Author Crush #437: Mat Johnson & Loving Day

Author Crush #437: Mat Johnson & Loving Day

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Pardon my absence. I was in the woods of Northern Pennsylvania on a writing retreat all last week. It was absolutely exquisite and I made a lot of progress on my new book, Same Family, Different Colors. I also ate really delicious food, made great new friends and saw a big, black bear up close and personal. Yes, there was a bear who showed up twice during my stay making the experience all the more exciting. But I digress. In addition to writing for almost 10 hours…

Defining Blackness: My Take on Rachel Dolezal

Defining Blackness: My Take on Rachel Dolezal

It’s not as though there hasn’t already been enough written about Rachel Dolezal, the White woman from Montana who has been passing for Black for the last decade. Still, I feel I have to add my two cents to the raging controversy over this woman’s actions. Actually, I have more than two cents to add and I don’t really want to say a lot about Rachel, as much as I want to talk about identity politics in general. Let’s begin by acknowledging that Rachel Dolezal belongs in a Gillian Flynn…

Will “White People Believe Anything” About Race?

Will “White People Believe Anything” About Race?

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Pardon the delay in posting, but we had some technical difficulties. But I’m back now. And so happy to be here to tell you about a great event I went to on Monday in Brooklyn. In honor of Loving Day, the Brooklyn Historical Society hosted a screening of Lacey Schwartz’s amazing documentary, Little White Lie, followed by a discussion with Schwartz moderated by my neighbor and friend, the writer Lise Funderberg. Needless to say, it was an evening well spent. Little White Lie is a completely raw…

Asian Americans and Skin Color Politics

Asian Americans and Skin Color Politics

Hello Meltingpot Readers, 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…

#WomensLives: Life on the Border Between Europe and Africa

#WomensLives: Life on the Border Between Europe and Africa

Hello Melitngpot Readers, If you’ve read my memoir, Kinky Gazpacho, then you know I’ve lived in both Spain and Morocco, so these recent stories about life in the border city of Ceuta have caught my attention. Ceuta is a city on the cusp of Africa, but it is a Spanish territory. Ceuta’s citizens are Spanish, but the divide between African and European is clear and striking. Check out these two stories, one about the bone crushing work Moroccan women endure to make pennies at the border of Ceuta and Morocco…

May is Mixed Experience History Month!

May is Mixed Experience History Month!

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Happy Monday! Happy May! Happy Mixed Experience History Month 2015! If you’ve been a regular reader of the Meltingpot, then Mixed Experience History Month is nothing new. But if perhaps this is your first time traveling through our cyber world, then you’re probably wondering what we’re talking about. Well, my cool friend and famous Afro-Viking Heidi Durrow, the author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky and founder of the Mixed Remixed Festival, is the brains behind the whole Mixed Experience History month idea. She launched…

Me and Toni Morrison: On the Same Page About Skin Color Politics

Me and Toni Morrison: On the Same Page About Skin Color Politics

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Have any of you read Toni Morrison’s new novel, God Help the Child? Not only have I read it, I had the chance to see Ms. Toni give a reading from the book here in Philadelphia and of course got her to sign my book. It was magical getting to meet her in person and to hear about her inspiration and ideas for writing this particular story. Dear readers, I don’t know if you know this, but God Help the Child is all about a dark-skinned Black…

Yo, Is That Colorist?: Australian Newscaster Praises Light Skin Twin

Yo, Is That Colorist?: Australian Newscaster Praises Light Skin Twin

Hello Meltingpot Readers, I think you all know I’m working on a book called Same Family, Different Colors where I’m looking at skin color variations in nuclear families and how those skin color differences affect family dynamics. Often times I’m hearing stories about minute variations between brown and browner, but every now and again there are extreme skin color differences that are impossible to ignore, both inside and outside the home. Recently, a set of twins in the UK have made headlines because one twin has brown skin, brown curly…