What Are You?: Voices of Mixed-Race Young People by Pearl Fuyo Gaskins (Editor)

Summary: Grade 8 Up-In this sensitive, thoughtful collection of interviews, essays, and poetry, over 40 young adults ranging in age from 14 to 26 relate their experiences growing up in the United States. Their racial identities represent a wide blend of cultures: European, African, Asian, Native American, Jewish, Arabic, Caribbean, Hispanic, and Pacific Islander. Arranged thematically with occasional author notes offering clarification and transition, the primarily upbeat testimonies address issues of discrimination, dating, family dynamics, and self-esteem. The contributors have had to respond to prejudice both inside and outside their own ethnic groups in addition to universal problems, such as financial worries, divorce, parent and sibling conflicts, and academic pressures. Although American society challenged them to "check one box," declaring the race they belong to, they have resisted categorization, seeking instead to understand and express the rich blend that is their personal heritage. They have drawn strength and optimism from a support network provided by family members, organizations, and/or advocacy groups. A helpful resource section includes annotated lists of affinity and advocacy groups and Web sites, as well as relevant fiction and nonfiction books, magazines, and movies and videos. While underscoring the complexity of the mixed-race experience, these unadorned voices offer a genuine, poignant, enlightening and empowering message to all readers.Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Identity, Hybrid Identities, Classification

Classroom Implications: Students will be drawn to this book of nonfiction writing because of the authentic expressions of identity that are included in this complication. This nonfiction collection adds another layer of identity exploration middle school students should be engage in during their young adult years.


No comments: