Keepin’ It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2020-02-14 16:06Z by Steven

Keepin’ It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America

University of Chicago Press
2019-10-25
140 pages
6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
Paperback ISBN: 9781789380507

Elwood David Watson, Professor of History, African American Studies, and Gender Studies
East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee

The past decade has been one of the most racially turbulent periods in the modern era, as the complicated breakthrough of the Obama presidency gave way to the racially charged campaigning and eventual governing of Donald Trump. Keepin’ It Real presents a wide-ranging group of essays that take on key aspects of the current landscape surrounding racial issues in America, including the place of the Obamas, the rise of the alt-right and White nationalism, Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick and the backlash against his protests, Black Lives Matter, sexual politics in the black community, and much more.

America’s racial problems aren’t going away any time soon. Keepin’ It Real will serve as a marker of the arguments we’re having right now, and an argument for the changes we need to make to become the better nation we’ve long imagined ourselves to be.

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Jackie Kay International Conference

Posted in Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Live Events, United Kingdom, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers, Women on 2020-02-13 18:57Z by Steven

Jackie Kay International Conference

Gylphi Contemporary Writers
February 2020

Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
2020-05-06
Contact: kay.conference@gylphi.co.uk

Organisers:

Natasha Alden, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary British Fiction
University of Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

Fiona Tolan, Senior Lecturer in English
Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Keynote speaker:

Deidre Osborne, Reader in English Literature and Drama
Goldsmiths, University of London

Jackie Kay is the author of some 30 works, including plays, poetry, prose (fiction and non-fiction), children’s literature, short stories and a ground-breaking novel. She has won or been shortlisted for over 20 literary awards and prizes, including the Guardian Fiction Prize, the inaugural Forward Prize for Poetry for a single poem, the Somerset Maugham Award and the Costa Poetry Award. She is the Scots Makar, professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, Chancellor of the University of Salford and a CBE.

Kay’s work is remarkable for its range of genres, its consistent reinvention of forms, and its marriage of intimate, domestic depictions of individual lives with broad political and philosophical themes. In works such as her breakthrough poetry collection, The Adoption Papers (1991), the novel Trumpet (1998) – a path-breaking depiction of trans identity – and the autobiographical Red Dust Road (2010), her publications explore identity, individuality and belonging, and love between family members, lovers and friends. Amongst many other questions, her works asks what Britishness is, what race means, what it is to love, and what gender is, and can be.

This international conference, the first on Kay’s work, brings together scholars from a wide range of literary and cultural studies. The British Council describe Kay as having, over the past two decades, ‘moved from marginal voice to national treasure.’ This conference will examine the work that has marked Kay’s shift from the margins to the centre, addressing a writer whose work has expanded the scope of British literature. We welcome papers on any topic related to Kay’s writing, including, but not limited to:

  • Scottish national identity
  • Autobiography and life writing
  • Black British writing
  • Trans identities
  • Lesbian writing
  • The family
  • Adoption
  • Scottish Women’s writing
  • Black Scottish Writing
  • The impact / legacy of Trumpet
  • Intersections of form (such as music, poetry, fiction, music, dramatic voice)
  • Landscape and place
  • Love
  • Humour
  • The line between life and art

We welcome papers from any disciplines and theoretical perspectives, and from scholars at all career stages, especially ECRs. Please send a title and 300 word abstract for a 20-minute paper, as well as your name, any affiliation, and a 100-word professional biography, to kay.conference@gylphi.co.uk by 6 March 2020.

The conference is sponsored by Gylphi. Selected papers from the conference will be published as Jackie Kay: Critical Essays, with a foreword by Kay, as part of Gylphi’s Contemporary Writers: Critical Essays series (Series Editor: Dr Sarah Dillon).

For more information, click here.

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What if We Just Forgot about Race?

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science on 2020-02-13 16:26Z by Steven

What if We Just Forgot about Race?

National Review
2020-02-11

Kyle Smith, Critic-at-Large


Opponents of a white nationalist-led rally hold a Black Lives Matter flag in downtown Washington, D.C., August 12, 2018. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Thomas Chatterton Williams, Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race (New York: W. W. Norton, 2019)

In his beautifully written new book, Thomas Chatterton Williams disputes the notion that his blackness should be central to his identity.

Picture a graph of American racial preoccupation over time. Over the last 50 years, the downward trend is unmistakable. After the civil-rights era, anger and frustration and dismay diminished in the Seventies. It diminished more in the Eighties and the Nineties and the Aughts. Then, after the election of Barack Obama, which was presented as the final victory of post-racial thinking, what? A steady increase in focus on race. Today everything is racialized. Race is inescapable. There is no sociopolitical subject that can be discussed without a prominent voice insisting “Actually, this is about race.”

And it’s exhausting. It’s hard to see how we bend the curve of race anguish down again. But then again, it’s a mistake to think that present trends must carry on indefinitely. Attitudes do evolve, adapt, grow. What if we dropped our fascination with race?…

Read or listen to the entire review here.

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Interracialism: Biracials Learning About African-American Culture (BLAAC) with Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2020-02-13 16:08Z by Steven

Interracialism: Biracials Learning About African-American Culture (BLAAC) with Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky

State University of New York, Stony Brook
Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library
Central Reading Room
100 Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, New York 11794
2020-02-19, 16:00-17:15 EDT (Local Time)

Zebulon Vance Miletsky, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and History

A discussion of interracialism and interracial marriage, and the phenomenon of “anti blackness”—identity and mixed race in the 21st century, and the possible stakes for those who identify as multiracial and biracial—in these politically divided times.

For more information, click here.

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This NC man was one of the most important Civil War leaders, but he was erased from history for 100 years

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2020-02-12 01:08Z by Steven

This NC man was one of the most important Civil War leaders, but he was erased from history for 100 years

ABC11 (WTVD-TV)
Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
2020-02-10

Cameron Clinard, Senior Digital Producer

Meet the most important Civil War leader you’ve never heard of

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WTVD) — One of the most important African American leaders of the late 1800s was born in North Carolina, but his accomplishments and influence vanished from history for 100 years.

Abraham Galloway was a spy, an insurgent, a statesman, a fierce advocate of the working class and a warrior against oppression and tyranny.

“When he did speaking tours in the North, he didn’t introduce Frederick Douglass as the main speaker of the night. Frederick Douglass introduced him as the main speaker of the night,” historian Dr. David Cecelski said.

Yet today, Frederick Douglass is a household name and central figure of study in American history, while Abraham Galloway is hardly known.

When Galloway died in 1870, approximately 6,000 people attended his funeral. Newspapers at the time reported that it was the largest funeral in North Carolina history.

“Everybody knew who Abraham Galloway was at that point,” Cecelski said…

Read the entire story here.

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Andrea Levy: In her own words

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2020-02-10 15:56Z by Steven

Andrea Levy: In her own words

BBC Radio 4
2020-02-08, 20:00Z
57 minutes

Produced by Melissa FitzGerald & Sarah O’Reilly

Andrea Levy, alongside friends and family, speaks candidly about her writing life and her impending death.

Profiling the life and work of Andrea Levy, the best-selling author of Small Island, who died in February 2019.

Speaking on condition that the recording would only be released after her death, Andrea Levy gave an in-depth interview to oral historian Sarah O’Reilly for the British Library’s Authors’ Lives project in 2014. Drawing on this recording, along with comments from friends, family and collaborators, this programme explores Levy’s changing attitude towards her history and her heritage and how it is intimately bound up with her writing.

Andrea Levy grew up in North London in the 1960s, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. Her father Winston came to Britain in 1948 on the Empire Windrush, and her mother Amy arrived six months later. At home, Jamaica was never discussed. Levy recalls how her parents believed that, in order to get on in this country they should live quietly and not make a fuss, and the silence around race in the family home haunted her throughout her life: “I have dreams now where I sit down with my parents and we talk about the difficulty of being a black person in a white country. But at the time? No help whatsoever.”

A significant day arrived when she attended a racism awareness course in her workplace in the 1980s. Staff were asked to split into two groups. “I walked over to the white side of the room. But my fellow workers had other ideas and I found myself being beckoned over by people on the black side. I crossed the floor. It was a rude awakening. It sent me to bed for a week.”…

For more information, click here. Listen to the interview (00:56:42) here.

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Aaron McDuffie Moore: An African American Physician, Educator, and Founder of Durham’s Black Wall Street

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, United States on 2020-02-10 15:54Z by Steven

Aaron McDuffie Moore: An African American Physician, Educator, and Founder of Durham’s Black Wall Street

University of North Carolina Press
May 2020
280 pages
6.125 x 9.25
45 halftones, 1 figure, notes, bibl., index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5585-7

Blake Hill-Saya, Classical Musician and Creative Writer
Los Angeles, California

Foreword by:

G. K. Butterfield, United States Representative
North Carolina, 1st District

Afterword by:

C. Eileen Watts Welch, President and CEO
Durham Colored Library, Inc., Durham, North Carolina

Aaron McDuffie Moore (1863–1923) was born in rural Columbus County in eastern North Carolina at the close of the Civil War. Defying the odds stacked against an African American of this era, he pursued an education, alternating between work on the family farm and attending school. Moore originally dreamed of becoming an educator and attended notable teacher training schools in the state. But later, while at Shaw University, he followed another passion and entered Leonard Medical School. Dr. Moore graduated with honors in 1888 and became the first practicing African American physician in the city of Durham, North Carolina. He went on to establish the Durham Drug Company and the Durham Colored Library; spearhead and run Lincoln Hospital, the city’s first secular, freestanding African American hospital; cofound North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company; help launch Rosenwald schools for African American children statewide; and foster the development of Durham’s Hayti community.

Dr. Moore was one-third of the mighty “Triumvirate” alongside John Merrick and C. C. Spaulding, credited with establishing Durham as the capital of the African American middle class in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and founding Durham’s famed Black Wall Street. His legacy can still be seen on the city streets and country backroads today, and an examination of his life provides key insights into the history of Durham, the state, and the nation during Reconstruction and the beginning of the Jim Crow Era.

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When Stuart Hall was White

Posted in Articles, Biography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2020-02-10 15:22Z by Steven

When Stuart Hall was White

Public Books
2017-01-23

James Vernon, Professor of History
University of California, Berkeley


Dawoud Bey, Stuart Hall (1998)

I do not recall when I discovered that Stuart Hall was black. Growing up in Britain as neoliberalism first began to take shape under the rule of Margaret Thatcher, I found that Hall’s work helped me comprehend what was happening to the world around me. I think I began reading him with “The Great Moving Right Show,” an article published in Marxism Today, the ecumenical and “reform”-minded journal of the Communist Party of Great Britain, in January 1979. It is the piece now celebrated as having named “Thatcherism” as a new political formation. Thatcherism, he argued, represented a new type of politics, one that had mobilized a populist revolt to Make Britain Great Again by running it like a business and stopping immigration. It is strangely unnerving to read it again now. Later that year Hall became a professor of sociology at the Open University and began to appear regularly on its television programs designed (in the era before profit-seeking online classes) for their distance learning, nontraditional, students. It was probably on one of those superb programs, no doubt several years later, that I first saw and heard Stuart Hall.

In retrospect, it is not surprising that I had once assumed Hall was white. Growing up in the countryside as a white middle-class boy, people of color were almost completely absent from my life. I suspect that I was not the only person to imagine he was white. There has long been a way of narrating Hall’s life and work that erases his formation in Jamaica as a colonial subject and a black man. It is a narrative that claims him as part of the British canon, as probably the country’s most influential social and cultural theorist of the late 20th century. It is a narrative that was rehearsed in many of the obituaries that followed his death in 2014.

In this telling, Hall’s life begins when he arrives on the shores of Albion dressed like an English gentleman and goes up to Oxford University to study English literature. It continues with Hall, while writing a PhD on Henry James, beginning to forge, alongside other students there like Raphael Samuel and Charles Taylor, a New Left attuned to the changed social and cultural conditions of Britain in the 1950s. The big question for Britain’s New Left was if or how culture mattered in shaping the working class. For Hall and many of his comrades, the urtexts for thinking through this question were Richard Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy (1957), Raymond Williams’s Culture and Society (1958), and E. P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class (1963)…

Read the entire article here.

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Why Some Black Puerto Ricans Choose ‘White’ on the Census

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2020-02-10 01:58Z by Steven

Why Some Black Puerto Ricans Choose ‘White’ on the Census

The New York Times
2020-02-09

Natasha S. Alford


A bomba dance class at the Corporación Piñones Se Integra community center in Loíza, P.R.
Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times

The island has a long history of encouraging residents to identify as white, but there are growing efforts to raise awareness about racism.

LOÍZA, P.R. — A dozen dancers wearing bright, colorful ankle-length skirts gathered around five wooden drums. Their shoulders and hips pulsed with the percussion, an upbeat, African-inspired rhythm.

Loíza, a township founded by formerly enslaved Africans, is one of the many places in Puerto Rico where African-inspired traditions like the bomba dance workshop at the Corporación Piñones se Integra community center thrive.

But that doesn’t mean all of the people who live there would necessarily call themselves black.

More than three-quarters of Puerto Ricans identified as white on the last census, even though much of the population on the island has roots in Africa. That number is down from 80 percent 20 years ago, but activists and demographers say it is still inaccurate and they are working to get more Puerto Ricans of African descent to identify as black on the next census in an effort to draw attention to the island’s racial disparities…

Read the entire article here.

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The importance of learning to style my multiracial son’s hair

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2020-02-10 01:38Z by Steven

The importance of learning to style my multiracial son’s hair

The Washington Post
2020-02-05

Nevin Martell


Nevin Martell and his son, Zephyr. (Indira Martell)

When I look at my son, Zephyr, I see a blend of his mother and me. His golden caramel skin is made with her browned butter and my heavy cream and white sugar. Both of us lent him elements for his face — her smile, my eyes. When he makes jokes, I hear echoes of myself, but when he laughs, it reminds me of my wife. He got her speed and my endurance.

Despite my paternal desire to see a piece of me in every part of him, soon after his birth I became convinced that somehow my genes played no role in the creation of his hair. He got that solely from his mother, whose tightly coiled curls require patient care and attention. All her diligent work pays off. From buns to braids to an Afro — whatever style she chooses elicits compliments. I have a head of straight strands, requiring little maintenance and styled in a fashion my barber calls a disconnected cut, which is appropriate given how little thought I give it.

As it began to grow into its curl pattern, Zephyr’s hair became less and less like my own. Though I tried, I never seemed to be able to dress or style it in the way he preferred. So, for the first few years of his life, it became solely his mother’s purview. Whenever it needed to be done, I would throw up my hands like a sitcom father from another era and exasperatedly declare to my wife, “You take care of it, because I can’t do it!”

“You’re perfectly capable,” she would always admonish me as she deftly coaxed his curls into place. “It’s not rocket science.”…

Read the entire article here.

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