Charla Huber: Every Indigenous person is Indigenous enough

Posted in Articles, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2018-12-31 03:27Z by Steven

Charla Huber: Every Indigenous person is Indigenous enough

The Times Colonist
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
2018-12-30

Charla Huber, Communications and Indigenous Relations
M’akola Group of Societies

New_dx-1230-ho ho huber.jpg
Devan Cronshaw, left, Riley McKenzie and Alita Tocher are all urban Indigenous people in the capital region.
Photograph By Charla Huber, Times Colonist

So often, we hear the words reconciliation and decolonization, and lately I have been wondering if people really understand their meanings. The more I read, learn and listen, the more important these words become to me.

I am a product of the Sixties Scoop and was adopted and raised by a non-Indigenous family. Being adopted and having no knowledge of or connection to my birth family growing up, I really held onto being Indigenous. It was the only thing that I ever knew about myself for sure.

Because I wasn’t raised in Indigenous culture, I have often wondered if I am Indigenous enough. This is especially heightened because I am half. I am very open about my heritage and my adoption, but I do struggle saying: “My family is from Fort Chipewyan and I have Inuit roots.” I’ve never set foot on my ancestors’ traditional territory…

Read the entire article here.

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Shades of Gray: Writing the New American Multiracialism

Posted in Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2018-12-26 19:54Z by Steven

Shades of Gray: Writing the New American Multiracialism

University of Nebraska Press
December 2018
348 pages, index
Hardcover: 978-0-8032-9681-7

Molly Littlewood McKibbin, Assistant Professor of Instruction
English and Creative Writing Department
Columbia College Chicago

Shades of Gray

In Shades of Gray Molly Littlewood McKibbin offers a social and literary history of multiracialism in the twentieth-century United States. She examines the African American and white racial binary in contemporary multiracial literature to reveal the tensions and struggles of multiracialism in American life through individual consciousness, social perceptions, societal expectations, and subjective struggles with multiracial identity.

McKibbin weaves a rich sociohistorical tapestry around the critically acclaimed works of Danzy Senna, Caucasia (1998); Rebecca Walker, Black White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self (2001); Emily Raboteau, The Professor’s Daughter (2005); Rachel M. Harper, Brass Ankle Blues (2006); and Heidi Durrow, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky (2010). Taking into account the social history of racial classification and the literary history of depicting mixed race, she argues that these writers are producing new representations of multiracial identity.

Shades of Gray examines the current opportunity to define racial identity after the civil rights, black power, and multiracial movements of the late twentieth century changed the sociopolitical climate of the United States and helped revolutionize the racial consciousness of the nation. McKibbin makes the case that twenty-first-century literature is able to represent multiracial identities for the first time in ways that do not adhere to the dichotomous conceptions of race that have, until now, determined how racial identities could be expressed in the United States.

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Socioemotional wellbeing of mixed race/ethnicity children in the UK and US: Patterns and mechanisms

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2018-12-26 17:55Z by Steven

Socioemotional wellbeing of mixed race/ethnicity children in the UK and US: Patterns and mechanisms

SSM – Population Health
Volume 5, August 2018
Pages 147-159
DOI: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2018.06.010

James Nazroo, Honorary Professor of Sociology
Cathie Marsh Institute, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Afshin Zilanawala, Senior Research Associate
University College London, London, United Kingdom

Meichu Chen, Research Associate Social/Behavioral Sciences Intermediate
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Laia Bécares, Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Science (Social Work and Social Care)
University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom

Pamela Davis-Kean, Professor of Psychology; Research Professor
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

James S. Jackson, Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology; Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Yvonne Kelly, Professor of Lifecourse Epidemiology
University College London, London, United Kingdom

Lidia Panico, Researcher
Institut National d’Etudes Demographiques, Paris, France

Amanda Sacker, Professor of Lifecourse Studies
University College London, London, United Kingdom

Cover image SSM - Population Health

Highlights

  • Mixed race/ethnicity children are thought to have poorer socioemotional wellbeing
  • We find no evidence that mixed race/ethnicity children have poorer socioemotional wellbeing in a study covering children aged 5/6 in the US and UK
  • We find that mixed race/ethnicity children do have socio-economic advantage
  • This socio-economic advantage is protective for socioemotional wellbeing

Existing literature suggests that mixed race/ethnicity children are more likely to experience poor socioemotional wellbeing in both the US and the UK, although the evidence is stronger in the US. It is suggested that this inequality may be a consequence of struggles with identity formation, more limited connections with racial/ethnic/cultural heritage, and increased risk of exposure to racism.

Using data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study (n = 13,734) and the US Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (n ~ 6250), we examine differences in the socioemotional wellbeing of mixed and non-mixed 5/6 year old children in the UK and US and explore heterogeneity in outcomes across different mixed groups in both locations. We estimate a series of linear regressions to examine the contribution of factors that may explain any observed differences, including socio-economic and cultural factors, and examine the extent to which these processes vary across the two nations.

We find no evidence of greater risk for poor socioemotional wellbeing for mixed race/ethnicity children in both national contexts. We find that mixed race/ethnicity children experience socio-economic advantage compared to their non-mixed minority counterparts and that socio-economic advantage is protective for socioemotional wellbeing. Cultural factors do not contribute to differences in socioemotional wellbeing across mixed and non-mixed groups.

Our evidence suggests then that at age 5/6 there is no evidence of poorer socioemotional wellbeing for mixed race/ethnicity children in either the UK or the US. The contrast between our findings and some previous literature, which reports that mixed race/ethnicity children have poorer socioemotional wellbeing, may reflect changes in the meaning of mixed identities across periods and/or the developmental stage of the children we studied.

Read the entire article in PDF or HTML format.

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Mixed Up: ‘There are certain elements of English life that Iranian culture would deem totally disgusting’

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2018-12-19 00:39Z by Steven

Mixed Up: ‘There are certain elements of English life that Iranian culture would deem totally disgusting’

Metro UK
2018-12-12

Natalie Morris, Senior Lifestyle Writer


Ariana Alexander-Sefre

Welcome to Mixed Up, a series looking at the highs, lows and unique experiences of being mixed-race.

Mixed-race is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the UK. It means your parents hail from two (or more) different ethnicities, leaving you somewhere in the middle.

In 2001, when the ‘mixed’ categories were first introduced to the national census, mixed-race people made up 1.3% of the population. Fast-forward 10 years, and that figure almost doubles to 2.3%.

It’s a trajectory that’s unlikely to slow down.

Alongside the unique pleasures and benefits of being exposed to multiple cultures, being mixed comes with complexities, conflicts and innate contradictions.

Ariana, founder of Sweat & Sound, is half Persian and half British. The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up half of the population of Iran – they have their own language, Farsi.

Some schools of thinking class Persians as technically Caucasian, but recent census categorisation changes in the US have definied Iranian and Middle-Eastern heritage as different to white…

…Ariana identifies as mixed. She says her family is made up of a combination of intensely different cultural traditions.

But because of her appearance, her light skin and European features, she says she’s often assumed to be white by both English and Iranian people.

‘I actually find it really frustrating to be honest,’ Ariana tells Metro.co.uk

Read the entire article here.

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White Lies: Ijeoma Oluo On Privilege, Power, And Race

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2018-12-18 01:56Z by Steven

White Lies: Ijeoma Oluo On Privilege, Power, And Race

The Sun Interview
The Sun
December 2018

Mark Leviton
Nevada City, California

516 - Ijeoma Oluo - Leviton

“Race has always been a prominent part of my life,” Ijeoma Oluo writes in her new book So You Want to Talk about Race. “I have never been able to escape the fact that I am a black woman in a white-supremacist country.”

Oluo was born in 1980 in Denton, Texas. Her father, a Nigerian college professor and politician, returned to his native country when she was three and never came back to the U.S. She and her brother, Ahamefule (often called Aham), had no contact with him growing up. Their mother, a white woman from the Midwest, raised them by herself in Seattle

..Oluo is an editor-at-large for the online magazine The Establishment. In her blog on Medium.com she often covers serious subject matter — white supremacy, representations of race in the media, the U.S. crisis of mass incarceration and police violence — but her approach is personal and down-to-earth; she’s rarely without a rueful joke or a post about what her two sons said at breakfast. In 2015 she self-published The Badass Feminist Coloring Book, a project that developed from her habit of sketching famous feminists to relieve stress. She hit the New York Times best-seller list earlier this year with So You Want to Talk about Race. Though she realizes that most of her readers will be white, she says she wrote the book to help people of color make themselves heard. Her website is ijeomaoluo.com.

I met with Oluo at her favorite independent Seattle coffeehouse, which also serves as an informal community center and work space. We sat at a small table and struggled to talk over the sound of the coffee grinder and the not-so-quiet background music before moving to a bench across the street. It was a beautiful spring day, and despite her sometimes dire message, Oluo’s energy and humor never flagged.

Leviton: You believe that if you’re white in America, you’re racist, and if you’re a male in America, you’re sexist. Are you saying I can’t transcend my received culture no matter what kind of a person I am?

Oluo: I don’t think you can escape it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fight racism or patriarchy. You can fight the racism in society even while you fight the racism inside you. It’s like fighting a cancer inside you: you’re not “pro-cancer” because you have it.

There’s no way to avoid absorbing our American culture, which was designed to benefit white males. We absorb American racism in ways we’re not fully aware of. You can’t undo a lifetime of experience in a few years of work. While you are struggling against racism, the culture keeps reinforcing it, telling you who is “normal” and who isn’t, who deserves to be seen and who is made invisible. Racism is alive.

I want to move people away from thinking of racism as a feeling of hatred, because it’s rare to find someone who blatantly hates people of color. But the impact of racial bias isn’t lessened because it’s not blatant. If someone denies me a job because I’m “not the right fit,” without realizing that their idea of the right fit is almost always a white person, it doesn’t hurt me any less than if I’m told, “I won’t hire you because you’re black.” Racism is not necessarily an intention or a feeling. It is a system that produces predictable results.

In this country there are large racial divides in everything from infant mortality, to how much you earn, to your chances of being arrested or incarcerated. This is not because a bunch of white people wake up every day and decide to oppress people of color; it’s not just the actions of individuals with hate in their hearts. We cannot understand American racism unless we recognize it as a system that was built to run — and that still runs — on principles of oppression and domination. Four hundred years of history doesn’t go back into the toothpaste tube…

Leviton: You were always a high achiever in school. You didn’t have disciplinary problems.

Oluo: Yes, I was well suited for Western education. I scored high on standardized tests — which are very prejudiced in many ways. While I was growing up, my mom was going to college, and because she couldn’t afford day care, she would sneak my brother and me into her big auditorium classes. My father was a college professor; he didn’t raise us, but I was aware of that heritage. So education was always something I loved.

But there were costs. One was that my blackness was erased. People could accept that I was talented and smart only if they saw me as less black. I had teachers who would insist I was “mixed,” not black. Many people told me I didn’t “act black” — I guess because doing well in school and loving to read were not “black” behaviors to them. And in many ways that robbed me of my sense of community and identity. I was often used as an example to other black students: “Why can’t you be more like Ijeoma?” I became a reason to withhold sympathy from other black students: “She gets it. Why can’t you?”

I grew up in Seattle, and I talk like someone who grew up in Seattle. I was raised by a white single mom. I have a lighter skin tone than many black people. And I was treated as if I were fundamentally better than my black peers, because I looked and sounded whiter. I grew up feeling very isolated as a result. I was the only black kid in the advanced programs up to seventh grade. In high school there was one other black kid. Today my son is in an advanced school program, and there’s only one other black kid in there with him. So my son has to carry that burden of representing black students…

Read the entire interview here.

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Helping My Fair-Skinned Son Embrace His Blackness

Posted in Arts, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2018-11-21 18:38Z by Steven

Helping My Fair-Skinned Son Embrace His Blackness

The Atlantic
2018-11-21

Myra Jones-Taylor, Chief Policy Officer
Zero to Three, Washington, D.C.


Ashley Seil Smith

He identifies as African American, but it’s a constant struggle to get his peers and teachers to see him that way.

I recently confessed to my son that I would have to miss back-to-school night for a work trip. Most parents can expect one of two reactions from their children to this news: relief or a guilt trip. My son’s response was of the second variety, but with a particular twist. “You can’t miss back-to-school night!,” he said. “How else will my new teachers know I’m black?”

For me and my husband, back-to-school night is not only about establishing what kind of parents we will be for the coming school year—it is also about establishing our son’s racial identity and sense of belonging.

I am a black woman married to a white man. Our 13-year-old son looks white—blonde-haired, blue-eyed, straight-nosed, thin-lipped, fair-skinned white—but he identifies as black. Our daughter is much lighter than I am, and is often mistaken for Middle Eastern or Latina, but I cannot help but see traces of my paternal grandmother’s high cheek bones and wide nose in her round face.

Some queer people talk about the existence of “gaydar”—the ability to identify one of their own, whether they are out or closeted. As the child of a white mother and black father, I have whatever the equivalent is for being able to spot black people no matter how fair their skin or European their features. I could always claim my people, I thought. But when our son was born, I realized that no special power was going to help me see his African heritage. My husband thought our newborn was albino the first time he cradled him in his arms. He was that white…

Read the entire article here.

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Deconstructing the Truism of Race as a Social Construct

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, Philosophy, Videos on 2018-11-12 22:22Z by Steven

Deconstructing the Truism of Race as a Social Construct

Hammer Museum
University of California, Los Angeles
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90024
2018-11-03

Naomi Zack, Professor of Philosophy
University of Oregon

Rebecca Tuvel, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee

Diarmuid Costello, Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Warwick

Philosophers Naomi Zack of the University of Oregon, Rebecca Tuvel of Rhodes College, and Diarmuid Costello of the University of Warwick discuss the ways in which Adrian Piper’s art interrogates racial identity, focusing on specific works as well as Piper’s own writings about race, “Passing for White, Passing for Black” and Escape to Berlin: A Travel Memoir.


Adrian Piper, Self-Portrait Exaggerating My Negroid Features, 1981
Pencil on paper. 10 × 8 in. (25.4 × 20.3 cm). The Eileen Harris Norton Collection © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin.

View the discussion (03:04:11) here.

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Colorism: Raising A Dark Skinned Daughter As A Light Skinned Woman In America

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2018-10-14 01:06Z by Steven

Colorism: Raising A Dark Skinned Daughter As A Light Skinned Woman In America

Blavity
2018-10-11

Angela Dennis

“We are beautiful because of our blackness, not in spite of it.”

As a mother at times it is hard enough to get through the everyday struggles of parenting, and as a black single mother there comes a whole host of other obstacles we are challenged with. In society we often discuss black parenting in regards to race, but rarely do we talk about parenting in regards to colorism. Colorism is an issue that has been present within the black community for quite some time. It is a symptom of racism. To educate those that are unaware or unclear, it is prejudiced attitudes or discrimination based on the tone or shade of one’s skin complexion. Racism on the other hand, is prejudgment against people based on their perceived racial status. Colorism can also be a symptom of racism.

Slave owners engaged in colorism with the practice of separating and giving preference to slaves with lighter complexions. This included allowing them to work indoors and assigning them with less grueling work. Dark skinned slaves were treated much harsher and inferior to their lighter counterparts. Later on, the brown paper bag test would be implemented within our own community to determine admittance. If your skin was darker than the bag, you did not merit inclusion. Today, the paper bag test is gone but we see reminders of how colorism continues to affect black people everyday.

I myself, as a light skinned woman of color with bi-racial heritage have experienced it throughout my life…

Read the entire article here.

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Color that Matters: A Comparative Approach to Mixed Race Identity and Nordic Exceptionalism

Posted in Books, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2018-10-09 04:02Z by Steven

Color that Matters: A Comparative Approach to Mixed Race Identity and Nordic Exceptionalism

Routledge
2018-09-30
240 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781138050143

Tony Sandset, Junior Research Fellow
University of Oslo, Norway

Color that Matters: A Comparative Approach to Mixed Race Identity and Nordic Exceptionalism (Hardback) book cover

This book examines the ways in which mixed ethnic identities in Scandinavia are formed along both cultural and embodied lines, arguing that while the official discourses in the region refer to a ‘post-racial’ or ‘color blind’ era, color still matters in the lives of people of mixed ethnic descent. Drawing on research amongst people of mixed ethnic backgrounds, the author offers insights into how color matters and is made to matter, and in the ways in which terms such as ‘ethnic’ and ‘ethnicity’ remain very much indebted to their older, racialized grammar.

Color that Matters moves beyond the conventional Anglo-American focus of scholarship in this field, showing that while similarities exist between the racial and ethnic discourses of the US and UK and those found in the Nordic region, Scandinavia, and Norway in particular, manifests important differences, in part owing to a tendency to viewed itself as exceptional or outside the colonial heritage of race and imperialism. Presenting both a contextualisation of racial discourses since World War II based on documentary analysis and new interview material with people of mixed ethnic backgrounds, the book acts as a corrective to the blind spot within Scandinavian research on ethnic minorities, offering a new reading of race for the Nordic region that engages with the idea that color has been emptied of legitimate cultural content.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Series Editor’s Preface
  • 1. Introduction
  • Part I: Methodology and Theory: Towards Grounding the Book
    • 2. Research Horizons: Inspirations and Tensions
    • 3. Theoretical Inspirations and Methodological Tools
  • Part II: Epistemic Documents, Racialized Knowledge and Mundane Language
    • 4. From Race to Ethnicity: The Purification of a Discourse; UNESCO and Norway’s Western Others
  • Part III: In Living Colour; The Lived Life of Mixed Colours
    • 5. Discourses of Race And Ethnicity: A Difficult Deployment Of Colour
    • 6. Performing Mixed Ethnic Identities: Colours That Matter
  • Part IV
    • 7. No Guarantees, Just Paradoxes to Offer: In Lieu Of The Typical Conclusion
  • Appendix: List of Peopled Interviewed
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Fluidity amidst structure: multi-racial identity constructions across the life course of Malaysians and Singaporeans

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science on 2018-10-09 03:37Z by Steven

Fluidity amidst structure: multi-racial identity constructions across the life course of Malaysians and Singaporeans

Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture
Published online: 2018-07-18
18 pages
DOI: 10.1080/13504630.2018.1499222

Geetha Reddy
Department of Sociology
University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

Multi-racial identity construction is understood to be fluid, contextual and dynamic. Yet the dynamics of multi-racial identity construction when racial identities are ascribed and formulated as static by governments is less explored in psychological studies of race. This paper examines the dynamics of racial identity construction among multi-racial Malaysians and Singaporeans in a qualitative study of 31 semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to identify the different private racial identity constructions of participants who were officially ascribed with single racial identities at birth. Participants reflected on the overwhelming influence of the state and significant Others in limiting their ability to express their multiple racial identities when they were in school, and highlighted their capacity to be agentic in their private racial identity constructions when they were older. This paper shows that across the life course multi-racial individuals possess (1) the ability to adopt different racial identity positions at different times, (2) the ability to hold multiple racial identity constructions at the same time when encounters with Others are dialogical, (3) the reflexivity of past identity positions in the present construction of identities.

Read the entire article here.

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