mixed roots report, day two

Even though I only got three hours of sleep, I couldn’t wait to get back to the festival Saturday morning.  For me, the day started with two workshops:  Mixed Race in Media Space: Tangible Ways to Voice Your Ideas and Concerns followed by Use It! Turning a Mixed Roots Experience into a Powerful Piece of Writing.  I got a lot out of both sessions.

Next was the Mixed in Hollywood panel discussion moderated by the wonderful Elliott Lewis author of Fade.  On the panel were Angel Nissel co-executive producer and writer for Scrubs/author of The Broke Diaries and Mixed,  and Karyn Parsons of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Sweet Blackberry Productions.  I filmed some of it and will have it on youtube pretty soon.


Another session of readings followed the panel discussion.  Unfortunately, I missed most of them (a girl’s got to eat), but really enjoyed what I did hear from Liberty Hultberg.

Readings were followed by screenings of In the Name of the Son, Parallel Adele, and….


The other films were great and it didn’t kill me to have to watch my big face in a semi-large group of people.  I liked listening to people watching it.  And, from what I can tell, they liked it! Phew!  There was a q&a afterwards, and seeing as I was the only director there, all of the questions were for me.  Thank God people had some questions to ask!  My mom filmed it and I intend to put that on youtube as well.  Pretty soon 🙂

My best friend from college, Sophina, (who was also my first biracial friend) came with some friends, as did my (step)sister Megan, and of course my mom was there and it was really just wonderful.


The event ended with Angela Nissel and Maria P.P. Root being award The Loving Prize for inspirational dedication to celebrating and illuminating the Mixed racial and cultural experience, followed by performances by the very talented Jordan Elgrably, Juliette Fairley, Kaypri, Jason Luckett, Lisa Marie Rollins, Jennifer Lisa Vest, Maija DiGiorgio, and Chris Williams.

Wow! What a line-up, what a weekend!  It all went by so quickly!  It was like a whole week of stuff packed into 2 days.  Heidi and Fanshen, I don’t know how you did it!  But I’m so grateful that you did!  Thank you for including me.


The weekend left me with lots of thoughts.  Some old, some new.  I’m still trying to process and incorporate and figure out what to do with it all.  But if I had to sum it up in one sentence, (today) it would be…

an idea whose time has come=stronger than all the armies

mixed roots report, day one


I wish I had been able to get this up sooner, but I needed a couple of days to process all of the magnificence that was the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival.  It was kind of magical.  I think I’d been waiting 32 years 7 months and 10 days to get to a place where everyone was like me and, without questions or explanations, understood who I am.  Not just half of who I am.

I arrived a little late and, after a warm welcome from Fanshen and Heidi, my mom and I rushed in to catch some screenings that were already in progress.  I really enjoyed Kim Noonan’s Running Dragon and Mike Peden’s What are you? A Dialogue on Mixed Race.  I missed Maija DiGiorgio’s excerpt from Hollywood Outlaw, but so enjoyed her q&a session and her live performance the following evening.  Such talent!  You can watch the whole movie on youtube at hollywoodoutlawmovie.  I did.  Brilliant!

Next were readings. After moving pieces by Tameko Beyer and an especially great essay by Susan Ito,  Jennifer Lisa Vest had the audience in tears with her beautiful poetry.  Here is a sample of her work not taken from the festival…

Finally, Danzy Senna read from her new memoir Where Did You Sleep Last Night? OMG, Danzy Senna!  If you read my “biracial books” post, you know I love her for Caucasia.  The reading was hilarious and meeting her was great!  I bought the book and can’t wait to read it.


That night was the Loving Day Celebration honoring the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in the Loving v. Virginia case that legalized interracial marriage nationwide.  It was so fun!  Meeting so many of the wonderful people I’ve connected with online in the last year was more gratifying than I had imagined it would be.  Having my mom and my (step)sister Megan there was icing on the cake.  There actually was cake.  It was good!  To be continued…