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
This is a wonderful opportunity for high school aged storytellers (grades 10, 11, 12) in LA/Ventura/Orange/San Bernardino Counties. Students of all backgrounds and abilities are invited to apply – but the deadline is MONDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2013! Break a leg!
Click here for application materials: http://www.centertheatregroup.org/augustwilson?utm_source=mail2&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EmailSBOpeningNightPhotos
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.
I participated in Film Independent’s Project:Involve program back in 2007, when, after several years of pursuing an acting career, I decided that I wanted to be an actor who also knows how to write and produce. I was growing tired of the kinds of roles my agent sent me out for – e.g. ‘Party Girl #1’ for Bud Light commercials – and was especially tired of not seeing people I could relate to being represented in the media. That’s how I found Film Independent.
Film Independent is dedicated to nurturing underrepresented filmmakers through workshops, mentor programs (like Project:Involve) and the Independent Spirit Awards. Project:Involve surrounds its participants with mentors, professionals and other filmmakers whose voices have often been rejected in the mainstream. The application process is rigorous, but if you are chosen, any of Film Independent’s programs will change the trajectory of your filmmaking career – and the media will greatly benefit from having your added voice.
The next Project:Involve deadline is April 2014.
Best of luck – and keep telling your 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!
Here’s a review of the film Belle, which just played at the Toronto Film Festival:
The true story of a mixed-race child raised by British aristocrats is lightly fictionalized by Amma Asante.
click HERE to continue reading
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.
WTTF…a modern day Guess Who is Coming To Dinner?
I have seen several previews on TV for NBC’s new comedy Welcome To The Family. I wasn’t too interested until I saw a commercial yesterday that talked about interracial families. The two teenagers in the show were talking about the growing number of multiracial families in America and how they will be one too. I have NOT been able to find the clip anywhere online…but when I do, I will be sure to post it. Now as I look into the storyline more… I see that it is more than a teenage pregnancy story. It is a story of the Yoder and Hernandez families being joined by their teenagers falling in love. A classic Romeo and Juliet plot with a splash of racial and cultural differences. Though it is nice to see the presence of multiracial families on TV, I am not surprised that it again will be under an unwelcomed relationship, and child. We will have to stay tuned to see how the story unfolds…
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
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is hosting a workshop for emerging filmmakers and film students. Here’s a chance to learn how to take those Mixed experience stories floating around in your head and get them into a visual medium. The deadline to apply is September 12 – so get those applications IN!