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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It’s a state of mind I’ve grown with since becoming a mother in 2013 and realizing how much representation matters and how important it is to me that our kids be exposed to all cultures, yes, but to my blackness in particular.

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

I have never felt more black than I do in this current climate. It’s a state of mind I’ve grown with since becoming a mother in 2013 and realizing how much representation matters and how important it is to me that our kids be exposed to all cultures, yes, but to my blackness in particular. Perhaps this is why it jarred me so to hear someone question my connection to Simone. She is of me, as is her brother. Someone questioning our connection felt like a dismissal of her blackness.

My paternal Bajan side, my maternal Polish side, my family’s immigrant experience, the minority experience—all of these things make up who I am and I have a desire to make sure our kids comprehend it all. But it’s my blackness that I have come to see as crucial. Theo and Simone will grow up with white privilege due to their appearance, just as I have privilege as a light-skinned woman of colour. So I want them to feel connected to their black roots, through music, food, stories and traditions.

Alicia Cox Thomson, “I’m black, therefore my kids are, right?,” Today’s Parent, January 31, 2019. https://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/im-black-therefore-my-kids-are-right/.

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“But I’m black and I’m proud of being black. And I was born black and I will die black. And I’m proud of it. And I’m not going to make any excuses; [be]cause they don’t understand.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-02-18 21:46Z by Steven

“But Im black and I’m proud of being black. And I was born black and I will die black. And Im proud of it. And Im not going to make any excuses; [be]cause they dont understand.” —United States Senator Kamala D. Harris

Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy “Kamala Harris Talks 2020 Presidential Run, Legalizing Marijuana, Criminal Justice Reform + More,” The Breakfast Club Power, 105.1 FM, WWPR-FM, New York, New York, February 11, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh_wQUjeaTk. (00:40:11-00:40:21).

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On the other side of the coin, implementing the one-drop rule as a way to attach non-Black people to Blackness is equally detrimental to this conversation.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-02-16 23:50Z by Steven

On the other side of the coin, implementing the one-drop rule as a way to attach non-Black people to Blackness is equally detrimental to this conversation. The one-drop rule was only a practice found within the United States and was an “unspoken” law that never existed on the books. It was merely a way to stop Blacks fathered by their masters from gaining economic or social wealth by inheritance.

It is no secret that many diasporans or Black descendants of enslaved Africans have European ancestry but that wouldn’t make them white.

Keka Araujo, “Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Explains Her Race and Ethnicity ,” DiversityInc, February 15, 2019. https://www.diversityinc.com/Good-News/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-black-ancestry-doesnt-mean-black.

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“I walked over to the white side of the room. It was, ironically, where I felt most at home – all my friends, my boyfriend, my flatmates, were white. But my fellow workers had other ideas and I found myself being beckoned over by people on the black side. With some hesitation I crossed the floor.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-02-15 21:09Z by Steven

After studying textiles at Middlesex Polytechnic, [Andrea] Levy worked briefly as a designer, a dresser and a receptionist. But it was not until she was 26 that a racial awareness session with colleagues at an Islington sex education project gave her a “rude awakening”.

“We were asked to split into two groups, black and white.” Levy wrote. “I walked over to the white side of the room. It was, ironically, where I felt most at home – all my friends, my boyfriend, my flatmates, were white. But my fellow workers had other ideas and I found myself being beckoned over by people on the black side. With some hesitation I crossed the floor.”

As someone who was “scared” to call herself a black person, the experience was shocking enough to send her to bed for a week. But the writing course she had begun part-time came to her rescue, sending her back to explore the shame and denial that had marked her childhood and to rediscover her Jamaican roots.

Richard Lea, “Andrea Levy, chronicler of the Windrush generation, dies aged 62,” The Guardian, February 15, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/feb/15/andrea-levy-chronicler-of-the-windrush-generation-dies-aged-62.

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A mixed-race body moving through homogenous spaces often inspires attempts at conversations of classification.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-02-06 02:29Z by Steven

A mixed-race body moving through homogenous spaces often inspires attempts at conversations of classification. Whether through the form of a sudden, uneasy speechlessness followed by a mumbled comment, or an incessant stream of questions, this body of mine often seems to inspire the same disquietude in others that I experience within myself. In a crowded Tokyo mall, I once found myself the subject of a Japanese man’s gaze. When I moved to avoid him, climbing the stairs to the next floor, he positioned himself silently beside me, all the while staring at my face, my posture, my hands, my body. Only when I turned to exit did he open his mouth to mumble, “Jyun-japa?” (“Pure Japanese?”). He lifted his eyes to mine and I felt myself overcome by a blanketing silence.

Nina Coomes, “What Miyazaki’s Heroines Taught Me About My Mixed-Race Identity,” Catapult, October 16, 2017. https://catapult.co/stories/fans-what-miyazakis-heroines-taught-me-about-my-mixed-race-identity.

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The first question that arises is as to who is a “White” within the meaning of the statute.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-02-04 01:46Z by Steven

The first question that arises is as to who is a “White” within the meaning of the statute. Even those states which have formulated statutory definitions are not in agreement. Georgia with its very extensive definition provision sets out that a “White” includes only those persons who have no ascertainable trace of the prohibited intermixture in their blood line.22 The Arizona statute prohibits anyone with “Caucasian blood” from marrying the other races enumerated.23 Virginia states that a “White” is a person with no admixture except 1/16 or less of American Indian.24 Many other states in their statues treat as “White” anyone with 1/8 or less of any of the other prohibited races;25 Oregon sets it at ¼.26

William E. Foster, “A Study of the Wyoming Miscegenation Statutes,” Wyoming Law Journal, Volume 10, Number 2 (1956). 133-134. https://repository.uwyo.edu/wlj/vol10/iss2/5/.

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By drawing on their Hapa identity while situating themselves within historically Black and Brown musical and cultural aesthetics these artists are contributing to what ethnomusicologist, T. Carlis Roberts calls the “new Black” movement in music, a trend that embraces broader definitions of what it means to be Black and Brown.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-02-02 04:44Z by Steven

By drawing on their Hapa identity while situating themselves within historically Black and Brown musical and cultural aesthetics these artists are contributing to what ethnomusicologist, T. Carlis Roberts calls the “new Black” movement in music, a trend that embraces broader definitions of what it means to be Black and Brown. According to Roberts, “Not only has this process resulted in more visible diversity in media and other social realms, it has productively worked to unseat the Black–white dichotomy as the paradigm of racial conversation.”3 Musicians like [Jhené] Aiko are unseating several racial dichotomies.

Sonia C. Gomez, “Jhené Aiko and the Problem of Multiracial Self-Representation,” Discover Nikkei, January 29, 2019. http://www.discovernikkei.org/en/journal/2019/1/29/jhene-aiko/.

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Instead of enforcing segregation policies to sanction white superiority, Argentine authorities sought to eliminate blackness through European immigration and miscegenation.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-02-02 04:09Z by Steven

Instead of enforcing segregation policies to sanction white superiority, Argentine authorities sought to eliminate blackness through European immigration and miscegenation. The constant arrival of European males through immigration made this goal attainable. For example, [Domingo] Sarmiento often touted mulatos as proof of progress because they “had the brute force of the African and the intellect of the European.”5 By the turn of the twentieth century, it seemed that the whitening project had achieved success. In 1905 Juan José Soiza Reilly wrote in the magazine Caras y Caretas, “The [black] race is losing in the mixture its primitive color. It becomes gray. It dissolves. It lightens. An African tree is producing white flowers.”6

Erika Denise Edwards, “A Tale of Two Cities: Buenos Aires, Córdoba and the Disappearance of the Black Population in Argentina,” The Metropole: The Official Blog of the Urban History Association, May 31, 2018. https://themetropole.blog/2018/05/31/a-tale-of-two-cities-buenos-aires-cordoba-and-the-disappearance-of-the-black-population-in-argentina/.

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Family lore says Carl Warwick was Native American. His birthplace isn’t far from land that still belongs to Native American tribes. But his birth certificate, World War II draft registry and Social Security filing all say “negro.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-01-27 18:06Z by Steven

Family lore says Carl Warwick was Native American. His birthplace isn’t far from land that still belongs to Native American tribes. But his birth certificate, World War II draft registry and Social Security filing all say “negro.” So do the records I’m waiting for from the school he attended in the ‘30s – the New Jersey Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth.

Shannon Wink, “How a work project uncovered my true family roots [NewsWorks],” Shannon Wink: Communications, content and digital strategy, June 26, 2012. https://shannonawink.com/2012/06/25/how-a-work-project-uncovered-my-true-family-roots-newsworks.

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