Understanding Kamala Harris, the Great Multiracial (Black) Hope

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Women on 2020-11-03 22:13Z by Steven

Understanding Kamala Harris, the Great Multiracial (Black) Hope

Bitch Media
2020-11-02

Dr. Shantel Gabrieal Buggs, Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology, Program for African American Studies
Florida State University


Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris poses for a selfie during a Thurgood Marshall College Fund event at the JW Marriott February 07, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Though the last few months of political theater have certainly been terrifying, they’ve also provided ample material for those interested in engaging with the construction and perception of multiraciality in the United States. The race discourse surrounding Senator Kamala Harris arose in August when Democratic candidate Joe Biden selected her as his running mate, and it has quickly morphed from a mainstream conversation about the possibility of a Black woman president to a resurgence of the hope and change narrative that characterized President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Multiraciality is a central component of Harris’s candidacy in ways that it wasn’t for Obama: After all, being a multiracial child of immigrants bolsters a narrative of “futurity.” But others have observed that perhaps the only way a nonwhite person could make it onto a major party ticket is to be multiracial and therefore considered racially palatable…

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Black Like Kamala

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2020-11-01 01:23Z by Steven

Black Like Kamala

The New York Times
2020-08-14

Jamelle Bouie, Opinion Columnist


Kamala Harris in 1966 during a family visit to Harlem. Kamala Harris campaign, via Associated Press

Republican efforts to deny Senator Harris’s identity as an African-American and turn her into a noncitizen are destined to fail.

It was probably inevitable that becoming Joe Biden’s running mate would result in controversy over Kamala Harris’s heritage.

Harris, whose mother emigrated from India and whose father emigrated from Jamaica, is a woman of Tamil and African ancestry who identifies as Black. That’s why, after Biden’s announcement, she was described as the first Asian-American and African-American woman on a major-party presidential ticket.

Not everyone thought this was the right description for Harris. Several allies of President Trump, for example, were quick to dispute the idea that Harris was or could be Black. The radio host Mark Levin said Harris’s Jamaican origins placed her outside the category of African-American. “Kamala Harris is not an African-American, she is Indian and Jamaican,” Levin said. “Her ancestry does not go back to American slavery, to the best of my knowledge her ancestry does not go back to slavery at all.”…

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2020 US Open women’s final: Naomi Osaka wins third career Grand Slam, topping Victoria Azarenka

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2020-09-12 22:44Z by Steven

2020 US Open women’s final: Naomi Osaka wins third career Grand Slam, topping Victoria Azarenka

CBS Sports
2020-09-12

Gabriel Fernandez

Naomi Osaka is once again a champion in Flushing, New York. She defeated Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in three sets, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, to win her second US Open title in three years, and the third major of her young career…

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Harris’ dual identities challenge America’s race labels

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-08-21 17:43Z by Steven

Harris’ dual identities challenge America’s race labels

Associated Press
2020-08-21

Sally Ho


Benjamin Beltran, 26, on Aug. 18, 2020, in Washington. For most of his childhood, Beltran identified with his dad’s roots as a Filipino growing up. At times, that made his white mother worry he was forgetting her ancestry, which traces to Scotland and Ireland. Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Kamala Harris’ historic nomination for vice president on the Democratic ticket is challenging multicultural, race-obsessed America’s emphasis on labels.

It was just 20 years ago that the U.S. census began to allow Americans to identify as more than one race. And now, the country is on the threshold of seeing the name of Kamala Harris — proud daughter of a Jamaican father and Indian mother — on the national ballot.

Harris’ historic nomination for vice president on the Democratic ticket is challenging America’s emphasis on identity and labels.

While her dual heritage represents several slices of the multicultural and multiracial experience, many have puzzled over how to define her — an issue people of diverse backgrounds have long had to navigate.

Harris has long incorporated both sides of her parentage in her public persona, but also has been steadfast in claiming her Black identity, saying her mother — the biggest influence on her life — raised her and her sister as Black because that’s the way the world would view them.

“My mother instilled in my sister, Maya, and me the values that would chart the course of our lives,” Harris said in a Wednesday night speech at the Democratic National Convention to accept her party’s nomination. “She raised us to be proud, strong Black women. And she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage.”…

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The Truths We Hold: An American Journey

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2020-08-12 00:29Z by Steven

The Truths We Hold: An American Journey

Penguin Press
2019-01-08
336 Pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9780525560715
Paperback ISBN: 9780525560739
eBook ISBN: 9780525560722

Kamala D. Harris

A New York Times bestseller

From one of America’s most inspiring political leaders, a book about the core truths that unite us, and the long struggle to discern what those truths are and how best to act upon them, in her own life and across the life of our country.

Senator Kamala Harris’s commitment to speaking truth is informed by her upbringing. The daughter of immigrants, she was raised in an Oakland, California community that cared deeply about social justice; her parents–an esteemed economist from Jamaica and an admired cancer researcher from India–met as activists in the civil rights movement when they were graduate students at Berkeley. Growing up, Harris herself never hid her passion for justice, and when she became a prosecutor out of law school, a deputy district attorney, she quickly established herself as one of the most innovative change agents in American law enforcement. She progressed rapidly to become the elected District Attorney for San Francisco, and then the chief law enforcement officer of the state of California as a whole. Known for bringing a voice to the voiceless, she took on the big banks during the foreclosure crisis, winning a historic settlement for California’s working families. Her hallmarks were applying a holistic, data-driven approach to many of California’s thorniest issues, always eschewing stale “tough on crime” rhetoric as presenting a series of false choices. Neither “tough” nor “soft” but smart on crime became her mantra. Being smart means learning the truths that can make us better as a community, and supporting those truths with all our might. That has been the pole star that guided Harris to a transformational career as the top law enforcement official in California, and it is guiding her now as a transformational United States Senator, grappling with an array of complex issues that affect her state, our country, and the world, from health care and the new economy to immigration, national security, the opioid crisis, and accelerating inequality.

By reckoning with the big challenges we face together, drawing on the hard-won wisdom and insight from her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her, Kamala Harris offers in The Truths We Hold a master class in problem solving, in crisis management, and leadership in challenging times. Through the arc of her own life, on into the great work of our day, she communicates a vision of shared struggle, shared purpose, and shared values. In a book rich in many home truths, not least is that a relatively small number of people work very hard to convince a great many of us that we have less in common than we actually do, but it falls to us to look past them and get on with the good work of living our common truth. When we do, our shared effort will continue to sustain us and this great nation, now and in the years to come.

PRH Audio · The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris, read by Kamala Harris
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It’s Not Just Black and White: Exploring a Pedagogy of Racial Visibility and the Biracial Korean/White Self

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2020-08-06 16:38Z by Steven

It’s Not Just Black and White: Exploring a Pedagogy of Racial Visibility and the Biracial Korean/White Self

Departures in Critical Qualitative Research
Volume 4, Issue 4 (Winter 2015)
pages 8–32
DOI: 10.1525/dcqr.2015.4.4.8

Stephanie L. Young, Associate Professor of Communication Studies
University of Southern Indiana

In this autoethnography, I offer a pedagogy of racial visibility. Drawing on my embodied experiences both in and outside of the classroom, I explore how I engage in dialogue with my students about theoretical and critical approaches toward understanding rhetorics of race in the United States. Specifically, as an embodied storyteller, I reflect upon my personal stories as a biracial Korean American woman and investigate the instabilities of racial identities, the taken-for-granted racial understandings, and racism and white privilege in America.

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The Black Lives Matter Movement As An Asian American

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2020-07-19 17:13Z by Steven

The Black Lives Matter Movement As An Asian American

Bozeman Magazine
Bozeman, Montana
2020-07-01

Cassie Pfannenstiel

The issue of race in America is complex. Many communities of varying cultures exist together often without accepting one another in a meaningful way. Growing up in a multicultural home as a mixed-race child, I often felt as a cultural outsider to either half of me. Around my white friends and family, I was the minority and with other Asians, I was “too white” to really fit in.

I had two different sides of me that were never really brought together. I wasn’t allowed to learn Tagalog from my mother growing up, which caused me to miss out on a lot of Filipino culture and deeper relationships. Even today, my mother and I have a strained relationship because of the language barrier between us. The lack of that half of my culture was filled by the other half of my upbringing: a mostly white-washed experience in which I still wasn’t fully accepted because of my mixed origins. As a child, I was unable to understand where I stood amongst the white kids with “normal” upbringings. When I looked at myself, I couldn’t tell if I even looked Asian or not. I became used to random strangers asking questions like: “What are you?” “What’s your heritage?” “Where are you from? No, originally.” These questions solidified my racial ambiguity. I became used to identifying as white and American first before my more prominent Asian culture. The questioning reminded me that although I had embraced and assimilated into white culture, I was not white…

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Why Kamala Harris’ Afro-Asian Identity Matters | Opinion

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2020-07-17 15:56Z by Steven

Why Kamala Harris’ Afro-Asian Identity Matters | Opinion

Newsweek
2020-07-09

Oneka Labennett, Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity
University of Southern California

Front-runner. Black woman. Afro-Asian? A favorite to become Joe Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris is in the homestretch of the most consequential veepstakes of our lifetime. With cries for racial justice and police reform gripping the nation, we know Harris’ Blackness matters to a Democratic ticket led by a white male septuagenarian—but so does her Asian identity.

As the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, Harris’ Afro-Asian heritage puts her at the crux of the coronavirus crisis. Just as the pandemic has cast a stark light on the lethality of systemic anti-Black racism in the United States, it has also exposed discrimination and xenophobia against Asian communities and other immigrants. Still, a Black cop and an Asian cop are among the officers charged with aiding and abetting George Floyd’s murder. Speaking to Black and Asian constituencies now would be a powerful acknowledgment that could further galvanize political coalition building while tending to the wounds of division.

Of course, the senator’s Afro-Asian heritage is muted in part because of the American one-drop rule“a drop of Black blood” makes an individual Black. In her book The Truths We Hold, Harris recounts that her mother understood that America would view her daughters as Black, so she raised them as such

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Shadow Child

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States, Women on 2020-07-06 14:53Z by Steven

Shadow Child

Grand Central Publishing
2018-05-08
352 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781538711453
eBook ISBN-13: 9781538711446

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

For fans of Tayari Jones and Ruth Ozeki, from National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Rizzuto comes a haunting and suspenseful literary tale set in 1970s New York City and World War II-era Japan, about three strong women, the dangerous ties of family and identity, and the long shadow our histories can cast.

Twin sisters Hana and Kei grew up in a tiny Hawaiian town in the 1950s and 1960s, so close they shared the same nickname. Raised in dreamlike isolation by their loving but unstable mother, they were fatherless, mixed-race, and utterly inseparable, devoted to one another. But when their cherished threesome with Mama is broken, and then further shattered by a violent, nearly fatal betrayal that neither young woman can forgive, it seems their bond may be severed forever–until, six years later, Kei arrives on Hana’s lonely Manhattan doorstep with a secret that will change everything.

Told in interwoven narratives that glide seamlessly between the gritty streets of New York, the lush and dangerous landscape of Hawaii, and the horrors of the Japanese internment camps and the bombing of Hiroshima, Shadow Child is set against an epic sweep of history. Volcanos, tsunamis, abandonment, racism, and war form the urgent, unforgettable backdrop of this intimate, evocative, and deeply moving story of motherhood, sisterhood, and second chances.

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Kamala Harris

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Audio, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-06-25 15:17Z by Steven

Kamala Harris

Asian Enough
Los Angeles Times
2020-06-23

A conversation with Democratic U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris about the recent rise in anti-Asian hate, how government leaders should address racism in America, and growing up with Indian and Jamaican roots in Northern California.

From the Los Angeles Times, “Asian Enough” is a podcast about being Asian American — the joys, the complications and everything else in between. In each episode, hosts Jen Yamato and Frank Shyong invite celebrity guests to share their personal stories and unpack identity on their own terms. They explore the vast diaspora across cultures, backgrounds and generations, share “Bad Asian Confessions,” and try to expand the ways in which being Asian American is defined. New episodes drop every Tuesday.

Listen to the podcast (00:31:31) here. Download the podcast here.

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