great documentary about a mixed chick who grew up believing she was white. The film is in limited release in a few cities NOW. Find more information here.–Heidi Durrow
The sun was hot and the sky a bright Mediterranean blue, but when I reached the US Citizenship and Immigration Services building it was grey and flat, and seemed to absorb the metallic light.
Behind the counter an older Asian woman filled in a form for my ‘biometrics appointment’, she glanced at me and circled ‘Asian’ as my ethnicity. Officials usually choose ‘white’ while I choose, or write in, ‘mixed’. I imagined the scenario – my application delayed because my ethnicity suddenly changed half way through the process. San Francisco is truly a town of transformation, you can change your gender, your sexuality and even your football team, but your ethnicity? I don’t think so.
I ask her to circle ‘white’. She did so and erased ‘Asian’. I explained I’d like both categories and she said ‘No, you have to choose one’… ain’t that the truth! I smiled and asked, ‘what would you do if Barack came in?’ gesturing towards the President’s photograph on the wall behind her. She remained unsmiling and I remembered the ‘birthers’ thinking maybe it wasn’t such a good question after all.–Clare
Check out this great video from Buzzfeed Yellow. What it’s like to be ethnically ambiguous.
“No Colour Bar” Dance – London 1955
I’m carrying out research for my novel about Caribbean and Irish immigrants to London, England (like my parents). I came across some interesting videos including this Pathe report from 1955. It features a dance in London where the Mayor of Lambeth (one of the London Boroughs) invited 180 “English” people and 180 “West Indians” to a dance, in order to improve relations between the existing population and the newer immigrants from the British Caribbean.–Clare
There‘s a bill proposing that New York City forms add an option for multiracial folks to check all that apply like you can on the Census. Currently there are five options on New York City forms: “white, not of Hispanic origin”; “black, not of Hispanic origin”; “Hispanic”; “Asian or Pacific Islander”; and “American Indian or Alaskan Native.” Councilwoman Margaret Chin is spearheading this effort. She is quoted as saying: “This will allow New Yorkers to identify their heritage and be proud of it. They shouldn’t have to only check one box.” What do you think?–Heidi Durrow
Or a yawn? Let’s just get to Friday! –Heidi Durrow
The Mixed Remixed Festival is very excited to co-host in collaboration with Be’chol Lashon a special Q&A with filmmaker Lacey Schwartz following the 11/30 2:20pm screening of Little White Lie at the Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills, CA. Tickets are available for purchase on-line and at the box office.
Learn more about this amazing film that has received rave reviews across the board! Do we hear Oscar?–Heidi Durrow