SAN MATEO — “Being Blackanese: The Evolving Embrace of Self and Community” will be held Friday, Nov. 18, at the College Center (Building 10), Room 194, at College of San Mateo, 1700 W. Hillsdale Dr., San Mateo.
Program from 6:30 to 8 p.m.; reception with light refreshments from 8 to 9 p.m.
This event brings together an award-winning literary artist, a scholar activist, and an independently published author in an examination and affirmation of Black Japanese American life. The “Blackanese” experience – of a world where divisiveness remains common and cultural ambiguity can equate to invisibility within one’s own communities – will be exposed through readings, presentations and Q&A.
Alyss Dixon will read from “The Club,” her short fiction piece about Ai, a determined Black Japanese girl who decides to sneak a ride on her father’s old Harley until an encounter with a thief puts her between fear of the stranger and fear of her dad’s punishment.
Frederick Cloyd will read selections from his memoir, “Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific,” covering his struggles as a half-Black Japanese boy born of an African American military father and those of his mother, who was looked down upon for having a child by an American, as well as his life as an Amerasian after migrating to the United States.
Ramon Calhoun will read excerpts from his independently published novel “Blackanese Boy,” the coming-of-age story of Rafael Halifax. Raised by a single mother, Rafael tries to cope with and understand the complexity of his mixed identity, born of his Japanese American mother and Black father, an infrequent yet powerful presence in his life.
The readings will be followed by a Q&A session facilitated by Dr. Frederick Gaines, chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies at CSM.
Free admission. Visitor parking is $2. For more information, email KomoEvents@gmail.com.