Mixed Me!

Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs and illustrated by Shane W. Evans

We have the following critiques

We do not recommend this book for white families to read to their white children about difference. We also do not recommend this book to white adults to read to the kids of color in their lives. Particularly, Black children. This book uses food ("...there are so many flavors to savor and taste!", "rich cream and honey", "I'm a combo plate!", "my mom and dad say I'm a blend", "we mixed you perfectly, and got you JUST RIGHT!", etc.) as a reference to describe mixed-race people. It's offensive, dehumanizing, fetishizing, and cliché when white people (and folks that don't belong to the community they are attempting to describe) refer to People of Color (particularly, Black folx) in this way.  


Instead of being sweet, we found the "mixed-up" theme throughout the book overdone, trite, and reductive: Mike's two different colored eyes, two different style shoes, two different colored socks, two different colored wristbands, shirts with two different halves, pants with different colored pockets, skateboard with two different wheel colors, etc. 


There are instances in the book where fetishizing, anti-Blackness, and colorism come into play: "I'm a beautiful blend of dark and light, I was mixed up perfectly, and I'm JUST RIGHT!" Most people have this belief that mixed people all look exactly the same way: light-skin skin, loose curly hair, and light-colored eyes. There are a lot of memes about folx wanting to have mixed-race children simply for this aesthetic. Adults proclaim that this kind of child is the most beautiful. There are a number of problems with this kind of fetishization. Expecting multiracial children to all look one way not only homogenizes a large group of people, but it is steeped in Eurocentric beauty standards, anti-Blackness, and exotification.


The book uses an ableist slur to describe Mike's hair.


Black hair has historically faced scrutiny and policing, so we appreciate when Mike declares, "And if they care too much about my hair that it's not straight enough, I say, "It's MY HAIR, don't touch!"


We wish the book would've spoke to the general, society-wide patterns of discrimination against dark-skinned people that are systemic, institutional, and have tangible, measurable effects in the world and in people's lives instead of dismissively asserting, "Why pick only one color or face? Why pick one race?"



We are loath to describe individuals of mixed-raced, biracial, multiracial, and multiethnic identity as simply "mixed". It's reductive and racist. The language surrounding multiracial people has long borrowed from the vocabulary of animal husbandry: mutts, purebreds, half-breeds. Indigenous, Black, and/or People of Color are not animals. 



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