“As if I Were an Illegal”: Racial Passing in Immigrant Russia

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Europe, Media Archive, Passing on 2022-11-27 02:43Z by Steven

“As if I Were an Illegal”: Racial Passing in Immigrant Russia

Cultural Anthropology
Volume 37, Number 4, November 2022
pages 653–678
DOI:10.14506/ca37.4.03

Lauren Woodard, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York

This article examines how immigrants from post-Soviet countries engage in practices of racial passing to challenge ethnic stereotypes in Russia, the world’s fourth-largest migration destination. Ethnographic research reveals that immigrants shed signs of illegality to pass not necessarily as white, ethnic Russians (russkie) but instead as ethnically heterogeneous Russian citizens (rossiiane). The need to pass points to fundamental tensions within Russian society about belonging, tensions arising from a particular configuration of race, ethnicity, and language that emerged during the Soviet era. I show how ethnic Russianness operates akin to whiteness, the invisible ideal against which racialized bodies are marked, despite Soviet-era anti-racism campaigns and contemporary claims of Russia’s multiethnic diversity. This article contributes to scholarship analyzing migration and citizenship as racial projects by demonstrating how locally nuanced inflections of whiteness interact with global and transnational movements of white supremacy.

Read the entire article here.

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Oachkatzlschwoaf: The word that’s ‘impossible’ to say

Posted in Anthropology, Autobiography, Europe, United Kingdom, Videos on 2022-11-26 21:46Z by Steven

Oachkatzlschwoaf: The word that’s ‘impossible’ to say

BBC Reel
2022-11-24

Words are loaded with meaning. Certain ones conjure joyful memories and others remind us of less happy times.

For Nenda Neururer, the word ‘oachkatzlschwoaf‘ invokes a range of emotions. The German word is very hard to pronounce and is synonymous with the Austrian state of Tyrol where locals tease outsiders by asking them to pronounce it.

Despite growing up in Tyrol, Nenda Neururer often felt like an outsider when confronted with this word. But when she moved to London she grew nostalgic for it and it became her little secret.

Found in Translation is a series made as part of the In The Mix project, in partnership with BBC Studios TalentWorks, Black Creators Matter and the Barbican.

Video by Nenda Neururer
Executive Producer: Paul I. Harris

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In Search of Mary Seacole: The Making of a Black Cultural Icon and Humanitarian

Posted in Biography, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom, Women on 2022-10-21 18:13Z by Steven

In Search of Mary Seacole: The Making of a Black Cultural Icon and Humanitarian

Pegasus Books
2022-09-06
416 Pages
6 x 9 in
Hardcover ISBN: 9781639362745

Helen Rappaport

From New York Times bestselling author Helen Rappaport comes a superb and revealing biography of Mary Seacole that is testament to her remarkable achievements and corrective to the myths that have grown around her.

Raised in Jamaica, Mary Seacole first came to England in the 1850s after working in Panama. She wanted to volunteer as a nurse and aide during the Crimean War. When her services were rejected, she financed her own expedition to Balaclava, where her reputation for her nursing—and for her compassion—became almost legendary. Popularly known as ‘Mother Seacole’, she was the most famous Black celebrity of her generation—an extraordinary achievement in Victorian Britain.

She regularly mixed with illustrious royal and military patrons and they, along with grateful war veterans, helped her recover financially when she faced bankruptcy. However, after her death in 1881, she was largely forgotten.

More recently, her profile has been revived and her reputation lionized, with a statue of her standing outside St Thomas’s Hospital in London and her portrait—rediscovered by the author—now on display in the National Portrait Gallery. In Search of Mary Seacole is the fruit of almost twenty years of research and reveals the truth about Seacole’s personal life, her “rivalry” with Florence Nightingale, and other misconceptions.

Vivid and moving, In Search of Mary Seacole shows that reality is often more remarkable and more dramatic than the legend.

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Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2022-08-25 00:58Z by Steven

Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country

University of Minnesota Press
August 2022
304 pages
5½ x 8½
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-5179-1230-7
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-5179-1231-4

Ryan Thomas Skinner, Associate Professor of Music and African American and African Studies
Ohio State University

Foreword by Jason Timbuktu Diakité

A compelling examination of Sweden’s African and Black diaspora

Contemporary Sweden is a country with a worldwide progressive reputation, despite an undeniable tradition of racism within its borders. In the face of this contradiction of culture and history, Afro-Swedes have emerged as a vibrant demographic presence, from generations of diasporic movement, migration, and homemaking. In Afro-Sweden, Ryan Thomas Skinner uses oral histories, archival research, ethnography, and textual analysis to explore the history and culture of this diverse and growing Afro-European community.

Skinner employs the conceptual themes of “remembering” and “renaissance” to illuminate the history and culture of the Afro-Swedish community, drawing on the rich theoretical traditions of the African and Black diaspora. Remembering fosters a sustained meditation on Afro-Swedish social history, while Renaissance indexes a thriving Afro-Swedish public culture. Together, these concepts illuminate significant existential modes of Afro-Swedish being and becoming, invested in and contributing to the work of global Black studies.

The first scholarly monograph in English to focus specifically on the African and Black diaspora in Sweden, Afro-Sweden emphasizes the voices, experiences, practices, knowledge, and ideas of these communities. Its rigorously interdisciplinary approach to understanding diasporic communities is essential to contemporary conversations around such issues as the status and identity of racialized populations in Europe and the international impact of Black Lives Matter.

Contents

  • Foreword
  • Jason Timbuktu Diakité
  • A Note on Orthography
  • Introduction: Race, Culture, and Diaspora in Afro-Sweden
  • Part I. Remembering
    • 1. Invisible People
    • 2. A Colder Congo
    • 3. Walking While Black
  • Part II. Renaissance
    • 4. Articulating Afro-Sweden
    • 5. The Politics of Race and Diaspora
    • 6. The Art of Renaissance
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Mixed Race in Nordic Europe

Posted in Articles, Europe, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2022-08-10 01:49Z by Steven

Mixed Race in Nordic Europe

Journal of Critical Mix Race Studies
Volume 1, Issue 2 (2022)
287 pages


Cover Image: Stein Egil Liland

Numerous scholarly works have been published on the topic of multiraciality and mixed-race experiences in the United States and Great Britain. There has historically been limited research on Nordic Europe. These analyses seek to help further research on Nordic Europe in terms of critical mixed race studies.

Read the entire issue here.

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Yeah, but Where are You Really From? A story of overcoming the odds

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Europe, Media Archive on 2022-06-23 17:55Z by Steven

Yeah, but Where are You Really From? A story of overcoming the odds

The Irish Times
Dublin, Ireland
2022-05-28

Adesewa Awobadejo, Features Journalist

Marguerite Penrose: her memoir celebrates the diversity of Irishness

Book review: Marguerite Penrose writes about her experiences as a mixed-race girl growing up in Dublin

Marguerite Penrose, Yeah, But Where Are You Really From? A story of overcoming the odds (Dublin, Ireland: Sandycove, 2022)

Black and Irish voices have emerged in recent years and this debut is an astonishing addition to the ongoing conversations.

The memoir takes us from 1974 to present-day Ireland through the eyes of the author, Marguerite Penrose. Born with congenital scoliosis in St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home on Dublin’s Navan Road, Penrose writes about her experiences as a mixed-race girl growing up in the city. Offering a brief glimpse into her life at this home before moving in with her foster family, she gives us a unique avenue to understand this hidden element of Irish history. Her warm and deeply personal memoir celebrates her achievements and exposes the struggles she had to endure…

Read the entire review here.

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Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples: Ethnic Mixing in Soviet Central Asia

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Family/Parenting, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2022-05-16 18:28Z by Steven

Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples: Ethnic Mixing in Soviet Central Asia

Cornell University Press
2022-05-15
300 pages
6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN13: 9781501762949
Hardcover ISBN10: 150176294X

Adrienne Edgar, Professor of History
University of California, Santa Barbara

Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples examines the racialization of identities and its impact on mixed couples and families in Soviet Central Asia. In marked contrast to its Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union celebrated mixed marriages among its diverse ethnic groups as a sign of the unbreakable friendship of peoples and the imminent emergence of a single “Soviet people.” Yet the official Soviet view of ethnic nationality became increasingly primordial and even racialized in the USSR’s final decades. In this context, Adrienne Edgar argues, mixed families and individuals found it impossible to transcend ethnicity, fully embrace their complex identities, and become simply “Soviet.”

Looking back on their lives in the Soviet Union, ethnically mixed people often reported that the “official” nationality in their identity documents did not match their subjective feelings of identity, that they were unable to speak “their own” native language, and that their ambiguous physical appearance prevented them from claiming the nationality with which they most identified. In all these ways, mixed couples and families were acutely and painfully affected by the growth of ethnic primordialism and by the tensions between the national and supranational projects in the Soviet Union.

Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples is based on more than eighty in-depth oral history interviews with members of mixed families in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, along with published and unpublished Soviet documents, scholarly and popular articles from the Soviet press, memoirs and films, and interviews with Soviet-era sociologists and ethnographers.

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Impact of the forgotten black Europeans

Posted in Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Europe, History, Media Archive, Religion, Slavery on 2022-05-13 15:39Z by Steven

Impact of the forgotten black Europeans

Islington Tribune
London, United Kingdom
2022-05-12

Angela Cobbinah

The Chevalier de St George

Scholars, poets, writers, composers… a new book focuses on the wide influence of Africa abroad, writes Angela Cobbinah

ALESSANDRO de Medici, Duke of Florence, virtuoso 18th-century French violinist and composer Joseph Bologne and 1922 world light heavyweight boxing champion Battling Siki from France via Senegal are probably people we know little about, if at all.

They are part of a forgotten European past explored by Olivette Otele in her scholarly book, African Europeans, which travels through time to reveal how trade, war, slavery and colonialism resulted in a black presence in Europe from as far back as the third century.

This is where Otele, professor of the history and memory of slavery at Bristol University, kicks off, telling the story of St Maurice, Egyptian leader of a Roman legion who was famously executed for refusing to crush a Christian revolt in Gaul.

Celebrated as a martyr across Germany, he is clearly represented as an African in a statue at Magdeburg Cathedral and other church iconography.

Black saints and Madonnas appeared across Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries, perhaps Otele speculates, to symbolise the transformative power of the Catholic Church in converting those it considered heathen…

Read the entire review here.

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African Europeans: An Untold History

Posted in Biography, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, Slavery on 2022-05-13 14:57Z by Steven

African Europeans: An Untold History

Basic Books
2021-05-04
304 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781541619678
eBook ISBN-13: 9781541619937
Audiobook Downloadable ISBN-13: 9781549136627

Olivette Otele, Professor of History of Slavery and Memory of Enslavement
University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

Conventional wisdom holds that Africans are only a recent presence in Europe. But in African Europeans, renowned historian Olivette Otele debunks this and uncovers a long history of Europeans of African descent. From the third century, when the Egyptian Saint Maurice became the leader of a Roman legion, all the way up to the present, Otele explores encounters between those defined as “Africans” and those called “Europeans.” She gives equal attention to the most prominent figures—like Alessandro de Medici, the first duke of Florence thought to have been born to a free African woman in a Roman village—and the untold stories—like the lives of dual-heritage families in Europe’s coastal trading towns.

African Europeans is a landmark celebration of this integral, vibrantly complex slice of European history, and will redefine the field for years to come.

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‘I know I’m Irish and I don’t have to prove that to anybody’

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, Media Archive on 2022-05-12 21:14Z by Steven

‘I know I’m Irish and I don’t have to prove that to anybody’

The Irish Times
2022-05-07

Sorcha Pollak, Immigration Reporter

Marguerite Penrose has written a memoir called Yeah, But Where are You Really From? Photograph: Alan Betson

Growing up as a black person with a disability in Dublin, Marguerite Penrose sensed her difference

On June 9th 2020, one week after thousands of young Irish people marched through the streets of Dublin calling for an end to racism and inequality, a new post appeared on the recently established Black and Irish Instagram page.

“My name is Marguerite. I was born in Dublin in 1974. I am a PROUD Irish/Zambian, living in Meath now.”

Marguerite Penrose had never spoken or written publicly about her background. She preferred not to dwell on the first three years of her life which she spent in a mother and baby home on the Navan Road, or her battles with scoliosis throughout her life. She didn’t like remembering the racist remarks outside nightclubs or disapproving stares on the bus. She preferred focusing on the positives – her incredible adopted family and her wonderful friends.

But then she decided to speak out about growing up as a black woman with a disability in Dublin…

Read the entire article here.

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