How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

'They have a language I don’t know but I understand': On growing up mixed-race

Photo by Jeff Latimer/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Just as the last three decades have brought more mixed-race and mixed-ethnicity marriages, they’ve also brought a growing number of multiracial, multiethnic Americans. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of multiracial children in the U.S. grew by almost 50 percent. In a country where the president was himself born to an interracial couple, being a child of mixed race longer makes one as "different" as it once did, at least not as a general rule.

Still, adults who grew up in multiracial families have unique stories, some more difficult to tell than others. Some of these stories will be shared this coming weekend in Los Angeles at the fifth annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival, held at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. The festival, which highlights the work of mixed-race writers, filmmakers and others, was founded in 2008 by author Heidi Durrow and actor Fanshen Cox, both of whom grew up in multiracial families.