Of Many Colors : Portraits of Multiracial Families
Based on an award-winning photo exhibit, this book documents the feelings and experiences of Americans who live in multiracial families. It tells the stories of 39 families who have bridged the racial divide through interracial marriage or adoption. Parents and children speak candidly about their lives, their relationships and the ways in which they have dealt with issues of race. Although the number of mixed-race families in America is steadily rising, this trend remains controversial. For centuries, America has depended on distinct racial categories for its social, political and economic organization. The current debate over the inclusion of a ""multiracial"" category on consensus forms illustrates the extent to which the deeply embedded construct of race continues to divide American society. Transracial adoption has also generated fierce controversy and debate. As in the case of racial categories, the discussion of transracial adoption reflects ever-changing social standards. As recently as 1987, 35 states had laws prohibiting the adoption of black children by white families. In 1996, however, President Clinton signed a bill making it illegal to prohibit adoptions based on race. The interviews in this book provide the reader with an understanding of how mixed-race families contradict stereotypes, challenge racism, and demonstrate that people of different races can indeed live together in harmony. Family members also have much to say about the most intimate form of integration, familial love, and this love is made visible in the photographs by Gigi Kaeser.
- Paperback | 160 pages
- 203.71 x 254.76 x 9.91mm | 508.02g
- 21 Nov 1997
- University of Massachusetts Press
- Massachusetts, United States
Back cover copy
Based on an award-winning photo exhibit, this book documents the feelings and experiences of Americans who live in multiracial families. Of Many Colors tells the stories of thirty-nine families who have bridged the racial divide through interracial marriage or adoption. In these pages, parents and children speak candidly about their lives, their relationships, and the ways in which they have dealt with issues of race.
I was very moved by this book. I believe it is effective both because it is important scholarship and because it contains such profoundly moving human stories. . . . By letting the members of these families speak for themselves, the author and photographer capture the diversity of their experiences. Readers are forced to face the complexity of these families, and also to face the racism in our society that makes life so difficult for many of them. I especially like the fact that even the children are allowed to speak their mind; after all, it is they who are often the undeserving recipients of bigotry.--Sonia Nieto, author of Affirming Diversity I think this book will make a valuable contribution to the work being done nationwide to break down barriers between white people and people of color and it will help strengthen the anti-bias commitment being fostered in many schools in this country. . . . The overall presentation is effective and powerful.--Andrea Ayvazian, Director, Communitas, Inc.
About Peggy Gillespie
Gigi Kaeser and Peggy Gillespie are codirectors of Family Diversity Projects, Inc. in Amherst, Massachusetts. Kaeser's photographs have been featured in many publications, including the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. A freelance journalist, Gillespie is author with choreographer Bill T. Jones of Last Night on Earth. Glenda Valentine is the training coordinator for the Teaching Tolerance Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.