An unflinching look at the challenges and misunderstandings mixed-race people face in family spaces and intimate relationships across their varying cultural backgrounds
In this emotionally powerful and intellectually provocative blend of memoir, cultural criticism, and theory, scholar and essayist Samira Mehta reflects on many facets of being multiracial.
Born to a white American and a South Asian immigrant, Mehta grew up feeling more comfortable with her mother’s family than with her father’s–they never carried on conversations in languages that she couldn’t understand or blamed her for finding the food was too spicy. But in adulthood, she realized that some of her Indian family’s assumptions about the world had become an indelible part of her–and that her well-intentioned parents had not known how to prepare her for a world that would see her as a person of color.
Popular belief assumes that mixedness gives you the ability to feel at home in more than one culture, but the flipside shows you can feel just as alienated in those spaces. In 7 essays that dissect her own experiences with a frankness tempered by generosity, Mehta tackles questions around:
authenticity and belonging;conscious and unconscious cultural inheritance;appropriate mentorship;the racism of people who love you.
The Racism of People Who Love You lays bare the pain and the love, the blending of practices, assumptions, and the creation of a culture of hybrid identity.
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