A few months ago a local bookstore, Rainy Day Books, invited author Heidi W. Durrow to talk about her new book and what it means to be mixed race. Her book, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, is one part story of a girl going through an unspeakable family tragedy and one part story about a girl having to come to terms of who she is on the outside. "What are you?" peers ask of her and for the first time in her life she's having to explain who she is to these people. I enjoyed the book in so far as it was refreshing to read a modern telling of the struggles mixed children go through in modern society. Yes we had Nella Larsen's Passing, but I really don't feel that I can identify with the illicit affair of "passing" or living through the Harlem Renaissance.
Just recently, The New Yorker sat down with Durrow to talk about her new book and the various other organizations she is a part of dealing with mixed race in modern American society. Below is a quote I pulled that was rather telling.
Most importantly, it feels like we’re breaking the silence around this thing called race—refusing to accept the boxes we’ve been put in and celebrating the complicated story of who we are. Now, when people ask me “What are you?”—I joke and say I am an Afro-Viking, but the truest answer is: “I am a story.”
Read the full New Yorker article here.