“Any definition of what it is to be black cannot be external to the individual. … Race is a social construction, without scientific basis.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-01-13 21:06Z by Steven

Yet there are many Brazilians – including other black activists – who think that the tribunals are a terrible idea. Petronio Domingues, a historian with the Federal University of Sergipe who studies the fight for racial equality in Brazil, said it’s absurd to think that there are characteristics that can be evaluated objectively to determine race.

“They’re looking only at a person’s appearance, and that doesn’t define race,” he said. “Any definition of what it is to be black cannot be external to the individual. … Race is a social construction, without scientific basis.” Nor is there any evidence that proves that black people with very dark skin suffer more prejudice than those who are called pardo, or brown, he added, so it makes no sense to give more “points” to someone whose skin is darker or hair curlier.”

Stephanie Nolen, “Black or white?,” The Globe and Mail, December 12, 2016. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/black-or-white-in-brazil-a-panel-will-decide-foryou/article33295036/.

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With images of people of various skin tones, urban Afro-Colombians as well as farmers and people in traditional clothes, and music in the background that was not easily identifiable with any specific region in the country, the commercial’s message was clear: they were all AfroColombian.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-01-10 19:31Z by Steven

The Beautiful Faces commercial was about thirty seconds long: ‘I am negro, morena, mulata, zamba. I am Afro-descendant. I count. Palenquero, raizal, mulato, negra, I count. Afro-descendant, morena, negra. I’m zambo, raizal. I count. Palenquero, negro.’ It ended with the confident words of Maria Eugenia Arboleda, a famous AfroColombian actress: ‘My people, in this census, count yourself!’ This was followed by the some fifteen Afro-Colombians featured in the commercial exclaiming in unison: ‘Proud to be Afro-Colombian!’ With images of people of various skin tones, urban Afro-Colombians as well as farmers and people in traditional clothes, and music in the background that was not easily identifiable with any specific region in the country, the commercial’s message was clear: they were all AfroColombian.

Tianna S. Paschel, “‘The Beautiful Faces of my Black People’: race, ethnicity and the politics of Colombia’s 2005 census,” Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 36, Issue 10 (2013). 11-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2013.791398.

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I learned, through being aware enough of my experiences, that I am not white, nor will I ever be; white supremacy, white people will make sure to let me know that I am not white. So I claim my black identity with pride…

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-01-09 01:46Z by Steven

That’s the thing; I was never fully accepted as white, even though I’m white passing, which caused a lot of confusion growing up. I didn’t know how I was – was I black or white? Some ungodly mixed between the two, forever existing between the ether, never knowing when white people would decide I could pass for white or when they would want me to be Black. That is part of the diversity of the Black American experience. This isn’t about the “one drop” rule; it’s about how deep white supremacy goes that someone like me can still feel and experience it. That I can be in a group of white people that is in the middle of an encounter with cops, and the officers somehow are more aggressive towards me than the white people around me. I learned, through being aware enough of my experiences, that I am not white, nor will I ever be; white supremacy, white people will make sure to let me know that I am not white. So I claim my black identity with pride, as I want nothing to do with the legacy of white supremacy and want to help this nation break free of that. But more importantly I know there is nothing wrong with being black, that black is beautiful, that that is part of my history, it’s in my blood; my grandfather’s cousin A. Leon Higginbotham helped write the South African constitution, I mean, c’mon. And even more important I love my dashes of melanin and will glow in my blackness; I love my blackness and yours. —Matthew Braunginn

Henry Sanders, “BEST OF 2016: 12 on Tuesday with Matthew Braunginn,” Madison365, December 21 2016. http://madison365.com/best-2016-12-tuesday-matthew-braunginn/.

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He notes how the mainstream media has latched onto the “happy hapa,” “magical mixie,” “happy hybrid,” “racial ambassador,” and “post-racial messiah” stereotypes of multiracial individuals that are dangerous…

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-01-08 03:40Z by Steven

Professor G. Reginald Daniel, who edits the Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies, both based out of the University of California, Santa Barbara, understands mixed-race events are naturally fun and exciting but he hopes young attendees recognize the legal, physical and psychological struggles and trauma older multiracial generations have gone through…

…And while [Mixed in the Six] MIT6 guests often cheekily gush over one another’s attractiveness (many attendees happen to work as models, actors and performers), Daniel hopes mixed-race millennials don’t get caught up in a strictly superficial multiracial discourse.

He notes how the mainstream media has latched onto the “happy hapa,” “magical mixie,” “happy hybrid,” “racial ambassador,” and “post-racial messiah” stereotypes of multiracial individuals that are dangerous because they portray “overenthusiastic images, including notions that multiracial individuals in the post-Civil rights era no longer experience any racial trauma and conflict about their identity.”…

Erin Kobayashi, “Mixed in the Six pop-up events created to support multiracial Torontonians,” The Toronto Star, January 3, 2017. https://www.thestar.com/life/2017/01/03/mixed-in-the-six-pop-up-events-created-to-support-multiracial-torontonians.html.

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Some Obamaphiles bristle at the idea that he should be thought of principally as a black president—assessed in a segregated category of one. Yet race has been essential to his career, as well as to his finest oratory.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-12-31 00:42Z by Steven

Some Obamaphiles bristle at the idea that he should be thought of principally as a black president—assessed in a segregated category of one. Yet race has been essential to his career, as well as to his finest oratory. The emergency remarks he made, in 2008, after the circulation of radical comments by his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, anticipated his address on the 50th anniversary of the Selma march. In both he advanced a dialectical view of history that transmuted racial traumas into occasions for collective progress, the landmarks of black liberation into milestones in America’s pursuit of perfection. If the story of race is America’s story, his trailblazing role in it must rank among his most lasting contributions.

A reflection on Barack Obama’s presidency,” The Economist, December 24, 2016. http://www.economist.com/news/christmas-specials/21712062-barack-obamas-presidency-lurched-between-idealism-and-acrimony-some-his.

The worst error in the history of science was undoubtedly classifying humans into the different races.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-12-26 22:22Z by Steven

The worst error in the history of science was undoubtedly classifying humans into the different races.

Darren Curnoe, “The biggest mistake in the history of science,” The Conversation, December 19, 2016. http://theconversation.com/the-biggest-mistake-in-the-history-of-science-70575.

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And it has been damaging to have Barack Obama, a black man speaking from the authoritative platform of the presidency, reinforce the widely held belief that racial inequality in the United States is, in large measure, the direct responsibility of black folk.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-12-23 01:33Z by Steven

I worried that it was possible for the symbolic and inspirational aspects of having a black president more than offset by the damages that could be done by the messages delivered by a black president. And it has been damaging to have Barack Obama, a black man speaking from the authoritative platform of the presidency, reinforce the widely held belief that racial inequality in the United States is, in large measure, the direct responsibility of black folk. This has been the deal breaker for me: not merely a silence on white physical and emotional violence directed against black Americans, but the denial of the centrality of American racism in explaining sustained black-white disparity.

William A. Darity, “How Barack Obama Failed Black Americans,” The Atlantic, December 22, 2016. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/how-barack-obama-failed-black-americans/511358/.

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“We see race in shades: light-skinned, dark skin, café con leche.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-12-21 22:38Z by Steven

Apart from the mixed messages of Hollywood and the census, another source of uncertainty lies in the different racial schemes prevalent in the U.S. and Brazil. While Americans often perceive people of mixed ancestry as nonwhite, Brazilians tend to understand race in a continuum and consider not only appearance or descent but also social and economic status.

As Luciano Gomes, a Brazilian immigrant who lives in Florida and works as a driver, observes, “We see race in shades: light-skinned, dark skin, café con leche.”

Frances Negrón-Muntaner, “Are Brazilians Latinos? What their identity struggle tells us about race in America,” The Conversation, December 20, 2016. https://theconversation.com/are-brazilians-latinos-what-their-identity-struggle-tells-us-about-race-in-america-64792.

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When I say “I’m black,” people try to negotiate this telling me: “No, you’re not black, you are mestiço, you are mulata.” And they think they’re doing me a favor not calling me a black woman.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-12-20 02:37Z by Steven

“As a daughter of a black mother and a white father, we have here in Brazil this kind of negotiation about identity. When I say “I’m black,” people try to negotiate this telling me: “No, you’re not black, you are mestiço, you are mulata.” And they think they’re doing me a favor not calling me a black woman.” —Ana Maria Gonçalves

Ana Maria Gonçalves – New columnist for The Intercept,” The Intercept Brasil, December 2, 2016. (00:00:20-00:00:46). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPFj5ToQ9xc.

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A long history of accepting interracial couples and mixed race children exists in the black community, if only because no alternatives seem to exist.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-12-19 01:42Z by Steven

A long history of accepting interracial couples and mixed race children exists in the black community, if only because no alternatives seem to exist. James Baldwin laid bare this ugly truth during a televised debate with a white conservative. When asked about what whites feared most, “Would you want your [white] daughter to marry one [black]?” Baldwin retorted, “You’re not worried about me marrying your daughter—you’re worried about me marrying your wife’s daughter. I’ve been marrying your daughter since the days of slavery.”

Peter Cole, “Where Has All the Loving Gone? A Review of the New Film, ‘Loving’,” African American Intellectual History Society, November 27, 2016. http://www.aaihs.org/where-has-all-the-loving-gone-a-review-of-the-new-loving-film/.

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