Eighten months ago I published my first non-ghostwritten book called Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide. Being Biracial is an anthology of essays written by parents of Mixed Race kids and/or Multiracial adults. (We have one essay written by an adult that was dictated by a 13-year-old girl.)
It is a co-author venture I did with a close friend of mine who’s White and married to a Black man. Together they’re raising three Biracial sons and they live in England. Bryony Sutherland is an editor, author and ghostwriter—for more information, please visit her website.
I am Black, Japanese and White and Being Biracial was my first non-ghostwritten book.
The 30-second Elevator Speech for Being Biracial
“Good, bad, ugly and illuminating—everyone has an opinion on race. As Biracial people continue trending, the discussion is no longer about a singular topic, but is more like playing a game of multi-level chess. The anthology, Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide, cites the experiences of twenty-four mixed-race authors and parents of multiracial children of all ages and backgrounds, from all over the world. It blends positivity, negativity, humor, pathos and realism in an enlightening exploration of what it means to be more than one ethnicity.”
A Few Excerpts from the Book Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide
The Being Biracial authors and contributors hail from a dozen countries spanning five continents, and encompass a wide range of racial and ethnic mixtures. Given the political climate of the day, our purpose in writing and publishing this book was to encourage people to challenge their assumptions about race and ethnicity.
Jamie is a Black / White Biracial American woman. She writes, “What exactly is “too Black” or “too White”? Thirty-seven years of walking this invisible line, and I’m still not sure.”
“When you’re constantly forced to defend something about yourself, you eventually begin to question the very thing you’re defending—like an innocent man who confesses to a crime after hours of relentless interrogation.”
Souad is half French and half Algerian, and is also a Muslim living in France. In her essay she writes, “I’m proud to walk next to my blue-eyed mum, with my hijab on, looking like we have nothing in common when in fact we’re everything to each other. I think it’s a wonderful message against racism and Islamophobia.”
Heather is a White-identifying American woman who until a classmate in her 7th grade class shouted out, “You never told me your dad was Black!” assumed she was White. Heather went on a fact finding mission and as you can imagine, learned a lot. In her essay she writes about her Black Biracial father who was married to her White mother, “White was not White, lumped into a giant garbage can category of Otherness that meant limits and closed doors.”
Maja is half Black South African and Croatian and writes, “When I was a baby I looked pale with black curly hair—I resembled a young Eastern European child rather than a mixed race baby. Because of this my [Black] mother was once accused of “stealing a White baby.”
Janek is Sri Lanken and British and lives in Australia. He writes, “Being mistaken for an Islamic extremist has been something I’ve had to get used to ever since 2001, when I had to skive off school for a week because the bullying over what “my people” did became too much.”
“When people make an assumption about my race, they’re saying something interesting about themselves … [It’s] an innate human instinct: however much we try to avoid doing it, our subconscious is evolutionarily wired to do so.”
A Couple of Reviews of Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide
“Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide is the best of both worlds. It is not only academic, nor is it only commercial. Sarah Ratliff and Bryony Sutherland have indeed found a way to take a subject that will appeal to everyone, from interracial parents, to the multiracial population, to non-fiction readers, and to academics. It is a book that needs to be read by anyone interested in diversity and the multiracial viewpoint.” Susan Graham, President, Project RACE, Inc.
We Even Have a Book Trailer for Being Biracial
Being Biracial Is Trying Out for College, But It Needs Help From The Multiracial Community
Being Biracial is doing well on Amazon. It’s currently ranked #19 for Discrimination and Race under social sciences and #107 for Discrimination and Race under African Americans. For Race Relations under Social Sciences it’s ranked #125. (The numbers fluctuate frequently throughout the day.)
Having published Being Biracial in September 2015 to positive feedback, we felt we’d met our objective until two of our reviewers, university professors, independently suggested we reach out to colleges and universities across the United States to request they consider it in their social sciences curriculum. To that end, we hired a mixed-race scholar named Shannon Luders-Manual to write an educators’ guide to accompany our anthology. We worked closely with Alec MacLeod of the California Institute of Integral Studies, who served as our mentor and advisor.
All we’re asking from you in the Multiracial Community is to read and share this blog. If after reading this blog, seeing the book trailer, reading the excerpts and the reviews you are moved to buy the Being Biracial book and leave a review, this will get us that much closer to feeling confident we have something to offer universities.
All we ever wanted from our book was four things:
- Get people talking about race. It’s a complex topic and one that has a lot of hurt on all sides, but the conversations need to happen.
- Help educate Monoracial people about what it’s like being more than one race
- Show Biracial / Multiracial people in country A Biracial / Multiracial people in country B we’re all far more alike than we are different in our experiences
- Give Monoracial parents who are raising Biracial / Multiracial kids an idea what they can expect from a world that still doesn’t quite understand Multiraciality
And you can help us achieve these objectives.
Thank you so much!
Sarah and Bryony