The census, however flawed and necessary it may be, has triggered some great writing and thinking about race and how we define ourselves. From CNN we have two great essays: journalist and filmmaker Raquel Cepeda writes on being Latino and the stories her family has told of their mixed heritage, and author Walter Mosley brings us a poetic look at the 10,000 years of history that led to him.
Starting off with some despiriting news: in the wake of the Health Care Reform debate, several black congressmen, including John Lewis, have been called racial slurs and one was even spat on by protesters.
At Love Isn’t Enough, there’s a great piece on DNA and identity. It adds another layer to the discussions on being biracial and multiracial we’ve been having, because it looks at how little we know about our own personal genetic and racial makeup, but how much we know about our own personal cultural makeup.
For your watching pleasure, Colbert’s best comments on race collected in one four-minute clip:
Spring is has reached New York! Here’s your weekly dose of links to ponder as you sit and bask in the sun.
Following up on last week’s links dealing with interracial writing in the speculative fiction community is Nisi Shawl, who hits home with a description of a panel on writing and racial identity at a recent convention: “Our fourth panelist had been raised as an American Indian and spent her life knowing absolutely that this was who and what she was. Then she discovered through genetic testing that her biological heritage is a mix European and Sub-Saharan African. No American Indian.” Fascinating stuff!
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:
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.
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.