Mixed Blessing
 

Mixed Blessing

Embracing the Fullness of Your Multiethnic Identity

by Chandra Crane
Foreword by Jemar Tisby

Mixed Blessing
paperback
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Published: December 15, 2020
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-4805-8
  • Item Code: 4805
  • Case Quantity: 48

"So what are you?"

Chandra Crane knows what it's like to get that question. She has a Thai birth father, a European American mother, and an African American father who adopted her when she was five. With this mixed multiethnic and multicultural background, she has keenly felt the otherness of never quite fitting in. Where do people of mixed ethnicity belong?

Those of us with multiethnic backgrounds may have pain surrounding our mixed heritage. But we also have the privilege and potential to serve the Lord through our unique experiences. Crane explores what Scripture and history teach us about ethnicity and how we can bring all of ourselves to our sense of identity and calling.

Discover the fullness of who you are. Find out how your mixed identity can be a blessing to yourself and to the world around you.

"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."

From the foreword by Jemar Tisby, president of The Witness

"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."

David W. Swanson, pastor and author of Rediscipling the White Church

"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."

Ben Lowe, cochair, Christians for Social Action, and author of Doing Good Without Giving Up

"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."

Sundee T. Frazier, author of Check All That Apply: Finding Wholeness as a Multiracial Person and several novels for young people featuring interracial families and mixed-race people

"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."

April Fiet, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Scottsbluff, Nebraska

"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."

Sandra Maria Van Opstal, executive director of Chasing Justice and author of The Next Worship

"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."

Beth and Byron Borger, Hearts & Minds Bookstore in Dallastown, Pennsylvania

"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!"

Marlena Graves, author of The Way Up Is Down: Becoming Yourself by Forgetting Yourself

"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."

Allen Yeh, associate professor of intercultural studies and missiology at Biola University

"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."

Paul Gardner, lecturer in biblical studies, author of the Zondervan Encyclopedia of Bible Characters

"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."

Lamont English, assistant director, West Coast hub of Mission to the World (PCA)

"As Chandra Crane says, 'Don't be colorblind. Be color brave.' I agree!"

Doug Schaupp, national director of evangelism for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA and coauthor of Breaking the Huddle

"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."

Sarah Shin, speaker and author of Beyond Colorblind

"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."

Robert Chao Romero, author of Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity
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Read an Excerpt

CONTENTS

Foreword by Jemar Tisby

Introduction: What Are You?
1. Multiethnicity 101: The Foundation of Being Mixed
2. Multiethnicity 102: The Story of Being Mixed
3. Rejecting Stereotypes, Understanding Prototypes, Embracing Stories
4. Mixed Folks: Minorities of Minorities
5. Mixed Identity in the Multiethnic Christ
6. Exploring and Nurturing Mixed Identity
7. Mixed Identity in Our Families and Communities
8. Mixed Identity in the Church and Society
Epilogue: Our Story

Acknowledgments
Appendix A
Appendix B
Study Guide
Notes
Name Index
Subject Index

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Chandra Crane

Chandra Crane is a resource specialist for the multiethnic initiatives department of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and a member of the multiethnic Redeemer Church in Jackson, Mississippi. She has written for In All Things, The Well, and The Witness: A Black Christian Collective. She has spoken and led worship at several local and national conferences and has also participated in online discussions for Christianity Today.

BY Chandra Crane