Thanks so much to Kaypri for letting us know about her mother’s book “I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know: A Southern White Woman’s Story About Race.” You can learn more about this moving and important story here: www.dorothystory.com – why not make it a holiday gift for a mother or grandmother on YOUR list!?
Here’s the description Kaypri sent us:
Dorothy Hampton Marcus is a Civil Rights Activist, truly ahead of her time. She jumped into Race Relations before it had a name, (in the fifties), and was one of very few Whites to do so. A Winston-Salem, North Carolina native, she grew up in the Jim Crow Era, not fully knowing what that really meant. In her undergrad years at Meredith College in Raleigh she had her first one-on-one inter-racial experience which this progressive all-womens school arranged. This event changed her life and by the time she graduated, she’d found a new passion. Determined to enlighten others with what she had begun to know, she found answers in the most unexpected places witnessing history along the way. For the next two decades she worked in a succession of “Human Relations” jobs throughout the U.S. putting off marriage and motherhood to do so. Even after marrying “late” at age 40, she never gave up on improving civil rights for all people. She was determined to share what she now knew well past her retirement when she started writing this story. She dedicated herself to finishing the book right up until the onset of dementia made it impossible for her to write another sentence. It was at that point that I realized it was up to me to pick up the baton which I started by completing the first draft of her book for her 80th birthday in 2012. It took me nearly two more years to flesh it out and publish it, adding my Daughter’s Notes along the way. I am truly proud to share my mother’s story with the world!
Devin C. Hughes recently filled in our ‘Promote Your Story‘ link to tell us about his book Contrast: A Biracial Man’s Journey To Desegregate His Past
In 1967, the Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage in America. Devin Hughes was born two years later to a black father and white mother who fled to Washington DC to escape the racism of the Deep South. Bigotry still ran rampant up North, and light-skinned, greeneyed Devin felt its pull from both ends: strangers who didn’t know he was half-black and friends who didn’t care he was half-white. In racial limbo, Devin found himself more consumed with his dysfunctional family life—a father who offered an alternative “street” education and a mother whose drug use zombified her for most of his childhood. Despite his parents’ flaws, they were Devin’s greatest believers. From his dad founding a neighborhood baseball team to his mom advocating for him in school, they taught Devin that anything imaginable was within reach, that their mistakes needn’t be his choices, and that his destiny was for greatness. Ultimately, Contrast: A Biracial Man’s Journey to Desegregate His Past isn’t a book about race; it’s a book about acceptance, perseverance, and love.
Purchase the book from Amazon by clicking here: Contrast: A Biracial Man’s Journey to Desegregate His Past
Follow Devin C. Hughes on Twitter: @devinchughes
And support his work with a ‘like’ on his facebook page: facebook.com/ChiefInspirationOfficer
Here’s a link to a fascinating thesis: Infant Perceptions of Mixed-Race Faces: An Exploration of the Hypodescent Rule in 8.5 Month-Old Infants (click the title to the left to be redirected to the full thesis).
Is our story solidified at such an early age? If so, what can we do to change it?
Grandmothering: Real Life in Real Families is a new book by Becky Sarah (Child Development Specialist, midwife and childbirth educator, Public Health Director for the City of Chelsea, MA and, most importantly, Grandmother). The book offers practical advice to women whose grandchildren’s worlds are very different from the ones they themselves grew up in. The section on Multiracial Families includes references to Loving v. Virginia, the one-drop rule, and why stating that you’re “Colorblind” is not helpful to young children (or anyone, for that matter). Mixed Roots Stories is also very proud to be included as a resource. Take a moment to read the synopsis and reviews on Amazon, and if you enjoy it as much as we do – add it to your collection and to your gift-giving list. http://www.amazon.com/Grandmothering-Real-Life-Families/dp/0989791807/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381004049&sr=8-1&keywords=grandmothering
When discovering the strongest submissions for the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival, one thing always stood out for me: the storyteller (filmmaker, author, performer) had a solid understanding of the historical context behind the story they were telling. Although many of the personal narratives were compelling, it was often clear when the creator of the work hadn’t delved into the historical reasons why they found themselves in a certain time and space. This often made the work feel lacking in some way.
Enter Greg Carter’s United States of the United Races – an antidote to celebrations of the mixed experience that lack the important weight of context. The Introduction examines how President Obama – and many others – have capitalized on his being mixed, “he piggybacked onto positive notions about racially mixed people to improve his symbolic power.” Carter makes his goals for the book clear here: 1) to show that racial mixture has a long history of being touted as a way towards progress and 2) to question the notion that racial mixture automatically equals progress.
In the following 7 chapters the book follows a chronological order, revisiting some of the history you may have heard often, like Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings, Plessy v. Ferguson, and also giving extensive details into lesser-discussed political and social leaders who addressed racial mixing like Wendell Phillips (who wrote the original United States of the United Races, from which Carter got his title), Albion Tourgée, José Vasconcelos and Jean Toomer.
Carter’s Conclusion leaves us with hope that mixed relationships – and the children/grandchildren, etc. produced by them – might help in achieving goals of equality. He includes a checklist – to ‘check ourselves’ on blindly seeing mixed people as the only saviors, and encourages a banding together – instead of separating ourselves – to insist on making changes.
I highly recommend this book, particularly to artists of all genres who want to address the mixed experience in their work. Even if your work does not directly refer to the past, understanding it better will certainly add depth to the stories you tell.
Here’s a PODCAST with Greg Carter discussing the book – hosted by Tiffany Ried of Mixed Race Radio.
Hitomi Lei Mockett is writing a memoir about growing up with a “Japanese, Buddhist mother and an African-American, Catholic-raised turned Atheist father.” Sharing a voice that has yet to be widely represented in the mainstream, Hitomi hopes to “advocates unity in culture and races through honest narrative, grounded in love.” We fully support her in her writing journey; take a look at her blog, and ‘like’ her facebook page to show your support too!
The AALR is dedicated to providing a space for both established and emerging writers to express what it means to identify as Asian American. Their latest issue is focused on Mixed Race identity, and they’ve gathered an impressive amount of storytellers of all genres to explore the Mixed experience. The hard cover journal is only the beginning, though. Throughout the 2013/2014 fall and spring semesters, over 100 universities will be participating in interactive classrooms using the Mixed Race issue as a springboard to discussions and new understandings of the Mixed experience. We strongly encourage you to purchase this journal, which will certainly be considered a historical archive, and to participate in the university initiatives.
Asian American Literary Review home page
Order your copy of the Mixed Race Issue HERE
Learn more about the University classes HERE
The Editors at Discover Nikkei invite you to submit personal stories and essays, memoirs, academic papers, book reviews, and other prose genre that share your thoughts on how Nikkei around the world perceive and experience being multiracial, multinational, multilingual, and multigenerational. It is our hope that by sharing the multitudes of our experiences, we enhance our ability to better understand who Nikkei are.
Submissions accepted from April 1 until September 30, 2013 at 6pm (PST). Click HERE for more info!
Cover of Tightly Curly
Curly Like Me is full of tips on how to maintain healthy curls. Author Teri LaFlesh spent years experimenting with – and breaking off – her own hair until she finally perfected the art of loving her curls. If you’d like to get a preview of all that you can learn from her book, head over to www.tightlycurly.com. Warning: you will likely be purchasing some new products after reading her tips, but you will be very glad you did. Purchase Curly Like Me on www.amazon.com