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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Stop using mixed race people as symbols of interracial unity to ease your white guilt

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Media Archive, Social Justice on 2018-11-13 03:16Z by Steven

Stop using mixed race people as symbols of interracial unity to ease your white guilt

Friktion
2018-05-09

Sophie Buzak-Achiam


Illustration: Mette Clante

Dutch beer company Heineken has recently faced backlash for its “lighter is better” ad, where a bartender with light skinned Latino appearance slides a beer past three dark skinned Black people towards an Eurasian woman, with whom he shares a wink, before the slogan “sometimes lighter is better” appears. As a mixed race person, who might be racialised in a similar way to the exotic yet safely light skinned woman in the ad, this ad struck a well-known chord. Spending a good half of my life in a white Danish environment, I have often found my ambiguous racial appearance used by white people as a symbol of a conforming, non-threatening otherness. Although still seen as a person of color, I also embody a whiteness that can make me come across as safe mediator to ease racial tensions and white guilt.

Considering the overwhelming whiteness in European advertisement in general, I don’t believe it to be a coincidence that Heineken, as a white owned company, chooses to use people of color and racially ambiguous people as the stars of this ad. In representing the “lighter is better” demographic, the two lighter skinned actors become pawns to the white system which uses them to mask its racism, that becomes perhaps more subtle with the acceptance of some people of color…

Read the entire article here.

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Becoming Creole: Nature and Race in Belize

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs on 2018-11-09 03:38Z by Steven

Becoming Creole: Nature and Race in Belize

Rutgers University Press
2018-11-01
226 pages
24 b&w images
6 x 9
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8135-9698-3
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8135-9699-0
EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8135-9700-3
MobiPocket ISBN: 978-0-8135-9701-0
PDF ISBN: 978-0-8135-9702-7

Melissa A. Johnson, Professor of Anthropology
Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas

Becoming Creole

Becoming Creole explores how people become who they are through their relationships with the natural world, and it shows how those relationships are also always embedded in processes of racialization that create blackness, brownness, and whiteness. Taking the reader into the lived experience of Afro-Caribbean people who call the watery lowlands of Belize home, Melissa A. Johnson traces Belizean Creole peoples’ relationships with the plants, animals, water, and soils around them, and analyzes how these relationships intersect with transnational racial assemblages. She provides a sustained analysis of how processes of racialization are always present in the entanglements between people and the non-human worlds in which they live.

Table of Contents

  • Contents
  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1. Introduction: Becoming Creole
  • 2. Hewers of Wood: Histories of Nature, Race and Becoming
  • 3. Bush: Racing the More than Human
  • 4. Living in a Powerful World
  • 5. Entangling the More than Human: Becoming Creole
  • 6. Wildlife Conservation, Nature Tourism and Creole Becomings
  • 7. Transnational Becomings: From Deer Sausage to Tilapia
  • 8. Conclusion: Livity and (Human) Being
  • Appendix/Glossary: Belizean Kriol Words and the More than Human??
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Race Experts: Sculpture, Anthropology, and the American Public in Malvina Hoffman’s Races of Mankind

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2018-10-15 02:17Z by Steven

Race Experts: Sculpture, Anthropology, and the American Public in Malvina Hoffman’s Races of Mankind

University of Nebraska Press
August 2018
420 pages
86 illustrations
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4962-0185-0
eBook (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-4962-0805-7
eBook (EPUB) ISBN: 978-1-4962-0803-3

Linda Kim, Associate Professor of American and Modern Art History
Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Race Experts

In Race Experts Linda Kim examines the complicated and ambivalent role played by sculptor Malvina Hoffman in T​he Races of Mankind series created for the Chicago Field Museum in 1930. Although Hoffman had training in fine arts and was a protégé of Auguste Rodin and Ivan Meštrović, she had no background in anthropology or museum exhibits. She was nonetheless commissioned by the Field Museum to make a series of life-size sculptures for the museum’s new racial exhibition, which became the largest exhibit on race ever installed in a museum and one of the largest sculptural commissions ever undertaken by a single artist.

Hoffman’s Races of Mankind exhibit was realized as a series of 104 bronzes of racial types from around the world, a unique visual mediation between anthropological expertise and everyday ideas about race in interwar America. Kim explores how the artist brought scientific understandings of race and the everyday racial attitudes of museum visitors together in powerful and productive friction. The exhibition compelled the artist to incorporate not only the expertise of racial science and her own artistic training but also the popular ideas about race that ordinary Americans brought to the museum. Kim situates the Races of Mankind exhibit at the juncture of these different forms of racial expertise and examines how the sculptures represented the messy resolutions between them.

Race Experts is a compelling story of ideological contradiction and accommodation within the racial practices of American museums, artists, and audiences.

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The Latinx revolution in US culture, society, and politics

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-10-14 01:26Z by Steven

The Latinx revolution in US culture, society, and politics

Verso Books
September 2018
368 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781784783198
eBook ISBN: 9781784783204

Ed Morales, Adjunct Professor
Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University, New York, New York

Latinx-1050

Latinx” (pronounced “La-teen-ex”) is the gender-neutral term that covers one of the largest and fastest growing minorities in the United States, accounting for 17 percent of the country. Over 58 million Americans belong to the category, including a sizable part of the country’s working class, both foreign and native-born. Their political empowerment is altering the balance of forces in a growing number of states. And yet Latinx barely figure in America’s ongoing conversation about race and ethnicity. Remarkably, the US census does not even have a racial category for “Latino.”

In this groundbreaking discussion, Ed Morales explains how Latinx political identities are tied to a long Latin American history of mestizaje—“mixedness” or “hybridity”—and that this border thinking is both a key to understanding bilingual, bicultural Latin cultures and politics and a challenge to America’s infamously black–white racial regime. This searching and long-overdue exploration of the meaning of race in American life reimagines Cornel West’s bestselling Race Matters with a unique Latinx inflection.

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The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés: Decolonialism, Class, Gender, Race

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy, United States on 2018-06-06 19:37Z by Steven

The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés: Decolonialism, Class, Gender, Race

Rowman & Littlefield
June 2018
160 pages
Trim: 6 x 9
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78660-615-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-78660-616-7

Daphne V. Taylor-Garcia, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies
University of California, San Diego

The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés is an interdisciplinary and intersectional study of the mixed-race subject in the Americas and the rise of oppositional consciousness with a consideration of not only race, but also colonialism. Daphne V. Taylor-Garcia examines the construction of race, gender, and class in coming to an oppositional consciousness as a Spanish colonial subject in the Americas. Spanning the early foundations of knowledge production about colonial/racial subjects and connecting to contemporary debates on Latinxs and racialization, the book takes up the terms through which first-person perceptions of precarity and class, mixed-race existence, and gendered power relations are constructed. The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés ends with a response to the current scepticism towards organizing as people of color through a decolonial redefinition of the damnés that centers a critique of anti-black racism and colonial relations.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Spatiality of the Damnés
  • 2. Visible Race and the Legacy of the Sistema de Castas
  • 3. The Semiotics of Gender in Colonial/Renaissance Knowledge Production
  • 4. Taking Action as the Damnés
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Arts, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science on 2018-05-30 01:50Z by Steven

Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction

Cambridge University Press
April 2018
400 pages
233 x 165 x 43 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781107177628
Paperback ISBN: 9781316630662
eBook ISBN: 9781316835890

Editors:

Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics; Professor of African and African American Studies
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

Alejandro de la Fuente and George Reid Andrews offer the first systematic, book-length survey of humanities and social science scholarship on the exciting field of Afro-Latin American studies. Organized by topic, these essays synthesize and present the current state of knowledge on a broad variety of topics, including Afro-Latin American music, religions, literature, art history, political thought, social movements, legal history, environmental history, and ideologies of racial inclusion. This volume connects the region’s long history of slavery to the major political, social, cultural, and economic developments of the last two centuries. Written by leading scholars in each of those topics, the volume provides an introduction to the field of Afro-Latin American studies that is not available from any other source and reflects the disciplinary and thematic richness of this emerging field.

  • Presents systematic and synthetic overviews of recent scholarship on topics of major importance in the field of Afro-Latin American studies, for example Afro-Latin American religions, Afro-Latin American political movements, and Afro-Latin American music
  • Covers a broad range of topics, embracing most of the humanities and social sciences
  • Serves as the authoritative introduction for Afro-Latin American history, covering the period from 1500 to the present

Table of Contents

  • 1. Afro-Latin American studies: an introduction Alejandro de la Fuente and George Reid Andrews
  • Part I. Inequalities:
    • 2. The slave trade to Latin America: a historiographical assessment Roquinaldo Ferreira and Tatiana Seijas
    • 3. Inequality: race, class, gender George Reid Andrews
    • 4. Afro-indigenous interactions, relations, and comparisons Peter Wade
    • 5. Law, silence, and racialized inequalities in the history of Afro-Brazil Brodwyn Fischer, Keila Grinberg and Hebe Mattos
  • Part II. Politics:
    • 6. Currents in Afro-Latin American political and social thought Frank Guridy and Juliet Hooker
    • 7. Rethinking black mobilization in Latin America Tianna Paschel
    • 8. ‘Racial democracy’ and racial inclusion: hemispheric histories Paulina Alberto and Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof
  • Part III. Culture:
    • 9. Literary liberties: the authority of Afrodescendant authors Doris Sommer
    • 10. Afro-Latin American art Alejandro de la Fuente
    • 11. A century and a half of scholarship on Afro-Latin American music Robin Moore
    • 12. Afro-Latin American religions Stephan Palmié and Paul Christopher Johnson
    • 13. Environment, space and place: cultural geographies of colonial Afro-Latin America Karl Offen
  • Part IV. Transnational Spaces:
    • 14. Transnational frames of Afro-Latin experience: evolving spaces and means of connection, 1600–2000 Lara Putnam
    • 15. Afro-Latinos: speaking through silences and rethinking the geographies of blackness Jennifer A. Jones
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Declared Defective: Native Americans, Eugenics, and the Myth of Nam Hollow

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2018-05-27 23:50Z by Steven

Declared Defective: Native Americans, Eugenics, and the Myth of Nam Hollow

University of Nebraska Press
May 2018
246 pages
9 photographs, 1 illustration, 3 maps, 2 tables, 8 charts, index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4962-0200-0

Robert Jarvenpa, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
State University of New York, Albany

Declared Defective is the anthropological history of an outcast community and a critical reevaluation of The Nam Family, written in 1912 by Arthur Estabrook and Charles Davenport, leaders of the early twentieth-century eugenics movement. Based on their investigations of an obscure rural enclave in upstate New York, the biologists were repulsed by the poverty and behavior of the people in Nam Hollow. They claimed that their alleged indolence, feeble-mindedness, licentiousness, alcoholism, and criminality were biologically inherited.

Declared Defective reveals that Nam Hollow was actually a community of marginalized, mixed-race Native Americans, the Van Guilders, adapting to scarce resources during an era of tumultuous political and economic change. Their Mohican ancestors had lost lands and been displaced from the frontiers of colonial expansion in western Massachusetts in the late eighteenth century. Estabrook and Davenport’s portrait of innate degeneracy was a grotesque mischaracterization based on class prejudice and ignorance of the history and hybridic subculture of the people of Guilder Hollow. By bringing historical experience, agency, and cultural process to the forefront of analysis, Declared Defective illuminates the real lives and struggles of the Mohican Van Guilders. It also exposes the pseudoscientific zealotry and fearmongering of Progressive Era eugenics while exploring the contradictions of race and class in America.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • List of Tables
  • Series Editors’ Introduction
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: The Menace in the Hollow
  • 1. Native Americans and Eugenics
  • 2. Border Wars and the Origins of the Van Guilders
  • 3. A “New” Homeland and the Cradle of Guilder Hollow
  • 4. From Pioneers to Outcastes
  • 5. The Eugenicists Arrive
  • 6. Deconstructing the Nam and the Hidden Native Americans
  • 7. Demonizing the Marginalized Poor
  • Conclusion: The Myth Unravels
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Communing with the Dead: The “New Métis,” Métis Identity Appropriation, and the Displacement of Living Métis Culture

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Canada, Media Archive on 2018-05-22 02:25Z by Steven

Communing with the Dead: The “New Métis,” Métis Identity Appropriation, and the Displacement of Living Métis Culture

The American Indian Quarterly
Volume 42, Number 2, Spring 2018
pages 62-190

Adam Gaudry, Assistant Professor
Faculty of Native Studies & Department of Political Science
University of Alberta

Métis are witnessing an increase in the number of self-identified “Métis” individuals and groups lacking affiliation with long-standing Métis communities. For these groups, genealogical discovery of previously unknown Indian ancestors acts as a catalyst for personal self-discovery, spiritual growth, and ultimately the assertion of a Métis identity, regardless of whether or not this identity is accepted by contemporary Métis communities. These “new Métis” do not situate their Métis identity in the lived practice of Métis communities that have persisted for generations throughout Western Canada but in written genealogical reports that link them to long-dead Indigenous relatives who may not have even understood themselves to be Métis. In light of this problematic “new Métis” orientation to “the dead,” this article explores the narratives generated by the unprecedented growth of Métis self-identification, particularly in Eastern Canada, and how shifting conceptions of Métis identity have inaugurated a problematic “new Métis” subjectivity.

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Meghan Markle and the Bicultural Blackness of the Royal Wedding

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2018-05-21 14:33Z by Steven

Meghan Markle and the Bicultural Blackness of the Royal Wedding

The New York Times
2018-05-20

Salamishah Tillet, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies
University of Pennsylvania


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their wedding ceremony in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.
Pool photo by WPA

“Who are your people?” is the question that repeatedly came to me as I watched Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle’s mother, sitting a few feet away from her daughter at Saturday’s royal wedding. A common expression among southern African-Americans when greeting a stranger, it is never simply a matter of bloodline or individual biography. Rather, responses like “I’m the daughter of so and so” or “My family comes from here by way of there” serves the greater purpose of attesting to one’s place in history and potential bonds of kinship.

Despite Ms. Ragland’s being the sole member of Ms. Markle’s family at the wedding, we still know so little about her. In contrast to the media obsession with Ms. Markle’s father and his children from his first marriage, Ms. Ragland is a bit of a mystery who rarely gives interviews. As a result of her silence, we are left to deduce meaning from her physical image. As she sat across from the British monarchy in her pale green Oscar de la Renta dress and coat, it was the symbolism of her long dreadlocks, quietly tucked underneath her hat, that spoke volumes as it reminded us that black women’s natural hair is regal too.

Among the group of black women with whom I watched the ceremony early Saturday morning in New Jersey, she was a source of pride. Yet out of a sense of sisterly protection, we were also worried about her as she sat there alone, without siblings or friends. The wedding itself helped alleviate our fears, for even if none were not physically present at St. George’s Chapel, the ceremony was filled with gestures, big and small, that explicitly celebrated her “people” and the various black worlds in which she raised Ms. Markle.

But it was “what are you?” — a substantially more alienating question than “who are your people?” — that Meghan Markle recalls hearing almost every day of her life. In a 2015 essay for Elle magazine, she wrote, “I’m an actress, a writer, the Editor-in-Chief of my lifestyle brand The Tig, a pretty good cook and a firm believer in handwritten notes. A mouthful, yes, but one that I feel paints a pretty solid picture of who I am.” But such an answer is insufficient. Ms. Markle went on, “But here’s what happens: they smile and nod politely, maybe even chuckle, before getting to their point, ‘Right, but what are you? Where are your parents from?’ I knew it was coming, I always do.”…

Read the entire article here.

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