We interrupt our celebrations…

We interrupt our celebrations…

What do a seven-year-old boy in New York, a three-year-old girl in Baltimore, and an eight-year-old boy in Los Angeles have in common? Other than playing games and being with their pets, they are all living on borrowed time. And you may be able to save them.

During Multiracial Heritage Week, we do a lot of celebrating and talk about being multiracial, but we also remind people about becoming bone marrow donors for sick children and adults with blood diseases.

There is a blood cancer diagnosis every four minutes in the United States and every one of us could be the key to saving a life. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 44 can register with Be the Match, to potentially become a donor. Multiracial adults are in high demand.

Approximately 70 percent of patients do not have a fully matched donor in their own family, which leaves them to search the registry. And depending on a patient’s ethnic background, the likelihood varies for finding the perfect match. Most prospective donors are white.

“Caucasians are likely to match 77 percent of the time, African Americans are likely to match 23 percent of the time,” said Amy with Be the Match, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program. “There is no medical reason for that likelihood, it’s just the number of committed donors we have on the registry.” There are no statistics on multiracial patients.

So we interrupt our celebrations to ask you to register with Be the Match and help save lives. Thank you.

You can watch our video “Invisible in Healthcare” here: http://www.projectrace.com/teen-project-race/video/

Project RACE

Project RACE Teens

Project RACE Kids

Project RACE Grandparents

 

 

Photo Credit: ABC News Go.com

Ancestry.com Apologizes

Ancestry.com apologizes, pulls slavery-era ad after backlash

The ad drew widespread criticism on social media for whitewashing slavery, prompting the DNA testing company to remove it from TV and its YouTube channel. Ancestry started running the ad on TV on April 15, according to research firm iSpot.TV.

The ad is part of a campaign by Ancestry showing stories from the past to pique viewers’ curiosity about their ancestors. It depicts a white man holding up a ring and telling a black woman wearing Civil War-era clothing that they can be together if they escape to the North. The woman says nothing as the scene fades to black, with the line: “Without you, the story stops here.”

Critics pointed out that the ad ignores the fact that mixed race couplings during the slavery era were usually not romantic love stories but instead due to rape and violence against slaves.

Many took to Twitter to express complaints about the ad.

“I used this service a few years ago. And when I realized I was more than 10% European, I wept,” tweeted Brittany Packnett. “Not from shame for who I am, but from anger from the trauma of how it may have come to be. This commercial spits on the trauma in our veins and the fight of our ancestors.”

In an emailed statement, Ancestry said the ad was intended to be part of its effort to tell “important stories from history.”

“We very much appreciate the feedback we have received and apologize for any offense that the ad may have caused,” the company said in the statement.

M.J. McCallum, creative director of Muse Communications, called the ad “thoughtless,” but said it could happen to any company that doesn’t prioritize having diverse representation in its ranks.

“I believe it’s the responsibility of brands and their agencies to foster inclusive environments,” he said. “They must encourage their team members to be open, honest and vulnerable to topics like race and culture.”

The Ancestry ad joins a long list of missteps by marketers that are at best tone-deaf and at worst racist.

In 2017, Dove stopped using a Facebook GIF that showed a black woman removing a brown shirt and transforming into a white woman. The ad was meant to show different types of people can use Dove but many saw it as saying the black woman was “dirty” and the white woman was “clean.” Dove apologized .

In 2018, a Heineken ad with the tagline “Sometimes, Lighter Is Better,” showed a bartender sliding a bottle of Heineken down a bar where several people of color were sitting before it stops in front of a light-skinned woman. Heineken apologized and pulled the ad after an online outcry in which many people, including Chance the Rapper, called the ad racist.

And in February , Gucci pulled a sweater off the market after complaints that the oversized collar designed to cover the face resembled blackface makeup. Italian designer Prada, Katy Perry’s fashion line and H&M have also pulled similar racially insensitivity items.

“The idea that an ad won’t be offensive simply because no one who approved it was offended is just not acceptable anymore,” McCallum said. “Yes, there is always a chance that even the best of intentions will be misinterpreted, but there are reliable resources and skilled professionals available for brands to tap into.”

Category: Blog · Tags: ,

It’s Famous Friday!

QB Patrick Mahomes

“Mahomes’ talent is as good as anybody who has ever played the game.” – Brett Favre

Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has captivated football fans this year and become the most exciting player in the NFL. Mahomes, in just his second NFL season, has led his team to a thrilling 8-1 start and, with eight 300 yard passing games in a row, has found himself as the current MVP favorite! The frenzy over this new superstar reminds me of the way fans react to LeBron! This guy is obviously a very special athlete.

The 23 year old was born in Tyler, Texas to Pat Mahomes Sr. and Randi Martin. His interracially married parents divorced when he was young, but the family remained close. Pat Mahomes Sr. had a long career as an MLB pitcher when young Patrick was growing up, playing with the Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, Cubs and Pirates. His father’s career made for a fun childhood for Patrick, allowing him to regularly hang out on the road with superstars like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

“It helped out that I went to private school when I was younger so they let me skip a few weeks at a time,” Mahomes said. “I would miss school for about a week or two get my work in advance and I’d go up and just hang out with him (dad). He’d still stay on me about doing my school work, but it was good experience to be around him and travel with him. I remember riding buses from stadium to stadium.”

When he wasn’t on the road with his dad, Patrick was raised in Whitehouse, Texas with his younger brother, Jackson, and a little sister, Mia. Patrick is a great big brother, known to be very protective of his sister and a role model for his brother. He didn’t play football until middle school, and even then, played safety, not quarterback. He was a three sport standout athlete (football, baseball, and basketball) at Whitehouse High School, where he was named a 3 star prospect by Rivals, ESPN and 247 sports.

Patrick started dating soccer player Brittany Matthews in high school and they are still together today. In his junior year of high school he first established himself as a quarterback and led his team to the district championship. Even then, he was a classic dual threat QB who could throw or run the ball with the best in the country and was named Maxpreps 2013-14 Athlete of the Year. He also continued to excel in baseball, throwing a no-hitter as a senior. He was so good, that he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers, but having decided on football, did not sign a contract.

It is no surprise, then, that he was heavily recruited by colleges. He decided on Texas Tech and as a freshman, continued to play both football and baseball. After setting the Big 12 freshman record for passing yards in a game, with 598 against Baylor, it became pretty clear that football was his game. During his pre-draft pro day in 2017, he threw a pass that was almost 80-yards.The man has a strong arm and the NFL took notice. He was drafted 10th overall by the Chiefs, who traded up to get him. His four-year contract is worth more than $16 million plus he got a signing bonus of more than $10 million! Not bad for a 23 year old. Mahomes played backup his first year in the league and didn’t get on the field until the final game of the season. But apparently that’s all it took. This year he has not only started every game, but set the league on fire. He is breaking all kinds of records and leading his team to weekly decisive victories that leave people in awe of his abilities.

The 6’3” phenom is incredibly talented yet obviously works really hard at his game. But he does still like to relax and have fun sometimes. His favorite TV shows are Game of Thrones, Westworld and, Power. But, he’d much rather use his time off, staying both active and competitive.

“My favorite hobby especially this offseason was probably golf,” Mahome said. “I really tried to get into golf. My dad played so it’s something else I compete against him in. He is definitely better, but I did beat him when he came to Kansas City one time. That was my only time I’ve ever beat him though.”

That competitive spirit is serving him well and I am one of millions who are happy to be here to see it in action.

  • Karson Baldwin, Project RACE Teens Co-President

 

 

Photo Credit: centerfieldmaz.com

 

About Project RACE

Project RACE is a non-profit NATIONAL organization advocating for multiracial individuals. We advocate for “multiracial” or “check two or more” classifications on forms. We hold schools, business, the media and other institutions responsible for treating multiracial people fairly, especially children. We do this by speaking directly with them, providing materials, writing opinion pieces, sharing experiences, etc. We are proactive. We also provide information on medical issues and hold bone marrow donor drives. We have very active divisions: Teens, Kids, and Grandparents, which hold Multiracial Heritage Week every year from June 7 to 14. I have testified three times before congressional subcommittees at their invitation, as have other Project RACE members. We have ongoing discussions and meetings with Census Bureau personnel, OMB representatives, and state political representatives. Project RACE advocates for the right for multiracial individuals to have appropriate and respectful terminology used for our racial and ethnic identity. Please visit our website at projectrace.com for more information and read our blog, which provides updates on important issues for the multiracial community. You can also sign up for our email blasts, visit our Facebook page, or email me at susangraham@projectrace.com –Susan Graham for Project RACE

Are You in an Interracial Family?

Project RACE is very pleased to announce that we have been asked to participate in a photographic project by the amazing photographer Ben Baker! He has photographed the Obamas, many other Presidents, entertainers, politicians, and other famous people.

He is looking for interracial families to photograph in New York this weekend or next. This could be any combination of backgrounds: black/white, Asian/black, Hispanic/white, African American/American Indian, etc. Please email me at susangraham@projectrace.com if you are interested. Let’s help Ben make this a huge success!

Important Update

Project RACE Update

August, 2018

Census Undercount of the Multiracial Population – IMPORTANT!

The US Census Bureau does not want multiracial or biracial people to be counted as multiracial. Numerous organizations both non-profit and governmental do not want the multiracial population counted as two or more races. They want to count us, but as single-race individuals.

Outreach programs have been started that systematically omit the multiracial community. This will continue until the 2020 Census. Every community has been asked to be a part of the efforts to count their population with the exception of ours. Why is this happening? They want us to deny our identities and that of our children in an effort to boost their own numbers.

They will be happy if multiracial people use the “some other race” space on the 2020 census form or choose only one racial category. Don’t do it. Our numbers get lost if you do. We can only show how much our community is growing if data are counted and allocated correctly.

The only way to obtain everything the multiracial community deserves is by checking more than one race on your census form. Let’s show them we know exactly who we are. We will have more about this important issue as we move closer to the 2020 Census.

A NEW PROJECT RACE TEEN CO-PRESIDENT!

We are very excited about our new co-president, Alexis Cook! She is a leader at her high school and very active in her community in Aurora, Colorado. When asked about her multiracial heritage, Alexis replied, “Growing up in an interracial family was a blessing because I got to learn from two cultures instead of just one.”

Alexis is a high school senior and is the Student Body President. She is in the top one percent of her class and embodies the Project RACE emphasis on education. She will be a great role model with another wonderful teen, Karson Baldwin, as co-presidents of Project RACE Teens. You can read more about Alexis at www.projectrace.com/blog. Welcome, Alexis!

WEB GURU NEEDED FOR OUR WEBSITE

We need help! A web guru is desperately needed on a volunteer basis to keep our site updated. Just a few hours a month would be perfect to update our WordPress site at www.projectrace.com The need is urgent and is a great community service. Please email us at susangraham@projectrace.com Thank you!

THE SEARCH IS ON FOR A NEW PROJECT RACE GRANDPARENTS PRESIDENT

We thank Patti Barry who began Project RACE Grandparents for us several years ago. She has done a tremendous job, but her busy life means that Patti must give up her leadership responsibilities. We are looking for that special grandparent who can help us with meaningful programs for our Grandparents Division. It’s fun and rewarding! Please email susangraham@projectrace.com if you or someone you know is interested.

 

Book Review

Enemies in Love: A German POW, a Black Nurse, and an Unlikely Romance

By Alexis Clark

Book Review by Susan Graham

Enemies in Love, published by The New Press, is hardly a typical romance novel. It’s the story of Elinor Powell, an Army nurse and Frederick Albert, a German prisoner of war in the 1940s. The first part reads like an academic book and the second half you might think is fiction, but it is very real.

The first surprise is that German POWs were held in camps in remote desert areas of Arizona. The second one is that Black nurses were shunned and made to take care of them. Elinor Powell was one such nurse. This unknown story is a shocking bit of World War II history told in great detail by Alexis Clark.

Elinor Powell and Frederick Albert fell in love and risked being found together in the Jim Crow era. They decided that one way to be together after the war was for Elinor to get pregnant, necessitating Frederick to come back to the states after his release in Germany.

The couple had two biracial sons and this is where the story took a dive for me. The family never spoke about race or identity. Yes, this was the 1950s, but racial issues were talked about, especially in interracial families. The author mistakenly uses biracial, interracial, mixed-race and other terminology in a jumble of stories about the children’s childhood, which is based mostly on the memories of one of the sons. Children’s memories are not always accurate and we have no way of knowing what the truth really is. The family moved a great deal, which can have detrimental effects on children, but their problems seem to mostly be attributed to the fact that they were biracial. Also, there were problems in the marriage, with racial acceptance, with Frederick’s mother and father, and a host of other unfortunate circumstances, yet everything seemed to center on race. They were humans and had other issues, as everyone does.

Enemies in Love is a very worthwhile read and the historical events are fascinating. I recommend it, keeping in mind that times have changed, thank goodness, for interracial families in America.

 

It’s Famous Friday!

Famous Friday: Trae Young 

Trae Young with mother, Candice, and father, Ray.

We told you back in January how awesome Trae Young was, didn’t we? Well, I’ve got an update for you on this 19 year old who just finished his freshman year of college. Trae Young woke up this morning as an All-American college basketball player from the University of Oklahoma and will go to bed tonight (if he doesn’t stay up all night celebrating) as the 5th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.  He woke up a Sooner and will end the night as a Hawk. Drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, Trae was quickly traded to the Atlanta Hawks. 

One of college basketball’s biggest stars, Trae is expected by many to become the league’s next Steph Curry. He is a player who opens up the floor with his deep three pointers and is a great passer. In fact, he led the country in both points and assists!! He is the first player to hold both of those records at the same time. Trae even holds the NCAA single game record for assists in one game at 22. Trae, who is 6’2″ and 180 lbs., played his high school basketball at Norman North High School where he was a McDonalds All American. He was also a member of the U.S. men’s national U18 team that won a gold medal at the 2016 FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship. His list of accolades is a long one!

His Dad, Ray, was a former Big 10 player at Texas Tech who played some professional ball in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Ray married Candice, his high school sweetheart, and had four children, Trae, his younger brother Timothy, and two younger sisters, Caitlyn and Camryn. The close-knit family regularly goes to church together.

-Karson Baldwin, President, Project RACE Teens

Photo courtesy of: Newsok.com

It’s Famous Friday!

Kim Wayans

Kim Wayans has been in an interracial marriage with Kevin Knotts for over 15 years. They dated many years prior to marriage.  Kim is an American actress, comedian, producer, writer, and director. She is most famous for her numerous roles on Fox comedy show In Living Color. She was also the actress and producer of in the house, Pariah. Kevin Knotts is an actor and writer and the couple live in Los Angeles, California. The couple does not have children.  Kim has said “I’m Auntie Mame. I think it’s because I come from a huge family that I don’t feel the need to have children. I’ve always had kids to love and to cuddle. When I get tired of them, I take them back home.”  She has nine siblings. Kim and her husband Kevin are authors of a series of books for children “Amy Hodgepodge” which deals with a child book character who is multiracial. Kim stated “We have about 28 nieces and nephews, and lots of them are interracial children, and we wanted them to see images of themselves reflected back in literature in a positive way.” The book, Amy Hodgepodge, is about a multiracial girl’s experience of adjusting to public school after being homeschooled. Kim and her husband want to help young people embrace diversity by showing multiracial children characters that they can identify with.

Picture Credit: frostsnow.com

Project Race Teen Co-President

Makensie McDaniel

Famous Friday!

FAMOUS FRIDAY: J. COLE

Rapper J. Cole is on fire! I told our Project RACE readers about how awesome and brilliant he was three years ago and he’s only gotten hotter since then. Just last month, his new album, “KOD,” was released, and on that very first day logged more than 36.5 million Spotify streams in the United States alone, a record breaking first-day for Spotify. “KOD” hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart, Cole’s fifth consecutive Billboard No. 1!

J.Cole is a German-American hip hop recording artist, producer, and writer from Fayetteville, North Carolina. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany in January 1985 as Jermaine Lamarr Cole when his African American father was serving in the United States Army. His Caucasian German mother worked as an actress. His father left the family when he was really young and his mother relocated the family to Fayetteville, NC when Cole was just eight months old. Cole began rapping at 12 and by15 had started keeping notebooks of beats and lyrics to create sounds and songs that evolved into the popular style we hear today. A straight A student in high school, he earned an academic scholarship to and graduated from St. John’s University in New York City. He chose to study and live in New York where he believed he would have a better chance of obtaining a record deal. His move to NYC proved to be a good move all around. He majored in communications, minored in business, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.82 GPA . Then, soon after, he was the first artist signed by Jay-Z for the record label Roc Nation!

His career has been rising ever since thanks to his talent for making music full of raw and honest stories that resonate with the public. J. Cole has credited his great success, in part, to experiencing both sides of his race. He states that the perspective he brings is a side that’s aware of both of his races. He states he would not be able to say the things he does without seeing them from the “other side”. He makes it known he is proud to represent both races in his music. He has said that he identities more with what he looks like, because that’s how he is treated by the world.

Since our last Famous Friday on this talent, Cole  has gotten married and become a father to a little girl. The Cole family have returned to live in Cole’s hometown of Fayetteville. His wife, Melissa Heholt, attended St. John’s University with him and they dated for approximately 10 years before marrying. Mellissa is an event planner and also serves as the Executive Director of the Dreamville Foundation. The Dreamville Foundation is a non-profit that J.Cole created to “bridge the gap” between the worlds of opportunity and the urban youth of Fayetteville, NC. The foundation’s goal for the urban youth is to have a dream, believe in their dream, and achieve their dream. The Dreamville Foundation is dedicated to creating programs and events that will allow youth to be set up for success.

“I want to start the process of showing them there are other options besides what’s on the screen,” he explains,  “They don’t have to be a rapper of an athlete, there are people who manage the rappers, who book the shows. There are so many jobs you can do, this is about expanding their minds to those possibilities.”

-Karson Baldwin, President Project RACE Teens

Photo Credit: BET.com