Race Remixed: A new sense of identity is a series of articles from the NY Times which explores the burgeoning number of Americans who classify themselves as mixed race. I first discovered this series from the New York Times in late January 2011, I knew that it’s a topic that’s close to my heart.
My daughter, Aminah, is growing up in Germany, is mixed race, multicultural and bi-lingual. I often wonder how she might identify herself as she grows up, the questions she will ask me, and the answers that I will provide her with.
As a child, I was very curious about my heritage and would ask questions. I think my mom was so busy raising us three girls that she never really had the time to fully answer me. As time passed, and we has class projects which involved family trees and whatnot, I found reasons to be absent from class. I don’t know why I never told my mum because she was so understanding an great, but I think my overall fear was that she was too busy, and I didn’t want to ‘bother’ her.
From that time on, I unintentionally began to smother those questions of heritage and identity within myself. It was not until College came around and I was studying African American Art or American Art and National Identity that I began to rethink those times and knew that I should find answers for myself on my own terms.
Eight years after completing my B.A. in Art History, I still don’t have all the answers, but I am compelled to find them and create a family tree that will tell my story as an American of African descent etc. Maybe one day my daughter will be grateful & I know it will be a relief for me to provide her with one of these colorful trees.
Take a peak at these interactive mixed race family trees. All very diverse but stemming from U.S. American traditions and culture.