Walker Diggs, son of Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs, was inspiration for dad’s new children’s book ‘Mixed Me’

Saturday, May. 30th 2015

Taye Diggs (l.) said at Bookcon in New York that his son Walker Diggs (r.) was the inspiration for his newest children’s book, “Mixed Me.”

Courtesy of Allen Salkin, New York Daily News

Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel’s son takes a star turn in his famous dad’s forthcoming children’s book.

“Mixed Me,” Diggs’ follow-up to 2011’s “Chocolate Me,” was inspired by the former couple’s 5-year-old son Walker.

During an appearance Saturday at Bookcon, Diggs talked about how being out with his son inspired the book, due out in October.

“(It was) walking around with him and people looking at his hair and saying certain things. People would really trip out about his hair, but to me, his hair is his hair.” Accompanied on guitar by the book’s illustrator Shane Evans, Diggs half-spoke/half-rapped his way through a reading of “Mixed Me” on a hepcat 1960s acid jazz-style similar to Gil Scott Heron’s classic “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”

In this case the “lyrics” were spoken by the book’s protagonist, a young boy drawn with a huge head of curly orange hair.

“If you don’t get it, you don’t get it / I’m doing my thing so don’t forget it / Uh huh, I said it,” Diggs recited.

The actor said that when he was growing up, people of mixed race were encouraged to align themselves with their African-American heritage.

But he said that he now has a different outlook on the issue, which he planned to impart to Walker.

“I’m going to encourage him to include his entire background,” Diggs said.

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