Electronic Magazine of Multicultural Education

FALL 2001     http://www.eastern.edu/publications/emme    Vol. 3, No. 2

Theme: Interracial and Mixed-racial Relationships and Families

| This Issue | Articles | Open Forum | Instructional Ideas | Reviews | Contributors |
| Boylston | Flakes | Le | Matthews | Minges | Morris_Pomery_Murray | Wallace |

[ Juvenile literature | Professional Literature | Films and Videos | Websites ]


Open Forum
Instructional Ideas
Reviews of Resources


This 2001 Fall issue focuses on the theme of "Interracial and Mixed-Race Relationships and Families."  It continues to examine critically the casual notion of race and ethnicity as a sequel to the first issue of the year that covered "International Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity."  Articles and resources published in this issue point to the irony of presumptively clear-cut, yet blurry in actuality, boundaries of racial and ethnic categories.  Interracial or interethnic "mixing," a ubiquitous phenomenon of humanity, has produced an on-going biological mixing in human groups and diversity within many families.  Interracial and intercultural adoptions, especially across national borders, have also contributed to the increased diversity of families and the society in this country.  While children in these "mixed" families experience racial and ethnic intermingling as a natural part of their upbringing , the rigid division of races and ethnicity in the larger society contrasts and confuses the children's sense of normalcy.  We hope that the articles, instructional ideas, and resources help readers to understand the complexity of racial and ethnic diversity that cannot be reduced  to some mutually exclusive categories.  

We are pleased to announce that this issue includes 5 articles, 2 instructional ideas, 16 book reviews (11 for juvenile literature and 5 professional literature), 3 video reviews, and 13 website reviews.  All but one pertain specifically to the issue theme.  Bolyston and Le explore issues concerning the cultural and ethnic identity of international adoptees.  Bolyston not only discusses the challenges that international adoptees encounter in developing their cultural identity, but also describes some examples of culture camps that help them foster a healthy sense of self.  Le focuses her discussion on adoptions from Asia.  Flakes, Minges, and Le examine interracial and interethnic mixing.  Flakes juxtaposes her impressions on Panama and the United States in terms of their respective acceptance of interracial relationships.   Minges' article narrates a historical example of interethnic mixing between African Americans and Native Americans while Le explores the similar phenomenon involving Asians in the contemporary context.   The Instructional Ideas section include  Matthews' idea utilizing a website she has developed and Wallace's idea of incorporating the mixed race issue into a multicultural education course for pre-service teachers .  The Open Forum, which typically publishes articles beyond the issue theme, includes Morris, Pomery, and Murray's article covering the multicultural partnership between a university and a local community.  More articles pertaining to the theme of multicultural partnership can be found in the 2000 Fall issue.


Promoting Ethnic Pride for Intercultural Adoptees

 Mary T. Boylston
Eastern University
U. S. A.

Abstract: International adoption is one mechanism couples employ to develop a family. However, the adoption of a child of a different race and ethnicity can be fraught with issues that individuals cannot foresee. As the child matures, he or she begins to see the differences between themselves and their parents. The implications of the obvious physical differences can impact the child’s budding sense of self. Advocacy groups have implemented culture camps for the children to attend. These camps have been designed to celebrate the child’s uniqueness and heritage. The goal of the camps is to educate the children about the history and heritage of their birth countries.


A Look at Panama and Implications for the United States

Fredrika J. Flakes
Florida State University   
U. S. A.

Abstract: This personal and reflective essay shares a multicultural insight that the author has gained from a trip to Filipinas, Panama.  The trip awakened in her not only hopes of a  multiethnic society but also the question as to why multiethnic heritage is not celebrated in the United States.  In making an attempt to answer the question, the author explores the complexity of multiethnic relationships in the United States and articulates lessons we can learn from the citizens of Filipinas.



 C. N. Le
State University of New York at Albany 
U. S. A.

Abstract: In the 1980s Asian Americans became the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States in terms of percentage growth.  As part of this growth, the number of those who are multiracial and adopted from Asia is increasing significantly. These particular Asian Americans face unique political and cultural challenges from Asians and non-Asians alike.  While many struggle to fit into both cultures, many are creating their own identity that unites, rather than separates, their experiences. 


LIVING Together in a Sacred Place: 
The Role of Silver Bluff, South Carolina, in Our 
Collective Religious Experience

 Patrick Minges
Human Rights Watch
U. S. A.

Abstract: This paper discusses interrelationships between African Americans and Native Americans under the system of slavery in the Old South. Although we have tendency to look at slavery in a monolithic sense, the actuality is that it was a uniquely multicultural phenomenon. In fact, the very Christian faith that nurtures many African Americans as well as Native Americans emerged from within the multicultural community. This paper looks at the role that one particular place in South Carolina played in the development of a common religious expression. In so doing, it calls into question our very understanding of the nature of the terms " race" and "mixed race.

Open Forum


 Pamala V. Morris, John G. Pomery, & Kate Murray 
Purdue University
U. S. A.

Abstract: In this article the authors discuss a service-learning course that was designed and implemented to address community needs. Service-learning is being advocated as an integrative strategy used to form a multicultural partnership between the university and an inner-city community. The partnership embraces and advances the concept of a truly engaged institution through the use of college students.


Instructional Ideas

Encouraging Student Voices:
 In Conversations about Race and Interracial Relationships

 MaryAnn Matthews
Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University
U. S. A.

Abstract: This instructional idea discusses ways in which educators, especially secondary school teachers, can develop a more inclusive conversation about race and interracial relationships among students, utilizing real-life stories from a research-based website, Tangled Roots.  The essay suggests that when students believe they have a place in the  conversation they will increase their participation. They may find their voices by learning more about the history of interracial and cross-racial relationships and stories of others. 


Incorporating Multiracial/multiEthnic Topics in Teacher Preparation:  
Pedagogical and Ideological Considerations

 Kendra R. Wallace
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
U. S. A.

Abstract: The following instructional idea examines pedagogical and ideological implications of integrating multiracial/ethnic studies into pre-service teacher education. It is argued that diversifying the curriculum to address the experiences of multiracial/ethnic students is important not only because of their increasing presence in schools around the country; including such topics also proves a powerful vehicle for critiquing essentialist models of multiculturalism in favor of more complex interpretations of the political and socioeconomic  dimensions of schooling.


Reviews of Resources








Editor-in-Chief: Heewon Chang, Ph. D.
Copy Editor: Christopher Bittenbender, Ph. D.

Assistant Editor: Shawnik Rice

E-Mail: emme@eastern.edu

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