Susan Graham on Podcast!

I had the pleasure of recording a podcast on Multiracial Family Man recently with comedian Alex Barnett and it’s available at the following Internet locations:

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/multiracial-identity-census-bone-marrow-donor-registry/id969793342?i=1000446617974

Libsyn Podcast Network: http://traffic.libsyn.com/multiracialfamilyman/Susan_Graham_2019.mp3

Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/multiracial-family-man?refid=stpr

The interview is about 30 minutes and I would appreciate your taking the time to listen to it and find out what we have been up to at Project RACE. Also, Alex has some fascinating guests, so tune into the Multiracial Family Man podcasts. You can also leave comments and a review at the iTunes URL. Thank you!

 

Susan Graham

Making Change

 

My two children were young in 1990 when I received my decennial census form to fill out. They are biracial, I am White and their father is Black. According to the census directions, I was required to pick only one race for them. Wanting to do the right thing, I called the Census Bureau. They put me on hold repeatedly trying to find an answer. A supervisor got involved.

Finally, the United States Census Bureau employee said, “You should put down the race of the mother for your children.”

“But that can’t be right,” I answered. “They are not just my race. They are biracial.”

“Well, they can’t be.”

“I beg your pardon, but they are,” I replied.

“Not to us,” the man answered.

“Excuse me, but why should they arbitrarily be classified as the mother’s race and not the father’s?” I asked, exasperated.

“Because in cases like this,” he answered in a very hushed voice, “you always know for sure who the mother is, but not the father.” That conversation caused me to seek a solution that would allow my children to embrace their entire heritage and not have to choose between their mother and their father.  The organization Project RACE (Reclassify All Children Equally) was born.

It’s been a 30 year battle, but when you get your census forms next year, one instruction will be very different. You will be allowed to check as many races as you want for yourself or your children. My new book, Born Biracial: How One Mother Took on Race in America talks about the battle I waged and so much more.

Frankly, I got tired of hearing that “mixed-race” children were “mixed-up” and didn’t know who they were. They did not automatically have low self-esteem just because they were of more than one race. They certainly shouldn’t be subjected to bullying or any other type of bad behavior by other children or adults. They needed good role models and people who stood up for them. They deserved better. Along with a cadre of amazing volunteers, we set about to right the wrongs.

This is not to say that every multiracial child should not choose to be one race, but it should be their right to self-identify racially and ethnically as they desire. It used to be OK for census takers, teachers, and medical personnel to guess the race of a person based on their “knowledge and observation” of the person. We got that changed, too.

My story deals with race, but it’s also a primer for those who want to make a change for the better in our society. I urge you to learn from my successes and failures and become an advocate for all of our children.

You can get involved with the 2020 Census now by contacting your county or city and asking who is in charge of getting a complete census count. Committees are forming and could use your help.

 

Contact: Susan Graham

Email: susangraham@projectrace.com

www.projectrace.com and www.bornbiracialbook.com

Author of Born Biracial: How One Mother Took on Race in America

It’s Almost Mother’s Day…

Still wondering what to get for Mother’s Day? Born Biracial: How One Mother Took on Race in America will warm any woman’s heart—especially if she is a mother, grandmother, sister, or aunt to biracial children.

This memoir is the perfect addition to any personal library for Mother’s Day. It is a mother’s story of how she fought for recognition for her children and those like them. A primer for advocates, this book is an important how-to for people who want to bring about change. Order from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and be Mom’s favorite in time for her special day.

 

Born Biracial is out!

FOR RELEASE ON April 24, 2019

Contact:

Susan Graham

susangraham@bornbiracialbook.com

www.bornbiracialbook.com

 

Born Biracial is about the birth of a national civil rights movement

 

The White mother of two biracial children, Susan Graham realized her census form required her to pick only one race for her children. Wanting further explanation, she called the Census Bureau. She was put on hold for a very long time while they tried to figure out the answer. They got a supervisor involved. Finally, the United States Census Bureau employee said, “You should put down the race of the mother for your children.”

“But that can’t be right,” Graham answered. “They are not just my race. They are biracial.”

“Well, they can’t be.”

“I beg your pardon, but they are,” Graham replied.

“Not to us,” the man answered.

“Excuse me, but why should they arbitrarily be classified as the mother’s race and not the father’s?”

“Because in cases like this,” he answered in a very hushed voice, “you always know for sure who the mother is, but not the father.” That was in 1990, and it caused Graham to start a national movement to rectify the situation.

Now, with the 2020 Census looming, Susan Graham went after and got the changes her children and children like them need. The emotional memoir of her marriage to a CNN anchor, being a mother to biracial children, divorce, and remarriage are woven into the story. In Born Biracial: How One Mother Took on Race in America, Graham’s sometimes turbulent personal story will make you cheer for the underdog in battles against the government and other minority organizations.

You’ll be touched by the cover comments from baseball Hall of Fame legend Rod Carew, whose daughter died for the lack of a biracial bone marrow donor. The praises by Dr. C .Vasquez and others will make you want to turn the pages and you’ll be hooked from the words of people who stood with Graham over the years and fought the good fight. Interracial families, educational institutions, libraries, and multicultural organizations should all own a copy.

This memoir is the perfect addition to any personal library for Mother’s Day. It is a mother’s story of how she fought for recognition for her children and those like them. A primer for advocates, this book is an important how-to for people who want to bring about change.

Susan Graham is the founder, president, and executive director of Project RACE (Reclassify All Children Equally). Specializing in race/ethnicity and public policy and an advocate for civil rights, Graham has testified before congressional committees in Washington. She has also been published in The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Orlando Sentinel, and in other major newspapers and magazines. Graham is married to Portuguese-American poet Sam Pereira.

Born Biracial (Memories Press, 2019, 240 pages, $14.95 ISBN:978-1-7339088) can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers.

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