Academic journal article Family Relations

As We Are Now: Mixblood Essays on Race and Identity

Academic journal article Family Relations

As We Are Now: Mixblood Essays on Race and Identity

Article excerpt

Penn, William S. (Ed.). (1998). As We Are Now: Mixblood Essays on Race and Identity. University of California: Berkeley, CA. 282 pages. Paperback ISBN 0-520-21073-5, price $16.95.

As William Penn points out eloquently in his introduction to As We Are Now, "Whenever we say that race does not matter, we are forced in the moment of saying to admit that yes it does if only because it matters so much to other people. Other people invent it and use it and make it matter, sometimes unintentionally . .The necessity for understanding the social and personal impact of race would be good enough reason to read Penn's edited collection, but the book is also unique and moving. The contributors succeed in putting a human face on the abstraction of "racial identity" and making the reader want to know more.

As We Are Now consists of thirteen personal essays on the topic of identity and race as perceived by the contributing authors: William S. Penn, Erika Aigner-Varoz, Craig Womack, Alfonso Rodriguez, Carol Kalafatic, Inez Petersen, Kimberly Blaeser, Rainier Spencer, Arturo Aldama, Diane DuBose Brunner, Shari Huhndorf, Rolando Romero, and Patricia Penn Hilden. These authors provide the reader insight into what it means to be a "mixblood" in the United States today (Chicanos/Latinos, Africans, a variety of Native Americans, and Anglos, for example). Each author gives a passionate and very personal account of what it has meant to live a "multiracial," "multicultural," and/or "multinational" life, and their sensitivity regarding these issues is what makes the book exceptional. …

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