Interracial Marriage Before And After The Historic Loving Decision

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-13 14:18Z by Steven

Interracial Marriage Before And After The Historic Loving Decision

WGBH News
WGBH 89.7 FM
Boston, Massachusetts
2017-06-13

Sally Jacobs


The family in the yard of their Scituate home from left to right: Pamela McCoy, Rayna’s mother, Harris, Rayna, London, Miles and Dominic. Credit: Courtesy of the Mackay family.

This story is part two of a special three-part series on interracial marriage. It was produced in collaboration with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.

Winston Cox and Trudy Kofford were married late on a February afternoon in 1966. She was 22-years-old, a green-eyed dreamer fresh from the hills of Oregon. He was 29, an ambitious doctoral candidate from Jamaica, with a wiry build.

Trudy, who is white, wore a wool dress with a rounded straw hat in honor of her mother, one of a tiny number of family members present for the couple that day. Her father had vowed to disown her if she married Cox, a black man. Minutes before the ceremony began, Trudy’s mother leaned over and whispered in Winston’s ear.

“The mother, she said, ‘Listen, if her daddy ever sees you he’ll kill you,’” Winston recalled. “She was very angry when she met me.”

Such opposition to interracial marriage was not uncommon back when Winston and Trudy took the bold step of marrying across racial lines, one year before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision — Loving v. Virginia — that struck down state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Fifty years later, some things have decidedly changed while others have definitely not…


Winston Cox and Trudy Kofford on their wedding day, Feb. 4, 1966, in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Photo Credit: Courtesy

…Although Trudy has some Native-American blood, she had never met a black person growing up in Joseph, Oregon. In a way, Winston was just as naïve. He had grown up in Jamaica at a time of political upheaval, but had little racial awareness. There just weren’t many white people around during his childhood.

Still, though, they got married in 1966, one year before the Loving court decision would strike down laws nationwide prohibiting marriage between races. The ceremony was held in a mission in San Luis Obispo, California, where Winston had attended college. (California legalized interracial marriage in 1948.) Although they had many differences stemming from their upbringing, they shared a passion for social justice.

“We were Communists together,” said Trudy. “We were political. We studied Mao, and the Chinese Revolution.”

So much so, that when they had their second child in 1970 they called her Fanshen. It’s a Chinese word that means turning over. But it didn’t take long for race to come between them. By the time Fanshen was born, Winston had been kicked out of restaurants, barred from bathrooms and humiliated. As the politics of the decade grew more extreme, he grew an Afro and turned to the Black Panthers

Read the entire article here. Listen to the story here.

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Onstage — and in life — an actress explores her racial identity

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-06-12 15:24Z by Steven

Onstage — and in life — an actress explores her racial identity

The Boston Globe
2017-06-12

Sally Jacobs


Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, who grew up in Cambridge and is biracial, has spent much of her life grappling with her racial identity through story and performance.

As a child, Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni had a cherished birthday ritual. It wasn’t cake or a favorite pancake breakfast. It was her mother’s retelling of her birth story, intended to reassure her about the details of her origins and her parents’ marriage, about which she had nagging questions.

In a way, she still does.

“I had this belief growing up that I’m not theirs,” explained DiGiovanni, 47, who grew up in Cambridge and now lives in Los Angeles. “I always tried to make Mom prove that she actually gave birth to me. So, I always started with, ‘When did you and Dad first kiss?’ I really couldn’t imagine them being together at all. Still can’t.”…

…“One Drop,” in which she plays 16 roles, examines the ever-changing racial classifications in the US Census through the lens of her own family experience. DiGiovanni is one of two children born to Winston and Trudy Cox, who were married in 1966 in California, a year before the Loving ruling but in a state where interracial marriage was legal.

As a couple, they collided head-on with racial discrimination. Winston Cox, a Jamaican, was barred from bathrooms, kicked out of restaurants, and humiliated. After he and his wife settled in Washington, D.C., their interests swiftly diverged. Winston joined the Black Panthers while his wife turned to the women’s movement. Now 80, Winston believes that race was the main reason the marriage ended.

“I couldn’t foresee the problems that would take place,” he said.

Trudy Cox, 74, who lives in an assisted-living facility in Boston, agrees race was a part of what divided them. “He just hated it that I was white,” she said. Not only did many of the Panthers’ meetings exclude white people, but Winston himself was growing increasingly uncomfortable around them…

Read the entire article here.

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Loving Day, And The Fluidity Of Racial Identity

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-06-12 13:53Z by Steven

Loving Day, And The Fluidity Of Racial Identity

Cognoscenti
WBUR 90.9 FM
Boston, Massachusetts
2017-06-12

John Vercher

Today, June 12, marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Loving v. Virginia decision that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage and made my existence, well, legal.

At 50 years young, the decision that allowed people like my parents — who could see past shades of melanin — to marry anyone they pleased is holding strong.

More or less.

It wasn’t until the year 2000 that 60 percent of Alabama voters finally elected to honor the Supreme Court’s decision, and remove anti-miscegenation laws from their state constitution. A whole 60 percent!

But they did it. And that’s a cause for celebration.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to take a look at privilege. Specifically, mine

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed-Race In America

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-08 00:39Z by Steven

Mixed-Race In America

Medium
2017-06-05

Geoff Vasile

A Personal Look at The Psychology and History of Racism

My entire life — all I’ve wanted to do was help others. My career has given me titles such as caretaker and counselor; volunteerism has provided the opportunity for charity in a host of ways. My skill-set is providing comfort and confidence; my tools — empathy and communication. I have saved two lives; been responsible for many others — and counseled too many to count. I am flawed as well — and just like everyone else there are somethings I won’t admit to you as I likely don’t admit them to myself.

An unflagging bridge-person — too often I come across as contrarian; too often due to my intellectual vanity. Still, I like to think this is mostly part of my innate and reinforced desire for impartiality. Romanian, Black, and Korean, I grew up in South Central LA in the late 80s — the backdrop of the crack-epidemic, gang-wars, the LA Riots, and OJ Simpson case were just a few of the over-arching, commonly known conflicts fueled by racial tension. They imbued within me a deep and personal admiration for nuance’s ability to heal. Through both nature and nurture, environment and heritability — this characteristic of seeking resolution is how I like to think of myself; who I am when I’m at my best…

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 2017-05-30 20:51Z 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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We Wear the Mask: 15 Stories about Passing in America

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, History, Judaism, Latino Studies, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing, Religion on 2017-05-29 19:41Z by Steven

We Wear the Mask: 15 Stories about Passing in America

Beacon Press
2017-10-10
224 Pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-080707898-3
Ebook ISBN 978-080707899-0
Size: 5.5 x 8.5 Inches

Edited by:

Brando Skyhorse, Associate Professor of English
Indiana University, Bloomington

Lisa Page, Acting Director of Creative Writing
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Fifteen writers reveal their diverse experiences with passing, including racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, and economic.

American history is filled with innumerable examples of “passing.” Why do people pass? The reasons are manifold: opportunity, access, safety, adventure, agency, fear, trauma, shame. Some pass to advance themselves or their loved ones to what they perceive is a better quality of life.

Edited by authors Brando Skyhorse and Lisa Page, We Wear the Mask is a groundbreaking anthology featuring fifteen essays—fourteen of them original—that examine passing in multifaceted ways. Skyhorse, a Mexican American, writes about how his mother passed him as an American Indian before he gradually learned and accepted who—and what—he really is. Page writes about her mother passing as a white woman without a black ex-husband or biracial children. The anthology also includes essays by Marc Fitten, whose grandfather, a Chinese Jamaican, wanted to hide his name and ethnicity and for his children to pass as “colored” in the Caribbean; Achy Obejas, a queer Jewish Cuban woman who discovers that in Hawaii she is considered white. There’s M. G. Lord, who passes for heterosexual after her lesbian lover is killed; Patrick Rosal, who, without meaning to, “passes” as a waiter at the National Book Awards ceremony; and Sergio Troncoso, a Latino man, who passes for white at an internship on Capitol Hill. These and other compelling essays reveal the complex reality of passing in America.

Other contributors include:

  • Teresa Wiltz, who portrays how she navigated racial ambiguity while growing up in Staten Island, NY
  • Trey Ellis, the author of “The New Black Aesthetic,” who recollects his diverse experiences with passing in school settings
  • Margo Jefferson, whose parents invite her uncle, a light-complexioned black man, to dinner after he stops passing as white
  • Dolen Perkins-Valdez, who explores how the glorification of the Confederacy in the United States is an act of “historical passing”
  • Gabrielle Bellot, who feels the disquieting truths of passing as a woman in the world after coming out as trans
  • Clarence Page, who interrogates the phenomenon of “economic passing” in the context of race
  • Susan Golomb, a Jewish woman who reflects on the dilemma of having an identity that is often invisible
  • Rafia Zakaria, a woman who hides her Muslim American identity as a strategy to avoid surveillance at the airport
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Australia’s ‘Stolen Generations’ Tell Their Stories

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Media Archive, Oceania on 2017-05-28 22:50Z by Steven

Australia’s ‘Stolen Generations’ Tell Their Stories

Lens: Photography, Video and Visual Journalism
The New York Times
2017-05-24

Evelyn Nieves


Margaret Furber was born in Alice Springs, Australia, in 1947. She was placed in St. Mary’s Hostel on the outskirts of town because her mother was not able to take care of her. Her siblings were all sent to the Tiwi Islands. “We were all taken and separated in different ways,” she told the photographer. Nov. 6, 2015.
Matthew Sherwood

Alfred Calma was 4 years old when the police snatched him from his mother, never to live with her again. Joyce Napurrula-Schroeder was not quite 2 when it happened to her. Luke Morcom was a newborn, barely a week on this earth.

All had the bad luck of being born “half caste” during Australia’s disastrous experiment with forced assimilation. For 60 years, until 1970, government policies rounded up Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children deemed to be part-white and sent them to boarding schools and church-run missions. Like the Canadian First Nations’ and the United States’ Indian boarding schools that served as its model, Australia’s program aimed to beat out all traces of indigenous culture, often literally.

Run more like penal colonies than schools, these institutions scarred their young wards and their communities for life.

Decades later, when Matthew Sherwood, a Canadian photojournalist, began documenting survivors of the boarding schools — the “stolen generations,” as Australia calls them — they unleashed hellish memories where neglect was the best it ever got…

Read the entire article here.

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Children of black American GIs, Going on holiday with mum, Salome at the National Theatre

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2017-05-28 21:06Z by Steven

Children of black American GIs, Going on holiday with mum, Salome at the National Theatre

Woman’s Hour
BBC Radio 4
2017-05-19

Jenni Murray, Presenter
Beverley Purcell, Producer

Carole Travers from Poole in Dorset is one of a number of mixed heritage children born to African-American fathers who were stationed in the UK during World War II. With their husbands away fighting the war, some women had relationships and children with them. Fiona Clampin talks to Carole who’s been trying to trace her father the whole of her adult life, and to John who is still deeply affected by his early experiences.

With the Election looming, we’re in Sunderland talking to some women about the issue that most concern them. The South African playwright and theatre director Yael Farber discusses her new play Salome, at The National Theatre, a radical revision of the biblical tale. And the joys and pitfalls of going on holiday with your mum no matter what age you are.

Listen to episode here.

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The struggles of war babies fathered by black GIs

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-05-24 01:14Z by Steven

The struggles of war babies fathered by black GIs

BBC News Magazine
2017-05-21


Getty Images

About 100,000 black GIs were stationed in the UK during the war. Inevitably there were love affairs, but US laws usually prevented black servicemen from marrying. So what happened to the children they fathered? Fiona Clampin met two such children in Dorset, now in their seventies, who have not given up hope of tracing their fathers.

A bottle of champagne has sat on a shelf in Carole Travers’s wardrobe for the past 20 years. Wedged between boxes and covered with clothes, it’ll be opened only when Carole finds her father. “There’s an outside chance he might still be alive,” she reflects. “I’ve got so many bits of information, but to know the real truth would mean the world to me – to know that I did belong to somebody.”

The possibility of Carole tracking down her father becomes more and more remote by the day. Born towards the end of World War Two, Carole, now 72, was the result of a relationship between her white mother and a married African-American or mixed-race soldier stationed in Poole, in Dorset.

Whereas some “brown babies” (as the children of black GIs were known in the press) were put up for adoption, Carole’s mother, Eleanor Reid, decided to keep her child. The only problem was, she was already married, with a daughter, to a Scot with pale skin and red hair.

“I had black hair and dark skin,” says Carole. “Something obviously wasn’t right.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Rachel Dolezal, Luvvie and the boundaries of Blackness

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2017-05-18 16:49Z by Steven

Rachel Dolezal, Luvvie and the boundaries of Blackness

San Diego City Beat
2017-05-01

Minda Honey


Minda Honey

Just because I’m biracial, that doesn’t mean I didn’t put in the work

I sat nearly knee-to-knee with my professor in his cramped office. Pulled up on his computer was my latest essay. I was trying, rather unsuccessfully, to write about my experience growing up Black and Filipino in Kentucky. I wrote about my mother, born and raised in Manila by her mother. About her Black father who lived in California. About my mother’s skin, pale as cashews and lighter than my own. I wrote about what it was like for her to marry a Black man and move to the U.S. only to be confronted, through her children, with the same racism that had plagued her much darker siblings their entire lives.

My professor wanted to know, “Why now?” Why was I writing about all of this now? Was it because identity politics were in vogue?…

Read the entire article here.

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