Join the Greatest Minds Society of GSU for a Discussion on Racial Identity with Playwright Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2014-09-18 01:21Z by Steven

Join the Greatest Minds Society of Georgia State University for a Discussion on Racial Identity with Playwright Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni of “One Drop of Love

Georgia State University Speaker’s Auditorium
44 Courtland Street, SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Thursday, 2014-09-18, 13:30-15:30 EDT (Local Time)

Who are you? What’s your identity? Where do you come from? What’s your story? What’s your history?

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Award-Winning Actor, Producer and Educator
“One Drop of Love”

Ashley Uzamere, Undergraduate Student, EVP
Student Goverment Association

George R. Greenidge, Jr., Ph.D. Student
Department of Sociology
President, Greatest Minds Society

Lauren Sudeall Lucas, J.D., Assistant Professor of Law
Georgia State University College of Law

Kyael Moss, Undergraduate Student, Student Senator
Student Goverment Association

Laschonda Pituk, Undergraduate Student
Member, Greatest Minds Society

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Filmmaker in Focus: Lacey Schwartz

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Religion, United States on 2014-09-18 00:11Z by Steven

Filmmaker in Focus: Lacey Schwartz

Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival 2014
2014-09-11

Aurora Herrera

Throughout history and for various reasons, many people who are not white have passed for white. But how many people have passed without knowing they were doing so?

That is precisely what the documentary Little White Lie, a deeply personal film by Lacey Schwartz, is about. It is also a film about family secrets, deception, denial and a courageous search for identity.

Lacey Schwartz grew up in a Jewish family in upstate New York, and always believed that she was white. She was told that her relatively dark skin and curly hair were the result of a certain Sicilian ancestor. As a young woman, however, she began ask deeper questions about her identity and talk about matters of race and identity.

The CEO of the production company Truth Aid, Lacey is a director/producer who has worked with a variety of production companies and networks, including MTV and BET. Little White Lie (2014) is the first film that Lacey has directed. She also executive produced the narrative film Difret (2014, and also a selection of ttff/14), which won audience awards at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals. Lacey has a BA from Georgetown University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Lacey will bet at the ttff/14 for the screenings of her film on 17 and 19 September. Ahead of the screenings, Festival blogger Aurora Herrera discussed the film with her and heard first-hand about her journey to finding out who she is, and about her need to redefine her identity.

Aurora Herrera: Tell me about the title of the film. Usually a little white lie is something that doesn’t hurt anybody. However, this lie hurt many people.

Lacey Schwartz: The title is meant to be ironic in the sense that people can use the term little white lie to describe things that are harmless and to spare everybody pain, but in fact part of the point is that these little white lies can actually build up and affect people a lot. The lies can pile upon each other. Also, there is kind of a double entendre in the sense that it implies that I am the little white lie so there is also a racial connotation to it, like when something is white it’s considered good and when something is black it’s considered bad…

Read the entire interview here.

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David Palumbo-Liu interviews Ruth Ozeki

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Interviews, United States, Women on 2014-09-17 21:51Z by Steven

David Palumbo-Liu interviews Ruth Ozeki

Los Angeles Review of Books
2014-09-16

David Palumbo-Liu, Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor; Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Stanford University

Where We Are for the Time Being with Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and a Zen Buddhist priest. She is the author of three novels: My Year of Meats (1998), All Over Creation (2003), and A Tale for the Time Being (2013). Her website and other web sources portray a diverse and fascinating set of life experiences and a considerable skill set: she worked on cult SF classic Robot Holocaust and has done straightforward commercial film work, started a language school in Japan, worked as a bar hostess there, made award-winning films herself (Body of Correspondence, Halving the Bones), done extensive study of Zen, and worked as a Zen teacher. Among other things.

In 2013 A Tale for the Time Being was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize as well as for a National Book Critics Award; it won the Kitschies Red Tentacle Award for Best Novel, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. The reviews in the United Kingdom tended to stress that, as The Independent had it, “her novels are witty, intelligent, and passionate.” The reaction of the American press was more boisterous: The Chicago Tribune noted “their shrewd, playful humor, luscious sexiness, and kinetic pizazz.”

Her work is all that, and much more. Her books are deeply involved in issues of science, technology, gender, and attend both to deep history and to the contemporary. They are concerned with our minds and bodies, but even more particularly with our spirit, and with our commitment to the future. I spoke with Ruth Ozeki at Stanford in 2013 and then corresponded with her during the book tour that followed, and am delighted that My Year of Meats was selected as one of the three books all incoming frosh will read at Stanford this autumn. Now in its 11th year, the texts for this year’s Three Books program address the theme of “Science”: Physics for Future Presidents by Richard Muller, My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki, and Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss. I cannot think of a better humanistic author to feature for this series.

DAVID PALUMBO-LIU: Ruth Ozeki — thanks for sitting down with me as you return from doing extensive travel and readings of A Tale for the Time Being. You have given a huge number of interviews, so I’d like to make this relatively targeted. First, in all your work you are especially interested in the complex interweaving of narrative voices. This latest work is the one in which your Buddhism shows up the most explicitly. How does a Buddhist sense of Self (or non-Self) work to help shape this novel, especially in terms of constructing your different narrators? Who are these “people”? What kind of character “development” or “intregity” should we find?

RUTH OZEKI: This notion of self (Self?) is a great place to start, and immediately I find myself resisting the capitalization of the word, which in itself is significant. The capital S seems to imply a fixed and singular entity, a God-like Self, whereas my sense of self is a more shifting (shifty?) and pluralistic entity, an interdependent collectivity of lowercase gods, demigods, and demons…

…Even in My Year of Meats, my first novel, I was playing with fictionalized autobiography. One of the narrators of that book, Jane, is a mixed-race documentary filmmaker who lives in New York. I, too, am a mixed-race documentary filmmaker who lived in New York. I knew readers would assume that Jane equaled Ruth, so I made Jane six feet tall and dyed her hair green, so readers could tell us apart.

I bring this up because I think my mixed-race identity is why I experience myself, and the world, pluralistically. I’m a racially hybridized, genetically pluralistic entity, who has never lived in any one place or culture. As Jane says, “being half, I’m neither here nor there.” Or maybe that was me who said that.

Anyway, I certainly don’t think I’m unique in this regard. All of us are racially, religiously, and/or culturally pluralistic, and increasingly so. As human beings, we’re all trying to integrate and make sense of our pluralistic elements, aren’t we? To find some kind of wholeness?…

Read the entire interview here.

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One Drop of Love: A Multimedia Solo Performance on Racial Identity by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni at James R. Fitzgerald Theater

Posted in Arts, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-09-17 19:20Z by Steven

One Drop of Love: A Multimedia Solo Performance on Racial Identity by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni at James R. Fitzgerald Theater

James R. Fitzgerald Theater
Cambridge Rindge & Latin School
459 Broadway
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Friday, 2013-08-30, 19:30 EDT (Local Time)

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Playwright, Producer, Actress, Educator

Jillian Pagan, Director

Produced by: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chay Carter

How does our belief in ‘race’ affect our most intimate relationships?

One Drop of Love: A Daughter’s Search for her Father’s Racial Approval is a multimedia solo show that journeys from the U.S. to East & West Africa and from 1790 to the present as a culturally Mixed woman explores the influence of the “one -drop rule” on her family and society.

For more information, click here.

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Challenger Upends Brazilian Race for Presidency

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Women on 2014-09-17 17:52Z by Steven

Challenger Upends Brazilian Race for Presidency

The New York Times
2014-09-15

Simon Romero, Brazil Bureau Chief

RIO DE JANEIRO — When Dilma Rousseff and Marina Silva were both cabinet ministers, they clashed on everything from building nuclear power plants to licensing huge dams in the Amazon.

Ms. Rousseff came out on top, emerging as the political heir to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and ultimately succeeding him as president. But she now finds herself locked in a heated race with Ms. Silva, an environmental icon who is jockeying for the lead in polling ahead of the Oct. 5 election as an insurgent candidate repudiating the power structure she helped assemble.

Ms. Silva’s upending of the presidential race is a symbol of the antiestablishment sentiment that has roiled Brazil, including anxiety over a sluggish economy and fatigue with political corruption. Her rising popularity also taps into shifts in society like the rising clout of evangelical Christian voters and a growing disquiet with policies that have raised incomes while doing little to improve the quality of life in Brazilian cities.

“Marina differs from other politicians” in this election “in that she came almost from nothing,” said Sonia Regina Gonçalo, 34, a janitor, referring to Ms. Silva, who was born into extreme poverty in the far reaches of the Amazon. “She’s the ideal candidate for this time in Brazil.”

Thrust to the fore after her running mate, Eduardo Campos, died in a plane crash in August, Ms. Silva, 56, has a background with few parallels at the highest levels of Brazilian politics, allowing her to resonate with voters across the country.

If elected, she would be Brazil’s first black president, a milestone in a country where most people now identify themselves as black or mixed race, but where political power is still concentrated in the hands of whites…

Read the entire article here.

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Making Race Count in the Census

Posted in Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Live Events, United States on 2014-09-17 17:29Z by Steven

Making Race Count in the Census

New York University
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
53 Washington Square South
New York, New York 10012
Wednesday, 2014-09-17, 18:30-21:00 EDT (Local Time)

Are Hispanics becoming white? Are Latin@s a race? How can we account for race and ethnicity in ways that best represent our interests? Can a Census form really capture our social realities?

Join a distinguished panel of experts for a dialogue on race, Latin@s, and the U.S. Census.

  • Angelo Falcón is president of the National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP) and editor of its Network on Latino Issues.
  • Zaire Zenit Dinzey-Flores is associate professor of sociology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
  • Nicholas Jones is the Director of Race & Ethnic Research and Outreach of the Population Division at the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Nancy López is associate professor of sociology and director and co-founder of the Institute for the Study of “Race” and Social Justice at the University of New Mexico.
  • Edward E. Telles teaches courses in race, ethnicity and immigration, with a special emphasis on Latin America and Latinos, at Princeton University.

“Making Race Count in the Census,” is part of the public programming leading up to our second transnational conference Afro-Latin@s Now: Race Counts! to be held in New York City on October 23-25, 2014.

To RSVP, click here.

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From Harlem to Shenzhen: One Jamaican-Chinese Woman’s Quest to Find Her Family

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United States on 2014-09-16 21:29Z by Steven

From Harlem to Shenzhen: One Jamaican-Chinese Woman’s Quest to Find Her Family

The Wall Street Journal
2014-09-02

Debra Bruno

Growing up in New York’s Harlem, Paula Williams Madison knew she had a Chinese grandfather, even though she had never met him.

When people found out, she says, most of them would make comments such as “Really? You don’t look Chinese.” Others would laugh. Even so, she always intended to track down her mother’s father and learn the full story of her multi-ethnic Jamaican-Chinese family.

By the time she found them, her tiny American family had expanded to about 400 living members and a family tree that goes back 3,000 years. A new documentary tells the story of that journey and the discovery of a family that today extends from Shenzhen, China, to Kingston, Jamaica, and Los Angeles, California.

Ms. Madison, 62, spent much of her career at NBC, and retired a few years ago as an executive at NBC Universal, one of the first black women to achieve that rank. She says she waited until retiring to pursue her dream of reconnecting with her Chinese family.

Before, “I did know a handful of my cousins,” she says. “Now there are about 40.”

Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China,” directed by Jeanette Kong of Toronto, a fellow Chinese-Jamaican, tells the story of Ms. Madison’s quest. After slavery ended in Jamaica in 1838, the country sought immigrants to do the work slaves had performed on sugar plantations. By 1920, 4,000 of those immigrants were Chinese. Ms. Madison’s grandfather—a Hakka Chinese man from Guangdong province originally named Lowe Ding Chiu—was one of them, moving there in 1905 at age 15…

Read the entire article here.

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A mixed-race German confronts white supremacists face-to-face, including the Klan

Posted in Articles, Arts, Audio, Europe, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2014-09-16 01:44Z by Steven

A mixed-race German confronts white supremacists face-to-face, including the Klan

Public Radio International
2014-09-15

Leo Hornak, Producer

Susie Blair, Producer

Most people would probably run for shelter if confronted with death threats. But Mo Asumang had a different impulse: “I don’t want to hide — it’s not my nature.”

Asumang — who is half-German and half-Ghanaian — came into the public eye during the 1990s as one of the first black women on German television. More recently, the actress and presenter became the target of right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis simply for being a person of color on television.

One particularly jarring threat came via song — a track titled “This Bullet Is For You, Mo Asumang” by the German white-power band White Aryan Rebels.

“Of course I get emails from neo-Nazis, and they are really awful,” she says. “I don’t want to mention what they write.”

But instead of shying away from her attackers, Asumang decided to confront them directly. “I thought, ‘Who are these people? How do they react when they meet me?’” she says.

She filmed those confrontations as part of an upcoming documentary called “The Aryans.” The title references the attacks against her, which are based on her “non-Aryan” identity. But Aryan is a problematic title — one that Asumang says was co-opted by the Nazis to describe the “master race.” Historically, she says, it’s not a white identity at all…

Read the entire article here. Listen to the interview here.

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A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life – Allyson Hobbs

Posted in Audio, Forthcoming Media, History, Interviews, Live Events, Passing, United States on 2014-09-16 01:17Z by Steven

A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life – Allyson Hobbs

Research at the National Archives and Beyond
BlogTalk Radio
Thursday, 2014-11-06, 21:00 EST (Friday, 2014-11-07, 02:00Z)

Bernice Bennett, Host

Allyson Hobbs is an assistant professor in the history department at Stanford. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and she received a Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Chicago. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. Allyson teaches courses on American identity, African American history, African American women’s history, and twentieth century American history. She has won numerous teaching awards including the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize. She has appeared on C-SPAN and National Public Radio and her work has been featured on CNN.com and Slate.com. Allyson’s first book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, published by Harvard University Press, examines the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present.

For more information, click here.

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The Morristown Festival of Books is Proud to Announce the Authors for September 26 and 27, 2014

Posted in Articles, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, Passing, United States on 2014-09-16 01:01Z by Steven

The Morristown Festival of Books is Proud to Announce the Authors for September 26 and 27, 2014

Morristown Festival of Books: Where Readers & Authors Meet
Morristown, New Jersey
2014-06-24

We are pleased to present our Friday night Keynote speaker and 21 authors appearing at the all-day Saturday Festival!

They will be sharing their perspectives on writing, on their book topics, answering audience questions, and signing copies of their recent releases. Choose some great summer reading and have fun trying to decide which authors you want to meet in the fall. The schedule and venues will be published early in September. Continue to check the website for updates and news throughout the summer…

…Coming in September, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life is the intriguing topic examined by Morristown High School graduate Allyson Hobbs, an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Stanford University. In the margins of historical accounts and the dusty corners of family archives, she uncovers stories long hidden.  A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, and awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, Hobbs has appeared on C-Span and National Public Radio

Read the entire announcement here.

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