Latin Blackness in Parisian Visual Culture, 1852-1932

Posted in Books, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2019-11-04 17:54Z by Steven

Latin Blackness in Parisian Visual Culture, 1852-1932

Bloomsbury
2019-02-21
232 pages
9 colour and 37 bw illus
229 x 152 mm
Hardback 9781501332357

Lyneise E. Williams, Associate Professor of Art History
University of North Carolina

Latin Blackness in Parisian Visual Culture, 1852-1932

Latin Blackness in Parisian Visual Culture, 1852-1932 examines an understudied visual language used to portray Latin Americans in mid-19th to early 20th-century Parisian popular visual media. The term ‘Latinize’ is introduced to connect France’s early 19th-century endeavors to create “Latin America,” an expansion of the French empire into the Latin-language based Spanish and Portuguese Americas, to its perception of this population.

Latin-American elites traveler to Paris in the 1840s from their newly independent nations were denigrated in representations rather than depicted as equals in a developing global economy. Darkened skin, etched onto images of Latin Americans of European descent mitigated their ability to claim the privileges of their ancestral heritage. Whitened skin, among other codes, imposed on turn-of-the-20th-century Black Latin Americans in Paris tempered their Blackness and rendered them relatively assimilatable compared to colonial Africans, Blacks from the Caribbean, and African Americans.

After identifying mid-to-late 19th-century Latinizing codes, the study focuses on shifts in latinizing visuality between 1890-1933 in three case studies: the depictions of popular Cuban circus entertainer Chocolat; representations of Panamanian World Bantamweight Champion boxer Alfonso Teofilo Brown; and paintings of Black Uruguayans executed by Pedro Figari, a Uruguayan artist, during his residence in Paris between 1925-1933.

Table of contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
    • The Term “Latin American”
    • Why Paris?
    • Much More Than Primitivism
    • Reduced to Latin Americans
    • Parisian Figurations of Blackness from the Mid-Nineteenth to the Early Twentieth Century
    • Overview of the Study
  • Chapter 1: Playing Up Blackness and Indianness; Downplaying Europeanness
    • Editing Francisco Laso: Racializing Spanish and Portuguese Americans
    • Performing Rastaquerismo
    • Justified by Anthropology: Quatrefages, Hamy, and the Casta Paintings
    • Latin American Self-Representation
    • The Shifting Rastaquouère
    • Maintaining Anthropological Interpretations in the Early Twentieth Century
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 2: Chocolat the Clown: Not Just Black
    • Chocolat and Footit: Partners in Contrast
    • The Auguste Chocolat
    • The Give and Take of Chocolat and Footit
    • Chocolat and Footit at the Nouveau Cirque
    • Chocolat as Brand Image
    • Beneath the Surface
    • Chocolat as Mixed Animal
    • Chocolat the Contaminant
    • Impure Chocolat(e)
    • Chocolat, That Special Ingredient: The Racially Mixed Object of Desire
    • Complicating Notions of Minstrelsy
    • Lip Interventions
    • Representations Through Clothing
    • Sexualizing Black Dandies
    • Assimilating the Latin
    • Beyond the Circus
    • Chocolat, Object of Gay Desire
    • Chocolat and the Elite and the Virile
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 3: Alfonso Teofilo Brown: Agency and Impositions of Blackness and Europeanness
    • Sport and the Imagined Ideal Male Body
    • Black Boxers in Turn-of-the-Century France
    • Gangly Brown
    • The Purity and Hybridity of Gangly Brown
    • Brown the Gentleman
    • Images of Black Difference
    • Brown the Philanthropist
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 4: Figari’s Blacks: Negotiating French and Southern Cone Blackness
    • Figari and Paris
    • Contested Whiteness and the Black Body
    • Conceptualizing Regional Identity
    • Through the Anthropological Gaze
    • Candombe as Framing Device
    • Gender and Race in Candombe
    • Objects as Markers
    • Figari as “Naïf” Painter
    • Increasing Latin American Presence in Paris
    • Perceptions of Black Uruguayans
    • Figari’s Evolution in Paris
    • Contradictions and Contrasts between Figari’s Paintings and Written Work
    • Conclusion
  • Coda
  • Select Bibliography
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Two new stamps mark 50 years of Thin Lizzy

Posted in Articles, Arts, Europe, History, Media Archive on 2019-10-24 01:24Z by Steven

Two new stamps mark 50 years of Thin Lizzy

The Journal.ie
2019-10-07

Sean Murray

Thin Lizzy_stamp pair

Queues formed at the GPO earlier for fans to get their hands on the new stamps.

AN POST HAS today launched two new stamps to mark fifty years of legendary Irish rock band Thin Lizzy.

Phil Lynott’s daughters Sarah and Cathleen, his grandchildren and ex-wife Caroline were on hand to unveil the new stamps earlier today.

An Post said that queues formed at the GPO in Dublin today with fans snapping up the collector’s items.

One of them features a portrait of Lynott himself by artist Jim Fitzpatrick while the other features the album artwork from Black Rose

Read the entire article here.

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Can Americans Unlearn Race?

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Europe, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Philosophy, United States on 2019-10-16 01:51Z by Steven

Can Americans Unlearn Race?

American Interest
2019-10-15

Morten Høi Jensen


“Willie and Holcha” by William H. Johnson (Wikimedia Commons)

In his lucid new memoir, Thomas Chatterton Williams channels Albert Camus and James Baldwin—and offers a thoughtful counterpoint to the tired racial dogmas of both Right and Left.

Reflecting on why he decided to leave America for Europe, James Baldwin once explained that he wanted to “find out in what way the specialness of my experience could be made to connect me with other people instead of dividing me from them.” The racism of American society in the late 1940s prohibited him from doing so at home, where he was always “merely a Negro.” Only by going abroad could he find the freedom to really ask himself what it meant to be black, to be American, to be African-American. By encountering people so different from himself, Baldwin wrote, he felt at last “a shattering in me of preconceptions I scarcely knew I held.” The constraints of American notions of race and identity were loosened by the existence of entirely different notions. “The time has come,” Baldwin decided, “for us to examine ourselves, but we can only do this if we are willing to free ourselves of the myth of America and try to find out what is really happening here.”

The American writer Thomas Chatterton Williams has followed in the footsteps of Baldwin’s Parisian emigration. Raised in suburban New Jersey by a white mother and black father, Williams grew up thinking of himself not as half-white or of mixed race but as “black, period.” In his literary debut, Losing My Cool (2010), he recounted an adolescence suffused with hip-hop culture and received ideas about a particular kind of black identity. In high school, in the mid-to-late 1990s, Williams strode the hallways with a sweatshop’s worth of flashy apparel, paid homage to the gods of BET, and lived by the dubious moral code of the Big Tymers and Master P. At the local basketball court, he was awestruck by a player known as RaShawn, who sipped Olde English before games, kept in his pocket a knot of bills “as thick and layered as a Spanish onion,” and often resorted to viciously beating up his opponents. “He was like a star to me,” Williams admitted…

Read the entire review here.

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How Moving to France and Having Children Led a Black American to Rethink Race

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Philosophy on 2019-10-15 00:07Z by Steven

How Moving to France and Having Children Led a Black American to Rethink Race

The New York Times
2019-10-14

Andrew Solomon


Eiko Ojala

SELF-PORTRAIT IN BLACK AND WHITE: Unlearning Race
By Thomas Chatterton Williams

Thomas Chatterton Williams is the son of a black father and a white mother, but grew up identifying as black on the basis that even one drop of black blood defines a person as belonging to that often besieged minority. His father claimed that his mother was a black woman at heart, and brought up his son to oppose the implicit racism of passing, though Williams has a complexion more tanned than sub-Saharan, and is often mistaken for an Arab in France, where he lives. Williams married a white woman and both their children were born with blond hair and blue eyes. Are they, too, black by the one-drop rule? In questioning their determinative race, he has plumbed not only his own but also the complexity of racial identity for people outside the prevalent white/nonwhite binary.

Williams, a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, is well educated, intellectually sophisticated and prosperous, and he tries to limn the complex relationship between race and class, to figure out where racism is classism and where classism is racism, an almost Escher-like maze as snobbery casts a thin veil over racial hatred and vice versa. Williams can say, “I do not feel myself to be a victim — not in any collectively accessible way.” He is unabashedly the product of a society that champions diversity and encourages people of color to think in terms of identity politics, but he opposes racial essentialism and is an exponent of compromise on some of the niceties of political correctness. He fears the integration that will be available to his blond daughter, Marlow, enabling her to erase aspects of her identity, but he also decries the segregating intolerances that come from both the majority and the minorities…

Read the entire review here.

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Out of this world – Nasa data analyst Fionnghuala O’Reilly crowned Miss Universe Ireland 2019

Posted in Articles, Arts, Europe, Media Archive on 2019-10-11 00:53Z by Steven

Out of this world – Nasa data analyst Fionnghuala O’Reilly crowned Miss Universe Ireland 2019

The Independent
Dublin, Ireland

Gabija Gataveckaite


Miss Universe Dublin Fionnghuala O’Reilly. Picture: Brian McEvoy

Dubliner Fionnghuala O’Reilly (25) was crowned Miss Universe Ireland at tonight’s star-studded event in Dublin city centre.

The Nasa data analyst, who works remotely from Dublin, wowed judges when she spoke about her ambition to use her platform as an engineer and a bi-racial woman to promote diversity and equality.

Dazzling in a diamanté encrusted gown, the Swords woman told Independent.ie Style how special the night was for her and how it was a “dream come true”.

“I feel absolutely amazing,” she said.

“This is like a dream come true for me…

Read the entire article here.

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From Mississippi to Chicago to Belarus, ancestors guide her way

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, Media Archive, United States on 2019-10-07 01:56Z by Steven

From Mississippi to Chicago to Belarus, ancestors guide her way

Berkeley News
Berekeley, California
2019-10-03

Gretchen Kell, Director of Special Projects and Outreach
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
University of California, Berkeley

Tina Sacks, assistant professor of social welfare
“My ancestors give me a sense of profound empathy and also a sense that humans have dealt with racism, xenophobia, for so long. … It makes me both deeply sad and activated to try and do whatever I can to interrupt that,” says Tina Sacks, assistant professor of social welfare. (Photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz)

During the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to the English colonies, we’re highlighting members of the campus community whose personal stories, often marked by racism and discrimination, inform their life’s work. We begin with Tina Sacks, UC Berkeley assistant professor of social welfare, who tells of the struggles, self-determination and achievements of her African American and Jewish ancestors.

“Like many young people, when I was growing up I didn’t think much about my mother’s origins. I knew she was from Mississippi, and she had a strong Southern accent, but it washed over me. Most of the black people I knew in Chicago sounded like her, because the vast majority of them were Southerners who were part of the Great Migration.

My mom, Bette Parks Sacks, was born in 1939 and came of age at a difficult time. She was the middle child of 10 kids; one was stillborn, and her brother died when he was only 7 years old. When she was 13, her mother, Lucille, died. My grandfather, J.B. Parks, and his family were sharecroppers in the town of Walnut, about an hour south of the Mississippi/Tennessee border. My mom talked all the time about their deep, deep poverty, the hunger, the cold. She talked all the time about being hungry and cold. She didn’t have shoes — she may have had one pair of shoes a year, but often walked barefoot. By the time she was 6, she was picking cotton and could drag 100 pounds of it behind her. She described having a long burlap bag that she put cotton in. It hooked around her arm and trailed behind her. Sometimes, in the fields, it was so hot that she said she’d literally vomit, and then just keep going…

…The story of my dad, Stanley, is also one of movement. His people were Jewish and came from a different part of the world. They’re less known to me, because my father doesn’t know much about them. But I was very close to my dad’s mother, Dora. She did not read or write in English. Yiddish was her first language. Once I learned to drive, I would take her to the grocery store, and she had her list written in Yiddish. I heard bits and pieces about her life in the Old Country, now probably Belarus, in a shtetl outside of Minsk. As a teenager, she survived many programs [pogroms?]  before World War II that essentially were ethnic cleansing, and she once hid in a barn under hay for a week while soldiers looted and burned. She was 19 when she came to the U.S. on a ship with my paternal grandfather. They had met in Belarus, but got married here. Many of my grandmother’s relatives died in the camps during World War II. She never saw her parents again. But she would never talk about it. Only once she spoke about one of her cousins, whose infant was shot by an SS guard in front of her, and she is said to have died of a heart attack, right there…

Read the entire article here.

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Book Reviews: Self-Portrait in Black and White

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Europe, Media Archive, Philosophy, United States on 2019-09-26 01:31Z by Steven

Book Reviews: Self-Portrait in Black and White

Tablet
2019-09-24

Daniel Oppenheimer

Curtain Gradient

The rewards of subordinating racial or ethnic identity, in the new memoiristic essay by the author of ‘Losing My Cool

Thomas Chatterton Williams’ new book, Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race, is a few things. It’a memoiristic follow-up to his first book, Losing My Cool: Love, Literature, and a Black Man’s Escape from the Crowd; a meditation on what it means for a black man to discover that he’s fathered white children; and an impassioned argument for rejecting the whole modern paradigm of black and white.

It’s also, I think, an effort to answer for himself one of the essential questions that many older liberals, who were formed before the rise of identity politics, simply can’t answer or even adequately ask. What does one get in return for subordinating one’s racial or ethnic identity? Folks like Mark Lilla, Francis Fukuyama, Sam Harris, Laura Kipnis, Andrew Sullivan, Jonathan Chait, and Jonathan Haidt are on the front lines of the present culture war making compelling arguments that our society needs shared values and narratives to sustain itself, that collectively it is in our best interests to privilege our commonalities over our differences. They’re not, however, providing interesting or persuasive psychological answers to why any given individual would be moved to let his or her racial or ethnic identity attenuate when it is actively providing strength and solace. Or why young people, not yet fully formed, would abstain from the identities that are not just au courant but manifestly powerful in their capacity to compel deference or compliance from the establishment. They’re not offering a new synthesis that incorporates some of the insights and aesthetics of identity politics. They’re mostly arguing for a return to the previous liberal synthesis…

Read the entire review here.

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Suffering Our Forefathers’ Sins: A Latino’s Reflection on White Supremacy

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Philosophy, Social Justice, Texas, United States on 2019-09-04 21:08Z by Steven

Suffering Our Forefathers’ Sins: A Latino’s Reflection on White Supremacy

Mere Orthodoxy
2019-08-12

Nathan Luis Cartagena, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois

Two Saturdays ago mi esposa and I mourned for those devastated by the El Paso shooting. For us, this hit home. We had lived in the Lone Star State for seven years, our daughter was born there, and we have strong relationships with Chicanos/as from la frontera—the Texas-Mexico borderlands.

As we mourned, I thought about white supremacy’s role in this shooting. I thought about the painful irony that white supremacy originates in Portugal and Spain, the lands from which the ancestors of most Latinos/as and its subsets—including Chicanas/os and Tejanos/as—hail. This includes my ancestors. I am, after all, a Cartagena.

Yet despite our origins, Latinos/as are not deemed true whites. We are a racialized other; even the lightest of us who pass or receive the status of honorary white know this comes at a price and is liable to be lost the moment someone suspects we’ve broken the norms of white solidarity. How did this happen? How did the Iberian Peninsula’s Latina/o children lose the status of white? Let me sketch an answer for you…

Read the entire article here.

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The Fiction of Race

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2019-08-30 16:15Z by Steven

The Fiction of Race

The American Scholar
2019-08-07

Thomas Chatterton Williams

Flickr/lyonora
Flickr/lyonora

When will we recognize it as such?

Almost every summer, my wife and I, now with two kids in tow, spend a couple of weeks in Italy. We first fell in love with the Ligurian coast just beyond France and Monaco, then with the Tuscan countryside around Florence, and for the past several summers, the islands off Naples. This year, we went farther south, into the instep of the boot, and are staying at a family-run agriturismo on the Mediterranean coast of Calabria. Along with several other friends, my brother and his blond-haired, tan-skinned half-Russian five-year-old daughter have joined us. This morning, the two of us drove into the small seaside village down the hill from where we’re staying to pick up some pizzas. I went inside and fumbled my way through the somewhat complicated order that demanded anchovies, artichokes, and for one picky eater, a tomato-less pizza…

Read the entire article here.

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Creoles of South Louisiana: Three Centuries Strong

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Books, Europe, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2019-08-15 20:15Z by Steven

Creoles of South Louisiana: Three Centuries Strong

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press
2018-05-08
342 pages
Softcover ISBN: 978-1-946160-19-5

Elista Istre
Lafayette, Louisiana

Creoles established themselves in South Louisiana long before Acadian exiles reached the shores of the Bayou State. Boasting a mélange of African, European, and North American roots, Creoles converged on Louisiana’s prairies and created their own distinct cuisine, language, and musical style.

In Creoles of South Louisiana: Three Centuries Strong, Dr. Elista Istre invites her readers to enter the Creole world—a place where cooks tempt taste buds with gumbo and crawfish, storytellers mesmerize young and old with tales tied to three continents, and musicians and dancers pulsate to the rhythms of accordions and rubboards.

Despite inside pressure to isolate and outside pressure to assimilate, Creoles from all walks of life continue to forge new identities while preserving and celebrating traditional elements of their rich heritage. They are adaptable. They are resilient. They are strong.

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