Redeeming Mulatto… Why a theology of mixed race life? Who is it for? In many ways this book is a deeply personal journey. It is an attempt to discern my own life as a mixed race child, figuring out where to belong, realizing that belonging is itself a difficult and dangerous business. Yet, it is also a a work that arises out of a Christian faith that both grounded my disorientation while introducing new questions, possibilities and impossibilities.
Not satisfied with the trope of interracial person as “bridge between many peoples,” a product of a simple equation where “one drop” made one black, or where one could easily deny any connection to a darker heritage out of a desire to “just be me,” my introduction to theology began to widen the vocabulary with which I described my own body and experiences both as a Christian and an interracial man.
In the midst of this I came to find that my sense of dislocation, of uncomfortable multiplicity was shared by the woman I would eventually marry. A Korean American woman, formed within a pentecostal Korean church and the black church, our stories of negotiating identities and occupying surprising, but nonetheless difficult tension resonated within one another.
In her experience, in her charismatic faith I found yet another language to describe what it might look like to be “mixed” and that this was not only a sociological or biological category, but also a theological category.
In these varied ways, I hope that this book begins to make space not only for those whose lives are “mulatto” in the technical sense of the word (half black, half white) but mixed in the many ways that our modern world has created for us (Indian/white, Korean/black, all of the above, 2nd generation, white but raised in a black neighborhood, black but raised in a white neighborhood, or any other configuration one might imagine).
Truth be told, I hope in a multicultural America, we might all find a bit of ourselves in this narrative of our sinfulness, Christ’s salvific body, and a new possibility for our lives together.