Monday, March 07, 2011


One of my recent stories for focused on the story of Michael Fosberg, whose memoir, Incognito: An American Odyssey of Race and Self-Discovery, was recently published. The basics of Michael’s story—as told in his book and in the one-man play, also called Incognito, he’s been performing for 10 years—are pretty powerful: His mother, a daughter of Armenian immigrants, married a black man in the late 1950s and gave birth to a mixed-race son, Michael, only to discover her parents’ serious misgivings about her new family—and her own concerns about her ability to raise a child of mixed-race heritage when no mixed-race community existed to support her. When Michael was two, his mother left his father and moved with Michael back to live with her family in a small town outside Chicago. Eventually she remarried and had two more children. Michael always stood out as someone who looked “different” from the rest of his family, but it wasn’t until many years later that he discovered exactly why.

More details of how Michael finally searched for and discovered his missing father and brilliant extended family can be read on or on the Incognito: The Play website. I became so intrigued by Michael’s story that I’m now reading a signed copy (ordered directly from the Incognito site) of his memoir, which features some beautiful photos of all the people who proudly claim him.

What most impresses me about Michael are the post-production talks he leads on racial issues after each performance of his play, Incognito. In a recent interview, Michael talks about a young man of mixed-race descent who came to see him after one of these discussions. The young man tried to speak, but couldn’t because he was so overwhelmed. Michael simply hugged him and told him that was okay, he completely understood.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Beyond FUN: She Writers Blogger Ball Redux

Back in the days before Facebook, I found blogging to be the best on-line way to get to know others who love to write and to learn from (and about) them on an on-going basis. Bloggers are writers, regardless of their topics of choice, and when writing is combined with a passion and a little bit of polish, it can’t help but shine. Author Meg Waite Clayton in her role as host of the SheWrites Novelist—Struggling or Not group helps connect women writers in a variety of ways. One is through occasional She Writers Blogger Ball on-line events through which bloggers post links to their blogs and take the time to visit others’. So I’m posting here to welcome other She Writers to my hopeful corner of the blogosphere. BEYOND Understanding highlights resources that promote tolerance and celebrate diversity. It’s been around a while and though often neglected, remains my favorite pet project. I hope you enjoy looking around to see if there’s anything you, too, find so intriguing you can’t help but want to learn a little more about it.