Setting the Record Straight On The Case of Loving V. Virginia

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2020-10-28 20:42Z by Steven

Setting the Record Straight On The Case of Loving V. Virginia

Medium
2020-10-25

Arica L. Coleman, Ph.D.


Mildred and Richard Loving. Courtesy of Getty Image.

The recent death of Bernard Cohen, one of the lawyers who represented the plaintiffs Richard and Mildred Loving in the landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which overturned proscriptions against interracial marriage in the United States in 1967, has once again thrust the case back into the headlines. In 1958, Richard Loving a “white” man, and Mildred Jeter a “colored” woman, violated several Virginia codes when they married in the District of Columbia, where interracial marriage was legal, and afterward returned to their home in Caroline Country, Virginia, where interracial marriage was illegal, to live as husband and wife. The couple was taken to jail, tried for the crime of being married, and then banished from Virginia for 25 years.

Fittingly, the 86 year old Cohen who this month of Parkinson’s Disease has been eulogized for cementing his place in American legal history at the young age of thirty-three when he and his co-counsel Philip Hirschkop rocked the Supreme Court with a two-pronged legal argument against state-imposed anti- interracial marriage laws which included a poignant direct quote from Richard Loving who told the attorneys, “Tell the court I love my life, and it is just unfair that I cannot live with her in Virginia.” The Court unanimously agreed.

Yet, in recounting the events which led up to the couple’s triumphant victory of love over hate, the storyline in these accounts follows the popular narrative of the Loving story. But there is more to this case than many have supposed. This article highlights a few unknown facts and debunks some myths about this historic case…

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Bernard Cohen, Lawyer in Landmark Mixed-Marriage Case, Dies at 86

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2020-10-28 20:31Z by Steven

Bernard Cohen, Lawyer in Landmark Mixed-Marriage Case, Dies at 86

The New York Times
2020-10-15

Neil Genzlinger


Bernard S. Cohen, left, and Philip J. Hirschkop, co-counsels in Loving v. Virginia. The Supreme Court’s landmark unanimous ruling in that case in 1967 struck down bans on interracial marriage. Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty Images

With Philip J. Hirschkop, he brought Loving v. Virginia to the Supreme Court, which struck down laws against interracial marriages.

“Dear Sir,” began the letter from Washington that found its way to Bernard S. Cohen at the American Civil Liberties Union in June 1963. “I am writing to you concerning a problem we have. Five years ago my husband and I were married here in the District. We then returned to Virginia to live. My husband is white, and I am part Negro and part Indian.”

The letter, from Mildred Loving, went on to explain that when she and her husband, Richard, returned to Caroline County, Va., to live, they were charged with violating Virginia’s law against mixed-race marriages and exiled from the state.

“It was that simple letter that got us into this not-so-simple case,” Mr. Cohen said later. The not-so-simple case was Loving v. Virginia, which Mr. Cohen and his co-counsel, Philip J. Hirschkop, eventually took to the Supreme Court. In a landmark unanimous ruling in 1967, the court said that laws banning interracial marriage, which were in effect in a number of states, mostly in the South, were unconstitutional.

Mr. Cohen died on Monday at an assisted-living center in Fredericksburg, Va. He was 86…

Read the entire obituary here.

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Historian Martha S. Jones on the Power of Black Women That Led to Kamala Harris’ Nod for VP

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-10-28 20:12Z by Steven

Historian Martha S. Jones on the Power of Black Women That Led to Kamala Harris’ Nod for VP

People Magazine
2020-10-26

People Staff


Professor Martha S. Jones | CREDIT: BASIC BOOKS

PEOPLE’s Voices from the Fight Against Racism will amplify Black perspectives on the push for equality and justice

Americans are taught that the fight for women’s suffrage ended with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. In actuality, another battle against voter suppression was just beginning for Black American women. In her new book, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and professor of history at Johns Hopkins University, explains how Black women campaigned for voting equality for all people, from the beginning of U.S. history, through the passing of the 19th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the Black Lives Matter movement of today.

Here, Jones, a prize-winning historian, tells PEOPLE what she’s learned from the long line of brave Black suffragists in her own family — and how the history of such activists can guide modern-day Americans as they confront voter suppression in the Nov. 3 presidential election. She also explains how Black women have become one of the most powerful forces in U.S. elections. (“Black American women vote as a bloc,” says Jones, “and that’s part of what makes their vote so dangerous.”)

I write in an office where portraits of the women in my family hang on the wall. They are there because they inspire me, but they’re also there because I am accountable to them. When I write a history about women and the vote, I know that they want me to write a history that is true to the archives. But they also want me to write a history that has meaning in our own time, because I think they would recognize the urgency around voting rights that we are confronting in the 21st century and how it is not so different from the challenges that they faced a hundred years ago…

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This interracial couple got engaged in Obama’s America. Then Trump took office.

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-10-20 20:55Z by Steven

This interracial couple got engaged in Obama’s America. Then Trump took office.

The Washington Post
2020-10-20

Sydney Trent, Local enterprise reporter


David and Jessica Figari with daughter Liliana at their home outside of Tampa. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

David and Jessica Figari are navigating racial and political divides in their country — and in their family — that they never anticipated when they fell in love

On the already muggy morning of Aug. 28, 2013, David Figari and Jessica Jones held hands in the billowing crowd near the steps of the Georgetown University Law Center. The young lovers had traveled from Florida to meet each other’s relatives and attend the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

The reminiscences from 1963 march veterans had ended and the trek to the Lincoln Memorial was about to begin when David saw an organizer standing near a microphone at the top of the stairs. He walked up to the man with the mic and introduced himself.

“Hey, I’d like to say something. Can I do it?” David said.

The man gave him the once-over and immediately said “No.”

“No, no, you don’t understand. I’d like to propose to my girlfriend.”

“No,” the man said again.

“I said, ‘No, you don’t understand,’” David said. “‘That’s my girlfriend.’”

He pointed to Jessica. Something clicked — this couple, this moment — and the man gasped.

“Everyone, everyone, really quick!” he announced. “David actually has something to say.”…

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How Policies Can Address Multiracial Stigma

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-10-11 02:01Z by Steven

How Policies Can Address Multiracial Stigma

Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences
First published 2020-10-01
pages 115-122
DOI: 10.1177/2372732220943906

Diana T. Sanchez, Professor of Psychology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

Sarah E. Gaither, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Duke Identity and Diversity Lab
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Analia F. Albuja, National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
Duke Identity and Diversity Lab
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Zoey Eddy, Research Assistant
Self and Social Identity Lab
University of California, Santa Barbara

Twenty years ago, Multiracial Americans completed the U.S Census with the option to indicate more than one race for the first time. As we embark on the second anniversary of this shift in Multiracial recognition, this article reviews the research related to known sources and systems that perpetuate Multiracial-specific stigma. Policy recommendations address the needs and the continued acknowledgment of this growing racial/ethnic minority population.

Key Points

  • Multiracial individuals represent a growing majority in the racial/ethnic minority population
  • Multiracial people encounter specific forms of stigma
  • Multiracial-specific stigma uniquely impacts the psychological and physical health of Multiracial individuals
  • Policies can address Multiracial-specific stigma (e.g., more detailed assessments of race/ethnicity, revisiting Multiracial language, Multiracial-specific health interventions)
  • Recommended policy changes will make better use of human capital for everyone by increasing accuracy in population estimates used to distribute educational and health care resources, as well as improving health care delivery (e.g., transplant matching).

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How The Vanishing Half fits into our cultural fixation with racial passing stories

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2020-09-19 20:36Z by Steven

How The Vanishing Half fits into our cultural fixation with racial passing stories

Vox
2020-08-14

Constance Grady


Zac Freeland/Vox

The Vox Book Club is linking to Bookshop.org to support local and independent booksellers.

Passing for white never left.”

In Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half, the character of Stella haunts the narrative like a ghost. Stella is the half who vanished: half of her family, half of her sister’s heart. And she vanished by excising half of her own identity.

Stella is a light-skinned Black woman, and when she is 16, she decides to start passing for white. Her identical twin sister Desiree, meanwhile, grows up to marry the darkest-skinned man she can find. Stella breaks away from her family, and we don’t get a chance to meet her on the pages of the novel until nearly halfway through the book when at last her niece, Desiree’s dark-skinned daughter, tracks her down. It’s only in that last section that we finally learn exactly what happened to Stella.

Stella’s fate haunts the novel, and so does the genre her story belongs to. There’s a long history of narratives of racial passing in the American novel, and The Vanishing Half plays with the genre in new and interesting ways. So as the Vox Book Club spends the month talking about The Vanishing Half, I wanted to put it in the context of the passing novel more broadly.

To get an expert view, I called up Alisha Gaines, an English professor at Florida State University and the author of Black for a Day: White Fantasies of Race and Empathy. Together, we talked through the history of the African American passing novel, what passing looks like after Jim Crow (sorry, Ben Shapiro), and how passing novels can show us how race is produced and reproduced. Below is a transcript of our conversation, lightly edited for length and clarity.

The first African American stories of racial passing are slave narratives

Constance Grady

Do we know when the first of these narratives emerged? How old are stories about racial passing?

Alisha Gaines

It’s an old story. In literature and in life, America has a fascination with impersonation, which includes blackface minstrelsy. And passing narratives, if you want to be technical about it, in African American literature, they start with the slave narrative…

Read the entire interview here.

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Passing for White to Escape Slavery

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, Slavery, United States on 2020-09-19 20:07Z by Steven

Passing for White to Escape Slavery

JSTOR Daily: where news meets its scholarly match
2020-09-17

Matthew Wills


Ellen and William Craft via Flickr/ Flickr

Passing for white was an intentional strategy that enslaved people used to free themselves from bondage

Racial passing is in the news with the case of Jessica Krug, a white academic who claimed several Black identities throughout her professional career. The phenomenon of white people putting on different backgrounds is widespread—for example, as shown in well-documented cases of white people claiming Native American ancestry. But passing for Black seems, well, different.

One reason for that may be that the idea of passing has historically been linked to Black people passing for white. Scholar Martha J. Cutter, digging into “the early history of racial passing,” argues that it originated in advertisements offering rewards for captured runaway slaves starting in the mid-eighteenth century, decades before the American Revolution.

“The archive suggests that while laws from state to state and in different time periods varied, the idea of an enslaved individual from a black family heritage deliberately passing for white was frequently configured as duplicitous and even incendiary,” she writes…

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Dash Harris is doing the work to end anti-Blackness in LatinX culture

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2020-09-19 01:50Z by Steven

Dash Harris is doing the work to end anti-Blackness in LatinX culture

theGrio
2020-06-16

DeMicia Inman

Through her work in creating ‘NEGRO: A DOCU-SERIES ABOUT LATINX IDENTITY,’ Harris hopes to dismantle anti-Blackness in the LatinX community.

The African diaspora gave much of the world a very layered identity. For centuries, the slave trade resulted in African natives being sold or stolen as slaves and transported across the globe. Now, Black people reside in countries from the United States and Brazil to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Dash Harris, an Afro-LatinX woman, understands not only her multi-cultural heritage but also the implications and societal structure surrounding her identity. Through her work in creating NEGRO: A DOCU-SERIES ABOUT LATINX IDENTITY and more, she hopes to highlight LatinX existence and dismantle anti-Blackness in the LatinX community…

Read the entire interview here.

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GUEST ROOM | Create a Mixed-Race Studies Department at Cornell

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2020-09-18 20:47Z by Steven

GUEST ROOM | Create a Mixed-Race Studies Department at Cornell

The Cornell Daily Sun
Ithaca, New York
2020-09-18

Katherine Luong, Junior
College of Human Ecology
Cornell University, Ithaca New York

We shouldn’t continue to exclude the fastest-growing population in the United States from higher education. Many mixed-race people grapple with defining their experiences and identities which can leak into their academic and professional lives.

The importance of ethnic and racial identity cannot be more relevant than it is now. The recent resurgence of racial tensions in the U.S. has highlighted the distinct experiences of historically oppressed racial minorities, especially those who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Black Lives Matter has gained incredible traction within mainstream political conversation, yet its issues (such as police brutality and system racism) do not affect only monoracial people. Understanding that the mixed experience includes many of the same racial prejudices as monoracial POC is crucial for the inclusivity of mixed people in spaces generally reserved for people of a singular race. Especially with the push Cornell is taking to create an anti-racist campus, this is the perfect time and place to create a mixed-race studies department that would give legitimacy to mixed people on campus and beyond.

There is a lack of ethnic-racial typicality associated with being mixed-race, but this does not negate the already-existing shared experiences of mixed people of all backgrounds. Such experiences include the feeling of being “in-between” and “not enough,” having to choose between displaying loyalty to one aspect of their identity instead of embracing both, language barriers between family members (especially between immigrant families residing in the U.S.) and other mix-specific experiences…

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The Illusion of Inclusion — The “All of Us” Research Program and Indigenous Peoples’ DNA

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2020-09-13 02:16Z by Steven

The Illusion of Inclusion — The “All of Us” Research Program and Indigenous Peoples’ DNA

The New England Journal of Medicine
Issue 383 (2020-07-30)
pages 411-413
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1915987

Keolu Fox, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego

Raw data, including digital sequence information derived from human genomes, have in recent years emerged as a top global commodity. This shift is so new that experts are still evaluating what such information is worth in a global market. In 2018, the direct-to-consumer genetic-testing company 23andMe sold access to its database containing digital sequence information from approximately 5 million people to GlaxoSmithKline for $300 million. Earlier this year, 23andMe partnered with Almirall, a Spanish drug company that is using the information to develop a new antiinflammatory drug for autoimmune disorders. This move marks the first time that 23andMe has signed a deal to license a drug for development.

Eighty-eight percent of people included in large-scale studies of human genetic variation are of European ancestry, as are the majority of participants in clinical trials.1 Corporations such as Geisinger Health System, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, AncestryDNA, and 23andMe have already mined genomic databases for the strongest genotype–phenotype associations. For the field to advance, a new approach is needed. There are many potential ways to improve existing databases, including “deep phenotyping,” which involves collecting precise measurements from blood panels, questionnaires, cognitive surveys, and other tests administered to research participants. But this approach is costly and physiologically and mentally burdensome for participants. Another approach is to expand existing biobanks by adding genetic information from populations whose genomes have not yet been sequenced — information that may offer opportunities for discovering globally rare but locally common population-specific variants, which could be useful for identifying new potential drug targets.

Many Indigenous populations have been geographically isolated for tens of thousands of years. Over time, these populations have developed adaptations to their environments that have left specific variant signatures in their genomes. As a result, the genomes of Indigenous peoples are a treasure trove of unexplored variation. Some of this variation will inevitably be identified by programs like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “All of Us” research program. NIH leaders have committed to the idea that at least 50% of this program’s participants should be members of underrepresented minority populations, including U.S. Indigenous communities (Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians), a decision that explicitly connects diversity with the program’s goal of promoting equal enjoyment of the future benefits of precision medicine.

But there are reasons to believe that this promise may be an illusion. Previous government-funded, large-scale human genome sequencing efforts, such as the Human Genome Diversity Project, the International HapMap Project, and the 1000 Genomes Project, provide examples of the ways in which open-source data have been commodified in the past. These initiatives, which promised unrestricted, open access to data on population-specific biomarkers, ultimately enabled the generation of nearly a billion dollars’ worth of profits by pharmaceutical and ancestry-testing companies. If the All of Us program uses the same unrestricted data-access and sharing protocols, there will be no built-in mechanisms to protect against the commodification of Indigenous peoples’ DNA…

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