Episode 004: The ANDs of Being Biracial and Growing up an American in Liberia with Hassan Hodges

Hassan Hodges’s journey into living in the And originally began as a young biracial boy growing up as an American while attending a British school in Liberia. Like many, his childhood experiences helped shape his views of privilege, power, and oppression as well as how Americans can tackle social injustices, racism, and inequality.  Hassan is also an entrepreneur and professional photographer. In addition to his social activism efforts and running his photography business, Hassan is also in the process of launching a mindfulness app as well as writing two memoirs.

Hassan joins me today to share what it’s like to be a biracial boy growing up as an American in Liberia. He explains how he perceives race, privilege, and oppression differently, despite growing up in a racially diverse culture. He shares the challenges he experienced with trying to understand his racial identity after moving from Liberia to the United States and why ‘color blindness’ regarding race is destructive and ineffective. He describes why he believes racism in America is a systematic issue instead of an individual problem and what he believes we can do to end racism. Hassan also shares the story of how his daughter was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), his own diagnosis with Adjustment Disorder, and how these diagnoses inspired him to build a mindfulness app.

“To fight racism, we need to identify it as a system problem, not as an individual problem.” - Hassan Hodges

This week on Life in the AND:

  • Hassan’s experiences as a biracial boy growing up as an American in Liberia
  • How Hassan sees the world differently, despite growing up in a racially diverse culture
  • Hassan’s struggles with understanding his racial identity when transitioning from Liberian culture to American culture
  • The difference between racism and colorism and the oppression he has seen within black communities
  • Why ‘color blindness’ about race is ineffective and destructive
  • Why Hassan believes racism is a systematic problem, not an individual problem
  • What Hassan believes we can do to fight racism
  • Hassan’s daughter’s diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and why he decided to develop a mindfulness app
  • How Hassan pulls out the ‘ands’ in the people he photographs
  • The ‘ands’ Hassan believes everyone can benefit from

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Hassan Hodges:

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