The end of July brings an intriguing new novel a Biracial literary icon, a discussion about whether Mixed couples are truly trending in Hollywood pictures, an encouraging community response to threats against an interracial couple in Texas, in a city that seems a surprising pick for growing diversity, and a look behind the headline-grabbing study saying that Multiracial students don’t have a racial academic achievement gap with their White peers.
Danzy Senna’s New Novel Explores the ‘Biracial Elite’
Biracial author Danzy Senna, whose 1998 bestseller, Caucasia, broke new ground for fiction about Mixed people, is back with another topical literary gem. As the Boston Globe describes:
It is 1996 in gentrifying Brooklyn, and Maria, the less-than-heroic heroine of ‘New People,’’ Danzy Senna’s sharp new novel, perches on the cusp of triumphant adulthood. Almost finished with her dissertation, ‘an ethnomusicology of the Peoples Temple’ in Jonestown, Guyana, she is planning her Martha’s Vineyard wedding to aspiring Internet entrepreneur Khalil, her college boyfriend and perfect match: ‘She is the one he has been waiting for his whole life … He is the one she needs, the one who can repair her … Their skin is the same shade of beige.’ Like Senna’s previous two novels ‘Caucasia’’ and ‘Symptomatic,’ ‘New People’’ explores the fraught social and emotional world of the biracial elite. This is Senna’s world … and ‘New People’’ is spot on…”
Are Interracial Relationships REALLY Trending on Hollywood Screens?
Every so often it seems we see stories about how onscreen interracial relationships are trending in Hollywood. WBUR’s On Point explores the question with a dynamic discussion between:
Sopan Deb, culture reporter at the New York Times.
Leena Jayaswal, professor at the School of Communication at American University. Documentary filmmaker of ‘Mixed,’ a film about interracial relationships and biracial children.
Caty Borum Chattoo, director of the Center for Media & Social Impact at the School of Communication at American University. Documentary filmmaker of ‘Mixed,’ a film about interracial relationships and biracial children.
Clover Hope, senior writer at Jezebel, covering pop culture.
Mixed-race Couple Threatened in Dallas, TX Area; Neighbors Show Support
Shortly after they moved to a new neighborhood, interracial couple Saint James Limoges and her husband Johnny report that they and their neighbors have received about 20 letters with racist and threatening messages in the past six months. The letters show return addresses from the couple’s family members, which makes them even more frightening.
New Hub of Diversity: Lansing Michigan?
Lansing is steadily becoming more diverse. As WKAR.org reports, the U.S. Census Bureau shows residents who identify as two or more races growing by more than 62 percent from 2000 to 2010.
Stacey Tinsley, who is interracially married, extols Lansing’s growing diversity. “’Quite frankly, I’ve seen more interracial couples, and not just your typical black and white, [like a] black man and white woman,’ said Stacey. ‘I’ve seen, you know, white man and black woman, I’ve seen Asian man and black woman. In Lansing, it’s a real nice cornucopia.’”
What’s Behind Multiracial Students’ Lack of Test Score Gap with White Students?
News reports about students of color (particularly Black, Latino and Native American) suffering from an academic “achievement gap” in standardized test scores are overwhelmingly common throughout the United States. Which is why a new Brookings Institution study showing that Multiracial students are scoring closer to White students is making headlines.
According to The Hechinger Report, the study “offers insight into the complicated lives of multiracial families, institutional racism and the unique burdens of multiracial privilege. According to the study, 12th-grade students who identify as being multiracial scored, on average, the same as white students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress standardized test, and they outperformed other racial categories in reading … so what’s really boosting mixed-raced students test scores?