Hi! My name is Tristian Turkey and I am honored to be invited to share my story with all of you at Project RACE for this week’s Famous Friday. I live on a beautiful farm in Plymouth, Massachusetts where my ancestors have lived since the 1600s. My great great great great grandmother came from England with the Plymouth colonists and my great great great great grandfather was raised by a Wampanoag Indian chief. They met in 1621 when the colonists invited the Wampanoag to share an autumn harvest feast. My great great great great grandparents went to the celebration, which is known as the first Thanksgiving. It was there, under the table, eating the crumbs of lobster, seal, swans, venison and berries that they met. It was love at first sight. She thought that he was strong, honest and funny. He thought she was beautiful, kind and smart. No one cared that she was an English Turkey and he was a Wampanoag Turkey, because everyone understood the obvious, turkeys are turkeys no matter what their heritage. My grandparents married and had 14 children. Every year, all my ancestors went along to enjoy the big Thanksgiving feast. It became the Turkey Family Reunion for over 200 years. But then everything changed!
An American writer named Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb, started a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She also published recipes for pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and … TURKEY!! TURKEY! Can you believe it? Yes, we always came to the Thanksgiving feast, but we came to celebrate our family history. We came to celebrate how our ancestors from two different backgrounds came together and became one awesome turkey family. We did NOT come to be cooked and eaten!!
So now, as the final Thursday in November nears, you will not find my family and me celebrating. No, we hide in November, but we thankfully celebrate our rich and wonderful heritage the other 11 months of the year!
-Karson Baldwin, President, Project RACE Kids
Congratulations to PR Kids President, Karson Baldwin, for winning the Youth Service America “Everyday Young Hero” Award for his work with Project RACE. YSA believes in youth changing the world. Working with partners around the world, YSA helps young people find their voice, take action, and make an impact on vital community issues. Sounds an awful lot like what our Project RACE Teens and Project RACE Kids leaders are all about.
In YSA’s words, “Project RACE Kids wants kids to feel great about who they are and identify with ALL of their heritage! #EverydayYoungHero Karson Baldwin!”
That’s EXACTLY right, YSA! Thank you, for the accolade and for helping to spread awareness of Project RACE!
It’s really cool to see one of my favorite multiracial actors, Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock playing a super hero/God in a big movie like Hercules! I love when multiracial actors do a great job in roles that are usually played by white actors. I did quite a bit of acting myself for about 5 years and roles are almost always listed for people of a certain race. I think they should be for people of certain characteristics that fit the character’s personality. When it comes to Hercules, the Rock is a perfect fit!
Here is a slide show of Hercules through the decades.
President, PR Kids
Everybody knows that as far as football games, the Super Bowl stunk. It was a complete blowout, which means it was totally boring. Some people say the best part was the commercials, but here is my list of some very cool things about the Super Bowl.
1. Bruno Mars’ concert was just awesome … plus he is multiracial!
2. The Cheerios multiracial family was back with a great new commercial. She’s getting a puppy!
3. My Dad is an NFL Vet so I got to go to some fun NFL events with lots of players and lots of good food.
4. And probably the coolest of all… IT’S REALLY COOL KNOWING THAT RUSSELL WILSON, A MULTIRACIAL QB, WON THE SUPER BOWL!
– Karson Baldwin, President
I recently was asked to write an essay about my favorite family tradition. My family has lots of traditions. We have Christmas traditions, New Years Eve traditions, Super Bowl traditions and NCAA tourney traditions, but my favorite tradition is how we celebrate Loving Day! You may know that Loving Day is celebrated in June, but since I wrote the essay now, I thought it would be nice to share it with our Project RACE members and everyone who reads our blog.
So, here it is… Karson
I smell Chinese food as soon as Dad and Didier walk in… barbecued spare ribs, dumplings, chicken, rice and noodles. This night is my favorite family tradition. Our two families, the Baldwins and the Mukendis, or the Mu-baldis, as we nicknamed ourselves, have a great time every year. We eat Chinese food and play spoons. Our spoons game always becomes very intense. We’ve even left permanent scratches and dents in the dining room table. But the food and fun and games aren’t the most important thing about this night.
We are celebrating Loving Day. Have you heard of it? It’s a holiday that celebrates two people that made it legal for the Mukendis and Baldwins to even exist. In 1958 Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving lived in Virginia where interracial marriage was illegal. They went to Washington, DC where a Black woman and White man like them could get married and went back home. But the laws also stated that the couple could not live together in Virginia even if their wedding was in another state. One night they were arrested for being married. Isn’t that crazy? The judge gave them the choice to go to jail or leave Virginia. They choose to move to Washington, DC. But they missed their family and home. So Mildred wrote a letter to Robert Kennedy. He helped them get lawyers and their case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In 1967 the court unanimously decided in the Loving’s favor, finally making it legal in all states for people to marry whoever they wanted no matter their race.
In 1967 my parents and Wendy and Didier Mukendi were all little kids and had no idea how important that day would be for their lives or mine. My Dad is Black and grew up in Texas. My Mom is White and grew up in Ohio. Wendy is White and from California. Didier is Black and from the Republic of the Congo in Africa. Those are very different backgrounds, but each couple met and fell in love and was able to legally marry in 1989. Our families have been friends all my life. We’re so close that our two families are like one big family. When Didier was between jobs, they moved in with us for a while. When my sisters accidently burned down our house we lived with them until we found a new house. We have a lot more in common than being multiracial families. We go to church together and do all kinds of fun things. But on Loving Day being multiracial is what we celebrate and I love it.
I’m glad my parents had the freedom to marry the person they loved. I’m glad Wendy and Didier had the freedom to marry the person they loved. And I’m glad that while we’re celebrating the history of interracial families like ours, we have the freedom to eat the food we love, even though none of us are Chinese.
It’s great to hear that Cory Booker, the multiracial mayor of Newark, was elected New Jersey State Senator last night. As an eleven year old, I don’t know a whole lot about politics yet. But I do know that for multiracial kids like me, hearing this is fun and exciting. Not only do I live in a country led by a multiracial president, but I also live in a state that will be led in part by a multiracial senator. Very cool.
President, Project RACE Kids
Recently I became interested in going to an after-care program at my school. A lot of my friends have started to go there and I wanted to go too. My parents decided when my sisters were little that they wanted my Mom to be home to send us off to school and be with us when we got home each day. But, even though my Mom doesn’t have a full time job, and I don’t HAVE to go, I still want to.
Being that my parents are AWESOME, they decided that we could look into it – even just for one day a week. But here’s what I’m getting at…
When we looked at the registration form, and got to the place where they ask for your race, we noticed that there was a multiracial option!!! That is very, very exciting because not many forms like that allow kids like me to choose multiracial. They might let you check two different boxes, or even worse they may make you neglect part of your heritage all together. But not enough offer a proper way for us to identify ourselves. So, mad props to the YMCA for getting it right.
I am not sure that all of this is actually funny. Some of it is sad. But sometimes when people have crazy racist ideas it is better to laugh at it than to let it make you sad. This definitely made me glad that I did not grow up in a country with apartheid. – Karson
London (CNN) When it comes to getting ready for a show, fast-rising South African comedian Trevor Noah has it all figured out.