Episode 20: Brown White Black Family

Check out our Being Mixed-Race Series, inspired by Nicole Zelniker’s book, Mixed. You can also find our podcast episodes on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play Music, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher.

Most TV and movies portray adoption as a white parent adopting a child. This is true in such mainstream shows as FriendsGlee90210Modern FamilySex and The CityGrey’s Anatomy, and Parenthood. This representation is often how people think of adoption, something that can get frustrating for Nishta J. Mehra, an Indian woman with a white wife and black adopted child.

As a child, Nishta grew up as one of the only Indian children in a predominantly white neighborhood, something she talks about in her book, Brown White Black. Now, she’s writing about her own experiences, both as a first-generation Indian-American and as part of a larger multiracial family.

Nishta J. Mehra is the proud first-generation daughter of Indian immigrants and the author of two essay collections: The Pomegranate King and Brown White Black. Mehra currently lives with her wife, Jill, and their seven-year-old, Shiv, in Phoenix, Arizona. Connect with her via her website nishtajmehra.com and on Twitter and Instagram at @nishtajmehra.

The Nasiona Podcast shares stories that explore the spectrum of human experience and glimpse into foreign worlds. We focus on stories based on facts, truth-seeking, human concerns, real events, and real people, with a personal touch. From liminal lives to the marginalized, and everything in between, we believe that the subjective can offer its own reality and reveal truths some facts can’t discover. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López.

Our theme song is “Into the West,” courtesy of Tan Vampires.

Guest

Hosts

Founder, Executive Director, Editor-in-Chief

Julián Esteban Torres López is a Colombian-born journalist, publisher, podcaster, and editor. Before founding the nonfiction storytelling organization The Nasionahe ran several cultural and arts organizations, edited journals and books, was a social justice and public history researcher, wrote a column for Colombia Reports, taught university courses, and managed a history museum. He’s a Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions nominee and has written two books on social justice. Torres López holds a bachelor’s in philosophy and in communication and a master’s in justice studies from University of New Hampshire and was a Ph.D. candidate at University of British Columbia Okanagan, where he focused on political science and Latin American studies.

Twitter: je_torres_lopez

jetorreslopez.com

Managing Editor, Producer

Aïcha Martine Thiam is a trilingual writer, musician, and artist who goes where the waves take her, and an Assistant Editor at Reckoning Press. She will quote obscure film facts at you, unprovoked. Her collection of poems, “AT SEA” was shortlisted for the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize. Some words found or forthcoming in: BerfroisThe RumpusBright Wall/Dark RoomMetaphorosisSouth Broadway Ghost SocietyRIC JournalLamplight, TERSE. Journal, Gone LawnTruancy MagCrack the SpineConfessionalist ZineGhost City ReviewRogue AgentBoston Accent LitDéraciné.

Twitter: @Maelllstrom

maelllstrom.com

Interviewer

Producer, Managing Editor

NICOLE ZELNIKER is a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School and an editorial researcher with The Conversation US. Her work has appeared on The Pulitzer Prizes website and in USAToday and Yes! Weekly, among other places. A creative writer as well as a journalist, Nicole has had several pieces of poetry published including “Cracks in the Sidewalk” (Quail Bell Magazine) and “Surge” (The Greenleaf Review), as well as three short stories, “Last Dance” (The Hungry Chimera), “Dress Rehearsal” (littledeathlit), and “Lucky” (Fixional). Zelniker’s book, Mixed, is a work of non-fiction about race and mixed-race families.

Follower her on Twitter and Instagram.

nicolezelniker.wordpress.com

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