That little Mexican part of me: race, place and transnationalism among U.S. African-descent Mexicans

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-07-17 16:50Z by Steven

That little Mexican part of me: race, place and transnationalism among U.S. African-descent Mexicans

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online: 2019-06-05
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2019.1626016

Laura A. Lewis, Professor of Anthropology in Modern Languages and Linguistics
University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom

This article uses semi-structured interviews and participant observation to examine transnationalism and notions of race among first- and second-generation young adult Afro-descended Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the United States. I suggest that transnationally inflected understandings of race encourage both generations to privilege place-based over ancestry-based racial identities. For the first generation, which is mostly undocumented, place is part of their socialization as Mexicans and a way to forge a more secure sense of belonging in the United States. For members of the second generation, place resolves their position as an anomalous “race” not recognized in the United States.

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Ukraine mixed-race wrestler tackles prejudice in run for parliament

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2019-07-17 14:55Z by Steven

Ukraine mixed-race wrestler tackles prejudice in run for parliament

France 24
2019-07-16

Boyarka (Ukraine) (AFP)

Zhan Beleniuk, an Olympic wrestler with Rwandan roots, is running to become the first mixed-race member of Ukraine's parliament
Zhan Beleniuk, an Olympic wrestler with Rwandan roots, is running to become the first mixed-race member of Ukraine’s parliament AFP

Zhan Beleniuk, an Olympic wrestler with Rwandan roots, is seeking to enter Ukraine’s parliament as the first mixed-race MP in a bid to overcome racist attitudes and support the country’s young new leader.

The Greco-Roman style wrestler, who won silver for Ukraine at the Rio Olympics, is standing for the party of the new Ukrainian president, comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelensky, in Sunday’s polls.

The 28-year-old is the son of a Ukrainian dressmaker and a Rwandan pilot killed in that country’s civil war in the 1990s. He grew up in a one-room flat in the capital Kiev.

“Volodymyr Zelensky invited me to join his party, we knew each other before,” Beleniuk told AFP in an interview as he campaigned in the small town of Boyarka just outside Kiev.

“It seems like he saw qualities in me that will help promote the development of Ukrainian sport,” said the athlete after holding a training session for children.

Describing himself as “100 percent Ukrainian”, Beleniuk said his election would prove “we’re really a country that’s modern and that treats all races, all ethnic groups the same.”…

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In Brazil, a New Rendering of a Literary Giant Makes Waves

Posted in Articles, Biography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism on 2019-07-16 01:44Z by Steven

In Brazil, a New Rendering of a Literary Giant Makes Waves

The New York Times
2019-06-14

Shannon Sims

A widely known image of Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, left, that appears on his books, compared with the one that has gone viral on Brazilian social media in recent months, right.
A widely known image of Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, left, that appears on his books, compared with the one that has gone viral on Brazilian social media in recent months, right.
Left: Academia Brasileira de Letras

Machado de Assis Real, developed by a Brazilian university and an ad agency, shows the 19th-century writer in color, challenging some long-held ideas about him in the process.

RECIFE, Brazil — Throughout elementary and middle school, Ricardo Pavan Martins remembers reading Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, one of Brazil’s most famous writers.

So the 29-year-old, who lives in Bauru, was shocked to see a new image of Machado that has gone viral in the country. It shows him with chocolate-brown skin, considerably darker than how he appears in the black-and-white photograph that appears on virtually all of his books and hangs prominently in the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

“I always imagined him as white because this is the default image of most writers,” Martins said. “I am certain that if the skin color of an author so important was at the very least discussed during my experience at school, my black friends would have felt more represented.”

Among Brazilian writers, Machado, who lived from 1839 to 1908, inhabits a unique position. “Dom Casmurro,” his 1899 masterpiece about cuckoldry and jealousy, is required reading at some schools around the country. His name has been lent to streets and subway stops across Brazil. Susan Sontag called him “the greatest writer ever produced in Latin America,” and others have compared him to Flaubert, Kafka, Henry James and Alice Munro.

[“The Collected Stories of Machado de Assis,” one of the Times critics’ top books of 2018, “reveals the arc of Machado’s career, from the straightforward love stories to the cerebral and unpredictable later works.” ]

The traditional historical photo of him shows a man whose skin is nearly as light as his crisp white dress shirt. But a new project, developed by the São Paulo office of the advertising agency Grey and São Paulo’s University Zumbi dos Palmares, a predominantly black university, re-creates that photo in a way that the project’s leaders say more accurately reflects what Machado looked like.

Machado was known to be the descendant of freed slaves, but the new rendering, which shows him as a black man, has shaken Brazilians, prompting some to reconsider how they previously read his work and angering others who feel his legacy had been whitewashed…

…It isn’t clear how or why Machado’s image was lightened. Machado scholars like G. Reginald Daniel, a sociology professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said that in 19th-century Brazil, Machado’s publishers “would have totally wanted him white to sell. For people to see this great author as of African descent would have been very troubling for many.”…

“He was celebrated during a period of Brazilian society where to be recognized and valued you had to be white,” Matos said. “He would have never been taken seriously, and never achieved commercial success, if people had known his true racial identity. He would have been a failure if he had been known as black.”

But some of those most familiar with Machado’s life are ambivalent about the push to identify him as black. Daniel, who wrote a book exploring Machado’s mixed-race identity, said that while he commended the efforts to “re-racialize” him, “the real Machado de Assis was not a black man but mixed. Portraying him otherwise misses the duality and in-between experience he had as a biracial man.”…

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Is ‘Race Science’ Making A Comeback?

Posted in Articles, Audio, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-07-16 00:43Z by Steven

Is ‘Race Science’ Making A Comeback?

Code Switch: Race and Identity Remixed
National Public Radio
2019-07-10

Shereen Marisol Meraji, Host/Correspondent

Gene Demby, Lead Blogger

Jess Kung, Intern


Angela Saini, author of Superior: The Return of Race Science.
Henrietta Garden

When Angela Saini was 10 years old, her family moved from what she called “a very multicultural area” in East London to the almost exclusively white Southeast London. Suddenly her brown skin stood out, making her a target. She couldn’t avoid the harassment coming from two boys who lived around the corner. One day, they pelted her and her sister with rocks. She remembers one hit her on the head. She remembers bleeding.

There had been racist comments before that, she says, “but that was the first time that someone around my own age had decided to physically hurt me. And it was tough.”

It was also one of the first stories she reported, writing about the incident and reading it out for class. She says that’s what made her a journalist.

Saini is now an award-winning science journalist, often reporting on the intersection of science, race and gender. Her latest book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, tracks the history and ideology of race science up to its current resurgence…

Read the story here. Download the story (00:22:14) here.

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The school experiences of mixed-race white and black Caribbean children in England

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United Kingdom on 2019-07-16 00:26Z by Steven

The school experiences of mixed-race white and black Caribbean children in England

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online 2018-10-01
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2018.1519586

Kirstin Lewis
Department of Educational Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, London
School of Education, University of Durham, Durham, United Kingdom

Feyisa Demie, Honorary Fellow
School of Education
University of Durham, Durham, United Kingdom

This research aims to explore the school experiences of mixed white/ black Caribbean children in English schools. The overarching findings of this research confirm that although the mixed-race population as a whole is achieving above the national average, the mixed white/ black Caribbean group is consistently the lowest performing mixed-race group in the country. Views of pupils, their parents and teachers in two London secondary schools suggest various reasons why mixed white/ black Caribbean pupils might continue to be the lowest performing mixed group in the country. These included experiences of marginalization and invisibility in school life, the low expectations that teachers held about them, the lack of knowledge about how to support them at school and how all these issues were exacerbated by the friendship groups they mixed in. This research paper discusses these critical factors in detail and their implications for policy and further research.

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The Life and Death of an Amazon Warehouse Temp

Posted in Articles, Economics, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2019-07-16 00:22Z by Steven

The Life and Death of an Amazon Warehouse Temp

The Huffington Post
2015-10-21

Dave Jamieson


Jeff and Di-Key with their children, Jervontay, Jeffrey and Kelton (left to right). Family photos courtesy of Di-Key Lockhart.

What the future of low-wage work really looks like.

On Jan. 18, 2013, as the sun went down, Jeff Lockhart Jr. got ready for work. He slipped a T-shirt over his burly frame and hung his white work badge over his broad chest. His wife, Di-Key, was in the bathroom fixing her hair in micro-braids and preparing for another evening alone with her three sons. Jeff had been putting in long hours lately, and so the couple planned a breakfast date at Shoney’s for when his shift ended around dawn. “You better have your hair done by then,” he teased her.

As he headed out the door, Jeff, who was 29, said goodbye to the boys. He told Jeffrey, the most rambunctious, not to give his mom a hard time; Kelton, the oldest, handed his father his iPod for the ride. Then Jeff climbed into his Chevy Suburban, cranked the bass on the stereo system he’d customized himself, and headed for the Amazon fulfillment center in nearby Chester, Virginia, just south of Richmond.

When the warehouse opened its doors in 2012, there were about 37,000 unemployed people living within a 30-minute drive; in nearby Richmond, more than a quarter of residents were living in poverty. The warehouse only provided positions for a fraction of the local jobless: It currently has around 3,000 full-time workers. But it also enlists hundreds, possibly thousands, of temporary workers to fill orders during the holiday shopping frenzy, known in Amazon parlance as “peak.” Since full-timers and temps perform the same duties, the only way to tell them apart is their badges. Full-time workers wear blue. Temps wear white…

…He and Di-Key reconnected in their early 20s. The two made a striking couple—a tall, imposing white guy and his petite African-American girlfriend. “I had a really tough childhood,” says Di-Key. “I didn’t think anyone could love me, but he showed me differently.” She had left school at 17 and had two sons from previous relationships—the oldest, Kelton, is legally blind. “I had a hard time finding a job, and ended up going on assistance,” she says. But after she and Jeff got together, they slowly started to build a more secure life. Jeff pushed Di-Key to get her GED. They had a child together and got married, and Jeff adopted Di-Key’s sons. “He always treated those boys just like they were his own,” says Jeff’s sister, Laura Lockhart. Di-Key worked a series of jobs in retail and office cleaning, and Jeff stayed on at the building supply store. Eventually, they even managed to buy a house—a three-bedroom starter in Hopewell for $86,000. Then, not long after the housing crash, the building supply store closed down, and both Jeff and his father lost their jobs…

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Placing Racial Classification in Context

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-07-14 02:02Z by Steven

Placing Racial Classification in Context

Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World
First Published 2019-06-25
15 pages
DOI: 10.1177/2378023119851016

Robert E. M. Pickett, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology and Demography
University of California, Berkeley

Aliya Saperstein, Associate Professor of Sociology
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Andrew M. Penner, Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

This article extends previous research on place-based patterns of racial categorization by linking it to sociological theory that posits subnational variation in cultural schemas and applying regression techniques that allow for spatial variation in model estimates. We use data from a U.S. restricted-use geocoded longitudinal survey to predict racial classification as a function of both individual and county characteristics. We first estimate national average associations, then turn to spatial-regime models and geographically weighted regression to explore how these relationships vary across the country. We find that individual characteristics matter most for classification as “Black,” while contextual characteristics are important predictors of classification as “White” or “Other,” but some predictors also vary across space, as expected. These results affirm the importance of place in defining racial boundaries and suggest that U.S. racial schemas operate at different spatial scales, with some being national in scope while others are more locally situated.

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The mixed race Irish kids who feel like outsiders

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2019-07-14 01:39Z by Steven

The mixed race Irish kids who feel like outsiders

RTÉ
2019-07-08

Patti O’Malley, Associate Researcher in the Sociology Department
University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

"It seems that these young people are neither Irish in Ireland nor African in Africa"
“It seems that these young people are neither Irish in Ireland nor African in Africa

Opinion: That Irish citizens feel like outsiders in the land of their birth on the basis of skin colour remind us that the issue of race is alive and well

Ireland is a white country – there’s black people in it – but it’s not like there should be black people – it is a white country.” This is the voice of Colum (not his real name), a 12 year old mixed race Irish boy who was born and raised in Ireland to a white Irish mother and a black African father.

As we can note from Colum’s perspective, he seems quite resigned to the notion that Irish identity and whiteness go hand-in-hand and black people are not allowed to stake a claim to Irish identity because of this. In stark terms, black people may be “in” but never “of” the country. In order to be regarded as truly Irish, one must be racially defined as white. Indeed, like several other mixed race (i.e. black African/white Irish) young people aged 4 to 18 that I interviewed as part of a research study, Colum has stated his intention to go “back” to Africa to live when he is older.

Although occupying the official status of Irish citizen (and holding Irish passports), these mixed race young people are not actually recognised as Irish. As they go about their everyday lives, whether at the bus stop or in the supermarket queue, these young people report feeling subject to scrutiny with comments like “how do you like it here?” or, perhaps most strikingly “but, where are you really from?”…

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Lil’ Kim’s Lighter, Whiter Skin Is a Sad Indictment of Racism

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Women on 2019-07-14 01:20Z by Steven

Lil’ Kim’s Lighter, Whiter Skin Is a Sad Indictment of Racism

The Daily Beast
2016-04-26

Yaba Blay


Handout; Instagram

Why has Lil’ Kim seemingly lightened her skin? Because of the absurd, but very present, social advantage for black people that comes with having lighter skin.

There was a time when Lil’ Kim represented a brand of unapologetic self-love for black women. The kind that announced that we are sexual beings without shame or fear. She reflected what it might look like to be at once a woman, black, and sexually free. Visually, her body was a site for pleasure, most importantly her own.

Sonically, her lyrics offered us permission to explore our own bodies and our own pleasure. Lil’ Kim was our champion.

I’m not sure what she’s now championing. In a series of pictures she posted on Instagram, she is virtually unrecognizable.

While we have debated whether other celebrities like Beyoncé and Rihanna have actually lightened their skin or if the magazines that featured their images had photoshopped their complexions, with Kim, there surely can be little question.

It looks as though she has lightened her once black-girl-brown complexion to one that’s not so brown at all. Her hair is longer, straighter, blonder. Her once round nose now thin. Even her eyes sit differently on her face. She’s changed, in ways that words can’t even begin to capture. And it hurts…

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How this theoretical physicist is advocating for women of colour in STEM

Posted in Articles, Gay & Lesbian, Interviews, Media Archive, Videos, Women on 2019-07-11 19:17Z by Steven

How this theoretical physicist is advocating for women of colour in STEM

tvo
Toronto, Canada
2019-07-11

Carla Lucchetta

Nam Kiwanuka and Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Nam Kiwanuka interviews theoretical physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein talks to The Agenda in the Summer about her identity as a queer Black woman, the importance of mentorship, and why advocacy is a vital component of her work

What makes a person dream of becoming a theoretical physicist? In Chanda Prescod-Weinstein’s case, it was growing up with activist parents. Her mother, Margaret Prescod, has headed up various advocacy groups, including International Black Women for Wages for Housework, and is the host and producer of Sojourner Truth, a public-affairs radio show in Los Angeles. Her father, Sam Weinstein, is a labour organizer.

As she tells Nam Kiwanuka on The Agenda in the Summer, “I spent my entire childhood being confronted with things that weren’t going right in the world and things that needed to be better about the world. And I think part of what was attractive to me about doing cosmology and particle physics was here was a thing that was beyond these human concerns … something that was bigger than all of us but interested all of us. Where do we come from: Why are we here? These really big esoteric questions.”

a couple and their child
Chanda at age four with her parents Sam Weinstein and Margaret Prescod
​​​​​​​(Los Angeles Times/ucla.edu)

Now a physics professor at the University of New Hampshire, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein has conducted research on such topics as axions, dark matter, and quantum fields. She’s also an advocate for Black women, and LGBTQ people in STEM

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