Shirley Segree Cuffee (July 16, 1932 – November 10, 2018)

Posted in Articles, Biography, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2018-12-31 03:13Z by Steven

Shirley Segree Cuffee (July 16, 1932 – November 10, 2018)

Beyond The Dash
2018-12-28

Shirley Segree Cuffee

Shirley G. Segree Cuffee was born on Saturday, July 16, 1932 in the woodlands of Varina, in Henrico county, Virginia. She was born in her grandmother’s house on her 140 acre farm, to Native American (Powhatan/ Arrohateck, Cherokee) and African-American parents.

Her mother, Inez Selena Baugh was indigenous to that land and her father, James Bethea, was born in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Shirley was her mothers second eldest daughter (first daughter, Thelma “Nuni” Baugh [deceased]); and the eldest of her parents three children together. Before turning 2 years old, she moved to New York City with her parents where her younger brothers James Bethea, Jr., and Cleave Bethea where born.

In 1937, she and her family moved into the first, then “experimental” project in New York City, the ‘Harlem River Houses‘ located along the Harlem River Drive between 151st and 153rd streets in Harlem, New York

Read the entire obituary here.

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The DNA Industry and the Disappearing Indian

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-12-03 01:40Z by Steven

The DNA Industry and the Disappearing Indian

TomDispatch.com: A regular antidote to the mainstream media
2018-11-29

Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History; Coordinator of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies
Salem State University, Salem, Massachusetts

DNA, Race, and Native Rights

Amid the barrage of racist, anti-immigrant, and other attacks launched by President Trump and his administration in recent months, a series of little noted steps have threatened Native American land rights and sovereignty. Such attacks have focused on tribal sovereignty, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), and the voting rights of Native Americans, and they have come from Washington, the courts, and a state legislature. What they share is a single conceptual framework: the idea that the long history that has shaped U.S.-Native American relations has no relevance to today’s realities.

Meanwhile, in an apparently unrelated event, Senator Elizabeth Warren, egged on by Donald Trump’s “Pocahontas” taunts and his mocking of her claims to native ancestry, triumphantly touted her DNA results to “prove” her Native American heritage. In turning to the burgeoning, for-profit DNA industry, however, she implicitly lent her progressive weight to claims about race and identity that go hand in hand with moves to undermine Native sovereignty.

The DNA industry has, in fact, found a way to profit from reviving and modernizing antiquated ideas about the biological origins of race and repackaging them in a cheerful, Disneyfied wrapping. While it’s true that the it’s-a-small-world-after-all multiculturalism of the new racial science rejects nineteenth-century scientific racism and Social Darwinism, it is offering a twenty-first-century version of pseudoscience that once again reduces race to a matter of genetics and origins. In the process, the corporate-promoted ancestry fad conveniently manages to erase the histories of conquest, colonization, and exploitation that created not just racial inequality but race itself as a crucial category in the modern world.

Today’s policy attacks on Native rights reproduce the same misunderstandings of race that the DNA industry is now so assiduously promoting. If Native Americans are reduced to little more than another genetic variation, there is no need for laws that acknowledge their land rights, treaty rights, and sovereignty. Nor must any thought be given to how to compensate for past harms, not to speak of the present ones that still structure their realities. A genetic understanding of race distorts such policies into unfair “privileges” offered to a racially defined group and so “discrimination” against non-Natives. This is precisely the logic behind recent rulings that have denied Mashpee tribal land rights in Massachusetts, dismantled the Indian Child Welfare Act (a law aimed at preventing the removal of Native American children from their families or communities), and attempted to suppress Native voting rights in North Dakota

Read the entire article here.

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Mostly White

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Novels, United States on 2018-12-03 01:20Z by Steven

Mostly White

Torrey House Press
November 2018
200 pages
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-937226-95-4
Electronic ISBN: 978-1-937226-99-2

Alison Hart

Spanning four generations of a mixed-race family, Mostly White is a powerful tale of inter-generational trauma and the healing brought by wildness, music, and the resilience of women. The novel begins with Emma, who survives the abuse of an Indian residential school in 1890s Maine. Beaten and locked in a closet for days, Emma flees to the woods, where she meets Bird Man, an Irish bootlegger. Three generations later, aspiring actor Ella contends with her mixed-race heritage as she navigates color lines in 1980s New York City.

Throughout this sweeping and compassionate novel, Alison Hart’s unforgettable characters struggle with racism, poverty, and how to honor the call of their ancestors while forming their own identities. Mostly White unflinchingly examines facets of America’s difficult past—and the many ways this past pervades our present.

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Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast through Cross-Cultural Marriages

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Canada, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Women on 2018-11-18 22:59Z by Steven

Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast through Cross-Cultural Marriages

Washington State University Press
2017
290 pages
Illustrations / maps / notes / bibliography / index
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-87422-346-0

Candace Wellman

Peace-weaving marriages between Salish families and pioneer men played a crucial role in mid-1800s regional settlement. Author Candace Wellman illuminates this hidden history and shatters stereotypes surrounding these relationships. The four exceptional women she profiles left a lasting legacy in their Puget Sound communities.

Strategic cross-cultural marriages between Coast and Interior Salish families and pioneer men played a crucial role in mid-1800s regional settlement and spared Puget Sound’s upper corner from tragic conflicts. Accounts of the husbands exist in a variety of records, but the native wives’ contributions remained unacknowledged. Combining primary and secondary sources, genealogy, and family memories, author Candace Wellman illuminates this hidden history and shatters stereotypes surrounding these relationships. The four women she profiles exhibited exceptional endurance, strength, and adaptability. They ran successful farms and businesses and acted as cultural interpreters and mediators. Although each story is unique, collectively they and other intermarried individuals helped found Puget Sound communities and left a lasting legacy. They were peace weavers.

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The black Americans suing to reclaim their Native American identity

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2018-11-13 03:06Z by Steven

The black Americans suing to reclaim their Native American identity

The Guardian
2018-10-02

Caleb Gayle


Rhonda Grayson, with an image of her great-great grandfather Willie Cohee. Photograph: Brett Deering for the Guardian

Their ancestors were black slaves owned by Native Americans. Now they’re suing the Creek nation to fully restore their citizenship

Johnnie Mae Austin and her grandson, Damario Solomon-Simmons, can tell you everything about their ancestry. They can go back as far as 1810, the year Solomon-Simmons’ great-great-great-great-grandfather, Cow Tom, was born. With undeniable pride, they recount the man’s feats of bravery during the civil war, and his leadership within Oklahoma’s Creek population.

In fact, they are so determined to let the world know exactly who Cow Tom was that they’re suing the Creek nation to make sure his descendants aren’t forgotten.

Solomon-Simmons and his grandmother are black, but they argue they’re also Creek, and they’re fighting to reclaim their identity…

Red the entire article here.

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Race and Cultural Practice in Popular Culture

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2018-11-09 03:39Z by Steven

Race and Cultural Practice in Popular Culture

Rutgers University Press
2018-10-17
296 pages
6 x 9
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-9788-0130-1
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-9788-0131-8
PDF ISBN: 978-1-9788-0134-9
EPUB ISBN: 978-1-9788-0132-5
MobiPocket ISBN: 978-1-9788-0133-2

Edited by:

Domino Perez, Associate Professor of English
University of Texas, Austin

Rachel González-Martin, Assistant Professor of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
University of Texas, Austin

Race and Cultural Practice in Popular Culture

Race and Cultural Practice in Popular Culture is an innovative work that freshly approaches the concept of race as a social factor made concrete in popular forms, such as film, television, and music. The essays collectively push past the reaffirmation of static conceptions of identity, authenticity, or conventional interpretations of stereotypes and bridge the intertextual gap between theories of community enactment and cultural representation. The book also draws together and melds otherwise isolated academic theories and methodologies in order to focus on race as an ideological reality and a process that continues to impact lives despite allegations that we live in a post-racial America. The collection is separated into three parts: Visualizing Race (Representational Media), Sounding Race (Soundscape), and Racialization in Place (Theory), each of which considers visual, audio, and geographic sites of racial representations respectively.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • “Assembling an Intersectional Pop Cultura Analytical Lens: A Foreword”
  • Introduction: Re-imagining Critical Approaches to Folklore and Popular Culture / Domino Renee Perez and Rachel González-Martin
  • Part I: Visualizing Race
    • “A Thousand ‘Lines of Flight’: Collective Individuation and Racial Identity in Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and Sense8” / Ruth Y. Hsu
    • “Performing Cherokee Masculinity in The Doe Boy” / Channette Romero
    • “Truth, Justice, and the Mexican Way: Lucha Libre, Film, and Nationalism in Mexico” / James Wilkey
    • “Native American Irony: Survivance and the Subversion of Ethnography” / Gerald Vizenor
  • Part II: Sounding Race
    • “(Re)imagining Indigenous Popular Culture” / Mintzi Auanda Martínez-Rivera
    • “My Tongue is Divided into Two” / Olivia Cadaval
    • “Performing Nation Diva Style in Lila Downs and Astrid Hadad’s La Tequilera” / K. Angelique Dwyer
    • “(Dis)identifying with Shakira’s ‘Global Body’: A Path Towards Rhythmic Affiliations Beyond the Dichotomous Nation/Diaspora” / Daniela Gutiérrez López
    • “Voicing the Occult in Chicana/o Culture and Hybridity: Prayers and the Cholo-Goth Aesthetic” / José G. Anguiano
  • Part III: Racialization in Place
    • “Ugly Brown Bodies: Queering Desire in Machete” / Nicole Guidotti-Hernández
    • “Bitch, how’d you make it this far?”: Strategic Enactments of White Femininity in The Walking Dead” / Jaime Guzmán and Raisa Alvarado Uchima
    • “Bridge and Tunnel: Transcultural Border Crossings in The Bridge and Sicario” / Marcel Brousseau
    • “Red Land, White Power, Blue Sky: Settler Colonialism and Indigeneity in Breaking Bad” / James H. Cox
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index
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Before Arguing About DNA Tests, Learn the Science Behind Them

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy on 2018-10-25 00:51Z by Steven

Before Arguing About DNA Tests, Learn the Science Behind Them

The New York Times
2018-10-18

Carl Zimmer


Senator Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test results indicated that she had a Native American ancestor several generations ago.
Bridget Bennett for The New York Times

Our genetic code cannot be treated as a matter of simple fractions.

People have always told stories about their ancestral origins. But now millions of people are looking at their DNA to see if those stories hold up. While genetic tests can indeed reveal some secrets about our family past, we can also jump to the wrong conclusions from their results.

The reception of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s DNA results is a textbook case in this confusion…

…Slavery, too, led to an obsession with increasingly tiny fractions of ancestral blood, reaching the absurd extreme of the “one drop” rule. A single black ancestor — no matter how far back in the family tree, no matter how tiny the mythical drop of blood he or she contributed — was enough to make a person black…

…But DNA is not a liquid that can be divided down into microscopic drops. It’s a string-like molecule, arranged into 23 pairs of chromosomes, that gets passed down through the generations in a counterintuitive way.

Eggs and sperm randomly end up with one copy of each chromosome, coming either from a person’s mother or father. In the process, some DNA can shuffle from one chromosome to its partner. That means we inherit about a quarter of our DNA from each grandparent — but only on average. Any one person may inherit more DNA from one grandparent and less from another.

Over generations, this randomness can lead to something remarkable. Look back far enough in your family tree, and you’ll encounter ancestors from whom you inherit no DNA at all…

Read the entire article here.

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Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Family/Parenting, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2018-10-15 02:29Z by Steven

Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption

University of Nebraska Press
October 2018
352 pages
12 photographs
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4962-0746-3
eBook (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-4962-1088-3
eBook (EPUB) ISBN: 978-1-4962-1086-9

Susan Devan Harness, Member
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Bitterroot

In Bitterroot Susan Devan Harness traces her journey to understand the complexities and struggles of being an American Indian child adopted by a white couple and living in the rural American West. When Harness was fifteen years old, she questioned her adoptive father about her “real” parents. He replied that they had died in a car accident not long after she was born—except they hadn’t, as Harness would learn in a conversation with a social worker a few years later.

Harness’s search for answers revolved around her need to ascertain why she was the target of racist remarks and why she seemed always to be on the outside looking in. New questions followed her through college and into her twenties when she started her own family. Meeting her biological family in her early thirties generated even more questions. In her forties Harness decided to get serious about finding answers when, conducting oral histories, she talked with other transracial adoptees. In her fifties she realized that the concept of “home” she had attributed to the reservation existed only in her imagination.

Making sense of her family, the American Indian history of assimilation, and the very real—but culturally constructed—concept of race helped Harness answer the often puzzling questions of stereotypes, a sense of nonbelonging, the meaning of family, and the importance of forgiveness and self-acceptance. In the process Bitterroot also provides a deep and rich context in which to experience life.

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An Honest Woman: Poems

Posted in Books, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Poetry, Women on 2018-10-08 04:00Z by Steven

An Honest Woman: Poems

Talonbooks
2017
104 pages
6 W × 9 H × 1 D inches
Paperback/Softback ISBN: 978177201144

Jónína Kirton

An Honest WomanFront Cover

An Honest Woman by Jónína Kirton confronts us with beauty and ugliness in the wholesome riot that is sex, love, and marriage. From the perspective of a mixed-race woman, Kirton engages with Simone de Beauvoir and Donald Trump to unravel the norms of femininity and sexuality that continue to adhere today.

Kirton recalls her own upbringing, during which she was told to find a good husband who would “make an honest woman” out of her. Exploring the lives of many women, including her mother, her contemporaries, and well-known sex-crime stories such as the case of Elisabeth Fritzl, Kirton mines the personal to loosen the grip of patriarchal and colonial impositions.

An Honest Woman explores the many ways the female body is shaped by questions that have been too political to ask: What happens when a woman decides to take her sexuality into her own hands, dismissing cultural norms and the expectations of her parents? How is a young woman’s sexuality influenced when she is perceived as an “exotic” other? Can a woman reconnect with her Indigenous community by choosing Indigenous lovers?

Daring and tender in their honesty and wisdom, these poems challenge the perception of women’s bodies as glamorous and marketable commodities and imagine an embodied female experience that accommodates the role of creativity and a nurturing relationship with the land.

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The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2018-09-20 03:54Z by Steven

The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle

University of North Carolina Press
September 2018
328 pages
5 maps, notes, index
6.125 x 9.25
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4637-4
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-4638-1

Malinda Maynor Lowery, Associate Professor; Director, Center for the Study of the American South
University of North Carolina

The Lumbee Indians

Jamestown, the Lost Colony of Roanoke, and Plymouth Rock are central to America’s mythic origin stories. Then, we are told, the main characters–the “friendly” Native Americans who met the settlers–disappeared. But the history of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina demands that we tell a different story. As the largest tribe east of the Mississippi and one of the largest in the country, the Lumbees have survived in their original homelands, maintaining a distinct identity as Indians in a biracial South. In this passionately written, sweeping work of history, Malinda Maynor Lowery narrates the Lumbees’ extraordinary story as never before. The Lumbees’ journey as a people sheds new light on America’s defining moments, from the first encounters with Europeans to the present day. How and why did the Lumbees both fight to establish the United States and resist the encroachments of its government? How have they not just survived, but thrived, through Civil War, Jim Crow, the civil rights movement, and the war on drugs, to ultimately establish their own constitutional government in the twenty-first century? Their fight for full federal acknowledgment continues to this day, while the Lumbee people’s struggle for justice and self-determination continues to transform our view of the American experience. Readers of this book will never see Native American history the same way.

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