Diary of Ok Cha Yang

CD # 14:50 Talk with Dmae track 1 0:00-2:00
I’m rainjita geesler and today is Tuesday august 31st. And today I am leaving for Korea, and it is a very exciting time because I am going with my mother and we are going back to try to find her family after 30 years. I feel not only nervous and a little scared but also a little excited. I’m hoping to connect with some family members, find some roots. And there is a lot of anticipation for that, going back after so long, and to me it’s the first time so, and for my mother going back after 30 years to see if any of her family is still living. And for me to find my cousins and look into a familiar face. So that’s some of the things that I want to find, connect with my roots. Another thing is to be on the land of my mother…

2:33- I feel like it’s a perfect time do be doing this together. Years ago turbulent relationship… she came to visit me, I was high and mighty. She was having a hard time relating… we were driving, stop here, bar… and before that we were fighting a lot. Then we started having it out at the bar. Yelling, crying, I felt like that was a point where things turned around for us. We were crying and that was a turning point. Everything came out. For me it was about forgiving her for leaving when I was young. It took up to that point for me to resolve that in my mind. To see her as a woman and an immigrant it took that long for me to see who she was as a young woman. Now I feel like we’r benefiting from that and more respectful as women, respecting one another as women.

4:55- I feel underneath, her leaving when I was four, I feel like that’s where a lot of my issues came from. Why did mom leave? That was the stem. I see my brother has issues with my mom, he hasn’t gotten to know her or accept her. I hope he can find that soon, because I see it impacting his relationships. Read more...

Janet Stickman re: Amerasian identity (Filipina and African American)

Janet Stickman re: Amerasian identity (Filipina and African American)
Interview by Rainjita Geesler
1 Disc, Track 1, 41:33

RAINJITA: Janet is a high school teacher in Richmond California and she’s a spoken-word artist and also an author who has just published her memoir ‘Crushing Soft Rubies.’ You present a deep part of yourself, your personal transformation around who you are. Being Filipina and African American you represent a lot of people who are mixed-race in America. What does this mean to be mixed-race in America?

JANET: It’s been great. It’s been a rocky one. I think the most popular question I get with regards to being biracial is ‘that must have been confusing.’ And I’d hate to think that us, as multi-racial, biracial people that were destined for this lifelong journey of confusion that in the end, I can’t say that, it’s still in process. I can say that I have learned so much about the complexity of race and race relations just by looking at how things operate on my mom’s side, the Filipino side and on my dad’s side, the black side, and where I fit in and where I didn’t fit in on both sides. It’s been a challenge but at the same time I’ve become comfortable with being both fully all the time every single day instead of at several times in my life, fragmented. I can only experience this side of myself when I’m in the presence of these folks, and vice versa. Read more...