I identify in a category not formalized or accepted in colonial census charts or western ways of understanding the other, as a black South Asian. I am an Indian who lays claim to the global community of black consciousness, and I reside between so many worlds of belonging and unbelonging.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-05-20 01:33Z by Steven

I identify in a category not formalized or accepted in colonial census charts or western ways of understanding the other, as a black South Asian. I am an Indian who lays claim to the global community of black consciousness, and I reside between so many worlds of belonging and unbelonging. In racializing colorism and politicizing my own experience of antipathy witnessed toward the color of my skin, I crafted my own passport into marooned and shapeshifting black communities that gave credence to ontologies and a posteriori narratives over normative constructions of race, ethnicities, and nationalities.

Shreerekha, “In the Wake of His Damage,” The Rumpus, May 12, 2018. http://therumpus.net/2018/05/in-the-wake-of-his-damage/.

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“You say they’ll be cool with it, but seriously, Harry, you don’t know how white people can get about this stuff.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-05-20 00:44Z by Steven

“You say they’ll be cool with it, but seriously, Harry, you don’t know how white people can get about this stuff. I really don’t want to show up to the royal goddamned wedding and suddenly the Queen, Prince Charles, and Camilla Little-Miss-Perfect Duchess of Cornwall are being all weird! I wonder what could make them act like that, huh? Oh, God—please say your brother Prince William at least knows.” —“Meghan Markle

Furious Meghan Markle Can’t Believe Harry Hasn’t Told Family She’s Black Yet,” The Onion, May 17, 2018. https://www.theonion.com/furious-meghan-markle-can-t-believe-harry-hasn-t-told-f-1826104835.

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I know what it is to assimilate to a group you identify with, because I did it myself, against my white mother’s wishes. She hated me calling myself black.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-05-18 18:26Z by Steven

For some of us, racial identity is elastic. We can pass. For white, for black, for Middle Eastern. For Latinx. I am one of those people. I know what it is to assimilate to a group you identify with, because I did it myself, against my white mother’s wishes. She hated me calling myself black.

Lisa Page, “Passing or Transracial?: Authority, Race, and Sex in the Rachel Dolezal Documentary,” Beacon Broadside: A Project of Beacon Press, May 10, 2018. http://www.beaconbroadside.com/broadside/2018/05/passing-or-transracial-authority-race-and-sex-in-the-rachel-dolezal-documentary.html.

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I am the “Rashida Jones” version of biracial. I have white skin and dark brown, wavy hair — people always assume I’m white.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-05-18 18:20Z by Steven

I am the “Rashida Jones” version of biracial. I have white skin and dark brown, wavy hair — people always assume I’m white. Mariah Carey, who has a white mother and a black, Venezuelan father, was the only white-looking biracial person I knew of growing up. She was the biracial role model I needed, and I often thought of her when I struggled with the constant denial and questioning I faced whenever I told someone I was part black.

Sarah E. Gaither, “I study biracial identity in America. Here’s why Meghan Markle is a big deal.Vox, May 18, 2018. https://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/5/14/17345162/meghan-markle-royal-wedding-2018-race.

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“I definitely want to reach people who not only are of mixed ethnicity but who also identify as Black.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-05-14 20:40Z by Steven

“We always hear people say there are no Black people in Vancouver, but there are. I identify as a Black woman. I know there was a larger Black community in Vancouver many years ago, but people have been displaced. I definitely want to reach people who not only are of mixed ethnicity but who also identify as Black.

“I’m writing this for the community that I wish were here now. So whether you are Black, of mixed race or can identify with the trauma parts of the book, I think there are different layers in the work where you can see something different every time. That’s what I like with the hybrid form, of poetry and prose.” —Chelene Knight

Ryan B. Patrick, “Why Chelene Knight wrote letters to the current occupants of the houses she lived in growing up,” CBC Books, March 6, 2018. http://www.cbc.ca/books/why-chelene-knight-wrote-letters-to-the-current-occupants-of-the-houses-she-lived-in-growing-up-1.4533897.

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In fact, I would contend that the rhetoric around abolitionism was one of the most important factors in how the Anglo-Atlantic World thought about race at the end of the eighteenth century.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-04-27 01:35Z by Steven

“The debate about the slave trade, and of slavery itself, formed a critical background to everything that happens in the book. In fact, I would contend that the rhetoric around abolitionism was one of the most important factors in how the Anglo-Atlantic World thought about race at the end of the eighteenth century. For mixed-race migrants, there were three specific discussions that were relevant to them. First, activists working to abolish the slave trade started arguing in 1788 that once enslaved people were treated better and encouraged to marry one another, then they would increase naturally as a population, making the slave trade obsolete. That argument produced an ancillary claim that reformers should prevent interracial sex in the colonies because it undercut the natural growth of enslaved populations. In other words, the interracial relationships that produced mixed-race offspring suddenly became political, not just moral, problems for reformers. Second, when the Haitian Revolution broke out in 1791, French and English observers blamed abolitionists for stirring up trouble. But they also pointed to an event in the colony of Saint Domingue (that becomes Haiti) a few months before the Revolution. Vincent Ogé, a mixed-race Dominguan educated in France, led a militia of color demanding equal rights. They were quickly put down, but whites across the Caribbean assumed that his metropolitan education had radicalized him, and helped to inspire the later enslaved uprising. Jamaicans of color living in Britain, who had the same kind of biography as Ogé, were now even more threatening. Third, once the slave trade was abolished in 1807, observers immediately grew concerned that whites would flee the West Indies in droves, as the islands would no longer be economically productive. Someone still had to oversee these colonies, though, and mixed-race migrants who had been educated in Britain came to be seen as the best replacements for that white population that would inevitably leave the Caribbean.” —Daniel Livesay

Christopher Jones, “Q&A with Daniel Livesay, author of Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833,” The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History, April 20, 2018. https://earlyamericanists.com/2018/04/20/qa-with-daniel-livesay-author-of-children-of-uncertain-fortune-mixed-race-jamaicans-in-britain-and-the-atlantic-family-1733-1833/.

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Amongst all of the women who could be identified as black, there exists such a huge diversity of features and appearances that it is hard to talk about what a “black woman” looks like in any meaningful way, yet you reduce us to a monolith?

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-04-26 02:40Z by Steven

What is it about black girls that you find so attractive? We come in all different shades and sizes. Amongst all of the women who could be identified as black, there exists such a huge diversity of features and appearances that it is hard to talk about what a “black woman” looks like in any meaningful way, yet you reduce us to a monolith?

Emma Dabiri, “Emma: On What It Means to Be “Attracted to Black Girls”,” Dublin InQuirer, April 24, 2018. https://www.dublininquirer.com/2018/04/24/emma-on-what-it-means-to-be-attracted-to-black-girls.

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While advocates in the multiracial movement never explicitly indicate distaste for the minority that constitutes part of a mixed race individual, the insistence on the development of a new racial designation inadvertently associates this minority with inferiority.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-04-23 01:40Z by Steven

While advocates in the multiracial movement never explicitly indicate distaste for the minority that constitutes part of a mixed race individual, the insistence on the development of a new racial designation inadvertently associates this minority with inferiority. African-American studies professor Jared Sexton argues that the implicit rejection of the black race in multiracial discourse is due to the fact that the multiracial movement casts the black race as the reason for the woes of the multiracial ethnicity.179 To compensate for these woes, the black race must be rejected and replaced with the multiracial ethnicity. Recognizing the negativity of the black race, and creating distance between black and multiracial alienates the marginalized minority.180 As Sexton argues, the multiracial movement draws a line between black and multiracial, and allows privileges to one group over the other, similar to what occurred in Bacon’s Rebellion.181 By abandoning the black race rather than incorporating the struggle of blacks into the movement for respect for and recognition of mixed race individuals, self-identified multiracials position themselves parallel to the Irish who similarly excluded blacks from their struggle for labor rights.182

Alynia Phillips, “The Multiracial Option: A Step in the White Direction,” California Law Review, Volume 105, Issue 6 (2018), 1875-1876. https://dx.doi.org/10.15779/Z38H98ZD1S.

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Black people already have a highly mixed genetic heritage because of the history of involuntary migrations across the world imposed by slavery and colonialism.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-04-20 03:14Z by Steven

As scientists have repeatedly pointed out, the concept of race is fundamentally cultural, not biological. Nevertheless, because some realities of population genetics are unfortunately caught up in the false rhetoric of race, we might have to rely on the construct and acknowledge the biological differences in HLAs in order to save lives.

Black people already have a highly mixed genetic heritage because of the history of involuntary migrations across the world imposed by slavery and colonialism. “As those mixes take place it creates a more complicated HLA type,” much rarer than that of somebody who comes from a single ethnic heritage, says Galen Switzer, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine professor. Such diversity in HLA types makes it more difficult even for any two black people to match.

Cici Zhang, “When Your Medical Treatment Depends On Your Race,” The Establishment, April 11, 2018. https://theestablishment.co/when-your-medical-treatment-depends-on-your-race-ef2c24691b78.

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Partly in response to this sort of experience, the idea of ethnicity has now been replaced by today’s ‘gold standard’ democratic definition – self-declared ethnic affiliation.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-04-05 02:09Z by Steven

When interviewer-based surveys try to gather data on ethnicity their questions may not always capture what they are aiming for; rather, it is the interviewees’ opinion on what ethnic group (or groups) they think they belong to.

Partly in response to this sort of experience, the idea of ethnicity has now been replaced by today’s ‘gold standard’ democratic definition – self-declared ethnic affiliation. In short, you are who you say you are. This may or may not allow people to nominate a mixed or multiple group membership depending on which form you are filling in. Also, your declaration is not subject to approval from the group(s) you claim to belong to. This is the current New Zealand Standard Ethnicity definition.

Geoff Chambers and Paul Callister, “DNA tests are all fine and dandy, but they can never tell us who we really are,” The Dominion Post, April 3, 2018. https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/102707496/DNA-tests-are-all-fine-and-dandy-but-they-can-never-tell-us-who-we-really-are.

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