Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Other Memoirs by Biracial and Multiracial Authors in Our Collection
Mixed : my life in black and white by “Tell anyone who asks that you’re half-black and half-white, just like David Hasselhoff from Knight Rider.”–Angela’s mother “Love has no color,” insist Angela Nissel’s parents, but does it have a clue? In this candid, funny, and poignant memoir, Angela recounts growing up biracial in Philadelphia–moving back and forth between black inner-city schools and white prep schools–where her racial ambiguity and doomed attempts to blend in dog her teen years. Once in college, Angela experiments with black activism (hoping to find clarity in extremism), capitalizes on her “exotic” look at a strip club, and ends up with a major case of the blues (aka, a racial identity problem). Yet Angela is never down for the count. After moving to Los Angeles, she discovers that being multiracial is anything but simple, especially in terms of dating and romance. By turns a comedy of errors and a moving coming-of-age chronicle, Mixed traces one woman’s unforgettable journey to self-acceptance and belonging. Praise for Mixed “I love Angela Nissel's writing. Reading Mixed was like getting a letter from a best friend I forgot I had. How ironic that a book written by someone who felt like no one "got" her will surely be one of those rare books everyone gets- black, white, both, neither. Hilarious, sweet, and honest, Mixed is the perfect read if you've ever felt like the one standing on the outside-- and let's face it, who hasn't? - -Jill Soloway, author of Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants “Nissel is humorous, poignant, and proud yet also empathetic and generous as she recounts her constant struggle to answer the perennial question persons of mixed race seem required to ask of themselves in our society–where do I fit in'.... All readers stand to learn from her account.” — Booklist “Colorful anecdotes, marvelous dialogue and a thoughtful narrative make this memoir a delight.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "If David Sedaris was a straight biracial female, this is the book he'd write. This book is so funny I've already started telling people I helped Angela write it." -- Bill Lawrence, creator of Scrubs "Growing up black and white, I always felt I had the best of both worlds. I feel the same way about Mixed. It's the perfect blend of hilarious comedy and sometimes tragic reality." -- Yvette Lee Bowser, creator of Living Single and executive producer of Half and Half "Mixed is a hilarious must-read for anyone searching for the enchanting path to self-discovery. Angela Nissel's precise account of living the mixed race experience not only hit home with me, but the journey is deliciously enlightening and heart-rending at the same time. It's a journey well worth taking." --Halle Berry
Call Number: Circulating Collection E185.97.N57 A3 2006
Publication Date: 2006
Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran by As far back as she can remember, Azadeh Moaveni has felt at odds with her tangled identity as an Iranian-American. In suburban America, Azadeh lived in two worlds. At home, she was the daughter of the Iranian exile community, serving tea, clinging to tradition, and dreaming of Tehran. Outside, she was a California girl who practiced yoga and listened to Madonna. For years, she ignored the tense standoff between her two cultures. But college magnified the clash between Iran and America, and after graduating, she moved to Iran as a journalist. This is the story of her search for identity, between two cultures cleaved apart by a violent history. It is also the story of Iran, a restive land lost in the twilight of its revolution. Moaveni's homecoming falls in the heady days of the country's reform movement, when young people demonstrated in the streets and shouted for the Islamic regime to end. In these tumultuous times, she struggles to build a life in a dark country, wholly unlike the luminous, saffron and turquoise-tinted Iran of her imagination. As she leads us through the drug-soaked, underground parties of Tehran, into the hedonistic lives of young people desperate for change, Moaveni paints a rare portrait of Iran's rebellious next generation. The landscape of her Tehran -- ski slopes, fashion shows, malls and cafes -- is populated by a cast of young people whose exuberance and despair brings the modern reality of Iran to vivid life.
Call Number: Circulation Collection E184.I5 M63 2005
Publication Date: 2005
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Obama, the son of a white American mother and a black African father, writes an elegant and compelling biography that powerfully articulates America's racial battleground and tells of his search for his place in black America. 8 pages of photos.
Call Number: Circulating Collection E185.97.O23 A3 1995
Publication Date: 1995
Fade: my journeys in multiracial America by Television journalist Elliott Lewis weaves his memoirs as a biracial American with the voices of dozens of multiracial people, who are challenging how we think about race today. "What are you?" This seemingly ordinary but politically charged question has become a touchstone for debate around race and ethnicity. Now more than ever, mixed-race Americans are calling themselves biracial and multiracial rather than feeling forced to choose only one race. Nearly seven million people checked more than one racial category in the 2000 U.S. census, the first time in history Americans had the option to mark more than one box. With Fade, Lewis looks at the multiracial state of the union. Here he speaks with dozens of individuals, tackling hot-button issues such as the often complicated lives of multiracial people in communities of color, interracial dating, transracial adoption, immigration, and the birth of the multiracial movement. His interviews illuminate a variety of coping strategies and reveal stark generational differences in the ways mixed-race people have come to terms with their identity. The author also shares his own moving -- and often humorous -- firsthand experiences, along with intimate stories from the forefront of nationwide efforts to formally recognize the multiracial population.
Call Number: Circulating Collection HQ777.9 .L49 2006
Publication Date: 2006
The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by 'James McBride evokes his childhood trek across the great racial divide with the kind of power and grace that touches and uplifts all our hearts.' - Bebe Moore Campbell 'A triumph...The two stories, son's and mother's, beautifully juxtaposed, strike a graceful note at a time of racial polarization.' - The New York Times Book Review
Call Number: Circulating Collection F130.N4 M38 1997
Publication Date: 1997
Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: memoir of a white mother of Black sons by "I am Black," Jane Lazarre's son tells her. "I have a Jewish mother, but I am not 'biracial.' That term is meaningless to me." She understands, she says--but he tells her, gently, that he doesn't think so, that she can't understand this completely because she is white. Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness is Jane Lazarre's memoir of coming to terms with this painful truth, of learning to look into the nature of whiteness in a way that passionately informs the connections between herself and her family. A moving account of life in a biracial family, this book is a powerful meditation on motherhood and racism in America, the story of an education into the realities of African American culture. Lazarre has spent over twenty-five years living in a Black American family, married to an African American man, birthing and raising two sons. A teacher of African American literature, she has been influenced by an autobiographical tradition that is characterized by a speaking out against racism and a grounding of that expression in one's own experience--an overlapping of the stories of one's own life and the world. Like the stories of that tradition, Lazarre's is a recovery of memories that come together in this book with a new sense of meaning. From a crucial moment in which consciousness is transformed, to recalling and accepting the nature and realities of whiteness, each step describes an aspect of her internal and intellectual journey. Recalling events that opened her eyes to her sons' and husband's experience as Black Americans--an operation, turned into a horrific nightmare by a doctor's unconscious racism or the jarring truths brought home by a visit to an exhibit on slavery at the Richmond Museum of the Confederacy--or her own revealing missteps, Lazarre describes a movement from silence to voice, to a commitment to action, and to an appreciation of the value of a fluid, even ambiguous, identity. It is a coming of age that permits a final retelling of family history and family reunion. With her skill as a novelist and her experience as a teacher, Jane Lazarre has crafted a narrative as compelling as it is telling. It eloquently describes the author's delight at being accepted into her husband's family and attests to the power of motherhood. And as personal as this story is, it is a remarkably incisive account of how perceptions of racial difference lie at the heart of the history and culture of America.
Call Number: Circulating Collection HQ755.85 .L39 1996
Publication Date: 1996
Secret Daughter: A Mixed-race Daughter and the Mother who Gave Her Away by June Cross was born in 1954 to Norma Booth, a glamorous, aspiring white actress, and James "Stump" Cross, a well-known black comedian. Sent by her mother to be raised by black friends when she was four years old and could no longer "pass" as white, June was plunged into the pain and confusion of a family divided by race. Secret Daughter tells her story of survival. It traces June's astonishing discoveries about her mother and about her own fierce determination to thrive. This is an inspiring testimony to the endurance of love between mother and daughter, and between a child and her adoptive parents. It is also a moving story of the power of community. Book jacket.
Call Number: Circulating Collection E185.97.C86 A3 2006
Publication Date: 2006
On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival by In the tradition of Alex Haley's Roots, Lisa See, a columnist for Publishers Weekly, provides a multi-generational saga of power, ambition, romance, and race, as she recounts the true story of her family's immigrant experience in America. Fascinating . . . an entertaining family history.--Amy Tan. 24 pages of photos.
Call Number: Circulating Collection F870.C5 S44 1995
Publication Date: 1995
The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity.
Call Number: Circulating Collection CT275.K5764 A33 1989
Publication Date: 1989
Hapa Girl: A Memoir by In the mid-1960s, Winberg Chai, a young academic and the son of Chinese immigrants, married an Irish-American artist. In "Hapa Girl" (hapa is Hawaiian for mixed) their daughter tells the story of this loving family as they moved from Southern California to New York to a South Dakota farm by the 1980s. In their new Midwestern home, the family finds itself the object of unwelcome attention, which swiftly escalates to violence. The Chais are suddenly socially isolated and barely able to cope with the tension that arises from daily incidents of racial animosity, including random acts of cruelty. May-lee Chai's memoir ends in China, where she arrives just in time to witness a riot and demonstrations. Here she realizes that the rural Americans' "fears of change, of economic uncertainty, of racial anxiety, of the unknowable future compared to the known past were the same as China's. And I realized finally that it had not been my fault."
Call Number: Circulating Collection F660.A1 C38 2007
Publication Date: 2007
Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez by Hunger of Memory is the story of Mexican-American Richard Rodriguez, who begins his schooling in Sacramento, California, knowing just 50 words of English, and concludes his university studies in the stately quiet of the reading room of the British Museum.
Here is the poignant journey of a “minority student” who pays the cost of his social assimilation and academic success with a painful alienation — from his past, his parents, his culture — and so describes the high price of “making it” in middle-class America.
Provocative in its positions on affirmative action and bilingual education, Hunger of Memory is a powerful political statement, a profound study of the importance of language ... and the moving, intimate portrait of a boy struggling to become a man.
Call Number: Circulating Collection F870.M5 R62 1982
Publication Date: 1981
Books on Multiracialism and Identity in Our Collection
Property Rites: the Rhinelander trial, passing, and the protection of whiteness by In 1925 Leonard Rhinelander, the youngest son of a wealthy New York society family, sued to end his marriage to Alice Jones, a former domestic servant and the daughter of a "colored" cabman. After being married only one month, Rhinelander pressed for the dissolution of his marriage on the grounds that his wife had lied to him about her racial background. The subsequent marital annulment trial became a massive public spectacle, not only in New York but across the nation--despite the fact that the state had never outlawed interracial marriage. Elizabeth Smith-Pryor makes extensive use of trial transcripts, in addition to contemporary newspaper coverage and archival sources, to explore why Leonard Rhinelander was allowed his day in court. She moves fluidly between legal history, a day-by-day narrative of the trial itself, and analyses of the trial's place in the culture of the 1920s North to show how notions of race, property, and the law were--and are--inextricably intertwined.
Call Number: Circulating Collection KF228.R486 S62 2009
Publication Date: 2009
Who Is an Indian? Race, place, and the politics of indigeneity in the Americas by Who is an Indian? This is possibly the oldest question facing Indigenous peoples across the Americas, and one with significant implications for decisions relating to resource distribution, conflicts over who gets to live where and for how long, and clashing principles of governance and law. For centuries, the dominant views on this issue have been strongly shaped by ideas of both race and place. But just as important, who is permitted to ask, and answer this question? This collection examines the changing roles of race and place in the politics of defining Indigenous identities in the Americas. Drawing on case studies of Indigenous communities across North America, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, it is a rare volume to compare Indigenous experience throughout the western hemisphere. The contributors question the vocabulary, legal mechanisms, and applications of science in constructing the identities of Indigenous populations, and consider ideas of nation, land, and tradition in moving indigeneity beyond race.
Call Number: Circulating Collection GN550 .W46 2013
Publication Date: 2013
Global Mixed Race by Patterns of migration and the forces of globalization have brought the issues of mixed race to the public in far more visible, far more dramatic ways than ever before. Global Mixed Race examines the contemporary experiences of people of mixed descent in nations around the world, moving beyond US borders to explore the dynamics of racial mixing and multiple descent in Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Okinawa, Australia, and New Zealand. In particular, the volume’s editors ask: how have new global flows of ideas, goods, and people affected the lives and social placements of people of mixed descent? Thirteen original chapters address the ways mixed-race individuals defy, bolster, speak, and live racial categorization, paying attention to the ways that these experiences help us think through how we see and engage with social differences. The contributors also highlight how mixed-race people can sometimes be used as emblems of multiculturalism, and how these identities are commodified within global capitalism while still considered by some as not pure or inauthentic. A strikingly original study, Global Mixed Race carefully and comprehensively considers the many different meanings of racial mixedness.
Call Number: Circulating Collection HT1523 .G65 2014
Publication Date: 2014
Plessy V. Ferguson by More than the story of one man's case, this book tells the story of entire generations of people marked as "mixed race" in America amid slavery and its aftermath, and being officially denied their multicultural identity and personal rights as a result.
Call Number: Circulating Collection KF223.P56 D38 2012
Publication Date: 2012
Documentaries in our Collection
A lot like you; a film by Eliaichi Kimaro ; directed by by Eliaichi Kimaro ; written and produced by Eliaichi Kimaro, Eric Frith.
Call Number: Media DT 443.3 .W33 L6855 2012
For more information: http://alotlikeyoumovie.com/
Anomaly: A Documentary Film about Multiracial Identity; a film by Jessica Chen Drammeh ; director, producer, writer and editor, Jessica Chen Drammeh.
Call Number: Media E184.A1 A676 2009
For more information: http://www.twn.org/catalog/pages/cpage.aspx?rec=1363&