Radical Love: A Transatlantic Dialogue about Race and Mixed Race

Radical Love: A Transatlantic Dialogue about Race and Mixed Race

Asian American Literary Review
Volume 4, Issue 2, Pandora’s Box (2013)
pages 15-26

Daniel McNeil, Ida B. Wells-Barnett Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies
DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

Leanne Taylor, Assistant Professor of Education
Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Boy meets girl. Boy makes the girl laugh with some playful jibes about his English accent and her “cynical Canadian” response to a talk about radical love in America. Girl gives boy a lingering, flirtatious handshake. Boy resists the urge to say, “this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

This is a transatlantic love story informed by the neurotic heroes of the Facebook era as much as the stoic men of 1940s Hollywood or the stubborn women of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The boy displays similar levels of social awkwardness and ambition to the character of Marc Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook, in The Social Network. Yet he has a modicum of charm and is able to craft some touching emails to the girl when he returns to England. The girl is far more interesting than any of the female characters in The Social Network and sparks back some funny Facebook messages from Canada. After reconnecting in Toronto in January 2011, they start to communicate via Blackberry instant messenger and send each other letters, books and poetry. Their conversations provide a revealing glimpse into the politics and poetics of mixed race relationships. For whereas the transracial, transdisciplinary and transnational field of mixed race studies tends to focus on the love between “interracial couples” and their children, their romantic back and forth offers a revealing glimpse into the love between two people defined as mixed race.

Read the entire article here.

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