Quiet as its Kept: Passing Subjects, Contested Identities

Posted in Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2019-03-25 14:18Z by Steven

Quiet as its Kept: Passing Subjects, Contested Identities

Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, New York
Friday, 2019-04-05 through Sunday, 2019-04-07

Passing Beyond Passing

The phrase “passing for white” first appears in advertisements for the return of runaway slaves. Abolitionist fiction later adopts the phenomenon of racial passing (together with the figure of the “white slave”) as a major literary theme. The term continued to enjoy currency in literature in the postbellum era and during the Harlem Renaissance. Today, “passing” has various manifestations and applications. Not limited to race, the term may indicate subversions of gender, sexuality, religion, ability and class, among other identity coordinates.

This conference responds to renewed interest in passing that derives from the popularity of genetic genealogy tests, sensational cases of racial fraud (i.e., Rachel Dolezal), the idea of “realness” appropriated from ball culture, racial ambiguity in a surveillance state, public fascination with celebrities like Meghan Markle, and the construction (and manipulation) of online identities (i.e., catfishing and blackfishing). Interdisciplinary perspectives on passing, miscegenation, authenticity, sexuality, kinship, and racial ambiguity in the arts, law, memory, popular culture, and the racial state are invited. Themes may include betrayal, secrecy, dissimulation, subjectivity, masquerade, visibility/invisibility, surveillance, fraud, and belonging.

At Vassar College, interest in this topic has reemerged since the publication of Karin Tanabe’s novel The Gilded Years (2016), about Anita Hemmings’ experience as the first black woman known to attend the College. In 1900, poet, novelist, lyricist Paul Laurence Dunbar modeled one of his musical characters (Parthenia Jenkins in Uncle Eph’s Christmas) after Anita Hemmings. By placing a character with Hemmings’ stature in a farce, Dunbar lampoons class / caste based distinctions. More importantly, he associates Hemmings – a racial performer celebrated for her respectability – with less-respected, equally assertive performers of race. Hemmings’s story is currently being adapted into a film, A White Lie, starring Zendaya and produced by Reese Witherspoon and Zendaya. This conference provides an opportunity to reflect on Hemmings’ experience – and those of other black women – who integrated women’s colleges.

This conference is also an occasion to rethink identity categories that have long been naturalized or taken for granted. From critical race theorists, sociologists, and social psychologists like Cheryl I. Harris, George Lipsitz, and Claude Steele to labor historians and feminist scholars such as David Roediger and Ruth Frankenberg, many intellectuals have examined whiteness as a social formation to which disparate ethnic groups (i.e., Jewish, Italian, and Irish) have assimilated. This conference (and concomitant art show at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center) can facilitate careful rethinking of assumptions about identity formations and affiliations. All are welcome.

For more information, click here.

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Mixed

Posted in Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2019-03-23 21:21Z by Steven

Mixed

The Nasiona
2019-03-19
190 pages
6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-1950124015

Nicole Zelnike, Editorial Researcher
The Conversation US

Foreword by Julián Esteban Torres López

The definition of families is widening, whether it’s because of mixed-race relationships, interracial adoption, or numerous other factors. Today, it is important to hear from a growing population about race, their shifting identities, and what family means to them.

At the heart of the issue are the mixed-race families. Many mixed-race children have had difficulties fitting in, whether with one race or the other. In mixed-race relationships, one partner may face racism, while the other may not, or else they will experience racism in different ways. Children who have been adopted into families that identify as a race that is not theirs often find that they struggle to fit in with their families as well as with people who identify as their own race. Not only are these families navigating US American culture at large, but they also must navigate their own family structures and what it means to be mixed.

Journalist Nicole Zelniker takes us on personal journeys to help us glimpse into overlooked worlds so we can more fully grasp what it means to be mixed. Zelniker spoke to dozens of mixed-race families and individuals, as well as experts in the field—such as psychologist Cirleen DeBlaere and historians José Moya and Karl Jacoby—about their own experiences, with the hope to fill a gap in the very important conversation about race in the US today.

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Shape Shifters: Journeys across Terrains of Race and Identity

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology on 2019-03-23 00:32Z by Steven

Shape Shifters: Journeys across Terrains of Race and Identity

University of Nebraska Press
January 2020
444 pages
8 photos, index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4962-0663-3

Edited by:

Lily Anne Y. Welty Tamai, Curator of History
Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California

Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, Professor of History
University of La Verne, Point Mugu, California

Paul Spickard, Distinguished Professor of History
University of California, Santa Barbara

Shape Shifters

Shape Shifters presents a wide-ranging array of essays that examine peoples of mixed racial identity. Moving beyond the static “either/or” categories of racial identification found within typical insular conversations about mixed-race peoples, Shape Shifters explores these mixed-race identities as fluid, ambiguous, contingent, multiple, and malleable. This volume expands our understandings of how individuals and ethnic groups identify themselves within their own sociohistorical contexts.

The essays in Shape Shifters explore different historical eras and reach across of the globe, from the Roman and Chinese borderlands of classical antiquity to Medieval Eurasian shape-shifters, the Native peoples of the missions of Spanish California, and racial shape-shifting among African Americans in the post–civil rights era. At different times in their lives or over generations in their families, racial shape-shifters have moved from one social context to another. And as new social contexts were imposed on them, identities have even changed from one group to another. This is not racial, ethnic, or religious imposture. It is simply the way that people’s lives unfold in fluid sociohistorical circumstances.

With contributions by Ryan Abrecht, George J. Sanchez, Laura Moore, and Margaret Hunter, among others, Shape Shifters explores the forces of migration, borderlands, trade, warfare, occupation, colonial imposition, and the creation and dissolution of states and empires to highlight the historically contingent basis of identification among mixed-race peoples across time and space.

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The Borderlands of Black Mixed-race Women’s Identity: Navigating Hegemonic Monoraciality in a White Supremacist Heteropatriarchal Society

Posted in Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2019-03-15 18:29Z by Steven

The Borderlands of Black Mixed-race Women’s Identity: Navigating Hegemonic Monoraciality in a White Supremacist Heteropatriarchal Society

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
2018
144 pages

Corey Rae Evans

In partial fulfillment of the requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts

This research study examines and deconstructs the identity formation and development of black mixed-race women and highlights the ways in which black mixed-race women have engaged in developing a “borderlands consciousness” that fosters a sense of positive identity as they navigate hegemonic monoraciality and white supremacist heteropatriarchy in the U.S. This qualitative research study analyzes data from three sources: one-on-one interviews; a focus group; and blog posts on the social media platforms Twitter and Facebook that discuss the identity development of black mixed-race women. In this study, grounded theory methodology is used to explore and theorize around the identity development of black mixed-race women and their potential to utilize a “borderlands consciousness” to embody a disidentified position in response to the dualistic stance and counterstance positions that reify monoraciality within the social and political context of the Midwestern state of Colorado. The following themes with incorporated sub-themes emerged from the three aforementioned data sources with an overarching theme of the borderlands: external oppression representative of a stance position; internal responses to oppression representative of a counterstance position; proximity to whiteness representative of both external oppression and internal responses to oppression; and creating a third space towards a position of disidentification.

Read the entire thesis here.

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‘Fresh Prince’ Star and First-Time Author Karyn Parsons Is Not Here for Your Labels

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2019-03-14 18:09Z by Steven

‘Fresh Prince’ Star and First-Time Author Karyn Parsons Is Not Here for Your Labels

Shondaland
2019-03-12

Rebecca Carroll, Editor of Special Projects
WNYC New York Public Radio, New York, New York


Little, Brown, and Company

A conversation about her debut novel, “How High the Moon” dives into issues of identity and her focus on telling little-known stories of African Americans.

There is no shame in having loved Hilary Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Sure, she was vapid and flighty and occasionally obnoxious, but she was also admirably ambitious, charmingly naive, and genuinely loyal to her very black family. So it’s a kind of poetic justice that the actress who played her, Karyn Parsons, has evolved out of that hallmark role into something of a black public intellectual, activist, and author — even if she wouldn’t call herself any of those things. Her first novel, How High the Moon, was published last week, and we sat down to talk about it, her nonprofit organization, Sweet Blackberry, race, and labels, and how she feels about acting today.

Rebecca Carroll: You founded Sweet Blackberry as a way to preserve and lift and amplify the achievements of black Americans throughout history, and now you’ve written a young adult novel about a light-skinned black girl coming of age in the Jim Crow South. How do you feel these two projects speak to each other?

Karyn Parsons: I think what Sweet Blackberry has to offer is knowing about these stories from the past, and how they serve us moving forward, especially young people. It shows children what they’re capable of — it teaches them so much about themselves and who they are and can be…

RC: We’re both the product of one biological black parent and one biological white parent. I black identify, and actually think of it in part as a denouncement of white supremacy. And of whiteness in general. Do you identify as black or biracial?

KP: Biracial. I get what you mean, but I don’t want to feel in any way that I’m denouncing my father, who’s white. If it’s basically ‘What are you?’ I feel like I’m miscommunicating with people and these labels. I don’t do labels.

RC: But whiteness is not a label. It’s an identity.

KP: Well, it depends on who you’re talking to.

RC: Well, I’m talking to you.

KP: I think a lot of people are saying it as literally a physical category, not an experience, not cultural.

RC: You mean a phenotype?

KP: Yes.

RC: I would argue otherwise that only white people categorize blackness that way.

KP: Mmmmm, maybe.

RC: When you talk about not wanting to denounce your father, do you think he would be offended if you called yourself a black woman?

KP: Oh, no. It’s not about him. It’s just about me. What I’m saying when I say I’m mixed — I guess I’m not thinking that heavily into white culture…

Read the entire interview here.

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‘I’m from more cultures than you!’

Posted in Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Videos on 2019-03-07 19:58Z by Steven

‘I’m from more cultures than you!’

BBC News
2019-03-07

One Culture: two generations, where we speak to British families and explore the differences between first- and second-generation immigrants.

Of the 1.2 million mixed race people in England and Wales, 0.5% of them identify as ‘Mixed other’. Bilal, who is of both Jamaican and South Asian Kenyan descent, has an open conversation with his parents Colleen and Asif about the pressures, and the positives of being mixed with two minority groups.

A part of #CrossingDivides – a BBC season bringing people together. For more stories like this go to bbc.co.uk/crossingdivides.

Produced and edited by Elizabeth Ashamu
Directed by Cebo Luthuli
Executive produced by Karlene Pinnock

Watch the video here.

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It’s 2019, Why Are We Still Policing Blackness?

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-03-07 19:52Z by Steven

It’s 2019, Why Are We Still Policing Blackness?

My American Melting Pot
2019-03-01

Lori L. Tharps, Host, Head Chef and Chief Content Creator; Associate Professor of journalism
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hello Meltingpot Readers,

As we wind down the Blackest month of the year, I wanted to write something positive and inspirational about Black people in America. Instead, I’m using this penultimate Black History Month blog post to lament the continuous policing of Blackness…

Read the entire article here.

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Seeking participants for a study on multiracial identification

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2019-02-28 02:27Z by Steven

Seeking participants for a study on multiracial identification

Laurie T. Resnick, M.S.Ed., Principal Investigator
Pace University, New York, New York

2019-02-27

Pace University

We are conducting a study on self-identification and identity development in multiracial individuals. The purpose of this study is to understand how the experiences of these individuals relate to their racial identity.

If you live in the United States, are 18 years or older, and belong to two or more racial/ethnic groups, or your parents belong to different racial/ethnic groups, we invite you to participate in a quick survey about your experiences and your racial identity.

To begin the study, click here.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

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Self-identification or tribal membership: Different paths to your heritage

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2019-02-16 23:26Z by Steven

Self-identification or tribal membership: Different paths to your heritage

Medill Reports Chicago
Medill News Service
2019-02-12

Lu Zhao, News Reporter
Medill Reports


Jasmine Gurneau made their wedding clothes by herself. “You have to wear it more than once,” Jasmine said to her husband. The arch behind them represents the four colors of four directions, which was made by Jasmine’s mother, Pam. (Provided by Jasmine)

It was a surprise for the 8-year-old girl when she first learned she is a Native American many years ago. Pamala Silas still remembers that day. She had transferred to a new school. Huddling in the chair, sitting beside her younger sister, Pam was introduced by the teacher as an “American Indian.” She couldn’t believe what she heard.

“What? Why did she say that?” Pam, in her 50s and proud of her heritage, said she harbored as a child stereotypes of Native Americans that, all too often, people saw on TV. “They’re all naked and crazy!”

Pam went home and asked her foster mother why they called her an Indian at school.

“Well, you are,” her foster mother said. She took out an encyclopedia, went to the American Indian section and showed Pam a picture of a man with a headdress on a horse. “You’re an Indian.”

“You are Menominee and you are Oneida,” Pam’s older sister said.

Pam had to write down the tribal names but didn’t even know how to spell them at that time…

Read the entire article here.

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Episode 1

Posted in Arts, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, United Kingdom, United States on 2019-02-06 02:22Z by Steven

Episode 1

Shade Podcast: UK culture and news podcast focused on the mixed race experience
2019-01-19

Laura Hesketh, Co-Host
Liverpool, England

Lou Mensah, Co-Host
London, England

Debut episode from Laura Hesketh & Lou Mensah where we discuss identification, Meghan Markle (00:01:36), the Khloé Kardashian bi racial doll tweet (00:07:25), Colin Kaepernick (00:10:40), Steven Riley (00:12:22), and more.

Listen to the episode (00:14:19) here. Download the episode here.

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