Helping kids of mixed race and culture celebrate their uniqueness with confidence was the focus of a recent Multiculti Mixer in West Los Angeles featuring a special appearance and book reading by actor Taye Diggs.
The event was hosted by Multiculti Corner, a culturally diverse community of people with the intention to recognize, embrace, and celebrate what it means to be a part of a blended family.
The co-host of the event was Mixed Up Clothing, a multiethnic children’s clothing line inspired by the textiles, cultures and people of the world and founded by L.A. mom Sonia Kang in 2010. Kang, who is Latina and African American and has four children with her Korean husband, created the company to promote cultural awareness and friendships through fabrics.
The mixer, held in October at Kidville in Brentwood, featured a fashion show by young models, kids’ activities, a panel discussion on raising kids in a multi-racial or multicultural household and a reading and signing by Diggs, who is best known for his roles in the Broadway production of Rent and the film How Stella Got Her Groove Back and has a 6-year-old son with actress Idina Menzel, the voice of Frozen’s Elsa.
Diggs’ new children’s book, “Mixed Me,” portrays a day in the life of a mixed-race child who has to face stares and comments about his curly hair and why his mom and dad “don’t match.”
“Mixed Me” illustrator and Diggs’ long-time friend, Shane W. Evans, says: “we created “Mixed Me” for today’s children, and also for parents, adults, and educators who wish they’d had picture books like this in their own childhood.”
Diggs’ first children’s book, “Chocolate Me,” is about a boy who is teased by other kids for looking different, and explores the universal need to fit in and find self-love and self-acceptance. He talks candidly about race and his own struggles growing up.
“This book is dedicated to my son and to all kids like him,” says Diggs. “People are naturally curious and when you look different, they will ask questions. But kids are sensitive and they don’t like to feel different.”
Diggs wasn’t always comfortable with his own identity growing up. It was during his college years that he says he finally started feeling like he could be himself. As a dad focused on positive parenting, he wants to make sure his son has the tools he needs to embrace the cultures of both his parents. “Mixed Me,” with its colorful illustrations, is a celebration of diversity – of skin color, hair texture and beyond. And Diggs message for all kids is to feel good about who they are.