“And then I had to get comfortable making people uncomfortable. And so, for me, on the act of coming out as a black person in white spaces was where I think the seeds of that came.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-08-25 02:54Z by Steven

“Very early on, I learned to, I‘d say, “Ruin the dinner party,” and that became something. I think of that as my origins as a writer, actually, was that I learned very early on that I was going to disrupt, and that I was going… My presence was not going to always be comfortable. And then I had to get comfortable making people uncomfortable. And so, for me, on the act of coming out as a black person in white spaces was where I think the seeds of that came. And it was about learning speech over silence, ’cause there was a very easy solution, which was just not to say anything. And having my parents’ politics drummed into me from a very early age.”—Danzy Senna

Danzy Senna’s Life Isn’t Black and White,” Articulate, April 24, 2018. https://www.articulateshow.org/articulate/danzy-sennas-life-isnt-black-and-white. (00:08:58-00:09:40).

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“I see myself as a woman of color with light skinned privileges. I hold the duality as both a recipient and an ally of a legacy of oppression and colonialism.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-08-25 02:41Z by Steven

“My inclusion in general POC spaces is a tricky one. While my ethnicity is very rarely discounted, the white privilege I’m afforded and responsible for owning quickly screws up the POC binary, too. Other people of color can respond with a hint of caution. Some openly recognize the complexity that I am holding and accept my lens as meaningful in the POC experience. Some do not. While prejudices I’ve experienced have punctured my bubble, guilt inevitably arises over how much to talk about these experiences as valid in contrast to my other advantages, especially with other people of color. I see myself as a woman of color with light skinned privileges. I hold the duality as both a recipient and an ally of a legacy of oppression and colonialism.” —Deva Segal

Tiffany McLain LMFT, A Part and Apart, Psychology Today, August 21, 2018. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/living-between-worlds/201808/part-and-apart.

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The very first time I became aware of how my ethnicity affected me was when I was asked what my race was on a form when I was in elementary school.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-08-25 02:29Z by Steven

The very first time I became aware of how my ethnicity affected me was when I was asked what my race was on a form when I was in elementary school. Ten to twenty years ago, official documents didn’t give you the option to say that you were multiracial or choose more than one race. I remember being a little confused because I knew my skin was Black, but both my parents weren’t. In the end, I chose “Black” and sometimes I still just choose “Black” when I think my ethnicity is too complicated for others to understand.

Latonya Pennington, “Being Proud of my Blasian Identity Didn’t Come Without Some Pain,” Wear Your Voice, May 30, 2018. https://wearyourvoicemag.com/identities/race/proud-blasian.

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The [passing] genre overlooks questions of colourism, treats racial identity as rigid and fixed, and the complexities of the mixed-race experience are ignored.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-08-22 04:01Z by Steven

The [passing] genre overlooks questions of colourism, treats racial identity as rigid and fixed, and the complexities of the mixed-race experience are ignored. And then there is the issue of optics. It is tricky for the passing character to move from page to screen. [John M.] Stahl’s selection of [Fredi] Washington for the role of Peola [in Imitation of Life (1934)] was hugely progressive for the 1930s. Not only did he give an actor who identified as black a significant role, but the film’s monochrome palette meant that Washington really looked white, which petrified southern segregationists.

Janine Bradbury, “‘Passing for white’: how a taboo film genre is being revived to expose racial privilege,” The Guardian, August 20, 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/aug/20/passing-film-rebecca-hall-black-white-us-rac.

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“Why should we separate out based on this thing, this race thing? If we have grown them and they speak Lumbee the way we speak Lumbee, and they’ve gone to Lumbee schools and Lumbee churches and we’ve fed them and nourished them, they’re Lumbee.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-08-22 03:46Z by Steven

Some Lumbees have red hair and freckles, others have tight blond curls, and others have sleek, dark hair and mocha skin. No one is kicked out of the tribe because of their skin tone — and that concept is hard for the BIA to accept, according to Mary Ann Jacobs, chair of the Department of American Indian Studies at UNC-Pembroke. “They don’t like the fact that we refuse to put people out who look too white or look too black. If they’re our people, we keep them.” Jacobs laughed, as if the idea of doing anything else were absurd. “We refuse to give them back. Why should we separate out based on this thing, this race thing? If we have grown them and they speak Lumbee the way we speak Lumbee, and they’ve gone to Lumbee schools and Lumbee churches and we’ve fed them and nourished them, they’re Lumbee.”

Lisa Rab, “What Makes Someone Native American?The Washington Post Magazine, August 20, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/style/wp/2018/08/20/feature/what-makes-someone-native-american-one-tribes-long-struggle-for-full-recognition.

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The photographs remind us, repeatedly, that the racial delineations imposed by society are often arbitrary and flimsy, always fraught.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-08-10 02:48Z by Steven

The express ornaments of black culture that appear in some of [Genevieve] Gaignard’s images—braids and Afros, head wraps and African prints—like all surfaces, can be borrowed. The photographs remind us, repeatedly, that the racial delineations imposed by society are often arbitrary and flimsy, always fraught.

Katie Ryder, “An Artist’s Costumed Alter Egos Cross Racial Lines,” The New Yorker, July 17, 2018. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/an-artists-costumed-alter-egos-cross-racial-lines.

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“I’m trying to show that blackness comes in many different shades.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-08-04 01:31Z by Steven

“I’m trying to show that blackness comes in many different shades,” [Genevieve] Gaignard explained to artnet News during a tour of her current exhibition, “Genevieve Gaignard: Counterfeit Currency,” her first in New York, at the FLAG Art Foundation.

Sarah Cascone, “‘There’s Enough Damsels in Distress’: Artist Genevieve Gaignard Wants to Undermine Your Assumptions About Beauty and Blackness,” artnet News, August 3, 2018. https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/genevieve-gaignard-counterfeit-currency-1327343.

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My life means much more than just my ethnicity. I now understand that I have the agency and self-determination to decide who I want to be.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-07-02 02:55Z by Steven

My return to GW [George Washington University] helped me find myself ways I never thought possible. I’m on my way to forming a sense of self on my own terms and my life is fuller as a result. I think of myself as a traveler, a foodie, a passionate student, a news and media junkie, a social justice enthusiast and more. My life means much more than just my ethnicity. I now understand that I have the agency and self-determination to decide who I want to be.

Mailinh McNicholas, “What It’s Like Being an “Other”,” College Magazine, June 19, 2018. https://www.collegemagazine.com/what-its-like-being-an-other.

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In Brazil, however, the often admirable blurring of racial boundaries is a modern reality that — rather than stemming from colorblindness — is tainted with the sinister origins of state-sanctioned attempts to dilute, even dissolve, blackness.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-07-01 05:14Z by Steven

[Paulo César] Lima’s words point to a painful and somewhat paradoxical consequence of Brazil’s racial fluidity. America’s politics of racial purity, which culminated in the notion that even one-drop of African blood made a person legally black, fostered solidarity among those targeted by discriminatory laws. In Brazil, however, the often admirable blurring of racial boundaries is a modern reality that — rather than stemming from colorblindness — is tainted with the sinister origins of state-sanctioned attempts to dilute, even dissolve, blackness.

Cleuci de Oliveira, “Is Neymar Black? Brazil and the Painful Relativity of Race,” The New York Times, June 30, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/30/opinion/is-neymar-black-brazil-and-the-painful-relativity-of-race.html.

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For anyone who is doubtful of the sheer absurdity of racial categorization and the porousness of our supposed boundaries, the Piper family history can be instructive.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-06-30 03:08Z by Steven

For anyone who is doubtful of the sheer absurdity of racial categorization and the porousness of our supposed boundaries, the Piper family history can be instructive. Adrian Margaret Smith Piper was born in 1948 in Washington Heights, and raised there and on Riverside Drive. On her paternal side, she is the product of a long line of whites and extremely light-skinned, straight-haired black property owners and, on her mother Olive’s side, mixed-race, planter-class Jamaican immigrants. Her father, Daniel, received two separate and contradictory birth certificates. The first one labeled him as “white,” while the second, which his mother demanded as a corrective, put him down as “octoroon.” (At MoMA, they are hung on the wall, as part of the installation of “Cornered.”) Piper’s paternal grandfather, also Daniel, went the opposite route after the birth of his second, slightly darker son, Billy, abandoning his wife and children and moving out West to start a new “white” family in Washington State. Daniel Sr.’s brother, Piper’s great-uncle, William, lived his life as a Caucasian man of distinction, founding the Piper Aircraft Corporation and making his name as “the Henry Ford of Aviation.” He ended up with his face on a postage stamp and a fortune big enough to endow a building at his alma mater, Harvard.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, “Adrian Piper’s Show at MoMA is the Largest Ever for a Living Artist. Why Hasn’t She Seen It?The New York Times Magazine, June 27, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/27/magazine/adrian-pipers-self-imposed-exile-from-america-and-from-race-itself.html.

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