Actor Taye Diggs mixed no words over the expectations of his new book “Mixed Me” in a panel discussion at Bookcon on Saturday.
The book is the actor’s second go-around writing a children’s book with long-time friend and collaborator, Shane Evans, who illustrated the stylish artwork for Digg’s debut children’s book, “Chocolate Me”, about a boy teased for his skin color being darker than other kids. Diggs himself faced complexes about his own dark skin as a youth.
Now, with Mixed Me, the questions of interracial marriage and fair-skinned offsprings become represented through Diggs’ 5-year-old son, Walker.
“I became a part of a mixed marriage and of a beautiful mixed son,” the actor said. “I just wanted to speak to that in another book.”
Walker is Digg’s son through his ten-year marriage with singer and actress, Idina Menzel. The two called it quits after a long separation and finalized their divorce last year. Diggs has since spent most of his time fostering a normal relationship with his son.
However, that relationship became the focus of curious observations every time the pair would appear in public.
“I would be walking around with him and people would be looking at his hair and saying certain things. People would really trip out about his hair, but to me, his hair is his hair.”
Diggs immediately took his experiences of the interracial archetypes to paper and began to pen “Mixed Me”, from the perspective of his own son.
The subject matter of the book has already inspired positive responses from people who face the same stereotypes and challenges about having children from mixed marriages.
“I come from a very diverse family… my daughter is African American. My daughter is six and becoming aware of the stereotypical thing,” said one audience member. “I’m starting to talk to her about the race thing. Is there anything you can add?”
“I listen to what the child has to say. A lot of what they say is so much more wise than what we can come up with,” Diggs responded.
Mixed Me hits bookstores in October.