Streams

Open Phones: Mixed Race

Friday, April 08, 2011

The number of mixed race kids has risen by 50% in past 10 years. Interracial relationships are also on the rise. Terry Zealand and Faye Zealand, co-founders of the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children, discuss their interracial relationship and how things have changed since they got together in the 60's. 

Listeners: Did you grow up as a mixed race child? Are you a parent of a mixed race child? Any surprises about being mixed race? Source of pride? Identity confusion? Call us up and tell us about your experience!

Guests:

Faye Zealand and Terry Zealand

The Morning Brief

Enter your email address and we’ll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.

Comments [33]

Sach from Montreal

Johnnjersey writes "People who live in Canada have told me there is never a question about race anywhere on any government form anywhere. It just does not exist. And Canada certainly does not have the race relation problems we have here in the US. "

As a Canadian of a multi-ethnic background, I will have you know that you have been erroneously informed. Recognizing the lack of visual representation in government and elsewhere, there has been for several years a movement toward ensuring that persons of different ethnicity are represented in government and other public areas. It is a common question on government forms to ask persons to identify their ethnic background. One of the problems with Canada and 'race' relations is that it is not discussed as openly as it should be. Discrimination and segregation have their own histories in Canada that need vocalization. Personally, while recognizing that no country has achieved a place free of discrimination, Canada can learn something from the US and the struggles for equality that have taken place there.

Apr. 08 2011 12:15 PM
The Truth from A Black Female

I hate to agree with John from the office for any reason but his statement is partially correct...the first part.

Apr. 08 2011 11:33 AM
The Truth from Becky

I agree with Hazel....and this is just another form of separation.

Apr. 08 2011 11:30 AM
The Truth from Becky

"stop the nonsense" if that is your real name, the proper term is African American, not Afro sweetie, that is if your going to use it at all....I don't

Apr. 08 2011 11:28 AM

I'm a little uncomfortable with this idea that mixed race children are always so beautiful. This is kinda a creepy and frankly encourages a whole other kind of prejudice.

Apr. 08 2011 11:17 AM
Dionne Ford

I'm black, my husband is white and we're raising two biracial daughters. I thought I supported my daughters' right to decide for themselves how to identify themselves until my oldest daughter told me she was white. I wrote about her road to identity for Brain, Child magazine. If you're interested, you can read the essay on my blog, www.findingjosephine.com under the tab, "my work." I hope WNYC addresses this topic again.

Apr. 08 2011 11:03 AM
john from Office

Jane, this is a serious problem among black educated women. Why is my comment wrong??

Apr. 08 2011 11:01 AM
Browngirl

Check the blog
BrowngirlCleansUp.blogspot.com
for multiracial rant from a biracial mother of mixed race children. Chime in!

Apr. 08 2011 11:00 AM

Becky: he can say Afro-American. It's ok. there's nothing wrong in that.

Apr. 08 2011 11:00 AM
Linda from NJ

I love guessing race or nationality. I find it amazing looking at people and guessing DNA sources. Mixed race are the most beautiful combination. When I ask "where are you from or what is your nationality" I'm just interested from a truly human perspective. Is that wrong?

Apr. 08 2011 11:00 AM
Sarah from Harlem

I'm Irish, German, French, Welsh & Dutch. I grew up in a very diverse community in North Jersey where I was frequently the only "white" girl. I speak fluent Spanish with a Colombian accent which throws people off. My partner is Filipino and Chinese. When we conceive, I will carry and we will look for a Filipino/Chinese donor.

I feel/hope that in a few more generations, this topic will be a quaint reminiscence rather than a toxic dividing line.

Apr. 08 2011 11:00 AM
Johnnjersey from nj

People who live in Canada have told me there is never a question about race anywhere on any government form anywhere. It just does not exist. And Canada certainly does not have the race relation problems we have here in the US. So I ask you to look into this, explore it and ponder the implications of a place where we don't categorize and enumerate people by their race. Think about it for a while. I see so many cases of where we seem to be manufacturing differences between us a that would not exist if we didn't bother counting.

Apr. 08 2011 10:59 AM
sheldon from brooklyn

"best genes from both sides" cringing right now

Apr. 08 2011 10:59 AM

brian, mixed race does not mean "mixed up".

Apr. 08 2011 10:59 AM
Pressler from NYC

Too many thoughts on this for a comment. Liveblogging it at http://meetthepressler.blogspot.com/.

Very much agree with the woman who said it matters more in NYC. We all need to stuff everyone in a box here.

Apr. 08 2011 10:59 AM

brian
imn hawaii iot is howie s = a derograterm for known hawaiian

Apr. 08 2011 10:59 AM
rosalie from astoria

I think New Yorkers are especially preoccupied with race and ethnicity compared to other parts of the US. A lot of people here won't accept an answer of being "white": they want to know what kind of "white" you are. Mostly, these kinds of questions about race/ethnicity are a reflection of really wanting to know who you are.

Apr. 08 2011 10:58 AM
Jane

Not surprised to see John from The Office has made a hate-filled, negative appearance on this topic.

Apr. 08 2011 10:58 AM
The Truth from Becky

It is African American NOT AFRO American...stupid topic anyways

Apr. 08 2011 10:57 AM
john from office

Many educated black females are marrying whites and hispanics, because there is a shallow pool of black males with a higher education.

Apr. 08 2011 10:56 AM
Theresa from Brooklyn

The problem isn't with how or with whom people choose to identify. The problem is with rude people who can't restrain themselves from asking people they don't know rude personal questions.

Apr. 08 2011 10:53 AM
Jennifer from Central CT

I'm glad it's becoming more common to see mixed ethnicity. I don't like to use refer to it as race; we're all human. I'm white and raised in a mixed household. My stepfather is black and father to my brother. In the '80s, people didn't seem to know how to react to our family. I hope that having many people of diverse roots will make people more comfortable about dealing other people of diverse cultures and appearances.

Apr. 08 2011 10:52 AM
Mxdrce

No. It's b/c white men stay. Is that supposed to be a controversial truth?

Apr. 08 2011 10:52 AM
The Truth from Becky

So Brian you do understand the concept of mixed race....you should apply this understanding when speaking of the President as well.

Apr. 08 2011 10:50 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Obama's mother was white Irish. Does Obama identify with Irish causes as much as Black issues?

But I agree that people of mixed heritage or race will tend to go against all ethnic identification or ethnic issues, and argue as your called did, that mixed-race Americans in particular will identify themselves as purely America, and eschew any ancient ethnic identification.

Apr. 08 2011 10:49 AM

Not sure if this poll is correct, but claims half of Mississippi Republicans would vote against the right of mixed race to marry.

http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2011/04/barbour-bryant-lead-in-mississippi.html

Our marriage would have been illegal before the Supreme Court Loving decision of 1967.

Apr. 08 2011 10:49 AM
Tara from Bronx

I was born in 1970, the product of an interracial marriage (Amer. Indian & white), and I am now the parent of mixed race twins (black, white & Amer. Indian). I think my children's experience will be much different from mine. I struggled w/identity issues growing up because the attitude toward mixed race people and relationships was very different. I think this is much more accepted now a days as it is much more prevalent. I want my children to be proud and knowledgeable about their entire ancestry, and not feel pressured to identify as one and reject another. I hope they see themselves as human beings first and foremost with a rich ancestral background.

Apr. 08 2011 10:48 AM
carolita from nyc

My mom is hispanic and my dad is white, and As a child, I grew up thinking that I was free of a heritage, which I thought was an advantage. I used to think I didn't have to be hispanic, and I didn't have to b white, and that I could just be me. It was only as an adult that I realized that white people thought I was hispanic, and that hispanic people thought I was white, and that other ethnicities often thought I belonged to them. It did cause a little identity crisis when I realized people imposed their ideas about my race upon me, but in the end I embraced my mixed race by changing my name from Carol Johnson to Carolita Johnson, which makes my mixed race more clear to people from the get go. THere's also no other Carolita Johnson in the United States, as far as I know. So it helps me be what I'd intended to be all along: just me.

Apr. 08 2011 10:47 AM
Carl from LES

I'm a mixed-race person (white-swedish father, african american mother). I grew up in a very white, racist suburb. Dealing with racism as a kid was annoying at times, but tolerable. I've identified with both communities 75%.

As an adult living in NYC, it is just not really an issue socially. It still makes a difference in business (I own a company). I lived in Boston for 7 years before moving to NYC and it mattered more there, both in business and socially.

Apr. 08 2011 10:47 AM
carolita from nyc

My mom is hispanic and my dad is white, and As a child, I grew up thinking that I was free of a heritage, which I thought was an advantage. I used to think I didn't have to be hispanic, and I didn't have to b white, and that I could just be me. It was only as an adult that I realized that white people thought I was hispanic, and that hispanic people thought I was white, and that other ethnicities often thought I belonged to them. It did cause a little identity crisis when I realized people imposed their ideas about my race upon me, but in the end I embraced my mixed race by changing my name from Carol Johnson to Carolita Johnson, which makes my mixed race more clear to people from the get go. THere's also no other Carolita Johnson in the United States, as far as I know. So it helps me be what I'd intended to be all along: just me.

Apr. 08 2011 10:47 AM
molly from nyc

There's another important -- and growing -- group not addressed in this topic as yet. Families formed by transracial adoption. There are a lot of us who have children who are multiracial or of a race different from their parents.

Apr. 08 2011 10:47 AM
John from office

I come from a mixed background as an hispanic. Like the italians, greeks and other southern groups, they will be viewed as white.

Even the Irish were not viewed as white.

Apr. 08 2011 10:45 AM
IC from New York, Montreal, Hawaii

My son is hapa and multi-national. He gets the best of all worlds and unlike his parents dealing with more cross cultural issues, he assimilates readily in all circles and is tri-lingual since he began speaking, and truly receives all teh advantages of all worlds.

Apr. 08 2011 10:45 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.