News21 | Loving Day
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News21

Wed, 03/10/2010 - 4:24pm -- eddien
Title: 
News21: "Mixed-Race in U.S. Struggle to Form Political, Personal Identities"
Show, Series, or Section: 
News21 The New Voters
Press Date: 
07/10/2009
Press Category: 
Article (Mention)
Author: 
Kimberly Davis & Christopher M. Matthews, News21 UMD Staff

Fanshen Cox and Heidi W. Durrow team up each week to produce “Mixed Chicks Chat,” an award-winning podcast about multiracial identity in America.

Cox, 39, and Durrow, 40, both of Los Angeles, also organize a Mixed Roots Literary and Film Festival during the annual celebration of Loving Day, the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned laws against interracial marriage.

Both women are actresses who identify as multiracial, making them part of the fastest growing demographic in the country. They were up for the same part 10 years ago and viewed each other as competition, but their shared racial identity eventually drew them together and led them to collaborate on a nascent cultural phenomenon -- dialogue about multiracial identity in America.

However, experts say it is unclear what the political implications of this population growth will be. In particular, there are questions as to the impact on single-race minority groups, as people move from identifying as one race to more than one.

The effect these changes will have on federal efforts to tabulate data on minority populations is uncertain--and remains so today, says Terri Ann Lowenthal, a former staff director for the House Subcommittee on Census and Population.

There's also tremendous uncertainty over whether mixed-race voters will develop into a cohesive voting bloc.

“(Mixed race) is hard to make a movement around," said Durrow. "We are all mixed with different things."

Each week, Cox and Durrow tackle issues surrounding being mixed race in their live podcast. “Mixed race is not something new, people just weren’t able to talk about it,” said Cox. “We just want to talk about it.”