Lewis Hamilton attacks silence from F1 paddock over George Floyd killing

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2020-07-06 20:23Z by Steven

Lewis Hamilton attacks silence from F1 paddock over George Floyd killing

The Guardian
2020-05-31

Giles Richards


Lewis Hamilton has accused ‘some of the biggest stars’ in his sport of ‘staying silent in the midst of injustice’ after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Photograph: David Davies/PA
  • Hamilton: ‘I see those of you who are staying silent’
  • Driver condemns response from ‘white-dominated sport’

Lewis Hamilton has spoken out about the killing of George Floyd and offered a damning condemnation of the silence from others in Formula One, including his fellow drivers.

“I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice,” he wrote on Instagram. “Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white-dominated sport.

“I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone. I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can’t stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are, and I see you.”

Hamilton is the only black driver in Formula One and has been outspoken on the sport’s need for greater diversity in the past. “There’s barely any diversity in F1,” Hamilton said in 2018. “Still nothing’s changed in 11 years I’ve been here.”…

Read the entire article here.

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“My Kids Are Getting The Message Loud And Clear: Being Black Is A Burden”

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom, United States on 2020-07-06 20:07Z by Steven

“My Kids Are Getting The Message Loud And Clear: Being Black Is A Burden”

Vogue UK
2020-07-05

Christabel Nsiah-Buadi


©Misan Harriman

Unable to shield her children from the global conversation on anti-Black racism, Christabel Nsiah-Buadi is leaning in to celebrating her kids’ #BlackBoyJoy and #BlackGirlMagic. But, she writes, real change takes time.

A few weeks ago, my daughter handed me one of her final pieces of first-grade homework. It was a memory book. On the front page, she had coloured all of the kids with brown skin. Inside, she drew a picture of herself hugging her teacher, who is Asian American. She coloured both of them with pink skin.

I found that strange, because it was the first time my kid had done that in her nearly eight years. As a child with a white father and a black mother, she is used to seeing people of different skin colours in her life. Indeed, my husband and I have made a conscious effort to make sure she could see the power in being a brown-skinned girl, because we knew that by being a Black kid living in the US or the UK, it was only a matter of time before she’d be told – by someone in her life, or something she heard, saw or watched – that she was less valued than her white friends…

Read the entire article here.

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Black Tommies: British Soldiers of African Descent in the First World War

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2020-06-23 01:55Z by Steven

Black Tommies: British Soldiers of African Descent in the First World War

Liverpool University Press
2015-12-04
208 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-781-38018-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-781-38019-2
eBook ISBN: 978-1-781-38427-5

Ray Costello

Black Tommies is the first book entirely dedicated to the part played by soldiers of African descent in the British regular army during the First World War. If African colonial troops have been ignored by historians, the existence of any substantial narrative around Black British soldiers enlisting in the United Kingdom during the First World War is equally unknown, even in military circles. Much more material is now coming to light, such as the oral testimony of veterans, and the author has researched widely to gather fresh and original material for this fascinating book from primary documentary sources in archives to private material kept in the metaphorical (and actual) shoe boxes of descendants of black Tommies. Reflecting the global nature of the conflict, Black Tommies takes us on a journey from Africa to the Caribbean and North America to the streets of British port cities such as Cardiff, Liverpool and those of North Eastern England. This exciting book also explodes the myth of Second Lieutenant Walter Tull being the first, or only, black officer in the British Army and endeavours to give the narrative of black soldiers a firm basis for future scholars to build upon by tackling an area of British history previously ignored.

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Emma Amos, Painter Who Challenged Racism and Sexism, Dies at 83

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2020-06-14 00:38Z by Steven

Emma Amos, Painter Who Challenged Racism and Sexism, Dies at 83

The New York Times
2020-05-29

Holland Cotter, co-chief art critic


The artist Emma Amos with her 2006 work “Head First.” Her paintings often depicted women flying or falling. Becket Logan

Early in her career she created brightly colored scenes of black middle-class domestic life. Her later work was increasingly personal and experimental.

Emma Amos, an acclaimed figurative artist whose high-color paintings of women flying or falling through space were charged with racial and feminist politics, died on May 20 at her home in Bedford, N.H. She was 83.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, said the Ryan Lee Gallery in Manhattan, which represents her.

A key event in Ms. Amos’s career came in 1964. A 27-year-old graduate student in art education at New York University, she was invited to join a newly formed artists group called Spiral.

Its members, all African-American, included Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis and the muralist Hale Woodruff — midcareer artists with substantial reputations. Organized in response to the 1963 March on Washington, the group was formed to discuss and debate the political role of black artists and their work…

…Emma Veoria Amos was born on March 16, 1937, in Atlanta from a lineage that was, by her own account, “African, Cherokee, Irish, Norwegian and God knows what else.” Her parents, India DeLaine Amos and Miles Green Amos, were cousins. Her father, a graduate of Wilberforce University in Ohio, was a pharmacist; her mother, who had a degree in anthropology from Fisk University in Nashville, managed the family-owned Amos Drug Store…

Read the obituary here.

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Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain’s Atlantic Empire

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom, Women on 2020-06-06 02:24Z by Steven

Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain’s Atlantic Empire

University of North Carolina Press
June 2020
Approx. 336 pages
10 halftones, 5 figs., 7 tables, notes, index
6.125 x 9.25
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-5879-7
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5526-0

Christine Walker, Assistant Professor of History
Yale-NUS College, Singapore

Jamaica Ladies is the first systematic study of the free and freed women of European, Euro-African, and African descent who perpetuated chattel slavery and reaped its profits in the British Empire. Their actions helped transform Jamaica into the wealthiest slaveholding colony in the Anglo-Atlantic world. Starting in the 1670s, a surprisingly large and diverse group of women helped secure English control of Jamaica and, crucially, aided its developing and expanding slave labor regime by acquiring enslaved men, women, and children to protect their own tenuous claims to status and independence.

Female colonists employed slaveholding as a means of advancing themselves socially and financially on the island. By owning others, they wielded forms of legal, social, economic, and cultural authority not available to them in Britain. In addition, slaveholding allowed free women of African descent, who were not far removed from slavery themselves, to cultivate, perform, and cement their free status. Alongside their male counterparts, women bought, sold, stole, and punished the people they claimed as property and vociferously defended their rights to do so. As slavery’s beneficiaries, these women worked to stabilize and propel this brutal labor regime from its inception.

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How Emma Dabiri is changing the conversation around afro hair

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2020-03-07 00:19Z by Steven

How Emma Dabiri is changing the conversation around afro hair

Vogue (Australia)
2020-03-05

Eni Subair


Author Emma Dabiri of Don’t Touch My Hair. Image credits: Matthew Stone

The author of Don’t Touch My Hair — which illustrates the oppressive hair journey that black people have been on — wants to put an end to the discriminatory behaviour surrounding afro hair. Here, she unpicks her own experience and delves into the stigmatisation still held within society.

In February, 18-year-old Ruby Williams was awarded a sum of £8,500 (AU$16,634) after embarking on a three-year legal battle with her school in east London, having been singled out and sent home numerous times because her afro didn’t adhere to school regulations. Shockingly, the issue is ongoing in the UK, with the frequency of school exclusions for afro hair rapidly rising.

Emma Dabiri, author of 2019’s powerful Don’t Touch My Hair and a lecturer at SOAS University of London, is campaigning against the UK ruling currently in place around hair by asking members of the public to sign a petition to amend the Equality Act 2010. Currently, the act protects colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origins, but hair — specifically afro hair — is not a named “protected characteristic”. It’s a grey area that leaves students and employees open to being pulled up about their hair. Dabiri, who is of Nigerian and Irish descent, wants the law changed, not least because the mother of two fears her own children may one day face the same prejudice. “I have a seven-year-old who has had hairstyles other kids have been excluded for having,” she tells Vogue. “I want that to change before he goes to secondary school.”

She hopes her book, which illustrates the oppressive hair journey black people have been on, will help change the rhetoric and discriminatory behaviour around afro hair.

Here, Emma Dabiri tells Vogue why she’s rallying the masses to sign the petition, and why warped perceptions around black afro hair need to stop…

Read the entire interview here.

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BBC One to adapt Kit de Waal’s My Name is Leon into film

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2020-03-06 16:27Z by Steven

BBC One to adapt Kit de Waal’s My Name is Leon into film

The Book Seller: At the Heart of Publishing since 1858
2020-02-25

Florence Leslie


Kit de Waal

BBC One will adapt Kit de Waal’s novel My Name is Leon (Simon & Schuster) into a film.

My Name is Leon will be adapted by Shola Amoo, writing his first screenplay for television and directed by Kibwe Tavares. It will be produced by Douglas Road Productions for BBC One.

Set in 1980s Britain, My Name is Leon tells the “uplifting and incredibly moving story of nine year old Leon, a mixed-race boy whose desire is to keep his family together, as his single-parent mother suffers a devastating breakdown” according to its synopsis.

Amoo said: “I’m very excited to be a part of this ground-breaking project for the BBC. It was a real honour and privilege to adapt Kit De Waal’s touching and thought-provoking book for the screen and I can’t wait to share it with the world.”…

Read the entire article here.

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The Gospel according to Meghan

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Religion, United Kingdom on 2020-03-03 14:23Z by Steven

The Gospel according to Meghan

The Christian Recorder: The Official Organ of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
2020-02-28

Jennifer P. Sims, Ph.D., Columnist; Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Alabama, Huntsville


Jennifer P. Sims, Ph.D.

A few weeks ago, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shocked their family and the world by announcing that they would step back from their roles as senior members of the British Royal Family. Contributing to their decision was the intense media attention and its accompanying salacious criticism of their family. Meghan, who is mixed-race (Black/White) and American, has been receiving the brunt of the media abuse. From newspaper stories disdaining her every behavior, despite having lauded some of the same actions when White British Royals like Kate Middleton did them, to a reporter literally comparing her newborn son to a monkey, the British media has been unconscionable toward the Duchess of Sussex.

Social media dubbed the family’s departure from the UKMegxit,” a word play on “Brexit” which refers to Britain’s recent exit from the European Union, and leading news sources reached out to social scientists for comments. In an interview with The Washington Post, for example, I discussed the role of anti-black racism and classism in the Sussex family’s experiences. My colleague, who is a psychologist, explained to PBS News Hour how the experiences of mixed-race Blacks such as Meghan and [Barack] Obama reiterate that a few minorities gaining positions of power does not signal the end of prejudiced thinking. A historian penned an essay that situated Megxit within the Black feminist tradition of resilience…

Read the entire article here.

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A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica by Brooke N. Newman (review)

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United Kingdom on 2020-02-18 19:09Z by Steven

A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica by Brooke N. Newman (review)

Eighteenth-Century Studies
Volume 53, Number 2, Winter 2020
pages 314-316
DOI: 10.1353/ecs.2020.0021

Katherine Johnston, Assistant Professor of History
Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin

Brooke N. Newman, Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 2018). Pp. 352; 25 b/w illus. $65.00 cloth.

In eighteenth–century Jamaica, who counted as a British subject? As Brooke N. Newman demonstrates in her impressively researched new book, the answer was complicated. Although a 1661 royal proclamation stated that children of English subjects born on the island would be “free denizens of England,” by the early eighteenth century the colonial assembly in Jamaica had imposed its own restrictions on subjecthood (2). Aligning the rights and privileges of subject status—including the ability to vote, hold public office, and serve on a jury—with whiteness, members of the assembly took it upon themselves to determine who was eligible for this status and who was not. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of the island’s population failed to meet the exclusive standards imposed by the assembly. Only “non–African, non–Indian, non–Jewish, and unmixed” people could claim subject status as a birthright (28). Despite white Jamaicans’ perennial anxiety about Africans and their descendants vastly outnumbering white settlers, colonial legislators’ desire to “preserve the purity of British lineage in the tropics” led them to deny mixed–race people subject status, effectively alienating many children and grandchildren from their white fathers and grandfathers (22).

A select few individuals of mixed descent, however, successfully petitioned the assembly for the right to subjecthood. Newman draws upon these appeals as she seeks to explain the ways that blood inheritance as a means of racial distinction and legal status developed in colonial Jamaica. In Newman’s analysis, the cases of elite individuals and families who requested subject status from the assembly highlight the instability of racial designations throughout the eighteenth century. Social standing, financial position, and religion all entered into the assembly’s calculations regarding who could attain subject status and who counted as white. Timing mattered, too: in the 1730s, 40s, and 50s, for example, mixed-race people could “whiten” within three generations, while in the 1760s, 70s, and 80s it took four generations to erase “the stain of African origins” (91). Moreover, often the elites who were granted white status were denied the full privileges associated with subjecthood. These individuals were “not fully ‘white’ in the eyes of the law but rather legally whitened, on the path toward whiteness” (97). But as Newman makes clear, “legal whiteness” (70) did not make a person “white by blood” (114). This distinction is critical to Newman’s analysis, as she argues that Jamaican legislators “privileged blood as a material and symbolic conduit” that transmitted a variety of qualities, including “character, mind, and temperament” from parents to offspring (69).

Examining petitions for white status by persons of mixed descent in the first half of the book allows Newman to make some critical points about race. First, she shows that racial definitions in the British West Indies looked a great deal like those in the Spanish colonies, with careful delineations of racial categories based upon percentages of African and European blood. In colonial Jamaica, people’s ancestry mattered. Second, and most importantly, the process of legal whitening that took into account a person’s finances, religion, and connections to elite white men reveals the unstable nature of race during this period. As Newman demonstrates, whiteness was fungible rather than fixed; the varying outcomes of people’s petitions provide strong evidence that whiteness was “a malleable social and legal category” (126).

In addition to these important points about race, the legislative appeals also serve as a touchstone for questions of colonial authority and power. The Jamaican colonial assembly made its own laws in some cases, disregarding British common law precedent. But it was not a fully autonomous body, and appeals for citizenship approved by the local assembly had to be confirmed by the Privy Council in London. The relationship between the colonial and British legislative bodies was under continuous negotiation, even though white Jamaicans largely claimed authority for themselves.

While petitions for subject status lie at the heart of a tightly…

Read or purchase the review here.

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Jackie Kay International Conference

Posted in Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Live Events, United Kingdom, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers, Women on 2020-02-13 18:57Z by Steven

Jackie Kay International Conference

Gylphi Contemporary Writers
February 2020

Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
2020-05-06
Contact: kay.conference@gylphi.co.uk

Organisers:

Natasha Alden, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary British Fiction
University of Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

Fiona Tolan, Senior Lecturer in English
Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Keynote speaker:

Deidre Osborne, Reader in English Literature and Drama
Goldsmiths, University of London

Jackie Kay is the author of some 30 works, including plays, poetry, prose (fiction and non-fiction), children’s literature, short stories and a ground-breaking novel. She has won or been shortlisted for over 20 literary awards and prizes, including the Guardian Fiction Prize, the inaugural Forward Prize for Poetry for a single poem, the Somerset Maugham Award and the Costa Poetry Award. She is the Scots Makar, professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, Chancellor of the University of Salford and a CBE.

Kay’s work is remarkable for its range of genres, its consistent reinvention of forms, and its marriage of intimate, domestic depictions of individual lives with broad political and philosophical themes. In works such as her breakthrough poetry collection, The Adoption Papers (1991), the novel Trumpet (1998) – a path-breaking depiction of trans identity – and the autobiographical Red Dust Road (2010), her publications explore identity, individuality and belonging, and love between family members, lovers and friends. Amongst many other questions, her works asks what Britishness is, what race means, what it is to love, and what gender is, and can be.

This international conference, the first on Kay’s work, brings together scholars from a wide range of literary and cultural studies. The British Council describe Kay as having, over the past two decades, ‘moved from marginal voice to national treasure.’ This conference will examine the work that has marked Kay’s shift from the margins to the centre, addressing a writer whose work has expanded the scope of British literature. We welcome papers on any topic related to Kay’s writing, including, but not limited to:

  • Scottish national identity
  • Autobiography and life writing
  • Black British writing
  • Trans identities
  • Lesbian writing
  • The family
  • Adoption
  • Scottish Women’s writing
  • Black Scottish Writing
  • The impact / legacy of Trumpet
  • Intersections of form (such as music, poetry, fiction, music, dramatic voice)
  • Landscape and place
  • Love
  • Humour
  • The line between life and art

We welcome papers from any disciplines and theoretical perspectives, and from scholars at all career stages, especially ECRs. Please send a title and 300 word abstract for a 20-minute paper, as well as your name, any affiliation, and a 100-word professional biography, to kay.conference@gylphi.co.uk by 6 March 2020.

The conference is sponsored by Gylphi. Selected papers from the conference will be published as Jackie Kay: Critical Essays, with a foreword by Kay, as part of Gylphi’s Contemporary Writers: Critical Essays series (Series Editor: Dr Sarah Dillon).

For more information, click here.

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