It’s amazing where private conversations with trusted friends will lead to. It’s no secret that I a remain critical about the ways in which discussions about multiraciality tend to focus on people who are mixed race white and (insert non-white racial/ethnic identity here). For Red & Yellow, Black & Brown: Decentering Whiteness in Mixed Race Studies (2017) Paul Spickard, Rudy Guevarra, and I co-edited this anthology to center the experience of those who are non-white mixed race people. Maraming salamat to the contributors of this important anthology. They include: Velina Hasu Houston, Janet C. Mendoza Stickmon, Veronica Castillo-Munoz, Jessica Vasquez-Tokos, Cristina M. Ortiz, Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, Rebecca Romo, Maharaj Raju Desai, Kaori Mori Want, Lily Anne Y. Welty Tamai, Terence Keel, and Nitasha Tamar Sharma.
I co-authored Is Lighter Better?: Skin-Tone Discrimination Among Asian Americans (2007) with my long-time friend and mentor, Paul Spickard. Though our names are on the cover, we did work with an incredible team of students at UC Santa Barbara. They include: Lilynda Agvateesiri, Monica Chum, Sara Cruz, Lila Dovan, Holly Hoegi, Karen Jackson, Lynn Kawabe, Christine Trieu, Charmaine Tuason, and Mey Year.
Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and Across the Pacific (2002) was the first publication I ever worked on. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, and before starting at UC Berkeley, I worked on this project with Paul Spickard and Debbie Hippolite-Wright. My first academic article, “The Filipino Question in Asian and Pacific Islander America: Rethinking Regional Origins in Diaspora” is in this anthology. Though the thank you list is quite long, I’d like to send special recognition to Vicente Diaz for sending me some key articles to help me develop the paper, and the incredible folks at BYU – Hawai`i, for organizing an amazing conference.
I am so grateful to Dr. Nikki Khanna for granting me the opportunity to contribute an essay, “The Very Best of You,” to Whiter: Asian American Women on Skin Color and Colorism (2020). It was the first single-authored essay I had written in a long time. It’s a short, but very personal piece about my own relationship to skin tone discrimination. As an academic, much of my writing and development processes are quite sterile. As a researcher, I am expected to function separately from the work that I do. This is likely why there is a major gap in my publications. Colorism is not something I can separate myself from. To be given the chance to write candidly and share stories that are sometimes painful is a gift. The collection itself is fantastic and it’s such an honor to be in the company of so many wonderful contributors.
Shades of Difference: Why Skin Color Matters (2009) includes my chapter, “Filipinos and the Color Complex: Ideal Asian Beauty.” I was still a graduate student when I wrote and published this. The work in this anthology stemmed from a conference where the leading scholars in colorism presented work. It was honor to be in such excellent company. I want to give special thanks to Amy Fujiwara Shen for really pushing me to edit and finish writing this chapter. I would have given up without her encouragement.
I wrote the section on “Racial Features and Cosmetic Surgery” in Encyclopedia of Asian American Issues Today (2009). Again, I was still a graduate student at the time. The information was an an offshoot from a chapter I wrote for Is Lighter Better?: Skin-Tone Discrimination Among Asian Americans (2007).