The Beiging of America


Personal Narratives about Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century
Edited by Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Sean Frederick Forbes and Tara Betts
with an Afterword by Heidi W. Durrow
JUN. 2017 | ISBN: 978-1-940939-55-1 (eBook)
LCCN 2016944187




SKU: TBOA022017 Categories: , , , , , , Product ID: 9497


THE BEIGING OF AMERICA, BEING MIXED RACE IN THE 21ST CENTURY, takes on “race matters” and considers them through the firsthand accounts of mixed race people in the United States. Edited by mixed race scholars Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Sean Frederick Forbes and Tara Betts, this collection consists of 39 poets, writers, teachers, professors, artists and activists, whose personal narratives articulate the complexities of interracial life. Discrimination, instilling pride in family settings, sorting out the terms and names that people call themselves and their relatives, tackling colorism within communities of color, and childhood recollections fill these pages with compelling stories that speak to lived experiences, mapping a new ethnic terrain that transcends racial and cultural division. THE BEIGING OF AMERICA was prompted by cultural critic/scholar Hua Hsu, who contemplated the changing face and race of U.S. demographics in his 2009 The Atlantic article provocatively titled “The End of White America.” In it, Hsu acknowledged “steadily ascending rates of interracial marriage” that undergirded assertions about the “beiging of America.”

As one flips through the pages of THE BEIGING OF AMERICA, one discovers contributors’ shared exasperation with the inevitable and preposterous question – “What are you?” – simply because they do not fit neatly into any one racial category. This in itself is a reflection of how the black-white paradigm in America continues to obfuscate and distort rigid constructs and systemic racism, reminding readers that race – even in a post-racial imaginary – still matters. THE BEIGING OF AMERICA is an absorbing and thought-provoking collection of stories that explore racial identity, alienation, with people often forced to choose between races and cultures in their search for self-identity. While underscoring the complexity of the mixed race experience, these unadorned voices offer a genuine, poignant, enlightening and empowering message to all readers. Cover design: Cathy J. Schlund-Vials. Cover art: Laura Kina. Reprinted with permission from artist. Copyright © 2006 by Laura Kina. All rights reserved.

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Author Bio


CATHY J. SCHLUND-VIALS is a mixed race Cambodian and white American born in Thailand and adopted by an American Air Force father and a Japanese mother. She holds a Joint Appointment as professor in the Department of English and the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Connecticut, and has served as director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute at UConn since 2010. She currently serves as the President of the National Association for Asian American Studies. Schlund-Vials’ work on visual culture, popular culture, human rights, and Asian American studies has appeared in a number of collections and journals. Her latest book is Asian America: A Primary Source Reader (2017), co-edited with K. Scott Wong and Jason O. Chang.

SEAN FREDERICK FORBES is a mixed race Afro-Latino and the series editor of 2Leaf Press’ 2LP EXPLORATIONS IN DIVERSITY, which explores the past, present and future of diversity and inclusivity in America. He is the co-editor of the series’ first book, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WHITE IN AMERICA? Breaking the White Code of Silence, A Collection of Personal Narratives (2016). The series also includes the publication of THE BEIGING OF AMERICA (2017), edited by Cathy J. Vials-Schlund and Tara Betts, of which he also serves as co-editor; and BLACK LIVES HAVE ALWAYS MATTERED (2017), edited by Abiodun Oyewole. His work has appeared in various journals including Chagrin River Review, Crab Orchard Review, Long River Review, Midwest Quarterly, and Sargasso: A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language and Culture. He is the author of the poetry collection, Providencia: A Book of Poems (2013), and teaches creative writing and poetry, and is the director of the creative writing program at the University of Connecticut.

TARA BETTS TARA BETTS is mixed race award-winning poet, author and scholar of African American and white French descent. Betts is the author of Break the Habit (2016), Arc and Hue (2009) and the libretto, The Greatest: An Homage to Muhammad Ali (2010). She has appeared in several radio and television programs, and her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including POETRY, Ninth Letter, Crab Orchard Review, Essence, Nylon, American Poetry Review, Gathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, Villanelles, both Spoken Word Revolution anthologies, The Break Beat Poets, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, and GHOST FISHING: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology. She is currently a professor at University of Illinois-Chicago.



HEIDI W. DURROW is mixed race of Danish and African-American descent. She is the New York Times best-selling author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (2010), which received writer Barbara Kingsolver’s PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and is a book club favorite. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky has been hailed as one of the Best Novels of 2010 by the Washington Post, a Top 10 Book of 2010 by The Oregonian, and named a Top 10 Debut of 2010 by Booklist. Durrow received BA in English at Stanford University, earned her MS Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and rceived her JD at Yale Law School. She has worked as a corporate attorney, a Life Skills trainer to professional athletes, and cohost of the award-winning weekly podcast, “Mixed Chicks Chat.” and is the founder and executive producer of the Mixed Remixed Festival.


Find out more information about THE BEIGING OF AMERICA contributors.

Carlos Adams
Dedria Humphries Barker
Carly Bates
Jackson Bliss
F. Douglas Brown
Alison Carr
Mona Lisa Chavez Esqueda
Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd
Santana Dempsey
Timeka Drew
Naomi Raquel Enright
Anika Fajardo
Liberty Ferda
Chelsea Lemon Fetzer
Wayne Freeman
Frances Frost
Wendy A. Gaudin
Herbert Harris
Rena Heinrich
Velina Hasu Houston
Mark S. James
Allyson Jeffredo
Nadine M. Knight
Kyla Kupferstein
Jewel Love
devorah major
Jane Marchant
Rachel Masilamani
Jeni McFarland
Abra Mims
Via Perkins
Eman Rimawi
Charles Matthew Snyder
Lily Anne Welty Tamai
Diana Emiko Tsuchida
Jenny Turner
Maya Washington
Shiane Wilcoxen
Jessica Williams

Press Kits

Download high-resolution photos, book covers, author bios, book information sheets and press releases. Please use photo credits where indicated. Right click on photos and book covers to “save as,” and download PDFs. For more information, contact Gabrielle David at gdavid [AT] 2leafpress [DOT] org.

Cathy Schlund-Vials


Sean Frederick Forbes


Tara Betts


What People Are Saying

Race in America has been changing for a while now. Racism is far from gone — it is no less pervasive and vicious than ever it was. But in the current generation have arisen the insistent voices of people whose ancestries and identities are more complex than we ever thought possible. They are not just black, nor just white, nor just brown or yellow or red. They frequently own two or more racial identities — and one of those identities often is mixed. The contributors in THE BEIGING OF AMERICA tells us their stories, in their own voices. Every American should read this book and heed these voices. This is our racial future.

— Paul Spickard, Professor of History, Asian American
Studies, and Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara,
author of Race in Mind: Critical Essays (2015)

THE BEIGING OF AMERICA points towards the next generation of first-person narratives about the “mixed race experience,” including those stories that go beyond the usual hand-wringing over census boxes to consider, more pressingly, the where and when of racial justice for peoples of color, ‘mixed’ or not.

— Michele Elam, professor,
Professor at Stanford University, author of The Souls of Mixed Folk:
Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium (2011)

THE BEIGING OF AMERICA shows the country in full color. The essays successfully crumble dichotomies and reveal the shared humanity underneath.

— Shannon Luders-Manuel, writer/editor
author of Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide: Educators’ Guide (2016)

THE BEIGING OF AMERICA is a wonderful addition to the canon of mixed race literature. This fine collection of personal narratives further demonstrates both the complexities of the mixed race experience and how multiplicity can be a source of pain and ridicule, as well as pride and self-acceptance. These stories remind us that the fluidity of identities and the demographic shifts that are occurring in the U.S. are not to be ignored or buried, but rather discussed openly and honestly, engaging in the uncomfortable discussions of racism, white supremacy and the power words have even in the most intimate spaces, such as family. These testimonies remind us of the importance to acknowledge and embrace our differences both within ourselves and collectively if we are to become a post-racist society. Bravo!

 — Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., author of
Becoming Mexpino: Multiethnic Identities and
Communities in San Diego (2012)

This disarmingly candid collection gives voice to manifold experiences of being multiracial in America, through essays that are by turns poignant, insightful, heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and essential.

— Ava Dellaira, author of Love Letters to the Dead (2013)

THE BEIGING OF AMERICA documents through compelling stories by writers of various backgrounds the struggles to overcome the “nobodiness” of mixed race people in this country. Moreover, it affirms, with a resounding clarion call, our place in the mosaic of race and color we call America. The Beiging of America is a redemptive book for our times.

— Pablo Medina, the author of eleven books, among them novel Cubop City Blues (2012)