“you can’t actually defeat racism by merely opposing racism. You have to actually start opposing the categories of race if you want to transcend the hierarchies and caste systems they impose.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-07-19 03:02Z by Steven

“I’m not saying that everybody, or even most people, who are inspired by [Robin] DiAngelo or want to hear what she’s saying are cynical. But I do think that what people like Barbara and Karen Fields are asking of us in their book Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life; what Paul Gilroy in Against Race is asking of people; what someone like Albert Murray was asking of people when he told us that we were a “mongrel nation,” and that “[a]ny fool can see that white people are not really white, and that black people are not black”; what, in my own way, I’ve tried to propose in Self-Portrait in Black and White, is that you can’t actually defeat racism by merely opposing racism. You have to actually start opposing the categories of race if you want to transcend the hierarchies and caste systems they impose. I think that’s a much harder task.”—Thomas Chatterton Williams

Otis Houston, “Part of a Larger Battle: A Conversation with Thomas Chatterton Williams,” Los Angeles Review of Books, July 16, 2020. https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/part-of-a-larger-battle-a-conversation-with-thomas-chatterton-williams/.

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“But I’ve always just had the confidence and believed in who I am. And I’ve known that I’m Black. And I’m proud to be Black. And I’m proud to have a white mom too. I’m just proud of who I am. And I’ve always had that confidence in myself.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-07-18 01:30Z by Steven

In recognizing and expressing gratitude for the many opportunities he’s had, [Patrick] Mahomes also tells me he’s proud of his Black heritage—a subject he notices is sometimes talked about online. “I’ve seen how people, on Twitter, have tweeted and said, ‘Oh, you’re not full Black,’ ” he said. “But I’ve always just had the confidence and believed in who I am. And I’ve known that I’m Black. And I’m proud to be Black. And I’m proud to have a white mom too. I’m just proud of who I am. And I’ve always had that confidence in myself.”

Clay Skipper, “How Patrick Mahomes Became the Superstar the NFL Needs Right Now,” GQ, July 14, 2020 (August 2020 issue). https://www.gq.com/story/patrick-mahomes-cover-profile-august-2020.

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Today, one in four Latin Americans self-identify as having African ancestry, according to a recent World Bank report (approximately 645 million people live in Latin America and the Caribbean).

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-07-08 18:58Z by Steven

Today, one in four Latin Americans self-identify as having African ancestry, according to a recent World Bank report (approximately 645 million people live in Latin America and the Caribbean). But, as the report explains, Afro-descendants are “underrepresented in decision-making positions, both in the private and the public sector,” and they “are 2.5 times more likely to live in chronic poverty than whites or mestizos.”

Jorge Ramos, “A Hard Conversation for the Latino Community,” The New York Times, July 3, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/03/opinion/ramos-afro-latinos-racism.html.

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There is only 1 driver from an African American background at the top level of our sport..I am the 1.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-07-06 16:49Z by Steven

There is only 1 driver from an African American background at the top level of our sport..I am the 1. You’re not gonna stop hearing about “the black driver” for years. Embrace it, accept it and enjoy the journey.

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., Twitter, November 8, 2017, 17:02. https://twitter.com/BubbaWallace/status/928382162063249408.

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“Every Brazilian, even the light-skinned fair-haired one carries about him on his soul, when not on soul and body alike, the shadow or at least the birthmark of the aborigine or the negro…”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-06-30 16:13Z by Steven

After slavery, Brazil didn’t institute prohibitions of interracial relationships or draconian racial distinctions, as the United States did. The absence of a rigid racial taxonomy led to an extraordinarily mixed country, with single families composed of multiple skin tones, and far more racial fluidity.

“Every Brazilian, even the light-skinned fair-haired one carries about him on his soul, when not on soul and body alike, the shadow or at least the birthmark of the aborigine or the negro,” wrote the 20th-century Brazilian sociologist Gilberto de Mello Freyre, who examined the country’s racial mixing in the 1930s. A “paradise,” he declared Brazil, “in respect to race relations.”

Terrence McCoy, “In Brazil, the death of a poor black child in the care of rich white woman brings a racial reckoning,” June 28, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/brazil-racism-black-lives-matter-miguel-otavio-santana/2020/06/26/236a2944-b58b-11ea-a510-55bf26485c93_story.html.

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Hence, even if mixed-race identity is assumed to be the organizing principle, it is anti-Blackness and the systemic striving to achieve whiteness that operates as the driving force of Puerto Rican society.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-06-26 03:47Z by Steven

Puerto Rico, a colony of the United States since 1898―and a colony of Spain for 400 years before ―was very much subjected, by the empires and local criollo elites, to eugenicist ideas. “Race” science, in the first-half of the twentieth century, allowed criollo elites to create new racializing parameters while inserting “progressive” measures of social hygiene, public health, and eugenics to promote ideas of modernization, progress, and civilization. These seemingly progressive ideas were cemented on the figure of “el jibaro” (a white Puerto Rican farmworker) as the mythical symbol of the Puerto Rican nation which is constructed as a product of the mixture of Black, indigenous, and Spanish. Discursively constructing Puerto Ricanness as the mixture of three “races” allows for an erasure of racialization processes and the systematic racist structure of Puerto Rican nationalism as an all-inclusive ideology of exclusion. The conflation of these three “races” to create a white/light-skinned farmworker signify an erasure of the “factors”/bodies that were assumed to compose the idea behind Puerto Rican nationalism. Additionally, by seeing these three “races” as a mere factor for the creation of the “jibaro” it invisibilized those bodies which—in the criollo elite’s views—did not belong unless they were to “better the ‘race”(an intrinsic eugenic idea rooted in popular belief around certain kinds of racial mixture “pa’ mejorar la raza”). Hence, Blackness and Indigeneity in Puerto Rico are discursively mounted to create a seemingly mixed—dare I say, post-racial—society as long as Black and indigenous bodies mix and assimilate to the “jibaro nation.” This is to say, everything that falls outside of the national symbol of the “jibaro”—which strives for a lighter skin—becomes systematically pathologized. Hence, even if mixed-race identity is assumed to be the organizing principle, it is anti-Blackness and the systemic striving to achieve whiteness that operates as the driving force of Puerto Rican society.

R. Sánchez-Rivera, “Shilling for U.S. Empire: The Legacies of Scientific Racism in Puerto Rico,” The Abusable Past, June 22, 2020. https://www.radicalhistoryreview.org/abusablepast/shilling-for-u-s-empire-the-legacies-of-scientific-racism-in-puerto-rico/.

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“I have supper with them, and they have supper with me too. Only thing I don’t like is blacks and whites mixing, but I keep that to myself.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-06-21 23:41Z by Steven

“I got plenty of African American friends — I’ve known ’em since I was 14,” said [Lonnie] Miles, adding that he learned to say ‘African American’ out of respect. “They know if they need anything, all they have to do is ask me. I have supper with them, and they have supper with me too. Only thing I don’t like is blacks and whites mixing, but I keep that to myself.”

Stephanie McCrummen, “Wrapped up in the Confederate flag,” The Washington Post, June 20, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/20/heflin-alabama-confederate-flags.

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“I have two handicaps, I am a woman and I have some Negro blood in my veins.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-06-18 00:31Z by Steven

[Florence] Price and her music were well received in Chicago. The great contralto Marian Anderson closed her legendary 1939 Lincoln Memorial concert with a piece arranged by Price. Still, she scraped to make ends meet, writing pop tunes and accompanying silent films. In 1943, she sent a letter to Serge Koussevitzky, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, acknowledging what she was up against. “I have two handicaps,” she wrote: “I am a woman and I have some Negro blood in my veins.”

Tom Huizenga, “Revisiting The Pioneering Composer Florence Price,” All Things Considered, National Public Radio, January 21, 2019. https://www.npr.org/2019/01/21/686622572/revisiting-the-pioneering-composer-florence-price.

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My family was thoroughly racialized long before we moved out of Puerto Rico.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-06-15 01:54Z by Steven

My family was thoroughly racialized long before we moved out of Puerto Rico. I suppose when one grows up in a Black family designated as such by history, economics, society, and experiences of racism, along with the embodied trauma it produces, as much as by one’s cultural practices, one is likely, in the context of the archipelago, to also thoroughly understand that: 1. being evidently Black is a disadvantage; 2. that being mixed-race while publicly aspiring to be white is acceptable; and 3. being light-skin and/or white means privilege and access.

Hilda Lloréns, “‘Racialization works differently here in Puerto Rico, do not bring your U.S.-centric ideas about race here!’,” Black Perspectives, March 3, 2020. https://www.aaihs.org/racialization-works-differently-here-in-puerto-rico-do-not-bring-your-u-s-centric-ideas-about-race-here.

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As with Fredi Washington in 1934’s Imitation of Life and several other Black females who skin tones and facial features enabled them to “pass” for white such as Lena Horne, Dona would have to deny her family heritage to succeed in the entertainment industry…

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2020-04-10 20:40Z by Steven

As with Fredi Washington in 1934’s Imitation of Life and several other Black females who skin tones and facial features enabled them to “pass” for white such as Lena Horne, Dona [Drake] would have to deny her family heritage to succeed in the entertainment industry because at the time and for many years after, the studios felt the movie going public wouldn’t accept (and unfortunately they were correct) an attractive black actress, no matter how talented, in any role but that of a servant or comedic side-kick. Certainly not as the romantic lead opposite a white actor, even Hollywood knew the rest of the country paid it’s salaries.

The “Real” Mrs. William Travilla – Dona Drake,” Travilla’s Legacy: Keeping True Fashion Alive, November, 7, 2013. https://travillalegacy.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/the-real-mrs-william-travilla-dona-drake/.

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