The Mixed-Race in-betweeners

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-16 03:14Z by Steven

The Mixed-Race in-betweeners

The Columbia Spectator
New York, New York

Keenan Smith

I am Mixed-Race. I am both Black and white. I am also American and have therefore been raised in a culture that seems to be constantly divided along racial boundaries, whether they are in campus diversity and inclusion programs or identity-based organizations, with little regard for those of us who fall among the shades of gray.

Regardless of how those of us on the grayscale identify, we are often forced by society to pick a side, whether it be on college applications or social circles. We are encouraged to choose only one lineage, to look at our racial background and choose which identity we will bear.

Because I am biracial, choosing a background has meant recognizing the fact that one of my racial identities is responsible for the oppression of the other. This internal struggle has been illustrated by current events like the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the church shooting in Charleston that killed nine Black brothers and sisters, the countless murders of Black women, men (both cis and trans), and gender-nonconforming individuals at the hands of our police force, and the protests organized by brave students at Mizzou and Yale. This tension has also impacted my personal life. For example, I’ve had to explain to my mother why racial “color-blindness” is harmful and that she shouldn’t take it personally when I complain about white people…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

New group looks to bring together mixed-race students

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive, United States on 2015-08-13 18:57Z by Steven

New group looks to bring together mixed-race students

Columbia Daily Spectator
New York, New York

Marium Dar, Spectator Staff Writer

A new student group is hoping to create a safe space for mixed-race students to discuss the challenges and struggles they face when discussing self-identity and racialization.

The Mixed-Race Students Society of Columbia University, which was founded last month, holds biweekly discussions where members take on topics including the difference between identification and racialization.

“As an organization, we have shared form and not content. The form of our experiences is the same,” board member Eliana Pipes, CC ’18, said. “Even though we all have completely different backgrounds, completely different mixes, we can identify on that common ground.”.

“The mixed-race [experience] is its own unique racial experience. If you are mixed with black, then you can never have the black experience on its own,” Pipes said. “If you are mixed with white, then you can never have the white experience on its own.”

Group founder Keenan Smith, CC ’18, who identifies as half black and half white, said he feels a tension between the two parts of his racial background…

…While a group called Hapa [Club] aimed to carry out a similar mission for students of partial Asian descent, it has been inactive since 2013. Smith said he wanted to create a community for students who felt marginalized based on their multiracial background…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,