From Color Line to Color Chart: Racism and Colorism in the New Century

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2018-11-16 04:28Z by Steven

From Color Line to Color Chart: Racism and Colorism in the New Century

Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy
Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2008)
pages 52-69
DOI: 10.15779/Z380C9X

Angela P. Harris, Distinguished Professor of Law
University of California, Davis

When my sister graduated from college in the mid-1980s with a degree in musical theater she moved to Chicago with her new husband in search of work in television commercials and the performing arts. To her frustration and dismay, however, despite her good looks, acting ability, and musical talent, she was rejected in audition after audition. Getting rejected for arbitrary reasons or for no reason, of course, is just life in the entertainment industry. After a while, though, my sister began to hear some repetition in the rejections she received. “You don’t look black enough,” is the apology she would get.

My sister is very fair-skinned, with hair that streaks blonde in the summer. Yet, at least to discerning eyes, she can’t “pass” for white: her features, her creamy skin, and her “African booty” distinguish her from the Scandinavian descent blondes that populate beer commercials and musical revues. For casting directors, then, she fell into a limbo: too white to play black, but too black to play white.

Today, my sister has a recurring role on a children’s television show (she’s Prudence the Musical Genie on “Jack’s Big Show,” produced by Nickelodeon, if you want to see her), and fortunes are changing not just for her but for many women and men in the performing arts who “read” as racially ambiguous, or racially “mixed.” To put it bluntly, the ambiguous/mixed look is now “hot.” Celebrities such as Tiger Woods, Mariah Carey, and The Rock discuss their mixed background with pride;’ television, catalog, magazine, and newspaper advertising is full of adorable light-brown children with flowing locks that are not quite nappy, not quite straight; and mixed-race.

Politician Barack Obama finds himself able to appeal to both white and African-American audiences. A recent essay predicts that in the future the most desirable aesthetic both in the United States and in Latin America will not be to look “white,” but to look café con crema.

Not only the aesthetics but the ideologies of race are undergoing a shift. Tanya Hernandez, who writes in the field of comparative race and racism, argues that the United States is poised to adopt the “multiracial matrix” that characterizes state and civil society in Cuba, Brazil, and Puerto Rico. Hernandez describes this matrix as composed of four beliefs:

(1) [R]acial mixture and diverse racial demography will resolve racial problems by transcending race; (2) fluid racial identity is an indicator of a form of racial progress that deconstructs the stability of racial categories and thereby brings society closer to a colorblind utopia; (3) racism is solely a phenomenon of aberrant racist individuals who inappropriately express their prejudice; and (4) discussing race or focusing on race is itself racist because it disrupts the harmony of race neutrality.

Judging from these indicators, perhaps the dream of finally achieving racial harmony through racial intermixing is about to become real. Hernandez and some other scholars, however, are worried rather than pleased about the emergence of the multiracial matrix. Some worry that despite the emergence of an anti-race public discourse, racism has not disappeared, but instead has retreated into individual cognitive processing systems, where it is inaccessible to legal intent tests (and, often, the individual’s own conscious mind), yet continues to shape the life chances of persons according to race. In this view, what is disappearing is not racism but rather our ability to talk about it. Others argue that in the new millennium traditional racism is indeed disappearing, but only to be slowly supplanted by colorism, in which the color of a person’s skin will take on more importance in determining how she is treated by others than her ancestry. In this Article, I speculate about the implications of this second possibility.

In Part I, I survey the critical race theory literature addressing colorism. This literature has examined how colorism fits (or doesn’t fit) into the existing apparatus of anti-discrimination law in the United States, and – as in Hernandez’s work – the relationship between colorism in the United States and in other countries. In Part II, I draw on a different strand of critical race theory literature to argue that the work of the performativity school offers a way to conceptually link colorism to more familiar forms of racism. In Part III, I speculate about the possible effects on society and anti-discrimination law of a drift away from ancestry as an important component of assigned race and towards a greater focus on color…

Read the entire article here.

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The black Americans suing to reclaim their Native American identity

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2018-11-13 03:06Z by Steven

The black Americans suing to reclaim their Native American identity

The Guardian
2018-10-02

Caleb Gayle


Rhonda Grayson, with an image of her great-great grandfather Willie Cohee. Photograph: Brett Deering for the Guardian

Their ancestors were black slaves owned by Native Americans. Now they’re suing the Creek nation to fully restore their citizenship

Johnnie Mae Austin and her grandson, Damario Solomon-Simmons, can tell you everything about their ancestry. They can go back as far as 1810, the year Solomon-Simmons’ great-great-great-great-grandfather, Cow Tom, was born. With undeniable pride, they recount the man’s feats of bravery during the civil war, and his leadership within Oklahoma’s Creek population.

In fact, they are so determined to let the world know exactly who Cow Tom was that they’re suing the Creek nation to make sure his descendants aren’t forgotten.

Solomon-Simmons and his grandmother are black, but they argue they’re also Creek, and they’re fighting to reclaim their identity…

Red the entire article here.

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Faculty Enrichment Lecture – Tanya K. Hernandez, “Multiracials and Civil Rights”

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Law, Live Events, United States on 2018-11-09 03:40Z by Steven

Faculty Enrichment Lecture – Tanya K. Hernandez, “Multiracials and Civil Rights”

RLL Faculty Lounge
Beverly Rogers Literature and Law Building
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
2019-01-28, 12:00-13:30 PST (Local Time)

Tanya Katerí Hernández, is the Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, where she teaches Anti-Discrimination Law, Comparative Employment Discrimination, Critical Race Theory, The Science of Implicit Bias and the Law: New Pathways to Social Justice, and Trusts & Wills. She received her A.B. from Brown University, and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as Note Topics Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Professor Hernández, is an internationally recognized comparative race law expert and Fulbright Scholar who has visited at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, in Paris and the University of the West Indies Law School, in Trinidad. She has previously served as a Law and Public Policy Affairs Fellow at Princeton University, a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University; a Non-resident Faculty Fellow at the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, and as an Independent Scholar in Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Professor Hernández is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the American Law Institute, and the Academia Puertorriqueña de Jurisprudencia y Legislación. Hispanic Business Magazine selected her as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics of 2007. Professor Hernández serves on the editorial boards of the Revista Brasileira de Direito e Justiça/Brazilian Journal of Law and Justice, and the Latino Studies Journal published by Palgrave-Macmillian Press.

Professor Hernández’s scholarly interest is in the study of comparative race relations and anti-discrimination law, and her work in that area has been published in numerous university law reviews like Cornell, Harvard, N.Y.U., U.C. Berkeley, Yale and in news outlets like the New York Times, among other publications including her book Racial Subordination in Latin America: The Role of the State, Customary Law and the New Civil Rights Response (including Spanish and Portuguese translation editions). Her most recent publication is the book “Multracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination.”

For more information, click here.

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Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys: Misogyny, Authoritarianism, and the Rise of Multiracial White Supremacy

Posted in Audio, Interviews, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-10-22 23:12Z by Steven

Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys: Misogyny, Authoritarianism, and the Rise of Multiracial White Supremacy

The Takeaway
WNYC Studios, New York, New York
2018-10-16

Tanzina Vega, Host


Gavin McInnes is surrounded by supporters after speaking at a rally Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media and founder of the pro-TrumpProud Boys,”
( AP Photo )

Gavin McInnes, alt-right leader and founder of the far-right group the Proud Boys, was invited to speak at the Metropolitan Republican Club on Manhattan’s Upper East Side this past weekend. In advance of his appearance, McInnes promised to reenact the 1960 assassination of Japanese socialist Inejiro Asanuma, posing in photos depicting ugly Asian caricatures.

His presence drew crowds of both protesters and right-wing counter-protesters to the event, and violence erupted late Friday night. Several cell phone videos show groups of uniformed Proud Boys bragging about the assaults, and NYPD released footage of a protester throwing a bottle at McInnes’ supporters.

The Proud Boys fit into an American tradition of far-right hate groups, but the Internet has enabled disparate groups from all across the country to find support in their message of “western chauvinism.” Also interestingly, the Proud Boys seem to have an ability to attract men of color, which seems at odds with groups that borrow heavily from a white supremacist ideology.

Tanya Hernández, professor of law at Fordham University and the author of the forthcoming book Multiracials and Civil Rights[: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination], and David Neiwert, author of Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump, and correspondent for the Southern Poverty Law Center, join the program to help make sense of this current phenomenon.

Listen to the story here. Download the story (00:11:53) here.

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Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America (First Edition)

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Women on 2018-10-17 18:00Z by Steven

Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America (First Edition)

Routledge
2018-09-04
358 pages
31 B/W Illus.
Paperback: 9781138485303
Hardback: 9781138727021
eBook (VitalSource): 9781315191065

Edited by:

Kwame Dixon, Associate Professor of Political Science
Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Ollie A. Johnson III, Associate Professor of African American Studies
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Latin America has a rich and complex social history marked by slavery, colonialism, dictatorships, rebellions, social movements and revolutions. Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America explores the dynamic interplay between racial politics and hegemonic power in the region. It investigates the fluid intersection of social power and racial politics and their impact on the region’s histories, politics, identities and cultures.

Organized thematically with in-depth country case studies and a historical overview of Afro-Latin politics, the volume provides a range of perspectives on Black politics and cutting-edge analyses of Afro-descendant peoples in the region. Regional coverage includes Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti and more. Topics discussed include Afro-Civil Society; antidiscrimination criminal law; legal sanctions; racial identity; racial inequality and labor markets; recent Black electoral participation; Black feminism thought and praxis; comparative Afro-women social movements; the intersection of gender, race and class, immigration and migration; and citizenship and the struggle for human rights. Recognized experts in different disciplinary fields address the depth and complexity of these issues.

Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America contributes to and builds on the study of Black politics in Latin America.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America – Black Politics Matter [Kwame Dixon and Ollie A. Johnson III]
  • Part 1: History
    • 1. Beyond Representation: Rethinking Rights, Alliances and Migrations: Three Historical Themes in Afro-Latin American Political Engagement [Darién J. Davis]
    • 2. Recognition, Reparations, and Political Autonomy of Black and Native Communities in the Americas [Bernd Reiter]
    • 3. Pan-Africanism and Latin America [Elisa Larkin Nascimento]
  • Part 2: The Caribbean
    • 4. Black Activism and the State in Cuba [Danielle Pilar Clealand]
    • 5. Correcting Intellectual Malpractice: Haiti and Latin America [Jean-Germain Gros]
    • 6. Black Feminist Formations in the Dominican Republic since La Sentencia [April J. Mayes]
  • Part 3: South America
    • 7. Afro-Ecuadorian Politics [Carlos de la Torre and Jhon Antón Sánchez]
    • 8. In The Branch of Paradise: Geographies of Privilege and Black Social Suffering in Cali, Colombia [Jaime Amparo Alves and Aurora Vergara-Figueroa]
    • 9. The Impossible Black Argentine Political Subject [Judith M. Anderson]
    • 10. Current Representations of “Black” Citizens: Contentious Visibility within the Multicultural Nation [Laura de la Rosa Solano]
  • Part 4: Comparative Perspectives
    • 11. The Contours and Contexts of Afro-Latin American Women’s Activism [Kia Lilly Caldwell]
    • 12. Race and the Law in Latin America [Tanya Katerí Hernández]
    • 13. The Labyrinth of Ethnic-Racial Inequality: a Picture of Latin America according to the recent Census Rounds [Marcelo Paixão and Irene Rossetto]
    • 14. The Millennium/Sustainable Development Goals and Afro-descendants in the Americas: An (Un)intended Trap [Paula Lezama]
  • Conclusion [Kwame Dixon and Ollie A. Johnson III]
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Multiracials and Civil Rights – Book Talk with Professor Tanya Katerí Hernández

Posted in Law, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-09-08 19:29Z by Steven

Multiracials and Civil Rights – Book Talk with Professor Tanya Katerí Hernández

Columbia Law School
Jerome Greene Hall
Room TBD
435 West 116th Street
New York, New York 10027
2018-09-12, 12:10-13:15 EDT (Local Time)

Tanya Katerí Hernández, Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law
Fordham University School of Law

A Lunchtime Talk hosted by the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law and the Center for the Study of Law and Culture

As the mixed-race population in the United States grows, public fascination with multiracial identity has promoted the belief that racial mixture will destroy racism. However, multiracial people still face discrimination. Many legal scholars hold that this is distinct from the discrimination faced by people of other races, and traditional civil rights laws built on a strict black/white binary need to be reformed to account for cases of discrimination against those identifying as mixed-race. In Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination, Tanya Katerí Hernández debunks this idea and draws on a plethora of court cases to demonstrate that multiracials face the same types of discrimination as other racial groups. Hernández argues that multiracial people are primarily targeted for discrimination due to their non-whiteness, and shows how the cases highlight the need to support the existing legal structures instead of a new understanding of civil rights law. The legal and political analysis is enriched with Hernández’s own personal narrative as a mixed-race Afro-Latina. Coming at a time when explicit racism is resurfacing, Hernández’s look at multiracial discrimination cases is essential for fortifying the focus of civil rights law on racial privilege and the lingering legacy of bias against non-whites, and has much to teach us about how to move towards a more egalitarian society.

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Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination [Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-08-30 01:27Z by Steven

Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination [Review]

new york journal of books
2018-08-27

L. Ali Khan, Professor of Law
Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas

Tanya Katerí Hernández, Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination (New York: New York University Press, 2018)

“General readers, with no initiation in law, will learn quite a bit about racial discrimination, civil rights laws, and how academics grapple with theoretical difficulties underlying race relations in the realm of law.”

In Multiracials and Civil Rights, Fordham law professor Tanya Hernández demonstrates that discrimination perpetrated against blacks also targets mixed-race persons, called multiracials. Contrary to popular expectations, multiracialism has not alleviated racism. Deviations from the hundred-percent whiteness (a racial myth) continue to inform social constructions of race, racial awareness, discrimination, and the application of civil rights laws.

Historically, the one-drop rule has required that a person with any degree of black ancestry must identify solely as black. With diverse immigration and interracial procreation, multiracialism is on the rise. Since 2000, multiracials are free to identify with more than one race. Yet such is the sociology of racism that any fraction of blackness, visible or hidden, reduces multiracials into black persons, discounting their other racial traits.

The hundred-percent whiteness paradigm formulates and protects the white privilege, a source of unearned advantage, and offers measly concessions to any dilution of whiteness. Therefore, non-whiteness is potentially subject to racial discrimination actionable under law…

Read the entire review here.

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Tanya Katerí Hernández’s “Multiracials and Civil Rights”

Posted in Articles, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-08-25 02:16Z by Steven

Tanya Katerí Hernández’s “Multiracials and Civil Rights”

The Page 99 Test
2018-08-08

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.

She applied the “Page 99 Test” to her new book, Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination, and reported the following:

The Page 99 Test is like some numerical sorcery from a Jorge Luis Borges story, mythical and unfathomable yet accurate all at the same time. On page 99 of Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination, I describe how the U.S. government refused to add a “multiracial” category to its list of racial categories on the decennial census form in 1997, and instead started permitting respondents to select as many racial categories apply to their racial identity. The page then notes that the most zealous of multiracial category proponents were not satisfied by this government method of enumerating the population of racially mixed residents “because multiple box checking does not directly promote a distinct multiracial identity.” Page 99’s insight into the entire book though is revealed in the assessment that the significance of the census racial category debate:

extends beyond the actual decision of how mixed-race persons should be counted. What is most salient is how the struggles over the census racial categories have fostered a discourse of exalting personal racial identity and characterizing any incursions on expressions of personal identity as a civil rights issue in of itself absent any mixed-race specific material inequality.

Read the entire article here.

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Discussion on Race and Identity: One Year After Charlottesville

Posted in History, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2018-08-24 00:06Z by Steven

Discussion on Race and Identity: One Year After Charlottesville

C-SPAN
Mississippi Book Festival
Jackson, Mississippi
2018-08-18

Chris Goodwin, Introduction
Programs and Communication Division
Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, Mississippi

W. Ralph Eubanks, Moderator and Visiting Professor of English & Southern Studies
University of Mississippi

Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Sheryll Cashin, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Jabari Asim, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director for Creative Writing
Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts

Authors Imani Perry, Sheryll Cashin, and Jabari Asim discuss race and identity.

Watch the entire discussion (00:56:15) here.

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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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