Being Black and Biracial in America

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Growing up the daughter of an African-American father and a white mother, in Palisades, New York, and Madison, Wisconsin, Julie Lythcott-Haims had to navigate a white world. Her newest novel, Real American: A Memoir, details her journey in that world - from being a mixed-race teen to her years as a Stanford undergraduate and Harvard Law School, and traveling to Ghana in 2015 to see where her father proposed to her mother.

American demographics have changed significantly since Lythcott-Haims' childhood in the 70’s – in fact between 2000 and 2010, the number of white and black biracial Americans more than doubled. However, Lythcott-Haims acknowledges that “we black folks are seen as the other or far, far worse” and hopes her book invites compassion for those who have a different life experience.

Prior to writing this memoir, Lythcott-Haims published How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. She also served as Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising at Stanford University for over a decade. Her work has appeared on TEDx talks, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune.

Julie Lythcott-Haims is in conversation with Bakari Kitwana, Senior Media Fellow at The Jamestown Project and author of The Hip-Hop Generation, to discuss her new book and experiences growing up black and biracial in America.

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