Before Loving, there was Kinney in Augusta County

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2017-02-23 16:20Z by Steven

Before Loving, there was Kinney in Augusta County

The News Leader
Staunton, Virginia
2017-01-08

Dale M. Brumfield, Special to The News Leader

“By the laws of Virginia (C. V. 1873, ch. 105, § 1), all marriages between a white person and a negro are absolutely void…”

—Kinney v. Commonwealth, Oct. 3, 1878, Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia.

In 1967 Caroline County couple Richard Perry Loving and Mildred Jeter successfully overturned Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages, and the newly released movie “Loving” chronicles their sometimes harrowing experiences. Eighty-seven years earlier, however, a courageous Augusta County couple also went to court to force change to Virginia law prohibiting marriages between blacks and whites, but with far less success than the Lovings.

According to the 1878 Virginia Court of Appeals case Kinney v. Commonwealth, Andrew Kinney was a blacksmith who fell in love with Mahala Miller around 1866. The fact that Kinney was black and Miller white made their relationship illegal in Virginia but irrelevant to them. They thumbed their noses at the law and boldly moved in together as husband and wife near Churchville. The following year Mahala gave birth to their first son, William, and two years later gave birth to another son, James.

Just as Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1958 to marry, so did Andrew and Mahala on Nov. 4, 1874, when mixed-race marriages became legal there. After a 10-day honeymoon, they returned to Churchville and had four more boys — John in 1874, Alonzo (who died shortly after birth) in 1875, Tom in 1876 and Harrison in 1877…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Live Events, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2017-02-22 22:48Z by Steven

The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

Critical Mixed Race Studies Association
2016-12-08

Laura Kina
Telephone: 773-325-4048; E-Mail: cmrsmixedrace@gmail.com

LOS ANGELES, CA – The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, “Explorations in Trans (gender, gressions, migrations, racial) Fifty Years After Loving v. Virginia,” will bring together academics, activists, and artists from across the US and abroad to explore the latest developments in critical mixed race studies. The Conference will be held at The University of Southern California from February 24-26, 2017 at the USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center, 3607 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089 and is hosted by the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

The conference will include over 50 panels, roundtables, and caucus sessions organized by the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association as well as feature film screenings and live performances organized by the non-profit Mixed Roots Stories. The conference is pleased to run concurrently with the Hapa Japan Festival February 22- 26, 2017.

The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which declared interracial marriage legal. With a focus on the root word “Trans” this conference explores interracial encounters such as transpacific Asian migration, transnational migration from Latin America, transracial adoption, transracial/ethnic identity, the intersections of trans (gendered) and mixed race identity, and mixed race transgressions of race, citizenship, and nation…

Read the entire press release here. View the program guide here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Interview with Playwright Adrienne Dawes

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-02-22 21:30Z by Steven

Interview with Playwright Adrienne Dawes

#TeatroLatinegro
2016-12-23


Dawes Portrait by Beth Consetta Rubel Photo via Dawes

I heard of Adrienne Dawes when a show that talked about Mexican identity called Casta came on my radar.  I knew that I had to connect with her.  She is a boss writer and the head of a production company called Heckle Her.  She is the mastermind behind dope shows like Doper than Dope, Am I White and Denim Doves.  She has been featured in Essence magazine and other national outlets….

…Adrienne is the recipient of the Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Playwriting.  Her play Am I White was a finalist for the 2012 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and semifinalist for the 2012 Princess Grace Award. Am I White won the David Mark Cohen New Play Award (2015 Austin Critics Table Awards), an award for Outstanding Original Script (2015 B. Iden Payne Awards) and was honorably mentioned by The List (The Kilroys) of recommended new plays by female and trans authors.  Adrienne is a member of the Dramatists Guild and a company member of Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin, TX. In January 2017, Adrienne will join the inaugural class of writers in the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, supported by the George Kaiser Family Foundation.”

What is your identity?

I identify as mixed-race, multiracial, and/or AfroLatina. I am an artist and feminist; my pronouns are she and her.

Tell us about CASTA.

“Casta” is the working title of a new performance piece I am writing and creating with support from Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin. It’s my first time to collaborate with visual artist Beth Consetta Rubel and composer Graham Reynolds. It’s also my first “history” play set in a very specific time and place (presented mostly as a period piece). We are exploring mixed-race representation in casta paintings of 18th century Mexico. Casta paintings were a unique genre of portraiture that depicted different racial mixtures arranged in 16 panels according to a hierarchy of race and status…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , ,

When Black is not the only colour

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-02-22 21:07Z by Steven

When Black is not the only colour

50.50: inclusive democracy
open democracy
2017-02-20

Kamila Zahno
Haringey, London, United Kingdom


Kamila and her ‘slightly coloured’ siblings in the 1960s.

Too Black for the adoption agencies but not Black enough for the political campaigners.  On growing up an adoptee of mixed heritage in Britain.

Times have changed. When I was a child in sixties’ Britain there was no Jessica Ennis, Jackie Kay, Chuka Umunna or Lewis Hamilton. Mixed heritage role models were thin on the ground: we saw film stars like Merle Oberon, or singers such as Bob Marley, but I can’t remember seeing any British role models. Now people of mixed parentage are everywhere, although it was not until the 2001 Census that we became ‘official’.  In that year there were 677,177 of us.  By 2020 it is estimated that 1.24 million people in the UK will be of mixed parentage.

In the fifties when I was born, unmarried pregnant women were encouraged to give their babies up for adoption. I, along with my three siblings, was one of them.  However, the adoption agency files revealed what a headache we posed to them.  We were not adoption material.  ‘Baby is slightly coloured and adoption is impossible’ was the phrase written in my sister Ellen’s adoption papers.

We were all different ethnicities: our fathers from Asia or Africa, our mothers white. My mother was a young Swiss au pair working in London; my father an Indian engineering student. How they met I shall never know but I liked to think about them learning to jive at the Hammersmith Palais

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

‘Loving’ and Virginia: a timeline of mixed-race marriage

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Virginia on 2017-02-22 02:40Z by Steven

‘Loving’ and Virginia: a timeline of mixed-race marriage

The Richmond Times-Dispatch
2017-02-19

The movie “Loving” tells the story of a mixed-race Caroline County couple – and an important story about Virginia itself. We asked the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities for some insight into Richard and Mildred Loving, as well as state history. Here is a timeline from the foundation’s Encyclopedia Virginia.

***

April 3, 1691: The General Assembly passes “An act for suppressing outlying slaves,” which grants county sheriffs, their deputies and any other “lawfull authority” the ability to kill any slaves resisting, running away or refusing to surrender when so ordered. The act seeks to prevent “abominable mixture and spurious issue” by prohibiting mixed-race marriages.

October 1705: The assembly passes “An Act Concerning Servants and Slaves,” which summarizes previous laws defining bound labor in Virginia. It makes distinctions between the treatment of white “christian” indentured servants and nonwhite, non-Christians, allowing for the killing of slaves in various situations without penalty.

1848: The assembly increases the penalty for the white partner in an interracial marriage from six months to a maximum of 12 months in prison…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Why are some black Africans considered white Americans?

Posted in Africa, Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Religion, Social Science, United States on 2017-02-20 02:07Z by Steven

Why are some black Africans considered white Americans?

Al Jazeera
2017-02-16

Hind Makki, second-generation Sudanese American who works as an interfaith and anti-racism educator


Sudanese Americans, like all African American and Black Muslims in the US, suffer from invisible intersectionality, writes Makki [Stephanie Keith/Reuters]

Sudanese Americans do not fit neatly into the existing racial classifications of the American society.

I always knew I was black. My childhood was the scent of coconut oil hair cream and the taste of bean pie after Friday prayers in a Bilalian mosque on Chicago’s south side. I knew the words to Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and called Harold Washington my mayor, even though I lived in the suburbs.

My parents had immigrated to the United States from Sudan in the late 1970s and raised my sister and me to be comfortable in our skin. I spoke Arabic at home and English at school where it seemed no one else agreed that I am black…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,

The Forgotten Work of Jessie Redmon Fauset

Posted in Articles, Biography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-02-20 01:52Z by Steven

The Forgotten Work of Jessie Redmon Fauset

The New Yorker
2017-02-18

Morgan Jerkins

Among the events that helped to crystallize what would come to be known as the Harlem Renaissance was a dinner, in March, 1924, at the Civic Club, on West 12th Street. The idea for the dinner was initially hatched by Charles Spurgeon Johnson, the editor of Opportunity, a journal published by the National Urban League and, under Johnson, one of the leading outlets for young black writers. Johnson planned to invite twenty guests—a mix of white editors and publishers as well as black intellectuals and literary critics—to honor Jessie Redmon Fauset and the publication of “There Is Confusion,” her début novel, about a black middle-class family’s struggle for social equality. But when Johnson ran the idea by the writer and philosopher Alain Locke, who he hoped would serve as master of ceremonies, Locke said that the dinner should celebrate black writers in general, rather than just one in particular. So the purpose of the event changed, and the list of invitees grew; among those who ultimately attended were Countee Cullen, Gwendolyn Bennett, Langston Hughes, and W. E. B. Du Bois. That evening, attendees listened to a series of salutations, an address by Locke, and presentations by several black men. At the end of the dinner, Locke—who had praised “There Is Confusion” as what “the Negro intelligentsia has been clamoring for”—introduced Fauset. But though she was a guest of honor, she evidently felt like an afterthought. Years later, in 1933, she would write a scathing letter to Locke (who had just reviewed her most recent novel, about which he had some misgivings), declaring that he, with “consummate cleverness,” had managed, on that evening in 1924, to “keep speech and comment away from the person for whom the occasion was meant”—that is to say, her…

…“Initially, Fauset’s work was dismissed as sentimental and Victorian, primarily because she dealt with ‘women’s issues,’ centering on the marriage plot,” Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, said. Fauset’s second novel, “Plum Bun,” is probably her best, and it received the most attention when it was published, with reviews in The New Republic, the New York Times, and Saturday Review. Like “There Is Confusion,” it is a story about middle-class respectability. It centers on a mixed-race young woman named Angela Murray, who grows up in a posh black neighborhood in Philadelphia where each house looks just the same. All the residents know their neighbors’ names, and everyone goes to church on Sundays. Young women train to be teachers and young men do the same or strive to become post-office workers. Angela, tired of this bourgeois world, wants to become a famous painter, and believes that the only way to do so is to abandon her family, move to New York City, and pass for white. In New York, she meets a poor artist who falls in love with her and a wealthy white man she hopes to marry. At one point, she sees her sister at the train station in New York and pretends not to recognize her, so that she can keep up the charade that she is white. Later, however, in order to support a fellow art student, a black woman, she reveals her true identity. In a conversation with her sister, Angela says, “When I begin to delve into it, the matter of blood seems nothing compared with individuality, character, living. The truth of the matter is, the whole business was just making me fagged to death . . . You can’t fight and create at the same time.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings, and the Question of Race: An Ongoing Debate

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2017-02-19 20:04Z by Steven

Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings, and the Question of Race: An Ongoing Debate

Journal of American Studies
Volume 37, Number 1 (April, 2003)
pages 99-118
DOI: 10.1017/S0021875803007023

Peter Nicolaisen (1936-2013), Professor of English Emeritus
University of Flensburg, Germany

Not many private relationships in history have received as much press attention in recent years as that between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings. First alleged in 1802 by the journalist James Callender, who based his account on stories that had been current in Virginia for some years, the affair has since then been debated both in the scholarly community and by the general public to an unparalleled degree. The results of the DNA tests on male descendants of the Jefferson and Hemings families that were published in 1998 have added fuel to the debate. Meanwhile, its focus has shifted. The majority of those who have publicly expressed an opinion on the case, including the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation which owns and administers Monticello, now seem to agree that a sexual relationship between Jefferson and Sally Hemings did exist, and that it resulted in a number of children. The questions addressed today primarily concern the implications of the affair. What does the liaison between Jefferson and Sally Hemings mean for our understanding of the man Thomas Jefferson, and how does it affect the accomplishments he has generally been credited with? Given the little we know about her, how do we view Sally Hemings’s role in the relationship, and how do we come to understand her as an individual living out her life in bondage? What, if any, are the consequences the affair has for an evaluation of interracial relationships as they existed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries?…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

A president’s past yields a modern parable

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, Slavery, United States on 2017-02-19 03:56Z by Steven

A president’s past yields a modern parable

The Berkshire Eagle
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
2017-01-24

Jenn Smith


A tree is planted and dedicated to the descendants of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, at Monticello’s Mulberry Row. Mulberry Row was the center of activity of Jefferson’s 5,000-acre agricultural enterprise. According to the Monticello website, it was populated by more than 20 dwellings, workshops, and storehouses between 1770 and the sale of Monticello in 1831.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY JANE FELDMAN

Students learn about black history in Thomas Jefferson’s family

PITTSFIELD — History can play a crucial role in our futures, if we listen to it.

In 2002, photographer, Jane Feldman, who shares her time between the Berkshires and New York City, and Shannon Lanier, the sixth great-grandson of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, worked together to publish through Random House, “Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family.”

The book details, in family album and portrait style, Lanier’s trip across the country to retrace the footsteps of his maternal ancestor, Madison Hemings, the son of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Hemings was Jefferson’s African-American slave.

With increasing discussions and divides developing across the nation regarding race and rights, Lanier and Feldman have decided to revive a series of tours and talks — originally conducted after the book’s release — about the book and its themes of identity, family and the varying perspectives of American history and culture.

“We believe that one of the things that will help us all navigate through this complicated time in our history is the ability to understand where we’ve come from and where we are going as individuals and as a nation,” Feldman said…

…The co-authors also noted how people aren’t always as they seem; for example how many light-skinned members of the Jefferson-Hemings lineage would go on to “pass” in society, that is, take advantage of the social statuses that came with looking like a white person, including freedom from slavery.

But the side effect of passing, is some future generations grew unaware of their black heritage, some even becoming racist, without knowing their own black blood lines…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Passing Beauty

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-02-19 02:22Z by Steven

Passing Beauty

Public Books
2014-07-01

Anne Anlin Cheng, Professor of English; Professor of African American Studies
Princeton University

How do you break a spell? How do you get over the grief of racial, gendered, and childhood injuries? Helen Oyeyemi’s novel Boy, Snow, Bird is not a black-and-white parable but a black-and-blue story. A bruising tale about miscegenation, passing, and beauty, this novel brings to life the idealization and wounding that haunt the American racial psyche, and suggests that the price we pay for this history is nothing less than our own reflection.

Imagine a collision (or a collusion) between Anne Sexton’s Transformations, Nella Larsen’s Passing, and Elizabeth Taylor’s striking and stricken face in the 1957 film Raintree County. The tortured hybrid that would result might resemble Helen Oyeyemi’s new novel Boy, Snow, Bird. What brings these three unlikely predecessors to mind is not simply Oyeyemi’s haunting fusion of passing narratives and fairy tales but also the way this Nigerian-born British novelist harnesses the sonic, the textual, and the cinematic to produce an uncanny world in which the quotidian tips effortlessly into the surreal and vice versa.

In Oyeyemi’s version, Snow is the beloved, glowing, blonde girl-child of a jewelry maker named Arturo Whitman, and Bird is her dark-skinned half sister, whose birth exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans who have been passing as white. The wicked queen is the young bride and new mother named Boy who marries into the Whitman family without knowing their secret and who herself is the victim of a horrendously abusive childhood. The narrative voice shifts between Boy, whose first-person narration opens and closes the book, and her biological daughter Bird, who offers us her point of view in the middle section of the book and who in a sense speaks for her missing sibling, as Snow’s voice comes to us through a series of letters between the half sisters recorded by Bird…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , ,