Rosemary Adaser: ‘Two-thirds human’ — growing up black in Ireland’s institutions

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Europe, History, Media Archive, Social Work on 2020-11-01 01:59Z by Steven

Rosemary Adaser: ‘Two-thirds human’ — growing up black in Ireland’s institutions

Irish Examiner
2020-10-31

Rosemary Adaser


Rosemary Adasar, founder of the Association of Mixed Race Irish.

Ahead of the publication of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes report and as Black History Month ends, survivor Rosemary Adaser describes how mixed-race children were at the bottom of the ladder in institutions here.

OCTOBER was Black History Month, everywhere in Europe, it seems, except Ireland. In the UK, Black History Month is firmly established and, in the last two years, we have begun to celebrate a Black and Green History Month where the historical connections between people of African and Irish descent are celebrated; it is an exciting new development. In June, Black Lives Matter went global, bringing new meaning to Black History Month.

One of Ireland’s best-known mixed-race people was the late, great Christine Buckley, a heroine of mine and a fellow industrial school survivor. Christine was born in 1950s Ireland, as was I. She was far more sensible than I; she married a lovely Irish man, enjoyed a career, had beautiful children, and changed Ireland forever. That was not to be my path.

In the Ireland of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, colourism existed. Efforts to get the good people of Ireland to foster, not adopt, us “difficult and hot-tempered children, especially the girls”, according to a 1966 Department of Education official memo, led to the placement of advertisements in newspapers mentioning how light a child’s skin colour was.

In Margaret McCarthy’s 2001 book My Eyes Only Look Out, one of the interviewees among six mixed-race Irish children fostered to an Irish couple commented that “the darker kids had it worse”. I was one of the darker kids, and I did have it worse…

Read the entire article here.

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‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom, Women on 2020-11-01 01:35Z by Steven

‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way

The New York Times
2020-10-30

Megan Specia


Alexandra Wilson at her offices in London. “My ability is underestimated, quite a lot,” she said. Amara Eno for The New York Times

Alexandra Wilson is working to change England’s legal establishment, and perceptions about who belongs in it, from the inside.

LONDON — It was looking like a typical day at the office for Alexandra Wilson as she arrived at a London courthouse ready to defend someone accused of theft.

She tied her hair into a neat knot, shrugged on her black robe and pulled on a white horsehair wig — the official garb of Britain’s barristers, the lawyers who argue most cases in court.

But once she was in the courtroom, things went off script. In a patronizing exchange that was rude at best and hostile at worst, the prosecutor, an older white man, scoffed at Ms. Wilson, chided her for speaking with her client and tutted at her requests for details on court documents.

Unfortunately, it was an all too typical day for Ms. Wilson in a profession where, as a young Black woman, she often finds herself fighting for recognition and respect…

…As the 25-year-old daughter of a Black Caribbean father and white British mother from working-class roots, she is still a rarity in the cavernous halls of England’s courts.

Her unabashed observations about race and class have drawn a following of thousands on Twitter, inspired a book about her experiences and driven her to found a community for Black women in the legal professions. Just over a year into her career, she’s only getting started…

Read the entire article here.

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Black Like Kamala

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2020-11-01 01:23Z by Steven

Black Like Kamala

The New York Times
2020-08-14

Jamelle Bouie, Opinion Columnist


Kamala Harris in 1966 during a family visit to Harlem. Kamala Harris campaign, via Associated Press

Republican efforts to deny Senator Harris’s identity as an African-American and turn her into a noncitizen are destined to fail.

It was probably inevitable that becoming Joe Biden’s running mate would result in controversy over Kamala Harris’s heritage.

Harris, whose mother emigrated from India and whose father emigrated from Jamaica, is a woman of Tamil and African ancestry who identifies as Black. That’s why, after Biden’s announcement, she was described as the first Asian-American and African-American woman on a major-party presidential ticket.

Not everyone thought this was the right description for Harris. Several allies of President Trump, for example, were quick to dispute the idea that Harris was or could be Black. The radio host Mark Levin said Harris’s Jamaican origins placed her outside the category of African-American. “Kamala Harris is not an African-American, she is Indian and Jamaican,” Levin said. “Her ancestry does not go back to American slavery, to the best of my knowledge her ancestry does not go back to slavery at all.”…

Read the entire article here.

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My Eyes Only Look Out: Experiences of Irish People of Mixed Race Parentage

Posted in Books, Europe, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Work on 2020-10-31 23:27Z by Steven

My Eyes Only Look Out: Experiences of Irish People of Mixed Race Parentage

Brandon Books
2001-12-31
240 pages
5.46 x 0.74 x 8.43 inches
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0863222849

Margaret McCarthy

Much has been written on the subject of ethnic minorities and the problems they experience in integrating into a predominantly white society, but very little on persons of mixed parentage. Based on interviews, this book provides an eloquent account of the lives of people of mixed race. It comes at an opportune time, as the increasing presence of immigrants, refugees and people of colour has seen increased problems of ignorant prejudice and active racism.

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In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System

Posted in Books, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2020-10-31 23:06Z by Steven

In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System

Endeavour (an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group)
2020-08-13
272 pages
5.67 x 1.18 x 8.58 inches
Paperback ISBN-13: 9781913068301
Hardback ISBN-13 9781913068288

Alexandra Wilson

Alexandra Wilson was a teenager when her dear family friend Ayo was stabbed on his way home from football. Ayo’s death changed Alexandra. She felt compelled to enter the legal profession in search of answers.

As a junior criminal and family law barrister, Alexandra finds herself navigating a world and a set of rules designed by a privileged few. A world in which fellow barristers sigh with relief when a racist judge retires: ‘I’ve got a black kid today and he would have had no hope’.

In her debut book, In Black and White, Alexandra re-creates the tense courtroom scenes, the heart-breaking meetings with teenage clients, and the moments of frustration and triumph that make up a young barrister’s life.

Alexandra shows us how it feels to defend someone who hates the colour of your skin, or someone you suspect is guilty. We see what it is like for children coerced into county line drug deals and the damage that can be caused when we criminalise teenagers.

Alexandra’s account of what she has witnessed as a young mixed-race barrister is in equal parts shocking, compelling, confounding and powerful.

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Escape From Blackness: Once Upon a Time in Creole America

Posted in Articles, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2020-10-29 01:55Z by Steven

Escape From Blackness: Once Upon a Time in Creole America

The Village Voice
2019-12-04

Originally published on 1994-12-08 as “Fade to Black: Once Upon a Time in Multi-Racial America”

Joe Wood

“Growing up in New Orleans,” you told me later, “it would be impossible to see race as anything but socially constructed. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real.”

“METTÉ MILATE
ENHAUT CHOUAL,
LI VA DÎ NÉGRESSE PAS
SO MAMAN.”

“JUST PUT A
MULATTO ON HORSEBACK,
AND HE’LL TELL
YOU HIS MOTHER WASN’T
A NEGRESS.”

—Creole proverb, as translated
by Lafcadio Hearn, 1885

NEW ORLEANS — It was late and the show was finished. We were hungry and drunk. Adolph said Mulé’s was probably closed by now but he knew a place to eat on the other side of town. “Maybe you’ll see some of them over there, too,” he said. Adolph is a scholar of African American history and politics, and he was raised in New Orleans and knew how they looked and where they ate. They liked Mulé’s, a seventh-ward diner that serves the best oyster rolls in the city. The other place, Adolph said, was also good for observations, but far below seventh-ward culinary standards. It turned out to be an all-night fast-food joint, lighted too brightly, with a listless crowd of party people waiting in broken lines for some uninspired fried fare.

For a moment I forgot entirely about them and they. I wanted to try an oyster roll but there were none left, so I ordered a chicken sandwich “dressed” with lettuce and tomato and mayonnaise. The woman at the cash register seemed bored by my enthusiasm, and sighed, and in response I noted her skin color. She was dark. I turned my head and checked out two sleepy-eyed girls in the next line. They looked tired in their frilly prom dresses; their skin was waxen, the sad pale finish of moonlight. I knew — oh, I hesitated a moment, because I could see how a hasty eye might have thought them white, but I knew. Turning to Adolph I whispered “creole” and made giant drunken nod in their direction. Adolph looked and confirmed it: they were, in fact, them

Read the entire article here.

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Setting the Record Straight On The Case of Loving V. Virginia

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2020-10-28 20:42Z by Steven

Setting the Record Straight On The Case of Loving V. Virginia

Medium
2020-10-25

Arica L. Coleman, Ph.D.


Mildred and Richard Loving. Courtesy of Getty Image.

The recent death of Bernard Cohen, one of the lawyers who represented the plaintiffs Richard and Mildred Loving in the landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which overturned proscriptions against interracial marriage in the United States in 1967, has once again thrust the case back into the headlines. In 1958, Richard Loving a “white” man, and Mildred Jeter a “colored” woman, violated several Virginia codes when they married in the District of Columbia, where interracial marriage was legal, and afterward returned to their home in Caroline Country, Virginia, where interracial marriage was illegal, to live as husband and wife. The couple was taken to jail, tried for the crime of being married, and then banished from Virginia for 25 years.

Fittingly, the 86 year old Cohen who this month of Parkinson’s Disease has been eulogized for cementing his place in American legal history at the young age of thirty-three when he and his co-counsel Philip Hirschkop rocked the Supreme Court with a two-pronged legal argument against state-imposed anti- interracial marriage laws which included a poignant direct quote from Richard Loving who told the attorneys, “Tell the court I love my life, and it is just unfair that I cannot live with her in Virginia.” The Court unanimously agreed.

Yet, in recounting the events which led up to the couple’s triumphant victory of love over hate, the storyline in these accounts follows the popular narrative of the Loving story. But there is more to this case than many have supposed. This article highlights a few unknown facts and debunks some myths about this historic case…

Read the entire article here.

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Bernard Cohen, Lawyer in Landmark Mixed-Marriage Case, Dies at 86

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2020-10-28 20:31Z by Steven

Bernard Cohen, Lawyer in Landmark Mixed-Marriage Case, Dies at 86

The New York Times
2020-10-15

Neil Genzlinger


Bernard S. Cohen, left, and Philip J. Hirschkop, co-counsels in Loving v. Virginia. The Supreme Court’s landmark unanimous ruling in that case in 1967 struck down bans on interracial marriage. Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty Images

With Philip J. Hirschkop, he brought Loving v. Virginia to the Supreme Court, which struck down laws against interracial marriages.

“Dear Sir,” began the letter from Washington that found its way to Bernard S. Cohen at the American Civil Liberties Union in June 1963. “I am writing to you concerning a problem we have. Five years ago my husband and I were married here in the District. We then returned to Virginia to live. My husband is white, and I am part Negro and part Indian.”

The letter, from Mildred Loving, went on to explain that when she and her husband, Richard, returned to Caroline County, Va., to live, they were charged with violating Virginia’s law against mixed-race marriages and exiled from the state.

“It was that simple letter that got us into this not-so-simple case,” Mr. Cohen said later. The not-so-simple case was Loving v. Virginia, which Mr. Cohen and his co-counsel, Philip J. Hirschkop, eventually took to the Supreme Court. In a landmark unanimous ruling in 1967, the court said that laws banning interracial marriage, which were in effect in a number of states, mostly in the South, were unconstitutional.

Mr. Cohen died on Monday at an assisted-living center in Fredericksburg, Va. He was 86…

Read the entire obituary here.

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Historian Martha S. Jones on the Power of Black Women That Led to Kamala Harris’ Nod for VP

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-10-28 20:12Z by Steven

Historian Martha S. Jones on the Power of Black Women That Led to Kamala Harris’ Nod for VP

People Magazine
2020-10-26

People Staff


Professor Martha S. Jones | CREDIT: BASIC BOOKS

PEOPLE’s Voices from the Fight Against Racism will amplify Black perspectives on the push for equality and justice

Americans are taught that the fight for women’s suffrage ended with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. In actuality, another battle against voter suppression was just beginning for Black American women. In her new book, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and professor of history at Johns Hopkins University, explains how Black women campaigned for voting equality for all people, from the beginning of U.S. history, through the passing of the 19th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the Black Lives Matter movement of today.

Here, Jones, a prize-winning historian, tells PEOPLE what she’s learned from the long line of brave Black suffragists in her own family — and how the history of such activists can guide modern-day Americans as they confront voter suppression in the Nov. 3 presidential election. She also explains how Black women have become one of the most powerful forces in U.S. elections. (“Black American women vote as a bloc,” says Jones, “and that’s part of what makes their vote so dangerous.”)

I write in an office where portraits of the women in my family hang on the wall. They are there because they inspire me, but they’re also there because I am accountable to them. When I write a history about women and the vote, I know that they want me to write a history that is true to the archives. But they also want me to write a history that has meaning in our own time, because I think they would recognize the urgency around voting rights that we are confronting in the 21st century and how it is not so different from the challenges that they faced a hundred years ago…

Read the entire article here.

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This interracial couple got engaged in Obama’s America. Then Trump took office.

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-10-20 20:55Z by Steven

This interracial couple got engaged in Obama’s America. Then Trump took office.

The Washington Post
2020-10-20

Sydney Trent, Local enterprise reporter


David and Jessica Figari with daughter Liliana at their home outside of Tampa. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

David and Jessica Figari are navigating racial and political divides in their country — and in their family — that they never anticipated when they fell in love

On the already muggy morning of Aug. 28, 2013, David Figari and Jessica Jones held hands in the billowing crowd near the steps of the Georgetown University Law Center. The young lovers had traveled from Florida to meet each other’s relatives and attend the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

The reminiscences from 1963 march veterans had ended and the trek to the Lincoln Memorial was about to begin when David saw an organizer standing near a microphone at the top of the stairs. He walked up to the man with the mic and introduced himself.

“Hey, I’d like to say something. Can I do it?” David said.

The man gave him the once-over and immediately said “No.”

“No, no, you don’t understand. I’d like to propose to my girlfriend.”

“No,” the man said again.

“I said, ‘No, you don’t understand,’” David said. “‘That’s my girlfriend.’”

He pointed to Jessica. Something clicked — this couple, this moment — and the man gasped.

“Everyone, everyone, really quick!” he announced. “David actually has something to say.”…

Read the entire article here.

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