I Would Meet You Anywhere, A Memoir

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, United States on 2023-06-09 17:04Z by Steven

I Would Meet You Anywhere, A Memoir

Mad Creek Books (an imprint of Ohio State University Press)
248 pages
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8142-5883-5

Susan Kiyo Ito

Growing up with adoptive nisei parents, Susan Kiyo Ito knew only that her birth mother was Japanese American and her father white. But finding and meeting her birth mother in her early twenties was only the beginning of her search for answers, history, and identity. Though the two share a physical likeness, an affinity for ice cream, and a relationship that sometimes even feels familial, there is an ever-present tension between them, as a decades-long tug-of-war pits her birth mother’s desire for anonymity against Ito’s need to know her origins, to see and be seen. Along the way, Ito grapples with her own reproductive choices, the legacy of the Japanese American incarceration experience during World War II, and the true meaning of family. An account of love, what it’s like to feel neither here nor there, and one writer’s quest for the missing pieces that might make her feel whole, I Would Meet You Anywhere is the stirring culmination of Ito’s decision to embrace her right to know and tell her own story.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Part 1
    • I Would Meet You Anywhere
    • Go for Broke
    • The Place I Came From
    • Not a Japanese Girl
    • Searching
    • One of These Things Is Not Like the Other
    • What Do You Need?
    • A Small Crime
    • What I Did Over Spring Break
    • I Would Meet You at the Holiday Inn
  • Part 2
    • Your Mother Is Very Nice
    • The Mouse Room
    • Totaled
    • Lucky
    • I Would Meet You in a Hospital
    • Long-Lost Daughter
    • Just a Bee Sting
    • Dairy Queen
    • I Would Meet You at a Wedding
    • Origami
    • Undertow
    • Guest Room
    • Separation
    • Like a Heartbeat
  • Part 3
    • A Small Hole
    • Spit
    • I Would Meet You at the Ferry Building
    • I Had an Aunt
    • Got OBC?
    • Look at the Baby
    • The Most Japanese Person in the Family
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments
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A War Born Family: African American Adoption in the Wake of the Korean War

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2022-03-17 14:31Z by Steven

A War Born Family: African American Adoption in the Wake of the Korean War

New York University Press
January 2020
328 Pages
6.00 x 9.00 in
Hardcover ISBN: 9781479872329
Ebook ISBN: 9781479815869

Kori A. Graves, Associate Professor of History
University at Albany, State University of New York

The origins of a transnational adoption strategy that secured the future for Korean-black children

The Korean War left hundreds of thousands of children in dire circumstances, but the first large-scale transnational adoption efforts involved the children of American soldiers and Korean women. Korean laws and traditions stipulated that citizenship and status passed from father to child, which made the children of US soldiers legally stateless. Korean-black children faced additional hardships because of Korean beliefs about racial purity, and the segregation that structured African American soldiers’ lives in the military and throughout US society. The African American families who tried to adopt Korean-black children also faced and challenged discrimination in the child welfare agencies that arranged adoptions.

Drawing on extensive research in black newspapers and magazines, interviews with African American soldiers, and case notes about African American adoptive families, A War Born Family demonstrates how the Cold War and the struggle for civil rights led child welfare agencies to reevaluate African American men and women as suitable adoptive parents, advancing the cause of Korean transnational adoption.

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Beyond Visible: Gina Prince-Bythewood on the Necessity of Black Women’s Cinema

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2022-03-16 02:00Z by Steven

Beyond Visible: Gina Prince-Bythewood on the Necessity of Black Women’s Cinema

The Criterion Collection

Rebecca Carroll

There is a gloriously unaffected vibe about Gina Prince-Bythewood. Cerebral and sublime, casually beautiful and laser-focused, she has written and directed impressive television and film for the past twenty-plus years with equal parts rigor and joy. And she has achieved all this without losing her sense of self as a Black woman in America, and while continuing to fight to get personal projects made in Hollywood.

Prince-Bythewood has recently reached new heights by becoming the first Black woman to direct a major comic-book movie. That film—The Old Guard, starring KiKi Layne and Charlize Theron—premiered on Netflix in the summer of 2020, at the peak of the pandemic, to widely favorable reviews. Prince-Bythewood, though, is still best known for writing and directing her 2001 feature debut, Love & Basketball, which tells the indelibly original story of a young Black woman ballplayer. The film is not just a love letter to basketball but a paean to the complexity, ambition, and perseverance of Black womanhood. After writing for shows like A Different World and Felicity, Prince-Bythewood went on to direct for TV, including episodes of Girlfriends and Everybody Hates Chris. She returned to the big screen in 2008 with The Secret Life of Bees, and again in 2014 with Beyond the Lights, which is when we first met.

I had known and admired Gina’s work; I don’t know a single Black woman who did not obsess over the love scene in Love & Basketball set to Maxwell’sThis Woman’s Work.” But Beyond the Lights, from the opening scene, hit different. Here was the story of a young Black girl with a white mother who couldn’t see her daughter outside of her own white gaze. It echoed my own experience. I reviewed the film for an online blog and then requested an interview with Gina, which very quickly turned into a conversation that felt uncannily familiar. We were born within a month of each other, in 1969, and were both adopted into white families three weeks after being born. We had both spent our youth navigating all-white environments, desperately in search of a reflection of ourselves. We both turned to storytelling as a career path and a way to make sense of that experience.

Gina has written herself into the narrative—in the movies she’s brought to the screen, the family she’s made, and the world she’s created around her. In celebration of the new Criterion edition of Love & Basketball, we got together to catch up, reflect, and get into it…

Read the entire interview here.

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Killing Karoline

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, South Africa on 2022-02-25 17:04Z by Steven

Killing Karoline

Jacana Media
208 pages
6.25 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-1920601959

Sara-Jayne King

What happens when the baby they buried comes back?

Born Karoline King in 1980 in Johannesburg South Africa, Sara-Jayne (as she will later be called by her adoptive parents) is the result of an affair, illegal under apartheid’s Immorality Act, between a white British woman and a black South African man. Her story reveals the shocking lie created to cover up the forbidden relationship and the hurried overseas adoption of the illegitimate baby, born during one of history’s most inhumane and destructive regimes. Killing Karoline follows the journey of the baby girl who is raised in a leafy, middle-class corner of the South of England by a white couple. Plagued by questions surrounding her own identity and unable to ‘fit in’ Sara-Jayne begins to turn on herself. She eventually returns to South Africa, after 26 years, to face her demons. There she is forced to face issues of identity, race, rejection and belonging beyond that which she could ever have imagined. She must also face her birth family, who in turn must confront what happens when the baby you kill off at a mere six weeks old returns from the dead.

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“Colin in Black & White” writer on Kaepernick’s parents & awakening: “They didn’t see him as Black”

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States, Videos on 2021-12-03 02:50Z by Steven

“Colin in Black & White” writer on Kaepernick’s parents & awakening: “They didn’t see him as Black”


D. Watkins, Editor-at-Large

Colin Kaepernick in “Colin in Black & White” (Ser Baffo/Netflix)

Michael Starrbury appeared on “Salon Talks” to discuss how he wants to increase awareness of privilege and reality

Back in 2016, the superstar NFL quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, had become so fed up with racism, police violence against Black and Brown people, and the many injustices woven into the fabric of America, that he decided to begin his own silent protests, by taking a knee during the singing of the National Anthem.

Since then, Kaepernick, 34, has been allegedly blackballed from the NFL, with every team refusing to sign him, even though he is arguably better than half of the quarterbacks in the league. He filed a lawsuit against the NFL for discrimination and won an undisclosed amount of money and then smoothly transitioned toward his second act as an activist. He started Kaepernick Publishing company, donated to grassroots organizations all over the world and launched the Know Your Rights Camp so that young people from improvised areas can get the resources they need to learn about the many types of racial injustices in America, challenge the system and become the next generation of leaders.

Taking a knee during the anthem has bought Colin Kaepernick more hate than any of us could have probably imagined – from him being a constant target for conservative media to President Donald Trump calling him and other NFL anthem protestors who followed his lead a “sons of a bitch” just because they wanted to use their platform as a vehicle for raising awareness. Michael Starrbury, who was a writer on Netflix’s Emmy-nominated series “When they See Us,” had the difficult job of not only researching the impact of Kaepernick’s protest, but tying his decision to do so with some of the most traumatic incidents from Kaep’s childhood in the new Netflix series “Colin In Black and White.”…

Read and/or watch the interview here.

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Acculturation of mixed-race people and/or adoptees

Posted in Family/Parenting, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Work on 2021-11-02 14:10Z by Steven

Acculturation of mixed-race people and/or adoptees

MAIF Social Club
37 Rue de Turenne
75003 Paris, France
2021-11-09, 18:30 CET (Local Time)

For its 4th edition in France, the National Adoption Awareness Month, organized by the director Amandine Gay, offers a comparative view between the experience of transracial adoptees and mixed-race people.

“Acculturation of mixed-race people and/or adoptees” conference will welcome:

The event is free, with subscription and in French.

The conference will be recorded and available later on, at the MAIF online channel.

For more information, click here.

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Famous Adopted People

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels on 2021-10-28 18:31Z by Steven

Famous Adopted People

Unnamed Press
331 pages
5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
12 ounces
Paperback ISBN: 9781944700744

Alice Stephens

Debut novelist Alice Stephens combines dark humor and a keen wit to examine the profound implications of not knowing where you come from; and how our perceptions of an unknown world reflect deeper truths about our own.

Lisa Pearl is an American teaching English in Japan and the situation there—thanks mostly to her spontaneous, hard-partying ways—has become problematic. Now she’s in Seoul, South Korea, with her childhood best-friend Mindy. The young women share a special bond: they are both Korean-born adoptees into white American families. Mindy is in Seoul to track down her birth mom, and wants Lisa to do the same. Trouble is, Lisa isn’t convinced she needs to know about her past, much less meet her biological mother.

She’d much rather spend time with Harrison, an almost supernaturally handsome local who works for the Motherfinder’s agency. When Lisa wakes up inside a palatial mountain compound, the captive of a glamorous, surgically-enhanced blonde named Honey, she soon realizes she is going to learn about her past whether she likes it or not. What happens next only could in one place: North Korea.

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Surviving the White Gaze: A Memoir

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2021-10-28 16:54Z by Steven

Surviving the White Gaze: A Memoir

Washington Independent Review of Books

Alice Stephens

A transracial adoptee reveals her struggle to build a Black identity in a world of white privilege.

Rebecca Carroll, Surviving the White Gaze, A Memoir (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021)

In 1972, the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) issued a position statement that took a “vehement stand against the placement of Black children in white homes for any reason.” The document eloquently and forcefully explains this stance as crucial to the child’s healthy formation of identity in a society intent on the erasure of Blackness.

Around that time, David and Laurette Carroll formally adopt Rebecca, whom they had been raising since infancy. Rebecca is the mixed-race child of Tess, a white high school student of David’s. Uninterested in Black life and culture, the Carrolls were likely unaware of NABSW’s stance. As Rebecca Carroll vividly reveals in her searing memoir, Surviving the White Gaze, her adoptive parents were woefully unprepared to raise a Black child, clueless to the challenges she faced as the only Black resident of their rural New Hampshire town.

Like many progressive people of that era who adopted outside of their race, the Carrolls, who already had two biological children of their own, “believed in Zero Population Growth, and so…didn’t want to bring another child into the world.”

They first thought of adopting a Native American child, no doubt influenced by the Indian Adoption Project, a federal program that was heralded as a beacon of enlightened adoption practices for placing brown babies with white families. But then, 16-year-old Tess offers the Carrolls the opportunity to adopt her baby, fathered by a Black man. As Tess is a friend of the family, the adoption is open…

Read the entire review here.

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Women and Mixed Race Representation in Film: Eight Star Profiles

Posted in Biography, Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-10-27 20:24Z by Steven

Women and Mixed Race Representation in Film: Eight Star Profiles

302 pages
54 photos, notes, bibliography, index
7 x 10
Softcover ISBN: 978-1-4766-6338-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4766-4473-8

Valerie C. Gilbert
Seattle, Washington

This book uses a black/white interracial lens to examine the lives and careers of eight prominent American-born actresses from the silent age through the studio era, New Hollywood, and into the present century: Josephine Baker, Nina Mae McKinney, Fredi Washington, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Lonette McKee, Jennifer Beals and Halle Berry. Combining biography with detailed film readings, the author fleshes out the tragic mulatto stereotype, while at the same time exploring concepts and themes such as racial identity, the one-drop rule, passing, skin color, transracial adoption, interracial romance, and more. With a wealth of background information, this study also places these actresses in historical context, providing insight into the construction of race, both onscreen and off.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. Josephine Baker: From Exotic Savage to Creole Queen
  • 2. Nina Mae McKinney: Dichotomy of a Hollywood Black Woman
  • 3. Fredi Washington: Paradox of Black Identity
  • 4. Lena Horne: Separate and Unequalled
  • 5. Dorothy Dandridge: ­Star-Crossed Crossover Star
  • 6. Lonette McKee: Mixed Race Heroine Remix
  • 7. Jennifer Beals: White But Not Quite
  • 8. Halle Berry: Imitation of Dorothy Dandridge
  • Chapter Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Screen Title Index
  • Subject Index
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“I See Me with Rebecca Carroll”

Posted in Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Videos, Women on 2021-04-22 23:08Z by Steven

“I See Me with Rebecca Carroll”

Black America
CUNY TV, New York, New York

Carol Jenkins, Hosts

Rebecca Carroll talks with us about her latest book, “Surviving the White Gaze: A Memoir” that walks us through her struggle with race and identity as she navigates life in a white world.

Black America is an in-depth conversation that explores what it means to be Black in America. The show profiles Black activists, academics, business leaders, sports figures, elected officials, artists and writers to gauge this experience in a time of both turbulence and breakthroughs.

Black America is hosted by Carol Jenkins, Emmy award winning New York City journalist, and founding president of The Women’s Media Center.

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