Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Passing As Mixed?

Wazzup Hip Hapa Homeez!

Wow. It's been some week with the Michael Jackson memorial taking center stage for most folks. I have to admit, though, that I've never been a fan of pop music. In fact, I'm fond of saying that I went straight from P-funk to Public Enemy. For me, it all began with da beat, but when revolutionary rap emerged with its powerful lyrics I found myself jammin' to the likes of X-Clan and KRS-1.

But back to Michael Jackson. Believe it or not, there are lots of multiracial themes woven into the fabric of this man's life story. Besides the obvious, how MJ's music reached across color lines, there's the enigma of a soulful black boy turning into a white-looking man who often appealed to Caucasians more than his own.

Then, there are the children. Several days ago, TMZ reported that Jackson's two oldest were not his biologically, but rather had been created in-vitro with Jackson's dermatologist Arnie Klein's sperm and an undisclosed egg donor before being carried by surrogate Debbie Rowe who worked for Klein. TMZ also stated that Jackson's youngest, and third, child had unknown biological parents and an anonymous surrogate mother. Eventually, I suppose the truth will be revealed, but for now what shocks me most is how hotly debated the issue is by readers of various articles and blogs. People seem to be either absolutely positive those are MJ's kids while others are adamant that they're absolutely positively not.

Personally, I have a hard time believing that the photos of the children I've seen depict biracial kids with an African American father and Caucasian mother. Of course, it's not impossible for a mixed-race child to look more like one parent than the other. But most of us mixies have an intuitive sense about others like us. We just know. And, in this case, I just ain't feelin' it. Until we find out for sure (if we ever do, and if it's even our business to) that those are MJ's biological kids, I'd like to know what you Hip Hapa Homeez think. Is it possible for an African American man (the old Michael Jackson before cosmetic surgery and contracting vitiligo) to produce three children who all look Caucasian? Leave a comment or hollah at:

Earlier today, I heard from another Winfrey--no not that one, silly--who sent me the link to a Japanese and African American singer who was set to tour with Michael Jackson in England. What rotten luck! The friend, Asani Winfrey, and I interestingly share many acquaintances yet I'd never heard of this artist Judith Hill that she turned me on to. Check her out:

Although Judith Hill and Killah Chan are poles apart musically, it's interesting to note how both cross cultures--Japanese and African American. If you missed her the first time I posted it, here's rapper Christal Webb courtesy of YouTube:

Several weeks ago, I reviewed a couple of movies at the Seattle International Film Festival. One film, Apron Strings, directed by Samoan filmmaker Sima Urale is about a biracial South Asian and Caucasian man searching for the Indian side of his family. Somewhat similar in tone to Gurrinder Chadha's What's Cookin'?, Apron Strings is told around the theme of food. Here's the link to my review:

The website is up and Your Hip Hapa is featured in an interview with Amina S:

Finally, if you haven't already seen this article I penned about the New Race Politics for OneBrownGirl, here it is:

Remember to join our Hip Hapa Homeez group on Facebook. And, don't forget about our film, Watermelon Sushi, and Hapa-Teez t-shirts. Oh, and that picture above? That's "The Thai Elvis Presley" (in red behind the statue) who recently entertained our dining party at a Hollywood Thai Restaurant. Talk about cross cultural! My fellow diners are in the two photos below: rapper Miwa Lyric with Kiyoshi Parker, and spoken-word artist Yun-Sook Kim Navarre.

Until next time, I am...

Your Hip Hapa,

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