On Jessica Krug and Mixed Race Identity

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2020-09-10 01:27Z by Steven

On Jessica Krug and Mixed Race Identity

Medium
2020-09-08

Josephine

The revelation in fall 2020 that Jessica Krug, a white American woman, just like Rachel Dolezal before her, spent years holding herself out as Black and Black Latina woman made us all cringe. Krug took pains to make her skin appear bronzed, she dressed in form-fitting clothing, and kept her hair dyed dark black, adding in curly or wavy texture for good measure. We all remember Dolezal’s kinky textured blonde hair and braids that gave her a distinctly ‘mixed race’ look. These women hogged the limelight and took employment and community outreach opportunities from Black women.

Their masquerade has prompted a conversation within the Black and Latinx communities around colorism: the way that light-skinned, mixed race, and white-passing Black women seem to get opportunities that are not available to dark-skinned Black women.

As long as I can remember, American movies with a Black man as the protagonist invariably had him fall in love with a Black woman who appeared mixed race. As a mixed race woman, I noticed this, and I could see how unfair it was: the subtle message was that I would be accepted as beautiful in the black community. Looking back, I see how those same films and series made dark-skinned women question their worth.

Remember Dorothy Dandridge’s ‘exotic’ beauty? We wonder why black women feel pressure to straighten their hair and lighten their skin, but in popular culture, we have all been conditioned to see light-skinned women as the only presentable face of black womanhood. The use of mixed race women as the face of blackness has long left out the majority of Black women who have a beauty that is not contingent on detectable quantum of white blood…

Read the entire article here.

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Journalist Quits Kenosha Paper in Protest of Its Jacob Blake Rally Coverage

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2020-09-03 18:29Z by Steven

Journalist Quits Kenosha Paper in Protest of Its Jacob Blake Rally Coverage

The New York Times
2020-08-31

Marc Tracy


The journalist Daniel J. Thompson resigned in protest from his job at The Kenosha News after objecting to its coverage of a rally in support of Jacob Blake. Daniel J. Thompson

Daniel Thompson, an editor at The Kenosha News, resigned over a headline that highlighted a speaker who made a threat during a peaceful protest.

A journalist resigned on Saturday from his job at The Kenosha News after objecting to the headline of an article that chronicled a rally in support of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot seven times in the back by a white Kenosha police officer.

The journalist, Daniel J. Thompson, a digital editor who said he was the only full-time Black staff member at the paper, which covers southeastern Wisconsin, said the headline did not accurately sum up the article and gave a false impression of the rally itself, which he attended. The rally for Mr. Blake, who was left paralyzed by the shooting on Aug. 23, included calls for unity from his father, Jacob Blake Sr., and Wisconsin’s lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes, the article said.

The headline, which appeared on the Kenosha News website on Saturday, highlighted a remark from one rally participant: “Kenosha speaker: ‘If you kill one of us, it’s time for us to kill one of yours.’” The online version of the article included a 59-second video showing the person who spoke those words, a Black man who was not identified by name.

Mr. Thompson, who joined the paper’s newsroom three years ago, said he found the headline off-base. “The story is about the entire reaction of all the speakers and people in attendance, and that quote is one outlier falling within a flood of positive ones,” he said in an interview…

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Race and Media: Critical Approaches

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Forthcoming Media, Literary/Artistic Criticism, United States on 2020-08-12 00:43Z by Steven

Race and Media: Critical Approaches

New York University Press
December 2020
320 pages
6.00 x 9.00 in
11 b/w illustrations
Hardcover ISBN: 9781479895779
Paperback ISBN: 9781479889310

Edited by:

Lori Kido Lopez, Associate Professor in Media and Cultural Studies
University of Wisconsin, Madison

A foundational collection of essays that demonstrate how to study race and media

From graphic footage of migrant children in cages to #BlackLivesMatter and #OscarsSoWhite, portrayals and discussions of race dominate the media landscape. Race and Media adopts a wide range of methods to make sense of specific occurrences, from the corporate portrayal of mixed-race identity by 23andMe to the cosmopolitan fetishization of Marie Kondo. As a whole, this collection demonstrates that all forms of media—from the sitcoms we stream to the Twitter feeds we follow—confirm racism and reinforce its ideological frameworks, while simultaneously giving space for new modes of resistance and understanding.

In each chapter, a leading media scholar elucidates a set of foundational concepts in the study of race and media—such as the burden of representation, discourses of racialization, multiculturalism, hybridity, and the visuality of race. In doing so, they offer tools for media literacy that include rigorous analysis of texts, ideologies, institutions and structures, audiences and users, and technologies. The authors then apply these concepts to a wide range of media and the diverse communities that engage with them in order to uncover new theoretical frameworks and methodologies. From advertising and music to film festivals, video games, telenovelas, and social media, these essays engage and employ contemporary dialogues and struggles for social justice by racialized communities to push media forward.

Contributors include: Mary Beltrán, Meshell Sturgis, Ralina L. Joseph, Dolores Inés Casillas, Jennifer Lynn Stoever, Jason Kido Lopez, Peter X Feng, Jacqueline Land, Mari Castañeda, Jun Okada, Amy Villarejo, Aymar Jean Christian, Sarah Florini, Raven Maragh-Lloyd, Sulafa Zidani, Lia Wolock, Meredith D. Clark, Jillian M. Báez, Miranda J. Brady, Kishonna L. Gray, and Susan Noh.

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Soledad O’Brien: A MeToo Moment for Journalists of Color

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2020-07-05 20:14Z by Steven

Soledad O’Brien: A MeToo Moment for Journalists of Color

The New York Times
2020-07-04

Soledad O’Brien


Soledad O’Brien Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

We’re finally feeling empowered to speak openly about racism in the newsroom.

Every journalist of color has a story.

My first job as an on-air reporter was at KRON in San Francisco from 1993 to 1996. I saw my new colleagues having a lively conversation and wanted to jump in. I discovered that they were talking about the “affirmative-action hire,” who turned out to be me. That’s how they saw me — it didn’t matter that I’d been a researcher and producer at NBC News or that I had gone to Harvard.

At that same job, the managers half-joked that they had taken their lives into their own hands when their morning commute was rerouted through Oakland. I was the bureau chief for the East Bay, which includes Oakland, and they would be signing off on my reports hours later.

So, as other journalists of color in these recent weeks have spoken up about their lack of representation and influence in newsrooms, and how that warps coverage, I know exactly what they’re talking about: how treatment leads to unfair coverage. What’s most disturbing, though, is how much their stories, in 2020, sound like mine from several decades ago…

Read the entire article here.

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Imagining the Mulatta: Blackness in U.S. and Brazilian Media

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2020-05-26 20:26Z by Steven

Imagining the Mulatta: Blackness in U.S. and Brazilian Media

University of Illinois Press
May 2020
288 pages
9 color photographs
6 x 9 in.
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-04328-4
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08520-8

Jasmine Mitchell, Assistant Professor of American Studies and Media Studies
State University of New York, Old Westbury

Mixed-race women and popular culture in Brazil and the United States

Brazil markets itself as a racially mixed utopia. The United States prefers the term melting pot. Both nations have long used the image of the mulatta to push skewed cultural narratives. Highlighting the prevalence of mixed race women of African and European descent, the two countries claim to have perfected racial representation—all the while ignoring the racialization, hypersexualization, and white supremacy that the mulatta narrative creates.

Jasmine Mitchell investigates the development and exploitation of the mulatta figure in Brazilian and U.S. popular culture. Drawing on a wide range of case studies, she analyzes policy debates and reveals the use of mixed-Black female celebrities as subjects of racial and gendered discussions. Mitchell also unveils the ways the media moralizes about the mulatta figure and uses her as an example of an “acceptable” version of blackness that at once dreams of erasing undesirable blackness while maintaining the qualities that serve as outlets for interracial desire.

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The Healing Power of ‘Steven Universe’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2020-04-01 01:00Z by Steven

The Healing Power of ‘Steven Universe’

The New York Times

2020-03-28

Nicole Clark

Steven Universe is raised by the Crystal Gems: Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl, female-presenting, nonbinary aliens. Cartoon Network

The hit cartoon series has helped me process my biracial identity.

For most of my life, Taiwan was a place that lived in my head. My mother told me her origin stories like a series of tall tales, full of pitched, tin roofs and fields of underbrush that my grandmother used to drive through on her moped, lifting her legs to avoid snake bites.

Her stories felt like aphorisms I could attach to the idea of being Taiwanese, something I knew I was, but felt no particular ability to locate outside the life I lived in California. I could not get past the differences of our childhoods, the disparities in our means, the foreign topography. It would take me years to realize I’d inherited her cultural traditions and perspectives growing up — and even longer to separate my identity from the need to demonstrate proficiency in it, as if it were a set of actions committed to memory.

When I began watching Rebecca Sugar’s musical cartoon series “Steven Universe” and its limited series spinoff “Steven Universe Future” — which aired its final episodes on Friday — it immediately fit like a familiar sweater. So much of Steven’s coming-of-age story mapped onto my own: We both come from two distinct cultures, the most dominant of which can feel inscrutable….

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Soledad O’Brien Isn’t Holding Back Anymore

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2020-03-06 15:33Z by Steven

Soledad O’Brien Isn’t Holding Back Anymore

Rolling Stone
2020-03-03

EJ Dickson, Reporter


After leaving CNN, the veteran journalist started Soledad O’Brien Productions.
Leeor Wild for Rolling Stone

After a new executive pushed her out at CNN, the veteran journalist became one of mainstream media’s most fiery critics

Soledad O’Brien likes to tell a story: Eleven years ago, a senior employee at CNN — “my boss’s boss’s boss” — called her into his office to upbraid her about a comment she had made while promoting her multipart series Black in America. At a panel, O’Brien had said she had interviewed black parents from various socioeconomic backgrounds, all of whom said they had conversations with their sons about how to navigate interactions with police. The superior, who was white, told her this experience was not specific to people of color, and that white parents had this discussion with their sons too. He requested that she stop publicly speaking about young black men and police brutality.

O’Brien was stunned. “I’d spent 18 months working on that doc,” the veteran journalist recalls in the office of her company, Soledad O’Brien Productions. “But the idea that I would come back with something that challenged his belief was just not acceptable.” Nonetheless, she wanted to keep her job, and she knew that speaking out would be career suicide. “I didn’t tell that story,” she says. “Until I was telling it on Twitter.” And once she started telling stories, she found she couldn’t stop.

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The Gospel according to Meghan

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Religion, United Kingdom on 2020-03-03 14:23Z by Steven

The Gospel according to Meghan

The Christian Recorder: The Official Organ of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
2020-02-28

Jennifer P. Sims, Ph.D., Columnist; Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Alabama, Huntsville


Jennifer P. Sims, Ph.D.

A few weeks ago, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shocked their family and the world by announcing that they would step back from their roles as senior members of the British Royal Family. Contributing to their decision was the intense media attention and its accompanying salacious criticism of their family. Meghan, who is mixed-race (Black/White) and American, has been receiving the brunt of the media abuse. From newspaper stories disdaining her every behavior, despite having lauded some of the same actions when White British Royals like Kate Middleton did them, to a reporter literally comparing her newborn son to a monkey, the British media has been unconscionable toward the Duchess of Sussex.

Social media dubbed the family’s departure from the UKMegxit,” a word play on “Brexit” which refers to Britain’s recent exit from the European Union, and leading news sources reached out to social scientists for comments. In an interview with The Washington Post, for example, I discussed the role of anti-black racism and classism in the Sussex family’s experiences. My colleague, who is a psychologist, explained to PBS News Hour how the experiences of mixed-race Blacks such as Meghan and [Barack] Obama reiterate that a few minorities gaining positions of power does not signal the end of prejudiced thinking. A historian penned an essay that situated Megxit within the Black feminist tradition of resilience…

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“What Are You?” Navigating Mixed-ish Challenges and Opportunities in Social Work

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Work, United States on 2020-02-20 22:38Z by Steven

“What Are You?” Navigating Mixed-ish Challenges and Opportunities in Social Work

The New Social Worker: The Social Work Careers Magazine
2020-02-19

Kelly F. Jackson, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor of Social Work
Arizona State University

A 12-year-old girl and her two younger siblings reluctantly enter the cafeteria of their new school for the first time. It is almost impossible not to notice the awkward stares and cupped whispers from other students in the room. Then, a brazen question from one of the perplexed pupils seemingly brings the activity in the cafeteria to a standstill. A boy, his faced wrinkled in confusion asks, “What are you weirdos mixed with?”

This is actually a scene from the first episode of the ABC family comedy Mixed-ish, which premiered in September 2019 and follows the experiences of a mixed-race pre-teen named Bow and her interracial family during the 1980s. However uncomfortable the episode, it is not much of a departure from reality for many. The scene loosely reenacts true experiences for the increasing number of multiracial individuals and families with whom social workers interact every day. It is also another rueful reminder of why social workers and other helping professionals need to expand their understanding of diversity in ways that are inclusive of multiracial individuals and families…

Read the entire article here.

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Alternate Roots: Ethnicity, Race, and Identity in Genealogy Media

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2020-01-31 20:06Z by Steven

Alternate Roots: Ethnicity, Race, and Identity in Genealogy Media

University Press of Mississippi
June 2018
167 pages
14 b&w illustrations, 2 tables
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496817785
Paperback ISBN: 9781496828224

Christine Scodari, Professor of Media Studies and a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida

How popular media cultivates genealogy but buries its cultural context

In recent years, the media has attributed the increasing numbers of people producing family trees to the aging of baby boomers, a sense of mortality, a proliferation of internet genealogy sites, and a growing pride in ethnicity. A spate of new genealogy-themed television series and internet-driven genetic ancestry testing services have now emerged, capitalizing on the mapping of the human genome in 2003. This genealogical trend poses a need for critical analysis, particularly along the lines of race and ethnicity.

In contextual ways, as she intersperses an account of her own journey chronicling her Italian and Italian American family history, Christine Scodari lays out how family historians can understand intersections involving race and/or ethnicity and other identities inflecting families. Through engagement in and with genealogical texts and practices, such as the classic television series Roots, Ancestry. com, and Henry Louis Gates’s documentaries, Scodari also explains how to interpret their import to historical and ongoing relations of power beyond the family. Perspectives on hybridity and intersectionality gesture toward making connections not only between and among identities, but also between localized findings and broader contexts that might, given only cursory attention, seem tangential to chronicling a family history.

Given current tools, texts, practices, cultural contexts, and technologies, Scodari’s study determines whether a critical genealogy around race, ethnicity, and intersectional identities is viable. She delves into the implications of adoption, orientation, and migration while also investigating her own genealogy, examining the racial, ethnic experiences of her forebears and positioning them within larger, cross-cultural contexts.

There is little research on genealogical media in relation to race and ethnicity. Thus, Scodari blends cultural studies, critical media studies, and her own genealogy as a critical pursuit to interrogate issues bound up in the nuts-and-bolts of engaging in family history.

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