We are not “belligerent,” “dark” or “bitter”

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-12-01 02:31Z by Steven

We are not “belligerent,” “dark” or “bitter”

Media Diversified
2016-11-29

Tele Ogunyemi, Co-founder
Diaspora Philes

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s recent article ‘Blend it like Britain’ is a masterpiece in how to simultaneously erase and fetishize people of colour. Published on 6th November 2016 in the Sunday Times Magazine to promote Amma Asante’s new film ‘A United Kingdom’, the article is littered with racist or otherwise problematic assertions about people of colour, and their role in creating a modern multicultural Britain. Alibhai-Brown’s article seeks to explore the role of white women in building a ‘multicultural’ Britain, but is laced with rhetoric that casually dehumanizes people of colour. [Chief amongst these lazy tropes are toxic portrayals of an exotic and dangerous black masculinity in contrast to a pristine, “middle class” white womanhood.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown writes that ‘miscegenation goes way back and deep down in Great Britain. Much of this integration is thanks to an unsung history of white British women who defied social norms to follow their hearts.’

We do not doubt that white women in relationships with men of colour played a part in this demographic change in society. However, by placing white British women at the centre of a narrative about multicultural nationhood, Alibhai-Brown erases the contributions of millions of immigrants who have come to the UK and done the difficult work of integrating into a new society whilst enriching Britain with the best elements of their cultures…

Read the entire article here.

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Patrick Wolfe: Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Race

Posted in Audio, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Oceania, United States on 2016-12-01 02:24Z by Steven

Patrick Wolfe: Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Race

New Books Network
2016-11-07

Lynette Russell, Professor
Monash University, Australia

Aziz Rana, Professor of Law
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Widely known for his pioneering work in the field of settler colonial studies, Patrick Wolfe advanced the theory that settler colonialism was, “a structure, not an event.” In early 2016, Wolfe deepened this analysis through his most recent book, Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Race (Verso Books, 2016) which takes a comparative approach to five cases in: Australia, Brazil, Europe, North America, and Palestine/Israel. Just as settler colonialism grew through institutionalized structures of Indigenous elimination, categorical notions of race grew through purpose-driven (and context-specific) exploitation, classification and separation. In Traces of History, the machinery and genealogy of race are as present in land relations as they are in legal precedents.

Wolfe ties together a transnational pattern of labor substitution and slavery, Indigenous land dispossession, and the inception of racial categories which continue to normalize these historical processes into the present. While the Indigenous/settler relationship is binary across societies, Wolfe posits, the seemingly fixed concepts of race it produces are, actually, widely varied. Bearing strong threads of influence by Said, DuBois, Marx, and countless Indigenous and Aboriginal scholars, Wolfe lays down a model for drawing connections across these cases, while simultaneously acknowledging that as with any ongoing process, there remain pathways for optimism and change.

Patrick Wolfe passed away in February 2016 shortly after the publication of Traces of History. The following interview is with Dr. Lynette Russell and Dr. Aziz Rana, two of Wolfe’s many colleagues and thought partners both impacted by and familiar with his work. Prompted by the release of Traces of History and Wolfe’s untimely passing soon after, the interview recorded here engages the book as a platform for broader discussion about the substance of Wolfe’s intellectual pursuits, integrity, commitments and the creativity and challenges borne of them…

Listen to the interview (00:48:39) here. Download the interview here.

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Guest Shot: Vancouver viaducts removal clears way to honour Hogan’s Alley

Posted in Articles, Canada, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-12-01 01:10Z by Steven

Guest Shot: Vancouver viaducts removal clears way to honour Hogan’s Alley

Vancouver Metro News
2016-11-10

Wayde Compton


Vancouver writer Wayde Compton (Ayelet Tsabari/Submitted)

Removal of the 1960s downtown infrastructure a chance to create a gathering space, an archive, for future black communities, argues Wayde Compton

Last year, Vancouver City Council voted to take the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts down.

This was the culmination of years of study, spearheaded by Coun. Geoff Meggs of Vision Vancouver. Before the vote, members of the public appeared before council to say a few words, to voice their hopes and concerns.

They were so numerous that two days were required to accommodate everyone. While a wide variety of opinions were aired, many of the people there insisted that in some way or other the new plans need to honour the history of Hogan’s Alley — the neighbourhood that existed for decades at the site where the viaducts were built in the late 1960s, and which included a sizeable population of black Vancouverites..

…The viaducts were part of an “urban renewal” scheme that fit a pattern of such plans all across North America during that era: freeways were slated to connect cities to their suburbs, and they were almost always run through black neighbourhoods — because black residents were considered expendable.

In the case of Vancouver, Chinatown was also targeted.

But as it turned out, Vancouver’s freeway plan was never realized, and the only portion built was the one that obliterated black centralization in the East End (or Strathcona, as it came to be called through this planning)…

Read the entire article here.

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Blend it like Britain

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-12-01 00:51Z by Steven

Blend it like Britain

The Sunday Times
The Times of London
2016-11-06

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown


United colours: one in 10 people in this country are in a mixed relationship
MORDECHAI MEIRI

An acclaimed new movie, A United Kingdom, is set to shine a spotlight on mixed-race relationships — and how British women changed society’s attitude towards them. The time to celebrate these unsung pioneers is long overdue

Brits have long been typecast as a nation of snobs and Little Englanders. Dull, cold, twitchy folk, as culturally unadventurous as they are sexually repressed. These “small islander” traits are a key part of the national story, but only a part. Dig beneath the surface of British history and society, and you find a culture that is curious and expansive. One in 10 people in this country are in a mixed relationship. Millions of us are bolder than the supposedly romantic and hot-blooded Italians or French, most of whom are conformist and tend not to break out of their cultural and ethnic boundaries.

Europeans are (very slowly) becoming more ethnically mixed, but they will never catch up with the UK’s demographic melange. Between 2001 and 2011, there has been a rise of more than 50% in British black/white partnerships. Today, around half of black and 20% of British-Asian men have wedded or cohabit with white women. This is no new trend. Miscegenation goes way back and deep down in Great Britain. Much of this integration is thanks to an unsung history of white British women who defied social norms to follow their hearts.

In the 16th century, the first black people arrived on these shores. The majority were men: slaves, freed slaves and servants. Poor, working-class women in London and the port cities paired up with them, had children too. They were the first to set the trend that grew during the days of empire and the two world wars. A report written in Liverpool in the early 1930s depicted these women as feckless and promiscuous. In the late 1940s, ships arrived carrying Caribbeans, again mostly men. They, too, found Englishwomen who were enraptured by darker-skinned partners. The women were often reviled, but many of them refused to bow to prejudice. These women began the social revolution that changed Britain for ever…

Read the entire article here.

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A Mixed Race Feminist Blog Interview with Jamal Langley

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-12-01 00:30Z by Steven

A Mixed Race Feminist Blog Interview with Jamal Langley

Mixed Race Feminist Blog
2016-11-29

Nicola Codner
Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom


Jamal Langley

Interviewee Bio

Hey. My name is Jamal Langley and I’m 22 years old. I aspire to be a public academic, which is an academic that creates knowledge that is of practical use in order to mobilise the public democratically. I think that the idea of public academia will become increasingly important in the years to come due to Trump’s presidential victory and Brexit. I see these events as resulting from the failure of the elitist experts that guide our politicians to create fair societies that work for everyone.

Next year I hope to continue my education at the University of Leeds with my PhD research on ‘Black British and Mixed Race identity: The Intersectionality between Race, Class and Political affiliation’. I wish to explore this area by trying to understand why we have simultaneously seen a rise in the activity of black liberationist groups in the UK, and the largest number of Black Minority Ethnic (BME) people voting for the Conservative party in the 2015 election. I have been unable to attract funding for my project, however I hope with your help I can crowd fund my tuition fees. I believe that my research is of real value to the black and left wing community. By gaining a better understanding of black & mixed race identity in contemporary Britain, this research hopes to foster better community mobilisation against racism. Projects such as mine are where we should invest our support if we wish to create material changes and narratives that support the world we envisage.

What was your experience of school like as a mixed race boy?

In primary school, I remember thinking I was different from the majority of the students that were white. I didn’t like this difference until we got Sky TV and I started to watch MTV Base and Channel U which depicted black culture as cool. I had Ludacris’ album “Chicken and Beer” and Dizzee Rascal’sBoy in the Corner”. I would listen to them when I got home from school. In year 4 I wrote a short story about an alien that abducted small children to eat. My teacher thought it was a really good story and praised me for it at parents evening, however when my dad read it he took away all my rap albums. He believed that they were indoctrinating me with violent ideas. I will say myself that towards the end of primary school and at the beginning of secondary school, I do believe that the culture glorified in rap music did affect my behaviour in a mischievous way…

How has your relationship with your parents and family influenced your racial identity?

My Mum is white British and my Dad was born in Britain, but my grandparents emigrated here from Jamaica. My parents have been split up since I was conceived, yet I have spent a lot of time with both of them. Both of my parents went on to meet new partners, who they had children with.

In a way I would say not only am I mixed race but I am also mixed class. My mum has always been working class, living in council accommodation and working in low skilled jobs when she could. My father on the other hand lives in a large house with a mortgage paid for by his partner who is a successful businesswoman. Her support has allowed my dad to go to university, work odd jobs and move onto his latest and most successful venture of selling vinyl…

Read the entire interview here.

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Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Race

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Oceania, United States on 2016-12-01 00:12Z by Steven

Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Race

Verso Books
January 2016
306 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781781689172
Hardback ISBN: 9781781689165
Ebook ISBN: 9781781689196

Patrick Wolfe

Traces of History presents a new approach to race and to comparative colonial studies. Bringing a historical perspective to bear on the regimes of race that colonizers have sought to impose on Aboriginal people in Australia, on Blacks and Native Americans in the United States, on Ashkenazi Jews in Western Europe, on Arab Jews in Israel/Palestine, and on people of African descent in Brazil, this book shows how race marks and reproduces the different relationships of inequality into which Europeans have coopted subaltern populations: territorial dispossession, enslavement, confinement, assimilation, and removal.

Charting the different modes of domination that engender specific regimes of race and the strategies of anti-colonial resistance they entail, the book powerfully argues for cross-racial solidarities that respect these historical differences.

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Evolution of interracial marriage

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Videos, Virginia on 2016-11-30 23:58Z by Steven

Evolution of interracial marriage

WSLS-TV 10
Roanoke, Virginia
2016-11-22

Brie Jackson, Anchor/Reporter

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – The story of one Virginia couple whose love for one another changed history is being shown on the big screen nationwide including the Grandin Theatre.

Loving” tells the story of Mildred and Richard Loving. He was white, she was black and Native American. Decades ago, their marriage was against the law in Virginia and several other states. Their love story broke barriers for interracial couples.

In 1958, the couple married in Washington, D.C. where it was legal, but returned home to Virginia and were arrested. A judge sentenced the couple to prison unless they left the commonwealth for 25 years. They did, but returned to the state five years later and were jailed again. Eventually their case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where the court ruled the ban on interracial marriage unconstitutional.

That 1967 decision paved the way for others to marry who they love regardless of race.

“The bottom-line, if you love someone it does not matter the color of your skin,” said Pamela Casey.

Pamela and Corwin Casey’s love story begins in 1980 when Corwin was an activities director at a children’s home in North Carolina. Pamela said they met on her first day. She arrived as a volunteer from her church in Ohio

Read the entire article here.

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Carina E. Ray: Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana

Posted in Africa, Audio, History, Interviews, Media Archive on 2016-11-30 21:23Z by Steven

Carina E. Ray: Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana [Interview]

New Books Network
2016-10-07

Dawne Curry, Associate Professor of History and Ethnic Studies
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

In Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana (Ohio University Press, 2015), Carina E. Ray interrogates the intersections of race, marriage, gender and empire in this thought-provoking study that challenges the notion of identity and the politics that surround it. Ray plumbs the depth of an array of archival material, which includes travel narratives, visual sources, administrative records, wills, and personal and official correspondence. She also conducted interviews to further piece together the inner lives of Africans and Europeans to show how interracial marriages and relationships evolved in Ghana. In a very compelling way, Ray deconstructs intersexual economies to show their linkages to the slave trade and beyond. Her opening vignette not only sets the stage for the themes she addresses to illustrate how Africans had agency even when it came to marrying across the color line. Shortlisted for the United Kingdom’s Fage and Oliver Prize and the winner of the American Historical Associations’s Wesley-Logan Prize for African Diaspora History, this groundbreaking book has set new standards for understanding race, its implementation and its interpretation not only in Africa but also around the world.

Listen to the interview (00:57:50) here. Download the interview here.

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The Distinction Between Slavery and Race in U.S. History

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2016-11-30 21:04Z by Steven

The Distinction Between Slavery and Race in U.S. History

African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)
2016-11-27

Patrick Rael, Professor of History
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

The history of the Electoral College is receiving a lot of attention. Pieces like this one, which explores “the electoral college and its racist roots,” remind us how deeply race is woven into the very fabric of our government. A deeper examination, however, reveals an important distinction between the political interests of slaveholders and the broader category of the thing we call “race.”

“Race” was indeed a critical factor in the establishment of the Constitution. At the time of the founding, slavery was legal in every state in the Union. People of African descent were as important in building northern cities such as New York as they were in producing the cash crops on which the southern economy depended. So we should make no mistake about the pervasive role of race in the conflicts and compromises that went into the drafting of the Constitution.

Yet, the political conflicts surrounding race at the time of the founding had little to do with debating African-descended peoples’ claim to humanity, let alone equality. It is true that many of the Founders worried about the persistence of slavery in a nation supposedly dedicated to universal human liberty.  After all, it was difficult to argue that natural rights justified treason against a king without acknowledging slaves’ even stronger claim to freedom. Thomas Jefferson himself famously worried that in the event of slave rebellion, a just deity would side with the enslaved…

Read the entire article here.

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A United Kingdom: Love In The Time Of The British Empire

Posted in Africa, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-11-30 20:40Z by Steven

A United Kingdom: Love In The Time Of The British Empire

Media Diversified
2016-11-28

Shane Thomas

Once the year in film began with #OscarsSoWhite, was it coincidence that 2016 is closing – and 2017 beginning – with a raft of movies featuring people of colour? We have Hidden Figures, Lion, Fences, and the magnificent Moonlight to come. We recently had the release of Queen of Katwe, and last Friday saw A United Kingdom, Amma Asante’s follow-up to Belle, appear in cinemas.

The story focuses around the true-life romance between Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams (played by David Oyelewo and Rosamund Pike). Seretse, who is studying in London in 1947, meets and falls in love with Ruth while in England. Normally this would set the table for a garden variety rom-com. But there’s no chance of any “com”, due to the complications the relationship brings. Seretse is the dauphin to the throne of Bechuanaland (a place under British control, before it was known as Botswana), and he is black, while Ruth is white…

Read the entire review here.

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