My Family Mixes a Lot
I know a lot of mixed people. Many of them are friends from Minneapolis, San Francisco and New York but many of them are in my immediate family.
Between my mom and dad and their siblings, I have two half brothers and nine first cousins. Really, that's not a lot and not a little. Almost normal. What's not standard issue is that, between the 12 of us, the only one who isn't mixed is my half brother from my mom.
This is one of those things that I've lived with for most of my life, so I don't think about it often, but, when it comes up, I realize how bizarre my family really is. It is especially stunning when you consider that, according to a recent Time article, in 1970 there were only half a million people living in the US who claimed mixed heritage. Between the two sides of my family, we have definitely done more than our share in helping to raise that number to 6.8 million in 2000!
But now, as I look at my friends, I feel like my family has passed the torch. A good friend, who is black and Creole, is marrying someone of Caribbean and Columbian decent. Another friend is Chinese and German, as is his sister. He recently partnered with a woman who is black and white and his sister now has two children with her husband, who is African American.
The next generation of mixed people is coming up, creating a new acceptance of different cultures and even more opportunities for people on the street to ask complete strangers, "What are you?"