I dig through archives to unearth hidden stories from African-American history

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2018-12-27 02:48Z by Steven

I dig through archives to unearth hidden stories from African-American history

The Conversation
2018-12-04

Jane Landers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee


An archivist works with a document from Paraiba, Brazil. David Lafevor, CC BY-SA

Many years ago, as a graduate student searching in the archives of Spanish Florida, I discovered the first “underground railroad” of enslaved Africans escaping from Protestant Carolina to find religious sanctuary in Catholic Florida. In 1738, these runaways formed Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, the first free black settlement in what became the U.S.

The excitement of that discovery encouraged me to keep digging. After doing additional research in Spain, I followed the trail of the Mose villagers to Cuba, where they had emigrated when Great Britain acquired Florida. I found many of them in 18th-century church records in Havana, Matanzas, Regla, Guanabacoa and San Miguel del Padrón.

Today, those records and others live on in the Slave Societies Digital Archive. This archive, which I launched in 2003, now holds approximately 600,000 images dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Since its creation, the archive has led to new insights into African populations in the Americas

…Previously unknown church records for Havana’s black Brotherhood of St. Joseph the Carpenter document the membership of Jose Antonio Aponte, executed by Spanish officials in 1812 for leading an alleged slave conspiracy. Our records similarly document the marriage and death of another famed “conspirator” – the mulatto poet Gabriel de la Concepcion Valdes, better known as Placido

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JewAsian: race, religion, and identity for America’s Newest Jews [Review]

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Family/Parenting, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, Social Science, United States on 2018-11-01 02:37Z by Steven

JewAsian: race, religion, and identity for America’s Newest Jews [Review]

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 40, 2017 – Issue 13
pages 2380-2382
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2017.1329544

Hasia R. Diner, Paul And Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History
New York University

Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt, JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016).

Sociologists Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt, a married couple, he of Jewish background, presumably European, and she of Korean derivation, have, with this slim book, launched an important topic for further research and scholarly inquiry. The two authors explore here, using the conventional methods of sociological study, a trend, presumably new and emblematic of postmodernity. This trend can be accessed by even the most casual readers nearly every Sunday in the wedding announcements in The New York Times‘ Style section. Like JewAsian—obviously a neologism—The Times postings chronicle the not uncommon phenomenon of, for the most part, Jewish men, bearers of identifiable Jewish surnames, marrying women marked by their names and by the accompanying photographs identifiable as Asian, primarily individuals who themselves or their forbears hailed from China, Korea, and Vietnam.

The text of the wedding announcements, besides detailing the usually impressive occupations and educational backgrounds of bride and groom, and those of their parents, fit well with this fascinating book. Nearly all the nuptial notices indicate that a rabbi or cantor will be officiating at the ceremony, indicating that Jews, certainly the non-Orthodox among them who constitute the American majority, have embraced this emerging reality of marriages across lines of race, ethnicity, and religion. So too the fact that the brides in these marriages have chosen to have their unions solemnized by a member of the Jewish clergy, rather than by someone representing Christianity or Buddhism or any other religious tradition associated with Asian and Asian American culture, represents an important contemporary reality which Kim and Leavitt explore in their book.

The wedding announcements, like the much publicized union between FaceBook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, sweethearts since their Harvard days and like the data presented in JewAsian, point to the trend by which the non-Jewish, Asian women who marry Jewish men become integrated and absorbed into the fabric of American Jewish life. Kim and Leavitt, who for the most part leave out the details of their personal journey as an Asian and Jewish couple, focusing carefully on the pairs whom they interviewed, do appropriately indicate in the Preface that they met and fell in love while graduate students at the University of Chicago…

Read or purchase the review here.

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Black on the Outside, White on the Inside: Peter Abelard’s Use of Race

Posted in Articles, Europe, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Philosophy, Religion on 2018-08-14 02:39Z by Steven

Black on the Outside, White on the Inside: Peter Abelard’s Use of Race

Critical Philosophy of Race
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2018
pages 135-163
DOI: 10.5325/critphilrace.6.2.0135

Colleen Mccluskey, Professor of Philosophy
Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

In his reply to Heloise’s complaints in the fourth of the so-called personal letters, Peter Abelard (a twelfth-century theologian) draws upon the figure of the Ethiopian queen from the biblical Song of Songs, who proclaims that she is black on the outside but beautiful on the inside. While some scholars have interpreted his discussion as a commentary on the persona of a nun, this article considers what Abelard’s remarks might mean for understanding the development of the concept of race in Western thought. In particular, it considers whether Abelard’s discussion, both in the letter and in his metaphysical writings, challenges the common (although not universal) position that Europeans did not develop a concept of race until at least the early modern period. It examines these texts to determine the extent to which his remarks reveal congruities or differences with later more explicit conceptions of race.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective

Posted in Africa, Articles, Europe, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Religion, Social Science, South Africa on 2018-08-03 01:27Z by Steven

Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective

Journal of Intercultural Studies
Volume 38 (2018)
2018-08-01

Publication Cover

  • Introduction
    • Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective: An Introduction / Erica Chito Childs
  • Hierarchies of Mixing: Navigations and Negotiations
    • An Unwanted Weed: Children of Cross-region Unions Confront Intergenerational Stigma of Caste, Ethnicity and Religion / Reena Kukreja
    • Mixed Race Families in South Africa: Naming and Claiming a Location / Heather M. Dalmage
    • Negotiating the (Non)Negotiable: Connecting ‘Mixed-Race’ Identities to ‘Mixed-Race’ Families / Mengxi Pang
    • Linguistic Cultural Capital among Descendants of Mixed Couples in Catalonia, Spain: Realities and Inequalities / Dan Rodríguez-García, Miguel Solana-Solana, Anna Ortiz-Guitart & Joanna L. Freedman
    • ‘There is Nothing Wrong with Being a Mulatto’: Structural Discrimination and Racialised Belonging in Denmark / Mira C. Skadegård & Iben Jensen
    • Exceptionalism with Non-Validation: The Social Inconsistencies of Being Mixed Race in Australia / Stephanie B. Guy
  • Mixed Matters Through a Wider Lens
    • Recognising Selves in Others: Situating Dougla Manoeuvrability as Shared Mixed-Race Ontology / Sue Ann Barratt & Aleah Ranjitsingh
    • What’s Love Got To Do With It? Emotional Authority and State Regulation of Interracial/national Couples in Ireland / Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain
    • Re-viewing Race and Mixedness: Mixed Race in Asia and the Pacific / Zarine L. Rocha

Read or purchase this special issue here.

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Black Saint of the Americas: The Life and Afterlife of Martín de Porres

Posted in Biography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion on 2018-07-02 01:16Z by Steven

Black Saint of the Americas: The Life and Afterlife of Martín de Porres

Cambridge University Press
2014-10-13
311 pages
16 b/w illus.
229 x 152 x 18 mm
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1107034372
Paperback ISBN: 9781108404174
Online ISBN: 9781139540599

Celia Cussen, Associate Professor of History
Universidad de Chile

In May 1962, as the struggle for civil rights heated up in the United States and leaders of the Catholic Church prepared to meet for Vatican Council II, Pope John XXIII named the first black saint of the Americas, the Peruvian Martín de Porres (1579–1639), and designated him the patron of racial justice. The son of a Spanish father and a former slavewoman from Panamá, Martín served a lifetime as the barber and nurse at the great Dominican monastery in Lima. This book draws on visual representations of Martín and the testimony of his contemporaries to produce the first biography of this pious and industrious black man from the cosmopolitan capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. The book vividly chronicles the evolving interpretations of his legend and his miracles, and traces the centuries-long campaign to formally proclaim Martín de Porres a hero of universal Catholicism.

  • The first full-length work dedicated to Martín de Porres from a scholarly viewpoint
  • An analysis of witness testimonies and images that portrayed the virtues and miracles of Martín
  • A readable discussion of how the cult of the first black saint of the Americas evolved along with the needs and attitudes of Catholics in Peru and elsewhere

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part I. The Life:
    • 1. Race and family
    • 2. The convent and the colonial world
    • 3. Healing and faith
    • 4. Death and the heavenly transit
  • Part II. The Afterlife:
    • 5. Creating a Vida from a life
    • 6. The miracles
    • 7. Images in black and white
    • 8. Sainthood
  • Conclusion
  • Appendixes
  • Bibliography
  • Endnotes
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Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Arts, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science on 2018-05-30 01:50Z by Steven

Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction

Cambridge University Press
April 2018
400 pages
233 x 165 x 43 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781107177628
Paperback ISBN: 9781316630662
eBook ISBN: 9781316835890

Editors:

Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics; Professor of African and African American Studies
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

Alejandro de la Fuente and George Reid Andrews offer the first systematic, book-length survey of humanities and social science scholarship on the exciting field of Afro-Latin American studies. Organized by topic, these essays synthesize and present the current state of knowledge on a broad variety of topics, including Afro-Latin American music, religions, literature, art history, political thought, social movements, legal history, environmental history, and ideologies of racial inclusion. This volume connects the region’s long history of slavery to the major political, social, cultural, and economic developments of the last two centuries. Written by leading scholars in each of those topics, the volume provides an introduction to the field of Afro-Latin American studies that is not available from any other source and reflects the disciplinary and thematic richness of this emerging field.

  • Presents systematic and synthetic overviews of recent scholarship on topics of major importance in the field of Afro-Latin American studies, for example Afro-Latin American religions, Afro-Latin American political movements, and Afro-Latin American music
  • Covers a broad range of topics, embracing most of the humanities and social sciences
  • Serves as the authoritative introduction for Afro-Latin American history, covering the period from 1500 to the present

Table of Contents

  • 1. Afro-Latin American studies: an introduction Alejandro de la Fuente and George Reid Andrews
  • Part I. Inequalities:
    • 2. The slave trade to Latin America: a historiographical assessment Roquinaldo Ferreira and Tatiana Seijas
    • 3. Inequality: race, class, gender George Reid Andrews
    • 4. Afro-indigenous interactions, relations, and comparisons Peter Wade
    • 5. Law, silence, and racialized inequalities in the history of Afro-Brazil Brodwyn Fischer, Keila Grinberg and Hebe Mattos
  • Part II. Politics:
    • 6. Currents in Afro-Latin American political and social thought Frank Guridy and Juliet Hooker
    • 7. Rethinking black mobilization in Latin America Tianna Paschel
    • 8. ‘Racial democracy’ and racial inclusion: hemispheric histories Paulina Alberto and Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof
  • Part III. Culture:
    • 9. Literary liberties: the authority of Afrodescendant authors Doris Sommer
    • 10. Afro-Latin American art Alejandro de la Fuente
    • 11. A century and a half of scholarship on Afro-Latin American music Robin Moore
    • 12. Afro-Latin American religions Stephan Palmié and Paul Christopher Johnson
    • 13. Environment, space and place: cultural geographies of colonial Afro-Latin America Karl Offen
  • Part IV. Transnational Spaces:
    • 14. Transnational frames of Afro-Latin experience: evolving spaces and means of connection, 1600–2000 Lara Putnam
    • 15. Afro-Latinos: speaking through silences and rethinking the geographies of blackness Jennifer A. Jones
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How I Finally Learned To Accept Both My Chinese And Jewish Identities

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2018-05-28 23:07Z by Steven

How I Finally Learned To Accept Both My Chinese And Jewish Identities

The Huffington Post
2018-05-22

Gen Slosberg
Guest Writer

To be mixed and a woman meant my appearance was of the foremost importance to everyone around me.
Gen Slosberg
To be mixed and a woman meant my appearance was of the foremost importance to everyone around me.

Growing up in China, I never quite understood why I didn’t fit in.

I ate Chinese food, went to Chinese school, had Chinese friends and did Chinese things. I memorized poems and Confucius passages at school and learned how to play the zither. At night, my grandma would sit next to my bed, fan away mosquitoes with her bamboo fan and sing nursery rhymes about the summer rain in Cantonese. On weekends, I would wake up early to watch my neighbor roll dumpling dough and my mom cut green onions into small pieces for the filling.

What little exposure I had to American culture was when my Jewish-American father would come home after monthslong business trips and read me Dr. Seuss. Until I was 15, my understanding of America consisted of vague memories of The Boy and The Apple Tree, summer trips to my dad’s hometown Portland, Maine, where his white relatives would look at me in wonder and express concern for my broken English.

I was, as far as I understood, Chinese. But as far as everyone else in China was concerned, I was only white, Jewish and American because of my father. For reasons incomprehensible to me at the time, I was “different” in the eyes of those in a society so emphatic about its homogeneity…

Read the entire article here.

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Why the idea that the English have a common Anglo-Saxon origin is a myth

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Religion, United Kingdom on 2018-04-12 18:12Z by Steven

Why the idea that the English have a common Anglo-Saxon origin is a myth

The Conversation
2017-12-15

Duncan Sayer, Reader in Archaeology
University of Central Lancashire


A diverse history. Witan hexateuch via Wikimedia Commons

The idea that there is a common Anglo-Saxon ancestry based on biology is gaining currency among some right-wing and religious groups in the UK and US.

In the UK, the new leader of the UK Independence Party, Henry Bolton, suggested in a radio interview in October that “in certain communities the indigenous Anglo-Saxon population is nowhere to be seen.”

In August, a religious group called the Odinist Fellowship wrote to the Church of England demanding two churches as reparations for a “spiritual genocide” which it claims began in the seventh century AD.

The Odinists use old Icelandic texts to reconstruct the “indigenous” religion of the Anglo-Saxons which they claim was oppressed with the arrival of Christianity. The Anglo-Saxons are commonly believed to have migrated into Briton in the fifth and sixth century AD. Iceland by contrast was inhabited in the ninth century by Viking settlers. In the US, this mixed up medievalism is associated with the white supremacist alt-right who use Anglo-Saxon and Viking motifs.

But archaeological research, which examines ancient DNA and artefacts to explore who these “indigenous” Anglo-Saxons were, shows that the people of fifth and sixth century England had a mixed heritage and did not base their identity on a biological legacy. The very idea of the Anglo-Saxon ancestor is a more recent invention linked closely with the English establishment…

Read the entire article here.

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A Family Affair

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2018-03-06 03:35Z by Steven

A Family Affair

Ball Bearings Magazine
2018-02-26

Merritt Mclaughlin


Photos/Illustrations by Annelise Hanshaw

When a child is raised with parents from different cultures, they are exposed to different perspectives and beliefs that shape how they approach the world.

In the Celtic culture, the most valuable things are said to come in threes—The Earth, the Sea, and the Sky, and the three stages of life. Representing this ideology is the Celtic knot, known also as the Triquetra or the Trinity Knot.

The Celtic knot is composed of lines woven together meeting at three key points. The knot has been adopted into many other cultures despite its Celtic origin.

The knot, a versatile and ornate symbol, adorns wedding rings, glows with sunlight streaming through stained glass church windows, and even shows up on TV shows.

Celebrating Differences

Stephen Baker’s Celtic knot is embedded in his skin, a tattoo laying directly over his heart. For him, its points represent his mom, his siblings, and his step-dad.

Like the knot, his family is woven together despite the staggering differences in their cultures.

Stephen is biracial, and he appreciates all the different cultures and people who came together to create his unique worldview…

Read the entire article here.

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Indian Slavery Once Thrived in New Mexico. Latinos Are Finding Family Ties to It.

Posted in Articles, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion, United States on 2018-01-29 19:22Z by Steven

Indian Slavery Once Thrived in New Mexico. Latinos Are Finding Family Ties to It.

The New York Times
2018-01-28

Simon Romero


St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Abiquiú, N.M., a village settled by former Indian slaves, or Genízaros, in the 18th century.
Credit Adria Malcolm for The New York Times

ALBUQUERQUE — Lenny Trujillo made a startling discovery when he began researching his descent from one of New Mexico’s pioneering Hispanic families: One of his ancestors was a slave.

“I didn’t know about New Mexico’s slave trade, so I was just stunned,” said Mr. Trujillo, 66, a retired postal worker who lives in Los Angeles. “Then I discovered how slavery was a defining feature of my family’s history.”

Mr. Trujillo is one of many Latinos who are finding ancestral connections to a flourishing slave trade on the blood-soaked frontier now known as the American Southwest. Their captive forebears were Native Americans — slaves frequently known as Genízaros (pronounced heh-NEE-sah-ros) who were sold to Hispanic families when the region was under Spanish control from the 16th to 19th centuries. Many Indian slaves remained in bondage when Mexico and later the United States governed New Mexico.

The revelations have prompted some painful personal reckonings over identity and heritage. But they have also fueled a larger, politically charged debate on what it means to be Hispanic and Native American…

…Many Hispanic families in New Mexico have long known that they had indigenous ancestry, even though some here still call themselves “Spanish” to emphasize their Iberian ties and to differentiate themselves from the state’s 23 federally recognized tribes, as well as from Mexican and other Latin American immigrants.

But genetic testing is offering a glimpse into a more complex story. The DNA of Hispanic people from New Mexico is often in the range of 30 to 40 percent Native American, according to Miguel A. Tórrez, 42, a research technologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and one of New Mexico’s most prominent genealogists.

…“I have Navajo, Chippewa, Greek and Spanish blood lines,” said Mr. Tórrez, who calls himself a mestizo, a term referring to mixed ancestry. “I can’t say I’m indigenous any more than I can say I’m Greek, but it’s both fascinating and disturbing to see how various cultures came together in New Mexico.”…

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