Saturday, November 26, 2005

Beyond FORTITUDE: Maria P.P. Root

I’ve come across the name Maria P.P. Root many times over the past few years, and am glad I finally took the time to read more about this prolific researcher, writer, and activist. Maria P.P. Root, Ph.D., describes herself as “an independent scholar and clinical psychologist.” She lives and works in Seattle as “a trainer, educator, and public speaker on the topics of multiracial families, multiracial identity, cultural competence, trauma, work place harassment, and disordered eating.”

Root’s impressive collection of published works includes four multiracial titles, most recently the Multiracial Child Resource Book, which she helped edit for the MAVIN Foundation; and Love’s Revolution: Interracial Marriage. Her 1992 book, Racially Mixed People in America, effectively brought the discussion of mixed-race issues to the attention of a wider audience. In that book, Root first published her popular “Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People.” She’s followed this now with a “Multiracial Oath of Social Responsibility.”

For remarkable insights into what life is like for a person of mixed-race heritage (or to see that indeed you are not alone if you struggle every day to overcome the ignorance of others), read Root’s “50 Experiences of Racially Mixed People.” This brief article makes it clear that prejudice remains based on painful assumptions. Maria P.P. Root continues the patient work of dismantling, brick by brick, the many barriers constructed of such assumptions as she travels and speaks, writes and edits, and counsels us all on the way to a more understanding, more tolerant world.


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