In Ireland, Lifting a Veil of Prejudice Against Mixed-Race Children

Posted in Articles, Europe, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Religion, Social Work on 2021-01-17 03:24Z by Steven

In Ireland, Lifting a Veil of Prejudice Against Mixed-Race Children

The New York Times
2021-01-15

Caelainn Hogan


Jess Kavanagh says she always knew that her mother, Liz, was adopted. “It was obvious,” she said. “My grandparents were white and my mam was Black.” Paulo Nunes dos Santos for The New York Times

The singer Jess Kavanagh is working to raise awareness about the experiences of mixed-race Irish people, particularly those born in the country’s infamous mother and baby homes.

While helping her mother work merchandise tables at some of Dublin’s most respected venues, Jess Kavanagh first got a taste for the music scene. When she started doing gigs herself — a petite singer with a belter of a voice — people would come up after to tell her she sounded “like a Black person,” the last words half whispered.

They were assuming she was white.

Ms. Kavanagh, a rising solo star in Ireland after years touring with acts like Hozier and the Waterboys, had to form what she calls a “linguistic arsenal” to express her experience as a mixed-race Irish woman. What drives her to speak out is a legacy of silence. As the daughter of a Black Irish woman who was born in one of Ireland’s infamous mother and baby homes, she is raising awareness about how those institutions hid away generations of mixed-race Irish children.

More than five years ago, reports that children were interred in a sewage system at a mother and baby institution in Tuam, in western Ireland, compelled the Irish government to open an investigation into the institutions, where unmarried women and girls who became pregnant were sent. They were run by religious orders.

The final report, published on Tuesday, confirmed that of the 57,000 children born in Ireland’s 18 homes over several decades starting in 1920, around 9,000 died…

Read the entire article here.

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The Cultural Coach: Being biracial should be a bridge, not a wall

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2021-01-05 02:12Z by Steven

The Cultural Coach: Being biracial should be a bridge, not a wall

The Philadelphia Daily Sun
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2020-12-31

Linda S. Wallace

Dear Cultural Coach:

I am one of four biracial children in my family. My grandfather and I were doing an essay on the state of Black youths in America. I brought the question to my grandfather, “Where do I fit in?” My grandfather’s reaction was, “What do you mean?” I explained that I am neither Black nor white. Then he asked me how I felt, and I said, “At school, for example, when I hang out with the Blacks, then the Black girls see me as a Black girl. But when I hang out with the white girls, some Black girls see me as a white girl.” In my family on my mom’s side, my grandfather does not claim me.”

In between two worlds

Dear In Between:

You belong to the cultural communities of both your mother and your father.

It is unfortunate that some of your relatives won’t claim you because you are biracial. Please don’t let their beliefs define you. Don’t ever give anyone the power to change the way you feel about yourself.

Every so often in life, you will cross paths with individuals who are prejudiced or just mean. It is important to learn how to repel these statements so that you can hold on to self-confidence and pride…

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Black for a Day: White Fantasies of Race and Empathy [Smith Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-01-05 02:00Z by Steven

Black for a Day: White Fantasies of Race and Empathy [Smith Review]

The Black Scholar: Journal of Black Studies and Research
Volume 50, (Winter 2020) – Issue 4: Black Girlhood
pages 86-88
DOI: 10.1080/00064246.2020.1811610

Justin Smith, Ph.D. candidate in English and African American
Pennsylvania State University

Black for a Day: White Fantasies of Race and Empathy, by Alisha Gaines. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017. $27.95, paperback. 230 pages.

Black for a Day takes on “white-to-Black” racial passing through five readings of first-hand accounts. While it would be simple enough to bring up such examples of passing as nothing more than farces, Alisha Gaines offers a valuable genealogy of this phenomenon, seeking to view these incidents through the lens of (failed) empathy. Gaines introduces the book with a personal anecdote about how she was responsible for makeup in her majority-white school’s version of Finian’s Rainbow, and one of her jobs was to apply blackface to one of the white actors for a scene where the character magically transforms from white-to-Black. Initially, Gaines did not see a problem with doing this, but she came to see this event as revealing “profound, uncomfortable, and often contradictory assumptions about the bodies we inhabit” (3). Consequently, Gaines sets out to “(construct) a genealogy of temporary black individuals operating under the alibi of racial empathy” and borrows her definition of empathy from bell hooks’s definition of “eating the other,” which, “highlight|s| how empathy fails to bring about systemic or institutional racial change” (8).

In the first chapter, “Good Niggerhood,” Gaines examines Ray Sprigle, a journalist who went “undercover” in 1948 in an effort to document an authentic Black experience. Sprigle finds it important to go to the South since he assumes the South is where the real racism is. Gaines spends a good portion of the chapter discussing “Dixie terror”: the assumption that the South—no particular place in the South, but just the imaginary of the generalized South—is where racism resides, and that “only violence and suffering render black bodies worthy of attention” (23). Gaines pushes back on these claims, arguing that racism is not restricted by geography, and that Black life is more than just violence and suffering. Gaines has two main critiques of Sprigle. The first is that he “never learned what it meant to be a black man, and instead, he only learned how to be a ‘good nigger'” (31). The second is that “he confuses black epistemology, experience, and narrative authority with making a few new black friends” (36). She argues that Sprigle does not have any sort of authentic Black experience due to his penchant for being obsequious when in disguise, but he also speaks…

Read or purchase the review here.

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Afro-Argentines: How Black People Were Systematically Whitewashed From Argentine History

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2021-01-05 01:28Z by Steven

Afro-Argentines: How Black People Were Systematically Whitewashed From Argentine History

The Bubble
2018-07-03

Allie Pitchon


Afroargentines playing candombe porteño near of a bonfire of Saint John (San Juan) in 1938. via africanarguments.org

Argentina is perceived by many to be a primarily white, European country, with Buenos Aires often referred to as the “Paris of Latin America” in popular culture. This perception is rooted in a post-colonial process where Argentine leaders and intellectuals in the 19th century, especially during the Generation of 1837 and the Generation of 1880, actively made an effort to systematically erase Black Argentines from the country’s history, popular culture, and society in an effort to position the nation as a global power modeled after the US and Europe.

By the second half of the 1700’s, roughly a third of the population of Buenos Aires was comprised of Afro-Argentines. While some were free, most were enslaved, brought in slave ships during the late 16th century in the hundreds of thousands to work as domestic servants and on plantations in the Rio de la Plata region. During the 18th and 19th centuries, people of African descent spread across Argentina. In some provinces, including Salta, Córdoba, Santiago del Estero, and Catamarca, Black Argentines accounted for roughly half the population. Meanwhile, General San Martín’s army was heavily comprised of Afro-Argentines. In the battle of Chacabuco, for instance, which was key in helping liberate Chile from Spanish rule, half of the soldiers were Afro-Argentines promised freedom from slavery in exchange for military service…

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Ancient DNA Shows Humans Settled Caribbean in 2 Distinct Waves

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2021-01-05 00:56Z by Steven

Ancient DNA Shows Humans Settled Caribbean in 2 Distinct Waves

The New York Times
2020-12-23

Carl Zimmer


Taíno ceramic vessels from eastern Dominican Republic, circa A.D. 1400. Menno Hoogland/Leiden University

Millions of people living on the islands today inherited genes from the people who made them home before Europeans arrived.

When Dr. Juan Aviles went to school in Puerto Rico, teachers taught him that the original people of the island, the Taino, vanished soon after Spain colonized it. Violence, disease and forced labor wiped them out, destroying their culture and language, the teachers said, and the colonizers repopulated the island with enslaved people, including Indigenous people from Central and South America and Africans.

But at home, Dr. Aviles heard another story. His grandmother would tell him that they were descended from Taino ancestors and that some of the words they used also descended from the Taino language.

“But, you know, my grandmother had to drop out of school at second grade, so I didn’t trust her initially,” said Dr. Aviles, now a physician in Goldsboro, N.C.

Dr. Aviles, who studied genetics in graduate school, has become active in using it to help connect people in the Caribbean with their genealogical history. And recent research in the field has led him to recognize that his grandmother was onto something…

Read the entire article here.

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A genetic history of the pre-contact Caribbean

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2021-01-05 00:44Z by Steven

A genetic history of the pre-contact Caribbean

Nature
2020-12-23
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-03053-2

D.M. Fernandes

K.A. Sirak

H. Ringbauer, et al.

Humans settled the Caribbean about 6,000 years ago, and ceramic use and intensified agriculture mark a shift from the Archaic to the Ceramic Age at around 2,500 years ago1,2,3. Here we report genome-wide data from 174 ancient individuals from The Bahamas, Haiti and the Dominican Republic (collectively, Hispaniola), Puerto Rico, Curaçao and Venezuela, which we co-analysed with 89 previously published ancient individuals. Stone-tool-using Caribbean people, who first entered the Caribbean during the Archaic Age, derive from a deeply divergent population that is closest to Central and northern South American individuals; contrary to previous work4, we find no support for ancestry contributed by a population related to North American individuals. Archaic-related lineages were >98% replaced by a genetically homogeneous ceramic-using population related to speakers of languages in the Arawak family from northeast South America; these people moved through the Lesser Antilles and into the Greater Antilles at least 1,700 years ago, introducing ancestry that is still present. Ancient Caribbean people avoided close kin unions despite limited mate pools that reflect small effective population sizes, which we estimate to be a minimum of 500–1,500 and a maximum of 1,530–8,150 individuals on the combined islands of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola in the dozens of generations before the individuals who we analysed lived. Census sizes are unlikely to be more than tenfold larger than effective population sizes, so previous pan-Caribbean estimates of hundreds of thousands of people are too large5,6. Confirming a small and interconnected Ceramic Age populatio7, we detect 19 pairs of cross-island cousins, close relatives buried around 75 km apart in Hispaniola and low genetic differentiation across islands. Genetic continuity across transitions in pottery styles reveals that cultural changes during the Ceramic Age were not driven by migration of genetically differentiated groups from the mainland, but instead reflected interactions within an interconnected Caribbean world1,8.

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The Afro-Latinx Experience Is Essential To Our International Reckoning On Race

Posted in Articles, Arts, Audio, Latino Studies, Media Archive on 2020-12-12 02:38Z by Steven

The Afro-Latinx Experience Is Essential To Our International Reckoning On Race

National Public Radio
ALT.LATINO
2020-07-03

Felix Contreras
Anaïs Laurent
Marisa Arbona-Ruiz
Jasmine Garsd


In Tijuana, raised fists show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images

Let’s pause the music for a bit and talk through some things.

In three segments, we’re going to have a conversation about how Afro-Latinx folks often get left out of national discussions about Blackness and, in particular, the Black Lives Matter movement. Petra Rivera-Rideua, of Wellesley College, and Omaris Z. Zamora, of Rutgers, help us wade through layers of complexities. Our newest contributor to the Alt.Latino family, NPR publicist Anaïs Laurent, lends her considerable knowledge of Afro-Latinx culture and reggaeton to the conversation.

“I don’t think that the media, on a national level, is doing the work to understand that Blackness is heterogeneous,” Zamora says.

“There are Black Latinos, there are Afro Latinos who very much a part of Black Lives Matter and the experiences we’re talking about,” Laurent adds.

Read the entire story here.

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Raising Multiracial Children, Part 2: Anti-Blackness in Multiracial Families

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Work, United States, Videos on 2020-12-11 22:27Z by Steven

Raising Multiracial Children, Part 2: Anti-Blackness in Multiracial Families

EmbraceRace
2020-07-24

Hosted By:

Andrew Grant-Thomas, Co-Founder
Melissa Giraud, Co-Founder

Guest Speakers:

Dr. Victoria K. Malaney Brown, Director of Academic Integrity
Columbia University, New York, New York

Dr. Marcella Runell Hall, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts

Dr. Kelly Faye Jackson, Associate Professor of Social Work
Arizona State University

In Part 2 of this conversation about raising multiracial kids, our guests – Drs. Victoria Malaney Brown, Marcella Runell Hall and Kelly Faye Jackson – return to discuss anti-Blackness and how anti-Black messaging shows up in multiracial families (including non-Black families). Referencing recent examples from social media, our guests breakdown three common myths that perpetuate anti-Blackness within multiracial families, and describe how these myths negatively impact the identity development of multiracial Black children specifically. We also talk about concrete steps that parents and caregivers can take now to actively reject White supremacy and anti-Blackness and build resilience as a multiracial family.

Be sure to check out the previous conversation in this pair, Raising Multiracial Children, Part 1: Examining Multiracial Identity.

Watch the video and read the transcript here.

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Raising Multiracial Children, Part 1: Examining Multiracial Identity

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Work, United States, Videos on 2020-12-11 21:48Z by Steven

Raising Multiracial Children, Part 1: Examining Multiracial Identity

EmbraceRace
2020-07-24

Hosted By:

Andrew Grant-Thomas, Co-Founder
Melissa Giraud, Co-Founder

Guest Speakers:

Dr. Victoria K. Malaney Brown, Director of Academic Integrity
Columbia University, New York, New York

Dr. Marcella Runell Hall, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts

Dr. Kelly Faye Jackson, Associate Professor of Social Work
Arizona State University

Roughly one in seven U.S. infants (14%) are multiracial or multiethnic (Pew, 2017), but what does it mean to be multiracial? It’s complicated!

In Part 1 in this conversation about raising multiracial kids we speak with our guests – Drs. Victoria Malaney Brown, Marcella Runell Hall and Kelly Faye Jackson – about some of the complexities of identifying with more than one race, and about the pivotal role families play in shaping how multiracial children come to understand themselves and the world around them. This dynamic is especially complex in this historical moment as the United States comes to terms with its own White supremacist roots.

Our guests describe the challenges and strengths of identifying with more than one racial group, highlighting examples from recent research, and draw from their own personal experiences as multiracial individuals and parents of multiracial children. As always we end with your questions and comments.

Watch the video and read the transcript here.

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Deconstructing Whiteness in “Incognegro”

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2020-12-06 03:11Z by Steven

Deconstructing Whiteness in “Incognegro”

Interminable Rambling
2020-12-03

Matthew Teutsch, Director of the Lillian E. Smith
Piedmont College, Demorest, Georgia

Every semester, I am amazed at the connective tissue that runs through the texts I place on the syllabus and the themes that arise. No matter the class, I construct my courses around themes, all teachers do. However, when a class ends poignantly on a recurring theme, I find it a really serendipitous occasion. This semester, in my Ethnic American Literature course, we explored the ways that we, as individuals, construct our identities based on ourselves and on the ways that others view us, specifically when they place their preconceived notions upon us. We looked at this from the beginning of the semester through the end. We explored it in the ways that Manar navigates her identity in a new land in Mohja Kahf’s “Manar of Hama” to the ways that Long Vanh navigates his Afro-Asian identity in the face of the community and his own family in Genaro Kỳ Lý Smith’s The Land South of the Clouds.

We concluded the semester with Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece’s Incognegro, a graphic novel that breaks down constructs of race and highlights the ways that society, especially those who want to maintain power, constructs one’s identity. Today, I want to look at a couple of moments from Incognegro and discuss how these moments add to the class’s discussions we have had throughout the course of the semester…

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