Listening In as Teens Talk about Race

When the pandemic triggered a wave of anti-Asian violence, 18-year-old Miranda Zanca found herself wondering about her own identity and how she fit into the moment. This is the first in a new series in The Post’s Teens in America project.

Miranda Zanca hasn’t always seen herself as particularly Asian, even if others did. That’s because she’s mixed race — her mom is Chinese and Puerto Rican and her dad is White. And earlier this year, when the pandemic triggered a wave of anti-Asian violence, she found herself wondering what role she should play in conversations around anti-Asian hate. “Am I Asian enough to be upset?” she asked. “Am I White enough to be making a difference?” American teenagers are part of what’s likely the most diverse generation in our nation’s history — new Census Bureau data shows that the population under 18 is a majority minority for the first time. These young people are also helping to shape more of the conversations we’re all having about race. A Washington Post-Ipsos poll found that nearly three-quarters of teens say they’ve talked to a parent about race in the past year. More than half say they’ve had a similar conversation with a close friend. As part of The Washington Post’s Teens in America series, we’re exploring what those conversations sound like. Miranda’s story is the first in a new five-part series from The Post and YR Media, a nonprofit media, music and technology incubator. Listen in as teen reporters from around the country have tough conversations about race with family and friends, and with host Martine Powers.

By Miranda Zanca