In fact, the idea that all of humanity can be divided into four or five (or however many) racial groups is relatively new. Ancient Greeks, for example, never thought of themselves as “white.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-05-15 21:38Z by Steven

In fact, the idea that all of humanity can be divided into four or five (or however many) racial groups is relatively new. Ancient Greeks, for example, never thought of themselves as “white.” As Tim Whitmarsh noted in Aeon in 2018, “Greeks simply didn’t think of the world as starkly divided along racial lines into black and white: that’s a strange aberration of the modern, Western world, a product of many different historical forces, but in particular the transatlantic slave trade and the cruder aspects of 19th-century racial theory.”

Peter G. Prontzos, “The Concept of “Race” Is a Lie,” Scientific American, May 14, 2019. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-concept-of-race-is-a-lie/.

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“My book looks at societal representations of the mixed-race character as ‘insane,’ ‘tragic’ and ‘torn between two worlds,’” Hodges Persley said. “But if you dig deeper, that’s not necessarily the case.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-05-14 15:40Z by Steven

“My book [Not Tragic: Fredi Washington and the Improvisation of Radical Black Performance Traditions] looks at societal representations of the mixed-race character as ‘insane,’ ‘tragic’ and ‘torn between two worlds,’” [Nicole] Hodges Persley said. “But if you dig deeper, that’s not necessarily the case. [Adrienne] Kennedy says it’s not necessarily the mixing of two races that produces psychosis but the predominant narrative of whiteness that people of color are forced to consume, but that they can never fulfill; they can never live up to it. She asks why blackness is portrayed as evil and not seen for its positive contributions to the world.”

Rick Hellman, “‘Funnyhouse of a Negro’ gets under character’s skin,” KU Today, May 1, 2019. https://today.ku.edu/2019/04/30/funnyhouse-negro-gets-under-characters-skin.

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“In France, we have a very different relationship in terms of defining blackness. I’m not called black — I’m called a Frenchwoman.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-05-13 15:45Z by Steven

[Mati] Diop’s father (jazz musician Wasis Diop) is from Senegal and her mother is French. Diop was born and raised in Paris, although she visited Senegal often as a child. In France, we have a very different relationship in terms of defining blackness. Im not called black — I’m called a Frenchwoman, she says. “But I have noticed that in America, as soon as you have a little — even 10 or 20 percent of blackness — you become black. Being black is not something I think about every day when I wake up. I don’t think of myself as white or as black. I just think about me as me.”

Meet the First Black Female Director in the Cannes Competition, The Hollywood Reporter, May 9, 2019. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mati-diop-being-first-black-female-director-cannes-lineup-1208189.

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Still, over the years, and in my own experience, most light-skinned black and mixed folks I know would rather identify as black and proudly claim our heritage and legacy than pass for white, or even mention the whiteness part.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-05-12 17:46Z by Steven

Still, over the years, and in my own experience, most light-skinned black and mixed folks I know would rather identify as black and proudly claim our heritage and legacy than pass for white, or even mention the whiteness part. Because it’s the whiteness part that gave this country white sheets and pointy hoods, that put an unrecognizably maimed Emmett Till in an open coffin. It’s what made Margaret Garner slit her child’s throat rather than return her to slavery. Whiteness is what gave us Donald Trump, and all the free-wheeling privilege and arrogance of average white men the world over.

Rebecca Carroll, “What The Reaction To The Royal Baby Says About Racial Identity And Racism,” Gothamist, March 10, 2019. http://gothamist.com/2019/05/10/royal_baby_race_obsession.php.

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“I think that America has a kind of fantasy about what an interracial relationship is like—people who understand each other from the get-go; they are the future; they will save humanity and all babies will be beige—I mean, there’s a real deep fantasy about this.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-04-22 00:08Z by Steven

“I think that America has a kind of fantasy about what an interracial relationship is like—people who understand each other from the get-go; they are the future; they will save humanity and all babies will be beige—I mean, there’s a real deep fantasy about this.

But we know that can’t be true. We have too many things we misunderstand about each other. So then people assume that people who are together from different races secretly hate themselves and their culture. There is a distrust of interracial relationships, too.

What I wanted to write about was not the kumbaya fantasy or the gross assumptions, but the actual reality. It’s all of these things: We have moments of tremendous love, and we have tremendous dissonance. We have moments when we get each other, and moments when we’ve really failed each other. That’s what that love looks like. It’s complicated and it is real. The minute you’re not allowed to investigate your own interiority and complexity, you’ve lost. I wanted to stop losing.” —Mira Jacob

Amal Ahmed, “Illustrating the Messy Reality of Life as an Interracial Family,” The Atlantic, April 12, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/04/in-mira-jacobs-good-talk-talking-about-race-with-your-family-isnt-easy/586954/.

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Occupying the peculiar liminal space between the fiction of race and the realities of its imposition has presented me a strange reality as a multiracial Black adult of the African diaspora: Black to some, mixed race to others, generally confusing to many…

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-04-20 01:12Z by Steven

Occupying the peculiar liminal space between the fiction of race and the realities of its imposition has presented me a strange reality as a multiracial Black adult of the African diaspora: Black to some, mixed race to others, generally confusing to many; white women touching my hair without permission; South Asian old ladies looking at me with suspicion; sideways looks from cops who presume I’m up to no good. If you’re a Black-coded mixed-race person, the cops don’t care who your parents are. I identify as Black because that’s how the world interacts with me. I am also mixed race. The language of halves and quarters does not serve us. We are whole, complex human beings.

Daniella Barreto, “We Can’t Screw Ourselves Out of Racism,” Medium, March 28, 2019. https://medium.com/shareyournuance/cant-fuck-ourselves-out-of-racism-72d91ecbe87.

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I could imagine the disapproval he would have shown for my future husband and son simply because they are black. The thought was unbearable.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-04-20 01:06Z by Steven

I could imagine the disapproval he [my stepfather] would have shown for my future husband and son simply because they are black. The thought was unbearable. Determined not to let a deceased man’s ideas control my life, I decided I would gather my immediate family to be open with them about my love and my pregnancy.

Tina Chang, “With the Birth of My Son, I Stopped Hiding,” The New York Times, April 19, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/19/style/modern-love-no-more-hiding-my-son-or-my-love.html.

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I don’t need a DNA test to tell me that I come from everywhere. Creoles are the original American racial mélange of black and European — French and Spanish mostly — and frequently Native American.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-04-18 01:14Z by Steven

I don’t need a DNA test to tell me that I come from everywhere. Creoles are the original American racial mélange of black and European — French and Spanish mostly — and frequently Native American. But this mélange has hardly been celebrated. Instead, it was the measuring stick for the limits to which Jim Crow laws had to go to police racial lines in Louisiana and the wider South (see one-drop rule, tragic mulatto, Plessy v. Ferguson). Creole multiracialism has been viewed not as quintessentially American but as something that undermines what quintessentially American should mean. Both blacks and whites viewed Creoles with special contempt and more than a little suspicion, as if we were trying to join a club we could never belong to, because of our color.

Erin Aubry Kaplan, “I Don’t Need a DNA Test to Tell Me How Black I Am,” The New York Times, April 16, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/opinion/dna-test-23andme-race.html.

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“My mother understood she was raising two black children to be black women.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-03-29 02:59Z by Steven

“My mother understood she was raising two black children to be black women,” [Kamala] Harris said in the interview, a line she has often used to settle questions on the subject. Shyamala Gopalan Harris encouraged her daughter to go to Howard [University], a school her mother knew well, having guest lectured there and having friends on the faculty.

“There was nothing unnatural or in conflict about it at all,” Harris said. “There were a lot of kids at Howard who had a background where one parent was maybe from the Philippines and the other might be from Nairobi,” she added. “Howard encompasses the [African] diaspora.”

Evan Halper, “A political awakening: How Howard University shaped Kamala Harris’ identity,” The Los Angeles Times, March 19, 2019. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-kamala-harris-howard-university-20190319-story.html.

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Neither of my parents (or their families) required me to be one thing or another, and they let me decide how I would identify.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-02-26 21:08Z by Steven

In my adolescence, I referred to myself (and my brother) as blaxican to honor both parents, even though I did not experience the world through a black self and a Mexican self. Many of the biracial kids I grew up around tried desperately to be in two worlds but struggled with the duality. They never seemed comfortable or satisfied with trying to belong in whatever space they occupied. I could not relate. Neither of my parents (or their families) required me to be one thing or another, and they let me decide how I would identify.

Marguerite Matthews, “A Tale of Two Faces,” The Root, January 31, 2019. https://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/a-tale-of-two-faces-1832206862.

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