ne of my recent stories for MixedAndHappy.com
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 MixedAndHappy.com
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.