Streams

Being Mixed Race in America

Monday, May 30, 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? Tell us about your experience!

Guests:

Faye Zealand and Terry Zealand
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Comments [5]

Rudy Halfbreed Clothing from San Francisco

I'm Black/Filipino with a slash of Cherokee, my wife is a beautiful Latina. We started www.Halfbreedclothingco.com for this reason. We want to get people to rep themselves as who they are, not what society labels them as. It's a multicultural movement, get involved.

May. 31 2011 11:55 AM
Clarice from Queens

I'm white, my ancestry being mixed Northern European (English, Irish, Scotts Irish, Dutch, French, Danish, and who know what else.) I have a Danish last name, but I'm only 1/4 Danish, and did not grow up in a particularly Danish household; I grew up in a small Southern town. This town was completely segregated, so there was only one ethic distinction that mattered: you were either black or white.

I went to college in the North, partly out of a hope to escape segregation. One thing I discovered when I got to college in New Jersey was that suddenly I needed an ethnic identity. Everyone else had one but me. People assumed that, since my last name is Danish, I must have grown up speaking Danish, and doing whatever Danes do. (I had no idea at that time what that might entail.) Forty years later, people still seemed shocked when I tell them I'm part Irish, or French, or whatever.

The next generation of my family is quite mixed. My sister married a Jewish man, and her children consider themselves Jewish. (They were quite shocked when, after their parents divorced, my sister reverted to celebrating Christmas.)

My brother married a Philippina woman. They have four beautiful children with Asian/European features and Danish last names, one of whom has married a beautiful woman from Ghana. I can't wait to see their children! I pray that all my nephews and nieces will some day live in a world where people won't define one another by ethnic identities, and your ethnicity will just be one of many interesting facts about you.

May. 30 2011 11:45 AM
Ana from Massapequa

I am from Spain and although I am not mix race most people do not know where I am from. I guess being from Europe and speaking spanish is kind of like being miss race

May. 30 2011 10:54 AM
carolita from nyc

I'm half white (German/Swedish) and half hispanic (Ecuadorian). Oddly, both my parents were very conservative, so I'd hear my Republican dad ragging on the hispanics coming to america, stealing jobs and having children. At the same time, my mom was afraid to be seen as one of them, and felt that she was discriminated against. But I grew up thinking these were their problems, not mine. I took French in High School, to get away from their issues. Hispanics think I'm white, and whites think I'm hispanic. But the strange thing is, I can always recognize an Ecuadorian on the street. There's something in their face that looks like a tiny bit of me, and I love seeing it. On the other hand, if you ask any of my friends, I'm much more German (well, let's say dictatorial) in my personality.

May. 30 2011 10:53 AM
Ken from Manhattan

Mixed Japanese/Caucasian (Jewish). Privileged, I think, to consider myself human being.

May. 30 2011 10:49 AM

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