Black Judas: William Hannibal Thomas and “The American Negro”

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, United States on 2019-08-12 01:24Z by Steven

Black Judas: William Hannibal Thomas and “The American Negro”

University of Georgia Press
2019-11-15
416 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9-780-8203-5626-6

John David Smith, Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History
University of North Carolina, Charlotte

The classic biography of the infamous black Negrophobe William Hannibal Thomas, with a new preface by the author

William Hannibal Thomas (1843-1935) served with distinction in the U.S. Colored Troops in the Civil War (in which he lost an arm) and was a preacher, teacher, lawyer, state legislator, and journalist following Appomattox. In many publications up through the 1890s, Thomas espoused a critical though optimistic black nationalist ideology. After his mid-twenties, however, Thomas began exhibiting a self-destructive personality, one that kept him in constant trouble with authorities and always on the run. His book The American Negro (1901) was his final self-destructive act.

Attacking African Americans in gross and insulting language in this utterly pessimistic book, Thomas blamed them for the contemporary “Negro problem” and argued that the race required radical redemption based on improved “character,” not changed “color.” Vague in his recommendations, Thomas implied that blacks should model themselves after certain mulattoes, most notably William Hannibal Thomas.

Black Judas is a biography of Thomas, a publishing history of The American Negro, and an analysis of that book’s significance to American racial thought. The book is based on fifteen years of research, including research in postamputation trauma and psychoanalytic theory on self-hatred, to assess Thomas’s metamorphosis from a constructive race critic to a black Negrophobe. John David Smith argues that his radical shift resulted from key emotional and physical traumas that mirrored Thomas’s life history of exposure to white racism and intense physical pain.

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Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai`i and Oceania

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Oceania, United States on 2019-08-12 01:22Z by Steven

Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai`i and Oceania

Duke University Press
November 2019
320 pages
Illustrations: 19 illustrations
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0633-6
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0502-5

Maile Arvin, Assistant Professor of History and Gender Studies
University of Utah

Possessing Polynesians

From their earliest encounters with indigenous Pacific Islanders, white Europeans and Americans asserted an identification with the racial origins of Polynesians, declaring them to be, racially, almost white and speculating that they were of Mediterranean or Aryan descent. In Possessing Polynesians Maile Arvin analyzes this racializing history within the context of settler colonialism across Polynesia, especially in Hawai‘i. Arvin argues that a logic of possession through whiteness animates settler colonialism, through which both Polynesia (the place) and Polynesians (the people) become exotic, feminized belongings of whiteness. Seeing whiteness as indigenous to Polynesia provided white settlers with the justification needed to claim Polynesian lands and resources. Understood as possessions, Polynesians were and continue to be denied the privileges of whiteness. Yet Polynesians have long contested these classifications, claims, and cultural representations, and Arvin shows how their resistance to and refusal of white settler logic have regenerated Indigenous forms of recognition.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Polynesia Is a Project, Not a Place
  • Part I. The Polynesian Problem: Scientific Production of the “Almost White” Polynesian Race
    • 1. Heirlooms of the Aryan Race: Nineteenth-Century Studies of Polynesian Origins
    • 2. Conditionally Caucasian: Polynesian Racial Classification in Early Twentieth-Century Eugenics and Physical Anthropology
    • 3. hating Hawaiians, Celebrating Hybrid Hawaiian Girls: Sociology and the Fictions of Racial Mixture
  • Part II. Regenerative Refusals: Confronting Contemporary Legacies of the Polynesian Problem in Hawai’i and Oceania
    • 4. Still in the Blood: Blood Quantum and Self-Determination in Day v. Apoliona and Federal Recognition
    • 5. The Value of Polynesian DNA: Genomic Solutions to the Polynesian Problems
    • 6. Regenerating Indigeneity: Challenging Possessive Whiteness in Contemporary Pacific Art
  • Conclusion. Regenerating an Oceanic Future in Indigenous Space-Time
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Call for Papers “Mixedness and Indigeneity in the Pacific”

Posted in Forthcoming Media, History, Oceania, Social Science, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2019-08-12 01:08Z by Steven

Call for Papers “Mixedness and Indigeneity in the Pacific”

Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies
2019-07-04

Guest Editors:

Zarine L. Rocha
National University of Singapore

Teena Brown Pulu, Senior Lecturer
Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies

This special issue is seeking papers that address what it means to be mixed–racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically–from indigenous points of view in the Pacific. Indigenous understandings of identity and belonging are crucial in developing and critiquing the current scholarship around mixed race. The nations and territories in the Pacific region, Oceania, encompass diverse ethnic groups and histories affected by different forms and timelines of colonialism, yet the enduring identity is one of indigenous cultures, histories, and languages. Mixedness can be theorized and experienced in different ways and structured in discrete forms of classification and language around mixing and social/cultural acceptance or the stigmatization of certain heritages. As Kukutai and Broman (2016) emphasize, indigenous cultures across the Pacific are by no means homogenous, and historical understandings of race and ethnicity have been influenced by colonial histories. Linnekin and Poyer (1990) suggest that while kinship/community groups have always been essential to indigenous societies, organization along racial/ethnic lines was non-existent prior to colonialism, meaning that understandings of mixedness similarly shifted and changed over time. Writings by Pacific artists and researchers of mixed race, mixed blood, echo and evoke Teresia Teaiwa’s poem:

My identity
is not
a problem
a mystery
soluble
a contract
a neophyte
an interest rate

Mixed blood:
resolves
solves
dissolves
negotiates
initiates
appreciates
And still they ask me HOW?

This special issue explores what mixedness has meant in the Pacific and how it is expressed in, or alongside, present-day identity formations of indigeneity and indigenous conceptions of belonging. What does it mean to be mixed in the Pacific and how does it relate to belonging to a people and place from an indigenous perspective? These papers will provide key theoretical contributions, enriching Critical Mixed Race Studies, shifting away from the dominant (often Western-centric) perspectives, privileging indigenous knowledge, research and histories.

We are looking for context-specific studies situated inside independent states and territories of the Pacific region, Oceania, which can provide a history of intermixing and an in-depth understanding of how mixedness is understood in relation to indigeneity. States and territories of interest include, but are not restricted to: (a) the Melanesian sub-region – Timor-Leste, West Papua, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji; (b) the Polynesian sub-region – Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Niue, French Polynesia; (c) the Micronesian sub-region – Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia,Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Nauru, Kiribati.

Feel welcome to submit a brief abstract of your proposed paper (250 words) to JCMRS by October 1, 2019.

Submission Deadline: October 1, 2019

If we accept your abstract, you will be informed of the deadline for submission of your article manuscript, which should should range between 15-30 double-spaced pages, Times New Roman 12-point font, including notes and works cited, must follow the Chicago Manual of Style, as well as include your abstract. Manuscripts will be peer reviewed to determine their suitability for publication.

Please submit your abstract to: rdaniel@soc.ucsb.edu.

Please address all other inquiries to: socjcmrs@soc.ucsb.edu.

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Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States, Women on 2019-08-06 20:51Z by Steven

Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America

Oxford University Press
2019-08-05
288 Pages
28 b/w images, 2 maps
6-1/8 x 9Πinches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780190846992

W. Caleb McDaniel, Associate Professor of History
Rice University, Houston, Texas

  • The epic, unique, and haunting story an enslaved woman and her quest for justice
  • Incorporates recent scholarship on slavery, reparations, and the ongoing connection between slavery and incarceration of black Americans
  • McDaniel received a Public Scholar fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities that enabled him to write this book

Born into slavery, Henrietta Wood was taken to Cincinnati and legally freed in 1848. In 1853, a Kentucky deputy sheriff named Zebulon Ward colluded with Wood’s employer, abducted her, and sold her back into bondage. She remained enslaved throughout the Civil War, giving birth to a son in Mississippi and never forgetting who had put her in this position.

By 1869, Wood had obtained her freedom for a second time and returned to Cincinnati, where she sued Ward for damages in 1870. Astonishingly, after eight years of litigation, Wood won her case: in 1878, a Federal jury awarded her $2,500. The decision stuck on appeal. More important than the amount, though the largest ever awarded by an American court in restitution for slavery, was the fact that any money was awarded at all. By the time the case was decided, Ward had become a wealthy businessman and a pioneer of convict leasing in the South. Wood’s son later became a prominent Chicago lawyer, and she went on to live until 1912.

McDaniel’s book is an epic tale of a black woman who survived slavery twice and who achieved more than merely a moral victory over one of her oppressors. Above all, A Sweet Taste of Liberty is a portrait of an extraordinary individual as well as a searing reminder of the lessons of her story, which establish beyond question the connections between slavery and the prison system that rose in its place.

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Viola Desmond: Her Life and Times

Posted in Biography, Books, Canada, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Women on 2019-08-06 20:38Z by Steven

Viola Desmond: Her Life and Times

Roseway Publishing (an imprint of Fernwood Publishing)
October 2018
128 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781773631233
Kindle ISBN: 9781773631257
ePub ISBN: 9781773631240

Graham Reynolds, Professor Emeritus and the Viola Desmond Chair in Social Justice
Cape Breton University, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

with Wanda Robson

Teacher’s Guide for Viola Desmond: Her Life and Times

Many Canadians know that Viola Desmond is the first Black, non-royal woman to be featured on Canadian currency. But fewer know the details of Viola Desmond’s life and legacy. In 1946, Desmond was arrested for refusing to give up her seat in a whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Her singular act of courage was a catalyst in the struggle for racial equality that eventually ended segregation in Nova Scotia.

Authors Graham Reynolds and Wanda Robson (Viola’s sister) look beyond the theatre incident and provide new insights into her life. They detail not only her act of courage in resisting the practice of racial segregation in Canada, but also her extraordinary achievement as a pioneer African Canadian businesswoman. In spite of the widespread racial barriers that existed in Canada during most of the twentieth century, Viola Desmond became the pre-eminent Black beauty culturist in Canada, establishing the first Black beauty studio in Halifax and the Desmond School of Beauty Culture. She also created her own line of beauty products.

Accessible, concise and timely, this book tells the incredible, important story of Viola Desmond, considered by many to be Canada’s Rosa Parks.

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Viola Desmond $10 bill wins international banknote of the year design award

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Canada, History, Media Archive, Women on 2019-08-06 00:59Z by Steven

Viola Desmond $10 bill wins international banknote of the year design award

CBC News
2019-04-30

Cassie Williams, Reporter/Editor


In March 2018, the federal government unveiled the vertical banknote design featuring Desmond’s portrait and a map of her north-end Halifax neighbourhood. The bill went into circulation in November. (Bank of Canada)

Canadian banknote tops designs from Switzerland, Norway, Russia, Solomon Islands

A Canadian $10 bill featuring Nova Scotia civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond has been named the best in the world.

The International Bank Note Society has announced the Desmond bill won the coveted Bank Note of the Year Award for 2018, beating out top designs from places like Switzerland, Norway, Russia and the Solomon Islands.

In March 2018, the federal government unveiled the vertical banknote design featuring Desmond’s portrait and a map of her north-end Halifax neighbourhood. The bill went into circulation in November.

Desmond played a seminal role in Canada’s civil rights movement when, on Nov. 8, 1946, she went to see a movie at the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, N.S., while her car was getting fixed.

Desmond, 32, was dragged out of the theatre by police and jailed for defiantly sitting in the “whites only” section of the film house. At the time, black people could only sit in the balcony.

Her ensuing legal fight against that injustice helped end segregation in Nova Scotia. In 2010, she was posthumously awarded an apology and a pardon…

Read the entire article here.

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Mother of Orphans: The True and Curious Story of Irish Alice, A Colored Man’s Widow

Posted in Biography, Books, Family/Parenting, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2019-07-30 16:57Z by Steven

Mother of Orphans: The True and Curious Story of Irish Alice, A Colored Man’s Widow

2Leaf Press
July 2019
250 pages
6 x 9
Print ISBN: 978-1-940939-78-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-940939-87-2

Dedria Humphries Barker

Introduction by:

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

Mother of Orphans is the compelling true story of Alice, an Irish-American woman who defied rigid social structures to form a family with a black man in Ohio in 1899. Alice and her husband had three children together, but after his death in 1912, Alice mysteriously surrendered her children to an orphanage. One hundred years later, her great-grand daughter, Dedria Humphries Barker, went in search of the reasons behind this mysterious abandonment, hoping in the process to resolve aspects of her own conflicts with American racial segregation and conflict.

This book is the fruit of Barker’s quest. In it, she turns to memoir, biography, historical research, and photographs to unearth the fascinating history of a multiracial community in the Ohio River Valley during the early twentieth century. Barker tells this story from multiple vantage points, frequently switching among points of view to construct a fragmented and comprehensive perspective of the past intercut with glimpses of the present. The result is a haunting, introspective meditation on race and family ties. Part personal journey, part cultural biography, Mother of Orphans examines a little-known piece of this country’s past: interracial families that survived and prevailed despite Jim Crow laws, including those prohibiting mixed-race marriage. In lyrical, evocative prose, this extraordinary book ultimately leaves us hopeful about the world as our children might see it.

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Passing: A Family in Black & White

Posted in Biography, Family/Parenting, History, Live Events, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Videos on 2019-07-30 16:56Z by Steven

Passing: A Family in Black & White

Blackstar Film Festival
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Saturday, 2019-08-03, 10:00 EDT (Local Time)

United States
2019
(00:48:00)

Robin Cloud, Director

After years of hearing the story of her Nebraska cousins, who, unbeknownst to them, were passing for white, filmmaker Robin Cloud reaches out to the lost cousins in an attempt to bring them back into the family. We follow Robin as she travels through the South and Midwest.

For more information, click here.

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Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Slavery, Women on 2019-07-30 16:48Z by Steven

Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic

University Alabama Press
2020-01-28
184 pages
5 B&W figures / 7 tables
6 x 60 x 9 inches
Trade Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8173-2036-2
EBook ISBN: 978-0-8173-9265-9

Erika Denise Edwards, Associate Professor of History
University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Details how African-descended women’s societal, marital, and sexual decisions forever reshaped the racial makeup of Argentina

Argentina values the perception that it is only a country of European immigrants, making it an exception to other Latin American countries, which can embrace a more mixed—African, Indian, European—heritage. Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic traces the origins of what some white Argentines mischaracterize as a “black disappearance” by delving into the intimate lives of black women and explaining how they contributed to the making of a “white” Argentina. Erika Denise Edwards has produced the first comprehensive study in English of the history of African descendants outside of Buenos Aires in the late colonial and early republican periods, with a focus on how these women sought whiteness to better their lives and those of their children.

Edwards argues that attempts by black women to escape the stigma of blackness by recategorizing themselves and their descendants as white began as early as the late eighteenth century, challenging scholars who assert that the black population drastically declined at the end of the nineteenth century because of the whitening or modernization process. She further contends that in CĂłrdoba, Argentina, women of African descent (such as wives, mothers, daughters, and concubines) were instrumental in shaping their own racial reclassifications and destinies.

This volume makes use of a wealth of sources to relate these women’s choices. The sources consulted include city censuses and notarial and probate records that deal with free and enslaved African descendants; criminal, ecclesiastical, and civil court cases; marriages and baptisms records and newsletters. These varied sources provide information about the day-to-day activities of cordobĂ©s society and how women of African descent lived, formed relationships, thrived, and partook in the transformation of racial identities in Argentina.

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Multi Racial Reads #20 and #21

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-07-26 00:13Z by Steven

Multi Racial Reads #20 and #21

Carol Baldwin’s Blog
2019-07-22

Carol Baldwin

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared the books that I read while writing Half-Truths. Here are two more books that have helped me understand one of my characters, Lillian Harris.

If you aren’t familiar with Half-Truths, this is the pitch for my book:

In the heavily segregated South, fifteen-year-old Kate Dinsmore’s world is shaken when she realizes she’s related to her grandmother’s Black housemaid. This knowledge leads Kate to truths that threaten to destroy her family.

Ever since I saw the pictures of the principals in the hallway of the former Rosenwald School in Charlotte, NC and saw a man who appeared White but was Black, I knew that my book would revolve around two girls—Kate Dinsmore and Lillian Harris—who were related but belonged to two different races.

What I didn’t know was what Lillian looked like.

Light, Bright, and Damn Near White by Michelle Gordon Jackson helped me figure that out…

…But what about the Blacks who chose to pass? What was their life like?

Allyson Hobbs’ book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, pointedly showed me the pain and difficulties associating with passing…

Read the entire article here.

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