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The Local Take Women's History Month Spotlight: TaRessa Stovall

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This week on WCLK's The Local Take(Saturdays 8am), we continue our profiles of outstanding women in our community as part of Women's History Month observances. I reached out to author TaRessa Stovall.  TaRessa's book Swirl Girl: Coming of Race In The USA. Her memoir chronicles her life as a mixed-race child of a Jewish mother and Black father growing up in Seattle, Washington.

Stovall is an author, educator, and public relations specialist.  She chronicles her experiences of not being "Black" enough or "White" enough as soon as she leaves her home.

She speaks about a constant question in her life, "What Are You?" and having people argue with her when she answers. She shares that this happens even today to her and her children. She mentions that it is an overwhelming everyday experience in her life.

I ask Stovall what made her decide to write Swirl Girl now. She mentions that her parents have passed, and it was a book she needed to write, not so much wanted to write.

She speaks about the addition of a "Mixed Race" category to the U.S. Census. Research has shown that 25% – 30% of African Americans in the USA have some European DNA mixture. She shares she does not use the Census category added in 2000. The funding to support Black households based on the Census would change. She and her family continue to choose Black on the forms.

She speaks about her children and explains that mixed-race Millennials have a completely different view on race. The world view on race continues to evolve.  An increase in DNA testing has proved how malleable race is, with many people finding African or European ancestors long forgotten.

In the recent PBS Series Finding Your Roots, singers Joanne Cash and Clint Black learned that they had small but significant Sub-Saharan African DNA.

For more information on TaRessa Stovall.  

Find Swirl Girl here.

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TaRessa Stovall, author, educator and public relations strategist. Her memoir is Swirl Girl Coming of Race in America