Review: It’s Not All Black and White

Published: 2012
By: Annick Press Ltd.
Series: N/A
Source: From the Publisher
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781554513802
“Black, white, and everything in between . . .”

Through poems, interviews, and short essays, a group of young people describe being biracial, multiracial, or of mixed race. These poignant firsthand accounts reflect the unique and varied voices of the writers, whose backgrounds range from Caribbean, Vietnamese, and Latin American to Native American, Spanish, and Irish, among others.

With devastating honesty, these youth tell what it’s been like to make their way in the world with their roots in many places and in many cultures. Themes include navigating mixed-race relationships, dealing with prejudice and the assumptions people make based on appearances, and working through identity confusion to arrive at a strong and positive sense of self. This resource will be of special value to youth who live in less diverse communities, where they have few or no mixed-race peers to share their experiences with.

Includes a section with suggestions for parents and caregivers who are raising children of mixed race.

Readers who share these experiences will find support, inspiration, and validation. Those less familiar with the issues will gain important insight and understanding.



“Until the philosophy which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned…
Everything is war. Me say war.
That until the’re no longer 1st class and 2nd class citizens of any nation…
Until the color of a man’s skin is of
no more significa…nce than the color of his eyes, me say war. That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race me say war!”
― Bob Marley

St. Stephen’s Community House is the one location many people, especially youth, in Kensington Market and the communities surrounding areas of West Downtown Toronto, Ontario. This book was written by a group of young people who partook in an organized function: The Youth Arcade’s Mission.

The Youth Arcade’s Mission is where young people can come and feel accepted and can be themselves without feeling the pressures of society against them, where they can feel unjudged and learn more, and be social.

It’s Not All Black and White is an anthology based on the perspectives, opinions, and emotions of some of the young people and adults that are part of The Youth Arcade’s Mission. Through poetry and short stories these people describe how they feel about being born as a mixed-raced person and how they have developed a habit or found their way, even if they haven’t they are still working on building themselves up.

Although I’m not a visible mixed-race: European, Native, French-Canadian. I have no idea what some of these young people have or are experiencing on a regular basis. I did, however, get a very good idea while reading their stories. It was truly enlightening considering I’m a strong believer in human rights and equal treatment to all people, and the things that I read made me aware that even in a city like Toronto, which is almost considered a national hub for having a very diverse arrangement of ethnic backgrounds that there are people out there who still can’t accept others who contain a variety of bloodlines surging through their bloodstream.

I believe a book like this should almost be considered to be placed in most school libraries, if anything in public libraries as this is a great piece for young adults still trying to figure out where they fit into society. I hope one day this book gets recognized and that not only do the contributors find themselves but also the future readers of this book find themselves at peace for who they are and not for what society expects from them.

4 Star signature


About Black ' n Write Reviewer

Library Tech grad who is currently working on a BA in Political Science and filling all her time with books.
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