Race in California

On April 13, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

I struggled with finding an appropriate title for today’s post and didn’t bother with a photo. A few weeks ago, someone burned a cross in front of a California family’s home. The FBI is investigating. The story is a reminder that racism is everywhere. The Multiracial Americans of Southern California issued a statement this week, which is how I learned about the case.

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What Would You Do?

On April 11, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

The clip above is from ABC. It’s part of a series of reports entitled “What Would You Do?” Reporter John Quinones creates uncomfortable scenarios and covers them with hidden cameras. I’ve seen these reports, but I hadn’t caught this one. Check it out.

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Choosing “Biracial”

On April 11, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke


I finally got my hands on a copy the May 2011 issue of Ebony, and I was a bit surprised. Ebony editors have dedicated 12 pages to the Mixed-Race in America special report.

When readers put down the magazine, they will know what it’s like to be biracial in America, how attitudes about interracial marriage are changing and why author Rebecca Walker thinks actress Halle Berry has “lost her mind” by referring to her daughter as black. There’s even a piece about the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival.

I am honored to be included in the package and for my words to be featured along side several authors. I wrote Choosing “Biracial,” an essay about raising biracial children, and a photo of the my family is in the magazine.

When I got the call, I knew the issue would be big. For decades, black publications have sidestepped this issue. Some have flat out ignored it. I once pitched an interracial story to a black women’s magazine and was flatly denied. “Our readers don’t want to read that,” the editor said.

I come from the school of newspapers, where reporters write about what readers want to know, should and don’t want to know. Ebony, which is headed by a biracial editor, is steering the magazine in a different direction, and I can’t wait to see what kind of splash it continues to make.

After the article has been out for a few weeks, we’ll talk about the issue more in-depth right here on Honeysmoke. Stay tuned!

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Quote, Unquote

On April 9, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

We’re not ladies, we’re women. (Very pregnant pause) Right, Simone?

Nadia, sort of schooling her father on what she’d like to be called.

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Panda Dad

On April 6, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

It was bound to happen. A father would weigh in on the whole Tiger Mom thing. They call him Panda Dad. He is soft and cuddly, with claws. He has written a book, and it has a Chinese connection.



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Good Read

On April 5, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

America is changing right before our eyes, challenging our notion of race. Columnist Clarence Page explains. Enjoy!

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Now What?

On April 5, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

It’s early, but it’s safe to say that we are going to survive kindergarten.

We handed in the homework, attended the teacher conferences, and consoled the lunchroom tears. We mastered the drop-off and pick-up schedule, clipped more Box Tops than we ever imagined and laughed our way through the Christmas program.

We weathered a new set of germs that took down our entire family–twice. We adapted to a whole new set of rules and regulations, and we watched Simone’s love of learning blossom. She declared one day, in no uncertain terms, that she was no longer a kindergartner. She was a “pre-first-grader.” She had no way of knowing, in those few moments, we all came a little closer to that day when we’re going to send her somewhere to learn without us. Her growth also proves that we, her parents, are getting older by the second.

There really isn’t much time to dwell on those points. We have 10 weeks of free time that must be filled with something. We don’t want Simone to lose any academic ground. At the same time, we want her to have fun. With kindergarten in our rearview mirror, we’re tackling more tough questions. Should Simone go to a half day of school or a full day of camp? Or should we try something new?

Before I was a parent, I heard stories of mothers and fathers registering their kids in programs all over town to hold a spot until they could figure out which ones they’d get into or which ones were right for their children. I remember thinking that they were all a little crazy. After all, I spent many of my summers playing double dutch. So, I am a little surprised to be fighting this urge to do what those other parents did, making sure, in their own way, that their child didn’t miss out on anything. Well, my pocketbook is helping me fight the urge, but that’s another story altogether. I know we will figure it out. It’s not like we have much of a choice.

Tell me, how has this decision played out at your house?

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Quote, Unquote Classic

On April 2, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

Hey, Bud.

A stranger, mistaking Nadia for a boy.

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Unusual Hair Tip

On April 1, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

Say you’re out of town, can’t find your trusty hair bonnet and refuse to let your hair come within inches of a cotton pillowcase. What would a curly do? Well, this curly started thinking about other soft things I had brought along for the trip.

While rummaging through the girls’ suitcase, I found a pair of satiny pajama bottoms. They were bright green and accented with pink and green elephants. Maybe just maybe these could work, I thought. The waistband of the pajama bottoms comfortably fit around my noggin’. I tied the legs in a loose knot and tucked the extra fabric underneath the waistband.

Not only did it work, but it stayed on all night. Even my trusty hair bonnet refuses to do that. Still, I am not retiring my trusty hair bonnet. The one drawback of my experiment: Simone and Nadia couldn’t help but ask over and over again why I wore pajamas as a crown, and I couldn’t really come up with a good answer.


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