The Celestials

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2019-05-04 01:05Z by Steven

The Celestials

Tin House Books
2013-06-06
320 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-935639-55-8

Karen Shepard

In June of 1870, seventy-five Chinese laborers arrived in North Adams, Massachusetts, to work for Calvin Sampson, one of the biggest industrialists in that busy factory town. Except for the foreman, the Chinese didn’t speak English. They didn’t know they were strikebreakers. The eldest of them was twenty-two.

Combining historical and fictional elements, The Celestials beautifully reimagines the story of Sampson’s “Chinese experiment” and the effect of the newcomers’ threatening and exotic presence on the New England locals. When Sampson’s wife, Julia, gives birth to a mixed-race baby, the infant becomes a lightning rod for the novel’s conflicts concerning identity, alienation, and exile.

Tags: , , ,

Carina E. Ray, Crossing the Color Line: race, sex, and the contested politics of colonialism in Ghana [Aderinto Review]

Posted in Articles, Arts, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-05-03 19:18Z by Steven

Carina E. Ray, Crossing the Color Line: race, sex, and the contested politics of colonialism in Ghana [Aderinto Review]

Africa
Volume 88, Issue 1 (February 2018)
pages 193-194
DOI: 10.1017/S0001972017000821

Saheed Aderinto, Associate Professor of History
Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina

Carina E. Ray, Crossing the Color Line: race, sex, and the contested politics of colonialism in Ghana. Athens OH: Ohio University Press (hb US$80 – 978 0 8214 2179 6; pb US$32.95 – 978 0 8214 2180 2). 2015, 333 pp.

In this creatively and brilliantly conceived book, Carina Ray uses the story of interracial sexual relationships between European men and African women in the Gold Coast and African men and European women in Britain as an entry point into a much broader history of racial and gender relations. Throughout, one learns about the interconnectedness of sexual and racial politics to the big question of colonial ‘civilization’. The author’s carefully sourced and previously untapped primary sources from both Ghana and Britain, combined with her ingenuity, give beauty to historical writing. Her detailed archival materials and oral interviews allow her to move from specific colonial trials of interracial affairs to big narratives on the transatlantic movement of ideas, practices and families, and anti-colonial struggles within the British Empire. The photographs of multiracial families strategically placed throughout further put a human face on her narratives, and bring readers another step closer to the lived experience of historical agents and the societies that produced them. The eight closely connected chapters introduce change and continuity in the politics of race and sex in both the Gold Coast and Britain, the factors responsible for change, and how social and political transformation of colonial legitimacy reshaped perceptions of interracial relationships across race, class, gender and location.

Any Africanist familiar with trends in the scholarship on race, gender, sexuality and empire would not contest the significant contributions of Ray’s Crossing the Color Line to African studies. For one thing, this book is another successful attempt at putting sexuality in its rightful place in the general history of the colonial encounter in Africa. Instead of following the established discourse of ‘sex peril’ or anxiety over the alleged rape of European women by African men in settler colonies of East and Southern Africa, Ray’s book presents convincing arguments and narratives that humanize socio-sexual relations and removes them from the margins of criminality and violence…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Luso-Tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2019-05-01 22:11Z by Steven

Luso-Tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism

Berghahn Books
April 2019
346 pages
15 illus., bibliog., index
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78920-113-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-78920-114-7

Edited by:

Warwick Anderson, Janet Dora Hine Professor of Politics, Governance and Ethics
Department of History; Charles Perkins Centre
University of Sydney

Ricardo Roque, Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences
University of Lisbon

Ricardo Ventura Santos, Senior Researcher at Fundação Oswaldo Cruz; Professor
Department of Anthropology
National Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Luso-Tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism

Modern perceptions of race across much of the Global South are indebted to the Brazilian social scientist Gilberto Freyre, who in works such as The Masters and the Slaves claimed that Portuguese colonialism produced exceptionally benign and tolerant race relations. This volume radically reinterprets Freyre’s Luso-tropicalist arguments and critically engages with the historical complexity of racial concepts and practices in the Portuguese-speaking world. Encompassing Brazil as well as Portuguese-speaking societies in Africa, Asia, and even Portugal itself, it places an interdisciplinary group of scholars in conversation to challenge the conventional understanding of twentieth-century racialization, proffering new insights into such controversial topics as human plasticity, racial amalgamation, and the tropes and proxies of whiteness.

Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Luso-tropicalism and Its Discontents / Warwick Anderson, Ricardo Roque and Ricardo Ventura Santos
  • PART I: PICTURING AND READING FREYRE
    • Chapter 1. Gilberto Freyre’s view of miscegenation and its circulation in the Portuguese Empire (1930s-1960s) / Cláudia Castelo
    • Chapter 2. Gilberto Freyre: Racial Populism and Ethnic Nationalism / Jerry Dávila
    • Chapter 3. Anthropology and Pan-Africanism at the Margins of the Portuguese Empire: Trajectories of Kamba Simango / Lorenzo Macagno
  • PART II: IMAGINING A MIXED-RACE NATION
    • Chapter 4. Eugenics, Genetics and Anthropology in Brazil: The Masters and the Slaves, Racial Miscegenation and its Discontents / Robert Wegner and Vanderlei Sebastião de Souza
    • Chapter 5. Gilberto Freyre and the UNESCO Research Project on Race Relations in Brazil / Marcos Chor Maio
    • Chapter 6. An Immense Mosaic”: Race-Mixing and the Creation of the Genetic Nation in 1960s Brazil / Rosanna Dent and Ricardo Ventura Santos
  • PART III: THE COLONIAL SCIENCES OF RACE
    • Chapter 7. The Racial Science of Patriotic Primitives: Mendes Correia in ‘Portuguese Timor’ / Ricardo Roque
    • Chapter 8. Re-Assessing Portuguese Exceptionalism: Racial Concepts and Colonial Policies toward the Bushmen in Southern Angola, 1880s-1970s / Samuël Coghe
    • Chapter 9. “Anthropo-Biology”, Racial Miscegenation and Body Normality: Comparing Bio-Typological Studies in Brazil and Portugal, 1930-1940 / Ana Carolina Vimieiro Gomes
  • PART IV: PORTUGUESENESS IN THE TROPICS
    • Chapter 10. Luso-Tropicalism Debunked, Again: Race, Racism, and Racialism in Three Portuguese-Speaking Societies / Cristiana Bastos
    • Chapter 11. Being (Goan) Modern in Zanzibar: Mobility, Relationality and the Stitching of Race / Pamila Gupta
  • Afterword I / Nélia Dias
  • Afterword II / Peter Wade
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bodies complexioned: Human variation and racism in early modern English culture, c. 1600–1750

Posted in Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, United Kingdom on 2019-05-01 22:09Z by Steven

Bodies complexioned: Human variation and racism in early modern English culture, c. 1600–1750

Manchester University Press
May 2019
304 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-5261-3448-6
eBook ISBN: 978-1-5261-3450-9

Mark S. Dawson, Lecturer in Early Modern History
Australian National University, Canberra

Bodies complexioned

  • Challenges received wisdom regarding early modern conceptions of human physiology and their implications for social stratification
  • Demonstrates how assumptions concerning the causes of bodily diversity influenced English perceptions of non-Anglophone peoples
  • Uses diverse sources, both manuscript (letters, journals, commonplace books) and print (almanacs, newspapers, playbooks, sermons)
  • Makes a significant contribution to the history of embodiment and social inequality

Bodily contrasts – from the colour of hair, eyes and skin to the shape of faces and skeletons – allowed the English of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries to discriminate systematically among themselves and against non-Anglophone groups. Making use of an array of sources, this book examines how early modern English people understood bodily difference. It demonstrates that individuals’ distinctive features were considered innate, even as discrete populations were believed to have characteristics in common, and challenges the idea that the humoral theory of bodily composition was incompatible with visceral inequality or racism. While ‘race’ had not assumed its modern valence, and ‘racial’ ideologies were still to come, such typecasting nonetheless had mundane, lasting consequences. Grounded in humoral physiology, and Christian universalism notwithstanding, bodily prejudices inflected social stratification, domestic politics, sectarian division and international relations.

Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1 Contemplating Christian temperaments
  • 2 Nativities established
  • 3 Bodies emblazoned
  • 4 Identifying the differently humoured
  • 5 Distempered skin and the English abroad
  • 6 National identities, foreign physiognomies, and the advent of whiteness
  • Conclusion
  • Index
Tags: , ,

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

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Monographs, Slavery, United States, Women on 2019-04-27 01:32Z 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 9¼ inches
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.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Passing, Identity and Race

Posted in Audio, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-04-18 00:32Z by Steven

Passing, Identity and Race

WYNC
New York, New York

WNYC Newsroom

When Anita Florence Hemmings applied to attend Vassar College in upstate New York in 1893, she did not disclose her racial identity to the school. She passed as a white student for years before eventually being outed as a black woman shortly before graduation, after her white roommate’s family hired a private detective to investigate her background.

“Even though Vassar allows her to graduate after she’s been outed to the (college) president, she becomes the subject of a national scandal,” Vassar film professor Mia Mask told WNYC’s Jami Floyd. “And she’s worried that she will be unemployable after her time at Vassar.”

Now, Hemmings’s story is helping to launch a deeper conversation at the college. The conference, Quiet As It’s Kept; Passing Subjects, Contested Identities, runs from Friday Apr. 5 through Sunday Apr. 7.

For the professors coordinating the event, the topic spins off related discussions.

“Part of what happens when we start talking about passing and how we perform our identities is that we also get into a conversation about authenticity,” said English professor Hiram Perez. “It also brings us into this complex conversation about the different ways that we police one another.”

The conference is slated to include presentations about many forms of passing pertaining to race, sexuality, gender, ability, religion, and class.

Listen to the story (00:07:56) here.

Tags: , , , , ,

I Don’t Need a DNA Test to Tell Me How Black I Am

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2019-04-17 14:08Z by Steven

I Don’t Need a DNA Test to Tell Me How Black I Am

The New York Times
2019-04-16

Erin Aubry Kaplan, Contributing Opinion Writer


Simone Noronha

Tests like 23andMe are a fad that distracts us from the reality of race in America.

When my sister called me a few months ago to say, a little breathlessly, that she had gotten back her results from 23andMe, I snapped at her, “I don’t want to know!” She kept trying to share, but I kept shutting her down, before saying I had to go and hanging up. Afterward I felt a little shaky, as if I’d narrowly escaped disaster.

I’ve never been interested in DNA tests. I have nothing against people discovering they’re 18 percent German or 79 percent Irish, but I think the tests are a fad that distracts us from the harsh realities of race and identity in America. They encourage us to pretend that in terms of shaping who we really are, individual narratives matter more than the narrative of the country as a whole. There is no test for separation and tribalism, and yet they are baked into our cultural DNA.

But that didn’t explain the panic I felt during that phone call. I was a little embarrassed that I couldn’t take the news, whatever that news turned out to be. And then I realized that was it: I didn’t want to “turn out to be” anything more than what I was. I didn’t want my blackness divvied up or deconstructed any more than it has already been, not just in my lifetime but in the history of the Creole people of Louisiana I descend from…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Remembering Jane Bolin, the first African-American female judge in the U.S.

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2019-04-12 02:12Z by Steven

Remembering Jane Bolin, the first African-American female judge in the U.S.

New Haven Register
2019-02-27

David L. Goodwin, Staff Attorney
Appellate Advocates, New York, New York

Van C. Tran, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Columbia University, New York, New York

Judge Jane Bolin shown at her home in New York after she was sworn in as a family court judge on July 22, 1939. She was the nation’s first black female judge and the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School. She died in 2007 at age 98. Photo: Associated Press File Photo / AP
Judge Jane Bolin shown at her home in New York after she was sworn in as a family court judge on July 22, 1939. She was the nation’s first black female judge and the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School. She died in 2007 at age 98. Photo: Associated Press File Photo

The struggle for inclusion and diversity in politics has ensued for decades, but for the first time in U.S. history, the rising political power of black women took center stage in the 2018 election. Last November, Harris County [Texas] made history by electing 17 black female judges to the bench — a group of candidates widely known as “Black Girl Magic.”

Their victory was extraordinary and unprecedented. Black female judges were the exception, not the norm, in the judiciary. In 1966, Judge Constance Baker Motley, appointed to the Southern District of New York by President Lyndon Johnson, became the first black woman to serve as a federal district judge. In 1979, Judge Amalya Kearse, appointed to the Second Circuit by President Carter, was the first black woman to be appointed to a federal Court of Appeals.

Three decades before these “first” appointments, Judge Jane Bolin (1908-2007) held the honor of being the first African-American female judge in the United States

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Interracial Marriage in a Southern Area: Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Virginia on 2019-04-08 17:13Z by Steven

Interracial Marriage in a Southern Area: Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Journal of Comparative Family Studies
Volume 8, Number 2, ETHNIC FAMILIES: STRUCTURE AND INTERACTION (SUMMER 1977)
pages 217-241

Thomas P. Monahan, Professor of Sociology
Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania

Representing the Southern tradition, Virginia and Maryland in Colonial times enacted strong laws against racial intermarriage, which continued in force until 1967. For over 100 years the District of Columbia, located between Virginia and Maryland at the North-South borderline, allowed the races to marry without legal restriction. Strong social restraints, nevertheless, existed. How frequently mixed marriages occurred in the District in the past, and in all three jurisdictions after 1967, when such marriages could legally take place anywhere in the United States, is a matter of special interest. What change has there been in the extent and nature of interracial marriage in this geographical area?1

The Legal Control of Intermarriage

Shortly after the settlement of the English colonies in America, public opinion became antagonistic toward the interbreeding of whites with Negroes, mulattoes, or Indians, and laws were passed to control biological blending and intermarriage of the races (Ballagh, 1902; Johnson, 1919, Guild, 1936; Reuter, 1931:75; Scott, 1930; Wilson, 1965:20; Jordan, 1968:139).

Virginia

Ten years after the importation of a small number of Negro slaves into the colony, the Virginia Assembly in 1630 ordered the sound whipping of one Hugh Davis for lying with a Negress, a heathen (Hening, 1809:1-146; Hurd, 1858:1-229), and in 1640 a Robert Sweet was ordered by the Governor and Council to do penance in church for impregnating a Negro woman, who was to be whipped…

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , ,

These Photos Celebrate the Beauty of Panama’s Afro-Latinx Community

Posted in Articles, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive on 2019-04-05 20:41Z by Steven

These Photos Celebrate the Beauty of Panama’s Afro-Latinx Community

Vice
2019-03-27

André-Naquian Wheeler


Kayla Reefer

Photographer Kayla Reefer’s new series, “Identidad,” explores her family’s roots in Panama.

Black people are everywhere, my mother once told me. I was sharing my anxieties about studying abroad in Europe, of sticking out like a sore thumb. In my head, blackness was something that began and ended in America. My history classes only ever talked about the slaves stolen and taken to the Deep South. But my mother was right. The African diaspora reaches far and wide: the Afro-Caribbean communities of London, Black Canadians, Afro-Brazilians, and on and on. The problem is how rarely the wide, far-reaching spectrum of blackness is taught, shown, celebrated, and acknowledged.

Photographer Kayla Reefer grapples with the ramifications of this everyday. She is Afro-Latina, the daughter of Panamanian immigrants. Growing up in California, Reefer talks about feeling the need to prove her heritage and identity to her black and Latinx friends. To show them she is not simply one or the other, but an amalgamation of histories. “Eventually, I learned to embrace both worlds,” she says. “Because they’re both me.”

Sadly, not all Panamanians take ownership of their Afro roots, Reefer says. She once saw a Panama census stating only 9 percent of the country was Afro-Latinx. The small statistic does not match up to Reefer’s reality, the people she sees riding the bus during her visits to the Central-American country, of her family and friends. “That statistic is absolutely not true,” she argues, anger in her voice. “It just feeds into the lack of awareness and knowledge of what an Afro-Latinx person is. There’s this erasure happening.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,