[INTERVIEW] GROWING UP MIXED IN AMERICA

June 20, 2011

So, what's it like being young and multiracial in America? On Loving Day (June 12) in San Francisco, I met up with two other "mixies" at a StoryCorps booth in the Contemporary Jewish Museum to share stories, gauge perspectives and celebrate the one thing I knew we had in common--our mixed identity.

For me, growing up with a British mother and a Haitian father wasn't exactly easy. Aside from the identity crisis--Am I black? Am I white? Could I really be both?--the whole eating tea and crumpets with a side of traditional Haitian rice really confused my palate. In high school, I never felt white enough for the white kids, never really felt black enough for the black kids. It was a daily conversation as to how my hair was blonde in the summer but my skin milk chocolate brown.

What I never fully realized at the time was that I wasn't alone. Other young people around the country were born to parents of varied ethnicities and had to figure out the answer to their own peers' questions about how being mixed exactly worked. On Sunday, Loving Day, I met Mariko Fritz-Krockow, a community manager at start-up Scribd, and Adria Richards, a young tech fiend and consultant, to talk about what it was like for them growing up multiethnic.

The conversation was fascinating and the shared experiences powerful. Adria found herself answering childhood questions as to how her hair was so curly or her eyes so green, while Mariko found herself telling off German strangers for questioning her Asian/German mix. Below, I've embedded two short clips from the conversation--the first is essentially a first person account of how some mixies attack the daily outsider question, "So, what are you?" while the second touches on the burgeoning generation of mixed children.

Click here to watch the video.

 


This article was originally published on Act.MTV.com.  It is reprinted here with permission.

 

Sian-Pierre Regis

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