reviewed

I just came across a bad review of Mulatto Diaries: The Movie on a blog http://www.losangelista.com/2009/06/black-biracial-mixed-white-other.html.  Here’s an excerpt…

Her film is called the Mulatto Diaries, and sadly…Tiffany rubbed me the wrong way. She, and a few of the other biracial folks she interviewed in her film, came across like she believes on some level that being black means being ghetto, stupid, uneducated, lazy,uncultured, not being able to speak correct English and not having class or manners.

I am shocked that one could come away from the film with this impression.  Yes, there are clips of me and the interviewees saying that at one time or another a black person/some black people have called us out for not being black enough. What does this mean if not that to some degree, which they find unsatisfactory, we do not ascribe to some stereotypical idea of being black?  I’d really like to know.  There is also a clip of me saying that for me the shame of this biracialness was heightened at the times when I was uncomfortable with my blackness.  That discomfort was shameful.  Not the blackness.

I think my point often is that I know firsthand that blackness indeed is not about donning the stereotypical garb of rap music and ebonics, but embracing the rich and difficult history that led to my being alive.  Here in this country.  Today.  Blessed with so much.  It is only because I am proud of my blackness and secure in my blackness, that I am able to say without shame and in a loud voice that I am also white.  I am proud of who I am and who I am is equal parts both.  It may seem like I go on and on about this.  To an extreme.  Beating a dead horse.  Protesting too much this one drop rule.  But I am trying to make up for hundreds of years of silence.  This silence which I believe has contributed somehow to these negative depictions of blackness and to some illusory idea of the grandeur of whiteness.  I may not always find the way to say exactly what I mean.  I do not know what I am doing.  I only know that I am doing.  I am doing with good intentions.  I am trying to free us all (black, white, mixed, whatever) from the boxes which I believe hold us back from reaching the great heights intended for us.

smashcolorline

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15 thoughts on “reviewed

  1. Tiff, that was deep. Seriously. Thank you.

    “I think my point often is that I know firsthand that blackness indeed is not about donning the stereotypical garb of rap music and ebonics, but embracing the rich and difficult history that led to my being alive.”

    I get back to this central point over and over myself. Embracing the rich and difficult history that led to my being alive.

  2. Don’t be dismayed by this review. Everybody won’t get it they way that you intend it. I think I have said on here before that I didn’t get it, but now, I understand. For the most part. Blackness for me doesn’t have much to do with history, its about my reality. It is about my mother’s food, my grandmothers superstitions, the Howard vs. Grambling State Games, bands, step-shows, HBCUs, sororities and fraternities, my doctors, my teachers, my neighbors, my life. If some of the things that I enjoy about my Blackness are considered stereotypical, so what? That’s not my problem. And I say the same thing to you. Other people’s opinions about you are none of your business.

    Peace and Blessings

  3. wow ! i am schocked that someone would even make a statement like that about you Tiffany, but then coming back down to reality…there is always someone who does not understand the Biracial culture, and how Biracial people are classified and discriminated as. Even biracial people among other biracial people have had different experiences all depending on their background, because there is a difference in my family from my dads white family and my moms black family. I was raised with my black family, but i am fair skinned and i was always judge by my peers that i was too white to have a black mother. It can be vice versa, being too light or to dark…too white too black. reguardless it is all ignorant you are what you are, which is biracial with both black and white parents in my case, speaking of mulattoes in general. Your opinion and experience is not right or wrong it is reality that you have lived through and how people judge you. She was ignorant to have made that statement.

  4. Where can I view ” Mulatto Diaries.” I’m dying to see it in it’s entirety.

  5. I think the author and her cosigners already made up their minds about you as soon as they learned you identify as being black AND white. But there’s plenty of people who see you as you are.

  6. Tami, Valara, Candy, Erica, Ronquel, and Kareem,

    Thank you so much for your support! It means a lot to me!!

    Ronquel, I’ll put it up on youtube eventually. It’s going to be shown at another film festival in august and I’m submitting to a few more. Once that’s all done I’ll make it public. Thank you so much for your interest!

  7. Tiffany,
    I understand what you are getting at in your work, and I think it’s terrific, and very very important too.

    Your work is a wonderful, positive and accessible contribution in what is a minefield of potential misunderstanding, and unfortunately it seems some people cannot grasp what you are saying; they read into your work their own agendas, misconceptions and prejudices, and sometimes you will be blamed for the views of others.

    But keep going strong. I believe you are correct in your central assertions on issues of racial identity, I believe your work is very important, and I think you do it all very well. And I certainly appreciate it, and I’m sure others do too, and I imagine many more will come to do so. Very well done. And thank-you.

  8. Tiffany,

    It is true there might be points in your videos about which someone is unsure of your intent or of the intent of an interviewee/where a comment comes off wrong. For instance, if a person said she wished she were White at one point in her life, this could mean she thought of Black as inferior. Or, it could mean that she grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and, as children/teenagers are especially prone to do, she wished to simply be like everyone else or fit in. Had it been a predominantly Black neighborhood the opposite might have been true.

    However, my hunch is that the woman who wrote the negative post in many ways heard what she wanted to hear or what fit into her existing thoughts. She would not be unique in doing this. Much hunch is that, notwithstanding her proclamation of being open about her mixedness, she still has issues with the degree to which one should be open with this. You are, more than anything, apparently guilty of too strongly asserting your European heritage (e.g., Irish). This leads to the standard challenges with respect to your “real” motives (e.g., Running from your Blackness, You just wanna be White, etc.). That the woman more or less ended with the fact that her husband is part White (from back in the 19th century) but he’s still Black, period, is telling.

  9. I feel I must chime in here to defend LosAngelista’s review. In one sense she has as much right to her feelings about the movie (which I have not seen I hasten to add) as you do about your work. Let us all become detached here for a moment and view it as simply another movie out there – perhaps a tad more controversial or thought provoking than many mainstream movies. Designed perhaps to summon up uncomfortable emotions, to provide a conduit for sorely needed dialogue. We are all to an extent defined by our life experiences which may color our perceptions; this need not trivialize our gut reactions. I find it interesting that you are distressed by dissenting views – are all people expected to view life from your point of view and embrace it, ignoring their own reactions and experiences? Surely you would allow for dissenting opinions? We are not monolithic by any means. I could add here that LosAngelista’s (blog) of which I am a long term reader is a balanced, honest, wise and often witty one in a blogosphere saturated with meaningless chatter; or that were you to read her entries or writing to any degree you would also come to respect her voice and ideals as I do. But perhaps it is better that I stick to the obvious – she has every right to her opinion, as you do.

  10. Lili, at the same time, if you & Los Angelista were to watch Tiff’s videos/visit her blog religiously as I do & many others, then you guys would not only understand, but also respect her views as we do. And not be too quick to judge.
    It is one thing to express your own opinion, but to also take something & twist it in a way that MISREPRESENTS a person. I would’nt say that she’s distressed by all of this, but she definitely has every right to defend her point of view. Especially in this case. Especially, above everything else, on her blog.

  11. i checked out the link.

    the irony in this is, that LosAngelista rubbed me the wrong way.

    in the comments, she even admits to not spending time watching your vids, when Fanshen replied back defending your movie.

    honestly losangelista doesnt sound like someone id really want to talk about race with.

    her blogpost just seemed to be too hateful and judgmental.

    and i admit, when i first came across your vlogs, i was elated and a little cautious. caused i found mixed chicks chats just wasnt my speed. and i found your vlogs most helpful tiffany although, sometimes i dont necessarily agree with what you say on some things.

    even though i have a white mom and my dad has never been in my life, and i also had a somewhat different mulatto experience, i felt i could still relate more to what you dealt with. it sometimes seems like you say what im thinking.

    one of the things that losangelista said in her blog that annoyed me was that we are all human. i just dont like the whole “colorblind, everyone is equal” theory. i feel that is just a form of socially acceptable racism, because it condones covert racist and even some overt racist actions. it prevents people from addressing issues within each race. and it keeps people from facing reality.

    i guess one’s opinion of a vlog/blog will be based on their own experiences. ive always stated that mixed people have it the hardest when it comes to relating to each other, because mixed people can identify in 4 ways (they can say they are just white, or just black, or just mixed, or they can be all 3 whenever they choose to be), and then on top of that, where one was raised, who was in their life, and how they were raised, will shape out their experiences.

    i really hope you post your movie sometime on youtube, id really like to check it out.

  12. Hello Tiffany, I just want to say I have not viewed your movie, however I have watched many of your youtube videos. I must say I admire them and watch them all the time. I hope you will make more. Your honesty is what intrigues me and I am a black male who is very interested in these issues. Your work is important and very much needed. So keep it up in what ever way you choose. I never got the impression that you were saying the black is bad in any way. Your theater background I think helps with your authenticity when you deliver your product. I am also from Michigan GO BLUE! Good luck in your future endeavors.

  13. WELL IM A PROUD BLACKMAN! AND I WAS OFFENDED BY TIFFANYS MOVIE AND HER VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE! ITS CLEAR THAT THIS MULATTO GIRL HAS SOME SERIOUS ISSUES ABOUT HER OWN RACIAL HERITAGE AND RACE IN GENERAL, SAYING HER BLACKMOTHER TOLD HER NOT TO TRUST BLACKWOMEN BECAUSE THEY WILL HATE HER BECAUSE OF HER SO CALLED GOODHAIR, IM GLAD SHE STOP MAKING THESE RACIST ASS VIDEOS, AND IM GOING TO START A VLOG TO TRY AND EXPOSE THIS WOMAN FOR WHO SHE IS A SELFHATING RACIST MULATTO WOMAN WHO HATES HER BLACK HERITAGE AND BLACK PEOPLE PERIOD!

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