Location, Location, Location
Recently my son’s school held an International Day where they could dress to show their heritage/culture. As my three children sat at the table and discussed the best way for my son to accomplish this I observed how “comfortable” they were with being part of two cultures. They were equally excited to help my son capture both their Black American heritage as well as their Puerto Rican heritage. They do not claim one more than the other and they identify with both.
I often hear about biracial and multicultural children who only identify with one culture, have a hard time “fitting in” to either of their cultural backgrounds, or just struggle socially all together. I thought about how my children’s experience may be different from these children . I came up with lots of possible reasons. There are the obvious things like, they are being raised by parents who encourage them to be proud of both of their cultures, they are loved and embraced by both sides of their families and they are taught that all people are the same regardless of their heritage or culture. However, there was another reason that I kept coming to and that is (more…)
Being Biracial is More Than Just Being an “Other”
by Ashley Haines
Lumpia or soul food? Basketball or academics? Hip-hop or violin music? For the greater part of my life, I have been torn between these cultural stereotypes. I am black and Asian.
Embracing both of my races is something I like to do, but doesn’t seem socially acceptable. Where does that put me? In the “Other” category?
I have ethnic features and traits, which contradict my two racial communities, thus making me an immediate outcast within them. I’m too skinny and my hair’s too long to be your “average” black girl, and my lips are too full and complexion too dark to be what most consider Asian. I am an “Other” because I can’t relate to the stereotypes our society has grown to know and grasp so tightly to.
I am an “Other” because multiple-choice-testing sheets and other surveys try to label me so. What some may call shading in a bubble to indicate your race an unthought-of task, doing so has become quite the challenge for me. (more…)
In the Boston area and looking for something to do this weekend? The Harvard Half-Asian People’s Association will host its third annual conference on mixed-race politics and identity issues, “So…What Are You, Anyway?” (SWAYA) on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26, 2011 on the Harvard University campus. The event is open to the public and will feature an array of exciting guest lecturers who will speak on issues involving multiracial identity. Find more information at http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/harvardhapa/swaya/?page_id=2
According to the NY Times “One in seven new marriages is between spouses of different races or ethnicities, according to data from 2008 and 2009 that was analyzed by the Pew Research Center. Multiracial and multiethnic Americans (usually grouped together as “mixed race”) are one of the country’s fastest-growing demographic groups. And experts expect the racial results of the 2010 census, which will start to be released next month, to show the trend continuing or accelerating.” See the full story here.
How should hospitals isolate meaningful racial data while honoring the complete person
I don’t know what it was about this past Fall, but it seemed as if every other week, my son was injuring himself. He suffered a bad fall while playing soccer on an unpaved parking lot. He suffered a black eye and cuts to his face after being hit by a bat-wielding 3 year old.
By far, the scariest incident was when he cut his eye. While entertaining cousins in his room, he yelled out in a shriek that could lead any parent to imagine the most horrific scene ever. Blood, oozing guts, we wondered what we’d see once we reached his room.
As it turned out, my son had managed to shoot himself in the eye with a Nerf gun. Leave it to an 8 year old boy to attempt to clear a jammed Nerf gun by pulling the trigger while looking down the barrel. (more…)
“You are not Mexican !” When multi-racial children are corrected when they self-identify not as people think they should
Last year, my son (7 yrs old at the time) had two of his friends over; a brother and sister. While the children played in my son’s bedroom, my husband and I moped about the house wondering what we were going to get into.
We could hear the children in the bedroom talking about the artwork on my son’s walls. When they came across the Mexican flag hanging on my son’s closet door, a spirited discussion began. One of the kids asked “why do you have a Mexican flag?” My son answered “because I’m Mexican.” “How can you be Mexican when you don’t speak Spanish?” asked one of the children. (more…)