Walking Railroads: A Biracial Narrative

Briana Jacques McDade


“Walking Railroads” is a novella I wrote that begins as sixteen-year-old Alana learns that she is biracial. The narrative follows her as she travels through the southeast of the United States in search of her biological father. Alana deals with the emotional issues she has been hiding after her birth father is revealed. She travels from her hometown in Alabama to Tennessee where her paternal grandmother lives, then to Florida where her father is working on a U.S. Navy base. Alana is accompanied by her longtime neighbor and friend Robert. Together Alana and Robert face the unknown of Alana’s family history. Alana answers the question of understanding identity through the lens of a biracial individual. She also brings light to what might happen to a sixteen-year-old female who learns she is biracial. One often needs to find closure when there is an absence of information involving identity. Oftentimes there are adjustments to be made when trying to identify with all racial groups of one’s heritage. Alana learns to cope with the challenges in hair texture, skin tone, and facial features from the combined genes of an African-American and Caucasian ancestry. Her character is comparable to biracial characters from such novels as “The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond” and “The Girl Who Fell from the Sky”.  I traveled to Clarksville, TN, and Pensacola, FL, to gather further research to produce the setting. I invented the character to hopefully inspire real young people to learn about their heritage.



Biracial, Identity, Realistic

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