A new book exploring pain and privilege of mixed identity was edited by one of Illinois State University’s professors, Ellis Hurd.
The book is titled “The Reflexivity of Pain and Privilege: Auto-Ethnographic Collections of Mixed Identity” and was published early this year. It opens doors to a critical perspective for readers to learn more about indigenous and marginalized identifications.
Hurd, who teaches courses on equity, cultural responsiveness and bilingual education, explained that the book focuses on research, shared experience, personal stories and artistic collections of those who are of mixed heritage or identity.
It also includes the perspectives of young adolescents who identify as being of mixed racial, socio-economic, linguistic and ethno-cultural backgrounds and experiences.
“These auto-ethnographic collections serve as an impetus for the untold stories of millions of marginalized people who may find solace here and in the stories of others who are of mixed identity,” Hurd said.
The book also shares experiences from authors who have spent time working and studying all around the world.
Hurd wants teachers and future instructors to learn the constant push and pull of students of mixed identity experience.
“The experiences of people and youth with mixed identity are the central part of the book, and the reader can see how each one of the authors have grown up with unique spaces of identity,” Hurd said.
“By discovering these experiences, the reader will get valuable insights, especially for those who teach middle-level education and young diverse learners, on how to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students.”
Hurd even has his own section in the book, where he gets to present a small part of his own story. He gives readers a background on his parents, where they are from, who they are and how they shaped who he was.
Hurd says that he knew his family was different, but also knew they were the same.
“That sensation of belonging, but feeling apart, is the ‘pain and privilege homily’ or recurring cycle of having a mixed identity,” Hurd said.
Hurd explained that he is proud of the work put into making this book.
He feels it is an important step toward closing the significant gap that exists within research and literature concerning those who are of mixed racial, socio-economic, linguistic and ethno-cultural backgrounds.