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Lets Talk About Race

Diversity Equity Inclusion and Race!

Why do we need to talk about race?  It is not possible to talk honestly about the history of our country or the future well-being of the American people without talking about race.  America's continuing story of race and racism depresses our economy, segregates our people and injures our well being.  Race may be a social construct, and racism harshly impacts some of us more than others, but race impacts us all.  We need to talk about race.

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In 1924, there were about 232 Chinese in Cleveland.  My grandfather was one of them.  There were at least two Black Chinese families, the Wong's and the Lee's.

The Wong/Kane family of Cleveland, Ohio


The Wong's

My mother was Black and Mexican.  Me and my siblings were Black, Chinese, Mexican, Irish, Native American. Is it any wonder that I am fluent in race?  

The Wong/Winslow family of Cleveland, Ohio

The Louis Wong's


The process of moving out of one group to "pass" as and into another.  In the US, we are most familiar with "passing" as white.  What happened when mixed race people looked white enough to pass without notice.  They had to leave their black families sometimes never to see them again.  This phenomenon occurred with other "races" as well.  


Louis Wong

My father's brother Louis "Seitoi" was living in Cleveland's Black community with his Black/Chinese family.  He married a very pale-skinned woman, Lavonne.  When the children started coming, they passed out of the black community into the white.  She "passed" as white (she was very white).  He passed as "not black".  And I never saw the wife or the children, my first cousins, again.  

Louis came back.  After the divorce, he quietly came back to the family. His mother was dead but his siblings were always happy to see him. 

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