Hapa*Teez is searching for models who have purchased one of its t-shirts. If that describes you, hollah back at email@example.com. We'd like to post a photo of you wearing your t-shirt both on this blog and on the upcoming, updated version of the Watermelon Sushi website.
Now, on to some news about us blendies. This week, Essence magazine posted an online article about biracial actress Karyn Parsons. You may remember her from tv's The Fresh Prince playing the clueless and self-absorbed Hillary. However, Parsons comes across in the interview as the complete opposite of her spoiled character. Instead of being the airhead that Hillary was, Parsons appears to be quite intelligent as she discusses motherhood and what inspired her to write a book about black history. Although her second husband is white like her father, Parsons has a strong sense of her mother's African roots. Yet, the readers' comments that followed her story were incredible. Evidently, there are a lot of angry feelings in the community among mono-racial people who just don't get the biracial experience. While it's true that slavery of Africans by Europeans is to blame for the color-struck attitudes among some of us, we've reached a time in history when we should know that and move beyond it. Some readers even questioned Parsons' right, given her mixed-race heritage, to address black issues! Unbelievable. Yet, in a way, some of their attitudes are understandable given the horrific incidents that still occur to some blacks today.
For instance, several days later, I read about the murder of an African American woman by a hitman who was hired by her Indian husband's father. That's right, Indian as in India. Now, I know you've seen some Indians who are as African-looking as folks from the Continent. And, it's clear that the geographical locations of the subcontinent and Africa are close enough that it's plausible there were travelers bouncing from one locale to another mixing and mingling. Yet this lighter-skinned Indian man felt that his brown African American daughter-in-law was so beneath his son--even after she gave birth to his granddaughter--that he hired someone to kill her. How can hatred, fostered by differences in skin color, still exist in the year 2008? Why do we still have a caste system based on something that no one can help?
Was I on the receiving end of any good news this week? Sure, there were plenty of kind people out there who encouraged and supported my hip hapa agenda. Thanks to Anjulie and Jamilla, Kim of Tacoma, Jaz of the International Black Film Festival of Nashville, rapper Miwa Lyric, Michelle of the WWII War Brides Association, Ms. Lucy of Kailua, the Mixed Chicks, Kahlil Crawford (pictured above), and many more folks that I've probably inadvertently omitted (apologies!).
In spite of the tragedies and continued misunderstandings that abound about biracial, blended, hapa, mixed-race, multi-cultural and multiracial folks, we're moving forward, kids.
Your Hip Hapa,