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Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide by [Ratliff, Sarah, Sutherland, Bryony]
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Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide Kindle Edition

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Kindle, 6 Sep 2015
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Length: 184 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

Good, bad, ugly and illuminating—everyone has an opinion on race. As biracial people continue trending, the discussion is no longer about a singular topic, but is more like playing a game of multi-level chess. The anthology, Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide, cites the experiences of twenty-four mixed-race authors and parents of multiracial children of all ages and backgrounds, from all over the world. It blends positivity, negativity, humor, pathos and realism in an enlightening exploration of what it means to be more than one ethnicity.

“Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide is the best of both worlds. It is not only academic, nor is it only commercial. Sarah Ratliff and Bryony Sutherland have indeed found a way to take a subject that will appeal to everyone, from interracial parents, to the multiracial population, to non-fiction readers, and to academics. It is a book that needs to be read by anyone interested in diversity and the multiracial viewpoint.” Susan Graham, President, Project RACE, Inc.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5415 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Coquí Press; 3 edition (6 September 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01525T4BI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #956,648 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading this was like finding my people for the first time! 23 June 2017
By A. H. Wagner - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For editors/authors Sarah Ratliff and Bryony Sutherland, the topic of mixed race identity is very personal: Ratliff has a complex multiracial identity and Sutherland is raising a biracial family. Together, the two have midwifed a godsend in Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide, a collection of essays written by people who have a personal connection to the mixed race experience: either they are of mixed race heritage themselves, are in a mixed race relationship, or are raising children of mixed race.

Even though—or maybe because—I’m biracial, I haven’t felt comfortable talking about race for most of my life. The more I read about the experiences of other people of mixed race, including those in this essay collection, I am beginning to understand my discomfort. It’s the feeling of not fitting in or belonging anywhere—a struggle almost every human encounters at some or many points in their life—yet compounded by the struggle to understand not only who I am, but also what I am. Am I white or am I Asian? The simultaneously complex and simple answer is yes. And bound up in this mixed identity are often mixed feelings and confusion about which people or nation or ethnicity I should identify with, which side I should take in current and historical political conflicts, and which race/identity issues I have the right to talk about. (I’ve finally realized I have the right to identify with all parts of my heritage and to talk about any and all of the issues that touch on my personal experience.) I’ve struggled with not feeling white enough or Asian enough, and it wasn’t until recently that I even dared to identify as a person of color. For most of my life I thought my mixed heritage didn’t count.

Reading Being Biracial was like finding my people for the first time. I kept nodding in understanding and highlighting many passages that articulate exactly what I have been trying to articulate about my own experience for most of my life. Ratliff shares a deeply intimate account of struggling to reconcile her African American, Japanese, German, Dutch, and Irish heritage against the backdrop of equally complex family and political histories, which makes my own identity struggles seem easy in comparison. Sutherland writes about her mostly positive experience as a white woman married to a Caribbean black man and raising mixed race children in England, which made me thankful that I also had a relatively positive upbringing in a biracial family, although I wish we’d talked more as a family about biracial issues. I especially appreciated the essays by people who have been confused for practically every ethnic identity but their own, which made me feel better about my own Asian heritage being apparently invisible to most untrained eyes. Even if I don’t “look” Asian, I’ve come to realize all that matters is I am Asian and I know it. The essays by mothers who hope for a future in which their mixed race children will be appreciated also touched my heart. My favorite piece is “An Open Letter to My Daughter” by a mother to her English, German, Korean, and Puerto Rican child who is starting kindergarten. She writes, “I know from my own experience that the world is not color blind; I hope your experience can be one in a world that is color appreciative.”

Whether you have mixed race heritage, or know someone who does, or simply want to understand the mixed race experience, this book is a great start in becoming more “color appreciative.” It has helped me be more appreciative of my own mixed colors and inspires me to wear them proudly.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stirring and Informative 28 April 2017
By Vivienne Diane Neal - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As the title implies, this book explores the world that comprises of an eclectic biracial/multiracial community that is rarely talked about or studied. Sequence of events are weaved into this collection of works, namely, Colonialism, World War II, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Panther/Black Power Movement, and 9/11 and the impact these events have on the social, economic, and political structures, and on race, color, religion, and customs in the USA and abroad. The essays, written from the writers’ perspectives and experiences, from the voices of teens to seniors, are an eye-opener, and a true representation of what it means to be biracial in a world that can be unkind, where you are confronting persistent stereotypes, offensive or so-called well-meaning comments made about children of biracial couples, or toward individuals who choose to marry a person of a different color, religion, or ethnicity. The narratives expose the many positive and negative challenges biracial people face continuously, which most of us think are exclusive only to those who identify themselves as monoracial, but in reality, these stories remind us that People of Color, no matter their lineage, are more alike than dissimilar, have the same needs and wants, tackle countless contradictions, rejection, anger, and isolation. As members of the human race, we should never allow society at large to dictate one’s identity or where individuals fit into this world by making false conjectures based on skin color.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to more deeply understand race, read this book 5 May 2017
By Rivka Kawano - Published on
Verified Purchase
Our world becomes increasingly diverse every day. This provides new challenges as well as new opportunities for relationships, understanding, and dialogue. The more that we can understand and connect with one another's stories, the more we develop empathy and are able to move forward together.

One challenge in reading a story about what it is like to be biracial is that every experience is different. Of course, there are common threads, but the unique stories are a result of time, place, and the cultures involved among other things. That is one of the things that I loved about this book, as it gave many different perspectives rather than just one person telling their own individual story.

The other thing about many books about race is that they lean towards the academic - even anthropologic. In contract, "Being Biracial" is about as personal as it can get. First hand stories by people from many walks of life.

The authors have done a wonderful job putting this anthology together. It is definitely one that I will recommend to anyone trying to get a deeper understanding of race and how it affects our world.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Phenomenal Vehicle for a Much-Needed Conversation 29 April 2017
By Kristin St John - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is amazing. As someone who is biracial, I loved how it was able to capture what I agree with AND what I don't. It's simplicity of just letting the various authors tell their personal story shows that those of us who are of multiple racial/ethnic backgrounds can be similar...but so different at the same time.

I have a tendency to read books while traveling or during those long weekend commutes -- but I found myself picking it up while having lunch at work or even while having some quiet time at home. Various friends of mine now have children who are biracial and, depending on their age, I would highly recommend this book. It's nice to know "we're" a bigger and more diverse group than assumed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read. 12 May 2017
By Terry Shepherd - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As the mother and grandmother of biracial children, I believed that I knew as much as I was capable of knowing about being biracial, while being White myself. I was wrong. This book opened my eyes to the fact that there were many questions I had never asked my daughter about what life is like for her. To be honest, when she was a child, I assumed any questions she had could be answered by her father who is Black. It did not occur to me in so many words, that he would not know anymore than I would, what being biracial was like. Since finishing, "Being Biracial", a dialogue is being opened between us, looking toward the future of my granddaughter, who will grow up in a world that in many ways will be better than the one I or my daughter grew up in. However, society still has a long way to go, and this book is a good place to begin overdue conversations. The real-life stories are at times funny, touching, sad, but always heartfelt and honest. In a world that is increasingly being filled with more racially mixed people, this book is a must read. I found myself highlighting pertinent passages that I will review again as the information is shared with my immediate and extended families. The authors have done a tremendous job of organizing a great deal of information into a concise and readable book. Don't miss this one.

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