When it came to finding a topic for Your Story Here, Toronto Metropolitan University’s radio production mentorship, it was obvious. I listen to a lot of NPR, especially Code Switch. Come to think of it, Code Switch might be the whole reason why I even got into modern broadcasting.
It resonates not just creatively, but on a personal level. They dive into topics like the social dynamics of multi-racial people, the allusive definition of “inclusion”, Latinidad amongst the various ethnic groups from Latin America, and many many other identity-driven conversations.
NPR obviously had folk like myself in mind when signing off on the Code Switch pitch: a mixed kid with parents from the Caribbean, despite not looking like the typical North American mental image of an “Island Boy“.
I am a byproduct of the colonial population movements throughout the Caribbean: direct and indirect genocide of Indigenous people, slave labour from West Africa, indentured labour from Asia, various ethnic groups escaping ostracism, opportunistic Europeans, etc., etc.
But most people don’t have the time, energy, or knowhow to research the complex history of my ancestral homelands. Which is fair seeing how some people can’t even figure out if they should include continental countries as a part of the Caribbean.
I’ve always felt “out of place” – seemingly not Caribbean enough due to my appearance but not Asian enough due to my upbringing. For context, I look mostly “Asian” (whatever that means LOL) but you’d have a hard time putting your finger on where exactly.
So I decided to use my mixedness as a conduit to investigate identity. And as an act of solidarity. I know that I’m not a unique case, so I wanted to investigate how others’ are navigating their own nonconforming existence.
That’s what birthed Beige Babies, a multigenerational approach to uncovering mixedness. I interviewed friends and family from multiple generations to chat about their personal journey towards self-acceptance.
As you can expect, everyone’s narrative was (and continues to be) unique. That’s the beauty of the whole thing.
And as our world continues to exchange cultures, traditions, and, frankly, DNA, we’ll be seeing more and more kids of mixed identity. I hope they have an easier time than I did. But just in case, I made this story.
Dear Beige Baby, your story is one no one can ever steal.
“Beige Babies” airing dates
Saturday, December 31st, 2022 – 4pm
Wednesday, January 4th, 2023 – 5pm (canceled)
Thursday, January 5th, 2023 – 6pm (added date)
Friday, January 6th, 2023 – 6pm (added date)
Saturday, January 7th, 2023 – 4pm
Wednesday, January 11th, 2023 – 5pm
Beige Babies Replay
Extended Interviews and Content