Last month, Taye Diggs released his second children’s book, Mixed Me, inspired by his biracial 6-year-old son, Walker. His mother is actress and singer Indina Menzel.
In a society in which it is sometimes hard to talk about race, Diggs decided to tackle the subject head-on through the eyes of the book’s fictional character, Mike.
“The first book I wrote, Chocolate Me, was based on my experiences growing up a little chocolate boy in a predominately white neighborhood, and how I would get made fun of, and how through my mother and father and my own recognition, I was able to develop the power of self love,” Diggs says.
“[Mixed Me] is kind of along similar lines for my son, even though in this day and age he’s going to have less of an issue being mixed than I did. It’s a book of self love and self appreciation and knowing that you are special regardless of what people will say about you because people will always say stuff.”
Diggs then turned his focus to President Obama, whom is often described as the first black U.S. president when in fact he’s biracial. Diggs hopes that soon society will begin to identify Obama more often as mixed.
“As African-Americans we were so quick to say okay he’s black he’s black, and then there were the white people who were afraid to say he was biracial because who knows. Everybody refers to him as the first black president, I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m just saying that it’s interesting. It would be great if it didn’t matter and that people could call him mixed. We’re still choosing to make that decision, and that’s when I think you get into some dangerous waters.”
Ultimately, Diggs hopes his new book will help his son and other mixed children realize that they don’t have to choose black or white but embrace both races equally.
Mixed Me, illustrated by Shane W. Evans is now available online and in retail stores.