Hi Meltingpot Readers,
Despite how you feel about Black history month (February), Hispanic Heritage Month (October-ish) or any other race specific memorial month, I think it's uber important to recognize Mixed Experience History month? Why? Because for so many people the idea of a Mixed-Race identity is foreign at best, or non-existant at worst. Many people believe there is no culture or community of Mixed-Race people, that the Mixed-Race experience can simply be lumped together with other 'colored' folk.
I can honestly admit that until I had my own mixie kids AND began to plug into the Mixed-Race community, I thought the same way. I just assumed because my kids had brown skin, their experience in this world would mirror my own. But it doesn't. Not exactly. My boys know they are the sum of two very distinct parts. They see it every day. They want to know about others like them. They need to know the history and culture of both of their parents' disparate backgrounds. And of course they need to know two languages to successfully navigate those two cultures and to belong. It's not the same. There is a beauty and a power in being able to lay claim to two different cultures and it truly does make for a unique outlook on life.
Heidi Durrow, the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky and co-founder of the Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival is the one who started Mixed Experience History Month. In her own words, here's why:
" Mixed Experience History Month is my effort to counteract the idea that our society has only become truly multiracial in the Obama age. Truth is, it's been going on forever--the stories have just been silenced."
On her website, Durrow posts a new profile every day in May about a different Mixie. It's great reading and very illuminating.
If you'd like to do your own "celebrating" of the Mixed-Race experience, consider reading some of the following books.
Caucasia: A Novel by Danzy Senna
Danzy Senna's memoir about her biracial family: Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow
Passing by Nella Larsen
The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson
The Color of Water by James McBride
What books would you add to this list? I'm listening.