Academic journal article Family Relations

Of Many Colors: Portraits of Multiracial Families

Academic journal article Family Relations

Of Many Colors: Portraits of Multiracial Families

Article excerpt

Kaeser, G., & Gillespie, P. (1997). Of Many Colors: Portraits of Multiracial Families. Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press. 143 pages. Paper ISBN 1-55849-101-5, price $19.95.

Of Many Colors: Portraits of Multiracial Families is a thin volume based upon an award-winning photo exhibit by Gigi Kaeser. The book combines Kaeser's black-and-white photos of 39 multiracial families with interviews of the members of those same families conducted by Peggy Gillespie, co-director (along with Kaeser) of Family Diversity Projects Inc. in Amherst, Massachusetts. The book's introduction, written by Glenda Valentine, training coordinator for the Teaching Tolerance Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, provides readers with a brief historical overview of interracial marriage and transracial adoption in the United States.

The number of multiracial families in the United States is increasing, a trend that evokes strong feelings in many quarters. Valentine points out that the United States has always depended upon distinct racial categories for its social, political, and economic organization. With multiracial families, the distinctions are blurred, and this blurring is deemed by many to be a threat to the established social, political, and economic order.

Of Many Colors has a powerful and moving effect. Kaeser's photographs capture the character and spirit of the families featured, showing how they face, on a daily basis, the challenges associated with having members "of many colors" in a nation still not totally comfortable with their presence. Kaeser captures equally well the love between family members. …

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