Sunday, June 23, 2013

What Am I? I'm Batman

(image source)

 ©  Sharon Chang and Multiracial Asian Families Blog, Jun 23 2013

My son is now 3 and half and he’s just starting to experiment with ethnic labels. He’s heard us use them, so I suppose it’s only natural. For instance, about a week ago we were driving to preschool. In the back he played with two baby dolls and chatted to himself cheerfully. “This is Jack,” he said of one doll, “He speaks Chinese and Japanese, like me.” Then he held up his other doll, “This is Sade. She’s American and German. I don’t speak that.” A few nights later we were reading This Next New Year by Janet S. Wong about a half-Korean boy  (and here’s a great example of how children’s books are a launching pad for race discussions with children). I stopped partway through and asked, “Kazuo. Who do we know that’s Korean?” He said, “Me!” I replied gently, “No. You’re not Korean. Do you remember what you are?” He thought for a moment, “Japanese! Dad’s family is Japanese.” Then I also talked about him being Taiwanese and American (among other things), and his moment of clarity was completely gone...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Book Review: "Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? A Parent's Guide To Raising Multiracial Children"

 ©  Sharon Chang and Multiracial Asian Families Blog, Jun 16 2013

Being a multiracial woman myself (and mother to a multiracial child), I was very excited about this book. As the author adeptly points out, there's really very little out there - practically nothing - speaking to the task of raising multiracial children. It is important and significant that Nakazawa tackled this subject and gave it presence. She clearly did her research and has included an incredible amount of good information.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What Does "Asian" Mean?

©  Sharon Chang, June 5, 2013  as seen on Racism Review

In my research and encounters with multiracial/interracial Asian families, I have been asked this question a lot. Everyone seems to have a general idea. But shine the spotlight on “Asian”, try to get a good look at it, and we all get confused. Everything is blurry. Why is that? What and who exactly is “Asian”? Well. It depends. Like all racial concepts, “Asian” has a long history of construction informed by race/power politics. It never comes into clear view because its identity is never static. Rather always fluid. Continually defined, dismantled, reclaimed and redefined.

Let’s start with geography. The well respected science that studies the lands, its features, its inhabitants, and the phenomena of the Earth. Geographers tell us there are 4 major landmasses on our planet. Eurasia, North/South America, Africa and Australia. These masses are also called continents.

Except for -