Newly Minted

Newly Minted
Right after I was hooded

Monday, March 31, 2014

Reflections of Mixed Race and the Possibility for a Critical Mixed Race Community

As I turn in my dissertation to the committee this week, I have been reflecting on the last six years. The reflections of mixed race are all around me, vivid, alive, shifting and changing. At the end of the dissertation I am not able to say whether mixed race is ever going to really be a stand-alone category of race. I am not even sure if that is my recommendation over all. I cannot predict whether the socio-racial construct will be deconstructed or re-worked. What I can say is that mixed race identity is, at its core, a deep expression of the intimate realities of the people who have shared their narratives of family, love, loss, and the impact of socio-racial location. Regardless of how many times one is told that mixed race isn't a "thing"... or "you are just black get over it"... or asks, "what about the children", there still remains the singular guiding question I started with six years ago, "If a person has a parent who is Black and a parent who is Asian, and is intimately connected to both parents, what is their socio-racial location." I have learned that across a genealogical continuum, mixed race families never let go of their mixed raceness no matter what they are legislated to identify as. The narratives of intimate reality and lived experience are truly stronger than the one-drop rule. I hope to publish my dissertation so that it can be added to the emerging critical mixed race community. I am excited, as a critical mixed race theorist, and as a mixie, that we have a journal now dedicated to critical mixed race theory and thinking. I am honored to be in the company of theorists who are no longer willing to allow mixed race genealogies, histories, and intimate realties to be suppressed or erased from the halls of academe. This emerging community of scholars follows a strong and impactful community of advocates and I hope that those two groups speak to each other in a way that the scholarly and the lived experiences are equally valued and made visible. In the end, I am exhausted. I am nervous having shared my work with my committee and still having the shadow of rejection, for my mixed raceness and for my mixed race scholarship, hanging over my head. I am excited that this is the doorway through which I will step and contribute to the greater race discourse in the near future. I am thankful to all those who shared their stories with me, gave me feedback, read and commented on this blog, and kept the voices of the mixed race intimate realities alive in my head every day. I am most grateful for my patient children, my mixed race babies, who have made space in my mothering world to do this work. I deeply appreciate them every day, and it was for them, a matter of their survival, that this work began. I wanted a space, socially, physically, and metaphorically, for them to be who they are... my children and their father's... black/brown/white/Irish... all of these things and not have to dissect or bisect their intimate realities to be something they will never be... singular... stagnant... mono... invisible... undone. More soon...

1 comment:

  1. Yeah that is interesting.I was filling out a form and they did not give me options. I this case I only have one but why can't people fulfill in multiple areas. It is really that much work to code the data? We are not complicated. #Ihavelayers