We started a limited internship project last year in order to involve younger people with the Mixed Remixed Festival. This year we’re lucky to have Casey Fearn as part of our team helping out with social media.
What are you?
Being the only black girl in my grade at school it has been difficult for me to come out of my shell and embrace who I am and what I am. After many years of trying to find my place at school, I realized that I don’t necessarily need a place but rather a platform to express what I am and what my experience has been. I am half black and half white, I am a writer, I am determined, and I am ready to share my story.
What is your mixed experience?
I have had a unique experience as a biracial girl for the past 3 years because I am the only black girl in my grade. Also, I have blonde hair and blue eyes so people often don’t take me seriously or believe me when I tell them that I am half black. It has been really difficult for me to share my story and be who I am at school because I feared that people wouldn’t take me seriously or that I wouldn’t be welcomed into the black or white communities. Hearing people say things like “oh but you’re not actually black, right?” as if being black is a bad thing or having to endure judgmental and confused stares whenever I go out with my dad, who is full black. Maybe people don’t have malicious intent when they act this way towards me and my family, but these words and actions have had a serious impact on me. Words do burn into my memory and have an emotional impact on me and confused stares make me want to shrink and hide. However, I have learned speak up and let people know when their actions are offensive. This has in return fueled my passion to speak out and let my voice be heard. I have a story and my experience has given me the passion to let my story be heard.
What is the most important thing you want people to know about the mixed experience?
The mixed experience isn’t a choice of two world’s or identities, although at times it can be quite the identify crisis. No mixed person should have to choose between being black or white, for example. I am black AND white and that should never have to be a choice.
Do you remember when you first started thinking about the mixed experience? Did it happen because of any particular moment or event?
I first started thinking about the mixed experience when I entered high school and felt isolated as one of the few black girls in my school. Sometimes I felt like I should ignore the fact that I am half black and reduce my self to only white to fit in. However, this was very miserable and hard for me to simply ignore who I am. The mixed experience has been a frequent conversation that I have had with both my mom and dad because I only have distant black relatives now and my close relatives are mostly white.
I started talking to my dad about my own desire to get more involved with the black community and how I could help future mixed or African American girls at school not feel like they have to change to fit into school. This conversation was one that I quickly became very passionate about. I started journaling about my experiences and talking to adults at my school about ways to get involved and share my story.
Why did you want to be a part of the Mixed Remixed Festival? How did you get involved?
When I first heard about Mixed Remixed Festival I knew it could really help me learn about the mixed experience. Immediately, I wanted to get involved and help because I had never heard of anything like it before. As someone who has struggled with my identity, I really appreciated that Mixed Remixed celebrates the mixed experience. I decided to reach out to Heidi to find a way for me to help. I talked to Heidi about my own experiences and desire to get involved and now I am an intern for Mixed Remixed.
What are you looking forward to most at the Festival this year?
I am really looking forward to hearing stories from people who I can identify with. This is a new experience for me and I have never been a part of anything like this before. This is such and exciting opportunity to spend time with people who have my shared experience. Mixed Remixed brings all of together to share our experience and learn from one another and that is really exciting. I look forward to being part of this wonderful event.
Join us June 10, 2017 at the Mixed Remixed Festival at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown Los Angeles for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia. FREE!