A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2018-04-12 19:46Z by Steven

A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Pacific Citizen: The National Newspaper of the JACL
Los Angeles, California
2018-03-28

Rob Buscher, Contributor


Ken Tanabe, left, and Jeff Chiba Stearns lead the Community Caucus at CMRS. (Photo: Rob Buscher)

Leaders in the multiracial movement gather to ‘Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine’ – a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the U.S.

Over the past few decades, the Japanese American community has become increasingly inclusive of multiracial and multiethnic individuals. However, for those of us who appear less phenotypically Japanese, it is sometimes difficult explaining our connection to people who are less familiar with interracial marriage and mixed-race children.

Multiracial Japanese Americans are in many ways the direct result of institutionalized racism that stigmatized Japanese-ness in the 20th century. From the Alien Land Laws to the mass incarceration during World War II, the very existence of our Japanese immigrant ancestors was deemed objectionable. Is it any wonder that so many of our parents and grandparents would choose intermarriage with partners from other ethnic and racial communities?

Yet, despite the growing prevalence of mixed-race Japanese Americans, there are many outside our community who do not acknowledge the legitimacy of our existence within the spectrum of Japanese American identity.

This is why it was so empowering to attend an event like the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, where nearly every one of the 200-plus participants were mixed race. While each individual has a totally different experience being mixed race (even within the same mixed community) the fact that multiracial folks were a super majority in this space meant that everyone had at least a basic understanding of the shared complexities surrounding our mixed identities.

Hosted at the University of Maryland on March 1-3, the 2018 conference’s theme was “Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine” — titled with a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the United States

Read the entire article here.

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Review: With ‘Dougla,’ Dance Theater of Harlem Recalls Past Glory

Posted in Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-11 20:46Z by Steven

Review: With ‘Dougla,’ Dance Theater of Harlem Recalls Past Glory

The New York Times
2018-04-08

Brian Seibert


Alicia Mae Holloway, center, and fellow members of Dance Theater of Harlem performing in “Dougla.”
Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

The enthusiastic applause for Dance Theater of Harlem’s revival of “Dougla,” at the New York City Center on Friday, started as soon as the curtain rose. The opening image was of a stage full of proudly posed men and women, all in floor-length skirts decorated with little red pom-poms. More of those pom-poms crowned their heads like rooster combs.

Geoffrey Holder, who choreographed “Dougla” in 1974 (and died in 2014), also designed its costumes, and the dance is largely a costume pageant. But it wasn’t just the spectacle that people were cheering.

Long a staple of Dance Theater of Harlem’s repertory, “Dougla” has not been performed by the company since 2004. That year, debt forced the troupe into hiatus, and when the company re-emerged in 2013, its roster had shrunk by more than half…

…“Dougla” is a rather old-fashioned work. The title is a word used, especially in Mr. Holder’s native Trinidad, to label people of mixed South Asian and African descent. As part of its representation of such people, the choreography indulges in a kind of cartoon imitation of Indian dance. While wood blocks crack, heads nod and wobble like the tops of bobblehead dolls. The motion is theatrically effective — that’s why it’s repeated even during the bows — but close to caricature…

Read the entire review here.

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Slavery Unseen: Sex, Power, and Violence in Brazilian History

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Gay & Lesbian, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery on 2018-04-10 02:50Z by Steven

Slavery Unseen: Sex, Power, and Violence in Brazilian History

Duke University Press
2018-04-06
272 pages
9 illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-7116-8
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-7129-8

Lamonte Aidoo, Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Romance Studies
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

In Slavery Unseen, Lamonte Aidoo upends the narrative of Brazil as a racial democracy, showing how the myth of racial democracy elides the history of sexual violence, patriarchal terror, and exploitation of slaves. Drawing on sources ranging from inquisition trial documents to travel accounts and literature, Aidoo demonstrates how interracial and same-sex sexual violence operated as a key mechanism of the production and perpetuation of slavery as well as racial and gender inequality. The myth of racial democracy, Aidoo contends, does not stem from or reflect racial progress; rather, it is an antiblack apparatus that upholds and protects the heteronormative white patriarchy throughout Brazil’s past and on into the present.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction. Secrets, Silences, and Sexual Erasures in Brazilian Slavery and History
  • 1. The Racial and Sexual Paradoxes of Brazilian Slavery and National Identity
  • 2. Illegible Violence: The Rape and Sexual Abuse of Male Slaves
  • 3. The White Mistress and the Slave Woman: Seduction, Violence, and Exploitation
  • 4. Social Whiteness: Black Intraracial Violence and the Boundaries of Black Freedom
  • 5. O Diabo Preto (The Negro Devil): The Myth of the Black Homosexual Predator in the Age of Social Hygiene
  • Afterword. Seeing the Unseen: The Life and Afterlives of Ch/Xica da Silva
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Caribbean Masala: Indian Identity in Guyana and Trinidad

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science on 2018-04-06 03:29Z by Steven

Caribbean Masala: Indian Identity in Guyana and Trinidad

University Press of Mississippi
2018-07-16
144 pages (approx.)
9 b&w illustrations
6 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496818041

Dave Ramsaran, Professor of Sociology
Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania

Linden F. Lewis, Presidential Professor of Sociology; ssociate Dean of Social Sciences
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

How Indian descendants maintained their culture and grew their influence in the Caribbean

In 1833, the abolition of slavery in the British Empire led to the import of exploited South Asian indentured workers in the Caribbean under extreme oppression. Dave Ramsaran and Linden F. Lewis concentrate on the Indian descendants’ processes of mixing, assimilating, and adapting while trying desperately to hold on to that which marks a group of people as distinct. In some ways, the lived experience of the Indian community in Guyana and Trinidad represents a cultural contradiction of belonging and non-belonging. In other parts of the Caribbean, people of Indian descent seem so absorbed by the more dominant African culture and through intermarriage that Indo-Caribbean heritage seems less central.

In this collaboration based on focus groups, in-depth interviews, and observation, sociologists Ramsaran and Lewis lay out a context within which to develop a broader view of Indians in Guyana and Trinidad, a numerical majority in both countries. They address issues of race and ethnicity but move beyond these familiar aspects to track such factors as ritual, gender, family, and daily life. Ramsaran and Lewis gauge not only an unrelenting process of assimilative creolization on these descendants of India, but also the resilience of this culture in the face of modernization and globalization.

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Mulata Nation: Visualizing Race and Gender in Cuba

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Women on 2018-04-06 03:14Z by Steven

Mulata Nation: Visualizing Race and Gender in Cuba

University Press of Mississippi
2018-08-15
248 pages (approx.)
58 color illustrations
6 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496814432

Alison Fraunhar, Associate Professor of Art and Design
Saint Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois

A vivid exploration of the key role played by multi-racial women in visualizing and performing Cuban identity

Repeatedly and powerfully throughout Cuban history, the mulata, a woman of mixed racial identity, features prominently in Cuban visual and performative culture. Tracing the figure, Alison Fraunhar looks at the representation and performance in both elite and popular culture. She also tracks how characteristics associated with these women have accrued across the Atlantic world. Widely understood to embody the bridge between European subject and African other, the mulata contains the sensuality attributed to Africans in a body more closely resembling the European ideal of beauty.

This symbol bears far-reaching implications, with shifting, contradictory cultural meanings in Cuba. Fraunhar explores these complex paradigms, how, why, and for whom the image was useful, and how it was both subverted and asserted from the colonial period to the present. From the early seventeenth century through Cuban independence in 1899 up to the late revolutionary era, Fraunhar illustrates the ambiguous figure’s role in nationhood, citizenship, and commercialism. She analyzes images including key examples of nineteenth-century graphic arts, avant-garde painting and magazine covers of the Republican era, cabaret and film performance, and contemporary iterations of gender.

Fraunhar’s study stands out for attending to the phenomenon of mulataje not only in elite production such as painting, but also in popular forms: popular theater, print culture, later films, and other media where stereotypes take hold. Indeed, in contemporary Cuba, mulataje remains a popular theme with Cubans as well as foreigners in drag shows, reflecting queerness in visual culture.

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Lesec, from Brave Mulato into Blackness?: Defection to France and Spanish Racial Regression

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Slavery on 2018-04-04 02:33Z by Steven

Lesec, from Brave Mulato into Blackness?: Defection to France and Spanish Racial Regression

Age of Revolutions
2018-04-02

Charlton W. Yingling, Assistant Professor of History
University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky


“El ciudadano Hedouville habla al mentor de los negros…,” Jean-Louis Dubroca, Vida de J. J. Dessalines, gefe de los Negros de Santo Domingo (Mexico, 1806), University of Virginia Slavery Images Database, JCB_67-270-3. This well-known image is cropped to draw attention away from the figures’ faces and to their façades.

In May 1794, Governor Joaquín García of Spanish Santo Domingo (present-day Dominican Republic) praised the “brave spirit” of “Carlos Gabriel Lesec, mulato,” a term denoting European and African heritage. As an officer in Spain’s Black Auxiliaries, Lesec had just repulsed troops of the French Republic in a resounding victory at Santa Susana on the border with Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti). As the third anniversary of the Haitian Revolution approached, thousands of ex-slaves had expanded their liberatory war under Spanish flags and occupied nearly half of Saint-Domingue.[1] These “Black Auxiliaries” of Spain enjoyed limited manumissions and material support in their war against the French, their former exploiters. Their leaders, Jean-François and Georges Biassou, represented some of the earliest participants in the initial slave revolts of 1791. Those who ascended later, such as Toussaint Louverture and his officer Charles Lesec, seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at upward mobility by punishing their former French oppressors. Despite these victories, García was dismayed by the “disunion that reigns between the black chiefs Biassou and Toussaint,” who along with Jean-François were Lesec’s superiors.[2] Six months earlier French commissioner Léger-Félicité Sonthonax had begun tactical, practical emancipations, in part to attract black supporters due to desperation over his opponents’ successes…

Read the entire article here.

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Searching For A Motherland As A Black Latina

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-02 02:36Z by Steven

Searching For A Motherland As A Black Latina

The Huffington Post
2018-03-30

Maria V. Luna, Associate Lecturer
Goldsmiths University of London


Author Maria V. Luna in the Dominican Republic on her way to celebrate carnival in 2011.
Maria V. Luna

For Black Latinx in the U.S., bicultural, bilingual ― if they are lucky ― and born to immigrant parents, there is no motherland.

Though 25 percent of U.S. Latinos self-identify as Afro-Latino, we are not always made to feel at home in our own country. To be Latinx in the U.S. is to encounter xenophobic rhetoric from the top of our nation’s political leadership down to its base. To be black Latinx is to discover that xenophobia layered with anti-black rhetoric brews even among our own ethnic group.

Scholars Miriam Jiménez Román and the late Juan Flores consider W.E.B. Du Bois when describing the experience of the Afro-Latino in the U.S. as a triple consciousness — an awareness of being black, Latino and American. It is an elastic awareness, a way of moving in the world that has been woefully underexplored in America and in Spanish-language media and entertainment.

As an Afro-Latina, I often wondered: Where are my people? Where are those who crave mangú for breakfast, a Cuban sandwich for lunch and tres leches dessert? Where are those who love the “One Day at a Time” reboot with a Latin cast but winced when Lydia, played by Rita Moreno, repeats with conviction, “Cubans are white!” Didn’t abuela dance to Celia Cruz every morning as she made breakfast?

As soon as I could, I journeyed far from New Jersey to find my people. I looked for my kindred in the Dominican Republic, in Brazil, in Spain and in the maternal monolith I once imagined Africa to be.

I was looking for that mythical interstitial place where my blackness and Latinidad could peacefully coexist. This is what I found…

Read the entire article here.

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

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Philosophy, United States on 2018-04-01 03:18Z 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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Eugenics in Brazil: In the early 20th century, elites believed racial improvement was only possible with a project favoring predominance of the white race

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive on 2018-04-01 01:38Z by Steven

Eugenics in Brazil: In the early 20th century, elites believed racial improvement was only possible with a project favoring predominance of the white race

Black Women of Brazil: The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent
2018-02-27

Tiago Ferreira, Staff
Vix

What was the eugenics movement in Brazil: so absurd that it is difficult to believe

Eugenia is a term that came from the Greek and means ‘well born’. “Eugenics emerged to validate hierarchical segregation,” Pietro Diwan, author of the book Raça Pura: uma história da eugenia no Brasil e no mundo (Pure Race: A History of Eugenics in Brazil and the World), explains to VIX.

How eugenics was born

The idea was disseminated by Francis Galton, responsible for creating the term, in 1883. He imagined that the concept of natural selection of Charles Darwin—who, by the way, was his cousin—also applied to humans.

His project was intended to prove that the intellectual capacity was hereditary, that is, it passed from member to member of the family and, thus, to justify the exclusion of the blacks, Asian immigrants and disabled of all the types…

Read the entire article here.

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The Rise of the Afro-descendent Identity in Latin America

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Media Archive on 2018-03-30 02:11Z by Steven

The Rise of the Afro-descendent Identity in Latin America

teleSUR
2018-03-04

For Black History Month, Catherine Walsh, professor of Afro-Andean Studies at the University Simon Bolivar in Quito, Ecuador, shares with teleSUR her views about the achievements and challenges for the construction of an Afro-descendent consciousness in Latin America.

What in recent history would you say has contributed to the rise of a Black and Afro-descendent identity, with Black communities now embracing more than ever their culture across the continent?

Yes, this has changed radically. Several moments in recent history are important to highlight: in the 1990s, with the rise of Indigenous movements, alliances were built between Indigenous and Black people like in Ecuador.

But Black communities also began to organize by themselves, involving the construction of a notion of a Black territory, sometimes referred to as the “Gran Comarca” from the South of Panama to the North of Ecuador, where national identity does not matter. Black people living in the region often come from the same families, they have similar last names, and for many years have moved freely over the borders identifying as Afro-descendent and regardless of the national borders…

Read the entire interview here.

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