All Mixed Up

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/08/25/455470334/all-mixed-up-what-do-we-call-people-of-multiple-backgrounds

This NPR article is a very good read for anyone trying to have a better understanding on biracial identities.  What always surprised me was the comfort level people had to ask very personal questions soon as they meet me. How my parents met, were my parents disowned for marrying outside of their own race, how do I identify myself, was a bullied, etc.  I am always willing to talk about racial dynamics, but people need to remember just simple human etiquette. Let's remember to get to know people a little bit more before you start getting so personal. Let's start by just asking for my middle name first.  Oh! also, you also see me being featured in this article from the project I was previously part of called, 'Evoking the Mulatto" Check it out :)   http://evokingthemulatto.com/video/video.html

 

 

Dear Franco

Franco, the sound of your name brings so much joy to my life. Hard not to smile as I hear your name ring in my ears. Franco, my Italian uncle who was a world class chef. 

As a kid, going to Franco's restaurants was a special occasion for the family. My mother even got me a heart shaped purse just for when I go to eat at Franco’s restaurant. Every time I walked in to that restaurant, I remember thinking to myself, this is what it must feel like to be a princess. I was sure of it.  Even when I was just a girl, Franco always treated me as a young lady, and that feeling always made me feel so special. He always made me feel as though I was someone important, and that feeling he gave me never changed.

Every year when I was home from school for the summer, Franco will take me out to lunch just the two of us. Over delicious Italian food, he will ask me about school, my interest, boys, and always remind me how beautiful and special I was. I was always bad at taking compliments and I brushed it off just out of my own discomfort but deep down inside I loved it. On one of our lunch dates, I got up to go to the bathroom, and without missing a beat, he also got up. I was so confused to why he too got up, so I reminded him I was only going to the ladies room. He looks at me shaking his head in disbelief and said “Oh Lila-san, a true gentlemen always gets up when the lady gets up, what kind of boys are you around?!” I guess I was around barbarians by his standards. I always wondered why he was so generous towards me. Maybe he enjoyed time with me because he missed his daughter who was in Italy, or maybe he was just simply board in Japan, but maybe just maybe he knew I was just another insecure girl who needed to be reminded that I was special. Or maybe I am just trying to interpret things because of the sadness that I feel in my heart right now.  But one thing that can not be questioned is how he always made me feel. He brought the best out of me and the best out of my family. Laughter and glass clinking were the background music of our time together. I felt lost today, I knew with his condition the end was near, but still it felt as a shocking and sad as another part of my childhood chipped away. So tonight, I decided to have a toast in your honor: "To life, to you, and thank you for teaching me food is always better shared, and thank you for teaching mama how to cook Italian food. You will be remembered in the Japantons family for generations to come.”

 Ciao Franco, Sending you two kisses, one on each cheek just like you taught me. 

Lila Consuelo Anton 

  P.S. That's my parents dancing in the background

P.S. That's my parents dancing in the background

Evoking the Mulatto

In 2011, my roommate at the time (hey Liz!) asked if I would be part of a project her friend was starting called "Evoking the Mulatto". I was intrigue to find out more, and decided to be part of it. The funny thing is I totally forgot I did this until now! It's interesting to hear some of my thoughts then and how I've evolved, and it is always awkward to see yourself on camera.  Currently there are 4 episodes.  Clink on the above video and you will see most recent episode.  Check it out! Very thankful to Lindsay Harris for including me in this project! 

ADCOLOR 2015

 Since 2012, I have had the pleasure of being a part of the ADCOLOR family.  ADCOLOR, founded by Tiffany Warren,  is an organization that champions diversity and inclusion in creative industries. Their goal is to create a community of diverse professionals who are here to support and celebrate each other. I don't know where to begin when I try to express how much this organization means to me. It has welcomed me from day 1 and given me a sense of purpose as to why it's important for me to be part of the creative industry.  

This year the conference was held in NYC. Even though the organization is based in NYC, it was surprisingly the first time they had hosted the conference there! I wasn't able to attend the conference portion for the last few years, but was really glad I got to again this year because the panels were spectacular.  My favorite was called "Me, Myself and the Media" which discussed how in 2015 we witnessed a major increase in multicultural talent on television. The panel discussed what made this happen, who was responsible and how can we make it happen more consistently, analyzing the way media decisions are made and how content creators, advertisers and fans can impact the images we see on screens – big and small. It was powerful to be in a room with TV execs who were able to shed light in this information.  Each panel discussion had a muralist who created a visual of each panel which I thought was great also.  

Every year I attend the event at a point when I am feeling 'purpose-less' at work. Once I am surrounded by My ADCOLOR family I regain purpose and makes me work harder to make the world a little better with our work.