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Mixed: My Life in Black and White
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Mixed: My Life in Black and White

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  399 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
“Tell anyone who asks that you’re half-black and half-white, just like David Hasselhoff from Knight Rider.”–Angela’s mother

“Love has no color,” insist Angela Nissel’s parents, but does it have a clue? In this candid, funny, and poignant memoir, Angela recounts growing up biracial in Philadelphia–moving back and forth between black inner-city schools and white prep schools–
Paperback, 228 pages
Published January 30th 2006 by Villard Books
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This started out really lighthearted and fun with the author detailing her & her family's many misadventures preadolescence. I admittedly had a few gigglefits here and there. Suddenly, the tone shifted and I found myself reading an entirely different book.

I applaud the author for sharing her experience with depression as well as her struggles with her identity but sometimes I felt like she needed to just live and not care what anyone thought about her racial identity. Then again, people are
Mar 25, 2013 Tia rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that makes me wonder where it's been all my life, and why I couldn't read it 20 years ago. It was recommended to me by a white friend a few years ago because she thought I'd relate to it. Also she said it was hilarious. I regret not picking it up sooner.

My experience as a mixed girl was completely opposite of Angela's, but I still identified with a lot of her emotions. I still went through trying desperately to fit in somewhere, and even cashed in on my "exotic" look a
Jan 21, 2008 Sherese rated it really liked it
I read Angela Nissel's Broke Diaries several years ago, and I thought she had a knack for writing. She keeps it real, is willing to think out of the box and take chances in life meanwhile maintaining her wittiness and sense of humor. I had no idea she was mixed when I read her first book, but I came across this book at the bookstore earlier this year and picked up the book immediately because I thought the woman on the cover looked exactly like a younger cousin of mine. Mrs. Nissel did not disap ...more
Jun 11, 2010 Leslie rated it really liked it
I've been meaning to read this book for a while for exactly two reasons:

First, because the author, Angela Nissel, wrote for and co-produced "Scrubs."

And second, because Halle Berry recommended it. Granted, I don't usually agree with Halle Berry when it comes to movies or romantic partners; but from now on, I'm gonna have to listen her literary advice because this memoir is wonderful! It's funny, smart, poignant, insightful, complex -- just great writing overall. I'm not black, white, or black an
Feb 09, 2009 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
I've read Angela Nissel's The Broke Diaries which is hilarious story after hilarious story of how to get by without much money. (perfect for college students, or anyone in this economy!) While this book is pretty funny as well, it gets serious about race and the impact that being bi-racial has on a person's self-identity. It was interesting to read this in the context of our new President being bi-racial. I learned at the end of the book that the author is a writer on Scrubs. That explained a to ...more
Nov 28, 2007 Matt rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Hilarious and provocative. I like to think of myself as being pretty racially sensitive but this book really made me think of some racial issues I hadn't considered before. I love Angela Nissel.

It's interesting how a lot of the anecdotes in this book were around the same time period as her other memoir, Broke. And yet this book tells a whole other story. Kind of makes you re-think the memoir genre. Hello, James Frey.
Amberdenise Puckett
Dec 23, 2008 Amberdenise Puckett rated it it was amazing
As a biracial woman, growing up different was a struggle even in So. Florida. Angela Nissel's book was wonderful! It helped me realize that I'm not alone. I know that sounds corny, but really I was able to relate to the entire first half of her book. Her college years were much crazier than mine, but her childhood was like looking in a mirror. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!
Jan 23, 2011 Shawna rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
I have been looking for this book since I read Broke Diaries and I was thrilled to finally get my hands on it. This book wasn't as funny as Broke Diaries, but it was honest and lent a lot of insight on what it is like to have mixed racial heritage in American culture. Yeah! Angela, can't wait until you publish your next book.
Rushay Booysen
Jan 22, 2011 Rushay Booysen rated it really liked it
Very funny,light hearted read on Angela's identity issues.I love how she comically tells the tale of the issues she endured while also informing us about the issues mixed race people endure.While the focus of the book is on Angela it also microscopically zoom on what the parents go through.A poignant tale and definitely worth the read
Feb 01, 2008 Jenn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
this book is really, really amazing. the author uses humor to talk about the toll of being biracial in a society that can't deal with those of us who live in the borderlands. it's deep book and i highly recommend it.
Jan 10, 2009 Eireann rated it it was amazing
Angela Nissel has a great voice.
Dec 06, 2008 HeavyReader rated it it was ok
Shelves: life-stories
The front of this book tells us that Halle Berry called it "A hilarious must read." Well, I probably shouldn't argue with Ms. Berry (I mean, an actress knows good writing when she reads it, right?) but I would not call this book the least bit "hilarious." I would say "mildly amusing." I would admit that it did make me chuckle now and then, and I maybe laughed aloud once or twice. But I cannot agree with the adjective "hilarious."

I saw this book on the public library's diversity display as I was
Jan 20, 2009 Shannon rated it liked it
Adult/High School–As a light-skinned child born to a black mother and a white father, Nissel has constantly grappled with the question of racial identity. Growing up in West Philadelphia during the 1970s and '80s, she came of age trying to figure out who she was and where she fit. She encountered bullies and interesting friends and teachers, and experienced the turmoil of race-conscious dating. She had a bout of depression while in college, and took on a variety of odd jobs, including one night ...more
Donna Lewis
Mar 26, 2017 Donna Lewis rated it liked it
An interesting look at the identity problems of an interracial woman growing up in Philadelphia, including living in black neighborhoods and white neighborhoods; going to white schools and going to black schools. For this author, these issues seem to have resolved themselves as she is a successful author, married to a great guy. I am hoping that her humor has been her saving grace, because her earlier issues were sad and heartbreaking.
Oct 13, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it
Every American should read this book. Angie's memoir on growing up in the USA half black and half white gives a perspective you wouldn't have on your own. Unless you are half back/half white- in that case I think you'll still like this book. Angie is hilarious. My son was battling leukemia and I just needed something to make me laugh. Her last book had me laughing so hard, so I sought her out. She did not disappoint. This s book is much more serious, and I appreciate what she taught me. I really ...more
~Nadia~♥When It Rains, Look For Rainbows, When Its Dark Look For Stars♥~
I really did like this book, just in a different way than the Broke Diaries. The Broke Diaries was meant to be funny, but Mixed wasn't. Some parts were though. In Mixed, she explains what it felt to grow up biracial, and even though I'm not biracial, I understand what she meant. Though some of the things she did to "find her racial identity" were completely outrageous, I know some people who would've done the same exact thing, and they're darker than I am, and I'm dark-skinned.
Sep 14, 2013 ❤♥♔Nia♔♥❤ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: black-books, memoir
A lot of people who write memoirs, don't give the whole truth, or try to sugarcoat it. But life isn't a walk in the park and Angela Nissel says it, loud and clear.
I like that she shows her insecurities, says her opinions, oblivious to others comments about hers, and stands up for herself (or not). You can really feel what her life experience was like, and the (sometimes?) racist parts of it.
Quinesia Johnson
5 Stars

This memoir receives a 5 stars, instead of 4, simply because it is a baring of soul like no other. She holds back nothing, revealing the depth of her weakness and cowardice growing up in such a way you're almost disgusted. But, each personal account deserves an ear. Nissel shares her biracial perspective with such humor and honesty, that it can only be applauded. 5 stars to Nissel.
Nov 20, 2012 V rated it really liked it
Started reading this book while cataloging & couldn't put it down. I felt as if I were reading the story of a sister-friend; her feelings, thoughts, questions became my own. Though I may not be able to pinpoint my diverse heritage as easily as Nissel, I do understand trying to figure out where you belong when it seems like there's always something that prevents total acceptance into a group.
Christina Rothschild
Sep 22, 2007 Christina Rothschild rated it really liked it
It's funny--I recommend it.

A review on the book jacket describes this book as being a narrative about growing up mixed that David Sedaris might have written, if he were a biracial, straight female. It's a quick, fun read.

Angela Nissel was a writer for the show Scrubs, where she is now a producer.

Check her out on her myspace page or at
Nov 03, 2010 Peacegal rated it it was ok
Despite the fact that a blurb on the cover suggests the author is a female version of David Sedaris, Mixed isn’t really a humorous book. While there are a few chuckles, I found many of the chapters more sad than anything else, as the author struggles with prejudice and finding her own identity.
Jul 30, 2008 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies, humor
Angela Nissen gives us a humorous, never self-pitying look at the often rude reactions of people of all races toward herself as biracial child and teen. Young Angela bounces from one culture to another, usually depending on other people's attitudes but occasionally based on her own perceptions and desires.
Jun 08, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it
I liked this book and appreciate her honest story. If you wonder what it's like to be biracial in America, this will give you some answers and will leave you with some questions as well. I wish we knew more about her father, but I suppose this wasn't the time.
Mar 05, 2010 Eva rated it liked it
I was surprised at how little I identified with this book. I figured that, while our families were different, we would have had similar experiences. Not so much.

It was an entertaining read, and it's good to hear about the experiences of other "mixed" kids, so for that I give it three stars.
Jadayshea Bufford
Dec 24, 2009 Jadayshea Bufford rated it liked it
This book was very interesting an she talks about her life growing being white and black. It make you understand what sheexspirenced in being mixed the goodness of it an also the hardness of being from two sets of religions.
Kalyani B.
Jun 18, 2013 Kalyani B. rated it it was ok
Definitely food for thought, but not really full enough to help me come to a conclusion...about how to support multiracial children and friends, how to raise my multiracial son. Her childhood was covered well, but it seemed to become fractured in her college years, losing the narrative.
Definitely not as funny as Nissel's first book, The Broke Diaries, which made me laugh out loud. Still, an interesting and humorous look at what it's like to be a young person with a mixed racial background in America.
Aug 06, 2007 Andrea rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I expected more from this book. Having been a writer from Scrubs, I thought it would contain more humor, but perhaps I just couldn't identify. I might want to read her previous book "The Broke Diaries" and if I don't like that, it must be her style of writing that I just don't click with.
I liked this book. It gave great personal examples of comments/actions of people that greatly affect mixed-race people, even though the offender is often unaware. I did expect this book to be humorous, based on its reviews. There were some parts that were amusing, but it was not a humor book.
Sep 24, 2007 Jenny rated it liked it
Sometimes interesting memoir about a television writer of mixed race.
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Angela Nissel is author of the national best-selling comedic memoirs The Broke Diaries and Mixed. In addition to books, she is a co-executive producer and writer for NBC's medical sitcom Scrubs and executive producer of an in-development television project with Halle Berry and Vincent Cirricionne.

Angela was born a lower-middle class light-brown child in Philadelphia. She even stayed in that fair
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