A Mixed American's Struggle for Identity
in a Nation of Black and White
A memoir by Aaron Douglas Keller
At the age of ten, Aaron’s childhood within a diverse community ended abruptly when his family moved to small-town Indiana. Marginalized as “Black” within his new, overwhelmingly White community, a place where racist mentalities stereotyped him for his Mixed features and heritage, he learned to hide parts of himself that were rejected, hoping to overcome racial prejudices.
Driven by fear on this road to build a “pure” identity, Aaron pursued varied and extreme paths in politics, religion, artistry, and education, desperate for ultimate truth, achievements, or purpose that could set him free from the pain of shame he felt in his humanity. The utter brokenness, great generosity, and inner voice he met along the way brought with them the vision that the human he was—the self which others rejected and he had forgotten—was already more perfectly imperfect than anything else he had tried to become.
AARON DOUGLAS KELLER recounts the struggles, adventures, and lessons of his journey to self-remembrance and acceptance in this revealing, surprising, and inspiring memoir. Along with renewed happiness and freedom he gained an empathy for what many of us grieve: the inner peace that we lost when our nuanced humanity was covered by racism, religious ideology, nationalism, and other black-and-white mentalities. Aaron shares his story of survival and escape from the prisons of racial labels and the insights he gained on how to safeguard our humanity from inhuman forces in our cultures.