Here in New York, we were walloped by rain this weekend. Which begs the question:
Yesterday we posted a video on the frustrations of biracial people being put into little boxes. Taking a very different view is Michele Elam, with a thought-provoking article about the pitfalls of “mark one or more races” on the census.
On her blog, author Shannon Hale takes a look at the lack of girls in children’s movies, the limited roles they play, and an appeal to parents: take your sons to movies with girl heroes. The same goes for books and the same goes for other types of diversity: give the children you know books with heroes who don’t look like them.
An eloquent look at being biracial:
We have some very exciting news to share: we have acquired Tu Publishing, an independent press focusing on diverse fantasy and science fiction for children and young adults! Founded by Stacy Whitman last fall to address the need for more books featuring diverse characters and inspired by non-Western cultures, Tu is becoming Tu Books, an imprint of LEE & LOW. Several manuscripts are already in the works, with hopes of releasing the first books under the new imprint next year.
Recently I was in Hawaii on vacation and one of the things I noticed right away was how Asians are the majority of the people living there. In the city of Honolulu on Oahu, street signs are in English and Japanese. Generally rice, and even miso soup, are served with all meals, including breakfast. I learned from attending a luau that immigrants from Japan, China, and the Philippines make up a big part of Hawaii’s cultural diversity. When I got back home, a quick web search revealed that Hawaii is the only state in the United States where whites are not the majority of the population.
These children, honestly answering questions about race and racism, illuminate some of the problems we have talking about race in America. We know that children as young as 6 months old respond to skin color, so when the kids at the beginning of the video don’t know the words race, ethnicity, or racism, that’s a problem: they don’t know how to address their own reactions and experiences. They’re not having the conversations they need to understand the complicated culture in which they live.
I LOVE the Olympics. I’ve spent many (er, too many) hours over the past week mesmerized by ice dancing, ski cross, super-giant slolom, half pipe. . . these athletes make it look like somebody literally turned off gravity in Vancouver for the week and the laws of physics no longer apply.
Still, it’s hard not to notice how white the US Olympic Team is. If this is a team sent to represent one of the most diverse countries in the world, well, it doesn’t look all that representative. Take a look at this year’s 218 Team USA members and you’ll see what I mean. I could count the number of African Americans on one hand. Out of 218! What about Latinos, Asian Americans? Some…but not that many.
Welcome back for another week of links!
Valentine’s Day can make a lot of us see red, but even more so with Time Magazine‘s looks at racial preferences—or biases—shown on online dating sites.
Meanwhile, America Ferrera—the Latina star of Ugly Betty—gave an interview in which she talked about race and casting in Hollywood. The whole interview isn’t available online, but Jezebel has some highlights.