Survey reveals half of children of migrants families feel ‘white British’

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, New Media, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2012-03-08 20:43Z by Steven

Survey reveals half of children of migrants families feel ‘white British’

Daily Mail

Steve Doughty

More than half the children of immigrant families now count themselves as both white and British, a survey revealed yesterday.

The findings show that more than one in six of those people who call themselves white British were in fact born abroad, or their parents or grandparents came from somewhere else in the world.

Even among children of mixed-race parents, more than a third say they are ‘white British’ when asked how they identify themselves…

…It found: ‘Those of minority ethnicity typically express a stronger British identity than the white British majority.

‘This is true of UK and non-UK born minorities, though the non-UK born across all groups express a lower sense of British identity.’

Researchers Alita Nandi and Lucinda Platt said: ‘This might be regarded as a positive melting pot story…

…Even among people themselves born abroad, who make up 11 per cent of the population, just over one in six describe themselves as white British.

Fewer than a third, 30 per cent, of people with mixed-race parents described their identity as ‘mixed’.

However a greater number, 35 per cent, say they are white British…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

The Orange County War of 1856

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Texas, United States on 2012-03-08 03:31Z by Steven

The Orange County War of 1856

W. T. Block, (1920-2007)

Reprinted from W. T. Block, “Meanest Town on The Coast,” Old West, Winter, 1979, pp. 10ff.
Sources: Galveston Weekly News and Tri-Weekly News, June 1 to July 15, 1856. The issue of July 15 of Tri-Weekly News contains a full, 8-column page of the war. Also, an excellent secondary account is A. F. Muir, “The Free Negroes of Jefferson and Orange Counties, Texas,” Journal of Negro History, XXXV (April, 1950), 183-206.

Any visitor to Madison, Texas, (now Orange) in the month of May, 1856, would have hardly imagined that that community was steeped in jealousy and hatred. Only four years earlier, Orange County had cut itself adrift from neighboring Jefferson County and established its county seat at Madison, a prosperous village located on the Sabine River, twelve miles from its mouth, and cooled by the prevailing southerly breezes from Lake Sabine.

Madison had no log-cabin or unpainted clapboard ugliness. Already a thriving timber products center, it had grown from zero population to 600 in ten years. One early writer praised its fairy-tale appearance, 150 white cottages “ensconced like a duck in a nest of roses” and encircling a mile-long river crescent studded with stately cypresses. Five steam saw mills and shingle mills, two shipyards, a dozen other hand-powered industries, stores and cotton warehouses lined the banks of the river where six steamboats and numerous sail craft transported lumber and cotton abroad. A multi-billion foot reservoir of huge, virgin cypress and pine forests abutted the community that had already become the state’s leading exporter of lumber, shingles, lathes, fence pickets, barrel staves, and wagon spokes.

If Madison’s idyllic setting belied its ugliness within, it also left as totally inexplicable the strangest circumstances that were ever a party to vigilante violence and twelve assassinations—a sheriff who, along with his uncle, comprised the most skillful ring of counterfeiters in early-day Texas; a West Texas killer who rode with the Moderators, the party of “law and order;” and a dozen free Mulattoes, who were slaveholders, wealthy cattlemen, and considerably less “black” than the hearts of their persecutors.

By 1856 Orange County, Texas, had the largest aggregate of “free blacks” in the state, numbering about 100. The nucleus of the Mulatto colony included Aaron, Abner, William, Jesse, and Tapler Ashworth and their children; Hiram Bunch, Gibson Perkins, and Elijah Thomas, all of whom were either brothers, in-laws, or were otherwise closely related. The wives of some of them were white, whereas a few white men in the county had Mulatto wives (mixed marriage was illegal, although seldom enforced). Most of them having arrived in Texas by 1834, a few of them held Mexican land grants. Some had military bounties or land grants from the Republic of Texas, and most of them had served one enlistment in the Texas Army in 1836. While several of mixed ancestry were Mulattoes, others were of quadroon or octoroon ancestry.

Despite the marriage laws of the state, six of the group had taken white spouses, a continuing process which had left some of them as a whole “three or four generations removed from black blood” (a phrase coined by an early county historian). Except for their disfranchisement from the political and judicial processes, they had gained most of the privileges of whites, including an 1840 enabling act from the Congress of the Texas Republic to circumvent the forced removal of free blacks from the state. Although many of them were widely respected, they still had committed, in the eyes of their neighbors, one cardinal and unforgivable sin—they had accumulated large tracts of valuable lands and thousand of cattle which were coveted by others.

Nonetheless, the free blacks were allied through marriage bonds and partnerships to many white settlers as well (one of whom was Sheriff Edward C. Glover), who rallied to the Mulattoes’ side whenever the violence began. Hence, the number of free blacks and their allies made it impossible for any small number of whites to attack them without considerable bloodshed…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Afro-Mexican History: Trends and Directions in Scholarship

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Mexico on 2012-03-08 02:36Z by Steven

Afro-Mexican History: Trends and Directions in Scholarship

History Compass
Volume 3, Issue 1 (January 2005)
14 pages
DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2005.00156.x

Ben Vinson, III, Vice Dean for Centers, Interdepartmental Programs, and Graduate Programs
Johns Hopkins University

This article surveys the development of a relatively new and vibrant subfield in Latin American History, mapping out the major stages of its evolution and signaling key intellectual debates. While much of the scholarship on Afro-Mexican history has been produced in the last thirty-five years, this article aims to contextualize these writings within a broader historical framework. This process shows more clearly the various independent and interdependent tracks that exist within the study of Mexico’s black population.

Until very recently, the study of Mexico’s black population could not be categorized as forming any particular school of thought or intellectual inquiry. The impressionistic nature of the writings on blacks, which persisted even well into the 20th century, frequently worked to subordinate Afro-Mexican history to broader themes, such as nationalism, the economy, regional development, and general social conditions. Nevertheless, it is still possible to outline the evolution of historical scholarship on blacks in Mexico, extending back into the colonial period. What we discover is that in many ways, the discussion of blacks has followed the trajectory of the political development of the nation. Writings on Afro-Mexicans can be grouped into periods that correspond to (1) Mexico’s colonial and independence era (1521–1821); (2) the pre-revolutionary period (1822 –1910); and (3) the post-revolutionary period (1921 to current). Within these periods there is much nuance to account for, but by and large, they provide useful markers by which to evaluate the progression of the intellectual conversation on Mexico’s blackness.

In the colonial period, outside of the abundant ecclesiastical and government documentation that can still be found in the colonial archives, very few published works concentrated directly upon blacks. What survives comes mainly in three forms: traveler’s accounts, narrative accounts of the Conquest of Mexico, and political treatises. In terms of travelogues, the narratives of men such as Thomas Gage, Juan F. Gemelli Carreri, Fray Francisco de Ajofrín, and Alexander von Humbolt are revealing for the patterns of discourse that they uncover. By and large, their writings depict mulattos, pardos, and negros in a negative light, to the extent that they cite these populations as bearing a corrupting influence on the social development of the colonies. Meanwhile, the accounts of the Conquest, frequently referred to as the “chronicles,” represent a different, although related genre. More historically grounded, the writings of men such as Francisco López de Gomara (c. 1552), Bernal Díaz del Castillo (c. 1562), and Fray Diego Durán (c. 1580) make reference to the black military auxiliaries who accompanied the Spanish conquistadors. As can be imagined, blacks appear as ornaments to the main story, or as scapegoats and anti-heroes that complemented the dominant Spanish presence. Finally, in colonial political treatises, blacks make equally brief appearances in works discussing social conditions, military organization, and municipal control. Perhaps more than in the other types of texts however, the Afro-Mexican population appears less of a novelty, being discussed as an embedded element of colonial life. It is here where we find blacks becoming more tightly associated with the colony’s amorphous “plebeian” class…

…Debates about the worth of blacks took a slightly different course in the context of the Mexican Revolution. Indeed, the cultural landscape produced by this seminal event had a lasting effect on Afro-Mexican historiography. After the revolution, Mexico placed a heightened emphasis on the hybrid nature of its population to demonstrate the strength of its national character. But a certain type of hybrid phenotype was praised – the mestizo, or mixture of white and Indian. Blacks were literally written out of the national narrative. Excluding blacks from the national image was a process that was long in the making, but arguably, it was in the 1920s when the process had some of its strongest influences…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,