That little Mexican part of me: race, place and transnationalism among U.S. African-descent Mexicans

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-07-17 16:50Z by Steven

That little Mexican part of me: race, place and transnationalism among U.S. African-descent Mexicans

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online: 2019-06-05
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2019.1626016

Laura A. Lewis, Professor of Anthropology in Modern Languages and Linguistics
University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom

This article uses semi-structured interviews and participant observation to examine transnationalism and notions of race among first- and second-generation young adult Afro-descended Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the United States. I suggest that transnationally inflected understandings of race encourage both generations to privilege place-based over ancestry-based racial identities. For the first generation, which is mostly undocumented, place is part of their socialization as Mexicans and a way to forge a more secure sense of belonging in the United States. For members of the second generation, place resolves their position as an anomalous “race” not recognized in the United States.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Archives of Conjure: Stories of the Dead in Afrolatinx Cultures

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Religion on 2019-07-12 17:30Z by Steven

Archives of Conjure: Stories of the Dead in Afrolatinx Cultures

Columbia University Press
March 2020
272 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9780231194334
Hardcover ISBN: 9780231194327
E-book ISBN: 9780231550765

Solimar Otero, Professor of Folklore
Indiana University, Bloomington

Archives of Conjure

In Afrolatinx religious practices such as Cuban Espiritismo, Puerto Rican Santería, and Brazilian Candomblé, the dead tell stories. Communicating with and through mediums’ bodies, they give advice, make requests, and propose future rituals, creating a living archive that is coproduced by the dead. In this book, Solimar Otero explores how Afrolatinx spirits guide collaborative spiritual-scholarly activist work through rituals and the creation of material culture. By examining spirit mediumship through a Caribbean cross-cultural poetics, she shows how divinities and ancestors serve as active agents in shaping the experiences of gender, sexuality, and race.

Otero argues that what she calls archives of conjure are produced through residual transcriptions or reverberations of the stories of the dead whose archives are stitched, beaded, smoked, and washed into official and unofficial repositories. She investigates how sites like the ocean, rivers, and institutional archives create connected contexts for unlocking the spatial activation of residual transcriptions. Drawing on over ten years of archival research and fieldwork in Cuba, Otero centers the storytelling practices of Afrolatinx women and LGBTQ spiritual practitioners alongside Caribbean literature and performance. Archives of Conjure offers vital new perspectives on ephemerality, temporality, and material culture, unraveling undertheorized questions about how spirits shape communities of practice, ethnography, literature, and history and revealing the deeply connected nature of art, scholarship, and worship.

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Chinyere K. Osuji

Posted in Anthropology, Audio, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-07-12 12:09Z by Steven

Chinyere K. Osuji

New Books Network
2019-07-11

Reighan Gillam, Host and Assistant Professor of Anthropology
University of Southern California

Chinyere K. Osuji, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race (New York: New York University Press, 2019)

The increasing presence of interracial relationships is often read as an antidote to racism or as an indicator of the decreasing significance of race. In her book, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race (NYU Press, 2019), Chinyere K. Osuji examines how interracial couples push against, navigate, and often maintain racial boundaries. In-depth interviews with black-white couples in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Los Angeles demonstrate how couples negotiate racial difference with their spouses, within their families, and during public encounters. This comparative study of interracial couples in Brazil and in the United States shows just how race can be constructed differently, while racial hierarchies persist. This book would be of interest to those in fields such as racial and ethnic studies, family and kinship studies, gender studies, and Latin American studies.

Listen to the interview (00:52:56) here. Download the interview here.

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Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2019-07-11 20:44Z by Steven

Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World

Boydell & Brewer
July 2010
260 pages
12 black and white illustrations
9×6 in
Paperback ISBN: 9781580464734
Hardback ISBN: 9781580463263
eBook for Handhelds ISBN: 9781580468190
eBook ISBN: 9781580467056

Solimar Otero, Professor of Folklore
Indiana University, Bloomington

A study of the interchange between Cuba and Africa of Yoruban people and culture during the nineteenth century, with special emphasis on the Aguda community.

Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World explores how Yoruba and Afro-Cuban communities moved across the Atlantic between the Americas and Africa in successive waves in the nineteenth century. In Havana, Yoruba slaves from Lagos banded together to buy their freedom and sail home to Nigeria. Once in Lagos, this Cuban repatriate community became known as the Aguda. This community built their own neighborhood that celebrated their Afrolatino heritage. For these Yoruba and Afro-Cuban diasporic populations, nostalgic constructions of family and community play the role of narrating and locating a longed-for home. By providing a link between the workings of nostalgia and the construction of home, this volume re-theorizes cultural imaginaries as a source for diasporic community reinvention. Through ethnographic fieldwork and research in folkloristics, Otero reveals that the Aguda identify strongly with their Afro-Cuban roots in contemporary times. Their fluid identity moves from Yoruba to Cuban, and back again, in a manner that illustrates the truly cyclical nature of transnational Atlantic community affiliation.

Table of Contents

  • Grassroots Africans: Havana’s “Lagosians”
  • Returning to Lagos: Making the Oja Home
  • “Second Diasporas”: Reception in the Bight of Benin
  • Situating Lagosian, Caribbean, and Latin American Diasporas
  • Creating Afrocubanos: Public Cultures in a Circum-Atlantic Perspective
  • Conclusion: Flow, Community, and Diaspora
  • Appendix: Case Studies of Returnees to Lagos from Havana, Cuba
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ASRC 3310 Afro-Asia: Futurism and Feminisms

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Course Offerings, Forthcoming Media, Literary/Artistic Criticism, United States on 2019-07-04 22:43Z by Steven

ASRC 3310 Afro-Asia: Futurism and Feminisms

Cornell University, Ithaca New York
Fall 2019

Tao Goffe, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Crosslisted as: ASRC 3310, COML 3310, F688 3310 Semester

This course explores cultural representations of Afro-Asian intimacies and coalition in novels, songs, films, paintings, and poems. What affinities, loves and thefts, and tensions are present in cultural forms such as anime, jazz, kung fu, and K-pop? Students will consider the intersections and overlap between African and Asian diasporic cultures in global cities such as New York, Chicago, Havana, Lahore, Kingston, and Hong Kong to ask the question: when did Africa and Asia first encounter each other? This will be contextualized through a political and historical lens of the formation of a proto-Global South in the early twentieth, Afro-futurism, women of color feminisms, and Third World solidarity and internationalism. Tackling issues of race, gender, sexuality, and resistance, this seminar also reckons with the intertwined legacies of the institutions of African enslavement and Asian indenture by reading the novels of Patricia Powell and the paintings of Kehinde Wiley, for instance. Students will work in groups to produce Afro-Asia DJ visual soundtracks as part of the final project.

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Is race mixture an antidote to racism?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2019-06-19 14:49Z by Steven

Is race mixture an antidote to racism?

Monitor: Global Intelligence on Racism
2018-12-03

Monica Moreno-Figueroa, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Cambridge; Fellow in Social Sciences at Downing College, Cambridge

Peter Wade, Professor of Social Anthropology
University of Manchester

There is a tendency for commentators situated towards the political right to claim that we are living in a “post-racial” age. They point to the fact that since the Second World War, the institutional racism of the US South and of South African apartheid has been dismantled, that scientists now agree that all humans are genetically almost identical, that many societies have officially adopted multiculturalist policies, recognising and respecting the cultural differences that characterise racially diverse societies, and that rates of inter-racial marriage are rising fast as societies become more integrated.

Within this “post-racial” view, the presence of racism is not necessarily denied, but it is minimised and seen in a certain way. Overtly racist people are deplored as far-right fanatics who are not representative of the main trends in society. Those who protest against racism are accused of being over-sensitive “snow-flakes” who “can’t take a joke”, of unfairly demanding special treatment, or creating counter-productive divisiveness and discord in society.

In this scenario, post-raciality and racism are seen as being in an either/or relationship, a zero-sum game in which the more post-racial a society is, the less racism it must have. However, Latin American societies can teach us, both in historical and contemporary experiences, that this scenario is misleading. The region shows us that post-raciality and racism can co-exist, with both aspects forming simultaneous dimensions of the same context. What is more, it is not that post-raciality is a mask behind which the workings of racism lurk: they are both deeply-rooted aspects of society…

Read the entire article here.

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Delaware’s Forgotten Folk: The Story of the Moors and Nanticokes

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2019-06-03 13:29Z by Steven

Delaware’s Forgotten Folk: The Story of the Moors and Nanticokes

University of Pennsylvania Press
2006 (originally published in 1943)
232 pages
13 illustrations
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper ISBN: 9780812219838

C. A. Weslager (1909-1994)

Photographs by L. T. Alexander
Drawings by John Swientochowski

Delaware's Forgotten Folk

“It is offered not as a textbook nor as a scientific discussion, but merely as reading entertainment founded on the life history, social struggle, and customs of a little-known people.”—From the Preface

C. A. Weslager’s Delaware’s Forgotten Folk chronicles the history of the Nanticoke Indians and the Cheswold Moors, from John Smith’s first encounter with the Nanticokes along the Kuskakarawaok River in 1608, to the struggles faced by these uniquely multiracial communities amid the racial and social tensions of mid-twentieth-century America. It explores the legend surrounding the origin of the two distinct but intricately intertwined groups, focusing on how their uncommon racial heritage—white, black, and Native American—shaped their identity within society and how their traditional culture retained its significance into their present.

Weslager’s demonstrated command of available information and his familiarity with the people themselves bespeak his deep respect for the Moor and Nanticoke communities. What began as a curious inquiry into the overlooked peoples of the Delaware River Valley developed into an attentive and thoughtful study of a distinct group of people struggling to remain a cultural community in the face of modern opposition. Originally published in 1943, Delaware’s Forgotten Folk endures as one of the fundamental volumes on understanding the life and history of the Nanticoke and Moor peoples.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • 1. Red, White, and Black
  • 2. The Mysterious Moor
  • 3. Plot in the Swamp
  • 4. The Persistent Red Thread
  • 5. An Unexpected Champion
  • 6. The Good Fight
  • 7. A World Unknown
  • 8. Links with the Past
  • Bibliography
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Are you a halfie?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2019-05-12 23:37Z by Steven

Are you a halfie?

The Korea Times
2019-05-13

David Tizzard


Sunya (left), Loren (right) and their two children Anika and Neptune.

Since the mid-20th century, South Korea has clung to a message of homogeneity and race as a cornerstone of its national identity. It has advocated genetic purity (and at times superiority) as it looks in the geopolitical mirror and asks the most existential of questions.

Yet the story delivered through school text books and the broader public consciousness has often come into conflict with the reality of history. It also ignores the generations of halfies living both here and abroad, often the product of the tragic Korean War that tore the peninsula in two.

While that particular conflict is labeled “the forgotten war,” many see halfies as “the forgotten race.” Throughout the early years the first generations faced discrimination, sometimes growing up in single-parent households, orphaned, or simply socially reviled.

To be a halfie anywhere is difficult. To be a halfie in Korea is a tale unto itself…

Read the entire article here

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“I Will Not Say Nigger” excerpt

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2019-05-04 20:26Z by Steven

“I Will Not Say Nigger” excerpt

Vimeo
2017-09-25

Eleanor Kipping

The artist begins performance before audience enters the space. She writes i will not say nigger on a large sheet of charcoal covered brown paper. An hour passes. She begins her monologue by asking audience and herself who the word nigger belongs to, who has the right to use it, and who exactly is a nigger. She concludes that she is a nigger and begins to remove her eurocentric makeup and dress. She stands nude before the audience, revealing her natural hair and skin color and speaks in open confession on the reasons that her ‘light skin is not right skin’ and changes her entire outfit to that more stereotypical of a black female. She packs her white identity into a suitcase and returns to writing lines until she is alone.

The black female experience is heavily dominated by the constant need to navigate the spaces within and between dominant cultures. Many black and brown females are too familiar others monitoring their behavior, language, and appearance, and have to choose where and how they will relate to dominant standards. Despite their double-consciousness, they are still situated as ‘other’ within society. These experiences define their identities and sense of self.

“I Will Not Say Nigger” explores the language and exchanges that take place between dominant and minority cultures/races, but often go unaddressed. The unspoken is present in relationships, the workplace, and other social encounters. They are subtle, difficult to define, and are often brushed under the rug, yet reveal that we are far from the post-racial society that so many insist exists. The character that you in see this piece explores the spectrum of these experiences through her mixed-race identity and shares them in through a spoken and physical confession.

Photo and video shot by Amy Olivia Pierce, edited by Eleanor Kipping, audio recorded live at the University of Maine Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center.

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Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri review – a voyage to empowerment

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-05-03 13:35Z by Steven

Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri review – a voyage to empowerment

The Guardian
2019-05-02

Colin Grant


Emma Dabiri records the external and internal pathologising of black hair as a chronic condition. Photograph: Silvana Trevale/The Guardian

Combs, braids and Bob Marley’s bad-hair days are explored in this richly researched cultural history

When Rita Anderson’s teenage boyfriend Bob was growing up in Jamaica’s Trenchtown ghetto, the fair-skinned future Rasta reggae star was so concerned to demonstrate his black heredity that he would get Rita to rub black shoe polish into his hair – so that, she says, it appeared “blacker, coarser and more African”. But after reading Emma Dabiri’s richly researched book, you wonder which model of African hair Bob Marley had in mind. For Dabiri shows that Africans have always paid close attention to the grooming and careful styling of hair, and in Yoruba the phrase for “dreadlocks” is irun were, which translates as “insane person’s hair-do”.

Like Marley, Dabiri also has black and white parents, and has wrestled with her identity. As a child in Ireland, people volunteered opinions about her hair that made her feel ashamed and “like an abomination”. But her personal story merely serves in the book as a jumping off point for an exploration of many subjects, among them colourism and self-worth.

Dabiri, who is a teaching fellow at SOAS, argues that the “desire to conform” to a European “aesthetic which values light skin and straight hair is the result of a propaganda campaign that has lasted more than 500 years”. European powers saw African culture as an impediment to productivity. “Idle husbands”, fumed one colonial administrator, wasted hours setting their wives the task of “braiding and fettishing out their woolly hair”…

Read the entire review here.

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