Being Mixed-Race Series

Episode 12: Mixed-Race Relationships

In 1958, married couple Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter were jailed because they violated the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. In 1964, the couple sued the state of Virginia. Their case reached the Supreme Court in 1967, and the court struck down all state laws forbidding mixed-race marriages. Several decades later, this ruling allowed people like Zyda Culpepper Mellon, who is African American, to marry her white husband, and for Ricardee Franks, who is mixed, to also marry a white man. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Episode 9: Daughterhood

Four daughters lose and find their mothers, engage and disengage with them, learn and unlearn who these women are and who they were before they came along. These daughters, intentionally and unintentionally, look for meaning and identity in the women who gave them birth; because whether we like or barely tolerate them, whether they put us together fragment by careful fragment, or whether they undo us with the tug of an errant string, who they were tells us everything about who we will become. […]

Creative Nonfiction

A Too Personal Retelling of the Modern Romance

May Bennet approaches a sadly familiar story (the aftermath of assault) nontraditionally to discuss how past traumas link and entangle, further complicating one’s life long after the events have transpired. This essay emphasizes how a history of trauma affects new relationships and how one might regain autonomy in the aftermath of abuse. […]

Creative Nonfiction

A Lack of Serendipity

Part memoir and part computer science lecture, this essay explores how what we think of as inconsequential and what we think of as meaningful interact in a range of experiences, from looking for new music recommendations on Spotify to making sense of a romantic relationship. […]

Creative Nonfiction

On Addiction

On Addiction is a snapshot of alcoholism from a child’s perspective. It explores the duality of addiction and the duality of loving someone who is an addict. It is also, and perhaps most importantly, a statement of what it feels like to endure abuse from the person whose role it is to care for you. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Episode 7: Motherhood

Motherhood has often been considered a pinnacle of wisdom and serenity, a sort of joining together of all those parts of ourselves in lesser focus. But in truth, motherhood opens more doors than it closes. It is an endless series of complications and ambiguities that are put into sharper relief by the arrival of a daughter. What emerges from the following four stories is this precise push and pull, pondered through the lens of devotion and loss, of privilege and resentment, of injustice and forgiveness. […]

Being Mixed-Race Series

Episode 3: Mixed-Race Families

Journalist Nicole Zelniker, author of Mixed, takes us on personal journeys to help us glimpse into overlooked worlds so we can more fully grasp what it means to be mixed. Zelniker spoke to dozens of mixed-race families and individuals, as well as experts in the field, about their own experiences, with the hope to fill a gap in the very important conversation about race in the US today. […]

Being Mixed-Race Series

What Does It Mean to Be Mixed-Race in the US?: New Book, ‘Mixed,’ by Nicole Zelniker

The definition of families is widening, whether it’s because of mixed-race relationships, interracial adoption, or numerous other factors. Today, it is important to hear from a growing population about race, their shifting identities, and what family means to them. At the heart of the issue are the mixed-race families. Many mixed-race children have had difficulties fitting in, whether with one race or the other. In mixed-race relationships, one partner may face racism, while the other may not, or else they will experience racism in different ways. Children who have been adopted into families that identify as a race that is not theirs often find that they struggle to fit in with their families as well as with people who identify as their own race. Not only are these families navigating US American culture at large, but they also must navigate their own family structures and what it means to be mixed. […]

Columns

Words from Elsewhere

To keep with the spirit of Otra Parte, I’d like to share my list of readings from elsewhere. These are readings that tackle what it means to be the Other, expose us to extraordinary worlds, and/or disclose interesting, at times iconoclastic, perspectives that end up feeling (or at one time felt) foreign when compared to mainstream and conventional thoughts, behaviors, and codes of conduct. […]

Mireya S. Vela, "With Snake."
Creative Nonfiction

Doctores

When people are marginalized, their doctors are, too. A woman remembers her childhood and the decisions she and her family made. Grandmother didn’t like secrets. She said to me, “Secrets come from Satan.” I don’t […]

Mansur, "Study of a Nilgai (Blue Bull)," Folio from the Shah Jahan Album, album leaf, ca. 1550, Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Book Excerpts

Revel With Ghosts

Two months after losing our infant son, we were just starting to learn the language of signs. In Barcelona, a city whose ghosts seem to rise from the walls, our loss found a welcoming home. […]