Mitzi Uehara Carter.
Why Grits and Sushi?
This title may strike some as a cliche attempt to celebrate being Black/Okinawan. Yes, I know it’s a bit corny but it is a bit catchy. Seriously though, my hope is to go to that space beyond the boring/exotified “I’m mixed and I’m proud” stance.
This blog is a work in progress. It is a blend of my musings on race, family, Okinawa, the military, transnationalism, etc. It’s a place for me to jot down quick notes and meandering reflections about how I see race, civic engagement and issues around knowledge-making practices are moving across these different contexts.
I was born and raised in Texas and as much as I once tried to deny my southernness, it’s definitely part of how I now identify. My father is Black American also born and raised in Texas. And yes, we do love our grits. My mama is Okinawan. I really wanted to call this blog “Grits and Goya” but “Grits and Sushi” seemed more accessible. Also, the image of grits with sushi seemed slightly more appealing than grits with goya–gastronomically speaking. Guess who used to cook the grits in our home? That’s right, my momma.
I received my PhD in anthropology from UC Berkeley and am now a professor in Miami, FL. I also consult and conduct ethnographic projects for companies and individuals. I received my bachelor’s degree from Duke University in Cultural Anthropology and also studied anthropology in La Paz, Bolivia for one semester. I enjoy applying my academic knowledge to real life issues, especially in the field of social change. I have been involved in social justice work since high school. Before returning to graduate school, I worked full time in the field of education and social justice organizing. These various experiences inform my writing in this blog.
My long-term goal for this little corner of cyberspace is to create a communal place for folks interested in similar issues, to have serious and also lighthearted dialog. I hope this space will be fruitful for a different kind of knowledge. Because this is such a personal space for me, I will remain the only contributor in terms of making posts but absolutely encourage dialog through the comment sections. This may change later and I once I get my grounding here, will open it up a bit more.
UPDATE: As of September 2016, I have decided to put this blog on hold and protect all posts for now. I may decide to open it up again in the future but for now, I am making it accessible only to family and close friends. I appreciate your patience as I think about my next steps.