A Family Tree With Roots Deep In Slavery

Posted in Autobiography, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2018-12-03 01:03Z by Steven

A Family Tree With Roots Deep In Slavery

Code Switch: Race and identity, remixed
National Public Radio
2018-11-21

Nabil Ayers

All families have histories.
Man_Half-tube/Getty Images

“Well hello there Nabil!

“I welcome your letter.

“So in the little bit of information you shared with me, I am intrigued.

“I have worked for a number of years, 26 in fact, on my genealogy. It has been a passion and at times an obsession.”

In her initial email to me, Karen surprised me with her excitement and candor — neither of which I was expecting from the woman whom I had gently accused of being the descendant of the man who owned my ancestors…

…My mother, who is white, chose to have me and raise me on her own. My father is black, but because he has never been part of my life, I’ve never held a strong black identity or felt I belonged to any single race. I grew up in very diverse and liberal surroundings where, if anyone asked, I was racially mixed, and that was fine.

I’m often asked the question, “What are you?” Or the less invasive, but still pointed, “Where are you from?” I’ve always described myself as “half black and half white.” It’s a phrase I still use for simplicity…

Read the entire article here.

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Chyrstyn Fentroy — First Black Woman To Join Boston Ballet In A Decade — Debuts As Snow Queen In ‘The Nutcracker’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-12-02 22:07Z by Steven

Chyrstyn Fentroy — First Black Woman To Join Boston Ballet In A Decade — Debuts As Snow Queen In ‘The Nutcracker’

WBUR 90.9 FM
Boston, Massachusetts
2018-11-30

Arielle Gray, Arts Fellow

Lasha Khozashvili and Chyrstyn Fentroy in Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker (Photo by Angela Sterling, courtesy of Boston Ballet)
Lasha Khozashvili and Chyrstyn Fentroy in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker (Photo by Angela Sterling, courtesy of Boston Ballet)

Artificial snow falls gently from the top of the stage of the Boston Opera House, encasing the space in an ethereal glittering glow. Beneath it dances Chyrstyn Fentroy as the Snow Queen, entwined in an elegant flow of limbs and carefully choreographed steps with the Snow King. The Boston Ballet is rehearsing for its opening night of “The Nutcracker,” the other worldly production based off of E.T.A Hoffman’s novella. Fentroy debuted as the Snow Queen on Thursday evening and will star in the role again on Sunday, Dec. 2.

Fentroy makes a stunning Snow Queen, traversing the stage in a series of light, precise steps. The role is a notable milestone for Fentroy, who has been deeply involved in the world of dance since she was old enough to walk. She tells me she’s the first black female dancer to join the Boston Ballet in the last decade.

Growing up as the daughter of two dancers in Los Angeles, Fentroy spent a lot of time in the dance studio. “’The Nutcracker’ specifically is something that’s kind of been a part of my life forever,” Fentroy told WBUR. “I grew up watching my mom do the Sugarplum Fairy variation and spent so many years in the wings watching performances.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Michael Tisserand: “Krazy Kat and the Poetics of Passing” | Talks at Google

Posted in Biography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Videos on 2018-12-01 03:50Z by Steven

Michael Tisserand: “Krazy Kat and the Poetics of Passing” | Talks at Google

Talks at Google
2018-06-26

Michael discusses his book, “Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White,” winner of the 2017 Eisner Award for best comics-related book, and a finalist in both the National Book Critics Circle Awards for Biography and the PEN America/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. Krazy was also selected as a Kirkus Best Nonfiction Book of 2016 and as one of Vanity Fair‘s “Must-Read Books of the Holiday Season.”

Tisserand’s previous books include THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO, an exploration of Louisiana music that received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award for music writing, and the Hurricane Katrina memoir SUGARCANE ACADEMY. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. When not writing, he coaches scholastic chess and is a member of The Laissez Boys, a Mardi Gras parading organization.

More information about Tisserand and his work can be found at www.MichaelTisserand.com.

Moderated by Camille Gennaio.

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Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2018-11-27 03:09Z by Steven

Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race

New York University Press
May 2019
320 pages
16 black and white illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 9781479878611
Paper ISBN: 9781479831456

Chinyere K. Osuji, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden

How interracial couples in Brazil and the US navigate racial boundaries

How do people understand and navigate being married to a person of a different race? Based on individual interviews with forty-seven black-white couples in two large, multicultural cities—Los Angeles and Rio de JaneiroBoundaries of Love explores how partners in these relationships ultimately reproduce, negotiate, and challenge the “us” versus “them” mentality of ethno-racial boundaries.

By centering marriage, Chinyere Osuji reveals the family as a primary site for understanding the social construction of race. She challenges the naive but widespread belief that interracial couples and their children provide an antidote to racism in the twenty-first century, instead highlighting the complexities and contradictions of these relationships. Featuring black husbands with white wives as well as black wives with white husbands, Boundaries of Love sheds light on the role of gender in navigating life married to a person of a different color.

Osuji compares black-white couples in Brazil and the United States, the two most populous post–slavery societies in the Western hemisphere. These settings, she argues, reveal the impact of contemporary race mixture on racial hierarchies and racial ideologies, both old and new.

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In 2008, there was hope. In 2018, there is hurt. This is America’s state of hate.

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2018-11-27 03:05Z by Steven

In 2008, there was hope. In 2018, there is hurt. This is America’s state of hate.

Cable News Network (CNN)
2018-11-26

By Mallory Simon and Sara Sidner, CNN

(CNN) On Election Night in 2008, Americans gathered in Grant Park, Chicago. They cried tears of joy knowing Barack Obama would become the first black president.

For millions of Americans, Obama lifted the nation. For white supremacists, he lit a powder keg.

His election supercharged the divisions that have existed since the country’s birth.

The hate created two Americas. Two realities. Split-screen reactions to the same events, that continued and were exacerbated with President Trump’s victory and time in office…

Read the entire article here.

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Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, symbols, and hope

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-11-27 02:39Z by Steven

Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, symbols, and hope

Manchester University Press
January 2019
256 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-5261-0501-1
eBook ISBN: 978-1-5261-0503-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-5261-0502-8

Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor of Political Science
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Timely publication in the aftermath of the Obama leaving The White House. Obama’s handling of race and equality is expected to determine his legacy as President.
  • Compares the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations to determine if Obama’s performance on racial issues differed significantly from his immediate predecessors
  • Analyses Barack Obama’s performance on substantive and symbolic issues of importance to African Americans
  • Uses opinion polls of black voters to probe attitudes toward President Obama and explanations for his performance on racial issues
  • Encourages readers to consider the ways that institutional constraints on the presidency and candidates’ campaign choices limit the role of the president to address racial issues

The election of Barack Obama marked a critical point in American political and social history. Did the historic election of a black president actually change the status of blacks in the United States? Did these changes (or lack thereof) inform blacks’ perceptions of the President?

This book explores these questions by comparing Obama’s promotion of substantive and symbolic initiatives for blacks to efforts by the two previous presidential administrations. By employing a comparative analysis, the reader can judge whether Obama did more or less to promote black interests than his predecessors. Taking a more empirical approach to judging Barack Obama, this book hopes to contribute to current debates about the significance of the first African American presidency. It takes care to make distinctions between Obama’s substantive and symbolic accomplishments and to explore the significance of both.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: how’s he doing? And what does that say about black politics?
  • 1 The triple bind
  • Part I: Substance
    • 2 How he did: the racial successes, failures and impact of the Obama presidency
    • 3 Executive orders
    • 4 Winks, nods and day-to-day bureaucratic work: a case study of three cabinet departments
  • Part II: Symbols
    • 5 Race, appointments and descriptive diversity
    • 6 Rhetoric and racial eruptions
    • 7 Artistic representation and the presidency: an examination of PBS performances
    • 8 Michelle Obama
  • Part III: Hope
    • 9 Public opinion
    • 10 Race, Obama and the fourth quarter
    • Conclusion: was it worth it?
  • Index
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Call for Papers: Representations of Afrolatinidad in Global Perspective Conference

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Forthcoming Media, History, Latino Studies, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2018-11-24 02:41Z by Steven

Call for Papers: Representations of Afrolatinidad in Global Perspective Conference

Representations of Afrolatinidad in Global Perspective
University of Pittsburgh
2019-04-11 through 2019-11-13

Conference Convened by the Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latinx Studies Initiative

Contact: Dr. Michele Reid-Vazquez, University of Pittsburgh

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Juliet Hooker, Professor of Political Science,
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Dr. Nancy Mirabal, Associate Professor of American Studies; Director of the US Latina/o Studies Program
University of Maryland, College Park

The intersections of race, ethnicity, and representation have shaped historical and contemporary articulations of Afrolatinidad. As an expression of multivalent identity, both shared and unique, Afrolatinidad informs the experiences of over 150 million Afro-Latin Americans and millions more within diasporic communities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and beyond. The conference seeks to foster an international dialogue that addresses regional, national, and transnational links among the ways Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Latinxs create, sustain, and transform meanings surrounding blackness in political, social, and cultural contexts.

This two-day symposium aims to engage multiple depictions of Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Latinxs – whether self-fashioned or imposed. The varied portrayals in the past and present reflect the ongoing global realities, struggles, vibrancy, and resiliency of Afro-Latin diasporas throughout the Americas and elsewhere. The symposium will feature keynote addresses by Dr. Juliet Hooker, Professor of Political Science at Brown University, and Dr. Nancy Mirabal, Associate Professor of American Studies and Director of the U.S. Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Maryland-College Park. Their work on Afro-descendant politics in Latin America and Afro-Latinx discourses of race, gender, and territoriality, respectively, will spark broader exchanges around Afrolatinidad and representation among presenters and attendees.

We invite submissions that address aspects of Afrolatinidad, particularly through ethnicity/race, gender, history, technology, and expressive culture, such as music, dance and art. We are especially interested in papers that analyze these themes across a variety of conceptual frameworks, including Africana Studies, Anthropology, Caribbean Studies, Cultural Studies, History, Latin American Studies, Latinx Studies, Media Studies, Political Science, and Sociology.

Submissions need not be confined to these topics, but, if possible, please indicate at least two themes that correspond to your proposal.

Themes:

  • Slavery and Its Legacies in Latin America
  • Politics of Culture/Cultural Expression
  • Visibility and Invisibility
  • Theorizing Afro-Latinidad
  • Race, Gender, and Migration
  • Diaspora, Community, and Technology/Social Media…

For more information, click here.

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Another Hot Take on the Term ‘Latinx’

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-11-24 02:29Z by Steven

Another Hot Take on the Term ‘Latinx’

El Espace
The New York Times
2018-11-21

Concepción de León, digital staff writer for the Books desk


At the 11th Annual Trans Day of Action, in 2015, transgender and gender-nonconforming people rallied with allies to fight discrimination.
Credit Joana Toro/Redux

This week in El Espace: gender-bending, big news for bookworms and more.

The paradox of working in media is that even as your mind expands, your world also shrinks a bit. Because of my job, I read a lot of news, then go on Twitter to read people’s hot takes, then listen to podcasts, you know, just to round out the picture. It’s extra, for sure. But while there’s no question that my understanding of topics like foreign relations, economics and the president’s taxes, to name a few, has gone from zero to at least 80 in the last few years, the overexposure has also distorted my perception about what “everyone” knows.

Fortunately our readers keep me accountable. In my last column, for example, I used the word “Latinx” as a broader term for the Latino community, to some people’s perplexity…

Ed Morales, a Columbia University professor who wrote “Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture,” agrees. In a recent conversation he said that “the X, which is so strange and is not Spanish, sort of marks this new hybrid idea.” The title of his book, similarly, was meant to be forward-looking. “I thought it was a futurist term,” he said, “imagining a future of more inclusion for people that don’t conform to the various kinds of rigid identities that exist in the United States.”…

Read the entire article here.

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What it took to finally confront my family about race and politics

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2018-11-21 21:18Z by Steven

What it took to finally confront my family about race and politics

The Guardian
2018-11-21

Sarah Menkedick

‘It is not about politics. It is about saying, ‘This is my life, and this is what I care about.’
‘It is not about politics. It is about saying, ‘This is my life, and this is what I care about.’ Illustration: Grace Helmer

As the mother of a mixed-race daughter, I was troubled by my white relatives’ views. Why was I terrified to speak up?

My four-year-old daughter has recently started to notice skin color. “Mommy,” she points out when we take a shower, “your skin is white, and my skin is brown, and Papi’s skin is brown!” With a four-year-old’s mania for classification, she lines up our arms in order of deepening darkness. She counts: “Two browns, and one white!”

The other day in the car when I said a curse word, she asked me why, and I said it was because Donald Trump was taking children away from their mothers at the border. “Why?” she asked. I tried to distill immigration down to a child’s logic: “Because where they live is not safe. So they come here to have a safer life. But some people get mad that they come here. They don’t want them here.”

“And he takes their kids away?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

Her lip trembled. I once made the mistake of reading a library book about a hippo that lost its mother and she cried so hard I finally had to bust out a hidden stash of M&Ms.

I reiterated that some people don’t want these families here, and want to punish them. She did what she does with any situation that is incomprehensible: she just kept asking why, assuming there has to be an explanation that will make sense to her. Finally I said, “Because they have brown skin, like you and Papi. Donald Trump doesn’t like brown skin.”

“He doesn’t like brown skin?” she asked. I nodded.

“He doesn’t like me?” she asked…

Read the entire article here.

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The 97-Year-Old Park Ranger Who Doesn’t Have Time for Foolishness

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-11-21 19:34Z by Steven

The 97-Year-Old Park Ranger Who Doesn’t Have Time for Foolishness

Glamour
2011-11-02

Farai Chideya
Photographs by Shaniqwa Jarvis


Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis 

“History has been written by people who got it wrong. But the people who are always trying to get it right have prevailed,” says Reid Soskin, photographed at Rosie the Riveter Park. “If that were not true, I would still be a slave like my great-grandmother.”

As the oldest career National Park Service ranger, Betty Soskin is unabashed about revealing all of America’s history—and her optimism about our future.

What gets remembered is determined by who is in the room doing the remembering,” Betty Reid Soskin likes to say. So she’s made it her singular purpose to always be in the room.

Today that room is the auditorium at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, where—at 97—she’s the oldest person now serving as a permanent National Park Service ranger. She packs the theater three times a week with talks about the Rosies and the typically white narrative about the women who served the war effort, but interweaves her experience as a young black woman in segregated America.

There are a few things you should know about my friend Betty. Barely five feet three inches tall, she is sylphlike and strong. When she walks, she leans slightly forward, as if facing a headwind, and strides with speed and purpose. Betty never planned to be a ranger. She got the job at the young age of 85, after working as a field representative for her California assemblywoman, Dion Aroner. Aroner asked her to sit in on planning meetings for what would become the park, and Betty quickly saw that, if she didn’t speak up, the park would portray a whitewashed version of history. “There was no conspiracy to leave my history out,” she says. “There was simply no one in that room with any reason to know it.” So she sparked additions to the formal narratives: the 120,000 people of Japanese descent placed in internment camps by the government; the 320 sailors and workers, 202 of them black men, who died in the explosions at nearby Port Chicago. “So many stories,” Betty muses, “all but forgotten.”

Working at an all-black union hall during World War II and then briefly in an all-white branch of the Air Force (they didn’t realize she was black when they hired her), Betty saw stories like these firsthand, becoming, as she puts it, “a primary source” from the time. Tom Leatherman, the park’s superintendent, says Betty motivated organizers to bring more people to the table: “Because of Betty, we made sure we had African American scholars review our films and exhibits, but we also made sure we were looking out for other, often forgotten stories—Japanese American, Latino American, American Indian, and LGBTQ narratives—that were equally important.”…

Read the entire article here.

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