Steeped in Heritage: The Racial Politics of South African Rooibos Tea

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, South Africa on 2017-07-25 02:33Z by Steven

Steeped in Heritage: The Racial Politics of South African Rooibos Tea

Duke University Press
2017-10-27
272 pages
3 illustrations
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8223-6993-6
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-6993-6

Sarah Ives, Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer
Stanford University

South African rooibos tea is a commodity of contrasts. Renowned for its healing properties, the rooibos plant grows in a region defined by the violence of poverty, dispossession, and racism. And while rooibos is hailed as an ecologically indigenous commodity, it is farmed by people who struggle to express “authentic” belonging to the land: Afrikaners who espouse a “white” African indigeneity and “coloureds,” who are characterized either as the mixed-race progeny of “extinct” Bushmen or as possessing a false identity, indigenous to nowhere. In Steeped in Heritage Sarah Ives explores how these groups advance alternate claims of indigeneity based on the cultural ownership of an indigenous plant. This heritage-based struggle over rooibos shows how communities negotiate landscapes marked by racial dispossession within an ecosystem imperiled by climate change and precarious social relations in the post-apartheid era.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction. The “Rooibos Revolution”
  • 1. Cultivating Indigeneity
  • 2. Farming the Bush
  • 3. Endemic Plants and Invasive People
  • 4. Rumor, Conspiracy, and the Politics of Narration
  • 5. Precarious Landscapes
  • Conclusion. “Although There Is No Place Called Rooibos”
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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One Woman’s Fight to Claim Her ‘Blackness’ in Brazil

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive on 2017-07-25 02:12Z by Steven

One Woman’s Fight to Claim Her ‘Blackness’ in Brazil

Foreign Policy
2017-07-24

Cleuci de Oliveira
Brasília, Brazil


Illustration by Sofía Bonati

The experience of a young lawyer raises difficult questions about race, belonging, and the bureaucracy of affirmative action in a country lauded for its egalitarian history.

When Maíra Mutti Araújo speaks, she draws out her vowels and pronounces them with a distinctively sharp tone. Her accent is immediately recognizable to Brazilians as typical of Salvador, a coastal city in the country’s northeast that is as famous for its beaches as its rich African heritage. Araújo grew up in Salvador, just like her mom. Her dad, who grew up in a rural town eight hours away, has lived there since college. She has her mom’s features — a broad nose, full lips — and her dad’s nut-brown complexion.

Araújo comes from a bookish family. Her parents met when they were both chemistry majors at a local university — they now work as middle school chemistry teachers. She got her law degree at the Federal University of Bahia, one of the country’s most prestigious. During her time in law school, Araújo began to consider a career in the civil service. She interned at the Federal Attorney General’s Office in Salvador while still a student and took a job as an analyst at the government accountability office in Manaus, in the state of Amazonas, after graduation. Her goal was to eventually become a prosecutor. “I love arguing cases,” Araújo says, “that whole process of taking a case and finding a solution for it.” As a prosecutor, she says, “you’re responsible for propelling the case forward. The outcome depends on your approach.”

In late 2015, Araújo set her sights on an attractive job opening for a prosecutor back in her hometown, in the Salvador municipal department. Everyone encouraged her to apply using a relatively new affirmative action option. “You of all people! You have to do it,” Araújo’s boss at the time told her. “If I had the chance to apply as a quotas candidate, I would totally go for it,” her friends said. “And you do! So apply!”…

…Even before slavery was abolished, the mixed-race Brazilians who resulted from these unions enjoyed freedoms not available to those with darker skin tones. Many thrived as small-scale farmers, for instance, and a few reached stratospheric heights: André Rebouças, whose grandmother had been a slave, rose to become one of Brazil’s most important engineers in the late 19th century. By the turn of the century, a complex hierarchy based on skin color, facial features, hair texture, education, and elocution, among other qualities, came to dominate the Brazilian social contract.

Unlike the United States, post-abolition Brazil did not enact “anti-miscegenation” or “separate but equal” laws, so race relations evolved with relative fluidity. The end result was that, contrary to America, where even a single black ancestor several generations removed marked a person as legally black, Brazilians came to define blackness as a matter of physical appearance. According to the late sociologist Oracy Nogueira — arguably the most influential scholar of Brazilian constructions of race — the American concept of “passing” as white is a moot one in Brazil, where simply looking white makes one so.

The quotas implemented in universities and government departments were born of attempts to push back against this pervasive colorism — the privileging of light skin over dark. Activists stress the importance of black representation in positions of power — particularly by those who, on account of having a darker complexion or markedly black features, do not benefit from a fluid racial identity that could otherwise see them classified as white. Which is why activists’ frustrations have grown over what they argue are light-skinned pardos taking advantage of hard-won affirmative action policies that were not fought for with them in mind…

Read the entire article here.

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Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference 2018: Resisting, Reclaiming, and Reimagining (Call for Papers)

Posted in Forthcoming Media, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2017-07-24 01:19Z by Steven

Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference 2018: Resisting, Reclaiming, and Reimagining (Call for Papers)

March 1-3, 2018 at the University of Maryland, College Park
Deadline: August 1, 2017
Notification: Early September 2017

Conference Description: Resisting, Reclaiming, and Reimagining, the next Critical Mixed Race Studies conference seeks to highlight resistance against white supremacy around the globe, the reclamation of community, kinship, and identity within the mixed-race community, and the reimagining of racial difference. The conference will be hosted at the University of Maryland, March 1-3 2018 and will include film screenings and a live performance showcase produced by Mixed Roots Stories. Recent events demonstrate that white supremacy, coupled with sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, and unchecked capitalism, is still central as an organizing principle and tool of domination. For example, borders and walls (both real and imagined) are being invoked by the current United States administration to marginalize people and combat the inevitable demographic shifts which will see this country become majority minority. By focusing on the resistance, reclamation, and reimagination of multiraciality, this interdisciplinary and transnational conference will be a forum dedicated to fostering relationships between people of color, dismantling racial hierarchies, and affirming an ethics of love to subvert dominant paradigms of social identity.

Proposals: CMRS welcomes submissions from scholars from all fields, cultural workers, and activists and invites posters, panels, roundtables, and individual papers that address the conference theme in a broad sense. Presentation formats may be varied and diverse, and we welcome proposals that involve poetry, visual art, storytelling, and other non-academic formats. Although not limited to these examples, proposals might explore the following:

  • A proposal from the social sciences might describe epistemological frameworks that center multiraciality and reclaim the heterogeneity of the mixed experience.
  • In the humanities, presenters might share how dominant cultures drive cultural norms and how this informs the global mixed experience.
  • Community activists and/or scholars engaged with the public may share how social justice work operates between and across minority communities.
  • Historians might explore legacies of revolution and resistance shaping the mixed experience in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and beyond.
  • Artists may share important works that decenter whiteness and reimagine social norms of identity.

IMPORTANT: Presenters at the conference must be members of the CMRS Association. Membership must be renewed annually and is available here. Presenters must be available to present on any of the 3 days of the conference.

Members of the CMRS Program Committee will be reviewing abstracts based upon the quality of the proposal. UMD class/meeting rooms are equipped with a Dell laptop, microphone and projector. Mac laptop users will need to provide their own projection adapters. Please note that all abstracts are to be submitted online using the CMRS form located here.

For more information, see our website. Contact us at: cmrsmixedrace@gmail.com

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I’m The Black Mom Of A Kid Who Looks White, & Your Comments Hurt Both Of Us

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-24 00:53Z by Steven

I’m The Black Mom Of A Kid Who Looks White, & Your Comments Hurt Both Of Us

Romper
2017-07-23

Sa’iyda Shabazz


Courtesy of Sa’iyda Shabazz

When my son was born, he was pretty much as pale as his white dad. We were a bit surprised, but we also knew that’s just how genetics work sometimes. What really surprised us, however, were how people responded to seeing his skin color. No one could believe that I, as a black woman, had birthed such a white baby.

These questions continued throughout his life. People have asked me countless times whether I was my son’s babysitter or nanny, and once, when I was out with a white friend, the waitress asked her questions about him, because it never even entered her mind that he could have been mine. It was heartbreaking, and also infuriating.

Many white moms of mixed kids have told me that my perceptions of how people deal with my mixed kid are wrong, and that I’m being overly sensitive. But as a Black mom with a kid who looks white, I’m seen as taking up space, and I find it incredibly frustrating. No one knows what to do with me. Strangers look at me and then at my son, trying to find enough similarities between us to make the familial connection. Some will be bold enough to ask, “Is he yours?”…

Read the entire article here.

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Minnie said William should show more respect for his race and reminded him that his mother was a black woman. His response was to punch her. Judge Berka sentenced him to 30 days in jail.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-07-24 00:38Z by Steven

Minnie [Bradley] returned to Omaha in 1904 and made two more appearances in police court before Judge Berka. The first, in March 1904, was as witness against a man named William Warwick, who was accused of assaulting her. The two had gotten into a heated argument when he bragged to her that, due to his light complexion, he often passed as a white man during his travels out west. He also mentioned that he had been in the company of two white women the previous evening. Minnie said William should show more respect for his race and reminded him that his mother was a black woman. His response was to punch her. Judge Berka sentenced him to 30 days in jail.

Shayne Davidson, “Angry in Omaha,” Captured and Exposed: Vintage Photography & True Crime Stories, June 8, 2017. https://capturedandexposed.com/2017/06/08/angry-in-omaha/.

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Hypatia’s Editor and Reviews Editor Resign; Authority of Associate Editors “Temporarily Suspended”

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Philosophy on 2017-07-23 23:48Z by Steven

Hypatia’s Editor and Reviews Editor Resign; Authority of Associate Editors “Temporarily Suspended”

Daily Nous: News For and About the Philosophy Profession
2017-07-21

Justin W.

The editor of feminist philosophy journal, Hypatia, Sally Scholz (Villanova University) and the editor of Hypatia Reviews OnlineShelley Wilcox (San Francisco State University), are resigning from their positions in the wake of the controversy surrounding the publication of “In Defense of Transracialism” by Rebecca Tuvel (Rhodes College). Meanwhile, the Board of Directors of Hypatia, the non-profit corporation that owns the journal, is taking “emergency measures to restore the academic integrity of the journal” and has “temporarily suspended the authority of the Associate Editorial Board.”

Readers may recall that the associate editors of Hypatia, responding to criticism on social media of the journal’s decision to publish Tuvel’s article, issued an unofficial apology in which they stated that the article “should not have been published.”…

Read the entire article here.

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How young Americans are set to change the US forever

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-23 23:36Z by Steven

How young Americans are set to change the US forever

BBC News
2017-07-18

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

William H. Frey is the author of Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics Are Remaking America.


Getty Images

Older white Americans still hold most of the economic and political power in the US. But the great ethnic diversity of younger generations means that change is coming.

America’s workforce, politics and place on the world stage will soon be changed forever.

So great and so rapid are the shifts in the country’s population, that, in the coming decade, the US is set to be transformed far more than other nations.

Almost half of millennials and children are from ethnic minority groups and it is this great diversity that is at the heart of demographic changes.

As the country comes to rely on them for its future prosperity, everyone will have to consider how society must change to make a success of this new reality…

Read the entire article here.

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Europeans invented the concept of race as we know it

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-07-23 23:23Z by Steven

Europeans invented the concept of race as we know it

Timeline
2017-07

Anjana Cruz, Anthropologist, Artist, Writer


Mildred and Richard Loving’s interracial marriage was deemed illegal under Virginia’s miscegenation laws. In 1967 their conviction was overturned by a Supreme Court decision ending all race-based marriage legislation. (AP)

Its origins can be traced to the colonization of the Americas

What do you think of when you hear the word “ghetto?” If you’re like most people, you envision black and Latino urban areas. If you know your history, you might think of pre-World War II Warsaw, or the early 20th century migrations of Jews, Italians, and others to the lower East Side tenements of Manhattan. But what comes to mind for the majority of Americans are pictures of the Bronx, Bedford Stuyvesant, Newark, Compton, East LA, West Town, or Englewood. Cities with recognizable earmarks: food deserts, poorly subsidized schools, and inadequate housing. And, like their urban counterparts and Native American reservations, most of these areas were designed to contain particular groups of people and control their movements through economic, political, and physical coercion. The plain fact is that while we sometimes associate ghettos with class, we most frequently see poverty associated with race. But what remains unknown to most Americans is the long and purposeful way that racial categories themselves were brought into existence. Race, as we currently understand it, as we currently live it, is almost entirely a product of the European imagination..

Read the entire article here.

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It’s Not My Job to Teach You about Indigenous People

Posted in Articles, Canada, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2017-07-23 16:36Z by Steven

It’s Not My Job to Teach You about Indigenous People

The Walrus
2017-07-18

Melanie Lefebvre, Red River Métis/Irish writer and visual artist
Kanien’kehá:ka Territory

If you don’t have time to educate yourself, then I can’t help you

I recently spent the evening with someone who is half Indigenous and half white. “Sally” was eager to learn more about her history, her family, and traditions. She was raised white and from what I learned, has a white perspective and approach to the world around her—meaning, her lens is very colonized.

Sally and I had just finished up dinner and were well into a bottle of Ménage à Trois (the name of a good wine, not the situation). Sally proceeded to ask me where she could learn about Indigenous peoples and cultures—you know, as a starting point. I said, the library. Obvious answer, right? Open a book and ye shall find information. Sally wasn’t keen on that response. Apparently, she was tired of reading and needed something a bit more readily available.

“I don’t enjoy research like you do,” said Sally, sipping. True, I spend a lot of time researching. I’m a writer. It’s what I love to do. And I look for positive Indigenous stories, but they often get overshadowed by ones like the recent murder of Barbara Kentner in Thunder Bay or the crisis of suicides among Native children. I attempt to read all of the stories on my feed because I am a witness to what has happened before, what is happening now, and what will happen to my children in the future. Still, many choose not to see…

Read the entire article here.

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USC to erect statue of first African-American professor

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-23 16:01Z by Steven

USC to erect statue of first African-American professor

The State
2017-01-29

Avery G. Wilks, Reporter


A portrait of Richard T. Greener on display at USC. Larry Lebby Larry Lebby

COLUMBIARichard T. Greener was little remembered in Columbia for almost 150 years.

Then, in 2012, Greener’s law degree and law license were found in a Chicago house that was being demolished. And Greener and the University of South Carolina were reunited.

Monday, USC will celebrate Greener, its first African-American professor.

And, next fall, Greener, who taught classics, math and constitutional history at USC from 1873-77, will become the first historical figure to be immortalized with a statue on USC’s downtown Columbia campus…

Read the entire article here.

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