Mix & Match Families
Generations ago, these people would have never been put together in a room let alone a family. White men
married white women before their twenty-fourth birthday. Black men married only black women. They had six
to nine children of the same race. Those children played with children in their neighborhood and married their
'peers.' No one mingled. Marriages lasted decades, not weeks. Divorce was a four letter word. The lines were dark
and bold, not to be crossed.
Years passed and those lines darkened and began to bleed. Races mixed. Couples married for love, not for dowries.
Families changed faster than society's rules. Parents offered children more than just skin shades. Love began to
take precedence over stereotypes. The differences on the outside fade as the love grows deeper on the inside.
Parents changed the way love was defined. Gay, straight, and single parents adopted, creating a new opportunity
for happy lives. Acceptance and tolerance breeds only love and progression.
FAMLE SHOL LOV TOETE
P ARENTS DON' 0T UNDERSTANSOMETIME
CHTILDREN COULD SHAREWILLINGLY
* A STM WILL ACCEPT COMPLETELY
Mix and Match Families was inspired by my personal exploration of what family means to me. Two separate factors
influenced this book: coming out as an adult and visiting the city of Jerusalem, Israel in the summer of 2013.
In Jerusalem, I met and spoke with individuals who shared their stories and reminded me of how difficult it is to
try and fit a mold: society's mold, family molds, cultural molds. For these reasons and more, I choose to include
myself and my partner in the book because I no longer try to fit anyone's mold but my own.
Special thanks to fellow book artist, Jihae Kwon for the crash course in Photoshop. To Casey Ritenour, my partner
and support system. To all of the strangers, friends, and newly made friends who allowed me to take their
photograph for use in this book. And finally, to the Shatz Family for providing the opportunity to learn more about
the world and in particular the country of Israel while exploring my own personal artistic goals.
Mix and Match Families was created in the summer of 2013. Photographed, designed, and edited by Jaime Shafer.
Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington, DC.
o / --