Mixed Race Mix-Ups

By Jean Mavrelis - 04.25.2010

I met a woman in Oregon who is racially Black and culturally Italian.

My daughter has a friend whose Mom is Irish and African American and whose Dad is German, yet she is racially Black.

My son has a friend with a Polish Mom and African American Dad.

How does this impact mixed race folks where what you appear to be is not who you are, but to claim to be who you are seems to suggest that you are rejecting a “minority” part of yourself ?

I have experienced this at some level, growing up with an Irish Mom and a Jewish Dad, and being the only kid (except for my siblings) named Goldstein at St. Luke’s.

I resented assumptions that I was Jewish, but I’m not sure if it was because I had no Jewish religious upbringing, and it was a misrepresentation, or if it was because of the anti-Semitism I picked up in the environment as a Catholic kid (they told me my Dad killed Jesus).

I’d like to hear from mixed folks about how you deal with being raised culturally one way, yet physically appear to the world as something else.

What’s Happening With HAPAs?

By Adrian Chan - 07.09.2009

Michael Jackson Memorial: Who Was That Singer?  

If you followed the Michael Jackson Memorial, the unknown lead singer for the ending, “We Are the World” and “Heal the World”, is Judith Hill, a Los Angeles-raised musician, who was an alternate backup singer set to perform in Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” concert tour. She is also a HAPA, daughter of a Japanese immigrant mother and African American funk band father. As she put it, “I was a skinny mixed kid with a lot of hair that I didn’t know what to do with.”

So who is a HAPA?  This is a Hawaiian term used for biracial, multiracial Asian Americans, and drew impetus through the 2000 USA Census which allowed for citizens to identify their bi/multiracial backgrounds. Read more »