Watch for My Book

Thursday, April 21, 2016

"Passing" "Presenting" & the Troubled Language of Mixed Race

by Sharon H. Chang

I'm a light-skinned mixed race Asian/white woman. I don't deny it. On my lightest day, in the deep of winter, under cover of endless Seattle clouds, I could definitely hold my arm next to some white people and almost match (though the tinting never seems quite right). Because I'm non-Black and light-skinned I am not vulnerable to police brutality, housing discrimination, hate crimes, excessive surveillance, racial bullying and assault, and the many, many forms of violent oppression acted upon visibly Brown and Black peoples every day. This is undoubtedly a privilege, one that I actively acknowledge and try to hold in constant consciousness and conscientiousness as I write about race and am involved in social justice work. My main responsibility is often going to be de-centering myself to make room for the voices of others most impacted; to listen, not lead; support and even sometimes leave spaces entirely because my presence may interrupt safety and sacredness.

And yet, these are the things that have been said to me recently by whites and people of color (POC), men and women, young and old:

What are you? Because if you had said you were white - I would've believed you.
Man! How do you people do that international thing??
Excuse me, I'm sorry, but can I ask what your mix is?
There is no pure Asian anymore.
 You Asian? I need help with my gardening.
So what do you do? 
Are you a flight attendant, stewardess?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

YOU'RE INVITED! Raising Mixed Race Signing 2, Portland OR

Please join me next Saturday for a talk + signing of Raising Mixed Race in Portland / Beaverton, Oregon! So thrilled to also be screening short documentary film, "What Are You?" by Sarah Nicole Donaldson and hear a reading by Gian-Luca Matsuda. Following I'll speak on the book, followed by Q&A and Meet and Greet. Looking forward to seeing everyone there...

Kinokuniya Bookstores
10500 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy
Beaverton, OR 97005
(503) 641-6240

This event is free and open to the public.

Go to the --> Facebook Event Page: Raising Mixed Race - Portland, OR

Film / Sarah Nicole Donaldson ~ Sarah is an Asian-American scholar and independent filmmaker. Her short documentary film on the multiracial/ethnic identity, “What Are You?,” was aired on Oregon Public Broadcast in August 2015. Her research focuses on the preservation and modern representations of Indonesian folklore, and she is fluent in the Surabaya dialect of Javanese. Sarah’s other passions include conflict resolution, creative writing, fashion design, and binging on Netflix.

Reading / Gian-Luca Matsuda ~ Gian-Luca Matsuda is a Portland based queer techie who is the product of a Black Puerto Rican mother and a Japanese-Brazilian father. His work focuses on environmental justice, technology access, and the intersectionality of racial, environmental, and social justice. Gian-Luca is currently in school studying computer science and environmental science. You can find Gian-Luca knitting, inhaling caffeine, or doing other weird nerd things in his free time.

Read Gian-Luca at BuzzFeed: "The Concept of Being Latino and Why I'm Not Here For It"

Reading / Rebeka Markillie ~ Rebeka Markillie is a student at the University of Portland studying communications and minoring in biology. She has a passion for books, science, and writing. She has worked with student media for three years as a writer, journalist and design editor. In January 2015, Rebekka redesigned student newspaper, The Beacon , which won First Place for General Excellence at the College Media Association and First Place for General Excellence and First Place for Best Website at the 2015 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Awards.

Read Rebekka at The Beacon: "Race Isn't Just Black Or White"