Being Blackanese: The Evolving Embrace of Self and Community

Blackanese-eventBEING BLACKANESE AND THE EVOLVING EMBRACE OF SELF AND COMMUNITY brings together an award winning literary artist, a scholar activist, and an independently published author in an examination and affirmation of Black Japanese American life. The “Blackanese” experience – of a world where divisiveness remains common and cultural ambiguity can equate to invisibility within one’s own communities – will be exposed through readings, presentations and Q&A.


The readings will be followed by a Question & Answer session facilitated by DR. FREDERICK GAINES, Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies, College of San Mateo

College Center (Bldg. 10) Room 194
College of San Mateo
1700 W. Hillsdale Drive, San Mateo, CA 94402

Free Event (Public) – $2 visitor parking
Questions? Contact:

6:30 – 8:00 PM Program
8:00 – 9:00 PM Reception with light refreshments

08334c0ALYSS DIXSON will read from “The Club”, her short fiction piece about Ai, a determined Black Japanese girl who decides to sneak a ride on her father’s old Harley until an encounter with a thief puts her between fear of the stranger and fear of her dad’s punishment.

About Alyss: I have 20 years of experience in the film industry. I bring content from development through production. I also work on television, print and digital media projects.


13669826_10153599857746010_2411730981538328954_nFREDRICK CLOYD will read selections from his memoir, Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, covering his struggles as a half-Black Japanese boy born of an African American military father and that of his mother who was looked down upon for having a child by an American, as well as his life as an Amerasian after migrating to the United States.

About Fredrick: I was born in postwar Japan (the 1950s) in a small town west of Tokyo. My mother and I survived until my father–an African-American soldier of the Korean War, came for us and we moved to the United States in 1963. We lived in Hawaii for two years, then moved back to Japan. We lived on U.S. military bases or in civilian housing sponsored by the U.S. military.

We moved back to the U.S in 1970 and I have lived in many places across the U.S. since.

My reflections focus on the transmigration of racism, sexism, heterosexism and homophobia, class/caste-ism, and nationalism, which infuses personal and communal lives, particularly in the phenomenon of colonialism and military occupation, including the seemingly innocuous presence of U.S. military bases in the Pacific region.

My experiences traverse diversity consulting, intercultural communication certification programs, and independent speaker. To learn more about him, visit his website: Dream Water Children.

513jv3i3l-_ux250_RAMON CALHOUN will read excerpts from his independently-published novel, Blackanese Boy, the coming of age story of Rafael Halifax. Raised by a single mother, Rafael tries to cope with and understand the complexity of his mixed-identity, born of his Japanese American mother and Black father, an infrequent yet powerful presence in his life.

About Ramon: I was born and raised in San Francisco, and am mixed: black and Japanese American. I’ve dabbled in writing since my early twenties. During my senior year in college, instead of writing a final paper for an English class, I wrote a short story instead. That whet my appetite for writing and the imaginative life. Since then I’ve since written plays, novels, travelogue, and recently, returned to the short story format. His first novel, Blackanese Boy is available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback.

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Published on: November 14, 2016

Filed Under: Calendar of Events

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