While we envision ourselves as having moved past the point of light skin vs. dark skin, there’s another category of sorts — other or biracial. The issue was so prevalent in author Svenya Nimmons’ life of growing up in Charlotte, N. C., with brown skin, curly hair, a Swedish name and a Southern accent, that she felt compelled to delve deeper into the subject and penned the book, Just Because I’m Mixed Doesn’t Mean I’m Confused.
“I started writing the book when I started journaling. It was a really bad portion of my life, but I was also doing a lot of reading because I wanted to know more about people like me. … I found out biracial teens have some of the highest rates of depression, suicide, substance abuse and behavioral [problems],” explains Nimmons.
Having suffered a serious bout with depression that left her bedridden and 40 pounds heavier, the author says writing was cathartic. “It literally hurt to get out of bed … but I finally went to a friend’s house and locked my self in for four months. When I wasn’t writing, I was walking and I started qualifying what I ate,” she says.
In preparation for the follow-up to Just Because I’m Mixed Doesn’t Mean I’m Confused, Nimmons is taking an interactive approach to its composition. “I have a list of questions and a place for journal entries at the end of the book, so readers can make their own entries and put them on my swirlpower website or send them to me so I can collect them and include them in my next book,” says Nimmons.