Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Book Review: "My Amazing Day: A Celebration of Wonder & Gratitude"

My Amazing Day: A Celebration of Wonder & Gratitude
by Karin Fisher-Golton, Lori A. Cheung, Elizabeth Iwamiya
[image from ouramazingdays.com]

By Sharon H Chang

I think a lot of you know by now that I’m a big BIG proponent of kid’s literature as a tool for approaching difficult subjects like race and identity. I strongly and deeply believe children’s books offer adults and kids together not only one of the easiest and most enjoyable, but also thoughtful, artful and informed entry points into conversations about tough subjects. The right book can open up adult-child thinking in all sorts of new ways, inspiring us to ask important questions and taking our minds to places they haven’t gone before. Powerful stuff, right?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mixed or Not, Why Are We Still Taking Pictures of "Race"?

[image source]
By Sharon H Chang, as seen on Racism Review

Just days ago PolicyMic put up a piece entitled “National Geographic Concludes What Americans Will Look Like in 2050, and It’s Beautiful." In it writer Zak Cheney-Rice attempts to address the so-called rise of multiracial peoples which has captured/enchanted the public eye and with which the media has become deeply enamored. He spotlights a retrospective and admiring look at National Geographic’s “The Changing Face of America” project of last year featuring a series of multiracial portraits by well-known German photographer Martin Schoeller, and also peripherally cites some statistics/graphs that demonstrate the explosion of the mixed-race population. “In a matter of years,” Cheney-Rice writes, “We’ll have Tindered, OKCupid-ed and otherwise sexed ourselves into one giant amalgamated mega-race.” Despite admitting racial inequity persists, he still flirts with the idea of an “end” approaching (presumably to race and by association racism), and suggests while we’re waiting for things to get better, we might “…applaud these growing rates of intermixing for what they are: An encouraging symbol of a rapidly changing America. 2050 remains decades away, but if these images are any preview, it’s definitely a year worth waiting for.” We are then perhaps left with this rather unfortunate centerpiece of his statement, “Here’s how the ‘average American’ will look by the year 2050” referring to the woman pictured above.