Monthly Archives: June 2016

Collaborating with Mixed Chicks- Why we need the “Your Hair Story Series”


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When I first developed the idea for my newest blogging series, I knew I wanted to create something unique, original, and that would speak to ethnic struggles multiracial people could relate to. I have been fortunate to be writing on several platforms over the past few months and exposing myself to a constant hamster wheel of learning about people all over the world experiencing the same issues with identity, beauty, and their place in society. I was especially curious to explore the world of beauty and hair which is an important attribute of many ethnicities in terms of representation and products that are catered to our hair texture/types.

Many of us can attest to growing up without products specifically made for our hair type that forced us to use what was available for the status quo, but not multiracial hair. I had been using Mixed Chicks hair products for a few months now and had been thoroughly impressed with the results it was having on my curls. I realized that my curls were a large extension of me and the style, texture, kink, coil, and waves represented my culture, background, ethnicity, and race. My hair itself has the capability to tell a story. Being that ninety percent of the time it is the first identifier people make with me being biracial, I knew that given the opportunity other people could share their own sentiments on stories regarding their hair.

I took a big gamble and proposed the series to Mixed Chicks who were enthused to help, grow, develop, and support my vision to use beauty as a means of storytelling. The “Your Hair Story Series” celebrates diversity of all types by giving customers the opportunity to share their experiences with a product specifically manufactured for their hair while giving personal testament to how that impacts their daily lives. Through social media and a newly approaching blog launch this week on the MixedChicks.Net site, we are giving people of all ethnicities, backgrounds, age, and gender’s the chance to share their story with us.

I truly believe that by giving voice to the stories behind the hair we are combining beauty and the art of story in an original way that is as educational for the customers as it is for the readers. I have had the opportunity to read beautiful stories regarding texture, personal struggles with loving natural hair, why this product makes a difference in beauty regime, and how their specific hair type is a reflection of their culture. I’m anticipating a great reaction to these amazing, dynamic voices from individuals who are genuinely excited to give insight into their backgrounds and why this company empowers them.

Interested parties can feel free to LIKE, TWEET, or FOLLOW our social media pages for the latest posts/updates and contact my email for questions on how to get involved. I’m looking to showcase anyone who uses the Mixed Chicks brand of beauty products and wants to share their story. What’s the story behind your hair?

Instagram: @yourhairstoryseries

Twitter: @HairStorySeries

Facebook: /yourhairstoryseries


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MULTIRACIAL ETSY FINDS!


Who hasn’t gotten stuck in an Etsy spiral at least once?! Usually for me I see one thing on Pinterest which leads to Etsy, which leads to page after page of handmade awesomeness. This time I decided to see what kind of Multiracial goods I could find, here are my 5 favorites! 

 

BIRACIAL WALDORF DOLL

A sweet little biracial waldorf doll handmade from soft upcycled cotton knit velour and stuffed with clean wool she is an eco-friendly addition to your home. In her pocket is a tiny removable bunting baby (1-1/2″) made from velour, cotton knit and a wooden ball to form the head. Tuck love notes in her pocket or she can help hold a tooth for a visit from the tooth fairy. From this listing you can order a customized doll to reflect your multiracial family and loved ones. Choose a skin tone for both mother and baby doll in the options as you order. Options are peach, mocha (coffee and cream), or cocoa (milk chocolate brown).
 

 

INTERRACIAL DOLL FAMILY

This sweet and simple biracial family doll set would make a wonderful gift or keepsake. The set includes father, mother, brother and sister dolls. The set is perfectly sized for small hands. Father and mother dolls measure about 10 inches and brother and sister dolls measure 7 inches. 

 

MIXED AFRO GIRL EMPOWERMENT CARD

Empowering cards for girls, featuring mixed race girls with bright, positive, empowering images that reflect diverse and unique beauty. For all the Goddesses, the heroines, the seekers and the dreamers. The card can also be put in a frame and larger 8 x 10 prints of this image available to order.

 

BROWN SUPERHERO DOLL

This  superhero girl doll is an ideal gift for afro kids and mixed kids. This brown superhero doll soft toy with cape and mask is a great toddler gift for girls or for a super hero birthday.

This unique superhero girl doll is a friend for a lifetime! A ragdoll is like a best friend

* deserves all your trust and love
* will make you laugh whenever
* will never judge you
* make you feel safe
* don’t care if you are crazy or quiet

The lovely superhero doll in african style comes with:
– superheroe mask
– supersonic double sided cape
– supergirl skirt with original african print (currently a little bit different as pictured)

 

HAPA FLAT BILL SNAPBACK

Of course we had to include 6 Degrees of Hapa to our list, founded by contributing blogger Naomi! She designs the hats which are all embroidered in the Bay Area. 

 

WHY TORI KELLY DOES NOT NEED A “PASS” OR “PERMISSION”


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So I want you take a look at the long, varied, and mixed responses to Tori Kelly’s beautiful tribute to Prince at the BET Awards that occurred this past Sunday.  Maybe you were a tweeter, a commentator, or a person who was scratching your head wondering who Tori Kelly is and why is she doing the tribute. This is understandable since she is an artist still on the rise in the industry and only has had a handful of hit singles you may have heard on the radio. However, this isn’t a debate on how relevant she is as a musician or what accolades she’s acquired to sing in a Prince tribute.

The ongoing problem I have had with people’s responses to Tori Kelly is that they immediately label her White because she appears to be White with blonde hair, or claim to give her a pass because she has a soulful voice. She’s been lumped with artist like Robin Thicke (White) and Justin Timberlake (White) who additionally have vocal range, deep, beautiful voices and are given a societal passes to perform traditionally black artist hits or tributes. What’s the problem with this you may ask? Tori Kelly is multiracial and does not fall into the same cultural category as either of these artists.

Now I’m not going to make any statement or argument on whether being White, Black, Asian, etc. should you prevent you from performing any tribute or any specific network cause I don’t think race should ever be a factor. I love music, and if you can sing then please do so, my ears appreciate it. My issue is that the running commentary on Tori Kelly, which had her become a trending hashtag for the night, was centered on debates regarding her cultural heritage and how that did or did not deem her worthy of this tribute. I even read some commentary focused on her multi-ethnic heritage and how that counted, but not really.

This discussion has been a running one for a long time with multiracial people and where we belong. Tori Kelly is a prominent musical artist with what some could deem the “whole package,” and her voice is what allows her to sing on multiple musical networks-not her race. She is Jamaican, Puerto Rican, Irish, and German, yet visually some audiences see white skin, blonde hair and write her off as another Britney. If she cannot perform an authentic Prince tribute on diverse networks like BET because she’s not fully black, does that mean we are chaining her to sing on the MTV wagon wheel forever? Kelly admits to speaking Spanish, but not well so guess we can’t put her on Univision either? And technically she’s not white- so she couldn’t grace the CMT stage either, right?

I’ll not list her numerous accomplishments she’s garnered ranging from music award nominations with MTV, People’s Choice, Teen Choice, and being Grammy nominated for 2016 Best New Artist. Tori Kelly does not need your pass or permission to sing on any network or any performance and shouldn’t be picked apart because of what she represents culturally. Appreciate her voice and revel like many of us do in her talent, but don’t write her off because she appears white or say that it’s okay she sings on BET because she has “some black in her.” Multiracial people don’t need your validation or permission to represent our authentic selves and this is important to keep in mind next time you want to give someone a pass for anything you deem specific to only one culture.


OUR RESPONSE TO AZIZ ANSARI’S ‘WHY TRUMP MAKES ME SCARED FOR MY FAMILY’


I was just reading the New York Times online and came across Aziz Ansari’s essay, Aziz Ansari: Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family.

 

I’ve been trying to stay away from writing about current politics on Swirl Nation, but after so much xenophobic rhetoric being used in the presidential campaign, I feel it is appropriate to finally address it.  We live in an increasingly multicultural world, and an even more increasing multicultural country.  America was founded on immigration.  People came to this country to escape religious persecution, economic and social troubles, and the pursuit of happiness.  So when a presidential candidate feeds off of fear, condones violence, and comes from a place of negativity to advance his agenda, especially when he is utilizing negative racial, ethnic, and even female stereotypes to do so, it truly worries me.

 

In Ansari’s essay, he expresses his fear for his family in this country.  Aziz Ansari’s family are practicing Muslims.  He cautions his mother to stay away from mosques and partake in prayer at home.  He knows that many Americans, when thinking about Muslims, do not see Nobel prize-winning teenager Malala Yousafzai, but a bomb-wielding Jihadist.  And this is what is so troubling when you have a presidential candidate, or anyone, lump a group of people in to one category and perpetuate these negative stereotypes.  Ansari writes, “According to reporting my Mother Jones, since 9/11, there have been 49 mass shootings in this country, and more than half of those were perpetrated by white males.  I doubt we’ll hear Mr. Trump make a speech asking his fellow white males to tell authorities ‘who the bad ones are’, or call for restricting white males’ freedoms.”  Think about that for a moment.

 

Ansari isn’t the first celebrity to express concerns regarding Donald Trump’s speeches.  Louis C.K. wrote a letter voicing fear of having a bully for a president. He compared him to Hitler, writing “Please stop it with voting for Trump. It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the 30s. Do you think they saw the shit coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all.”  Jenn sent me a particularly moving clip of Brandon Stanton, curator of the popular website Humans of New York , reading a letter he wrote decrying Trump:

I’ve previously written about language and the words we choose; and how words can be dangerous.  Please listen to the words Donald Trump is using.  He chooses the words he uses, so when he says:

“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” –Donald Trump, tweeting a humble brag about the Orlando shooting massacre, June 12, 2016

 

The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” –Donald Trump on Twitter, Cinco de Mayo, May 5, 2016

 

“I think the only card she has is the women’s card. She has got nothing else going. Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she would get 5% of the vote. And the beautiful thing is women don’t like her, ok?” –Donald Trump, victory press conference, New York, April 26, 2016

 

“Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don’t know. I don’t know — did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists.” –Donald Trump, refusing to condemn former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and noted white supremacist David Duke, who endorsed Trump for president, February 28, 2016

 

“It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” –Donald Trump in a tweet quoting fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, February 28, 2016

“We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.” –Donald Trump on his performance with poorly educated voters who helped him win the Nevada Caucus, Feb. 23, 2016

 

“There may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience. If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.” –Donald Trump, encouraging violence at his rallies, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Feb. 1, 2016

“For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian. … If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’ ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened.” –Donald Trump, in response to remarks by Pope Francis saying that “a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” (February 18, 2016)

“That was so great. Who was the person who did that? Put up your hand, put up your hand. Bring that person up here. I love that.” –Donald Trump, praising two audience members who tackled a protester at his rally in South Carolina, Feb. 16, 2016

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s, like, incredible.” –Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in Sioux Center, Iowa as the audience laughed, January 23, 2016

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” –Donald Trump campaign statement

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.” –Donald Trump, insulting Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly over questions she asked during the first Republican primary debate

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems…they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” –Donald Trump

“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” –Donald Trump on Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina

 

I could have posted many more insane quotes he’s made, from dating his own daughter to confusing 7/11 with 9/11 and denouncing John McCain as a war hero because he was caught; but his appeal boils down to fear-mongering, racism, and sexism.

 

I’ve tried to write this whole post being as civilized and level-headed as possible, but this is where I need to stop, or the remainder would be expletives…  However, on a funny note, this is what I imagine a state of the union would be like if Trump was president:

“South Carolina, wassup?”


FEATURED MULTIRACIAL FAMILY: MEET THE CHIN FAMILY


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MEET THE CHIN FAMILY:

Diana, age 31

·       ½ Spanish and ½ Guyanese

 Ron, age 31

·       Chinese-American

 Michael, age 1

·       ⅓ Spanish, ⅓ Guyanese and ⅓ Chinese

 

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Brooklyn, New York

 

HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET?

Met online via Facebook from a mutual friend who went to the same college as us.

 

WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

During our time in college, some of our peers weren’t very accepting of the fact that we were dating. However, we had close friends who were very supportive, which has helped us out a lot during our transition.

 

WHAT TRADITIONS DO YOU CELEBRATE IN YOUR HOME?

Every year, my husband and I would visit the NYC Transit Museum during the holidays.  We were always a big fan of trains since we started dating.  Our hope is that our son will appreciate the rich history behind the NYC Subway Transit system.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CULTURAL FEATURE/TRADITION OF YOUR SPOUSE’S RACE?

I enjoy celebrating the Harvest Moon Festival and Chinese New Year with the family.  I was always fond of the Chinese traditions as it focuses on the meaning of spending together with the family while honoring our ancestors.

 

IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN DIVERSE?

Definitely!

 

DO YOU OR YOUR PARTNER SPEAK IN MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE IN YOUR HOME?

My husband speaks Cantonese. I’m not able to speak Spanish fluently, however I can manage to read some articles in Spanish. I’m pretty sure there’s a good chance our son will be able to speak three languages by the time he grows up.

 

ARE YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR MULTIETHNIC RELATIONSHIP?

Definitely!

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR PARTNER’S ETHNIC-CULTURAL BACKGROUND?

Food! I love trying different dishes and seeing my in-laws cook various types of foods makes me happy.

 

DID YOU FIND BIG DIFFERENCES IN THE WAY YOU GREW UP VS. YOUR SPOUSE DUE TO DIFFERENCES IN RACE?

Growing up, I was often bullied by my peers from elementary to junior high school due to my mixed background. Some assumed that I spoke Spanish and not English and as a result, they sent me to ESL. Truth is, I was always a quiet person growing up and had trouble making friends. When I entered in high school, that was when my peers accepted me for who I was.  My husband felt that he was different from the other Asians in his classes growing up. Some assumed that he looked Mexican because his skin gets tanned easily.  But it didn’t stop my husband from furthering his education.  

 

WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING/UNEXPECTED THING YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT EACH OTHER’S CULTURE?  

For both of us, it boils down to showing respect for our elders.  We take great pride in understanding our ancestors that passed before us.

 

ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?

Majority of the people I’ve encountered assumed that I’m either Muslim, Jewish, Italian, and full blown on Spanish.  It’s pretty much like a guessing game to everyone since they’re having trouble pinpointing my background 🙂

 

WHAT ACTIONS HAVE YOU TAKEN TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT EACH OF YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

Currently, my son is 1 years old so he’s not at that stage yet.

 

HOW DO YOU RAISE YOUR CHILDREN TO HONOR DIVERSITY IN OTHERS?

When my son gets older, I’m pretty sure there will be a discussion with him on understanding the differences between races and treating others equally without discrimination.

 

WHAT UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE FROM YOU AND YOUR PARTNER?

Oh dear…aside from being strong, he sure loves to eat! And probably babble a lot. I think he got the babbling part from his dad 🙂 Also, my son has the same hazel eye colour as mine.  

 

HOW DO YOU PLAN ON TEACHING YOUR SON TO BE PROUD OF BEING MIXED?

To me, being mixed is about a mesh of cultures and ideas. It’s something that should be celebrated and not ridiculed nor ashamed of.  My hope is when my son gets bigger, I hope to teach him that he should embrace his unique features and know that he can accomplish anything if he puts his mind into it.  

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?

My hope is that everyone should be treated with respect and look beyond our skin colour and race.  We are all human beings from the same Universe.  


Any Links you want to share if people want to follow you? Social media, a blog, etc…?

Website / YouTube / Tumblr

Facebook: @dianarchin

Twitter: @dianarchin

Instagram: @dianarchin

Snapchat: @dianarchin

Periscope: @dianarchin


 

 

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL: MEET TIFFANY NOBLE


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Tiffany Noble, age 26

 

WHAT MIX ARE YOU?

White, Korean, Indian German and Irish. Asian Pacific Islander from Hawaii.

WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?

Houston, TX

 

IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?

Semi. I live in an urban area.

 

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

Killeen, TX. Yes, it was extremely diverse because it is a military town. Everyone you met was either mixed or from some other part of the world. When I went to the University of Texas at Austin I was in shock at the lack of diversity.

 

HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?

They met in a bar in Washington.

 

WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

Coming from my father’s side, yes. They didn’t like that fact that my mom was mixed half Korean and half white.

 

HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING MULTIRACIAL/BIRACIAL?

Overtime they became more open to my mom but not necessarily supportive because we have only met one of his aunts who welcomed us. No we did not spend a lot of time with my dad’s side. Most time has been spent with my moms.

 

DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?

Yes, when we did. We didn’t celebrate too many cultural things in our household. We really only celebrate our culture food wise. We are part Korean so we always have a few Korean dishes at family gatherings or holidays.

 

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?

The food is amazing and the openness of my parents and family. Favorites: Golbi teriyaki, homemade egg rolls, homemade sushi bulgolgi.

 

 

WHAT ACTIONS DID YOUR PARENTS TAKE TO TEACH YOU ABOUT YOUR DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS?

They always talked to us about respecting other cultures even if we didn’t understand it. I don’t remember any specific examples but they made sure we didn’t judge a book by its cover.

 

DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?

Not really because we grew up in such a diverse area it was hard to see race. We grew up knowing about each part of our culture equally.

 

DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?

Yes I am mixed. I am not just white no matter what skin shows. People assume we are white and then are shocked to find out I’m not 100 percent and it makes me a tad mad every now and then because I have to justify and have to have proof for people to believe me.

 

DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE?

No. My partner is black.

 

WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?

It means I can identify with so many things it’s awesome. I don’t use it to my advantage or disadvantage.

 

DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED?

Yes. They show me all different types of cultures and expose me to app the good things we can learn from each other.

 

ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?

I hate the idea of white privilege no matter how prominent it may be somewhere. I’ve never tried to use it nor would I, but some assume it is used because I can pass for white.

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?

That everyone can stop blaming racism as the issue with society instead of the actions of people being the problem.


FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL: MEET HEATHER NOBLE


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Heather Noble, age 26

 

WHAT MIX ARE YOU?

Asian Pacific Islander, Hawaiian, Caucasian

 

WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?

Manor, TX

 

IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?

Not really. It seems to be a more Hispanic/African-American area

 

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

I was born in Germany but I grew up in Killeen, TX and yes it was as diverse as they come. Probably because it was a military town. Majority of my friends were mixed.

 

HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?

I believe they met at a bar

 

WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

It was rough when they had us. They didn’t make a lot of money and they had twins. My dad’s family had trouble accepting my mom because she didn’t “look” white enough. It’s part of the reason I don’t really know that side of my family.

 

HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING MULTIRACIAL/BIRACIAL?

Yes, my family has always been supportive. My dad’s side didn’t really like that my mom was more than just white. Since I only know my mother’s side of the family they have always given support about being mixed. My grandma made a comment the other day to my cousin that she needed more color in her dating life.

 

DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?

We didn’t celebrate cultural holidays but we did learn to cook some of the traditional dishes. My favorite are Galbi and Teryaki (not like the sauce you buy at the store but real Teriyaki made with soy sauce and steak strips.)

 

DO YOU SPEAK MULTIPLE LANGUAGES?

No. My great-grandma spoke Korean but that was it.

 

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?

I didn’t learn much growing up about the music or religion but I enjoyed learning how to cook the food. My grandma taught me how to make Teryaki, Bulgogi, Galbi, Sticky rice, and Egg rolls.

WHAT ACTIONS DID YOUR PARENTS TAKE TO TEACH YOU ABOUT YOUR DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS?

I can’t say that they really did. Because growing up we never talked about what our background was and how it affected the way we were looked at. As we got older and were able to understand more my mom would tell us about my dad’s family and how they disapproved of her because she has brown skin.

 

DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?

Hardly ever. My grandma taught us some about our Hawaiian heritage. She is very proud and loves to show up videos and explain the dancing and what it all means.  I started talking about race probably in elementary school. I’ve always had friends from various cultures and backgrounds.

 

DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?

Mixed

 

DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE? 

I don’t think race plays a role in who I’ve dated but it seems to be a trend. I have usually dated black or Hispanic. My ex was black and Mexican.

 

WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?

I see being mixed as positive thing. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It brings me joy to be able to broaden other people’s horizons because of who I am and what my mom and grandma have taught me.

DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED?

Yes, I’ve learned that some are more tied to each side due to their upbringing and some are like me. Kind of just who we are and not defined by our mixture.

ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?

I get “You’re Asian? I thought you were Hispanic.” a lot. And I get that I don’t look like it but there are plenty of people who don’t look a certain way.

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?

My wish is that everyone get along. There’s a lot of dispute about race and racism but growing up the way I did and where I did I never really saw it so it’s hard for me to comprehend. I hope that one day everyone will be able to look at each other and not see the skin tone or haircut and realize that we are all here together working toward our goals. We should be helping each other not fighting.


Celebrate and acknowledge millions of multiracial Americans and families by making Loving Day a federal observance


There are 22 million multiracial Americans (6.9% from Pew Research), comparable to the Asian American population (5.6%), and growing 3 times faster than the U.S. as a whole.

There are 32 million interracial or interethnic married couple households (10% from the U.S. Census). Those numbers have grown 28% over a decade.

Despite those numbers, we have struggled with racial discrimination from all sides. We have been underrepresented in public policy, health care issues, media, and more. We ask the federal government to lead the change by acknowledging us.

We honor Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 Supreme Court decision that ended laws against multiracial families. Please join our community, government leaders, and organizations by celebrating its June 12th anniversary as Loving Day.

Click HERE to sign the petition! 

It takes 2 seconds, just enter your name and email! You must sign before June 30th, 2016! They still need 97k signatures, so share, share, share! 


PRAYED OUT


I am tired. I hope you are too. I am tried of no action being taken by our senate on gun reform. The time is now people! How many more lives must be lost? My friend Timothy Ware nails it on the head in this jaw dropping, inspiring video. 

Timothy Ware (Book, Music & Lyrics) is currently on Broadway in the Tony Winning Musical KINKY BOOTS as the standby for Lola. He is a native of Montgomery, AL where he received a BA in Theater Arts from Alabama State University, under the direction of TV/Film actress, Dr.Tommie “Tonea” Stewart (In the Heat of the Night). He later studied at UCLA in the MFA Acting Program under Broadway’s playwright/director Tony Winner, Mel Shapiro (Two Gentlemen of Verona). Some of his credits as a director includes, Ain’t Misbehavin’ & Jelly’s Last Jam (Kuntu Rep./Pittsburg, PA); Dutchman & SHOUT! (Lelia Barlow Theatre/Montgomery, AL). Associate Choreographer for Godspell, Beehive, Guys & Dolls (Alabama Shakespeare Festival) and Ain’t Misbehavin (South Bay Musical Theatre/ San Jose, CA). He worked as a dance instructor and choreographer in Los Angeles, CA at the Amazing Grace Conservatory with founder and TV/Film Star, Wendy Raquel-Robinson (The Steve Harvey Show & The Game). 


WHY THE “OTHERS” IN ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK SEASON 4 MATTERS


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“I represent the ‘Others.’”

So if you haven’t gotten a chance to binge watch Orange is the New Black on Netflix-don’t worry there are no spoilers here. If you are like me, you might have been hesitant or even pessimistic about this new season-because let’s be frank, it’s been a long journey since season one. Season one was explosive and pretty much revolutionized Netflix and the art of binge watching as we have come to know it. Seasons two and three were ‘bleh’ in my opinion, hard to get through and leaving me less enthused for the following summer’s season premiere. However; season four delivered in every possible. Finally, despite the very dark subject matter that the story explores ranging from racism, over-crowding, women’s rights, prisoner’s rights, and power dynamics, I was given a character I was able to connect to on a cultural level of understanding.

Being bi-racial I of course can identify with the differing struggles that both the blacks and Latino’s deal with throughout each season. It wasn’t until episode 12 of this new season when Piper’s roommate ‘Hapakuka’ states she is representing the “Other,” during a meeting headed by the respective leaders of the divided racial groups that I connected to it as a mixed individual. The groups are separated between their leaders reflecting their racial groups: Whites, Dominican’s (representing all Hispanic’s), and Blacks and this character happens to be as they state the “browns who are not brown,” or “the yellow’s.” I thought this was especially poignant given this season explore racial dynamics and conversations that mirror that of prison life which we hadn’t seen before. While Hapakuka’s specific heritage is never given it is alluded to when she refers to her previous prison in Honolulu.

To me, she represents the underrepresented demographics that either aren’t large enough to be key players in Litchfield’s fictional prison world or in fact the “Others,” of blended cultural backgrounds. The “Others,” that cannot check a specific box of racial ethnicity because there is more than one, cannot be easily identified by their genetic make-up, or don’t represent the cultural status-quo. Orange is the New Black will always get numerous praise for its progress in diverse casting and giving women of all backgrounds varying platforms in the prison world they created. Hapakuka was a reflection of a reality that we as multiracial people know all too well, especially when we combat finding our own voice or place amongst racial groups that don’t have blended backgrounds.

 It made me reflect on where biracial/multiracial people fit in clearly established sectors like prison where being a part of a group can be your saving grace. Her character played a small, but significant role in the mounting tensions growing amongst the inmates. I anticipate if they will be able to use her ethnic background to create more conversation on specific racial groups outside of the clear cut cultural backgrounds we are used to seeing as opposed to the “Others.”