Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You, Second Edition: Busting Myths about Human Nature

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Forthcoming Media, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs on 2022-01-21 02:18Z by Steven

Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You, Second Edition: Busting Myths about Human Nature

University of California Press
May 2022
352 pages
Illustrations: 10 b/w illustrations
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Paperback ISBN: 9780520379602
eBook ISBN: 9780520976818

Agustín Fuentes, Professor of Anthropology
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

A compelling takedown of prevailing myths about human behavior, updated and expanded to meet the current moment.

There are three major myths of human nature: humans are divided into biological races; humans are naturally aggressive; and men and women are wholly different in behavior, desires, and wiring. Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You counters these pervasive and pernicious myths about human behavior. Agustín Fuentes tackles misconceptions about what race, aggression, and sex really mean for humans, and incorporates an accessible understanding of culture, genetics, and evolution that requires us to dispose of notions of “nature or nurture.”

Presenting scientific evidence from diverse fields, including anthropology, biology, and psychology, Fuentes devises a myth-busting toolkit to dismantle persistent fallacies about the validity of biological races, the innateness of aggression and violence, and the nature of monogamy, sex, and gender. This revised and expanded edition provides up-to-date references, data, and analyses, and addresses new topics, including the popularity of home DNA testing kits and the rise of ‘”incel” culture; the resurgence of racist, nativist thinking and the internet’s influence in promoting bad science; and a broader understanding of the diversity of sex and gender.

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The Masters and the Slaves: A Study in the Development of Brazilian Civilization

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Slavery, Social Science on 2021-12-23 20:51Z by Steven

The Masters and the Slaves: A Study in the Development of Brazilian Civilization

University of California Press
January 2022 (Originally published 1986)
676 pages
Trim Size: 6.14 x 9.21
Hardcover ISBN: 9780520367005
Paperback ISBN: 9780520337060

Gilberto Freyre (1900-1987)

Introduction by: David H. P. Maybury-Lewis (1929-2007)

This title is part of UC Press’s Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1986.

Table of Contents

  • Frontmatter
  • Preface to the first English-Language Edition
  • Preface to the Second English-language Edition
  • Translator’s Acknowledgments
  • Author’s Preface to the Paperback Edition
  • Introduction to the Paperback Edition
  • I General Characteristics of the Portuguese Colonization of Brazil: Formation of an Agrarian, Slave-Holding and Hybrid Society
  • II The Native in the Formation of the Brazilian Family
  • III The Portuguese Colonizer: Antecedents and Predispositions
  • IV The Negro Slave in the Sexual and Family Life of the Brazilian
  • V The Negro Slave in the Sexual and Family Life of the Brazilian (continued)
  • Plans showing Big House of the Noruega Plantation
  • Glossary of the Brazilian Terms Used
  • Bibliography
  • Index of Names
  • Index of Subjects
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I Hear the Train: Reflections, Inventions, Refractions

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2021-12-06 20:00Z by Steven

I Hear the Train: Reflections, Inventions, Refractions

University of Oklahoma Press
October 2001
282 pages
6 X 9
12 B&W Photos
Hardcover ISBN: 9780806133546
Paperback ISBN: 9780806190143

Louis Owens (1948-2002), Professor of English and Native American Studies
University of California, Davis

In this innovative collection, Louis Owens blends autobiography, short fiction, and literary criticism to reflect on his experiences as a mixedblood Indian in America.

In sophisticated prose, Owens reveals the many timbres of his voice—humor, humility, love, joy, struggle, confusion, and clarity. We join him in the fields, farms, and ranches of California. We follow his search for a lost brother and contemplate along with him old family photographs from Indian Territory and early Oklahoma. In a final section, Owens reflects on the work and theories of other writers, including Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Gerald Vizenor, Michael Dorris, and Louise Erdrich.

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Uncloaking a Lost Cause: Decolonizing ancestry estimation in the United States

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2021-11-21 02:27Z by Steven

Uncloaking a Lost Cause: Decolonizing ancestry estimation in the United States

American Journal of Biological Anthropology
Volume 175, Issue 2, June 2021 (Special Issue: Race reconciled II: Interpreting and communicating biological variation and race in 2021)
pages 422-436
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.24212

Elizabeth A. DiGangi, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Binghamton University, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York

Jonathan D. Bethard, Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Since the professionalization of US-based forensic anthropology in the 1970s, ancestry estimation has been included as a standard part of the biological profile, because practitioners have assumed it necessary to achieve identifications in medicolegal contexts. Simultaneously, forensic anthropologists have not fully considered the racist context of the criminal justice system in the United States related to the treatment of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; nor have we considered that ancestry estimation might actually hinder identification efforts because of entrenched racial biases. Despite ongoing criticisms from mainstream biological anthropology that ancestry estimation perpetuates race science, forensic anthropologists have continued the practice. Recent years have seen the prolific development of retooled typological approaches with 21st century statistical prowess to include methods for estimating ancestry from cranial morphoscopic traits, despite no evidence that these traits reflect microevolutionary processes or are suitable genetic proxies for population structure; and such approaches have failed to critically evaluate the societal consequences for perpetuating the biological race concept. Around the country, these methods are enculturated in every aspect of the discipline ranging from university classrooms, to the board-certification examination marking the culmination of training, to standard operating procedures adopted by forensic anthropology laboratories. Here, we use critical race theory to interrogate the approaches utilized to estimate ancestry to include a critique of the continued use of morphoscopic traits, and we assert that the practice of ancestry estimation contributes to white supremacy. Based on the lack of scientific support that these traits reflect evolutionary history, and the inability to disentangle skeletal-based ancestry estimates from supporting the biological validity of race, we urge all forensic anthropologists to abolish the practice of ancestry estimation.

Read the entire article in PDF or HTML format.

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Beyond blanqueamiento: black affirmation in contemporary Puerto Rico

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2021-10-29 16:34Z by Steven

Beyond blanqueamiento: black affirmation in contemporary Puerto Rico

Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies
Volume 13, 2018 – Issue 2
pages 157-178
DOI: 10.1080/17442222.2018.1466646

Hilda Lloréns, Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of Rhode Island

If, according to turn-of-the-twentieth-century observers, black Puerto Ricans were destined to become racially white in a few generations, how did 12.4 per cent of the population manage to remain black in 2010? And how did they survive in the face of both national and everyday forms of racism? How is the persistence and even increase in black identity in Puerto Rico supported? This article argues that there is a covert and largely unexplored social current at work in regard to how black Puerto Ricans live and reproduce their blackness. This is the desire to maintain and celebrate blackness. Using ethnographic data gathered during nearly two decades, the article illustrate that many Puerto Ricans have chosen not to engage in blanqueamiento, instead affirming their blackness, marrying within their communities, and valuing their own cultural practices and beliefs.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Can Skeletons Have a Racial Identity?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2021-10-20 01:58Z by Steven

Can Skeletons Have a Racial Identity?

The New York Times
2021-10-19

Sabrina Imbler

Forensic anthropologists have relied on features of face and skull bones, known as morphoscopic traits, such as the post-bregmatic depression — a dip on the top of the skull — to estimate ancestry. John M. Daugherty/Science Source

A growing number of forensic researchers are questioning how the field interprets the geographic ancestry of human remains.

Racial reckonings were happening everywhere in the summer of 2020, after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by the police. The time felt right, two forensic anthropologists reasoned, to reignite a conversation about the role of race in their own field, where specialists help solve crimes by analyzing skeletons to determine who those people were and how they died.

Dr. Elizabeth DiGangi of Binghamton University and Jonathan Bethard of the University of South Florida published a letter in The Journal of Forensic Science that questioned the longstanding practice of estimating ancestry, or a person’s geographic origin, as a proxy for estimating race. Ancestry, along with height, age at death and assigned sex, is one of the key details that many forensic anthropologists try to determine.

That fall, they published a longer paper with a more ambitious call to action: “We urge all forensic anthropologists to abolish the practice of ancestry estimation.”

In recent years, a growing number of forensic anthropologists have grown critical of ancestry estimation and want to replace it with something more nuanced…

Read the entire article here.

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Confronting Anti-Blackness in “Colorblind” Cuba

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2021-10-11 17:55Z by Steven

Confronting Anti-Blackness in “Colorblind” Cuba

Sapiens
2021-09-02

Elizabeth Obregón, Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology
University of Illinois, Chicago

A man holds his grandson inside the doorway of a fruit and vegetable shop in Havana, Cuba. Artur Widak/NurPhoto/Getty Images

In the 1960s, Fidel Castro’s revolutionary Communist government claimed to have eradicated racism in Cuba. An anthropologist explores how racial hierarchies persist despite these official narratives, shaping family dynamics and significantly limiting opportunities for Afro-Cubans.

I sat waiting for Yudell* to finish his shift at the paladar, or small-scale private restaurant, in the central Vedado neighborhood in Havana. I’d already interviewed a few of the workers there. As I bided my time at a corner table on the outdoor patio, two of the waiters began to tease Yudell, yelling across to me, “Don’t believe what he says! He will probably tell you that he is Negro because he is a racist!”

Yudell timidly looked at me across the patio and chuckled. Growing up Cuban American, I had been to Cuba on past occasions to visit family, but this time I was there to conduct ethnographic interviews on processes of racialization for my dissertation in anthropology. I knew from experience that I had to tread carefully when entering conversations about race in Cuba.

In Cuba, a place where the revolutionary Communist government has claimed to have eliminated racial inequality, directly speaking of race is more than taboo; it is counterrevolutionary.

When we sat down for our interview a little later, Yudell proudly described himself exactly as his co-workers had said he would: “I am Negro” (a Black man). We talked about the persistence of colorism in Cuba, a system of discrimination based on skin color. Yudell chose not to self-identify as a Mulato (a mixed-race person) or a Moro (a dark-skinned person with a thin nose and “good hair”), since he saw such taken-for-granted racialized categories as a way for individuals to distance themselves from Blackness…

Read the entire article here.

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Hawai′i Is My Haven: Race and Indigeneity in the Black Pacific

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2021-10-03 00:17Z by Steven

Hawai′i Is My Haven: Race and Indigeneity in the Black Pacific

Duke University Press
September 2021
360 pages
17 illustrations
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1437-9
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-1346-4

Nitasha Tamar Sharma, Professor of African American Studies and Asian American Studies
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Hawaiʻi Is My Haven maps the context and contours of Black life in the Hawaiian Islands. This ethnography emerges from a decade of fieldwork with both Hawaiʻi-raised Black locals and Black transplants who moved to the Islands from North America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Nitasha Tamar Sharma highlights the paradox of Hawaiʻi as a multiracial paradise and site of unacknowledged anti-Black racism. While Black culture is ubiquitous here, African-descended people seem invisible. In this formerly sovereign nation structured neither by the US Black/White binary nor the one drop rule, non-White multiracials, including Black Hawaiians and Black Koreans, illustrate the coarticulation and limits of race and the native/settler divide. Despite erasure and racism, nonmilitary Black residents consider Hawaiʻi their haven, describing it as a place to “breathe” that offers the possibility of becoming local. Sharma’s analysis of race, indigeneity, and Asian settler colonialism shifts North American debates in Black and Native studies to the Black Pacific. Hawaiʻi Is My Haven illustrates what the Pacific offers members of the African diaspora and how they in turn illuminate race and racism in “paradise.”

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Hawaiʻi Is My Haven
  • 1. Over Two Centuries: The History of Black People in Hawaiʻi
  • 2. “Saltwater Negroes”: Black Locals, Multiracism, and Expansive Blackness
  • 3. “Less Pressure”: Black Transplants, Settler Colonialism, and a Radical Lens
  • 4. Racism in Paradise: AntiBlack Racism and Resistance in Hawaiʻi
  • 5. Embodying Kuleana: Negotiating Black and Native Positionality in Hawaiʻi
  • Conclusion: Identity↔Politics↔Knowledge
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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A Love Letter to Indigenous Blackness

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Women on 2021-09-21 00:36Z by Steven

A Love Letter to Indigenous Blackness

NACLA: Report on the Americas
Volume 53, Issue 3, November 2021 (Published online 2021-09-13)
pages 248-254

Paul Joseph López Oro, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts


A Garifuna ritual gathering to honor the ancestors at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, New York, June 2017. (Paul Joseph López Oro)

Garifuna women in New York City working to preserve life, culture, and history across borders and generations are part of a powerful lineage of resistance to anti-Blackness.

Mirtha Colón. Janel Martinez. Aida Lambert. Tania Molina. Carla Garcia. Tola Guerrero. Karen Blanco. Miriam Miranda. Ofelia Bernandez. Olga Nuñez. Luz Solis. Siria Alvarez. Isha Sumner. Sulma Arzu-Brown. Dilma Suazo-Gordon. Isidra Sabio. These are just some names of Garifuna women whose hemispheric political labor highlights a transgenerational and transnational tradition of preserving Garifuna life. Garifuna women are the very foundation of conjuring, mobilizing, and safeguarding Garifuna ancestral memory, rituals, language, and oral histories—all embodied histories of knowledge production—across generations and national boundaries. Some of these Garifuna women live in New York City, and some of them live in Central America’s Caribbean coasts. Some have never been to Central America, but their family’s nostalgia remains with them.

Garifuna life is matrifocal. Garifuna women are not simply the head of the household, but they are also at the center of organizing and governing every family structure, which extends beyond biological kinship. This is not a uniquely Garifuna experience. Throughout the African diaspora in the Americas, Black women are often the head of the household. Especially if we consider non-heteronormative notions of family and kinship, Black women have been at the forefront of preserving and protecting Black life over centuries, as anthropologists Christen A. Smith and Keisha-Khan Y. Perry have documented. However, a matrifocal or matrilineal society does not dismantle misogynoir, patriarchy, racial capitalism, and anti-Blackness. I write this matrilineal love letter to honor, celebrate, and center Garifuna women’s political, intellectual, spiritual, cultural, and knowledge producing labor that often goes unseen, uncited, or undervalued in a world that remains heteropatriarchal and anti-Black…

Read the entire article here.

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Identities in Flux: Race, Migration, and Citizenship in Brazil

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Slavery on 2021-08-30 19:01Z by Steven

Identities in Flux: Race, Migration, and Citizenship in Brazil

SUNY Press
February 2021
296 pages
Hardcover ISBN13: 978-1-4384-8249-1
Paperback ISBN13: 978-1-4384-8250-7

Niyi Afolabi, Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies
University of Texas, Austin

Reevaluates the significance of iconic Afro-Brazilian figures, from slavery to post-abolition.

Drawing on historical and cultural approaches to race relations, Identities in Flux examines iconic Afro-Brazilian figures and theorizes how they have been appropriated to either support or contest a utopian vision of multiculturalism. Zumbi dos Palmares, the leader of a runaway slave community in the seventeenth century, is shown not as an anti-Brazilian rebel but as a symbol of Black consciousness and anti-colonial resistance. Xica da Silva, an eighteenth-century mixed-race enslaved woman who “married” her master and has been seen as a licentious mulatta, questions gendered stereotypes of so-called racial democracy. Manuel Querino, whose ethnographic studies have been ignored and virtually unknown for much of the twentieth century, is put on par with more widely known African American trailblazers such as W. E. B. Du Bois. Niyi Afolabi draws out the intermingling influences of Yoruba and Classical Greek mythologies in Brazilian representations of the carnivalesque Black Orpheus, while his analysis of City of God focuses on the growing centrality of the ghetto, or favela, as a theme and producer of culture in the early twenty-first-century Brazilian urban scene. Ultimately, Afolabi argues, the identities of these figures are not fixed, but rather inhabit a fluid terrain of ideological and political struggle, challenging the idealistic notion that racial hybridity has eliminated racial discrimination in Brazil.

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