41 Women of Color Get REAL About Beauty and Diversity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-03-22 18:32Z by Steven

41 Women of Color Get REAL About Beauty and Diversity

Allure
2017-03-21

Elizabeth Siegel, Deputy Beauty Director

Lindsy Van Gelder, Writer

Patrick Demarchelier, Photographer


Left, on Dilone: Swimsuit by Alix. Bracelet by Hervé Van Der Straeten. Center, on Aamito Lagum: Swimsuit by Acacia Swimwear. Earrings by Marni. Right, on Imaan Hammam: Swimsuit by Mikoh. Earrings by Loewe.

We smooth it with scrubs. We soften it with creams. We dab it with highlighter. But our skin is so much more than a reflection in the mirror. Our skin is the metaphor that defines how we’re seen — and how we see ourselves. For our April 2017 cover story, Allure asked 41 women of color to tell us the story of their lives through their skin — and skin tone. Because our skin can be both a vulnerability and a defense. But most importantly, it can be a source of celebration…

Meghan Markle, actress, Suits

“I have the most vivid memories of being seven years old and my mom picking me up from my grandmother’s house. There were the three of us, a family tree in an ombré of mocha next to the caramel complexion of my mom and light-skinned, freckled me. I remember the sense of belonging, having nothing to do with the color of my skin. It was only outside the comforts of home that the world began to challenge those ideals. I took an African-American studies class at Northwestern where we explored colorism; it was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community. For castings, I was labeled ‘ethnically ambiguous.’ Was I Latina? Sephardic? ‘Exotic Caucasian’? Add the freckles to the mix and it created quite the conundrum. To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot. For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: ‘A face without freckles is a night without stars.’ ”…

Misha Green, cocreator, writer, and producer, Underground

“My skin is a shade darker than caramel, with a speckle of chicken pox scars that I tried to pass off as freckles in middle school. Spending summers in the South growing up, I was always aware of colorism in the black community, but it wasn’t really until I attended an all-white middle school that I encountered it. I remember riding the bus and one of my classmates was turned around in her seat staring at me. I asked why. She wanted to know what I was mixed with. She had never seen such a pretty black girl, so she assumed I must be mixed with something. At the time, I was too offended to answer. But since then, I have been asked what I’m mixed with too many times to count, and each time I am met with skepticism when I reply that I am black. I continue by informing the misinformed — the African diaspora comes in many hues; all of them are beautiful.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson, And The Normalization of Slave Rape Narratives

Posted in Articles, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Women on 2017-03-19 01:34Z by Steven

Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson, And The Normalization of Slave Rape Narratives

black youth project
2017-02-23

Elizabeth Adetiba

I am not the same person now as I was when I was 14—and thank God for that. I was remarkably naive and unbearably insecure, and stuck in an environment that did nothing but exacerbate those complex internal struggles that are so typical of adolescence.

So imagine my outrage upon being continuously confronted with articles that insist on describing the affairs between Thomas Jefferson and a fourteen year-old enslaved Sally Hemings (simultaneously his slave and wife’s half-sister) as a ‘relationship.’ I cannot fathom, at fourteen, being denied the liberty to reject the sexual advances of a 44 year-old man (and not just any man, but a man who would become the President of the United States) only to have historians and writers skip over the imbalanced power dynamics and categorize it as a ‘relationship.’…

Read the entire article here.

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Memories of race: representations of mixed race people in girls’ comic magazines in post-occupation Japan

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-03-14 23:18Z by Steven

Memories of race: representations of mixed race people in girls’ comic magazines in post-occupation Japan

Sayuri Arai

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
2016-11-30

As the number of mixed race people grows in Japan, anxieties about miscegenation in today’s context of intensified globalization continue to increase. Indeed, the multiracial reality has recently gotten attention and led to heightened discussions surrounding it in Japanese society, specifically, in the media. Despite the fact that race mixing is not a new phenomenon even in “homogeneous” Japan, where the presence of multiracial people has challenged the prevailing notion of Japaneseness, racially mixed people have been a largely neglected group in both scholarly literature and in wider Japanese society.

My dissertation project offers a remedy for this absence by focusing on representations of mixed race people in postwar Japanese popular culture. During and after the U.S. Occupation of Japan (1945-1952), significant numbers of racially mixed children were born of relationships between Japanese women and American servicemen. American-Japanese mixed race children, as products of the occupation, reminded the Japanese of their war defeat. Miscegenation and mixed race people came to be problematized in the immediate postwar years.

In the 1960s, when Japan experienced the postwar economic miracle and redefined itself as a great power, mixed race Japanese entertainers (e.g., models, actors, and singers) became popular. This popularity of multiracial entertainers created a konketsuji boom (mixed-blood boom) in Japanese media and popular culture. As such, the images and stereotypes of racially mixed people shifted considerably from the 1950s into the 1970s.

Through a close textual analysis of representations of mixed race stars and characters in major Japanese girls’ comic magazines published during the 1950s and 1960s, my dissertation illuminates the ways in which the meanings of mixed race people shifted from strongly negative to ambivalent, or even positive, in the context of postwar economic growth. Closely looking at the changing U.S.-Japan relations in the aftermath of World War II and in the Cold War context, this project provides insight into the ways in which memories of World War II and of the U.S. Occupation are reconstructed through representations of mixed race people in Japanese media and popular culture in postwar Japan.

As this dissertation project suggests, girls’ comic magazines are one of the few pivotal spaces where issues of race mixing in postwar Japan are allowed to be openly and regularly discussed, and where a wide range of multiracial people are portrayed in imaginative ways. As I argue, in the early post-occupation years, the overrepresentation of Black-Japanese occupation babies in girls’ comic magazines inadvertently contributed to foisting the blame of the former Western Occupation onto Black bodies and to reconstructing the image of the West.

Subsequently, during the 1960s, the whiteness of mixed race stars and characters, glorified in consumerist media culture, greatly contributed to overshadowing the image of the West as the former enemy and to dissociating racially mixed people from the stigma of being “occupation babies,” intimately entangled with the memory of Japan’s defeat in World War II.

My dissertation demonstrates that representations of racially mixed people in girls’ comic magazines played a crucial role in remaking the meanings of mixed race Japanese and reconstructing memories of World War II and the U.S. Occupation, in part because girls’ comic magazines have elaborated a distinct aesthetics, ethics, and worldview shaped within girls’ culture.

Login to read the dissertation here.

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Before “Hidden Figures,” There Was a Rock Opera About NASA’s Human Computers

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-03-13 01:30Z by Steven

Before “Hidden Figures,” There Was a Rock Opera About NASA’s Human Computers

Air & Space Magazine
2017-02-03

Linda Billings, Senior Editor

Katherine Johnson’s inspirational story came to the Baltimore stage in 2015, thanks to another space scientist.

Hidden Figures,” the story of three African-American women whose mathematical skill helped NASA launch astronauts into space and back in the early 1960s, has been both a critical and box office success. With more than $100 million in ticket sales and a stack of award nominations, the movie has inspired audiences with a true story made even more powerful by virtue of the fact that it was largely untold for 50 years. And still mostly unknown is the story of another NASA scientist who beat Hollywood to the punch by putting “human computer” Katherine Johnson’s saga on stage almost two years ago.

Heather Graham is an astrobiologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center outside Washington, D.C. She’s also a gamer, a feminist, and a member of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society. In May 2015, the society staged Graham’s one-act rock opera, “Determination of Azimuth,” which portrays how Johnson and her colleagues Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, were ignored and demeaned on the job at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, because they were black and female. The story has a happy ending: Their work was validated, their expertise accepted. But they had to endure racism and sexism along the way…

Read the entire article here.

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Remember Me to Miss Louisa: Hidden Black-White Intimacies in Antebellum America

Posted in Books, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States, Women on 2017-03-08 00:48Z by Steven

Remember Me to Miss Louisa: Hidden Black-White Intimacies in Antebellum America

Northern Illinois University Press
June 2015
200 pages
21 illus.
6×9
Paper ISBN: 978-0-87580-723-2

Sharony Green, Assistant Professor of American History
University of Alabama

Barbara “Penny” Kanner Prize, Western Association of Women Historians, 2016

It is generally recognized that antebellum interracial relationships were “notorious” at the neighborhood level. But we have yet to fully uncover the complexities of such relationships, especially from freedwomen’s and children’s points of view. While it is known that Cincinnati had the largest per capita population of mixed race people outside the South during the antebellum period, historians have yet to explore how geography played a central role in this outcome. The Mississippi and Ohio Rivers made it possible for Southern white men to ferry women and children of color for whom they had some measure of concern to free soil with relative ease.

Some of the women in question appear to have been “fancy girls,” enslaved women sold for use as prostitutes or “mistresses.” Green focuses on women who appear to have been the latter, recognizing the problems with the term “mistress,” given its shifting meaning even during the antebellum period. Remember Me to Miss Louisa moves the life of the fancy girl from New Orleans, where it is typically situated, to the Midwest. The manumission of these women and their children occurred as America’s frontiers pushed westward, and urban life followed in their wake. Indeed, Green’s research examines the tensions between the urban Midwest and the rising Cotton Kingdom. It does so by relying on surviving letters, among them those from an ex-slave mistress who sent her “love” to her former master. This relationship forms the crux of the first of three case studies. The other two concern a New Orleans young woman who was the mistress of an aging white man, and ten Alabama children who received from a white planter a $200,000 inheritance (worth roughly $5.1 million in today’s currency). In each case, those freed people faced the challenges characteristic of black life in a largely hostile America.

While the frequency with which Southern white men freed enslaved women and their children is now generally known, less is known about these men’s financial and emotional investments in them. Before the Civil War, a white Southern man’s pending marriage, aging body, or looming death often compelled him to free an African American woman and their children. And as difficult as it may be for the modern mind to comprehend, some kind of connection sometimes existed between these individuals. This study argues that such men were hidden actors in freedwomen’s and children’s attempts to survive the rigors and challenges of life as African Americans in the years surrounding the Civil War. Green examines many facets of this phenomenon in the hope of revealing new insights about the era of slavery.

Historians, students, and general readers of US history, African American studies, black urban history, and antebellum history will find much of interest in this fascinating study.

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Race, Space, and the Law: Unmapping a White Settler Society

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Campus Life, Canada, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Women on 2017-03-06 03:16Z by Steven

Race, Space, and the Law: Unmapping a White Settler Society

Between The Lines
April 2002
320 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781896357591

Edited by:

Sherene Razack, Distinguished Professor of Gender Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Race, Space, and the Law belongs to a growing field of exploration that spans critical geography, sociology, law, education, and critical race and feminist studies. Writers who share this terrain reject the idea that spaces, and the arrangement of bodies in them, emerge naturally over time. Instead, they look at how spaces are created and the role of law in shaping and supporting them. They expose hierarchies that emerge from, and in turn produce, oppressive spatial categories.

The authors’ unmapping takes us through drinking establishments, parks, slums, classrooms, urban spaces of prostitution, parliaments, the main streets of cities, mosques, and the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders. Each example demonstrates that “place,” as a Manitoba Court of Appeal judge concluded after analyzing a section of the Indian Act, “becomes race.”

Contents

  • Introduction: When Place Becomes Race / Sherene H. Razack
  • Chapter 1: Rewriting Histories of the Land: Colonization and Indigenous Resistance in Eastern Canada / Bonita Lawrence
  • Chapter 2: In Between and Out of Place: Mixed-Race Identity, Liquor, and the Law in British Columbia, 1850-1913 / Renisa Mawani
  • Chapter 3: Cartographies of Violence: Women, Memory, and the Subject(s) of the “Internment” / Mona Oikawa
  • Chapter 4: Keeping the Ivory Tower White: Discourses of Racial Domination / Carol Schick
  • Chapter 5: Gendered Racial Violence and Spatialized Justice: The Murder of Pamela George /Sherene H. Razack
  • Chapter 6: The Unspeakability of Racism: Mapping Law’s Complicity in Manitoba’s Racialized Spaces / Sheila Dawn Gill
  • Chapter 7: Making Space for Mosques: Struggles for Urban Citizenship in Diasporic Toronto / Engin F. Isin and Myer Siemiatycki
  • Chapter 8: The Space of Africville: Creating, Regulating, and Remembering the Urban “Slum” / Jennifer J. Nelson
  • Chapter 9: Delivering Subjects: Race, Space, and the Emergence of Legalized Midwifery in Ontario / Sheryl Nestel
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Contributors
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For decades they hid Jefferson’s relationship with her. Now Monticello is making room for Sally Hemings.

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Virginia, Women on 2017-03-05 21:59Z by Steven

For decades they hid Jefferson’s relationship with her. Now Monticello is making room for Sally Hemings.

The Washington Post
2017-02-19

Krissah Thompson


By excavating and restoring areas where the slave community lived and worked, Monticello is trying to more fully integrate their stories at the historic plantation. A special focus will be placed on Sally Hemings, whose room in the house will soon be on display for the first time.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The room where historians believe Sally Hemings slept was just steps away from Thomas Jefferson’s bedroom. But in 1941, the caretakers of Monticello turned it into a restroom.

The floor tiles and bathroom stalls covered over the story of the enslaved woman, who was owned by Jefferson and had a long-term relationship with him. Their involvement was a scandal during his life and was denied for decades by his descendants. But many historians now believe the third president of the United States was the father of her six children.

Time, and perhaps shame, erased all physical evidence of her presence at Jefferson’s home here, a building so famous that it is depicted on the back of the nickel.

Now the floor tiles have been pulled up and the room is under restoration — and Hemings’s life is poised to become a larger part of the story told at Monticello…

Read the entire article here.

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Loving in the War Years: Lo Que Nunca Paso por Sus Labios (South End Press Classics Series) (English and Spanish Edition) 2nd, expanded Edition

Posted in Books, Gay & Lesbian, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Novels, United States, Women on 2017-02-26 21:34Z by Steven

Loving in the War Years: Lo Que Nunca Paso por Sus Labios (South End Press Classics Series) (English and Spanish Edition) 2nd, expanded Edition

South End Press
2000
234 pages
5.3 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-0896086265

Cherríe L. Moraga, Artist-in-residence
Stanford University

Weaving together poetry and prose, Spanish and English, family history and political theory, Loving in the War Years has been a classic in the feminist and Chicano canon since its 1983 release. This new edition—including a new introduction and three new essays—remains a testament of Moraga’s coming-of-age as a Chicana and a lesbian at a time when the political merging of those two identities was severely censured.

Drawing on the Mexican legacy of Malinche, the symbolic mother of the first mestizo peoples, Moraga examines the collective sexual and cultural wounding suffered by women since the Conquest. Moraga examines her own mestiza parentage and the seemingly inescapable choice of assimilation into a passionless whiteness or uncritical acquiescence to the patriarchal Chicano culture she was raised to reproduce. By finding Chicana feminism and honoring her own sexuality and loyalty to other women of color, Moraga finds a way to claim both her family and her freedom.

Moraga’s new essays, written with a voice nearly a generation older, continue the project of “loving in the war years,” but Moraga’s posture is now closer to that of a zen warrior than a street-fighter. In these essays, loving is an extended prayer, where the poet-politica reflects on the relationship between our small individual deaths and the dyings of nations of people (pueblos). Loving is an angry response to the “cultural tyranny” of the mainstream art world and a celebration of the strategic use of “cultural memory” in the creation of an art of resistance.

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Interview with Playwright Adrienne Dawes

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-02-22 21:30Z by Steven

Interview with Playwright Adrienne Dawes

#TeatroLatinegro
2016-12-23


Dawes Portrait by Beth Consetta Rubel Photo via Dawes

I heard of Adrienne Dawes when a show that talked about Mexican identity called Casta came on my radar.  I knew that I had to connect with her.  She is a boss writer and the head of a production company called Heckle Her.  She is the mastermind behind dope shows like Doper than Dope, Am I White and Denim Doves.  She has been featured in Essence magazine and other national outlets….

…Adrienne is the recipient of the Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Playwriting.  Her play Am I White was a finalist for the 2012 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and semifinalist for the 2012 Princess Grace Award. Am I White won the David Mark Cohen New Play Award (2015 Austin Critics Table Awards), an award for Outstanding Original Script (2015 B. Iden Payne Awards) and was honorably mentioned by The List (The Kilroys) of recommended new plays by female and trans authors.  Adrienne is a member of the Dramatists Guild and a company member of Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin, TX. In January 2017, Adrienne will join the inaugural class of writers in the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, supported by the George Kaiser Family Foundation.”

What is your identity?

I identify as mixed-race, multiracial, and/or AfroLatina. I am an artist and feminist; my pronouns are she and her.

Tell us about CASTA.

“Casta” is the working title of a new performance piece I am writing and creating with support from Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin. It’s my first time to collaborate with visual artist Beth Consetta Rubel and composer Graham Reynolds. It’s also my first “history” play set in a very specific time and place (presented mostly as a period piece). We are exploring mixed-race representation in casta paintings of 18th century Mexico. Casta paintings were a unique genre of portraiture that depicted different racial mixtures arranged in 16 panels according to a hierarchy of race and status…

Read the entire interview here.

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The Forgotten Work of Jessie Redmon Fauset

Posted in Articles, Biography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-02-20 01:52Z by Steven

The Forgotten Work of Jessie Redmon Fauset

The New Yorker
2017-02-18

Morgan Jerkins

Among the events that helped to crystallize what would come to be known as the Harlem Renaissance was a dinner, in March, 1924, at the Civic Club, on West 12th Street. The idea for the dinner was initially hatched by Charles Spurgeon Johnson, the editor of Opportunity, a journal published by the National Urban League and, under Johnson, one of the leading outlets for young black writers. Johnson planned to invite twenty guests—a mix of white editors and publishers as well as black intellectuals and literary critics—to honor Jessie Redmon Fauset and the publication of “There Is Confusion,” her début novel, about a black middle-class family’s struggle for social equality. But when Johnson ran the idea by the writer and philosopher Alain Locke, who he hoped would serve as master of ceremonies, Locke said that the dinner should celebrate black writers in general, rather than just one in particular. So the purpose of the event changed, and the list of invitees grew; among those who ultimately attended were Countee Cullen, Gwendolyn Bennett, Langston Hughes, and W. E. B. Du Bois. That evening, attendees listened to a series of salutations, an address by Locke, and presentations by several black men. At the end of the dinner, Locke—who had praised “There Is Confusion” as what “the Negro intelligentsia has been clamoring for”—introduced Fauset. But though she was a guest of honor, she evidently felt like an afterthought. Years later, in 1933, she would write a scathing letter to Locke (who had just reviewed her most recent novel, about which he had some misgivings), declaring that he, with “consummate cleverness,” had managed, on that evening in 1924, to “keep speech and comment away from the person for whom the occasion was meant”—that is to say, her…

…“Initially, Fauset’s work was dismissed as sentimental and Victorian, primarily because she dealt with ‘women’s issues,’ centering on the marriage plot,” Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, said. Fauset’s second novel, “Plum Bun,” is probably her best, and it received the most attention when it was published, with reviews in The New Republic, the New York Times, and Saturday Review. Like “There Is Confusion,” it is a story about middle-class respectability. It centers on a mixed-race young woman named Angela Murray, who grows up in a posh black neighborhood in Philadelphia where each house looks just the same. All the residents know their neighbors’ names, and everyone goes to church on Sundays. Young women train to be teachers and young men do the same or strive to become post-office workers. Angela, tired of this bourgeois world, wants to become a famous painter, and believes that the only way to do so is to abandon her family, move to New York City, and pass for white. In New York, she meets a poor artist who falls in love with her and a wealthy white man she hopes to marry. At one point, she sees her sister at the train station in New York and pretends not to recognize her, so that she can keep up the charade that she is white. Later, however, in order to support a fellow art student, a black woman, she reveals her true identity. In a conversation with her sister, Angela says, “When I begin to delve into it, the matter of blood seems nothing compared with individuality, character, living. The truth of the matter is, the whole business was just making me fagged to death . . . You can’t fight and create at the same time.”…

Read the entire article here.

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