The Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival is inspiring. All things are possible at the festival.

Have a story? Write it, perform it, film it, or sing it. We all know everyone has a story to tell. I, for one, am delighted two Mixed Chicks created the festival four years ago. Held at the Japanese American National Museum in the heart of Little Tokyo, the festival is a home of sorts. It’s a safe place, a place where anyone can be whatever she wants to be.

The panel discussion I moderated went well. Mixed Messages in Media is a broad topic. The panelists, though, came ready talk about the pluses and minuses of being in newspapers, magazines, television and film.

From left to right in the photo, the distinguished panelists:

Laura Kina, an associate professor of art, media, and design and distinguished Vincent de Paul Professor at DePaul University, co-founder of the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference in Chicago and MAVIN board member.

Dr. Jennifer Noble, vice president of the Multiracial Americans of Southern California and a professor of psychology at Pasadena City College.


Heidi Durrow, co-founder and co-producer of the Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival and the Mixed Chicks Chat. Ashe is the author of the New York Times best-selling book The Girl Who Fell From The Sky.

Susan Straight, author of eight books, including Take One Candle Light A Room. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on Highwire Moon, and a Lannan Prize was an immense help when working on Take One Candle Light a Room.

We covered everything from recent and magazine and newspaper features to the movie Bridesmaids to requests for multiracial families for reality television series. (I was too busy moderating to take good notes.)

With the added media interest comes a bevy of pitfalls. Do we tell our own story or allow others to tell it for us? Should multiracial organizations be the gatekeeper for families when media representatives request help? If so, are they taking on some kind of liability? And what’s up with Ebony, until recently, America’s decidedly black magazine? Are the editors there now supporting multiracial families?

It’s impossible to solve problems in an hour. We all know there are no definitive answers. Meanwhile, the conversation continues. Feel free to answer any of the questions above in the comment section. I’d love to read your answers.


One thought to “Mixed Roots”

  • Lisa (Mama Blah Blah)

    How I wish I could have been there. It sounds like such a supportive and inspiring group!

    I don’t claim to know all the answers to your questions, but I do say we tell our own story rather than letting others tell it for us.

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