We know that the holidays — as wonderful as they can be — can also be a source of stress when families get-together. Sometimes those challenges are a little different or heightened in multiracial families. We thought we’d help you get through the next couple of weeks with a fun game of Dysfunctional Family Bingo Multiracial Family Edition . We found the “game” a few years ago in a magazine article by Martha Beck (Finding Your Own North Star). She writes: “. . . gather with friends and provide each person with a [blank] bingo card . . . Each player fills in her bingo squares with dysfunctional phrases or actions that are likely to surface at her particular family party. For example, if you dread the inevitable ‘So when are you going to get married?’ that question goes in one square of your bingo card. If your brother typically shows up crocked to the gills, put “Al is drunk” in another square, and so on. Take your finished cards to your respective family gatherings. Whenever you observe something that appears on your bingo card, mark off that square. The first person to get bingo must sneak off to the nearest telephone, call the other players, and announce her victory. If no one has a full bingo, the person who has the largest number of filled-out squares wins the game.” We’ve created a Multiracial Family Edition that you can download here (or right click on the image and save). Of course you canalways make your own. I’m filling mine out right now. Let us know how it goes! And Happy Holidays!-Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
We had so many writers submit for the 2015 Mixed Remixed Festival that we decided we need to add a panel about the diverse ways in which they each came to writing professionally. We’re sure glad we did. The program was standing-room only and one of the most talked about programs of the Festival. We hope to share our recording of the program soon so that you can hear all the great advice and wisdom these talented writers shared!–Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
List of Writer Panelists on Writing the Mixed Experience Professionally at Mixed Remixed Festival 2015
Writing the Mixed Experience Professionally
Erika Hayasaki is an assistant professor in the Literary Journalism Program at the University of California, Irvine, an undergraduate degree program dedicated to studying and practicing narrative journalism, where she teaches workshops in narrative nonfiction writing, as well as classes in digital storytelling. She is the author of The Death Class: A True Story About Life (published in 2014 by Simon & Schuster), and is a contributing health and science writer for The Atlantic and Newsweek. Erika spent nearly a decade as a reporter covering breaking news and writing feature stories for the Los Angeles Times.
Jia-Rui Chong-Cook is national and science editor for Zocalo Public Square, a nonprofit ideas exchange that blends humanities journalism and live events. Zocalo publishes personal essays and news analyses that end up on the websites and op-ed pages of over 100 syndicate partners (including TIME, The Washington Post and USA Today). Prior to Zocalo Public Square, Jia-Rui was a reporter in the science and local news sections of the Los Angeles Times and a science writer and media relations specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She is Chinese-American, and the mother of a mixed-race child. She most recently spearheaded the “What It Means to Be American Project,” a national, multiplatform, multimedia conversation hosted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and Zócalo Public Square that brings together leading thinkers, public figures, and Americans from all walks of life to explore big, visceral questions about how our nation’s past can help us understand its present and imagine its future.
Rebekah Sager is an accomplished writer and online media producer –adept at creating relevant and clever content for websites and publications. Focused primarily on fashion and lifestyle, Sager has been published in Cosmo for Latinas, Hemispheres Magazine, WordsEtc, Girls Guide to Paris, FOX News Latino, and the Los Angeles Times. Sager has worked for Google Maps and the Google owned, Zagat Guide. Sager currently works as a Digital and Social Media Producer on the Dr. Phil Show.
David Horace Greer is an actor, playwright, and Tony-nominated producer. His new play Hour Farther, the “cosmic story of a mixed adopted son, searching for his ‘real father,’ who discovers how dangerously beautiful truth can be,” was selected as a Semi-Finalist for the 38th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival in San Francisco next month. The first of a 3-play cycle (Hour Farther, Who Art, And Heaven), the play has been presented in staged readings and full-productions across the country (more dates TBA). In addition to writing, David was on the Broadway producer teams for Mountaintop (starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson), Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess (starring Audra McDonald and David Alan Grier), the historic Black Stars of Great White Way (appearances by Cecily Tyson, Robert Guillaume, Ben Vereen, and Phylicia Rashād) at Carnegie Hall, and The Scottsboro Boys, which earned he and his team Tony-nominations for “Best New Musical.” He also produced and acted in his play Peculiar People at Hartford Stage, consulted and appeared in the James Brown film Get On Up, and will appear in Don Cheadles’ film about Miles Davis, Miles Ahead. A native of Oakland/ Three Forks in Kentucky, David was adopted but specifics of his ethnic background are unknown as he has, thus far, chosen not to find/ meet his birth parents. Greer is a University of Chicago Graduate School of Business graduate, was a Rotary International Scholar at the American University in Cairo (Egypt), and currently serves as Chief Budget Officer at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Stephanie Abraham is an essayist, media critic, blogger and business writer who has worked in media, academia and private industry. Her writings have appeared in numerous publications, such as Bitch, Role Reboot and Mizna, as well as the anthologies Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity and We Don’t Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists. She is currently working on her first memoir.
Without a doubt, the Featured Writers who read at the Mixed Remixed Festival 2015 were the most captivating bunch ever! We have video of the program and will share that as soon as we can. But in the meantime, you tell us: what did you think? Were you one of the folks who started to weep? I’m happy to report that the official unofficial word is that we will definitely have Jamie Ford back again for 2016. Yes, it’s (almost officially) true! –Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
List of Featured Writers at Mixed Remixed Festival 2015
Jamie Ford is an American writer of two internationally best-selling books. Ford is best known for his debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. The book received positive reviews after its release, and was also awarded best “Adult Fiction” book at the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature. The book was also named the #1 Book Club Pick for Fall 2009/Winter 2010 by the American Booksellers Association. In 2013, he released his second book, Songs of Willow Frost.
His stories have also been included in Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, and The End is Nigh, part of the The Apocalypse Triptych, a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey.
He is the author of the novels Pym, Drop, and Hunting in Harlem, the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the comic books Incognegro and Dark Rain. He is a recipient of the United States Artist James Baldwin Fellowship, The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature. Mat Johnson is a faculty member at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.
Marie was born and raised in California to a Japanese mother and American father, and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Her first novel,Picking Bones from Ash, was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and a finalist for the Paterson Prize. She has written for The New York Times, Salon, National Geographic, Glamour, and other publications and has been a guest on Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered on NPR.
In 2013, Marie was awarded a Fellowship by the NEA and Japan US Friendship Commission, which enabled her to live in Japan. While there, she was featured in the NHK (Japanese National Broadcasting) Documentary, Venerating the Departed, which was broadcast internationally several times.
Michelle Brittan has had poems published in Calyx, Crab Creek Review,The Grove Review, The Los Angeles Review, Nimrod, Pilgrimage, and Poet Lore, and in the anthology, Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25. In 2011, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing at California State University, Fresno, where she won an Academy of American Poets Prize. Born in San Francisco, Michelle now lives in Long Beach and is a doctoral fellow in University of Southern California’s PhD program in Creative Writing & Literature.
S. Bryan Medina
A former student of California’s Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, his poetry has graced stages in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Kansas City. He founded the Inner Ear as a way to free poetry from the confines of academic institutions, making it accessible to all. Bryan has been awarded two City of Fresno Commendations for contributions to Fresno’s rich artistic and cultural heritage and has been featured as one of the four “Fresno Poets” from writer Nick Belardes’s Distinguished Valley Writers series as well as appeared in journals such as Poetry, Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets, In The Gove, The San Joaquin Review, Jubilee, and Invisible Memoirs and was an Honorable Mention in the ‘06 Larry Levis Poetry Prize. He is a recent graduate of Fresno Pacific University and plans to teach Special Education.
“I’m half-Mexican – get used to it ’cause in about five to 10 years, you’re all gonna be related to one. Whether you like it or not, no matter how much you prepared your family, you’re gonna show up at Thanksgiving one of these years, you’re gonna walk in and say, ‘Hey! What’s happening? Since when did we start serving flan?'”-Al Madrigal
“As a kid who grew up never feeling Chinese enough (because I didn’t speak Cantonese like my dad) and never feeling white enough (because I ate stuff like chicken feet and dried cuttlefish that freaked out my Caucasian friends), Mixed Remixed was like Camelot. It was magical. Everyone had gone through their own weird, bi-racial journey. It was a giant, collective, beautiful validation.”-Jamie Ford
by Heidi W. Durrow
Heidi W. Durrow is the author of “The Girl Who Fell From the Sky,” a novel.
JUNE 16, 2015
“Are those your eyes?” It’s a question I’m asked almost daily as a brown-skinned woman who has dark curly hair and bright blue eyes.
My father was African-American and my mother is Danish and I’m ethnically ambiguous. I look Dominican to Dominicans, Bangladeshi to Bangladeshis, Puerto Rican to Puerto Ricans, and Greek to Greeks. I’m a reluctant shape-shifter.
I learned that because of the peculiar way that math and race work together in America, I was black. But those facts conflicted with my actual experience.
So I couldn’t help but celebrate when I saw the headlines last week that multiracial Americans are the country’s fastest-growing population. In the future, it’s possible that people who look like me will be the norm.
This past weekend some 700 attendees celebrated stories of mixed-race people and families at the Mixed Remixed Festival — an annual film, book and performance festival in Los Angeles. There was much discussion of the bizarre case of Rachel Dolezal, the now past president of Spokane’s N.A.A.C.P. chapter, who was outed by her family as passing as black.
Read the rest of the article here.
We can’t wait to see you either! In the meantime, let’s keep the good energy and connection going. Here’s how you can stay involved:
- Maybe you have a special skill you’d like to share with the Festival? Join us!
- Maybe you just have extra time? Join us!
- Maybe you just want to hang out with some cool folks? Join us!
- $20 gets you a Festival t-shirt and makes you look as great as our volunteers!
- Do you shop on Amazon? Well, now a portion of what you spend will go to Mixed Remixed. Just remember to use this link via Amazon Smile.
- We also would love to accept a good old-fashioned check. Please mail to Mixed Remixed c/o Heidi Durrow PO Box 66848 Los Angeles, CA 90066. Make the check payable to Mixed Remixed.
3. Spread the Word!
- Share the Festival video on Facebook, Twitter, or your personal blog. Let people know about this amazing event. And follow us on the hashtags #mixedremixed #multiracial #mixedrace on all our social media channels.
We’ll be announcing the dates–yes, you heard me: “dates” with an s–in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned! –Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
“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