A boy caught between love and race

Posted in Arts, Book/Video Reviews, United States on 2017-06-22 00:28Z by Steven

A boy caught between love and race

Books
The Washington Post
2017-06-15

Ausma Zehanat Khan


Thrity Umrigar, the author (Robert Muller)

Thrity Umrigar, Everybody’s Son, A Novel (New York: HarperCollins, 2017)

The premise of Thrity Umrigar’s new novel, “Everybody’s Son,” is straightforward: a wealthy white family whose son has died adopts a black child from the projects. Through this disturbing yet evocative tale, Umrigar — best known for her books “The Space Between Us” and “The World We Found” — offers a troubling look at race and the conflicting desires of two families.

At the center of the story is Anton Vesper, a little boy whose mother, Juanita, is addicted to crack. She left Anton alone in a hot basement for days before he broke out and is rescued by the local police. Shortly thereafter, Anton meets a judge named David Coleman who happens to be struggling with the loss of his own child. In Anton, Coleman sees a charismatic child. He decides to bring Anton home, almost as a consolation prize for his grieving wife, Delores…

…Though Coleman is treated sympathetically throughout the novel, he is shadowed by his corrupt morality. There is no eluding it: Coleman destroyed a woman’s life by taking her child and using his wealth, power and whiteness against her. He has also robbed a child of his heritage, raising difficult questions for readers to ponder:

Would Coleman have wanted Anton if he were a dark-skinned black child, if he hadn’t been able to blend so effortlessly into his world? We later learn that Anton is bi-racial, perhaps explaining this. Would a black mother view blackness as a curse that a white man’s wealth and status could provide compensation for?…

Read the entire review here.

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Malcolm Gladwell Polishes His Podcast in a Brooklyn Studio

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-13 00:35Z by Steven

Malcolm Gladwell Polishes His Podcast in a Brooklyn Studio

Encounters
The New York Times
2017-06-10

Erin Geiger Smith


The New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell recording his podcast, “Revisionist History,” in Downtown Brooklyn.
Credit Andrew White for The New York Times

It was a windy spring afternoon, though that’s not why Malcolm Gladwell’s hair was standing straight up as he hurried into a recording studio in Downtown Brooklyn.

Mr. Gladwell, known aesthetically for his finger-in-the-light-socket hair and otherwise as a longtime writer for The New Yorker and a best-selling author many times over, was recording his popular podcast, “Revisionist History.”

The podcast, which examines historical events he deems “overlooked and misunderstood,” and things he has personally obsessed with, like a forgotten Elvis Costello song, now take up half of Mr. Gladwell’s year…

Read the entire article here.

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“We Are Not Used to People Thinking We Are Beautiful”

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-06-08 00:49Z by Steven

“We Are Not Used to People Thinking We Are Beautiful”

The New Yorker
2017-06-02

Jonathan Blitzer


Photograph by Cécile Smetana Baudier

It was a toothache that brought the Franco-Danish photographer Cécile Smetana Baudier to Costa Chica, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. She was in Oaxaca at the time, for a project on women’s fashion, when she visited a dentist with a special reputation among cash-strapped local photographers. He accepted payment in the form of photographs. His waiting room, in Oaxaca City, was like a gallery, with framed images along the walls and piles of art books cascading over tables. There, just before getting a molar pulled, Baudier came across a series of photos of reedy men with fishing rods and nets, lolling in boats and along the banks of lagoons. She was surprised, given the fact that the men were black, to learn that the photographs had been taken in Mexico, in the remote southern states of Oaxaca and Guerrero. It was the first time she had ever seen images of Afro-Mexicans, and she decided to try to contribute some of her own. A few weeks later, she set out for El Azufre—a secluded coastal fishing village with a large Afro-Mexican population—where she spent five weeks living in a tent pitched on the front yard of an acquaintance’s house.

The African presence in Mexico dates back to the early sixteenth century, when Spanish conquistadors and colonialists arrived; with them came the slave trade. As many as two hundred and fifty thousand African slaves were transported Mexico, according to academic estimates*. At the turn of the nineteenth century, ten per cent of the population had African origins, but Mexican independence ignited a new national dialogue that downplayed race and elevated, instead, the idea of common citizenship. Even though some of the country’s most iconic freedom fighters and early politicians had African roots, their accomplishments fed a celebration of the broader mestizo culture. The history of Afro-Mexicans ever since has been one of erasure and marginalization. Today, there are 1.4 million citizens of African descent in Mexico, but the government did not recognize them officially until a 2015 census count…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Art Conference

Posted in Arts, Canada, Live Events, Media Archive on 2017-06-02 19:16Z by Steven

Mixed Art Conference

Toronto Central Grosvenor St. YMCA Centre
20 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 2V5, Canada
2017-06-03

“The aim of this multidisciplinary biennial art conference is to co-create an inclusive dialogue about racialized mixed identities and lived realities through an intersectional lens.”

For more information, click here.

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Afro-Latino Fest NYC 2017-A Tribute to Women of the Diaspora

Posted in Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States, Women on 2017-05-29 16:56Z by Steven

Afro-Latino Fest NYC 2017-A Tribute to Women of the Diaspora

Afro-Latino Festival of New York
Brooklyn & Harlem
New York, New York
Friday, 2017-07-07, 19:00 through Sunday, 2017-07-09, 04:00 EDT (Local Time)

The Afrolatino Festival NYC enters its 5th year anniversary in 2017 with a Tribute to women of the diaspora. We just successfully completed a community-powered round of crowdfunding via Kickstarter.

Thanks to all who have supported and will support over the coming months.

For more information, click here.

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Australia’s ‘Stolen Generations’ Tell Their Stories

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Media Archive, Oceania on 2017-05-28 22:50Z by Steven

Australia’s ‘Stolen Generations’ Tell Their Stories

Lens: Photography, Video and Visual Journalism
The New York Times
2017-05-24

Evelyn Nieves


Margaret Furber was born in Alice Springs, Australia, in 1947. She was placed in St. Mary’s Hostel on the outskirts of town because her mother was not able to take care of her. Her siblings were all sent to the Tiwi Islands. “We were all taken and separated in different ways,” she told the photographer. Nov. 6, 2015.
Matthew Sherwood

Alfred Calma was 4 years old when the police snatched him from his mother, never to live with her again. Joyce Napurrula-Schroeder was not quite 2 when it happened to her. Luke Morcom was a newborn, barely a week on this earth.

All had the bad luck of being born “half caste” during Australia’s disastrous experiment with forced assimilation. For 60 years, until 1970, government policies rounded up Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children deemed to be part-white and sent them to boarding schools and church-run missions. Like the Canadian First Nations’ and the United States’ Indian boarding schools that served as its model, Australia’s program aimed to beat out all traces of indigenous culture, often literally.

Run more like penal colonies than schools, these institutions scarred their young wards and their communities for life.

Decades later, when Matthew Sherwood, a Canadian photojournalist, began documenting survivors of the boarding schools — the “stolen generations,” as Australia calls them — they unleashed hellish memories where neglect was the best it ever got…

Read the entire article here.

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An Octoroon

Posted in Arts, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Passing, Slavery, United States on 2017-05-28 20:42Z by Steven

An Octoroon

Woolly Mammoth Theater
641 D Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
Telephone: 202-393-3939

2017-07-17 through 2017-08-06

By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Nataki Garrett

Last year’s most talked-about, most unforgettable production is returning to Woolly for a limited three-week run: An Octoroon by new MacArthur “Genius Grant”-winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins!

A plantation on the brink of foreclosure. A young gentleman falling for the part-black daughter of the estate’s owner. An evil swindler plotting to buy her for himself. Meanwhile, the slaves are trying to keep things drama-free, because everybody else is acting crazy.

An Octoroon, Jacobs-Jenkins’ Obie-winning riff on a 19th century melodrama that helped shape the debate around the abolition of slavery, is an incendiary adaptation. Part period satire, part meta-theatrical middle finger, it’s a provocative challenge to the racial pigeonholing of 1859—and of today.

Featuring company members Shannon Dorsey, Jon Hudson Odom, and Erika Rose

Two and a half hours, with one intermission

For more information, click here.

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Open auditions being held to find someone to play Phil Lynott on the big screen

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Europe, Media Archive on 2017-05-28 14:58Z by Steven

Open auditions being held to find someone to play Phil Lynott on the big screen

TheJournal.ie
Dublin, Ireland
2017-05-27


Image: PA Archive/PA Images

Jim Sheridan is working on the documentary about his rise to stardom.

PRODUCERS ARE LOOKING for someone to play the part of Phil Lynott on the big screen.

An open casting is being held in Dublin this afternoon for an actor/musician/singer, aged 18 – 35, to play the part of Lynott in a feature documentary about his rise to stardom.

Six-time Oscar nominee Jim Sheridan and award winning documentary maker Colm Quinn are working together on the documentary. Sheridan said:

“Having known Phil, and loving his music from the very start, it’s a great honour to celebrate his life and work on the big screen…

Read the entire article here.

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The struggles of war babies fathered by black GIs

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-05-24 01:14Z by Steven

The struggles of war babies fathered by black GIs

BBC News Magazine
2017-05-21


Getty Images

About 100,000 black GIs were stationed in the UK during the war. Inevitably there were love affairs, but US laws usually prevented black servicemen from marrying. So what happened to the children they fathered? Fiona Clampin met two such children in Dorset, now in their seventies, who have not given up hope of tracing their fathers.

A bottle of champagne has sat on a shelf in Carole Travers’s wardrobe for the past 20 years. Wedged between boxes and covered with clothes, it’ll be opened only when Carole finds her father. “There’s an outside chance he might still be alive,” she reflects. “I’ve got so many bits of information, but to know the real truth would mean the world to me – to know that I did belong to somebody.”

The possibility of Carole tracking down her father becomes more and more remote by the day. Born towards the end of World War Two, Carole, now 72, was the result of a relationship between her white mother and a married African-American or mixed-race soldier stationed in Poole, in Dorset.

Whereas some “brown babies” (as the children of black GIs were known in the press) were put up for adoption, Carole’s mother, Eleanor Reid, decided to keep her child. The only problem was, she was already married, with a daughter, to a Scot with pale skin and red hair.

“I had black hair and dark skin,” says Carole. “Something obviously wasn’t right.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Misty Copeland, a Ballerina With Real Acting Chops

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-05-14 18:47Z by Steven

Misty Copeland, a Ballerina With Real Acting Chops

The New York Times
2017-05-09

Gia Kourlas


As Misty Copeland gets older, she seeks even more depth in her acting.
Credit Dolly Faibyshev for The New York Times

Misty Copeland isn’t one of those principals who step onstage a few times a season. She dances. A lot.

“It’s crazy how I took jumping for granted all these years,” Ms. Copeland, 34, said as she stretched out on the floor between rehearsals at American Ballet Theater’s studios. Stella Abrera, a fellow principal, nodded in agreement. “What did you just do?” she asked.

“Kitri,” Ms. Copeland replied.

“Ouch,” Ms. Abrera said.

This season — Ms. Copeland’s second year as a principal — is a killer that includes her debut as Kitri in “Don Quixote” on Tuesday, May 16, and her New York debut as Giselle on May 26. As the company’s artistic director, Kevin McKenzie, put it, it’s symbolic because “she’s taking the mantle of the classics on.”…

…During a rehearsal the night before a performance in Washington earlier this year, Ms. Copeland described how after her first fouetté, she felt a pop in her neck and a warm sensation travel down her spine. “Even just approaching the fouettés,” she said, “it was like something tensed up in me and made that happen.”

So she reached out to a sports psychologist in California. “I spent 10 hours with this guy nonstop, talking about my feelings about myself in connection to my career and how I feel people are judging me,” she said. “Especially when it comes to that role, and what it means to be a black woman doing it. I’m trying to get to the root of all of it, and just be like as pure as I can be when I go out there and not carry all that baggage.”…

Read the entire article here.

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