1000% Me: Growing up Mixed
The BIG Book Club ended its first year with the movie “1000% Me: Growing up Mixed”. According to the HBO release of the official trailer, “In 1000% Me: Growing Up Mixed, Emmy Award-winning comedian W. Kamau Bell explores growing up mixed race in today’s America. The @HBO Original documentary premiered May 2 on @HBOMax. #GrowingUpMixedHBO”,
To view the official trailer, and the above quote, click on this link:
We were impressed with the intelligence and thoughtfulness that the children displayed while talking about their mixed-race heritages. One of our members commented on how, when she was a child, children her age were just told to be quiet. Another noted that race was not something the family discussed, ever. In contrast, the kids in the movie confidently discussed their experiences as mixed race children.
Our group members commented on how these children chose to identify, not always by their racial heritage but by their interests and activities. One child said she is a mix of “all my fun animals” and then listed her stuffed toys. Another child stated, “I have to figure out my identity, where I fit in. I identify as a basketball player.” A third child said, “People ask ‘what are you? Black or Asian?’ I say: I’m me, and I like being me”. The use of role models was brought up as a means to developing identity. One child said she holds Alicia Keys as a model, and feels the “importance of seeing someone like me”.
Various children in the film mentioned a few times that race was generally brought up by the other person – as one child pointed out: “It’s very fun for people who aren’t mixed race to talk with us to learn how we feel.” One of our group wondered: “Why do others care what race anyone is? Is it just curiosity? Or is there more to it?”
Our group noted that the film included only families from the San Francisco Bay area (a highly diverse region), of upper middle-class economic situations, and with a higher level of education than is average in the United States. We wondered how this might have impacted the children’s comments regarding their mixed race heritage.
The BIG Book Club will resume in September, so watch the BIG newsletter for updates.