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What Are You?: Voices of Mixed-Race Young People
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What Are You?: Voices of Mixed-Race Young People

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  142 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In the past three decades, the number of interracial marriages in the United States has increased by more than 800 percent. Now over four million children and teenagers do not identify themselves as being just one race or another.

Here is a book that allows these young people to speak in their own voices about their own lives.

What Are You? is based on the interviews the aut
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 15th 1999 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published June 1st 1999)
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Jun 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As a biracial person, this is the book I yearned to have when I was growing up but which sadly did not exist. As a school librarian working with a large community of mixed race children, it was one of the first books I made sure to have available on my library shelves.

What I found most valuable about it was the sheer diversity of the young people's backgrounds and experiences, from the highly positive to the highly negative (often within the same lifetime). In a country that still - even given o
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Kerima McLucas

What are you?:Voices of mixed-race young people is a very eye-opening book. Pearl Gaskins has been able to bring together emotional, inner thoughts of many different mixed-race young adults. Issues in family life, dating, prejudice and multi-cultures are revealed in meaningful words of young people; young people who question how race is so impossible to handle by so many people. Inside the collection, Michael Logan explains that he doesn’t “fit” into a particular race
Jun 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
A collection of essays and personal stories about the experiences of young adults of mixed racial backgrounds. There were a lot of good insights here, and this is a great book to read through if you are interested in racial issues, adolescent development, identity issues, or race politics in America.
Oct 21, 2010 marked it as to-read
As the White parent of biracial sons, I often wonder what my sons will experience growing up. And I often feel completely unprepared to be a parent of mixed-race children. I have studied diversity for many years, pushed myself on my own issues, and tried to listen with an open heard and mind to the stories of people from different racial backgrounds. I have benefited a great deal from this, and not just as a parent, but as a professional in the mental health and educations fields and, most impor ...more
Jan 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a well-done compilation of the perspectives of mixed-race young people. In a way, this was better than "Half + Half" because the p.o.v. isn't being filtered through memory and writer's craft. Don't get me wrong, the writing is thoughtful and tight. [It's not like grading a bunch of high school essays.] But, it's rare for an adult to present something without layers of information and bright, sparkly persuasiveness. What these young writers reveal is closer to the experience, so it's a bi ...more
Diana Welsch
Sep 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Several dozen young people (approximately ages 14-28) of mixed heritage tell their stories. I kind of got the idea that the older writers were dumbing down their writing style to make it easier for younger people to read.

This book was interesting enough. It did get a little repetetive after awhile. There were only so many of these young people who had something new or interesting to say about the mixed-race experience. If they had cut out the parts that had aleady been said earlier in the book,
Oct 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mixed-race
This book made the whole mixed race discussion seem very dated. I agree with another reviewer's complaint that these "testimonials" got a little repetitive. Far be it from me to suggest that there's "only so much" that can be said about the multiracial experience, but...maybe there's only so much that a bunch of 16-24 year olds in the 90s can say.
Apr 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting, though it gets a bit redundant. I also found myself wondering if it would have been a better idea to leave the entire interview together rather than splitting them all up to have themed chapters (e.g. on benefits and drawbacks of being biracial).
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
The manual to navigating American society that I wish I had growing up in the 90s and pre-Tumblr era.
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good read for biracial kids. true stories.
Daniel Morgan
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: race
This book is a really powerful resource for multiracial young people. I was blown away by the sheer breadth and diversity of this book. The 45 contributing authors range from 14 to 28 (mostly 18-25), come from all over the US, and from a variety of racial and family backgrounds. There probably over 100 essays in this 250 page book; each reflection is generally only 4 pages at most, and some are just a few paragraphs.

Some contributors wrote about their whole lives; some reflected on a single exp
Cara Young
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was life-changing for me because it was the only book of its kind published/available when I was growing up. It was published in 1999 so it is overdue for an edition that reflects the realities/experiences of youth today-but reading this made me feel seen and understood for the first time in my life.
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