Black Indian: A Memoir by Shonda Buchanan

Posted in Anthropology, Autobiography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2019-09-18 01:46Z by Steven

Black Indian: A Memoir by Shonda Buchanan

Wayne State University Press
2019-08-26
352 pages
7 black-and-white photos
Size: 6×9
Paperback ISBN: 9780814345801
Ebook ISBN: 9780814345818

Shonda Buchanan, Literary Editor
Harriet Tubman Press

Black Indian, searing and raw, is Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple meets Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony—only, this isn’t fiction. Beautifully rendered and rippling with family dysfunction, secrets, deaths, alcoholism, and old resentments, Shonda Buchanan’s memoir is an inspiring story that explores her family’s legacy of being African Americans with American Indian roots and how they dealt with not just society’s ostracization but the consequences of this dual inheritance.

Buchanan was raised as a Black woman, who grew up hearing cherished stories of her multi-racial heritage, while simultaneously suffering from everything she (and the rest of her family) didn’t know. Tracing the arduous migration of Mixed Bloods, or Free People of Color, from the Southeast to the Midwest, Buchanan tells the story of her Michigan tribe—a comedic yet manically depressed family of fierce women, who were everything from caretakers and cornbread makers to poets and witches, and men who were either ignored, protected, imprisoned, or maimed—and how their lives collided over love, failure, fights, and prayer despite a stacked deck of challenges, including addiction and abuse. Ultimately, Buchanan’s nomadic people endured a collective identity crisis after years of constantly straddling two, then three, races. The physical, spiritual, and emotional displacement of American Indians who met and married Mixed or Black slaves and indentured servants at America’s early crossroads is where this powerful journey begins.

Black Indian doesn’t have answers, nor does it aim to represent every American’s multi-ethnic experience. Instead, it digs as far down into this one family’s history as it can go—sometimes, with a bit of discomfort. But every family has its own truth, and Buchanan’s search for hers will resonate with anyone who has wondered “maybe there’s more than what I’m being told.”

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APA Leaders 2016: Meet Avalon Igawa!

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Interviews, United States on 2019-09-18 01:44Z by Steven

APA Leaders 2016: Meet Avalon Igawa!

USC APASA (University of Southern California Asian Pacific American Student Assembly)
2016-03-10

Avalon_

Hi again! Hope everyone’s doing well with only one day left to get through before spring break! Anyways, as our headline says, our third APA Leader is Avalon Igawa! Avalon’s heavily involved in the APA community being the President of SCAPE and a CIRCLE coordinator. It’s hard to find someone with her passion and energetic personality! Read more about Avalon in our interview below:

Name: Avalon Igawa Major: Political Economy (Minor: Digital Studies) Year: Junior

What does being APA mean to you? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this question, and I realize that while it used to be really hard for me, it isn’t so much anymore. And I think that’s because I finally accepted that I don’t need a concrete answer and nobody else does either. It’s a beautiful identity because we can define it for ourselves and let it represent what we want. Wow, that sounded really cheesy, but I feel like it’s true! It took me a long time to accept that I could identify as Asian Pacific American and that I wasn’t erasing my mixed identity. I can be APA and I can be Irish American and I can be mixed. Because for me, being APA means that I can relate to the stories of other APAs and recognize the diversity of all the deep complex histories and narratives that have shaped so many of our experiences. Being APA represents hxstory and struggle, but most of all it represents community. And that’s what I love about it so much…

Read the entire interview here.

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The Problem With Latinidad

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2019-09-18 01:03Z by Steven

The Problem With Latinidad

The Nation
2019-09-16

Miguel Salazar

A growing community of young, black, and indigenous people are questioning the very identity underpinning Hispanic Heritage Month.

Every September 15, a flurry of independence days across Central America—in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—kicks off National Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of Latin culture that lasts through mid-October. For Latin Americans and their descendants, the month is a time to celebrate shared cultures and customs across nationalities. For others in the United States, it provides an opportunity to educate Americans about a growing demographic that, like most minorities, has long been relegated to the margins of US history and, over the past half-century, has worn many hats—“Latin American,” “Hispanic,” “Latino,” and most recently, “Latinx.” Now, however, a growing number of writers, activists, and academics are questioning the very underpinnings of this common identity, an idea known as Latinidad (loosely translated as “Latino-ness”).

Historically, the forging of this ethnic identity has been understood as a necessity in the face of white supremacy and anti-Mexican Juan Crow laws. In response to recent events, it’s been useful for raising awareness of migrant family separations, Washington’s insistence on militarizing borders in Mexico and Central America, and mass shooters warning of a “Hispanic invasion” of the United States. Even so, its most vocal critics, who are often young and black or indigenous, have not minced words in their critique of what they see as an exclusionary identity fabricated by—and for the benefit of—white and mestizo elites and the American political class.

I spoke about the recent rejection of Latinidad with the journalists, organizers, and thinkers at the forefront of this conversation. We talked about what determines who is allowed to claim the term, what purpose it serves, and whether the identity is useful as a category anymore…

Read the entire interview here.

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My Family’s Life Inside and Outside America’s Racial Categories

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Passing, Philosophy, United States on 2019-09-18 00:39Z by Steven

My Family’s Life Inside and Outside America’s Racial Categories

The New York Times Magazine
2019-09-17

Thomas Chatterton Williams

Thomas Chatterton Williams at home in Paris this summer with his wife and children, from left, Marlow, Valentine and Saul.
Thomas Chatterton Williams at home in Paris this summer with his wife and children, from left, Marlow, Valentine and Saul.
Christopher Anderson/Magnum, for The New York Times

My father was raised under Jim Crow. My children could pass for white. Where does that leave me?

I left the cafeteria where my brother, Clarence, was racing the wooden kit car he built with the older Boy Scouts, and made my way down the long corridor to the restroom. The building was virtually empty on a Saturday and charged with that faint lawlessness of school not in session. When I finished, I fixed myself in the mirror and, on the way out, ran and leapt to swing from the high bar joining the metal stalls to the tiled wall. In third grade, this was hard to do, a feat of superior athleticism that I savored even in the absence of a witness. The bounce in my legs linked me with my favorite athletes. I wore my hair like them, too, shaved low on the sides and back and slightly higher on top with a laser-sharp part engraved on the left. As my feet thrust forward, the door shot open and B. stepped in. An eighth grader, the eldest of three freckled, blond, almost farcically preppy brothers — Irish Catholic but still WASPier than the sons of Italians, Poles and Ukrainians who formed the backbone of the student body at our parochial school — he watched me dismount. In his costume of boat shoes and Dockers, B. was far from an intimidating sight, but he was bigger than me, and he smiled at me strangely.

I made to pass him on the way out, but he blocked me, his smile turning menacing. “What?” I managed, confused. We’d been in school together for years without ever having exchanged a word. “Monkey,” he whispered, still smiling, and my whole body froze: I was being insulted — in an ugly way, I could sense from his expression more than from what was said — but I couldn’t fully grasp why. I’d been swinging like a monkey, it was true, but this was something else. I tried again to step around him, at a loss for words; he blocked my way again, looming over me, still with that smirk. “You little [expletive] monkey,” he repeated with deliberate calm, and to my astonishment I realized that, although I could not understand why, there was, however vague and out of place, suddenly the possibility of violence. Out of nothing more than instinct, I shoved past him with all the determination an 8-year-old can gather.

He let me go, but I could hear his laughter behind me as I made my way back to the cafeteria, my heart pumping staccato, my face singed with the heat of self-awareness, my inexperienced mind fumbling for the meaning behind what had just transpired. But I knew enough to know that I could not tell my father what happened. I could see his reaction — see him shoot from his leather desk chair where he spent a majority of weekends as well as weekdays bent over a book. “Let’s go,” he would say in a clipped tone, with that distant expression, as if he were looking at something else, not at me, and by that time he would already be at the hall closet throwing his dark gray overcoat around his broad shoulders, keys jangling in his strong hand.

If I had told him what that white boy said to me in the restroom, Pappy — as we called my father, in a nod to his Southern roots — would have descended into an indescribable fury, the memory of which can tense me up to this day. He would have lost a week of work and concentration — that was as certain as two and two is four. But I also knew that he would be shot through with pain, unable to sleep, up at his desk in the dark, transported to his past, agonizing over this awful proof of what he’d always suspected: that no matter how strong he was, he was not strong enough to shield — not fully — his sons from the psychological warfare of American racism that whispers obscenities at little boys when they find themselves alone…

Read the entire article here.

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Multiracial Cultural Attunement

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Social Justice, Social Science, Social Work, Teaching Resources, United States on 2019-09-17 19:26Z by Steven

Multiracial Cultural Attunement

NASW Press
October 2019
2018 pages
Item #5440
ISBN: ISBN: 978-0-87101-544-0

Kelly Faye Jackson, Associate Professor
School of Social Work
Arizona State University

Gina Miranda Samuels, Associate Professor
School of Social Service Administration
The University of Chicago

“What are you?” “But you don’t sound black!” “Aw, mixed-race babies are so cute!” These microaggressions can deeply affect an individual’s basic development, identity, sense of security, and belonging. Rather than having “the best of both worlds,” research suggests that multiracial people and families experience similar or higher rates of racism, bullying, separation, suicide, and divorce than their single-race-identified peers. Multiracial people and families don’t face these challenges because they are multiracial, but because dominant constructions of race, rooted in white supremacy, privilege single-race identities. It is this foundation of monocentrism that perpetuates the continued pathologizing and exotifying of people and families of mixed-race heritage. Furthermore, pervasive but misguided claims of colorblindness often distort the salience of race and racism in our society for all people of color. This reinforces and enables the kind of racism and discrimination that many multiracial families and people experience, often leaving them to battle their oppression and discrimination alone.

In this book, Jackson and Samuels draw from their own research and direct practice with multiracial individuals and families, and also a rich interdisciplinary science and theory base, to share their model of multiracial cultural attunement. Core to this model are the four foundational principles of critical multiraciality, multidimensionality and intersectionality, social constructivism, and social justice. Throughout, the authors demonstrate how to collaboratively nurture clients’ emerging identities, identify struggles and opportunities, and deeply engage clients’ strengths and resiliencies. Readers are challenged to embrace this model as a guide to go beyond the comfort zone of their own racialized experiences to disrupt the stigma and systems of racism and monoracism that can inhibit the well-being of multiracial people and families.

With case studies, skill-building resources, tool kits, and interactive exercises, this book can help you leverage the strengths and resilience of multiracial people and families and pave the way to your own personal growth and professional responsibility to enact socially just practices.

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George Schuyler: An Afrofuturist Before His Time

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Philosophy, United States on 2019-09-17 17:18Z by Steven

George Schuyler: An Afrofuturist Before His Time

The New York Review of Books
2018-01-19

Danzy Senna


Jacob Lawrence: Harlem Street Scene, 1942
Private Collection/Christie’s Images/Bridgeman Images/The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The first time I read George Schuyler’s 1931 novel, Black No More, it confused and unsettled me. Black No More is based on a fantastical, speculative premise: What if there were a machine that could turn black people permanently white? What if such a machine were invented in and introduced to 1920s America, a time of both increasing racial pride and persistent racial violence? What would the social and political implications be of such a race-reversal machine? What would it reveal about society? What lies and hypocrisies about blackness and whiteness and American identity would be revealed by the chaos that would ensue?

I was in college at the time I first read the book, and not quite ready for its cynical, almost misanthropic vision of race and society.

I had just reached that stage of racial identity that psychologist William Cross, in his 1971 “Negro-to-Black Conversion Experience,” called “immersion.” The immersion stage (number three of five) is when you eat, drink, and excrete blackness. It’s when you bite off the head of anybody who questions whether you, no matter how high your yellow, are anything less than Afrika Bambaataa.

What unsettled me about Black No More wasn’t just what I knew of Schuyler’s vaguely messed-up politics (which became a whole lot less vague and a whole lot more messed up in the decades following the novel’s publication). It was also that Schuyler was so merciless—about everyone. At the exact moment I was finding power and purpose in my black identity, he was telling me race didn’t exist…

Read the entire article here.

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Kamala Harris grew up in a mostly white world. Then she went to a black university in a black city.

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-09-17 17:04Z by Steven

Kamala Harris grew up in a mostly white world. Then she went to a black university in a black city.

The Washington Post
2019-09-16

Robin Givhan, Fashion critic


From left: Karen Gibbs, Kamala Harris and Valerie Pippen at Homecoming in 1986-1987. (Courtesy of Karen Gibbs)

When anyone challenges her racial identity, the presidential candidate points to her four years at Howard University.

Kamala Harris wanted to go to a black school. That’s what black folks called Howard University in the early 1980s when Harris was a teenager considering her future.

Harris, she would say later, was seeking an experience wholly different from what she had long known. She’d attended majority-white schools her entire life — from elementary school in Berkeley, Calif., to high school in Montreal. Her parents’ professional lives and their personal story were bound up in majority-white institutions. Her father, an economist from Jamaica, was teaching at Stanford University. Her mother, a cancer researcher from India, had done her graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, where the couple had met and fallen in love. And Harris’s younger sister would eventually enroll at Stanford.

Harris wanted to be surrounded by black students, black culture and black traditions at the crown jewel of historically black colleges and universities

Read the entire article here.

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‘Carnival Row’: Philo and the Politics of Passing

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-09-16 20:11Z by Steven

‘Carnival Row’: Philo and the Politics of Passing

Fangirlish
2019-09-11

Lissete Lanuza Sáenz, Co-Executive Editor


CarnivalRow_Ep101_D22_JT_0621.CR2

Usually when I watch a show, almost without fault, I relate to one of the female characters. This probably has a lot to do with how male characters are written – emotions, what are those? – and of course, also with the fact that, as a woman, it’s easier to see myself in the experiences of another woman.

The exact opposite happened to me with Carnival Row.

Sure, part of that might have been that the first time I actually felt Vignette was somewhere around episode seven. Before that, her storyline, while not a total bore, just wasn’t hitting any emotional chord with me. And well, despite how much I ended up liking Imogen, it’s fair to say that, for at least half the season, it was impossible to actively like her.

There was Tourmaline, of course, but she was treated a bit like a love interest, even if her relationship with Vignette was never the main focus of Carnival Row; she barely got any storyline on her own.

Yes, these are the justifications I gave myself. The rationalization for what I’m about to say.

Philo is, by far, my favorite character on Carnival Row

Read the entire article here.

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Virginia couples no longer have to disclose race on marriage license applications, state attorney general says

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2019-09-16 19:22Z by Steven

Virginia couples no longer have to disclose race on marriage license applications, state attorney general says

The Washington Post
2019-09-14

Hannah Natanson


Sophie Rogers and Brandyn Churchill, who are getting married on Oct. 19, are shown in this engagement photograph in the Napa Valley. (Christophe Genty/Christophe Genty Photography)

Virginia will no longer require couples to identify by race on their marriage licenses, the state’s attorney general announced this week.

Under a new policy — which Attorney General Mark Herring detailed in emails to court clerks and members of the media late Friday — people getting married will be able to select “Declined to Answer” in a box asking about race. Herring also told clerks they must issue a marriage license “regardless of an applicant’s answer or non-answer to that inquiry.”

The new guidance comes about a week after three couples filed a federal lawsuit alleging the required disclosure of race is unconstitutional because it violates the First, 13th and 14th amendments.

“We were happy to help quickly resolve this issue and get these couples what they asked for,” Herring said in his statement. “These changes will ensure that no Virginian will be forced to label themselves to get married.”…

Read the entire article here.

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‘Mixed-ish’ Team on Why ‘All Stories About “Others” Are Necessary’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2019-09-16 18:54Z by Steven

‘Mixed-ish’ Team on Why ‘All Stories About “Others” Are Necessary’

Variety
2019-09-14

BreAnna Bell

Gary Cole, Christina Anthony, Tika Sumpter, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Peter Saji, Karin Gist, Mykal-Michelle Harris, Ethan William Childress and Arica HimmelABC 'Mixed-ish' TV show presentation, Arrivals, PaleyFest, Los Angeles, USA - 14 Sep 2019
CREDIT: David Buchan/Variety/Shutterstock

The producers and cast of “Mixed-ish” are not out to tell a singular black and white story — but one that showcases and celebrates all shades in between.

“It’s important for me across the board in all of my work to talk about ‘otherness’ and identity and real, grounded characters,” showrunner Karin Gist told Variety at the PaleyFest Fall Previews panel for the new ABC comedy on Saturday. “This is just another example of that — an example of putting something up for everybody to talk about think about have conversations about through these characters that you fall in love with. It’s a story about ‘others’ that I think is necessary and I think all stories about ‘others’ are necessary.”

In the newest addition to Kenya Barris’ “ish” universe, Gist and fellow executive producer Peter Saji shine a light on “Black-ish” Johnson family matriarch Rainbow’s (played by Tracee Ellis Ross in “Black-ish” and Arica Himmel in “Mixed-ish”) origin story. The pilot begins when the hippie commune in which she was raised gets raided and her family has to move to the suburbs. The young Rainbow and her siblings (Mykal-Michelle Harris, Ethan William Childress) are left to navigate race and capitalism in the “real world.”…

Read the entire article here.

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