Samira Mehta, scholar of religion and the politics of the American Family and Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies, and Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder will speak about her new book “The Racism of People Who Love You; Essays on Mixed Race Belonging” (Beacon Press, January 10, 2023) at the Boulder JCC on Wednesday, January 25.
The book is described as “an unflinching look at the challenges and misunderstandings mixed-race people face in family spaces and intimate relationships across their varying cultural backgrounds.” Mehta will be in conversation with Jennifer Ho, the Director of the Center for Humanities & Arts at CU, and professor of Ethnic Studies.
“I am particularly interested in how families create meaning; about their practices, identities, and senses of morality,” says Mehta. Her latest book is a blend of memoir, cultural criticism, theory, scholarship, and reflection on the many facets of being multiracial.
Born to a white American and a South Asian immigrant, Mehta grew up feeling more comfortable with her mother’s family than her father’s—they never carried on conversations in languages she couldn’t understand or blamed her for finding the food was too spicy. In adulthood, she realized that some of her Indian family’s assumptions about the world had become an indelible part of her—and that her well-intentioned parents had not known how to prepare her for a world that would see her as a person of color.
Popular belief assumes that mixedness allows you to feel at home in more than one culture, but the flipside shows you can feel just as alienated in those spaces. In 7 essays that dissect her own experiences with a frankness tempered by generosity, Mehta confronts questions about:
- authenticity and belonging
- conscious and unconscious cultural inheritance
- appropriate mentorship
- the racism of people who love you
The Racism of People Who Love You invites people of mixed race into the conversation on race in America and the melding of found and inherited cultures of hybrid identity.
The book discussion will be from 6:30 -7:30 pm followed by an opportunity to connect and unpack the conversation with refreshments and book signing from 7:30 to 8 pm.
Boulder Bookstore will be selling the book at the event and online in advance.
Advance Registration is always recommended.