2Leaf Press is pleased to announce an open submission call for its forthcoming book, THE BEIGING OF AMERICA: PERSONAL NARRATIVES ABOUT BEING MIXED RACE IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, edited by Cathy J. Schlund-Vials and Tara Betts for publication Spring 2017. The deadline is September 15, 2016. Check out the Submission Guidelines for more information.
In 2Leaf Press’ ongoing conversations about race, religion and social justice issues, THE BEIGING OF AMERICA is being published under the 2LP EXPLORATIONS IN DIVERSITY series edited by Sean Frederick Forbes. Editors Schlund-Vials and Betts, who are both biracial (Schlund-Vials is Cambodian and white; Betts is African American and white), bring a personal sensibility to this groundbreaking collection.
The United States is one of the most racially diverse countries in the world. While Americans are mostly multi-ethnic descendants of various immigrant nationalities culturally distinct in their former countries (and in the case of African Americans, from slavery), mixed-race couples and children have been the victims of racial abuse. Anti-miscegenation laws, which have been part of America’s landscapes since the mid-nineteenth century, were, for the most part, struck down in 1967 by the United States Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia, a landmark civil rights decision that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage. While partners of different racial backgrounds no longer need to hide their relationships for fear of legal persecution, there’s still a lot missing from the conversation surrounding interracial relationships and mixed-race children.
The editors understand first hand that mixed-race children not only have to face racist comments and prejudicial treatment but as adults, they are forced to deal with identity issues, including how others define them the way they want to, which varies depending on who is doing the defining, throughout most of their adult life. Nearly fifty years after Richard and Mildred Loving took on America’s anti-miscegenation laws, our country has a long way to go in terms of racial discourse, period. In the case of interracial marriages and mixed-race children, there are still huge stereotypes, misconceptions, and presumptions that still dictate the way we think about—and talk about—mixed race people.
Yet despite these challenges, the multiracial population continues to grow—exponentially. In the United States, the 2000 census was the first in the history of the country to offer respondents the option of identifying themselves as belonging to more than one race. This multiracial option was considered a necessary adaptation to America’s demographic and cultural changes. By 2010, the number of Americans who checked both “black” and “white” on their census forms was 134 percent higher than it had been a decade earlier.
In light of these changes, the editors hope to extrapolate and bring to the fore stories that will investigate, for example, what “mixed ethnicity” currently represents, how the mix of new culture blends into longstanding traditions, and how will cultures and people maintain their individuality. While there are people who fear cultural blending, editors Schlund-Vials and Betts both agree that the idea of a global identity and the definition of self, culture and race is rooted in life experiences and personal choices that should be respected by all. As such, one of the key goals of THE BEIGING OF AMERICA is to produce a collection where readers can learn from contributor’s stories, and how they are changing the face of the country.
We look forward to receiving your submissions.
Cathy J. Schlund-Vials is Professor of English and Asian/Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut. She is also the director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute (UConn). She is the author of two monographs: Modeling Citizenship: Naturalization in Jewish and Asian American Writing (Temple University Press, 2011) and War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work (University of Minnesota Press, 2012). She is a series editor (with Linda Trinh Vo and K. Scott Wong) for Temple University Press’s Asian American History and Culture initiative and is presently the President of the Association for Asian American Studies. Schlund-Vials has co-edited three collections that are forthcoming or in press: Keywords for Asian American Studies (New York University Press, 2015), Asian America: A Primary Source Reader (Yale University Press, forthcoming), and Disability, Human Rights and the Limits of Humanitarianism (Ashgate, 2014). She is currently working on two book-length projects, tentatively titled, “Militarized Excess: Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan” and “Imperial Coordinates: Conflict, Containment, and Asian American Critique.”
Tara Betts is a Visiting Lecturer at University of Illinois-Chicago. She is the author of two poetry collections Break The Habit (Trio House Press, 2016) and Arc & Hue (Willow Books, 2009). Betts recently published the chapbooks Never Been Lois Lane (dancing girl press, 2016), 7 x 7: kwansabas (Backbone Press, 2015), and the libretto THE GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali (Argus House Books, 2013). She has written the Introduction to the poetry collection, After Houses, Poetry for the Homeless by Claire Millikin (2014) and the Afterword for WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WHITE IN AMERICA? Breaking the White Code of Silence, A Collection of Personal Narratives (2016). Her poetry and prose has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, and she is currently at work on several new projects.