Trace Lara Hentz graciously agreed to share a little bit about her experiences as a blogger, and to describe her newest blog, THE MIX. She has been a virtual friend since the beginning of my blogging career in June of 2013. Although we’ve never met in person, I have come to know her as a dear friend and as a sister in spirit.
In January of 2015, she asked if I would be willing to serve as a co-editor for THE MIX. I agreed, although I see my role as a supportive silent partner. Trace has done most of the conceptual and technical work. Her leadership, vision and passion are evident in the following interview.
Carol: Can you talk a little about your history with blogging?
I’m a self-taught blogger since 2009. I frequently use Google’s Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress – and all are good. I have worked as a journalist since 1996 – and since 2009, I’ve published 5 books. I tell my blogging class if you have a book, you must have a blog. And I’ve contributed to many books on the topic of adoption since 2009.
Carol:What types of issues do you cover? (You can list your blogs and addresses if you wish with a phrase to describe content or link to the about page.)
On WordPress, I’m a more serious journalist and cover adoption, adoptee reunions like my own, human trafficking, American Indian history and much more, including what I am reading (which can be quite a mix)
LINK: www.laratracehentz.wordpress.com (All my books are listed there on their own page.) My research into intercountry adoption, adoption history and orphanages is on that blog too. There are older posts from when I used the name Trace DeMeyer.)
The original blog that is still growing: www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com
And of course THE MIX: www.mixemag.wordpress.com
You can see I blog a lot but it’s important to me to share information on the internet since print newspapers have diminished so much or disappeared.
Carol: Can you share a little background on why you felt it was important to create a new blog, THE MIX?
I looked at many blogs about mixed ancestry and the name suits our topic.
WHY the MIX? Experience is what brought me to create THE MIX as a weekly blog that runs on Wednesday.
When I look at my African-American and Native-mix husband, Herb, whom I love dearly and trust implicitly, I flashback to a recent time when a member in my birth-family said to another relative that if I brought Herb back to Illinois with me, there would be a “rope” (which meant lynching, but I did hear this second-hand and not directly to my face.) I could not find words during that phone call but I deeply felt the horror and prejudice aimed at me and my husband.
Years earlier, my adoptive father was verbally violently racist, witnessed by many. A cousin in another state was dating an African American and since she was “white,” my father said he’d kill me if I ever did that.
Even in our own families, we can have such a deep racial divide, it seems insurmountable.
Right after Herb and I were married, I was at a conference and met a church lady, Reverend (not sure which denomination she was), and asked to speak with her sometime. I gave her my home phone number. There was discord with a close relative of my husband who was very upset we were married. I just wanted to speak to someone about how to handle it. This was because I was verbally assaulted in front of other family at a funeral. That reverend never called. (And I never expected an apology and never got one from Herb’s relative to this day. She has kept her distance and I have not been in a room with her since.)
I realized that many other people who are mixed (in their marriage or in their own family) have run into the same issues I have.
I am not the only one to notice that too many people are judged by their skin color which I find ludicrous. It’s true we come from multitudes of countries and differing ancestries, but not race. There is no such thing as race. It’s used a construct to divide us. It has accomplished some of the most heinous genocide in past centuries.
In creating the MIX with you Carol and inviting others to write about their mixed families and their experiences, I hope in doing that we can start a dialog on how to fix these warped perceptions, once and for all.
Since January 2015, the MIX has received many “likes” and someday, my hope is that these stories will used in classrooms and find a broad audience.
It simply seemed the right time to do this weekly blog.
Brief Bio: Trace Lara Hentz is a working journalist and the founder of Blue Hand Books, a collective of Native American writers. You can find our more about her here: https://about.me/trace15
THE MIX was started in January 2015. Carol A. Hand is co-editor…
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