Meet the New Student Activists

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-10 02:18Z by Steven

Meet the New Student Activists

The New York Times

As told to Abby Ellin

Young African-Americans and their allies are demanding change, leading people of all backgrounds to talk about issues that have lain dormant for decades. What do they want? Inclusion and representation — now. Here, seven students talk about the problems, the protests and themselves.

AMANDA BENNETT University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Bio: Senior, English/African-American studies; co-organizer of We Are Done movement; producer and co-author of “How Does It Feel to Be a Problem” video

My Story: I am totally African-American. My grandfather was a sharecropper in rural Alabama who moved to Atlanta and became a mechanic and worker at General Motors, so I grew up in Atlanta around middle-class black people. To come to Alabama and see this kind of segregation was horrifying to me. A lot of people who were impoverished 50 years ago, around the time of Selma, are still impoverished… .Nothing has changed structurally…


“Black women are at the bottom of the totem pole. When you free women of color, you free everyone.” — Nailah Harper-Malveaux Credit Fred R. Conrad for The New York Times

Bio: Senior, American studies/theater studies; director of theatrical productions that tell the stories of African-Americans

My Story: I’ve been surrounded by social justice and law my whole life. My mom is a civil rights lawyer turned law professor at Catholic University, while my dad is U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Council. My dad is Cherokee and Macanese, from Macau, and my mom is Creole, a mixture of Spanish and black descent. I don’t look white but I don’t look black, either. I identify as Indian and black. Because I’m mixed I have been very conscious of race my whole life, which is probably why I’ve participated in so many political events at Yale, including the midnight march to walk the demands to the president’s house. It was very empowering…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,

Review ‘A Ballerina’s Tale’ follows Misty Copeland’s incredible rise in the ballet world

Posted in Articles, Arts, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-09 02:33Z by Steven

Review ‘A Ballerina’s Tale’ follows Misty Copeland’s incredible rise in the ballet world

The Los Angeles Times

Mary McNamara, Contact Reporter

Misty Copeland in the documentary “A Ballerina’s Tale.” (Oskar Landi / Sundance Selects)

If you think #OscarsSoWhite, consider the world of elite ballet. And if you want to understand why the current conversation over the lack of diversity among this year’s film academy nominees is just one thread of a much larger tapestry, watch Nelson George’s documentary “A Ballerina’s Tale: The Incredible Rise of Misty Copeland” on PBS on Monday night.

Watch too if you are a dance aficionado or a woman, if you have a daughter or for that matter a son, if you are a Southern California resident or just a thinking member of a culture that is changing, with various degrees of resistance, in almost every area.

It won’t take long, just 90 minutes that include several exquisite dance scenes, Copeland’s now-signature friendly frankness and none of the crazy-girl “Black Swan” pathology we have come to expect from tales of the dance world…

…”I think that people think that sometimes I focus too much on the fact that I’m a black dancer,” Copeland says in the film’s opening moments. “There’s never been a black principal woman … in the top companies of the world. In New York City Ballet, in New York City. I don’t think people realize what a feat it is, being a black woman. But that’s so much of who I am, and I think it’s so much a part of my story.”…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , , , ,

A Ballerina’s Tale

Posted in Arts, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2016-02-09 01:59Z by Steven

A Ballerina’s Tale

By Nelson George | in Dance
Independent Lens
Public Broadcasting Service
Premieres 2016-02-08

Few dancers reach the highest levels of classical ballet; of that few only a fraction are black women. Against the odds, Misty Copeland has made history by becoming the first African American principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, considered the pinnacle of ballet in the United States. A Ballerina’s Tale is an intimate look at this groundbreaking artist as she breaks through barriers and transcends her art.

For more information, click here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2016-02-09 01:58Z by Steven

JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews

University of Nebraska Press
July 2016
192 pages
6 tables, 1 appendix
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8032-8565-1

Helen Kiyong Kim, Associate Professor of Sociology
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Noah Samuel Leavitt, Associate Dean of Students
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

In 2010 approximately 15 percent of all new marriages in the United States were between spouses of different racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds, raising increasingly relevant questions regarding the multicultural identities of new spouses and their offspring. But while new census categories and a growing body of statistics provide data, they tell us little about the inner workings of day-to-day life for such couples and their children.

JewAsian is a qualitative examination of the intersection of race, religion, and ethnicity in the increasing number of households that are Jewish American and Asian American. Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt’s book explores the larger social dimensions of intermarriages to explain how these particular unions reflect not only the identity of married individuals but also the communities to which they belong. Using in-depth interviews with couples and the children of Jewish American and Asian American marriages, Kim and Leavitt’s research sheds much-needed light on the everyday lives of these partnerships and how their children negotiate their own identities in the twenty-first century.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Motherhood in Liminal Spaces: White Mothers’ Parenting Black/White Children

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Work, Women on 2016-02-09 01:54Z by Steven

Motherhood in Liminal Spaces: White Mothers’ Parenting Black/White Children

Published online before print: 2016-01-08
DOI: 10.1177/0886109916630581

Mary Elizabeth Rauktis, Research Assistant Professor of Social Work
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Rachel A. Fusco, Associate Professor of Social Work
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Sara Goodkind, Associate Professor of Social Work
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Cynthia Bradley-King, Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Most of the extant social work research on biracial children and families has focused on the experiences of transracially adopted black or biracial children and their white parents or Afro-Caribbean/white children and their white mothers in the United Kingdom. This study adds to the body of knowledge by using focus group interviews analyzed through a feminist lens to understand the experiences of a diverse group of white women parenting their biological black/white biracial children. The findings suggest that having children locates them in a liminal space between whiteness and blackness. Many face racism from their families and communities, which they are unprepared for, given their upbringing as white Americans. Yet despite these experiences, many still practice color-blind perspective in socializing their children. Implications of these findings include the need for early intervention and support for white mothers raising biracial children as well as the need to challenge the assumption that mothers are solely responsible for the well-being and cultural and racial socialization of their children.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The mulatta concubine in diaspora is everywhere.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-02-08 01:37Z by Steven

The mulatta concubine in diaspora is everywhere. She is in representations of Thomas Jefferson’s long-term “relationship” with the enslaved Sally Hemings, begun when she was fourteen and he forty-four (see Gordon-Reed, American Controversy). She is the protagonist who emblemizes Cuban national identity in Cirilo Villaverde’s 1882 novel, Cecilia Valdes: Novela de costumbres cubanas. She is allusively present in the fantastical and garish transformation of an enslaved black woman to sexually powerful white (by virtue of makeup) mistress in the Brazilian film Xica! She is remembered as the owner of the infamous maison des esclaves (house of slaves) on Gorée Island, the former Senegalese slave entrepôt and now major slavery tour destination. She is the enslaved Joanna, “immortalized in John Gabriel Stedman’s Narrative of Five Years’ Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam (1806 [1796])” (Sharpe, Ghosts, 46). She is the commodity that drove the fancy slave trade in the antebellum United States. She is present in travelers’ descriptions of antebellum New Orleans’s free women of color. She is “that seductive mulatto woman” in colonial Saint-Domingue (Moreau de Saint-Méry, Civilization, 81-89).

Lisa Ze Winters, The Mulatta Concubine: Terror, Intimacy, Freedom, and Desire in the Black Transatlantic, (Athens: Georgia University Press, 2016), 3.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jay Smooth: The Ill Doctrine, Underground Railroad & Disenfranchised cheese puffs

Posted in Audio, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-02-08 00:51Z by Steven

Jay Smooth: The Ill Doctrine, Underground Railroad & Disenfranchised cheese puffs

The Katie Halper Show

Katie Halper, Host

On our first episode of the Live Katie Halper Show I front of an audience we talk to Jay Smooth, founder and host of The Underground Railroad and of the Ill Doctrine video series. His videos have garnered millions of views and praise from people like Rachel Maddow who has called his work genius. Find out what Jay Smooth’s favorite drink and snack are, what he thinks of gun violence, Empire, gentrification and what his grandfather said about The Beatles in the New York Times.

Tags: , , , ,

Episode 16: The Value of Diversity

Posted in Audio, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2016-02-07 16:08Z by Steven

Episode 16: The Value of Diversity

Inflection Point: Conversations with women changing the status quo

Lauren Schiller, Host

Companies are now paying consultants to increase the diversity of their workforce, with an eye on innovation and the bottom line. But is that the only motivation businesses should be considering?

We’ll talk with Joelle Emerson, a diversity consultant, and Allyson Hobbs, an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Stanford University and the author of “A Chosen Exile. A History of Racial Passing in American Life.” Hobbs argues that what is missing from our society is a deep understanding of the lives of others. The value of diversity. That’s our Inflection Point.

Listen to the episode here.

Tags: , , , ,

Permanent Exile: On Marie Vieux-Chauvet

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Women on 2016-02-07 15:52Z by Steven

Permanent Exile: On Marie Vieux-Chauvet

The Nation

Madison Smartt Bell, Professor of English
Goucher College, Baltimore, Maryland

Marie Vieux-Chauvet (Anthony Phelps)

In Love, Anger, Madness, Marie Vieux-Chauvet explores the choking fear of life under “Papa Doc” Duvalier.

For the last thirty years of the twentieth century, Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s Amour, colère et folie was legendary for being lost. Published in France by Gallimard in 1968, this triptych of thematically linked novellas soon caused alarming ripples in the author’s native Haiti, where the Vieux-Chauvet family had already lost three of its members to the regime of state terror erected by François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, beginning in 1957. Warned that the book would almost certainly provoke serious reprisals, Vieux-Chauvet persuaded Gallimard to withdraw it, while she went into permanent exile in New York City, where she died in 1973 at 57. Her husband, Pierre Chauvet, made an emergency trip to Haiti, where he purchased as many copies of the book already in circulation there as he could recover–in order to destroy them. Remnants of the Gallimard edition were discreetly sold by Vieux-Chauvet’s children, in very few venues, until the stock was exhausted in 2000, and a pirated edition made a shadowy appearance in 2003. But otherwise the book was virtually impossible to find until its republication in France by Zellige in 2005.

Is the artifact worth such a weight of suffering and struggle? Whether any work of art can ever be worth even a single human life is a question that will never be settled–but this book is surely a masterpiece. Within the community of Haitian writers and writers of the Haitian diaspora it has been prized not only for its rarity but also for its great literary power. In her succinct introduction to the present edition, Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat ranks Vieux-Chauvet among a “multigenerational triad” of the greatest Haitian writers (including Jacques Roumain and Jacques Stephen Alexis) and dubs the trilogy “the cornerstone of Haitian literature.” Backed by such accolades, and now available in both French and English, Amour, colère et folie can take the central place it deserves in late-twentieth-century Haitian letters. If Duvalierism is the central political experience of the end of the Haitian twentieth century, the psychology of those oppressed by it has never been more compellingly rendered than here.

The three narratives that compose this volume have no continuity of plot from one to the next and no common characters. However, they reflect one another in tone, mood and theme sufficiently to integrate the book as a larger whole–a continuum describing the reactions of different classes of people to a generally similar experience of invasion and oppression from without their households, and a suffocating claustrophobia within. Love is the longest and most realistic narrative; Madness is more surreal and much shorter. Standing between them, Anger (which might have been translated better as “Wrath”) has the structure and feeling of Greek tragedy without echoing any particular Greek play in terms of specific characters or plot lines.

Love is set within the community of “aristocrats,” to which Vieux-Chauvet belonged: a comparatively small group of mixed European and African blood, which, since the Haitian Revolution ended in 1804, has preserved, as if in amber, the eighteenth-century French acculturation it received during the colonial period. These milat, as they are called (a term that derives from the uncomplimentary “mulatto” but in the Haitian context conveys wealth, education and social standing as much or more than pigmentation), have in reality always been a thin, fragile, creamy layer floating uneasily at the top of the vast black Haitian majority. For most of Haiti’s history, the often but not always light-skinned elite has been able to concentrate a great deal of the country’s wealth and a disproportionate share of political power; but in Love its position is felt to be threatened by the rise of a movement based on black power, which resembles nothing so much as the Duvalier regime, though Chauvet does make the faint self-protective gesture of setting the story in 1939, eighteen years before Duvalier took the presidency…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , , , ,

“So it’s just like a mixture. So I just really never know what to identify myself.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-02-06 22:17Z by Steven

“I don’t know if I’m like White, if I’m African American because I am from the Dominican Republic. I was born there,” she said. “My grandmother is like Black…her skin color is Black, but my grandfather was part Chinese…So it’s just like a mixture. So I just really never know what to identify myself.” —Nanyelis Diaz, Tampa, Florida

Naomi Prioleau, “Identity A Challenge For Latinas Who Are Black,” WUSF News/WUSF Public Media, February 3, 2016.

Tags: , , ,