The passing of David Matthews

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-01-23 22:39Z by Steven

The passing of David Matthews

Savannah Now (Savannah Morning News)
Savannah, Georgia
2007-01-13

John Stoehr


David Matthews

In Harlem Renaissance author Claude McKay’s 1931 short story “Near-White,” Angelina Dove, a pale African American hoping to move up in the world, asks her mother “if some people are light enough to live like whites, why should there be such a fuss? Why should they live colored when they can be happier living white?”

Apparently many did. According to “The White African American Body,” by Charles D. Martin, a professor of literature at Florida State University, Ebony magazine published an article in 1948 titled “5 million U.S. white Negroes.”

The story, Martin wrote, proudly reported an upsurge in the number of African Americans who crossed the color line undetected by Jim Crow America. The article’s centerpiece was a series of photographs. The reader was invited to guess which person was black and which was white. Of the 14 portraits, three were white.

One of these “millions” of “white Negroes” was Anatole Broyard, the New York Times literary critic who, for decades, protected the Ivory Tower of European high culture from the unwashed proletariat while also “passing” for white, to the extent that even his wife and children didn’t know of his African ancestry until after his death in 1990.

Broyard’s hidden identity was revealed by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in a piece titled “The Passing of Anatole Broyard” for the New Yorker in 1996. The practice of racial passing, and the serious questions the social phenomena raises about the metaphysics of race and the paradox of racial identity, received wider attention four years later thanks to Philip Roth’s novel “The Human Stain” and its eventual movie adaptation.

In the decades since Martin Luther King Jr.’sI Have a Dream” speech, which have witnessed the rise of black nationalism, hip-hop, political correctness and influential black figures like Tiger Woods and Barack Obama, one might think passing for another race an archaic endeavor – discouraged by proud enfranchised blacks, dismissed by guilt-ridden whites.

As David Matthews demonstrates in his new memoir, “Ace of Spades,” however, passing continues. Like Angelina Dove, Matthews passed for white for the first 20 years of his life – throughout the 1970s, ’80s and into the ’90s – as a means of living more happily in an America still in thrall to the oppressive requirement of identification according to race…

Read the entire review here.

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Valley of the Guns: The Pleasant Valley War and the Trauma of Violence

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2019-01-22 21:27Z by Steven

Valley of the Guns: The Pleasant Valley War and the Trauma of Violence

University of Oklahoma Press
October 2018
312 Pages
10 b&w illus., 3 maps, 2 tables, 2 charts
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8061-6154-9
Kindle ISBN: 978-0-8061-6251-5
e-pub ISBN: 978-0-8061-6252-2

Eduardo Obregón Pagán, Bob Stump Endowed Professor of History
Arizona State University, Tempe

In the late 1880s, Pleasant Valley, Arizona, descended into a nightmare of violence, murder, and mayhem. By the time the Pleasant Valley War was over, eighteen men were dead, four were wounded, and one was missing, never to be found. Valley of the Guns explores the reasons for the violence that engulfed the settlement, turning neighbors, families, and friends against one another.

While popular historians and novelists have long been captivated by the story, the Pleasant Valley War has more recently attracted the attention of scholars interested in examining the underlying causes of western violence. In this book, author Eduardo Obregón Pagán explores how geography and demographics aligned to create an unstable settlement subject to the constant threat of Apache raids. The fear of surprise attack by day and the theft of livestock by night prompted settlers to shape their lives around the expectation of sudden violence.

As the forces of progress strained natural resources, conflict grew between local ranchers and cowboys hired by ranching corporations. Mixed-race property owners found themselves fighting white cowboys to keep their land. In addition, territorial law enforcement officers were outsiders to the community and approached every suspect fully armed and ready to shoot. The combination of unrelenting danger, its accompanying stress, and an abundance of firearms proved deadly.

Drawing from history, geography, cultural studies, and trauma studies, Pagán uses the story of Pleasant Valley to demonstrate a new way of looking at the settlement of the West. Writing in a vivid narrative style and employing rigorous scholarship, he creatively explores the role of trauma in shaping the lives and decisions of the settlers in Pleasant Valley and offers new insight into the difficulties of survival in an isolated frontier community.

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‘White Like Her’ Optioned For TV Series By FGW Productions

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-01-22 21:00Z by Steven

‘White Like Her’ Optioned For TV Series By FGW Productions

Deadline Hollywood
2019-01-15

Anita Busch, Film Editor


Skyhorse Publishing/Jerome Lukasik

EXCLUSIVE: The bestselling book White Like Her, author Gail Lukasik’s personal exploration about her mother’s decision to hide her African American heritage and pass for white, has been optioned by FGW Productions (Who Killed Tupac?). White Like Her will be adapted as a dramatic TV series.

The book, published last year by Skyhorse Publishing, was inspired by Lukasik’s appearance on PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow. Vowed to secrecy until her mother’s death, Lukasik revealed on national television to 1.5 million people that her mother passed for white. Within 24 hours of her appearance, the family she never knew she had, found her.

Set against the historical backdrop of the Jim Crow South, the book chronicles Lukasik’s journey to uncover the truth of her mother’s racial heritage and to understand her mother’s decision to pass for white. The project will be produced by Stephanie Frederic and Susan Banks in association with Tricia Woodgett of TigerEye Films and Datari Turner of Datari Turner Productions…

Read the entire article here.

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American Routes: Racial Palimpsests and the Transformation of Race [Oliver Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2019-01-22 18:54Z by Steven

American Routes: Racial Palimpsests and the Transformation of Race [Oliver Review]

Race, Politics, Justice
2018-06-01

Pamela Oliver, Conway-Bascom Professor of Sociology
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Angel Adams Parham’s book American Routes: Racial Palimpsests and the Transformation of Race (Oxford, 2017, available in hardcover and as an ebook from many vendors) is an exciting work that makes a novel and important contribution to our understanding of race in the US. The “racial palimpsest” idea is that different racial systems layer over each other and can coexist as different groups struggle over their identity and position in society. Parham’s case is the refugees who fled the revolution in St. Domingue (present-day Haiti) and joined the Louisiana Creoles between 1791 and 1810. This migration almost doubled the population and left New Orleans blacker, more African, and with a larger proportion of free people of color. New Orleans and Louisiana had been governed first by the Spanish and then the French and had operated with a tri-partite racial system that permitted open relations between free people of color and whites and the accumulation of wealth by free people of color; allowed mixed-race offspring to inherit; treated whiteness as a matter of appearance and status, not purity; and both provided more possibilities for slaves to become free and permitted slaves more freedom to congregate than the Anglo-American system. When the United States acquired Louisiana in 1803, this French racial system was viewed as dangerous by the white Anglo-Americans and the two systems came into confrontation…

Read the entire view here.

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Backlash Over Ad Depicting Naomi Osaka With Light Skin Prompts Apology

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2019-01-22 16:36Z by Steven

Backlash Over Ad Depicting Naomi Osaka With Light Skin Prompts Apology

The New York Times
2019-01-22

Daniel Victor


At left, a cartoon version of Naomi Osaka in an ad for Nissin, a Japanese instant-noodle brand; at right, the real Ms. Osaka at the Australian Open this month.
Nissin; Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Naomi Osaka, the half-Haitian, half-Japanese tennis champion, is the star of a new Japanese anime-style advertisement.

The problem? The cartoon Ms. Osaka bears little resemblance to her real, biracial self.

Her skin was unmistakably lightened, and her hair style changed — a depiction that has prompted criticism in Japan, where she has challenged a longstanding sense of cultural and racial homogeneity.

The ad — unveiled this month by Nissin, one of the world’s largest instant-noodle brands — features Ms. Osaka and Kei Nishikori, Japan’s top-ranked male tennis player, in a cartoon drawn by Takeshi Konomi, a well-known manga artist whose series “The Prince of Tennis” is popular in Japan…

Mr. Konomi and Ms. Osaka, who faces Elina Svitolina in an Australian Open quarterfinal match on Wednesday, have not publicly commented on the backlash to the ad…

Read the entire article here.

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‘I’m mixed-race, is Cambridge University right for me?’

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-01-22 16:17Z by Steven

‘I’m mixed-race, is Cambridge University right for me?’

BBC News
2019-01-22

Anoushka looking round Cambridge University

Anoushka Mutanda Dougherty has been offered a place at Cambridge University, but she’s mixed-race and from a state school – and only 3% of students who started at Cambridge in 2017 were black, or mixed-race with black heritage. So is it the best place for her? At this point, she’s not sure.

Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world. Cambridge is the fourth-oldest surviving university in the world. Cambridge has produced, so far, 90 Nobel prize winners – and Cambridge, this educational powerhouse, just might not be where I want to go. At least, that’s how I feel right now, a week after finding out that I got a place…

Read the entire article here.

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American Routes: Racial Palimpsests and the Transformation of Race

Posted in Books, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2019-01-22 01:31Z by Steven

American Routes: Racial Palimpsests and the Transformation of Race

Oxford University Press
2017-04-18
296 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780190624750

Angel Adams Parham, Associate Professor of Sociology
Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana

Reviews and Awards

  • Co-winner, 2018 Allan Sharlin Memorial Award, Social Science History Association
  • Honorable Mention, Thomas and Znaniecki Book Award, International Migration Section, American Sociological Association
  • Co-winner, Barrington Moore Book Award in Comparative and Historical Sociology, American Sociological Association

Overview

  • The first comparative sociological study of nineteenth century white and free black immigrants to the US
  • Challenges the reliance of immigration scholarship on the historical experiences of European immigrants
  • Combines archival research, interviews, oral histories, and participant observation to trace the experience of white and black refugees and their descendants in Louisiana over two hundred years

American Routes provides a comparative and historical analysis of the migration and integration of white and free black refugees from nineteenth century St. Domingue/Haiti to Louisiana and follows the progress of their descendants over the course of two hundred years. The refugees reinforced Louisiana’s tri-racial system and pushed back the progress of Anglo-American racialization by several decades. But over the course of the nineteenth century, the ascendance of the Anglo-American racial system began to eclipse Louisiana’s tri-racial Latin/Caribbean system. The result was a racial palimpsest that transformed everyday life in southern Louisiana. White refugees and their descendants in Creole Louisiana succumbed to pressure to adopt a strict definition of whiteness as purity that conformed to standards of the Anglo-American racial system. Those of color, however, held on to the logic of the tri-racial system which allowed them to inhabit an intermediary racial group that provided a buffer against the worst effects of Jim Crow segregation. The St. Domingue/Haiti migration case foreshadows the experiences of present-day immigrants of color from Latin-America and the Caribbean, many of whom chafe against the strictures of the binary U.S. racial system and resist by refusing to be categorized as either black or white. The St. Domingue/Haiti case study is the first of its kind to compare the long-term integration experiences of white and free black nineteenth century immigrants to the U.S. In this sense, it fills a significant gap in studies of race and migration which have long relied on the historical experience of European immigrants as the standard to which all other immigrants are compared.

Table of Contents

  • List of Charts and Figures
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Racial Systems and the Racial Palimpsest
  • Chapter 2: St. Domingue as Training Ground: Color, Class, and Social Life Before Louisiana
  • Chapter 3: White St. Domingue Refugees and White Creoles in Nineteenth Century Louisiana
  • Chapter 4: St. Domingue Refugees and Creoles of Color
  • Chapter 5: Twenty-first Century Remnants of a White Creole Past
  • Chapter 6: Into the Twenty-First Century: Creoles of Color Finding Their Way
  • Chapter 7: Conclusions: Racial Palimpsests and the Transformation of U.S. American Regions
  • Appendix
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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‘Hidden Figures’ NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson to release autobiography next year

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2019-01-21 18:48Z by Steven

‘Hidden Figures’ NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson to release autobiography next year

The Los Angeles Times
2018-12-20

Michael Schaub

'Hidden Figures' NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson to release autobiography next year 
This combination photo shows, Katherine Johnson in the press room at the Oscars in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, 2017, left, and her book “Reaching For the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson.” ((Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, left, and Atheneum Books for Young Readers))

Katherine Johnson, the pioneering NASA mathematician and computer scientist whose work was integral to the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, will release an autobiography for young readers next year.

The 100-year-old Johnson, who was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the hit 2016 movie “Hidden Figures,” will tell her life story in “Reaching for the Moon,” a book for middle-grade readers, publisher Atheneum Books for Young Readers announced in a news release.

Johnson, a West Virginia native, was hired by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the predecessor to NASA, in 1953. She worked as a “human computer,” or a mathematician who could perform complicated calculations manually…

Read the entire article here.

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Inside Kamala Harris’s relationship with an Indian-American community eager to claim her

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2019-01-21 18:21Z by Steven

Inside Kamala Harris’s relationship with an Indian-American community eager to claim her

McClatchy: DC Bureau
2018-12-18

Katie Glueck, Senior Political Correspondent

Indian-American publications write about her regularly. Her first name means “lotus” in Sanskrit. She takes pride in grinding her own Indian spices. And she has been known to reference slogans that were used by Indian independence fighters like her grandfather.

If Kamala Devi Harris runs for president, the Democratic senator is poised to be championed by Indian-Americans, a constituency with significant representation in the donor community, growing numbers of political activists and candidates—and a sizable presence in states that will play key roles in the Democratic primary, from California to Texas.

“She will change the game if she runs for president,” said Anurag Varma, a Democratic donor who frequently supports Indian-American candidates and “absolutely” would back Harris. “She will create a new game if she becomes president.”…

Harris, of California, is the daughter of Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who was born in India, and Donald Harris, born in Jamaica. The senator identifies as both African-American and South Asian-American, according to her Senate website, which notes that she is the country’s first South Asian-American senator— a background that opens doors with a diverse set of voters….

Read the entire article here.

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Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, United States, Women on 2019-01-21 17:48Z by Steven

Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

Atheneum Books for Young Readers (an imprint of Simon and Schuster)
September 2019
288 pages
Hardcover ISBN 13: 9781534440838
eBook ISBN 13: 9781534440852

Katherine Johnson

The inspiring autobiography of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who helped launch Apollo 11.

Throughout Katherine Johnson’s extraordinary career, there hasn’t been a boundary she hasn’t broken through or a ceiling she hasn’t shattered. In the early 1950s, she joined the organization that would one day become NASA, and which had only just begun to hire black mathematicians. Her job there was to analyze data and calculate the complex equations needed for successful space flights. As a black woman in an era of brutal racism and sexism, Katherine faced daily challenges and often wasn’t taken seriously by the scientists and engineers she worked with. But her colleagues couldn’t ignore her obvious gifts—or her persistence. Soon she was computing the trajectory for Alan Shepard’s first flight and working on the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first men on the moon. Katherine’s life has been a succession of achievements, each one greater than the last.

Katherine Johnson’s story was made famous in the bestselling book and Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Now in Reaching for the Moon she tells her own story for the first time, in a lively autobiography that will inspire young readers everywhere.

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