How a biracial woman grew up thinking she was white

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-11-20 17:59Z by Steven

How a biracial woman grew up thinking she was white


Jenée Desmond-Harris

When Lacey Schwartz was accepted to Georgetown University, the school saw her photo and passed her name along to the black student association. The organization contacted her.

The only issue: Schwartz had grown up in a Jewish household in Woodstock New York, and had always — despite occasional questions about the source of her brown skin and curly hair — identified as white…

…Schwartz, who told Vox she now identifies as “black/biracial,” explaining, “I look at bi-racial as a category of being black,” said Little White Lie’s message is about more than just race…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Who You Really Are

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2014-11-20 01:46Z by Steven

Who You Really Are

Council for Responsible Genetics
Volume 27, Issue 2 (May-July 2014)

Robert Pollack, Professor of Biological Sciences, Earth Institute Professor, Adjunct Professor of Religion, Lecturer in Psychiatry
Columbia University, New York, New York

Patricia Williams, James L. Dohr Professor of Law
Columbia University, New York, New York

“International Biosciences offer a broad range of DNA Testing services designed to provide indisputable answers to emotional questions….”

“Your story awaits – go find it…”

“Welcome to you.”

Oh the happy marketplace for genetic information! The hunt is on: From royal roots to hidden baby-daddies, to making sure you’re not accidentally related to any of those many, many Kardashians. The very definition of “ancestry” is freighted with social meaning. “Tracking” it tempts one to imaginary flights about inheritance, wealth, esteem, identity, purity of lineage – and correction! How we all long to be redeemed by such searches, released from the unfairly limited befoggery of what we actually know of ourselves. What bliss instead to follow our most deliciously arrogant, nakedly ambitious fantasies of some Mystery Me, some hitherto unspoken-of chromosomal configuration that will distinguish and redeem. Given that hunger, it isn’t hard to market DNA as a product, like cement, designed to fill in the gaps, and provide stick-um for the jigsaw puzzle of ourselves. Within that marketplace, the definition of DNA is not confined by science but rendered connotatively huge, larger than galaxies, unconfined, a universe of wildest imagination. Yearning. Cure. Immortality. Control. A golem created from the skeletons of the past to address anxiety about what will happen to the present body.

Yet the boring bottom line is that we are all doomed to be embarrassed by the vulgar commonality of our humanity. We are all alone, orphans, bastards, individuals, adopted, adapted, lost, sold down the river, rediscovered like Moses in the bulrushes. We are, not one of us, descendants of a pure untainted line…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Go Stand Upon The Rock with Samuel Michael Lemon, Ed.D.

Posted in Audio, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, Slavery, United States on 2014-11-20 00:20Z by Steven

Go Stand Upon The Rock with Samuel Michael Lemon, Ed.D.

Research at the National Archives and Beyond
BlogTalk Radio
Thursday, 2014-11-20, 21:00 EST (Friday, 2014-11-21, 02:00Z)

Bernice Bennett, Host

Go Stand Upon the Rock (2014) is a deeply moving Civil War-era novel based on stories handed down by Sam Lemon’s grandmother about the lives of her grandparents who were once runaway slaves from Virginia. It is a tale of unsettling plantation life, courageous women, dramatic Civil War battles, heroes, hoodoo, and the indomitable strength of the human spirit. The book is supported by historical and genealogical research, photographs, and documents from his doctoral dissertation. This is a compelling and emotionally engaging history that comes alive through the lives of real people and events.

Dr. Sam Lemon grew up in Media, Pennsylvania, where his maternal great-great grandparents arrived as runaway slaves during the Civil War. Given refuge and support by local Quakers, his ancestors prospered and became prominent members of the community. He is currently an assistant professor and the director of a graduate program at Neumann University in Pennsylvania, and formerly worked in the fields of social services, education, and public television at WHYY in Philadelphia.

For more information, click here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-11-19 23:47Z by Steven

Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America

Brookings Institution Press
212 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780815725589
Paperback ISBN: 9780815725596
Ebook ISBN: 9780815726357

William H. Frey, Senior Fellow
Metropolitan Policy Program
Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.

At its optimistic best, America has embraced its identity as the world’s melting pot. Today it is on the cusp of becoming a country with no racial majority, and new minorities are poised to exert a profound impact on U.S. society, economy, and politics.

In April 2011 a New York Times headline announced, “Numbers of Children of Whites Falling Fast.” As it turns out, that year became the first time in American history that more minority babies than white babies were born. The concept of a “minority white” may instill fear among some Americans, but William H. Frey, the man behind the demographic research, points out that demography is destiny, and the fear of a more racially diverse nation will almost certainly dissipate over time.

Through a compelling narrative and eye-catching charts and maps, eminent demographer Frey interprets and expounds on the dramatic growth of minority populations in the United States. He finds that without these expanding groups, America could face a bleak future: this new generation of young minorities, who are having children at a faster rate than whites, is infusing our aging labor force with vitality and innovation.

In contrast with the labor force-age population of Japan, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, the U.S. labor force-age population is set to grow 5 percent by 2030.

Diversity Explosion shares the good news about diversity in the coming decades, and the more globalized, multiracial country that U.S. is becoming.


  • Preface
  • 1. A Pivotal Period for Race in America
  • 2. Old versus Young: Cultural Generation Gaps
  • 3. America’s New Racial Map
  • 4. Hispanics Fan Out: Who Goes Where?
  • 5. Asians in America: The Newest Minority Surge
  • 6. The Great Migration of Blacks—In Reverse
  • 7. White Population Shifts—A Zero-Sum
  • 8. Melting Pot Cities and Suburbs
  • 9. Neighborhood Segregation: Toward a New Racial Paradigm
  • 10. Multiracial Marriages and Multiracial America
  • 11. Race and Politics: Expanding the Battleground
  • 12. America on the Cusp
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Index

Tags: , , ,

What is a White Man?

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-11-19 23:20Z by Steven

What is a White Man?

The Independent
Volume 41 (1889-05-30)
pages 5-6
Source: The Charles Chesnutt Digital Archive

Charles W. Chesnutt, Esq.

The fiat having gone forth from the wise men of the South that the “all-pervading, all-conquering Anglo-Saxon race” must continue forever to exercise exclusive control and direction of the government of this so-called Republic, it becomes important to every citizen who values his birthright to know who are included in this grandiloquent term. It is of course perfectly obvious that the writer or speaker who used this expression—perhaps Mr. Grady of Georgia—did not say what he meant. It is not probable that he meant to exclude from full citizenship the Celts and Teutons and Gauls and Slavs who make up so large a proportion of our population; he hardly meant to exclude the Jews, for even the most ardent fireeater would hardly venture to advocate the disfranchisement of the thrifty race whose mortgages cover so large a portion of Southern soil. What the eloquent gentleman really meant by this high-sounding phrase was simply the white race; and the substance of the argument of that school of Southern writers to which he belongs, is simply that for the good of the country the Negro should have no voice in directing the government or public policy of the Southern States or of the nation.

But it is evident that where the intermingling of the races has made such progress as it has in this country, the line which separates the races must in many instances have been practically obliterated. And there has arisen in the United States a very large class of the population who are certainly not Negroes in an ethnological sense, and whose children will be no nearer Negroes than themselves. In view, therefore, of the very positive ground taken by the white leaders of the South, where most of these people reside, it becomes in the highest degree important to them to know what race they belong to. It ought to be also a matter of serious concern to the Southern white people; for if their zeal for good government is so great that they contemplate the practical overthrow of the Constitution and laws of the United States to secure it, they ought at least to be sure that no man entitled to it by their own argument, is robbed of a right so precious as that of free citizenship; the “all-pervading, all conquering Anglo-Saxon” ought to set as high a value on American citizenship as the all-conquering Roman placed upon the franchise of his State two thousand years ago. This discussion would of course be of little interest to the genuine Negro, who is entirely outside of the charmed circle, and must content himself with the acquisition of wealth, the pursuit of learning and such other privileges as his “best friends” may find it consistent with the welfare of the nation to allow him; but to every other good citizen the inquiry ought to be a momentous one. What is a white man?…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

The Case for Black With a Capital B

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Slavery, United States on 2014-11-19 20:45Z by Steven

The Case for Black With a Capital B

The New York Times

Lori L. Tharps, Associate Professor of Journalism
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA — I WAS sitting in my office at Temple University when I overheard an exchange between a colleague and his student. The student had come to see her professor to go over a paper, and he was patiently explaining that the abundance of grammatical mistakes detracted from her compelling content. I sympathized with my colleague as he pointed out error after error. Until he came to this one.

“Why did you capitalize black and white people?” he asked. “I thought I’d seen it written that way before,” the girl stammered. “Come on,” he said. “Why would you capitalize black or white?”…

…After emancipation, as many individuals replaced their slave surnames with ones of their own devising, like Freedman or Freeman, they still bore the painful legacy of the labels they’d been given: black, negro and colored.

It wasn’t only Black people who didn’t know what to call the nearly four million newly freed citizens of the United States. The government itself fumbled its way through names, categories and labels for Black people. Between 1850 and 1920, the United States census classified those of African descent as black, negro, mulatto, quadroon or octoroon — depending on the visual assessment of the census taker. By 1930, the Census Bureau offered just one of these categories: negro.

This wasn’t solely an issue of identity politics. In a 2008 article on the census for Studies in American Political Development, Jennifer L. Hochschild and Brenna M. Powell wrote, “Over the course of almost a century, the U.S. government groped its way through extensive experimentation — reorganizing and reimaging the racial order, with corresponding impact on individuals’ and groups’ life chances.” These names matter…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

‘Empire of Sin,’ by Gary Krist

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2014-11-19 20:25Z by Steven

‘Empire of Sin,’ by Gary Krist

The New York Times
Sunday Book Review

Walter Isaacson, President and CEO
Aspen Institute

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans By Gary Krist; Illustrated. 416 pp. Crown Publishers. $26.

When Tom Anderson’s saloon opened in 1901, at the entrance to the recently designated sin district known as Storyville on the edge of New Orleans’s French Quarter, people from all over town came to marvel at its opulence. Its cherrywood bar stretched half a block and was lit by a hundred electric lights. With Anderson’s encouragement, high-class brothels were soon flourishing down Basin Street. Josie Arlington, his business partner, had a four-story Victorian mansion with a domed cupola, mirrored parlor and Oriental statues. The exotic, mixed-race Lulu White built a brick palace that specialized in interracial sex and featured the jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton at the piano. Another octoroon (the appellation given to people considered to be one-eighth black), Willie V. Piazza, passed herself off as a countess and sported both a monocle and a diamond choker. Anderson, whose civic spirit earned him the title “the Mayor of Storyville,” published a Blue Book that contained photos and descriptions of the area’s better prostitutes, annotated with symbols (“w” for white, “c” for colored, “J” for Jewish and “oct.” for octoroon). It was all a vivid expression of the city’s tolerance and diversity…

…Through much of the 19th century, New Orleans had been racially progressive, especially for Creoles of color, most of them French-speaking Roman Catholics descended from families that had intermarried with Europeans. From the early 1870s onward, blacks could vote and serve on juries; marriage between different races was legal; and schools, lakefront beach areas and many neighborhoods were integrated. But the advent of Jim Crow laws after Reconstruction created a new dynamic. The reformers of the city’s elite took the lead in passing segregation laws as well as in cracking down on prostitution. In 1908, the State Legislature passed a bill that barred musical performances in saloons, prohibited blacks and whites from being served in the same establishment and excluded women from bars…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Is Parental Love Colorblind? Human Capital Accumulation within Mixed Families

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Economics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-11-19 17:32Z by Steven

Is Parental Love Colorblind? Human Capital Accumulation within Mixed Families

The Review of Black Political Economy
DOI: 10.1007/s12114-014-9190-1

Marcos A. Rangel, Assistant Professor
Sanford School of Public Policy
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Studies have shown that differences in wage-determinant skills between blacks and whites emerge during a child’s infancy, highlighting the roles of parental characteristics and investment decisions. Exploring the genetics of skin-color and models of intrahousehold allocations, I present evidence that, controlling for observed and unobserved parental characteristics, light-skinned children are more likely to receive investments in formal education than their dark-skinned siblings. Conscious parental decisions regarding human capital acquisition for their children seem to contribute for the persistence of earnings differentials and socio-economic stratification in Brazil.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , ,

Hispanic Or Latino? That Is The Question

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Audio, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-19 17:08Z by Steven

Hispanic Or Latino? That Is The Question

Tell Me More
National Public Radio

Michel Martin, Host

Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is being celebrated as Hispanic Heritage Month, but the some say the word “Hispanic” should be retired, and would rather be referred to as Latino. Host Michel Martin speaks to four Latinos with varying opinions on the subject — syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, Afro-Latino Activist Roland Roebuck, “Ask a Mexican” columnist Gustavo Arellano and Tell Me More Planning Editor Luis Clemens.

I’m Michel Martin, and this is Tell Me More from NPR News. It’s time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys talk about what’s in the news and what’s on their minds. And this week, we’re going for a different kind of shape-up than we usually do, you know, switching it up a little bit.

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month, and to mark the occasion, we’ve decided to represent right here in the Barbershop. So sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, who writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune and, Gustavo Arellano, who writes the syndicated column “Ask a Mexican,” community activist Roland Roebuck, and NPR editor Luis Clemens, our own. Welcome to you, and dare I say it? Hola…

…MARTIN: All right. And before we jump into other topics, I have to ask, this being Heritage Month, let’s start with the title itself. Whenever, you know, I have to choose, I always have this little moment, you know, why Hispanic versus Latino Heritage Month? Does it matter? Gustavo, I’m going to start with you because this is actually something you’ve written about and thought about a lot. So Hispanic versus Latino, why? Which?

Mr. ARELLANO: Which one? Honestly for me, it’s whatever people want to call themselves, whatever makes them more comfortable. Some people don’t like either of the labels. They want to call themselves Chicano or Boricua, or whatever their particular labels may be.

The reason why it’s called Hispanic Heritage Month is because it comes from the federal government deciding that hey, guess what? We’re all Hispanics, and this happened – the urban myth is that Richard Nixon was the godfather of Hispanics. That’s what Richard Rodriguez, the noted author said, but it was actually done during the Ford administration. And literally, it was done in the back room of some government hall where they took a poll. Should we call these people Latinos or Hispanic?

So Hispanic won. So in that case, that’s why I don’t like the term Hispanic. I don’t like the government telling me what I should call myself. I’d prefer Latino. But again, if you want to call yourself Hispanic, then God bless you. Or Dios bless you, right?

MARTIN: Okay, why do you prefer Latino?

Ms. ARELLANO: Just because it’s more out of, you know, out of eliminating the other part that I don’t like. So I don’t – I mean, I don’t like Hispanic only for that term, so I’ll use Latino. But me personally, I call myself Naranjedal(ph), a child of, you know, an orange-picker because I come from Orange County, California, and my grandparents were orange-pickers. So that’s what I would call myself, and that’s where – whenever I go across the country, that’s what I tell people I call myself. But, of course, only a very limited amount of people can call themselves that. So if I’m going to express brotherhood with the fellow people that were colonized by the Spaniards or the Portuguese, then I’ll just – I decide to call myself Latino.

MARTIN: Okay. Roland, what about you?

Mr. ROEBUCK: Well, this month should be called White Hispanic Heritage Month, because it allows an opportunity for white Hispanic to display their wares, and it also heightens the invisibility of Afro-Latinos that are seldom given a chance to participate in these national holidays. So we are invisible during the year, more so during White Hispanic Heritage Month.

MARTIN: Why do you say that? And for those who can’t – you consider yourself Afro-Latino.

Mr. ROEBUCK: Yes, yes. But just look at the events. Ever since Celia Cruz died, Roberto Clemente is not around, people are scrambling to find Afro-Latinos to be recognized because they concentrate on two areas.

MARTIN: Now, you prefer Latino, as opposed to – you don’t say Afro-Hispanic.

Mr. ROEBUCK: No. I say – if I’m going to use the Latino, it would be Afro-Latino because I want to acknowledge my Africanness, and I also want to recognize my cultural background, which is Puerto Rican. But I have to use both.

For me, Hispanic refers to white, Spanish-speaking individuals. So the whiter you are, the more inclined you will be to identify yourself as Hispanic. And this is prevalent throughout the Southern region of the United States. If you ask the average person on Columbia Road, do you consider yourself Hispanic? No. They will use a geographic identification…

Read the transcript here. Listen to the story here. Download the story here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sesquicentennial Event Addresses Colorado Inequality

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Law, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2014-11-18 22:21Z by Steven

Sesquicentennial Event Addresses Colorado Inequality

Clarion: The University of Denver’s Newwspaper Since 1892
Denver, Colorado

Carissa Cherpes

DU hosted a Sesquicentennial Conversation entitled Miscegenation Law, Marriage Equality, and the West 1864-2014 on Oct. 15 in the Sturm College of Law.

Over 50 students, faculty and others gathered to listen to three panelists lecture on how Miscegenation Laws and inequality affected our region throughout history. Miscegenation Laws banned marriages or relationships between mixed raced couples.

The three panelists were Rachel Moran, Ronald J. Stephens and Anna N. Martinez. The moderator was Bill Convery, who holds the position of Colorado State Historian

…Next to present was Moran. She described how Miscegenation Laws originated in the South when concern over mixed race slave children became an issue. The popular opinion was that “mixed race children were black,” and therefore could not be considered free or have rights.

She then went on to talk about California’s Miscegenation Laws, which targeted Asian immigrants. In California, the laws were designed to force Chinese, Japanese and Filipino immigrants to return to their native country.

Moran then discussed how the Colorado territory had Miscegenation Laws as well, but only after additional land was acquired from Mexico. Because the people living in the territory had different customs and laws, there was an invisible boundary where mixed race couples were more accepted. She concluded by explaining how it was not until the 1960s that the Supreme Court decided Miscegenation Laws were unfair

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,