The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Live Events, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2017-02-19 20:09Z by Steven

The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

Critical Mixed Race Studies Association
2016-12-08

Laura Kina
Telephone: 773-325-4048; E-Mail: cmrsmixedrace@gmail.com

LOS ANGELES, CA – The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, “Explorations in Trans (gender, gressions, migrations, racial) Fifty Years After Loving v. Virginia,” will bring together academics, activists, and artists from across the US and abroad to explore the latest developments in critical mixed race studies. The Conference will be held at The University of Southern California from February 24-26, 2017 at the USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center, 3607 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089 and is hosted by the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

The conference will include over 50 panels, roundtables, and caucus sessions organized by the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association as well as feature film screenings and live performances organized by the non-profit Mixed Roots Stories. The conference is pleased to run concurrently with the Hapa Japan Festival February 22- 26, 2017.

The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which declared interracial marriage legal. With a focus on the root word “Trans” this conference explores interracial encounters such as transpacific Asian migration, transnational migration from Latin America, transracial adoption, transracial/ethnic identity, the intersections of trans (gendered) and mixed race identity, and mixed race transgressions of race, citizenship, and nation…

Read the entire press release here. View the program guide here.

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Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family

Posted in Arts, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2017-02-19 03:45Z by Steven

Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family

Random House
December 2002
160 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0195031720
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-0-375-82168-4

Shannon Lanier and Jane Feldman

Personal testimonies from descendants of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings pose important questions about equality, freedom, and family.

On October 31, 1998, the Associated Press broke the news that there was finally scientific proof for what many people already knew was true, but others would not believe: Thomas Jefferson had a relationship with his slave Sally Hemings after the death of his wife. This DNA link was proven through the Eston Hemings line.

Jefferson’s Children is the story of the Jefferson and Hemings families, and their efforts to be recognized and united as proud descendants of this great American genius. Some discovered their heritage through written family records, and others have based their beliefs on oral histories. Regardless of their sources, many descendants of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings want the world to know that skin color isn’t what makes a family.

Thomas Jefferson wrote about equality. He believed in freedom. Yet, he owned slaves. This contradiction in character raises many questions among historians and descendants as they unravel the “truth” about this complex man. Did he indeed father children with his slave, Sally Hemings? How would he view the issues of racism among his ancestors today?

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Jordan Peele on a Truly Terrifying Monster: Racism

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-18 20:10Z by Steven

Jordan Peele on a Truly Terrifying Monster: Racism

The New York Times
2017-02-16

Jason Zinoman


Jordan Peele, who is making his directorial debut with the horror film “Get Out.” Credit Elizabeth Weinberg for The New York Times

The sketch comedian takes on racial politics and the “liberal elite” in his debut feature, the horror movie “Get Out.” Here, he talks about his life and work.

No serious fan of the sketch comedy show “Key & Peele” will be surprised that Jordan Peele (the shorter half of its starring duo) is making his directorial debut with a horror film. Their acclaimed Comedy Central series may have been best known for President Obama’s “anger translator,” but it often lampooned scary movies with a specificity that could come only from a connoisseur of things that go bump in the night. (No one has made a funnier parody of “The Shining.”)

In his new movie, “Get Out,” he plays the scares straight, writing and directing the rare horror movie that tackles racial politics head on. In a scenario that has been described as “The Stepford Wives” meets “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), an African-American photographer, is about to meet his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time when he’s rattled to learn that she has not told them he is black. His anxiety increases when her father goes out of his way to tell him that he would have voted for Mr. Obama for a third term and when the forced smiles of the parents’ exclusively black servants start seeming a little uncanny. Racial micro-aggressions and ominous signs (bad dreams, dead animals) mount, as this fish-out-of-water story takes a foreboding turn…

Read the entire article here.

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First Look: Amandla Stenberg, George MacKay in Amma Asante’s ‘Where Hands Touch’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Posted in Articles, Arts, Europe, Media Archive on 2017-02-11 20:21Z by Steven

First Look: Amandla Stenberg, George MacKay in Amma Asante’s ‘Where Hands Touch’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety
2017-02-08

Leo Barraclough, Senior International Correspondent


Courtesy of Tantrum Films/Pinewood Pictures

Variety has been given exclusive access to the first-look image from Amma Asante’sWhere Hands Touch,” which stars Amandla Stenberg (“The Hunger Games”) and George MacKay (“Captain Fantastic”) in a story of forbidden love in Nazi Germany.

Fifteen-year-old Leyna (Stenberg), daughter of a white German mother and a black father, meets Lutz (MacKay), the son of a prominent SS officer, and a member of the Hitler Youth. “They fall helplessly in love, putting their lives at risk as all around them the persecution of Jews and those deemed ‘non-pure’ slowly unfolds,” according to a statement. “Does their love stand a chance amidst violence and hatred?”…

Read the entire article here.

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Paradox: Identity and Belonging

Posted in Articles, Arts, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-11 17:57Z by Steven

Paradox: Identity and Belonging

Ceramics Monthly
March 2017

Heidi McKenzie, Ceramic Artist
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I was in the room when Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates delivered his keynote speech at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 2014. Among many things, he spoke about his sense of isolation working as a black artist in an otherwise white-dominated creative milieu. He asked people in the audience who self-identified as African American to stand up. When fewer than 40 people in a room of 4000-plus stood up, I was shaken. I recognized that this was a physical expression of a deeply rooted sense of disenfranchisement, on both collective and personal levels. Gates put the discomfort of race on the table. It was a call to action.

I organized a panel of mixed-race ceramic sculpture artists whose work speaks to issues of race and identity titled “Paradox: Identity & Belonging” for NCECA’s 50th anniversary conference in Kansas City, Missouri, last spring. Fellow Canadian, Brendan Tang, as well as Americans Jennifer Datchuk and Nathan Murray joined me on stage. Their words cut deeply into the personal journeys of many in the audience who stayed and shared with us for over an hour after the panel discussion, a conversation that moved onto a gathering of more than 20 at a local eatery. The synergies, revelations, and resonances were powerful, walls came tumbling down, and for a moment in time there was a collective sense of empowerment, a feeling that we’re all in this together, sifting through the paradox of mixed race…

Read the entire article here.

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An Octoroon: Education Guide

Posted in Arts, History, Media Archive, Passing, Reports, Teaching Resources, United States on 2017-02-09 20:36Z by Steven

An Octoroon: Education Guide

The Wilma Theater
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2016
27 pages

Anne Holmes, Education Director
Lizzy Pecora, Education Assistant

BY Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
DIRECTED BY Joanna Settle
March 16 – April 10, 2016

Introduction

A NOTE FROM THE EDUCATION DIRECTOR

Thank you for choosing to bring your students to the Wilma’s production of An Octoroon, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. I applaud your willingness to take a risk on this one. While on some level we all understand that the most extraordinary learning opportunities emerge when we venture outside our comfort zone, most of us still gravitate toward what’s familiar and safe. An Octoroon promises to be a powerful catalyst for discussions around race, identity and stereotypes; if there’s a more urgent conversation we should be having with young people at this moment, I don’t know what that is. Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins has written a smart, intricately layered text to propel these discussions. Director Joanna Settle adds a live seven-piece band, with an original score composed in the rehearsal room alongside the actors, and dynamic step infused choreography to create a theatrical event big enough to encompass such a play. This is a risk worth taking.

If the Wilma were producing Dion Boucicault’s The Octoroon, the original 1859 melodrama upon which Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ play is based, I would have a much tougher time arguing for its value in a high school classroom today. While Boucicault is still considered one of the great writers of the 19th century melodrama, there are so many cringe worthy moments throughout the play that it can feel like a minefield of political incorrectness. Similar questions have been raised about the value of reading Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 2016. I believe those concerns have validity and ignoring them would be irresponsible. What is it then about Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon that makes it different, particularly given that the playwright has preserved so much of Boucicault’s original text? The crucial difference is that Jacobs-Jenkins provides a meta-theatrical lens through which to view the play, forcing us to consider a contemporary critical perspective on what we are seeing and hearing. Beyond that, he never tells us what to think or feel, leaving us to navigate our own way through this unsettling play. At times it feels like an irreverent romp, delighting in its own theatricality and celebrating the craftsmanship of the great 19th century melodramas. There are moments when we can’t help but laugh and yet we’re not sure if laughing is really okay. In many ways, An Octoroon is so suited to the classroom because it repeatedly eschews easy answers, all the way up through the final moments of the play’s deliberate non-ending.

In this education guide we tried to focus on providing key historical background on Boucicault and his original melodrama, as well as introducing you to this astounding, two-time Obie Award Winning Playwright (Best New American Play for An Octoroon and Appropriate) Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. BJJ’s character breakdown page as well as Boucicault’s plot breakdown page should help with getting clarity on the basics. With this play in particular, Lizzy Pecora and I both found ourselves repeatedly drawn back to the written, video and podcast interviews with Branden Jacobs-Jenkins because we really wanted to hear from the playwright himself as much as possible. We’ve included most of our favorite links to those interviews in the appendix, but I would leave these for after your students have already seen or read the play, so as not to clutter their experience of it with too much imposed meaning. The In the Classroom section includes our suggestions for introducing the play with interactive lessons designed to engage students in discussion and get them making their own predictions about its content and themes.

Thanks again for agreeing to go on this ride with us. Your students are going to love you for it!…

Read the entire guide here.

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Leyton playwright Lynette Linton’s play #Hashtag Lightie will be running at Arcola Theatre in Dalston

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-02-08 17:44Z by Steven

Leyton playwright Lynette Linton’s play #Hashtag Lightie will be running at Arcola Theatre in Dalston

Wimbledon Guardian
2017-01-23

Rachel Russell

What does it mean to be mixed race in this day and age? That is the question being posed by Leyton writer Lynette Linton in her new play #Hashtag Lightie at the Arcola Theatre, in Dalston.

The story follows Ella, a mixed race 16-year-old who is popular and addicted to social media. Her Youtube channel gives make-up tips, opinions, and videos of her eccentric family. However, one of her videos goes viral and Ella finds herself in the centre of a social media storm that results in a family fallout and changes her perception of identity and beauty…

Read the entire article here.

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African Americans in Atlanta: Adrienne Herndon, an Uncommon Woman

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2017-02-08 16:53Z by Steven

African Americans in Atlanta: Adrienne Herndon, an Uncommon Woman

Southern Spaces: A Journal about Real and Imagined Spaces and Places of the US South and their Global Connections
2004-03-16
DOI: 10.18737/M7XP4B

Carole Merritt


Portrait of Adrienne Herndon, date unknown. (c) The Herndon Home.

Overview 

Ahead of her time and outside of her assigned place, Adrienne Herndon achieved acclaim in education, drama, and architecture in turn-of-the-century Atlanta. As head of the drama department at Atlanta University, as aspiring dramatic artist, as architect of what would be designated a National Historic Landmark, Adrienne Herndon set her own course in a society that rejected such independence in women. She was one of the most highly trained professional women in Atlanta, having graduated from Atlanta University normal school in preparation for teaching, and having received degrees from the Boston School of Expression and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

Adrienne Herndon (1869–1910)

“It is simply inevitable that I should end up on the stage,” Adrienne stated in 1904 just before her Boston debut as a dramatic reader. “The footlights have beckoned me since I was a little child and I simply must respond. It has always been my dream to portray all the heroic feminine characters of Shakespeare.” (Boston Traveler, January 25, 1904). From her childhood in Savannah, through her drama studies in Boston and New York, Adrienne held on to this dream of a career on the legitimate theater stage. The harsh realities of race and gender in America, however, doomed the realization of this dream. Except for vaudeville, minstrelsy, and all-Black dramatic productions, there was no place for Blacks on the American theater stage. As the daughter of light-skinned, slave-born house servants with considerable White ancestry, Adrienne’s skin was white. She identified herself as a Creole, a racially ambiguous term by which she was neither admitting nor denying her race.

Passing for White, she made her debut in Boston…

Read the entire article here.

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Iconic Fine Arts Sculptor Edmonia Lewis Honored In Google Doodle

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-02-03 01:01Z by Steven

Iconic Fine Arts Sculptor Edmonia Lewis Honored In Google Doodle

The Huffington Post
2017-02-01

Zahara Hill, Black Voices Editorial Fellow


Sophie Diao
The artist’s dedication to portraying her African-American and Native-American ancestry separated her from other sculptors. 

Black History Month began with the art of this lesser-known black icon.

In honor of the start of Black History Month on Wednesday, Google Doodle paid tribute to Edmonia Lewis, who is considered to be the first woman of African-American and Native American descent to earn global recognition as a fine arts sculptor.

Lewis, who was born in Greenbush, New York in 1844, is particularly known for sculpting on “The Death of Cleopatra,” which is a graphic but highly praised depiction of the death of the former Egyptian Queen. Google Doodler Sophie Diao told HuffPost she drew the illustration on Google’s homepage in homage to Lewis because she has always been inspired by her work…

Read the entire article here.

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President with a torpedo in his crotch: how the works of Lubaina Himid speak to Trump times

Posted in Africa, Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-01-19 00:07Z by Steven

President with a torpedo in his crotch: how the works of Lubaina Himid speak to Trump times

The Guardian
2017-01-17

Hettie Judah


Lubaina Himid among the cutouts of slaves that form her 2004 piece Naming the Money, at Spike Island contemporary art centre in Bristol. Photograph: Adrian Sherratt for the Guardian

Born in Zanzibar and raised in Britain, Lubaina Himid makes work about everything from slavery to Thatcher to the cotton trade. Now in her 60s, she’s finally getting the recognition she deserves

Lubaina Himid was just four months old when her father died. It was 1954 and her Blackpool-born mother decided to leave their home in Zanzibar and head back to Britain, where she brought her daughter up as a Londoner. Himid would not return to the place of her birth for 43 years…

Read the entire article here.

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