Don’t Touch My Hair

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs on 2018-11-13 04:55Z by Steven

Don’t Touch My HairDon’t Touch My Hair

Allen Lane (an imprint of Penguin)
2019-02-05
240 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9780241308349
Ebook ISBN: 9780141986296

Emma Dabiri, Teaching Fellow SOAS; Visual Sociology Ph.D. Researcher, Goldsmiths

Despite our more liberal world views, black hair continues to be erased, appropriated and stigmatised to the point of taboo. Why is that?

Recent years have seen the conversation around black hair reach tipping point, yet detractors still proclaim ‘it’s only hair!’ when it never is. This book seeks to re-establish the cultural significance of African hairstyles, using them as a blueprint for decolonisation. Over a series of wry, informed essays, the author takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and into today’s Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. We look at the trajectory from hair capitalists like Madam CJ Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, touching on everything from women’s solidarity and friendship, to forgotten African scholars, to the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian’s braids.

The scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic. Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems – the bedrock of modern computing – in black hair styles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don’t Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.

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The Chinese-African Kids And Identity Crisis

Posted in Africa, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Economics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2018-10-14 00:02Z by Steven

The Chinese-African Kids And Identity Crisis

Shorthand Social
2016-02-08

Ilelah Balarabe Shehu

INTRODUCTION

As the number of Africans coming to China for business keeps jumping up by 20-30% annually since 2011, so also the number of intermarriages between Africans and Chinese. This inter racial marriages has resulted in giving a new face to what is hitherto known as Chinese faces. Now the emergence of what is known in China as chocolate kids, a mixture of Asian and African colors. With over 4000 of these kids in Guangzhou alone, the Chinese society is divided on accepting these kids as Chinese or not, while the kids themselves are struggling with their identity crisis. Most of them in a fool of confusion regarding to where they actually belong. But despite the identity crisis, most of the kids have a dream here in China.

As the economy of China continues to attract global attention with its increasing participation in global politics and its desire to be seen and recognized as a global power, this has come with an increase of economic migrants from all over the world. The ones from Africa are more visible especially in the southern city of Guangzhou where at the moment, arrangement has been completed to build an African town. According to Africansinchina.net, with an estimated population of over two hundred thousand Africans in Guangzhou, the city is by no doubt the largest city with Africans not only in China but in Asia. As such, this is the city where more inter marriages take place between Chinese women and African business men or even students. As a result of this fast growing community of Chinese African families, a new generation of kids from Chinese and African parents is growing rapidly not only in the city of Guangzhou, but also in almost all cities and towns in China. Towards the end of the year 2014, there were over 4000 African Chinese kids in Guangzhou alone, according to Information and Resources for Urban Entrepreneurs.

Read the entire article here.

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Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey, the Movie

Posted in Africa, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2018-08-28 02:19Z by Steven

Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey, the Movie

HapaLis Productions
2017

Written by: Elizabeth Liang
Directed by: Sofie Calderon

Winner: 2018 Calcutta International Cult Film Festival

Elizabeth Liang in ALIEN CITIZEN: An Earth Odyssey (2017)

Who are you when you’re from everywhere and nowhere?

ALIEN CITIZEN: An Earth Odyssey is a funny and poignant one-woman show about growing up as a dual citizen of mixed heritage in Central America, North Africa, the Middle East, and New England. Elizabeth Liang is a Global Nomad or Third Culture Kid (TCK). Third Culture Kids are the children of educators, international business people, diplomats, missionaries, the military–anyone whose family has relocated overseas, usually because of a job placement.

Liang weaves humorous stories about growing up as an Alien Citizen abroad with American commercial jingles providing her soundtrack through language confusion, first love, “racial ambiguity,” culture shock, Clark Gable, bullying, and sandstorms. Our protagonist deals with the decisions every global nomad has to make repeatedly: to adapt or to simply cope; to build a bridge or to just tolerate. From being a Guatemalan-American teen in North Africa to attending a women’s college in the USA, Alien Citizen reflects her experience that neither one was necessarily easier than the other. Where is the line between respecting others and betraying yourself? Humor is a great survival mechanism – and friends make all the difference.

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Tanya Katerí Hernández

Posted in Africa, Articles, Interviews, Law, Media Archive, South Africa, United States on 2018-08-21 02:40Z by Steven

Tanya Katerí Hernández

Writers Read
2018-08-09

Marshal Zeringue

Tanya Katerí Hernández is the Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, where she co-directs the Center on Race, Law & Justice as its Head of Global and Comparative Law Programs and Initiatives.

Her new book is Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination.

Recently I asked Hernández about what she was reading. Her reply:

I have been re-reading Trevor Noah’s memoir Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, in anticipation of the film version that Lupita Nyongo is slated to star in portraying Noah’s mother. The book has a special resonance for me as a comparative-race law scholar whose personal background as a black-identified mixed-race Afro-Latina traveling the globe informs her insights about the (in)significance of the growth of racial mixture to the pursuit of racial equality whether it be in the US, South Africa, or Latin America. Noah’s story of being mixed-race during and after apartheid ended in South Africa is both a poignant and humorous read (as you would expect from the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show)…

Read the entire interview here.

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Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective

Posted in Africa, Articles, Europe, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Religion, Social Science, South Africa on 2018-08-03 01:27Z by Steven

Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective

Journal of Intercultural Studies
Volume 38 (2018)
2018-08-01

Publication Cover

  • Introduction
    • Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective: An Introduction / Erica Chito Childs
  • Hierarchies of Mixing: Navigations and Negotiations
    • An Unwanted Weed: Children of Cross-region Unions Confront Intergenerational Stigma of Caste, Ethnicity and Religion / Reena Kukreja
    • Mixed Race Families in South Africa: Naming and Claiming a Location / Heather M. Dalmage
    • Negotiating the (Non)Negotiable: Connecting ‘Mixed-Race’ Identities to ‘Mixed-Race’ Families / Mengxi Pang
    • Linguistic Cultural Capital among Descendants of Mixed Couples in Catalonia, Spain: Realities and Inequalities / Dan Rodríguez-García, Miguel Solana-Solana, Anna Ortiz-Guitart & Joanna L. Freedman
    • ‘There is Nothing Wrong with Being a Mulatto’: Structural Discrimination and Racialised Belonging in Denmark / Mira C. Skadegård & Iben Jensen
    • Exceptionalism with Non-Validation: The Social Inconsistencies of Being Mixed Race in Australia / Stephanie B. Guy
  • Mixed Matters Through a Wider Lens
    • Recognising Selves in Others: Situating Dougla Manoeuvrability as Shared Mixed-Race Ontology / Sue Ann Barratt & Aleah Ranjitsingh
    • What’s Love Got To Do With It? Emotional Authority and State Regulation of Interracial/national Couples in Ireland / Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain
    • Re-viewing Race and Mixedness: Mixed Race in Asia and the Pacific / Zarine L. Rocha

Read or purchase this special issue here.

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Voice Business presents Wirework

Posted in Africa, Arts, Media Archive, South Africa, United Kingdom on 2018-07-06 04:31Z by Steven

Voice Business presents Wirework

Tristan Bates Theatre
1A Tower St, Covent Garden
London, United Kingdom WC2H 9NP
Tuesday, 2018-07-03 through Saturday, 2018-07-07, 19:30 (Thurs & Sat Matinees 14:30)

A play about the unexpected relationship between Koos Malgas, a Cape Coloured shepherd and Helen Martins, a one-time actor and teacher, in the creation of the Owl House – an extraordinary environmental piece full of animated sculptures and pulsating light montages.

Set in the isolated landscape of the South African Karoo and inspired by images from pictures and postcards, their world becomes dominated by form and colour. In her struggle to find the ‘light’, Helen looks towards Mecca as Koos faces the reality of apartheid prejudice and survival.

BRITISH PREMIERE, first performed in South Africa, 2009

Supported by Arts Council England

CAST
Helen Elaine Wallace
Koos Kurt Kansley

CREATIVE
Director Jessica Higgs
Scenographer Declan Randall

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The Family Resemblance

Posted in Africa, Arts, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2018-06-26 00:50Z by Steven

The Family Resemblance

Eugene O’Neill Theater Center
305 Great Neck Road
Waterford, Connecticut 06385
2018-06-23 through 2018-06-29

THE FAMILY RESEMBLANCE • Book, Music, & Lyrics by Masi Asare
Book, music & lyrics by Masi Asare

Akosua and her family are expecting an ordinary Christmas back home in central Pennsylvania, but heavy winds, a corporate crisis, and a visitation from an ancestor mean things do not go as planned. This semiautobiographical musical centers on three generations of one cross-cultural family—a white mother, black father, two mixed race daughters, and the spirit of an African grandmother. Even when your heritage is all over the map, you have to go back to your roots to find your way forward. The score includes American folk and popular song, west African highlife, and Akan classical music.

For more information, click here.

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“Blood is Thicker than Water”: The Materialization of the Racial Body in Fascist East Africa

Posted in Africa, Articles, Europe, History, Law, Media Archive on 2018-06-21 16:20Z by Steven

“Blood is Thicker than Water”: The Materialization of the Racial Body in Fascist East Africa

Zapruder World: An International Journal for the History of Social Conflict
“Performing Race,” Volume 4 (2017)

Angelica Pesarini, Social and Cultural Analysis, Faculty Member
New York University

Introduction

One of the major issues with the perception of “race” in modern Italy refers to what Alessandro Portelli defines as Italians’ “self-reflexive colour blindness.”1 What occurs in Italy is not simply a denial of race. Rather than seeing themselves as “White,” according to Portelli, Italians see themselves as “normal.” As a result, because colour is unspoken and not openly mentioned, it is believed that Italians are immune from racism. Such a structural colour-blindness, however, is problematic because it associates Whiteness with normality and, consequently, with Italianness.2 Simply put, to be Italian is to be White. Within this discourse, those who do not fit the alleged (White) Italian type are deemed outside the Nation on a number of levels.3

In order to understand and unpack such dynamics it is necessary to consider the category of “race” and the influence this had on the construction of Italian national identity. If “race” is a social construct devoid of scientific validity, it still retains enormous power in the modern world. In the case of Italy, the racial construction of national identity shows a complex ambivalence embedded in discursive practices revolving around an ambiguous production of both Whiteness and Blackness. Such an ambiguity, as highlighted by Tatiana Petrovich Njegosh stems from Italians’ liminal double racial status as racialisers (of Jews, southerner Italians and Africans) and racialised subjects in the U.S. and Australia.4 As a result, “race” in Italy today seems to be located within the interstices of a polarised discourse based on notions of “unspoken Whiteness”5 able to visually recognise “Italians” from “Others,” namely those called stranieri (foreigners), extracomunitari (a term used to define migrants coming from outside the EU) and the new “migranti” category (broadly used to address African migrants crossing the Mediterranean). Although colour is not openly named, meaningful biological connotations based on phenotypic features located on the body are at the core of Italian national identity. It is important to notice that such a disjunction does not work merely at a visual level. The racialisation of national identity, in fact, transversally affects Italian society and the everyday life of racialised subjects extending from education to housing, labour rights, work opportunities, political participation, health, personal safety, and legal discourse too, as discussed in this paper.

Drawing on ideas of performativity as applied to race, this essay illustrates some of the reasons why in contemporary Italy the idea of Blackness associated with Italianness still appears, to some, an impossible semantic match, an irreconcilable paradox. Owing to the interdependence of colonialism, ideas of “race” and “mixed race,” and the normative construction of Whiteness in relation to national identity, it seems necessary to investigate the nexus of race, gender and citizenship, through a performative lens. In order to do so, I focus on a series of laws and decrees passed during the Liberal and Fascist periods. These include the Codice Civile per la Colonia Eritrea (Colonial Civil Code for the Colony of Eritrea) of 1909, Law 999 of 1933, introduced to regulate the legal identity of “mixed race” children born in the former Italian colonies in East-Africa, and the racial laws enacted between 1937 and 1940. The investigation of these pieces of legislation is useful to highlight not only the influence that Liberal norms had on the promulgations of Fascist racial laws, but also how Italian citizenship, today, is still rooted in the idea of an alleged “racial citizen.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Carina Ray fuses scholarship and teaching with personal experience

Posted in Africa, Articles, Biography, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, United States on 2018-06-14 18:17Z by Steven

Carina Ray fuses scholarship and teaching with personal experience

Brandeis Now
Waltham, Massachusetts
2017-12-17

Jarret Bencks
Office of Communications

Carina Ray
Carina Ray in the classroom

Almost 25 years ago, historian Carina Ray spent her junior year abroad as an undergraduate studying in Ghana. She planned to explore her Puerto Rican family’s African roots.

Most Ghanaians she met insisted she was white, despite her longwinded explanations about her multiracial background. Eventually, she realized it would be smarter to talk less and listen more.

“I was enthralled by what Ghanaians had to say about their own perceptions of blackness and how race works there,” says Ray, associate professor of African and Afro-American studies (AAAS). The seeds of Ray’s career were planted.

By the time she returned to the University of California, Santa Cruz, to finish her bachelor’s degree, Ray knew she wanted to study what it means to be black in West Africa — from an African perspective. The history of race in Africa was rarely written about from an African perspective, and it became the focus of her PhD in African history at Cornell University…

Read the entire article here.

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Small Country

Posted in Africa, Books, Media Archive, New Media, Novels on 2018-06-07 20:05Z by Steven

Small Country

Hogarth (an imprint of Penguin Random House UK)
2018-06-07
92 Pages
144mm x 222mm x 21mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781784741594
eBook ISBN: 9781473547957

Gaël Faye, Sarah Ardizzone (Translator)

Burundi, 1992. For ten-year-old Gabriel, life in his comfortable expat neighbourhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and little sister, Ana, is something close to paradise. These are happy, carefree days spent with his friends sneaking cigarettes and stealing mangoes, swimming in the river and riding bikes in the streets they have turned into their kingdom. But dark clouds are gathering over this small country, and soon their peaceful idyll will shatter when Burundi and neighbouring Rwanda are brutally hit by war and genocide.

A haunting and luminous novel of extraordinary power, Small Country describes a devastating end of innocence as seen through the eyes of a young child caught in the maelstrom of history. It is a stirring tribute not only to a time of tragedy, but also to the bright days that came before it.

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