Watch for My Book

Friday, October 7, 2016

Say Hapa, With Care

this piece was originally published June 2014 on (the now defunct site) AAPI Voices

by Sharon H. Chang

What does Hapa mean? One way to know is to look at the ways in which the word is used.

It’s a “Hawaiian word for ‘mixed-race’,” says Hapa Kitchen Supper Club, “coined to refer to people of East Asian and Caucasian backgrounds.” Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar calls it “a harmonious blend of Asian and American.” It’s a “slang term,” proclaims The Natural Hapa: Bamboo Bundles and Hapa Time: Style Inspiration chirps it’s “just one of the coolest words ever.” There’s Hapa Yoga, Hapa Ramen, Hapa Grill, Hapa Cupcakes, Hinode sells a “Hapa Blend” of brown and white rices and Hapa Culture sells…erasers?

Let’s talk about this word, Hapa.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SHELFTALK Nightstand Reads: Seattle author Sharon H. Chang shares from her bookpile(s)

this piece originally appeared on Shelf Talk and is reposted here with permission

Dear Readers,

First. Truth. I’ve got books on my nightstand but I don’t read at night. I mostly read in the early, early morning before the sun comes up; when the air outside is quiet, still and fresh; when cars are parked, the hustle bustle of the day hasn’t begun and most people are still sound asleep; most importantly my six-year-old son is still sound asleep. And I keep books all over the house. On my nightstand yes. But also on shelves, counters, in book bags, unopened and opened boxes, upstairs and downstairs, half-read, read twice, never read, will read later, reading now. In my head I have a rule “one book at a time, finish first then the next.” But in reality that never works out. There is - to simply put the simple truth - just too much exciting stuff to read and not always the perfect time to read it in.

So what’s in my for-the-morning nightstand/all-over-the-house piles right now?

YOU'RE INVITED! Raising Mixed Race @ Central Library, Seattle

That's a wrap! Please join me for the LAST STOP on the Raising Mixed Race book tour!!! (sniff) Poetry, dance, performance and an author talk by me to celebrate my journey over the last year with this book and many amazing collaborators. You really don't want to miss this one at an incredible venue, Seattle's world-known Central Library, with an incredible lineup.

Central Library
1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Level 1 - Microsoft Auditorium

Free and open to the public. Doors open 6:30p.

Parking in the Central Library garage will be available for $6 after 5 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Books and band merchandise will be available for purchase. This event will be recorded for future podcast.

Poetry / ANIS GISELE ~ Anis is a queer immigrant writer, by way of Manila, Philippines. Her work is celebrated as much as it is minimized and/or blindly consumed. She is a 2016 Everyday Feminism fellow, a 2016 VONA/Voices fellow (fiction), and a 2016 King Country Artist for Equity and Social Justice (poetry).

Afrofuturism: Amalgamation / LUZVIMINDA "LULU" UZURI CARPENTER ~ also known as Ms. Lulu, Ate "Big Sister" Lulu, and #LuluNation... is an artist, educator, consultant, cultural and youth worker, producer, community organizer and strategist. She is the Seattle Girls' School Performance Studies Teacher & Resident Artist; Hollow Earth Radio Youth & Young Adult Program Coordinator & Anti-Oppression Consultant; Radio Host of LuluNation + Crew; Co-Chair of the City of Seattle LGBT Commission; and was an Ambassador for On the Boards (OtB). She shows her commitment and love towards Duwamish territory through projects with UZURI* Consulting & Productions, and weaves intersections of community, nonprofits, business, and organizing through Green Bodies & WonderLab. You can find her on instagram and twitter @LuluNation206 and #LuluNation via social media.


Dance / ANGEL "MOONYEKA" LANGLEY ~ Moonyeka is a young Filipina-American street dancer and choreographer and recent dance graduate from the University of Washington. She has been a teaching artist teaching ballet/modern/hip hop at Rainier Dance Center, Remix Dance Team at My World Dance and Fitness Studio, Arts Corps as a resident artist, at Mt. View Elementary and other Seattle elementary schools, D&G Dance Studios, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, Massive Monkees Studio: The Beacon, and local community centers. Moonyeka has also collaborated and organized with Youth Speaks Seattle, Moksha, Arts Corps, Anak Bayan, and the Seattle dance scene.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

IN THE WHITE FRAME : An interview with mixed-race dancers Angel Langley & Jasmmine Ramgotra

[photo by Jean-Stéphane Vachon]

by Sharon H. Chang

STRANGE COUPLING is an annual juried exhibition of collaborations between University of Washington (UW) student artists and local professional artists. Over a decade old, the School of Art + Art History + Design program aims to connect campus and community through teamwork and direct engagement. This year I was entirely captivated by one of twelve projects, a performance piece entitled In The White Frame by mixed-race student dancers Angel Langley and Jasmmine Ramgotra with local sound artist/composer/teacher Byron Au Yong. The piece is a stunning work of art and innovative look at the experience of multiraciality within our white dominant culture.

A stunning work of art and innovative look at the experience of multiraciality within our white dominant culture. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tragedy, Trauma, and Telling Our Kids the Truth

by Sharon H. Chang

On Thursday morning, July 14, I had the honor of talking on-air with Minelle Mahtani -- author of Mixed Race Amnesia and host of Sense of Place at Roundhouse Radio -- about race, tragedy, parenting and our kids. Of course we did this show to engage with a string of recent tragic shootings that have left many reeling: the mass shooting of queer people of color (predominantly Latinx) at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL, which resulted in 49 deaths; the highly publicized police shootings which killed two Black men - Alton Sterling and Philando Castile - in Baton Rouge and Minnesota, respectively; and the subsequent mass shooting of police officers in Dallas, TX, at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, which resulted in 5 officer deaths. And sadly much more has happened since.

Minelle and I took questions via email, tweet and call-in. Parents and teachers asked, how do we broach this incredibly painful subject of racism and escalating violence with children? It is more and more obvious that we have to as our children pick up and absorb the increasing myriad of racialized messages being delivered by society about these tragedies. We’re seeing, hearing, observing our kids using race and racist words and ideas, and they’re also starting to ask us really tough questions. What is our response? How do we know what’s age appropriate? When do we start? What if we frighten our kids or leave them depressed with hopelessness? How do we find time and space to even begin said conversations when we don’t have a lot of time and space ourselves?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

YOU'RE INVITED! Raising Mixed Race at Elliott Bay, Seattle WA

SO EXCITED to invite you an incredibly special Raising Mixed Race book event at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, WA!!! If you're a Seattle-ite (or can be for the evening) you seriously don't want to miss this interstellar collaboration including book talks, readings, local music, powerhouse Asian Pacific Northwest women writers and contributions from local chefs. Our night will open with a set by super talented local musician Brenda Xu + yummy food samples from Hood Famous Bakeshop and Marination. Next up, I will of course speak and read from Raising Mixed Race. But then it's not over. Following I'm so honored to panel with badass Canadian authors/editors Minelle Mahtani and Brandy Lien Worrall-Soriano for critical conversations on mixedness. There will definitely be time for Q&A ~ and ~ Brenda Xu merchandise + copies of all writers books will be available for sale/signing.

See? Told you. Don't want to miss it...

Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 - 10th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122 
(206) 624-6600

This event is free and open to the public. Doors open 6:30p.

Go to the --> Facebook Event Page: Raising Mixed Race @ Elliot Bay


Music / Brenda Xu ~ Ambient/folk artist, Brenda Xu (pronounced “shoo”) has been building a steady following since her arrival on the Seattle music scene a few years ago. The momentum she created with the release of her last album "For The Winter" (2014) has led to two successful western U.S. tours and a recent feature in the MTV show "Awkward." Compared to artists such as Cat Power, Daughter, and Aimee Mann, her sound has been described as "treading the delicate line between washed-out ambient tones and carefully crafted acoustic arrangements." She is currently working on her fourth album and plans to tour the U.S. and Europe this year.

Panel / Minelle Mahtani ~ Minelle is an author, journalist and Associate Professor of Human Geography and Planning, and the Program in Journalism at University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). She has written two books: Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality and Global Mixed Race. She is a former CBC TV journalist, sits on the steering committee of UBC’s journalism school and has won several awards, including a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award for her contributions to journalism. Minelle is currently on sabbatical from University of Toronto to host the exciting new show 'Sense of Place' at Roundhouse Radio.


Panel / Brandy Lien Worrall-Soriano ~ Brandy is editor of the recent anthology Completely Mixed Up: Mixed Heritage Asian North American Writing and Art (2015) and author of What Doesn’t Kill Us (2014), a groundbreaking memoir about growing up in the din of her Vietnamese mother and American father’s trauma from the Vietnam War, and how it related to her breast cancer experience as a young adult. She is also the author of eight collections of poetry and owner/editor of Rabbit Fool Press, a small family-owned-and-operated publishing company based in Vancouver.

Videography & Photography / Devon de Leña ~ Devon is a storyteller, filmmaker, and powerful community facilitator. As a mixed-raced filipina/white woman she values the importance of intersectionality and honoring complexity within our stories and movements. She believes in building power through healing, creativity and cultural work. Her vision is to weave stories of identity, resilience and imagination together so that we can cultivate authentic representations of people living at the intersections and fringes of our society.

Cheesecake / Chera Amlag ~ Chera is a co-founder of the Food & Sh*t monthly pop-ups in Seattle, where diners became enamored with her desserts that blended Filipino flavors with familiar Western desserts. When her ube cheesecake debuted in 2013 it quickly became the most demanded item on the menu leading Chera to grow a branch on the Food & Sh*t tree and the larger Filipino food movement -- the Hood Famous Bakeshop!


Sliders & Tacos / Kamala Saxton & Roz Edison ~ In 2009 Marination owners Kamala and Roz decided to run their own business. Big Blue took to the streets in June with a unique Hawaiian-Korean fusion cuisine in tow. Over one million tacos and nearly five incredible years later, Marination has grown into a big aloha family! One truck, one little brick-and-mortar in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, and one beachside restaurant with a full bar, huge patio, and a TO DIE FOR view.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Raising Mixed Race and the Danger of Racial Assumptions

by Sharon H. Chang

I'd like to clarify a few things about my book Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children In a Post-Racial World. And full transparency here - this emerges from a recent email thread I was part of as well as a notable number of exchanges, side comments, critiques, messages, emails, etc. at this point where I've come to see folks make a lot of assumptions about my book based on its title, cover image, and the fact that it's about parents and children. Now it's important to say I have also gotten a lot of really amazing, positive feedback at this point too from tons of supportive, engaged and brilliant readers which you can read here and here. I think overall there have been far more folks who love and support Raising Mixed Race than those who pigeonhole and pin it down with their presumptions.

That said I think it's still worthwhile to look at the handful who have allowed their assumptions to take hold. They tend to look like this: Politicized readers who don't like "post-racial" in the title, think I'm espousing post-raciality, and refuse to read the book. Activists who see mixed-race identity politics as unimportant, ask how I will put aside ideas about "specialness" in service of greater racial causes, and probably won't read the book. Parents who have read the book but are frustrated because they expected a parenting guide and feel I "didn't tell them what to do." People in Preschool, K-12 learning and the general public who are confused because they thought the book would be about celebrating ethnic and national heritage, multiculturalism, and multiracial children as bridge-builders. And then everyone who cannot (or will not) believe that young children know anything about race and so will never read it ever. Oh - and I supposed I should tack on everyone who thinks mixed race is not really a thing (or if it is, then it's an anti-POC thing) and so will never read it ever.

Let me clarify . . .