Archive for the oakland Category

Happy Mixed-Hair News!

Posted in oakland on November 3, 2010 by jerlina

I don’t have so many hair issues now that I have dreads but I used to. I had big, curly, mixed-girl hair which was hell to maintane. Finding a hair stylist was part of the drama- no one, black or white, seemed to know anything about how to style and de-frizz my hair. So at last I found a truely multicultural salon which services every hair type. And they are really good! Can you imagine going to a hair salon where there are people of different races getting their hair curled, straightened, colored, cut and washed right next to each other? It’s almost unbeleivable considering that salons are more segregated than churches. So the name of the place is Hair Play, the owner Fritz looks like a mixed dude, they are in the Mission in San Francisco and here is a link to their website:

Secondly, when I was living in New York I randomly found a miracle product for curley hair. It is expensive as hell but I was never happier with my hair. It’s leave in conditioner made by Modern Organic Product. Here’s a link to their stuff:


Summer Camp for Multiracial/ Transracial Adoptee Kids

Posted in oakland on October 10, 2010 by jerlina

Of course Oakland has a summer camp targeting kids from multiracial families. I don’t think I would have wanted to go to something like this when I was a kid since there were a billion mixed kids at my schools in Oakland and Alameda, so being mixed felt like nothing special. However, it still might have been good for me over the long run. Here’s a link to their website:

Mixed Men I Know

Posted in oakland on September 25, 2010 by jerlina

I ran into this guy tonight who is really cool and strikingly mixed. His name is Jabali Sawicki and he is a principle at a charter school for boys in Brooklyn. It was interesting because he told me that a mutual friend of ours was helping him produce a documentary on black male teachers. When he said it I started scanning my mind for people I know who fit that description. It didn’t cross my mind until this moment that he probably thinks that he fits that description. Well, here’s a pretty cool video about Jabali:

(None of this will make much sense unless you watch the video). So this returns me to my post on why it’s better for mixed people to identify as mixed. Jabali is Nols’ and Summer Search’s poster child for black male success but he hardly looks black and he was raised by his white mother. Might that have to do with his own success? Perhaps.  At least maybe a little bit.

So another mixed man I know is Miles Tarver. Miles and his brother Mitchell were both in a dream I had a few days ago, I was in a thrift shop and the gr… I won’t get into it here, it’s not so important. Well Mitchell and Miles are my god brothers and although they pretty much look Italian or maybe, just maybe Mexican, they too are half African American and half white. Like me! Miles was a basketball star in high school and went onto the University of Minnesota where he continued to play. Good for him! Here’s what I found when I googled Miles (I couldn’t find anything on Mitchell).

Another mixed man I know is my very own brother. He’s a yoga instructor, waiter at a vegan restaurant  and entrepreneur. He doesn’t identify as mixed but I don’t care. This is a link to his website:

My brother Jewel’s on the left followed by two more mixed men I know- Bryan is half white/half Indian and Jarett is half white/ half Puerto Rican. My uncle is on the far right.

My other blog, my other life

Posted in oakland on August 28, 2010 by jerlina

I want to confess that I have a life beyond thinking about being a mixed person. That life is highlited on my other blog Check it out and leave a comment!

Mulatto Devils Invade my Brain

Posted in oakland on August 4, 2010 by jerlina

Two nights ago I dreamt about this little mixed girl living in Scotland who was highlighted on the documentary that I posted below. The documentary painted such a tragic picture of her- so beautiful, so smart and so alone. In my dream I was crying about her and I couldn’t shake this sadness all morning. It gradually shifted to feeling bad about myself. In my head the thoughts began to spiral into “you don’t fit in anywhere!” “You should move to Liverpool or at least Oakland where there are other people like you.” “You are so alone! No one understands you!” Needless to say it was horrible.  Well this was an episode of my ruminative thinking- I get on a subject and my mind spins it until my mind is exhausted. This time, however, I decided to try a new tactic. During lunch I pulled out the new book I’m reading to try and distract myself from the mulatto devils who’d invaded my brain. It worked.

I am now curious about these creatures of the mind. The more I look into this mixed race stuff the more I find that alienation is a common psychological experience for mixed people. Certainly it is connected with our social experiences of feeling out of place or excluded but what is interesting to me now is their psychological impact such as depression, paranoia and/or  low self esteem. I’m not at all suggesting that all mixed people experience these mental states but what is unique and interesting is how often we place the responsibility of these mental states on our racial identities (or lack there of).

A Race Talk with Grandpa

Posted in oakland on July 26, 2010 by jerlina

I just got back from visiting my grandparents and attempted my first conversation about being mixed with my grandpa who is ethnically Scottish Canadian. We’ve never spoken about race and even this conversation was muddled and indirect but what I got out of it was that he is absolutely clueless about race (like most white men seem to be) and that he loves me a whole bunch. I initiated the conversation by suggesting that it has been hard for me and my brother to be biracial because we have a hard time fitting in but he went on a long tangent about Collin Powell and black politics and it didn’t make much sense but I tried to follow this 94 year old man talk about a subject he knows nothing about. I will confess that he used the word gross in reference to biracialism but then later suggested that as people become more accepting of difference that there will be more people like me and Jewel (my brother). Ok, so he is inconsistent which was a relief. There I was, this dreadlocked brown skinned zen gardener trying to talk about race with my grandpa who was born a hundred years ago when racism was legal but inter-racial marriage wasn’t. Anyway, it was an event worth recording- our first talk about race. Wow.


Posted in oakland on July 14, 2010 by jerlina

I do NOT miss having to comb my hair. What a nightmare.