Kickstarter: New Children’s Book About Diversity

An author of a new children’s book filled out our ‘promote your story link’ to promote her Kickstarter campaign for a new children’s book. Let us know if you have any projects you’d like us to promote!

From their Kickstarter Campaign page (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/453478160/a-friend-can-be)

“A Friend Can Be” is a book inspired by years of preschool teaching and by a “three round” motherhood experience. While most books about friendship are geared towards older children, ” A Friend Can Be” is written in a way that even a very young child can understand. The language of the book is clear and simple and the illustrations feature familiar landmarks in Atlanta that captivate an older audience as well as the young children. Crafted for children roughly from 2 to 6-years-old, “A Friend Can Be” is written and illustrated to include all kinds of kids, all kinds of places, and all kinds of people in general. Written by an Early Childhood and Special Ed teacher with over 12 years experience Ana Hazanov, and designed and illustrated by amazingly creative artist Gregory Lee, this books reflects years of expertise and many days (and nights) of creative labor.

 


New Book for Grandmothers with Multiracial Families

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



Amon. My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me

Jennifer Teege

 

 

Here is a story that crosses race, culture, history and all knowing of who we think we are.

 

Jennifer Teege grew up in a foster home as a child.  As an adult she begins to explore the history of where she comes from…her biological parents background.  Not talking about her family story created internal turmoil that led to depression.

“You think that if you don’t talk about something, then it won’t have any impact on you. But in my case the silence had a destructive effect,” she said.

She begins to explore her story as she writes this book, and finds that storytelling can be healing.

“Your origin is decisive in your own identity, and every person needs to feel their own identity,” Teege said. So far she has focused on her German family history but in the future she wants to get to know Africa and travel to Nigeria – the home of her biological father.

http://www.dw.de/my-grandfather-would-have-shot-me/a-17109468

“I am not a reflection of this part of my family story but I am still very connected to it. I try to find a way to integrate it into my life.

It is a story that is very unique and very unusual, and a story that has a deeper meaning. It is more about the universal question of how to deal with the weight of the past on the present – and it should show that it is possible to gain personal freedom from the past.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24347798

Living a life of multiplicity often presents the finding of ‘skeletons in the closet.’ Teege provides some guidance on how to gracefully put our past in its rightful place and not let it overshadow our life.

Check out the above links to more information about her story!


United States of the United Races – Great Resource for Storytellers

carterWhen 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.


Brown Rice: My Blasian Story

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!


Asian American Literary Review: Mixed Race Issue

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

 


Mixed Character Takes On Comic Books

 

Miles Morales

Have you heard? Miles Morales (African American and Puerto Rican) takes over for Spider Man in the Marvel comic series. He currently has appeared in 90 issues. It will be interesting to track how they portray Miles’ mixed story with an extra layer of super hero.

You can read more about his character, here on Comic Vine: http://www.comicvine.com/miles-morales/4005-79420/

And here in an article written by mixed author Marcia Dawkins: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcia-alesan-dawkins/marvels-mixed-race-ultima_b_917442.html


My Two Grannies – Summer Reading for the Kids!

My 2 Grannies

Author Floella Benjamin shares her story through a cute picture book featuring a mixed heroine and her two grandmothers, one from Trinidad and one from England. She followed this book up by writing My Two Grandads. These would be great summer reads to share with your children over the sumer!

My 2 Granddads

 

 

 


Americanah

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s new novel explores the Mixed experience as a Nigerian woman who returns to Nigeria after spending over ten years in academia in the U.S. This REVIEW from the LA Times calls it one of the best novels ‘you’ll read all year.’