Race is more than just black and white. This new podcast explores some of that middle ground.

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Audio, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2017-04-25 02:57Z by Steven

Race is more than just black and white. This new podcast explores some of that middle ground.

The Washington Post
201-04-24

Alex Laughlin


(Illustration by Chris Kindred)

There’s this literary theory called the “mulatto canary in the coal mine.”

It holds that the treatment and depictions of mixed-race people in art and culture is a reflection of the broader state of race relations in America at that moment. The theory has been applied to works throughout American history, from Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel, “Passing,” to Danzy Senna’sCaucasia” in 1999.

These multiracial characters, their very bodies providing evidence of racial lines crossed, are marked by confusion and betrayal, jealousy and cowardice, and most frequently, a tragic ending.

Well, it’s 2017 — 50 years since the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision invalidated anti-miscegenation laws across the country. It’s been legal to cross these racial lines for five decades now, almost two full generations. What does it mean to be mixed race in America today?

I suppose I should tell you a little about myself and why I’m so interested in this topic…

Read the entire article here.

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Afro-Latin America and the Black Pacific: An Interview with Sherwin K. Bryant

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Slavery on 2017-04-25 02:39Z by Steven

Afro-Latin America and the Black Pacific: An Interview with Sherwin K. Bryant

Black Perspectives
2017-04-22

Yesenia Barragan, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows
Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

This month I interviewed Sherwin K. Bryant about his work on the Black Pacific and Afro-Andes. Bryant is Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University and serves as the Director of the Center for African American History. As an historian of colonial Afro-Latin America and the Atlantic/Pacific Worlds, Bryant works at the intersections of cultural, legal, social history and political economy, with an emphasis upon Black life in the Kingdoms of New Granada and Quito (what is now modern Colombia and Ecuador). Dr. Bryant’s book, Rivers of Gold, Lives of Bondage: Governing through Slavery in Colonial Quito offers the first serious treatment in English of slavery and slave life in colonial Quito and challenges the narrower conceptualization of slavery as primarily an economic demand. He is currently working on two new book-length projects. The first charts the history of Black subjectivities along Colombia and Ecuador’s Pacific littoral while the second develops a history of slave life within the contraband slave routes that ran through Panama and New Granada before the era of free trade. Follow him on Twitter @sherwinkbryant.

Yesenia Barragan: As you explain in Rivers of Gold, the Kingdom of Quito had a relatively small enslaved population in comparison to the more familiar cases in the Atlantic world and has thus been overlooked in the historiography of slavery in the Americas. What insights can we gain by examining the history of colonial Afro-Quito?

Sherwin K. Bryant: Until the last two decades, the African diaspora to Spanish America received scant attention compared to the US, Brazil, and the British and French Caribbean. This was due in part to a scholarly reading of slavery through labor, the plantation complex, and an emphasis on numbers. These approaches caused previous scholars to underestimate the socio-political impact of slavery and Black life throughout much of Latin America.

Another enduring challenge to the study of Blackness in Latin America is found in the national myths and master narratives that diminish the importance of Black life, and those that deny and devalue the scale of Black populations and the extent of their on-going persecution. Rather than account for the full scope of Black life, these nations have preferred narratives of mestizaje, or race mixture, marginalizing Blacks and their contributions to the nation. To some degree and for some time now, scholars colluded in this elision, privileging studies of slavery as an institution, or race mixture and social climbing. Consequently, the writing of Spanish America’s Black history was fraught, episodic, and belated relative to the flourishing studies on Indigenous populations and women since the advent of social history in the 1970s and 80s. Finally, a US-centric approach to African American history and the prominence of the Atlantic basin in diaspora studies contributed to these omissions…

Read the entire interview here.

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A Young Latino Arab American Throws His Hat in Congressional Ring

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-04-25 02:17Z by Steven

A Young Latino Arab American Throws His Hat in Congressional Ring

NBC News
2017-04-20

Brian Latimer, Assistant Producer


Ammar Campa-Najjar, 28, of Latino and Palestinian descent hopes he can unseat a long-term Republican representative in California’s District 50. Courtsey of Ammar Campa-Najjar

A young, American-born man of Latino and Arab heritage decided to throw his hat in the political ring after working as a community activist and in the Obama administration.

Ammar Campa-Najjar, 28, announced his candidacy Thursday in the hopes of unseating a long-term Republican representative in California’s District 50 in 2018.

Campa-Najjar is the fifth Democrat entering a crowded battlefield that includes Josh Butner, Pierre “Pete” Beauregard, Patrick Malloy and Gloria Chadwick. He hopes his experience as a community organizer during former Pres. Barack Obama’s second presidential campaign will give him an advantage.

Campa-Najjar, whose mother is Mexican American and whose father is Palestinian American, says he spent a lot of time speaking to Hispanic voters in his district to get them to the polls. In 2012, the district voted for Obama, but four years later did not show support for Hillary Clinton

Read the entire article here.

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Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide, a Plea For Help From the Multiracial Community

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2017-04-25 01:56Z by Steven

Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide, a Plea For Help From the Multiracial Community

Multiracial Media: The Voice of the Multiracial Community
2017-04-23

Sarah Ratliff

Bryony Sutherland


Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide

Eighten months ago I published my first non-ghostwritten book called Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide. Being Biracial is an anthology of essays written by parents of Mixed Race kids and/or Multiracial adults. (We have one essay written by an adult that was dictated by a 13-year-old girl.)

It is a co-author venture I did with a close friend of mine who’s White and married to a Black man. Together they’re raising three Biracial sons and they live in England. Bryony Sutherland is an editor, author and ghostwriter—for more information, please visit her website.

I am Black, Japanese and White and Being Biracial was my first non-ghostwritten book.

The 30-second Elevator Speech for Being Biracial

“Good, bad, ugly and illuminating—everyone has an opinion on race. As Biracial people continue trending, the discussion is no longer about a singular topic, but is more like playing a game of multi-level chess. The anthology, Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide, cites the experiences of twenty-four mixed-race authors and parents of multiracial children of all ages and backgrounds, from all over the world. It blends positivity, negativity, humor, pathos and realism in an enlightening exploration of what it means to be more than one ethnicity.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Stealth sisterhood: I look white, but I’m also black. And I don’t hate Rachel Dolezal

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-04-24 03:08Z by Steven

Stealth sisterhood: I look white, but I’m also black. And I don’t hate Rachel Dolezal

Salon
2017-04-23

Alli Joseph


A photo of the author with her mother.

I am white, I am black, I am Native American. And I know what it’s like for people not to see all of who I am

On a hot, humid New York City morning in 1980, I stood with my mother in the checkout line of an A&P supermarket near our home. As she pushed our groceries along the cashier’s belt with me trailing behind, mom realized she had forgotten her wallet at home, but she had her checkbook. Leaving me standing alone in the line for a moment while she saw the manager to have her check approved, the clerk refused to bag our groceries and hand them to me. She was black, and I was white. “These groceries belong to that woman over there,” the woman nodded towards my mother. “They ain’t yours.” Confused, I said, “But that’s my mother. I’ll take them for her.” She looked me up and down. “No,” she said, her voice cold.

The clerk refused to believe that indeed I belonged to, and came from, my black mother, until mom returned to find me choking back tears. She gave the clerk a tongue lashing, which was not her style, and we left the market. Later, mixed Native American and black children threw stones at me near my home on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation as I rode my bike. They yelled, “Get off our land, white girl!” These painful and strange experiences gave me my first taste of racial prejudice, and they have stayed with me all these years.

I am a child of many nations. I am white, I am black, I am Native American. I am West Indian, German, Irish. Brown and light together — integrated, not inter-racial, because race means nothing when you come from everywhere…

Read the entire article here.

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‘The Bling Ring’ Actress Katie Chang Finds Drive In Activism and Identity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2017-04-24 02:45Z by Steven

‘The Bling Ring’ Actress Katie Chang Finds Drive In Activism and Identity

NBC News
2017-04-20

Tiffany Hu


Katie Chang, is currently a senior at Northwestern. Her second movie is scheduled to debut on April 14. Mia Zanzucchi / Courtesy of Katie Chang

Katie Chang isn’t taking her last year of college easy.

The 21-year-old actress is spending her last semester at Northwestern University taking classes on making her own web series and curating film festivals. She’s also writing and producing a number of plays on campus. During her breaks, she auditions and films.

But while she plays one of the eponymous “outcasts,” Chang is quick to say her character isn’t a stereotype.

“I was up for a different role originally,” she told NBC News. “The girl they had playing the role that I ended up playing was white, tall, and blonde — so it was more of which actor fit best with which role.”…

…A multiracial actress, Chang has considered changing her last name in an attempt to land more roles. But when her first film, “The Bling Ring” directed by Sofia Coppola, came out in 2013, she decided against it. While she noted that some casting directors aren’t looking to cast “Katie Chang as a lead actress” in teen-focused romantic comedies, she said her decision not to use a stage name has pushed her to work harder…

Read the entire article here.

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The paradox of the multiracial identity

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-04-24 01:36Z by Steven

The paradox of the multiracial identity

Adolescent
2017-04-18

Sarah Racker, Graphic Designer
Portland, Oregon

I am a multiracial American; my mother is Okinawan, my father is German and Australian. My grandparents came from four different continents. I identify as both Asian and Caucasian, and although I am often identified on the outside as not quite white and not quite “ethnic,” I easily pass for white in a world obsessed with color and race.

Multiracial people face a perplexing paradox. We are not fully white, and yet not fully “not white” enough to be considered a person of color (POC). Growing up biracial, I identified strongly with Spock (yes, from Star Trek). Spock is half Human and half Vulcan, and is ostracized by both halves of himself for not quite belonging to either culture.

Teresa Williams-León, a professor of Asian-American studies at California State University, Northridge, uses Spock as an object lesson in her class, “Biracial and Multiracial Identity.” She sees the parallels between Spock’s inner conflict between his Vulcan and Human identity. “He had to subdue his emotional side to become more cerebral and logical,” she said. “So that’s problematic. But it’s an interesting way of looking at how biracial people have had to suppress aspects of themselves, or one part of themselves.”…

Read the entire article here.

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DNA Tests, and Sometimes Surprising Results

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2017-04-23 20:21Z by Steven

DNA Tests, and Sometimes Surprising Results

The New York Times
2017-04-20

Anita Foeman, Professor of Communication Studies
West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania


Students at West Chester University in Pennsylvania have volunteered to take part in ancestry DNA testing. Anita Foeman, a communications professor, says she has found that conversations around race are “complicated and jagged.”
Credit West Chester University

Race and identity in many ways define who we think we are, while modern genetics can challenge those notions. To delve into these issues, I am involved with a communications studies project at West Chester University in Pennsylvania that explores narratives at the intersection of race and identity.

For the last decade, I have invited hundreds of people to be part of ancestry DNA tests. But first I ask people how they identify themselves racially. It has been very interesting to explore their feelings about the differences between how they define themselves and what their DNA makeup shows when the test results come in.

Biologically, our ancestral differences reflect only a 0.1 percent difference in DNA. Yet we often cling to those differences — both in unity with our fellow people of origin and, at times, in divisiveness.

Over all, the experiment has provided a special opportunity to explore the lines of race. I found that as human beings, our strategies for survival are the same, and our similarities far outweigh our differences…

Bernard: Identifies as: Black; father is black and mother is white

Credit Erica C. Thompson/West Chester University

His prediction: 50% European, 50% African

His comments before the test: My mother said, “I know you are me, but no cop is going to take the time to find out your mother is white.” She was very specific about raising me as a black man.

Results: 91% European, 5% Middle Eastern, 2% Hispanic; less than 1% African and Asian

Thoughts about his ancestry results: What are you trying to do to me? You have caused a lot of problems in my family. I know my nose is sharp and my skin is light, but my politics are as black as night. Today, I don’t identify as mixed. I reject my white privilege in a racist America. There is no way that I or my kids will identify as anything other than black…

Read the entire article here.

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Review: In ‘Little Boxes,’ a Biracial Family Meets a White Town

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2017-04-23 18:14Z by Steven

Review: In ‘Little Boxes,’ a Biracial Family Meets a White Town

The New York Times
2017-04-13

Neil Genzlinger, Television Critic


From left, Nelsan Ellis, Armani Jackson and Melanie Lynskey in “Little Boxes,” about a biracial family’s move from Brooklyn to small-town America.
Credit Mark Doyle/Gunpowder & Sky Distribution

Little Boxes,” a mildly comic story about a biracial family that relocates to an exceedingly white town, feels a bit out of phase, but it’s delicately observed and does a nice job of staying within itself. It avoids the big confrontation or grand statement; doing so allows it to be an effective, if somewhat uneventful, study of the Brooklyn bubble effect.

Gina (Melanie Lynskey), who is white, and Mack (Nelsan Ellis), who is black, move from trendy and comfortably diverse Brooklyn so that she can take a new job in a small town in Washington State. Their son, Clark (Armani Jackson), is getting ready to start sixth grade…

Read the entire review here.

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But Still, Like Air, I’ll Rise

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2017-04-22 19:55Z by Steven

But Still, Like Air, I’ll Rise

The Lark
New York, New York
2017-04-18

Velina Hasu Houston

This piece is part of a blog salon, curated by Caridad Svich, called “Stages of Resistance.” The series welcomes reflections on themes related to making work for live performance in political and aesthetic resistance to forms and systems that oppress human rights and censor or severely limit freedom of expression. We are in increasingly hostile, volatile times around the world, and this salon hopes to serve as a space for considered, thoughtful, polemical articulations of practice and theory on the subject of resistance, the multiple meanings of political art, and the ways in which progressive, wholistic cultural change may be instigated through artworks. Stay tuned for more articles and reflections in this series throughout March and April 2017!

Don’t write about people of color.

Don’t blend Eastern and Western theater aesthetics.

These were things that were said to me when I began making art for the stage.

The inspirations for the art I wanted to make often included immigrants, people of color, and globally blended theater aesthetics. Did that mean I needed to learn to be an excellent secretary, like many of my white teachers in Junction City, Kansas, told me? No.

For someone who is Japanese, African American, Native American Indian, and Cuban, life is always political. Even amid this complexity, people of color come from mono-ethnic perspectives and do not understand a multiethnic perspective such as mine. To exist in almost any space creates challenges, but the making of art that resists those challenges allows me to liberate myself from the categorical cages into which many feel they must place me. Art, therefore, is an avenue to freedom…

Read the entire article here.

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