Breaking the Ocean: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Reconciliation

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Canada, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Justice on 2019-08-20 18:17Z by Steven

Breaking the Ocean: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Reconciliation

House of Anansi Press
2019-08-20
280 pages
8.5 in × 5.5 in
Paperback ISBN: 9781487006471
Ebook ISBN: 9781487006488

Annahid Dashtgard

Cover of Breaking the Ocean

Annahid Dashtgard was born into a supportive mixed-race family in 1970s Iran. Then came the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which ushered in a powerful and orthodox religious regime. Her family was forced to flee their homeland, immigrating to a small town in Alberta, Canada. As a young girl, Dashtgard was bullied, shunned, and ostracized by both her peers at school and adults in the community. Home offered little respite as her parents were embroiled in their own struggles, exposing the sharp contrasts between her British mother and Persian father.

Determined to break free from her past, Dashtgard created a new identity for herself as a driven young woman who found strength through political activism, eventually becoming a leader in the anti–corporate globalization movement of the late 1990s. But her unhealed trauma was re-activated following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Suffering burnout, Dashtgard checked out of her life and took the first steps towards personal healing, a journey that continues to this day.

Breaking the Ocean introduces a unique perspective on how racism and systemic discrimination result in emotional scarring and ongoing PTSD. It is a wake-up call to acknowledge our differences, offering new possibilities for healing and understanding through the revolutionary power of resilience. Dashtgard answers the universal questions of what it means to belong, what it takes to become whole, and ultimately what is required to create change in ourselves and in society.

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The Law According to Rachael Rollins

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2019-08-12 01:50Z by Steven

The Law According to Rachael Rollins

Boston Magazine
2019-08-06

Catherine Elton


Portrait by Diana Levine

The charismatic new district attorney is Boston’s greatest hope to bring the criminal justice system into the wide, woke 21st century. What’s at stake? Only the future of law and order in our city.

The first thing I notice when I walk into Rachael Rollins’s downtown corner office is the impressive wraparound windowsill jam-packed with plaques, diplomas, statuettes, and a little engraved glass prism that catches the afternoon light shining through the window. Everyone from Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly to the Cambridge branch of the NAACP and a Dorchester football team has contributed an object to her collection.

“Wow, you have a lot of awards,” I say.

“See,” Rollins says, looking up from her desk. “There are people who like me.”

The second thing I notice is that the city’s top prosecutor is already on the defensive.

At first blush, it seems a little odd that the woman who recently won a landslide election with 185,133 votes (a number she mentions with striking regularity) would feel the need to remind me that there are people who actually like her. Then again, ever since winning the job of Suffolk County district attorney on a promise to reform criminal justice, reduce racial biases in the system, and essentially reinvent the role of DA, Rollins has become a lightening rod for Boston’s law enforcement and political establishments. She has received more attention and public ridicule than any other DA in the state—probably more than all of the rest combined—for policies her critics warn are a threat to public safety. She has taken heat from the cops, feuded publicly with Governor Charlie Baker, and been hammered by a fellow DA. She’s also been thumped by her fellow progressives for not yet making good on some campaign promises and has been featured in more unflattering photos in the Herald than she has spent months on the job. And she’s losing experienced prosecutors by the droves…

…One of the foremost reasons that early supporters thought she should run is the rare mix of personal experiences she could bring to the campaign trail. The eldest of five children of a mixed-race couple, Rollins identifies as black but, thanks to her father, says she is “fluent in white Irish male.” She grew up with tight finances in a working-class family, but a scholarship allowed her to attend school at the tony Buckingham Browne & Nichols. “I am everything that people don’t think I am,” she tells me, “and that’s my superpower.”

Race and class aren’t the only divides Rollins has straddled in her personal life. On one hand, she is an accomplished lawyer who worked at the U.S. attorney’s office and served as general counsel at Massport and the MBTA. On the other hand, one of her siblings has served time in federal prison on drug and weapons charges. And Rollins is candid when talking about how another has had his own run-ins with the law, and a third has battled an opioid addiction. As the result of some of these entanglements with the criminal justice system, Rollins is the guardian and has custody of two of her siblings’ children, in addition to having her own teenage girl. It was these contradictions that made her the most distinctive candidate vying for the job of the county’s top law enforcement officer. “There is no one out there with such a wide range of experiences,” Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell told me, explaining why she was one of those dozens of people who flooded Rollins’s phone with messages urging her to run. “She gets the story from both sides.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Midwest Mixed: Taking the lead on antiracist conversations about multiraciality

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2019-07-29 13:52Z by Steven

Midwest Mixed: Taking the lead on antiracist conversations about multiraciality

Sharon H. Chang, Author, Photographer, Activist
2019-07-25

Sharon H. Chang


Me and Alissa Paris

“There is colorism in this work. There is shadeism in this work. There is anti-blackness in this work. And we are here to critique that.” —Alissa Paris, Executive Director and Co-founder, Midwest Mixed

Heat bounces off the parking lot pavement, blazes bright off light beige walls of the church where the conference is being held. It’s a typically warm, humid morning in Minneapolis. Summer glimmers across a yellow Black Lives Matter banner, bold against the south wall. Inside, the air is comfortable and cooled. Organizers and volunteers in deep purple T-shirts, “Midwest Mixed” written in turquoise, mill about, preparing. More attendees drift through doors, queue up, write their pronouns, hang lanyards from their necks.

Volunteers hand us beautiful 29-page, full color programs. Workshops include reflective writing, creative movement, dialogue and panels. I appreciate right away that there is an emphasis in the workshops on healing, parenting, mental wellness, and healthy families. There is note taking space in the back of the program and a worksheet entitled “A Deep Dive On My Identity” to help attendees think on the different intersections of our whole selves (e.g. geography, nationality, ethnicity, language, race, religion, socioeconomic status, ability, sexual orientation, gender ID, etc.).

In the marketplace, vendors sell social justice buttons, cards and shirts, jewelry from Africa, Corage Dolls to build self-love and confidence in girls of color. Posters display Maria P. P. Root’s Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People, a history of the multiracial movement, definitions of terms like intersectionality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender pronouns. Multi-medium works by local artists fill social rooms and hallways, including Within, Between, and Beyond: a multi-layered interactive installation on mixed race and transracial adoptee stories…

…And by the end of the weekend, I realize I’ve just attended one of the best race conferences I’ve ever been to…

Read the entire article here.

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Biracial American Colorism: Passing for White

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Social Justice, United States on 2019-07-24 22:56Z by Steven

Biracial American Colorism: Passing for White

American Behavioral Scientist
Volume: 62 issue: 14 (The Implications of Colorism vis-à-vis Demographic Variation in a New Millennium)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764218810747
pages 2072-2086

Keshia L. Harris
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Biracial Americans constitute a larger portion of the U.S. population than is often acknowledged. According to the U.S. Census, 8.4 million people or 2.6% of the population identified with two or more racial origins in 2016. Arguably, these numbers are misleading considering extensive occurrences of interracial pairings between Whites and minority racial groups throughout U.S. history. Many theorists posit that the hypodescent principle of colorism, colloquially known as “the one drop rule,” has influenced American racial socialization in such a way that numerous individuals primarily identify with one racial group despite having parents from two different racial backgrounds. While much of social science literature examines the racial identification processes of biracial Americans who identify with their minority heritage, this article focuses on contextual factors such as family income, neighborhood, religion, and gender that influence the decision for otherwise African/Asian/Latino/Native Americans to identify as White.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Genealogy, Family History, and the Fruit of Restorative Justice

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2019-07-22 19:17Z by Steven

Genealogy, Family History, and the Fruit of Restorative Justice

Who Is Nicka Smith?
2019-02-12

Nicka Sewell-Smith

Restorative justice is already happening. But how can genealogists and family historians contribute and make even more of a difference?

Reparations is a dirty word. It’s heavily soiled, drug through the mud. It needs to be bleached, sanitized, and dried in the sun. It’s a term that polls badly. Most people hear the word and think of an ATM that won’t stop spitting out money for African Americans or of programs that only elevate Blacks and while everyone else suffers. Even our elected officials can’t even come together to get a bill through the House that will “examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.”

But what if I told you that reparations efforts and programs already exist all over the country? What if I told you that universities, corporations, and private citizens were already practicing restorative and transformative justice for past wrongs connected to the enslavement of the ancestors of African Americans and that these things are totally a form of reparations?…

Read the entire article here.

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Light, Bright and Damn Near White: Black Leaders Created by the One-Drop Rule

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Slavery, Social Justice, United States on 2019-07-20 23:29Z by Steven

Light, Bright and Damn Near White: Black Leaders Created by the One-Drop Rule

JacksonScribe Publishing Company
2014-09-24
418 pages
6 x 1 x 9 inches
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0985351205

Michelle Gordon Jackson
Foreword by: Adam Clayton Powell IV

Picture

During the 19th and 20th centuries, a powerhouse of Black American leaders emerged, consisting primarily of men and women with “an apparent mix of Caucasoid features.” The face of the African warrior, brought to America centuries prior from the Ivory Coast had changed, due to perpetual miscegenation (race-mixing) and the application of the One-Drop Rule, a racial marker exclusive to the United States, in which a person was considered Black if he or she had any African ancestry.

No other country in the world has historically defined race in the same manner. Accepted socially and legally since slavery, this “rule,” as well as its strict enforcement, created a dynamic leadership pool of Light, Bright and Damn Near White revolutionaries, embraced by the Black community as some of its most vocal and active leaders.

This book features these unsung Black heroes and heroines (covering the Slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and Civil Rights eras). Some born slaves and some born free, these men and women were on the forefront of civil rights, innovation, and social reform. Their personal contributions are woven within the very fabric of American culture and policy.

The continued acceptance of the One-Drop Rule is apparent, in America’s embracing of Barack Obama as the first Black President of the United States, and not the first bi-racial president, despite his mother’s race (White).

This informative book is about history . . . American History and African-American History.

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Long Read | Refusing race and salvaging the human

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science on 2019-06-24 19:57Z by Steven

Long Read | Refusing race and salvaging the human

New Frame
2019-06-20

Paul Gilroy, Professor of American and English Literature
King’s College, London, United Kingdom

Illustration by Anastasya Eliseeva.
Illustrator: Anastasya Eliseeva

In his Holberg Lecture, Paul Gilroy, winner of the Holberg Prize for 2019, advocates turning away from the defaulted racial ordering of life in pursuit of a new humanism.

It is commonplace to observe that democracy in Europe has reached a dangerous point. As ailing capitalism emancipates itself from democratic regulation, ultra-nationalism, populism, xenophobia and varieties of neo-fascism have become more visible, more assertive and more corrosive of political culture.

The widespread appeal of racialised group identity and racism, often conveyed obliquely with a knowing wink, has been instrumental in delivering us to a situation in which our conceptions of truth, law and government have been placed in jeopardy. In many places, pathological hunger for national rebirth and the restoration of an earlier political time have combined with resentful, authoritarian and belligerent responses to alterity and the expectation of hospitality.

Those reactions underscore the timeliness and importance of analysing racism, nationalism and xenology, which are nowadays frequently disseminated online. Intensified by evasive and dubious techno-political forces, they have begun to correspond to the anxieties of lived experience in precarious and austere conditions.

The effects of that shift are augmented by the uptake of generic conceptions of racial identity sourced from the United States. They have gained significant international currency, even in places barely touched by the signature racial habits of the north Atlantic, which would project the world only in black and white…

Read the entire lecture here.

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‘Why am I different?’ Behind this WNBA player’s activism was a search for the answer.

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States, Women on 2019-06-24 19:36Z by Steven

‘Why am I different?’ Behind this WNBA player’s activism was a search for the answer.

The Washington Post
2019-06-22

Ava Wallace


Natasha Cloud in the Mystics’ locker room Friday, when she followed through on a “media blackout” to discuss only gun violence. (Doug Kapustin for The Washington Post)

Some 30 minutes after the Washington Mystics lost to the Seattle Storm on June 14 in Southeast D.C., starting guard Natasha Cloud moved from her seat along the back wall of the Mystics’ locker room to stand at the front, pausing twice to maneuver around various reporters pointing TV cameras and cellphones at her face.

She was not among the Mystics’ leading scorers that night, but she would be their only player to address the media.

Her voice quavering but strong, Cloud, 27, read a prepared statement on behalf of the team rather than answer questions about the game. She followed through on plans she announced the day before on Instagram to hold a “media blackout” to address only gun violence in Washington.

Cloud’s public action came together over little more than 24 hours. But it was the culmination of a long journey, the result of maturation, her increased status with the Mystics since the start of last season and, most importantly, a level of comfort in her own skin that took years to achieve.

“This is my fifth year in the league, and it took me five years to be like, I know something’s wrong, but how do I use my voice? What is my voice? Who am I to speak on the situation?” Cloud said. “You know, I didn’t grow up that way. I grew up in a privileged, white family. How do I correlate that?”…

Read the entire article here.

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Racism ‘won’t go away’ even if we’re all mixed-race in the future

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Justice, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2019-06-19 00:56Z by Steven

Racism ‘won’t go away’ even if we’re all mixed-race in the future

METRO.co.uk
2019-06-18

Natalie Morris, Senior lifestyle Reporter

The idea of ‘divide and conquer’ harks back thousands of years.

Whether it is by gender, class, wealth or race, humans love walling themselves into distinct categories then using those categories to create hierarchies.

In the case of race, this hierarchical distinction ended up with slavery, countless programmes of ethnic cleansing and the retention of ‘othering’ based on the colour of skin even to the present day.

But what happens if we take away these racial categories that divide us into subgroups?

If, instead of defining as black, white, Asian or any other singular category, we defined ourselves as a little bit of everything, would it herald the dawn of a more accepting, ‘post-racial’ age?

And would that mean racism would end?…

Read the entire article here.

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How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Economics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2019-06-01 22:29Z by Steven

How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality

Louisiana State University Press
May 2019
208 pages
5.50 x 8.50 inches
12 graphs
Paperback ISBN: 9780807170700

Edited by:

Josh Grimm, Associate Professor; Associate Dean of Research and Strategic Initiatives
Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University

Jaime Loke, Assistant Professor
Bob Schieffer College of Communication, Texas Christian University

How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality, edited by Josh Grimm and Jaime Loke, brings together scholars of political science, sociology, and mass communication to provide an in-depth analysis of race in the United States through the lens of public policy. This vital collection outlines how racial issues such as profiling, wealth inequality, and housing segregation relate to policy decisions at both the local and national levels. Each chapter explores the inherent conflict between policy enactment, perception, and enforcement.

Contributors present original research focused on specific areas where public policy displays racial bias. Josh Grimm places Donald Trump’s immigration policies—planned and implemented—in historical perspective, identifying trends and patterns in common between earlier legislation and contemporary debates. Shaun L. Gabbidon considers the role of the American justice system in creating and magnifying racial and ethnic disparities, with particular attention to profiling, police killings, and reform efforts. Jackelyn Hwang, Elizabeth Roberto, and Jacob S. Rugh illustrate the continued presence of residential segregation as a major fixture defining the American racial landscape. As a route to considering digital citizenship and racial justice, Srividya Ramasubramanian examines how race shapes media-related policy in ways that perpetuate inequalities in media access, ownership, and representation. Focusing on lead poisoning, tobacco, and access to healthy foods, Holley A. Wilkin discusses solutions for improving overall health equity. In a study of legal precedents, Mary E. Campbell and Sylvia M. Emmanuel detail the extent to which measures aimed at addressing inequality often neglect multiracial individuals and groups. By examining specific policies that created wealth inequality along racial lines, Lori Latrice Martin shows how current efforts perpetuate asset poverty for many African Americans. Shifting focus to media reception, Ismail K. White, Chryl N. Laird, Ernest B. McGowen III, and Jared K. Clemons analyze political opinion formation stemming from mainstream information sources versus those specifically targeting African American audiences.

Presenting nuanced case studies of key topics, How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality offers a timely and wide- ranging collection on major social and political issues unfolding in twenty-first century America.

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