Asian Americans and Skin Color Politics

Hello Meltingpot Readers,

2013 Korean beauty pageant contestants. Skin color politics often = beauty politics.
2013 Korean beauty pageant contestants. Skin color politics often = beauty politics.
As most of you know, I’m hard at work on my new book, Same Family, Different Colors. In the book, I’m trying to document how skin color politics play out in American families, across different cultures. In addition to the fact that people of all ethnic backgrounds get squirmy when you bring up the idea of colorism, it is especially difficult to get people to talk to someone who doesn’t share the same culture. Going into this project I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to find people to open up and share their family secrets around skin color, particularly when I got to the Latino community and Asian American community, because I am an outsider. And I was right.

Lucky for me I have friends in the right places. A couple of weeks ago I reached out to Grace Hwang Lynch, the blogger behind HapaMama.com and the race and culture editor at Blogher.com. Grace felt my pain when I told her I was having trouble finding Asian-Americans who wanted to share their stories, so she posted on HapaMama that I was in need of Asian-American voices for my book. Can you believe that within hours I had a half-dozen emails in my inbox from people willing and eager to share? I was so thrilled because the book can only be as good as the stories I’m able to gather.

So, thank you, Grace! And you gotta love the power of a blog well told.

Peace!

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