Crane explores multiethnic identity from a Christian perspective in her uneven debut. The author roots her inquiry in her own mixed Thai, European American, and African American heritage and uses her own experiences and those of other mixed-race people to investigate what it means to live between demographic categories: “For ethnic minorities in a majority-culture world, a life spent on the outside looking in can be exhausting.” Crane writes that being mixed-race brings with it a burden of not belonging, of answering what-are-you questions, and of being excluded or stigmatized—though she notes the number of people of mixed heritage is growing: “generations of mixed folks are having children and even grandchildren who identify as multiethnic,” leading to more fluid, accepting family units. Crane’s understanding of multiethnicity is strongest and most concrete in her concept of “prototypes,” (such as Southern Americans being “hospitable, indirect communicators,” or Greek culture as loud and making one’s “family paramount”), which allows for useful ways of talking about group characteristics without the negative judgments that stereotyping brings. However, Crane, who is a devout Christian, provides little statistical data, and her only description of the “blessing” of mixed heritage amounts to being “part of God’s people that he loves from the center of his being.” Evangelical Christians will get the most from this diffuse work. (Dec.)
"As Chandra Crane says, 'Don't be colorblind. Be color brave.' I agree!"
"Those of us who are of mixed ethnicity defy categories, stump those trying to pin us down, and can even stump ourselves while trying to figure out our own identities. Where do we belong? Where do we fit in? Will we ever feel at home? It is clear that in Mixed Blessing Chandra Crane has done her homework and has done the interior work to detail for the rest of us the complexity, beauty, and gift of being a multiethnic person. She also shares some real but hard truths about how we are 'othered' by others. In reading Mixed Blessing, I felt seen and understood. This a welcomed and needed resource!"
Sandra Maria Van Opstal
"Integrating biblical narratives, personal story, and a variety of individuals' experiences, Chandra address the complexity of multiracial identity with nuance and insight. This book is everything I needed for the 'mixed' students, neighbors, and family members in my life. Most importantly I found a framework I need to parent my own biracial sons."
"We live in a society that values placing people into neat categories and tidy boxes. Chandra Crane's important book Mixed Blessing speaks a needed word about the complexities and blessings of embodying a multiethnic identity in a world that often overlooks these voices. As a White person, this book has opened my eyes and helped me begin to better understand the experience of multiethnic people, something that will help me better minister in my church and in my community."
"Building on her story as a Christian of mixed ethnicity, Chandra writes a deeply challenging book. There is no self-pity, even as she dissects what it is to be treated as other. Rather, the joy in her biblical studies is infectious as she writes of learning to image Jesus in all the complexity of personhood, and of the special place multiethnic believers can have in the modern church, showcasing God's present and future community. I warmly commend this gospel-focused book that will encourage those identifying as mixed race and inspire others (like me) to listen and learn afresh."
"Chandra Crane takes a wonderfully multivalent approach at examining multiethnicity, exploring nuances (both seen as well as unseen) and their no-less-real ramifications. This book serves well—not only for multiethnic people to understand themselves better but also for those who do not inhabit such a world—to empower us all to love our neighbor better, for the good of God's kingdom. The author is direct with the lessons that would be helpful for the world to know, but at the same time she unpacks the beauty behind these sometimes-challenging complexities."
From the foreword by Jemar Tisby
"Mixed Blessing reminds us that people are not created for boxes but for God's glory. This book helps fill an inexcusable gap in our understanding of racial and ethnic dynamics. . . . Is Mixed Blessing an easy read? Certainly not. But it is an essential one."
"This is the book I've been waiting for! As a person of mixed ethnicity, I've long struggled to know who I am, where I belong, and how to faithfully embrace and engage both the privilege and burden of straddling multiple worlds. Chandra is a wise and compassionate guide for all of us who walk these winding paths or seek to love and serve those who do."
Beth and Byron Borger
"This book should become an instant classic—a moving, wise, knowing guide for those of biracial or multiethnic backgrounds who so often feel other. Chandra Crane gets it! But it is also necessary reading for all who need to hear more intimately the stories of our friends, coworkers, and neighbors, and thereby understand the sometimes perplexing new vocabularies we need if we are to honor the hopes and dreams of all of God's image bearers. Chandra Crane is painfully honest—her writing made us cry—yet Mixed Blessing is upbeat and interesting and full of gospel hope. We need this book now more than ever."
Sundee T. Frazier
"There is such a huge need for this book! I have often wondered who in the next generation would write about the mixed-race experience from a Christian perspective, and I am so glad it is Chandra Crane. At once reassuring and challenging, Chandra invites multiethnic people both to rest in the knowledge of being 'loved and lovely,' and to rise up and take our rightful place in the Beloved Community, using our pain and privilege to do the work of creating welcoming spaces for all. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to help heal our multiethnic selves and world."
Robert Chao Romero
"The United States is in the early stages of a profound racial and ethnic 'mestizaje,' in which cultural groups from every continent on the globe are freely mixing in a historically unprecedented way. Chandra Crane shows us that this is by God's design and offers an honest and hopeful roadmap for navigating these new cultural realities."
"My wife and I have had many conversations about the reality and difficulty of raising multiethnic and multicultural sons in today's racialized society. Thankfully, Chandra Crane's Mixed Blessing has stepped into the gap and helped us navigate these oftentimes unclear waters. This book is an essential read for all multiethnic and multicultural families and one my wife and I will constantly dive into as we raise our mixed blessings and show them the gift of their mixed identities."
David W. Swanson
"I think about multiethnicity a lot. I have beloved family members who are multiethnic, and I pastor a diverse congregation. And yet, as Chandra's book makes plain, I still have so much to learn about the experiences—the pains and the joys—of those who don't neatly fit into monoethnic categories. With the sure footing of one who has lived the experience, Chandra invites those of us who haven't to listen carefully and to imagine ways of following Jesus together that are hospitable to everyone. Mixed Blessing is required reading for anyone who wants a glimpse of the complex and hopeful future of the church in this country."
"I have told so many different people that this book is coming, and I'm so glad it's here. In an increasingly multiethnic, multiracial, and multicultural world, we need spiritual guides to help us navigate that growing complexity and diversity. This book serves as a helpful roadmap for all who don't fall neatly along preconceived ethnic, cultural, and racial lines—and who want to live as kingdom witnesses in the beauty of their complexity and heritage."