Monday, May 24, 2010

Beyond FACTS: Heidi Durrow: Mixed Race People History Month

In May 2007, author Heidi Durrow launched Mixed Race People History Month and began posting brief bios of “biracial/bicultural, and mulitracial/multicultural notable people in history.”

“It is incredibly important to recognize that multiracial people have a history,” Heidi notes.

“Multiracialism and multiculturalism may be relatively newly coined words for our country, but they are not new realities.

“Like Black History Month, Mixed Race People History Month is designed to educate the public about the contributions of mixed race people. We are not tragic mulattoes. We are part of the vital fabric of America’s history (both black and white).”

Heidi also states she recognize that many “biracial/bicultural people have been hailed as African-Americans.” “My purpose is not to wrestle great accomplishments or great accomplished people from the credit of African-American history (a history which is also my own history). I simply want to recognize the complexity of these mixed-race individuals’ experiences and the way they made a difference.”

Author of THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY, a founder of the popular podcast series Mixed Chicks Chat, and co-founder/co-producer of the free Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival held each June in Los Angeles, Heidi deserves recognition for her ongoing, spirited efforts to spread the word not only about the mixed experience, but about notable historical figures of mixed-race heritage. Her biography project alone is fascinating to skim–and must demand a ton of time and effort each May. Thanks for all you do, Heidi!

Some of my literary favorites from the series so far:

August Wilson, Playwright

Paula Gunn Allen, Writer and Scholar