Blackness Behind White Skin

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-03-23 19:25Z by Steven

Blackness Behind White Skin

Mixed Roots Stories
2017-03-22

Kenneth Miks

Professor: Now everyone stand up

Class: [shuffling around to stand up]

Professor: Take a look around at all the Black men standing around you.

Class:[Everyone begins looking around awkwardly]

Professor: Now, everyone sit down, but all the black men remain standing…

It is in this very moment I begin to panic. My mind starts to race at a 100mph and I begin to nervously look around as I see everyone sitting down, but all the black men standing tall. “Do I keep standing?…

Read the entire article here.

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“What Are You?”

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-22 20:47Z by Steven

“What Are You?”

Scholastic Choices: The Award-Winning Health & Life Skills Magazine for Teens
April 2017

Kim Tranell, Editor


By Lexi Brock as told to Kim Tranell

Lexi, 18, grew up hearing that question again and again in her small Georgia town. Now she will proudly tell you she’s multiracial—and what that means to her.

Imagine sitting down at a restaurant with your family and the couple at the next table ask to move. You aren’t sure why, but you’re no longer hungry.

Now think about going to church on Sunday, but all of a sudden you can’t, because no church will welcome your family through its doors…

Read the entire article here.

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What Corn Island taught me about black identity

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2017-03-22 15:50Z by Steven

What Corn Island taught me about black identity

Girl Unfurled
2016-12-08

Georgina Lawton

“You’re not black here. The locals won’t call you black”.

These were some of the first words uttered to me by a (white, European, male) island inhabitant when I arrived on Big Corn Island.

“You’s a white gyal,” another friend who was born and raised on the island his whole life, told me on the bleach-white sands, one blisteringly hot day.

I remember looking at all the other people, similar in shade to me and I felt… un poco confuso (a little confused).

Why could I not be black here?!

Read the entire article here.

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The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives about Being Mixed Race in the Twenty-First Century

Posted in Anthologies, Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media on 2017-03-21 00:20Z by Steven

The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives about Being Mixed Race in the Twenty-First Century

2Leaf Press
June 2017
eBook ISBN: 978-1-940939-55-1

Edited by:

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Professor of English and Asian and Asian American Studies
University of Connecticut

Sean Frederick Forbes, Poet and Professor

Tara Betts, Author and Professor

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‘My mum always told me I was white, like her. Now I know the truth’

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Europe, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-03-19 01:10Z by Steven

‘My mum always told me I was white, like her. Now I know the truth’

The Guardian
2017-03-18

Georgina Lawton


Georgina Lawton: ‘Even though I would look in the mirror and see a brown, dark-eyed girl, I couldn’t identify as black.’

As a child in a white Anglo-Irish family, Georgina Lawton’s curiosity about her dark skin colour was constantly brushed aside. Only when her father died did the truth surface

You might not think it to look at me, but my upbringing was a very Anglo-Irish affair. I grew up on the outskirts of London with my blue-eyed younger brother, British father and Irish mother. Many happy weeks of the school holidays were spent in Ireland and I was educated at a Catholic school in Surrey. We ate roast beef and yorkshire puddings on Sundays, and Thin Lizzy, Van Morrison and the Clash formed the soundtrack to our lazy weekends.

The only peculiar aspect to all this was the defining aspect of my identity. Because, although I look mixed-race, or black, my whole family is white. And until the man I called Dad died two years ago, I did not know the truth about my existence. Now, age 24, I’m starting to uncover where I come from…

Read the entire article here.

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Mind the Gap: Mixed-race mindset

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-03-16 01:32Z by Steven

Mind the Gap: Mixed-race mindset

The Tufts Daily
Medford, Massachusetts
2017-03-14

MJ Greigo

Most strangers who pass me on the street think I’m white. I don’t blame them for this, as I’m pale as hell. I got some sort of mid-point of my parents’ genes: my obviously brown father and my paper-white mom, his black hair and her light brown, her 5-foot-7-inches and his 6-foot-4-inches. Growing up, I got so tan in the summers, and I brought in Nana Griego’s homemade tortillas for show and tell. My friends joked about how I loved burritos and that I was like a maid. The confusion of childhood takes a lifetime to unpack, and I find myself looking back with terror on things that I couldn’t have understood at the time. Yet without fully knowing about their repercussions, these tiny moments come together to form a huge part of the way everyone sees the world…

Read the entire article here.

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I Am a Proud Black Teen Who Happens to be Half White

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-15 00:39Z by Steven

I Am a Proud Black Teen Who Happens to be Half White

Affinity
2017-02-25

Jazkia Phillips
Portland, Oregon

I grew up in a community where black was the thing to be. My friends and family members had an ample amount of pride and confidence when it came to their racial identities and weren’t afraid to let people know. I too had this visceral sense of pride in my identity as a child. When we learned about the Civil Rights Movement and the pioneers of that era, in my mind I would think, “Yeah, those are my people on the frontlines.” When I was asked that dreaded question “What are you?” I never knew how to answer because I felt black in every way. But, my mother had white skin and I chose to acknowledge that. So I settled on the term “mixed” and the rest just fell together nicely. Throughout my elementary school years, I moved along with this pride and the notion that I was, in fact, a black girl. I just had lighter skin, that’s all…

Read the entire article here.

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I Owe Black Canada

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Canada, Media Archive on 2017-03-11 04:02Z by Steven

I Owe Black Canada

Medium
2017-03-05

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein


Nova Scotia on the drive from Halifax to Peggy’s Cove, 2010. Formerly enslaved Black people from the American colonies were promised that they could farm this land in Canada if they fought for the British during the Revolution. (source: me) [image: rocky terrain with Atlantic Ocean in the background, lots of moss and short pine-looking bush-trees]

Coming to understand the real but not real border

In a move that many told me was a major professional mistake, I dropped out of one of the best astronomy PhD programs in the United States to pursue research at the relatively new Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, switching to the PhD program at University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. I had never heard of Waterloo, although I’ve come to understand that in math and engineering circles, it’s kind of a BFD, with the largest mathematics faculty in North America (multiple math departments!), and the most extensive engineering co-op program in North America.

Being one of about 10 Black grad students across all departments at UC Santa Cruz, it didn’t cross my mind to be picky about how many Black students there were at Waterloo. It also didn’t occur to me that it would take a rather traumatizing search before I could find anyone who could actually cut my hair without asking me stupid questions like, “Can you put a comb in that?”

I didn’t know Canada, although I thought I did. Here’s what I knew about Canada: that it was like the US but people said “sore-ry” instead of “sawry,” that people sometimes mistook my Los Angeles-British colonial accent for a Canadian one, that some of my cousins on the Barbados side lived north of Toronto, that it was the end of the underground railroad, that they had single-payer health care, that as a child I had to watch Canadian TV to see the diversity that reflected my real life, and that overall this all meant they were more civilized than the US. In other words, I believed what I would now call the Canadian national myth, rather strongly…

…Hanging out in the other bookstore in Waterloo, I found out that the author, Lawrence Hill, would be doing an event with Afua Cooper, who had just published another book, I picked up, The Hanging of Angelique. Cooper’s book was about the Black enslaved woman who burned Montreal down (well, we think anyway). I made a note to show up at their event come hell or high water.

Hill, a light skinned Black man whose white American mother and Black American father had come to Canada when his father got into the University of Toronto for grad school, talked about discovering the hidden Canadian history of the Black Loyalists, as they are known. Cooper, a dark skinned Black woman and an established poet in addition to historian, talked about uncovering the often ignored and hidden history of Canada’s own horrible past with slavery…

Read the entire article here.

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Suburban Gothic, or Being a White Passing Person of Color in a Rich, White Town

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-03-10 16:29Z by Steven

Suburban Gothic, or Being a White Passing Person of Color in a Rich, White Town

Affinity Magazine
2017-02-16

Karina Belotserkovskiy

Sooner or later, the phrase is uttered to you. It can be (it almost always is) a discussion in class. Something involving race relations in society or an overused metaphor for racism in the novel you’re reading. Someone says a very iffy comment – either borderline or blatantly racist and you get angry. Everyone else starts looking at each other, “What the hell is this white kid getting so worked up about?” (You will never see a white person as near passionate about casual racism as a person of color.) You look back at them and say “Well, I’m actually half… [South Asian in my case, but fill in the blank]. Then it comes.

“Wait? You’re not white?” Followed by eye rolls, side comments, and scoffs. Such is the negative side of a white passing experience…

…White passing people face a strange double whammy, best described in a quote from Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel, Passing.

“The trouble with Clare was, not only that she wanted to have her cake and eat it too, but that she wanted to nibble at the cakes of other folks at well.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Rachel Dolezal: Can you be black without actually being biologically black?

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-03-09 21:10Z by Steven

Rachel Dolezal: Can you be black without actually being biologically black?

The Los Angeles Times
2017-03-08

Patt Morrison

LA Times columnist Patt Morrison sits down with Rachel Dolezal to discuss race and identity.

In June 2015, a few days before Donald Trump declared that he was running for president, the news cycle was dominated by a different person: Rachel Dolezal. She was the head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, an artist, a teacher of black-themed subjects – and, as it turned out, the daughter of white parents. She said she identified as black, and was living the life she felt was authentically her own. Her critics, and there were many, believed she had been living a lie, letting people assume she was black, when years before she had filed a lawsuit as a Howard University graduate student, alleging that the university had discriminated against her because she was a white woman.

Long divorced from her African American husband, Dolezal is bringing up three black sons, the youngest a year old. And she is still living as she was when she decided to “be black without any explanations, reservations, apologies or room for negotiation.” Her new autobiography, “In Full Color,” strikes the same tone: the wrongs in her story belong to a race-obsessed society that doesn’t permit people like her to be who they really feel themselves to be…

Listen to the interview here.

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