A Real Negro Girl: Fredi Washington and the New Negro Renaissance

Posted in Arts, Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Passing, United States, Women on 2022-11-27 05:39Z by Steven

A Real Negro Girl: Fredi Washington and the New Negro Renaissance

Oxford University Press
2023-10-02
320 Pages
25 black and white illustrations
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780197626214

Laurie A. Woodard, Assistant Professor of History
City College of New York, New York, New York

  • First biography of dancer, actor, and activist Fredi Washington
  • Highlights the role of the performing arts in the history of the New Negro Renaissance, which has tended to be focused on literary arts
  • Focuses on an African American who could have but chose not to “pass

The first biography of performing artist, writer, and civil and human rights activist Fredi Washington.

Following Fredi Washington’s debut in her first dramatic role in 1926, Alfred Spengler of the New York North Side News reported that she was “astonishingly pretty for a real Negro girl.” Throughout her career, Washington was vulnerable to discrimination because her near-white skin and hazel eyes, coupled with her self-identification as Negro, cast her as too physically white to play black and too culturally black to play white. The multifaceted Washington was of course a great deal more than her looks; she was a performing artist, a writer, and a civil and human rights activist. Embracing the genres of dance, theater, and film, she used her talent, creativity, and determination to sustain a thirty-year career in the arts and in labor and political activism during the New Negro Renaissance and beyond.

Although Fredi Washington has been largely forgotten, A Real Negro Girl shows that, at the zenith of her career, she was a household name in the black community, well known in mainstream America, and a darling of the European press. Most famous for her role in the film “Imitation of Life,” she was a part of a cohort that included Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Delving into her professional and personal experiences in Harlem, nationally, and internationally, this book illuminates Washington’s significance to the New Negro Renaissance and reveals the vital influence of black performing artists and of black women on the movement. Over the years, Washington expanded her social and political consciousness and anti-racism activism, encompassing journalism, labor organizing, protests, and support of progressive politics. As a founder and executive director of the Negro Actors Guild of America, she sought to protect black artists from professional exploitation and physical abuse.

Incorporating close readings of images and films, interviews, and fan mail, as well as writings by and about Washington, A Real Negro Girl highlights Fredi Washington as an influential actor in the African American quest for civil and human rights.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Setting the Stage: The Roots of the New Negro Renaissance
  • Chapter 2: Dancing All Day: Reading Blackface and Black Bodies
  • Chapter 3: Boxers, Blacks, and a Real Negro Girl: White Expectations and Imagined Conceptions of Authentic Blackness
  • Chapter 4: Race, Place, and Miscegenation: Fredi Washington in Imitation of Life
  • Chapter 5: Beyond the Footlights: New Negro Performing Artists and More Tangible Forms of Activism
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Select Bibliography
  • Index
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Thinking While Black: Translating the Politics and Popular Culture of a Rebel Generation

Posted in Books, Communications/Media Studies, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom, United States on 2022-08-08 16:00Z by Steven

Thinking While Black: Translating the Politics and Popular Culture of a Rebel Generation

Rutgers University Press
2022-12-09
218 pages
7 b-w illustrations
6 x 9
Paperback ISBN: 9781978830875
Cloth ISBN: 9781978830882
EPUB ISBN: 9781978830899
PDF ISBN: 9781978830905

Daniel McNeil, Department of Gender Studies
Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario

Thinking While Black brings together the work and ideas of the most notorious film critic in America, one of the most influential intellectuals in the United Kingdom, and a political and cultural generation that consumed images of rebellion and revolution around the world as young Black teenagers in the late 1960s. Drawing on hidden and little known archives of resistance and resilience, it sheds new light on the politics and poetics of young people who came together, often outside of conventional politics, to rock against racism in the 1970s and early ‘80s. It re-examines debates in the 1980s and ‘90s about artists who “spread out” to mount aggressive challenges to a straight, white, middle-class world, and entertainers who “sold out” to build their global brands with performances that attacked the Black poor, rejected public displays of introspection, and expressed unambiguous misogyny and homophobia. Finally, it thinks with and through the work of writers who have been celebrated and condemned as eminent intellectuals and curmudgeonly contrarians in the twenty-first century. In doing so, it delivers the smartest and most nuanced investigation into thinkers such as Paul Gilroy and Armond White as they have evolved from “young soul rebels” to “middle-aged mavericks” and “grumpy old men,” lamented the debasement and deskilling of Black film and music in a digital age, railed against the discourteous discourse and groupthink of screenies and Internet Hordes, and sought to stimulate some deeper and fresher thinking about racism, nationalism, multiculturalism, political correctness and social media.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Theories in Motion
  • Chapter 2: Black and British
  • Chapter 3: A Movie-Struck Kid from Detroit
  • Chapter 4: Slave-Descendants, Diaspora Subjects, and World Citizens
  • Chapter 5: Enlarging the American Cinema
  • Chapter 6: Middle-Aged, Gifted, and Black
  • Coda
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
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Dialogues Beyond the Master’s Map: An Invitation

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Philosophy, Social Justice, Social Science, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2022-02-02 03:28Z by Steven

Dialogues Beyond the Master’s Map: An Invitation

Carlos Hoyt, Ph.D., LICSW
2022-01-08

My journey has taken me past constructions of race,
past constructions of mixed race,
and into an understanding of human difference
that does not include race as a meaningful category.
–Race and Mixed-Race: A Personal Tour, Rainier Spencer

Introduction

About ten years ago I invited people who resist the practice of racialization to talk with me about why, when, and how they arrived at a point beyond personal and social identity defined and confined by the dogma of race.

Since then, I’ve had the privilege of being able to write, talk, and teach about the implications of the non-racial worldview in a wide variety of contexts. And all along the way, I’ve heard from folks wishing to gather with others who share an anti-racialization orientation. This is an invitation to such a gathering.

If, despite being told and trained and pressured to embrace and perform a sense of identity that represents a false construct of human differences, you defy racial reduction and seek the company of others who resist racialization, please contact me. About a month from the posting of this invitation, sometime in early February, I’ll contact everyone who expressed interest with a date and time for our first gathering (via Zoom) where we’ll share perspectives and narratives of life beyond the master’s map…

To continue reading, click here.

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Jackie Kay International Conference

Posted in Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Live Events, United Kingdom, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers, Women on 2020-02-13 18:57Z by Steven

Jackie Kay International Conference

Gylphi Contemporary Writers
February 2020

Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
2020-05-06
Contact: kay.conference@gylphi.co.uk

Organisers:

Natasha Alden, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary British Fiction
University of Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

Fiona Tolan, Senior Lecturer in English
Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Keynote speaker:

Deidre Osborne, Reader in English Literature and Drama
Goldsmiths, University of London

Jackie Kay is the author of some 30 works, including plays, poetry, prose (fiction and non-fiction), children’s literature, short stories and a ground-breaking novel. She has won or been shortlisted for over 20 literary awards and prizes, including the Guardian Fiction Prize, the inaugural Forward Prize for Poetry for a single poem, the Somerset Maugham Award and the Costa Poetry Award. She is the Scots Makar, professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, Chancellor of the University of Salford and a CBE.

Kay’s work is remarkable for its range of genres, its consistent reinvention of forms, and its marriage of intimate, domestic depictions of individual lives with broad political and philosophical themes. In works such as her breakthrough poetry collection, The Adoption Papers (1991), the novel Trumpet (1998) – a path-breaking depiction of trans identity – and the autobiographical Red Dust Road (2010), her publications explore identity, individuality and belonging, and love between family members, lovers and friends. Amongst many other questions, her works asks what Britishness is, what race means, what it is to love, and what gender is, and can be.

This international conference, the first on Kay’s work, brings together scholars from a wide range of literary and cultural studies. The British Council describe Kay as having, over the past two decades, ‘moved from marginal voice to national treasure.’ This conference will examine the work that has marked Kay’s shift from the margins to the centre, addressing a writer whose work has expanded the scope of British literature. We welcome papers on any topic related to Kay’s writing, including, but not limited to:

  • Scottish national identity
  • Autobiography and life writing
  • Black British writing
  • Trans identities
  • Lesbian writing
  • The family
  • Adoption
  • Scottish Women’s writing
  • Black Scottish Writing
  • The impact / legacy of Trumpet
  • Intersections of form (such as music, poetry, fiction, music, dramatic voice)
  • Landscape and place
  • Love
  • Humour
  • The line between life and art

We welcome papers from any disciplines and theoretical perspectives, and from scholars at all career stages, especially ECRs. Please send a title and 300 word abstract for a 20-minute paper, as well as your name, any affiliation, and a 100-word professional biography, to kay.conference@gylphi.co.uk by 6 March 2020.

The conference is sponsored by Gylphi. Selected papers from the conference will be published as Jackie Kay: Critical Essays, with a foreword by Kay, as part of Gylphi’s Contemporary Writers: Critical Essays series (Series Editor: Dr Sarah Dillon).

For more information, click here.

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Red Dust Road

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Live Events, United Kingdom on 2019-08-06 20:50Z by Steven

Red Dust Road

National Theatre of Scotland
2019-08-10 through 2019-09-21


Elaine C. Smith and Sasha Frost

Based on the soul-searching memoir by Scots Makar Jackie Kay, adapted by Tanika Gupta, and directed by Dawn Walton.

“You are made up from a mixture of myth and gene. You are part fable, part porridge

Growing up in 70s’ Scotland as the adopted mixed raced child of a Communist couple, young Jackie blossomed into an outspoken, talented poet. Then she decided to find her birth parents…

From Nairn to Lagos, Red Dust Road takes you on a journey full of heart, humour and deep emotions. Discover how we are shaped by the folk songs we hear as much as by the cells in our bodies.

Opening at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2019, and at HOME, Manchester in September 2019

Touring to Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling and Eden Court Theatre, Inverness in autumn 2019.

For more information, click here.

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Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Posted in Books, Canada, Forthcoming Media, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2019-07-16 14:02Z by Steven

Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
2019-06-30
295 pages
6 x 1 x 9 inches
ISBN13: 978-1-77112-240-5

Michelle La Flamme, Professor of English
University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

Canada’s history is bicultural, Indigenous, and multilingual, and these characteristics have given risen to a number of strategies used by our writers to code racially mixed characters. This book examines contemporary Canadian literature and drama in order to tease out some of those strategies and the social and cultural factors that inform them.

Racially hybrid characters in literature have served a matrix of needs. They are used as shorthand for interracial desire, signifiers of taboo love, images of impurity, symbols of degeneration, and examples of beauty and genetic perfection. Their fates have been used to suggest the futility of marrying across racial lines, or the revelation of their “one drop” signals a climactic downfall. Other narratives suggest mixed-race bodies are foundational to colonization and signify contact between colonial and Indigenous bodies.

Author Michelle LaFlamme approaches racial hybridity with a cross-generic and cross-racial approach, unusual in the field of hybridity studies, by analyzing characters with different racial mixes in autobiographies, fiction, and drama. Her analysis privileges literary texts and the voices of artists rather than sociological explanations of the mixed-race experience. The book suggests that the hyper-visualization of mixed-race bodies in mono-racial contexts creates a scopophilic interest in how those bodies look and perform race.

La Flamme’s term “soma text” draws attention to the constructed, performative aspects of this form of embodiment. The writers she examines witness that living in a racially hybrid and ambiguous body is a complex engagement that involves reading and decoding the body in sophisticated ways, involving both the multiracial body and the racialized gaze of the onlooker.

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Hapa-Palooza: A Celebration of Mixed Roots, Arts and Ideas

Posted in Arts, Canada, Forthcoming Media, Live Events on 2013-09-02 18:01Z by Steven

Hapa-Palooza: A Celebration of Mixed Roots, Arts and Ideas

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2013-09-18, 2013-09-19, and 2013-09-21

Hapa-Palooza: A Vancouver Celebration of Mixed-Roots Arts and Ideas is a new cultural festival that celebrates the city’s identity as a place of hybridity, synergy and acceptance. A vibrant fusion of music, dance, literary, artistic and film performances, Hapa-Palooza places prominence on celebrating and stimulating awareness of mixed-roots identity, especially amongst youth.

For more information, click here.

Parenting in Multiracial Families

Posted in Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Social Work, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2013-01-20 20:56Z by Steven

Parenting in Multiracial Families

2013-01-20

My name is Chloe Jhangiani and I am a second year master’s social work student conducting research for my thesis at Smith College School for Social Work. I am recruiting multiracial adults with racial heritage from two or more racial groups to participate on a study about how their parents approached race and racism when they were children.  Through this study, I hope to better understand how multiracial individuals are helped to cope with the stressors of being a multiracial individual.  My hope is that this research can help inform parents, clinicians, and educators on the complexities of the multiracial experience.

The study takes approximately 20-30 minutes and involves answering a series of questions on a secure online survey site.  Answers to the survey questions are anonymous. Participation in this study is voluntary and you can withdraw at any time until you submit the survey. This study has been approved by the Smith College School for Social work Human Subjects Review Committee.

If you are interested please click on the link: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/surveys/parenting-multiracial-families/

Also, please feel free to share this link with other students or organizations you think might have interest in participating.

Please email me at multiracialresearch@gmail.com if you have any questions regarding participation or the survey itself. 
 
Thank you for your interest and participation,
 
Chloe Jhangiani
School for Social Work
Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts

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Obaloba, The Whale Island

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Videos on 2012-12-21 03:44Z by Steven

Obaloba, The Whale Island

Innovative Transmedia Productions
2012

Matteo Stanzani, Creative Director

‘OBALOBA, the whale island’, is an original project whose purpose is to educate and entertain children aged 4-8 through an innovative transmedia ecosystem made of: online and mobile community and videogames, web and tv cartoon animation series, interactive eBooks, live events, toys and a wide range of sustainable merchandising products.

Main Content

Obaloba, the Whale Island, is a community of super-cute creatures who live in a lush, Hawaii-inspired, uncontaminated island on the back of a whale.

The creatures are created by mixing – in a magic blender – human DNA with animal and vegetal elements from Nature. They’re hundreds and counting, and each one has a unique personality and attitude, like you and me.

The stories of Obaloba, the whale island, unfold through the adventures of the one-of-a-kind characters who live in peace and joy, foster love for diversity and embrace the value of individuality. But, to maintain their community, they are forced to outsmart a super villain who wants to seize the magic-blender to turn them into all-identical – and therefore controllable – creatures…

For more information, click here.

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Evoking the Mulatto: Exploring Black Mixed Identity in the 21st Century

Posted in Arts, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, United States on 2012-12-19 05:36Z by Steven

Evoking the Mulatto: Exploring Black Mixed Identity in the 21st Century

2012

Lindsay C. Harris, Creator, Director, Artist & Lead Curator

Tida Tippapart, Producer and Co-Curator

Chelsea Rae Klein, Web Designer and Co-Curator

Evoking the Mulatto is a multiplatform narrative and visual art project examining black mixed identity in the 21st century, through the lens of the history of racial classification in the United States.

Featuring filmed interviews with young artists and activists, photography, animation, and historical mappings, this video art project seeks to address a relevant contemporary issue by glimpsing at its chronicle. In an alleged post-race society, under governance of the first black (and mixed) president, the United States still criminalizes and demarcates black bodies, as made evident in the public realm by the recent death of Trayvon Martin and the extreme racial disproportionality in the criminal justice system (black men are over six times more likely to be incarcerated than white men). Even our current struggle over marriage equality is far too reminiscent of the fight to eradicate all miscegenation laws, which up until 1967, banned interracial marriage…

For more information, click here.

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