I am the “Rashida Jones” version of biracial. I have white skin and dark brown, wavy hair — people always assume I’m white.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-05-18 18:20Z by Steven

I am the “Rashida Jones” version of biracial. I have white skin and dark brown, wavy hair — people always assume I’m white. Mariah Carey, who has a white mother and a black, Venezuelan father, was the only white-looking biracial person I knew of growing up. She was the biracial role model I needed, and I often thought of her when I struggled with the constant denial and questioning I faced whenever I told someone I was part black.

Sarah E. Gaither, “I study biracial identity in America. Here’s why Meghan Markle is a big deal.Vox, May 18, 2018. https://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/5/14/17345162/meghan-markle-royal-wedding-2018-race.

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It’s Not Always Black And White: Biracial Narratives In TV

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-03-19 02:19Z by Steven

It’s Not Always Black And White: Biracial Narratives In TV


Jasmine Ramón
Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts

Cover Image Credit: Vulture

It is refreshing to see more and more shows and movies are depicting biracial narratives.

We usually talk about race as if it’s merely black people and white people. Often the critique is, what about if you’re neither? A question asked much less often is: “Well, what if you’re both?” Up until recently, there was little to be said about being biracial or mixed race in TV and movies. But there is so much complexity there as well.

There is a subtle moment in “Dear White People” when biracial main character Sam White changes her music to hip hop as she strolls past a group of black girls on campus. There is an equally subtle moment when Jerrod Carmichael’s biracial girlfriend Amber asks him if the classic Biggy song he is listening to is a new song on “The Carmichael Show.” These moments might be missed entirely, or merely chuckled at, but they are slight nods to what it means to constantly be bargaining one’s identity.

Both shows are largely about blackness, and the experience of black people. But they also both seem to suggest the remnants of the ‘one-drop rule,’ where any bit of blackness largely means acceptance into the black community, and exclusion from the white community. Of course, there are layers to this. At one point, Sam’s friend Joelle makes a comment likening Sam to a “Tracie Ellis Ross” (left in image below) rather than a “Rashida Jones.” (right)…

Read the entire article here.

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Twitter and Rashida Jones helped me embrace my Blackness as a biracial person — no, really

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-21 18:54Z by Steven

Twitter and Rashida Jones helped me embrace my Blackness as a biracial person — no, really


Jessica Tholmer

Jessica Tholmer

I don’t look like my mother. My mother is short, blonde, and very, very Irish. I am much taller and have a bigger frame, even from a young age. My hair is soft and curly and mousy brown. My hands are big, my feet are big, and my skin is not very Irish. Though I was raised single-handedly by my white mother, I have never considered myself white.

This is being biracial.

My father is a Black man — Black and Sicilian, if we’re getting specific. He is quite a bit older than my mom and was an afro-sporting, bell-bottom jean-wearing Black Panther in the ’70s. I knew him when I was young, but not for much of my life. Between 8 and 24, we didn’t speak to one another at all, not once. But even though he didn’t raise me, his lineage, his blood, our story was always there.

I have always identified as biracial, though it took me until recently to admit that I identify more with my “Black side.” In many different social situations growing up, I had to announce my Blackness. I have been in rooms with people who did not know I was Black, and I have heard how white people will talk to one another about things they do not know in the presence of someone with an ambiguous background. (No, not all white people.) I have always been uncomfortable in certain situations — around people who grew up conservatively or without knowing any people of color. At a very young age, I learned to ask, “Is it racist?” when someone asked me if I wanted to hear a joke. I do not look Black, but I have no problem prefacing a potentially upsetting situation with the fact of my Blackness…

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Mixed-Race Celebrities on Race, in their Own Words

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Barack Obama, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States, Women on 2011-02-17 05:33Z by Steven

Mixed-Race Celebrities on Race, in their Own Words

Time Magazine: Healthland

Meredith Melnick, Reporter and Producer

Who Are You?

If biracial and multiracial celebrities have anything in common, it is that they are often asked to explain themselves. That may sound familiar to any person of mixed ancestry for whom questions like “What are you?” and the slightly more delicate “Where are your parents from?” are the norm.

“Historically, racism is equated with segregation, separating people,” says Marcia Alesan Dawkins, a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. “In turn, we think racial progress is racial mixing. But the problem is, [that progress is] still based on appearance.”

People who embody racial diversity can’t be expected to explain the concept to everybody else, but their thoughts on the matter are often illuminating. As Dawkins said, “It’s still important to bring issues of multiracial identity to the public’s attention.”…

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