Mixed race women speak out

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Mixed race women speak out

Contributors to Other Tongues explore and celebrate what racial identity means to them

There is no mistaking the power of speaking our own stories: having mixed race women naming our struggles within and between our families, who often force us to deny parts that they deem shameful. Whether that's the parent of colour's family and existence, or how that's linked to working class roots, or the naming of one's identity by others, another continuing theme throughout the collection.

The issue of where mixed race folks are from, where we were born and where we live, are also huge sites of contention, mostly based on what the outside (white) world imagines about mixed race people via badly formed existing narratives. Thus "home" is not always a comfortable place, as it's often demanded to be proven or justified by the outside, and sometimes denied or hidden within the family.

The anthology is in three sections, by theme. Rules/Roles. Roots/Routes. Revelations.

Erin Kobayashi's "Pop Quiz" was entertaining and somewhat funny, since I've been there and anyone identified as "racially ambiguous" has been there. It was also very sad, and steeped in a resignation, annoyance and anger at being constantly told that we don't belong and don't fit into the mono-racial understanding of race and culture that Canada offers.