Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Dedication

From my graduate thesis, now in its final revisions (yay!)... 

A Dedication


"This project is dedicated to my young multiracial Asian son and all young multiracial Asian children growing up today to become tomorrow's future. May we learn to better see, hear, and understand you; that you may one day soon be recognized for what you truly are -- 
crucial and valuable members of our increasingly diverse world."

Monday, November 18, 2013

Where "Old" and "New" World Color Meet in Multiracial Asian America

[L'Oreal's White Perfect skin lightener image source]
"Rare indeed is the Asian American who has not heard an aunt or grandmother say something like; 'Don't go out in the sun. You'll get too dark'...[Asian countries have] had long-standing preferences for light skin, especially in women."
-- Is Lighter Better? Skin-Tone Discrimination Among Asian Americans

by Sharon H Chang as seen on Racism Review

In my continued research examining the lives of young multiracial Asian children, it has become pretty clear pretty quick that colorism (skin color discrimination of individuals falling within the same racial group) is a major theme. This isn't a surprise to me, a multiracial Asian woman who grew up constantly scrutinized and measured as more European looking against other Asian peoples. I launched an Amazon hunt and as usual, found very little. In fact almost nothing; only one book addressing colorism in the Asian American community: Is Lighter Better? Skin-Tone Discrimination Among Asian Americans by Joanne L. Rondilla and Paul Spickard (2007) (if you know of more, please send to me).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Meet My Anti-Bias Children's Book List!

I'm sure many of you know I have a growing list of AAPI children's books on this blog. But how many of you know that I also have a broader working list of Anti-Bias Children's Books on Pinterest? "Long ago" before I ever had a child of my own, I was a preschool teacher. And I tried very hard to be a certain kind of preschool teacher. One that embodied open-ended, progressive and anti-biased early learning. It sounded so idyllic and beautiful - plus it looks pretty good on paper, right? I laugh at myself a little now. I was so romantic and idealistic about it at the time.The truth is (and what I discovered pretty quickly) that kind of teaching/learning is much easier said than done. There were so many depressing barriers that came from so many unexpected places. I could write a whole other blog post on it (and probably will some day). Ultimately I decided preschool teaching wasn't how I wanted to fight the "good fight." And frankly I was way too tired from having a baby at home to give a damn after a while anyway. Yes of course I left a little (or a lot) more jaded and maybe a little more cynical. But there were a handful of powerful ideas I got to add to my tool belt too. One of the most important, and one I have come to stand by and champion powerfully, is the power of children's literature to address messages of bias.