Real Indians and Others: Mixed-Blood Urban Native Peoples and Indigenous Nationhood [Review by Steve George]

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2012-04-20 20:33Z by Steven

Real Indians and Others: Mixed-Blood Urban Native Peoples and Indigenous Nationhood [Review by Steve George]

Volume 27, Number 2 (2005)
Pages 272–274

Steve George
Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland

Real Indians and Others: Mixed-Blood Urban Native Peoples and Indigenous Nationhood. By Bonita Lawrence. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2004. Pp. 303, bibliography, index, ISBN 0-7748-1103 -X)

The title of Lawrence’s book is as direct as it is provocative. The book’s title states the book’s purpose to examine the central and perhaps most volatile question in Aboriginal communities today: “Who is an Indian?” In 2003, Lawrence edited Strong Women Stories: Native Vision and Community Survival (Sumach Press) with Kim Anderson and in many respects this new work is a continuation of the voices heard in that book. Lawrence is a Mi’kmaq scholar whose research at Queen’s University, and more recently at York University, has concerned how “Indian/nativeness” is defined in Euro-Canadian and Native contexts, from within historical and legal paradigms as well as within native communities across Canada.

Bonita Lawrence’s work is a continuation of powerful works like Howard Adams’ Prison of Grass (1975) and Maria Campbell’s Half-Breed (1973) and more recent works by Joseph Bruchac, Bowman’s Store (Lee & Low Books, 2001) and Warren Carriou’s, Lake of the Prairies (Anchor, 2003). It has the depth of these works because we read mixed-blood peoples’ voices directly from the page. The importance of these voices lies in how each of these persons tells their stories, relates their experiences, and shares their family and community histories. Lawrence’s style of writing is easy to read while her research approach is organic in its having informants speak for themselves.

As a mixed-blood Mi’kmaw, I read this book from both a very personal level of experience as well as from an academic one, as a Masters graduate student in Folklore. In Canada the subject of mixed-blood Native people remains a controversial one from within native communities and from without, in the large urban centres across the country. Lawrence has interviewed several mixed-blood informants to tell stories that show the different kinds of experiences mixed-bloods have had in the city of Toronto and across North America. Some of these narratives involve pain, abuse, neglect, and lack of self worth, while others involve stories of empowerment, community involvement, and survival. Each one of the informants speaks from life experiences that involve a mix of acceptance and non-acceptance of their “Indian/nativeness,” both from within themselves, from their families as well as from different native communities. The responses interviewees give Lawrence are direct and bear fruit to the underreported and underwritten subject of mixed-blood Native peoples…

Read the entire review here.

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Navigating Interracial Borders: Black-White Couples and Their Social Worlds

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2012-04-20 02:28Z by Steven

Navigating Interracial Borders: Black-White Couples and Their Social Worlds

Rutgers University Press
264 pages
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8135-3586-9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8135-3585-2
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8135-3757-3

Erica Chito Childs, Associate Professor of Sociology
Hunter College, City University of New York

Is love color-blind, or at least becoming increasingly so? Today’s popular rhetoric and evidence of more interracial couples than ever might suggest that it is. But is it the idea of racially mixed relationships that we are growing to accept or is it the reality? What is the actual experience of individuals in these partnerships as they navigate their way through public spheres and intermingle in small, close-knit communities?

In Navigating Interracial Borders, Erica Chito Childs explores the social worlds of black-white interracial couples and examines the ways that collective attitudes shape private relationships. Drawing on personal accounts, in-depth interviews, focus group responses, and cultural analysis of media sources, she provides compelling evidence that sizable opposition still exists toward black-white unions. Disapproval is merely being expressed in more subtle, color-blind terms.

Childs reveals that frequently the same individuals who attest in surveys that they approve of interracial dating will also list various reasons why they and their families wouldn’t, shouldn’t, and couldn’t marry someone of another race. Even college students, who are heralded as racially tolerant and open-minded, do not view interracial couples as acceptable when those partnerships move beyond the point of casual dating. Popular films, Internet images, and pornography also continue to reinforce the idea that sexual relations between blacks and whites are deviant.

Well-researched, candidly written, and enriched with personal narratives, Navigating Interracial Borders offers important new insights into the still fraught racial hierarchies of contemporary society in the United States.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Interracial Canary
1. Loving across the Border: Through the Lens of Black-White Couples
2. Constructing Racial Boundaries and White Communities
3. Crossing Racial Boundaries and Black Communities
4. Families and the Color Line: Multiracial Problems for Black and White Families
5. Racialized Spaces: College Life in Black and White
6. Surfing the Interracial Internet
7. Listening to the Interracial Canary
Appendix: Couples Interviewed

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The Mixed-race MilkBite™

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-04-20 02:11Z by Steven

The Mixed-race MilkBite™

Brad’s Blog: musings on sociology, religion, higher ed, and whatever else is going on in my life

Bradley Koch, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Georgia College & State University

Here are a few commercials for the new MilkBite™ from Kraft. They play on stereotypes about mixed-race individuals.

There are other spots on Kraft’s YouTube page, most playing on these same themes. The problem with a marketing campaign like this is that it trivializes the experience of people with multiple racial/ethnic identities who are still often met with derision and confusion. The first ad above perpetuates the self-fulfilling prophecy about “confused” identities. As a child, I remember my own parents telling me that they didn’t have a problem with interracial couples but worried about how others might react to their children. The second ad exotifies (exoticizes?) mixed-race identities…

Read the entire essay here.

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Film Review: Marley

Posted in Arts, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, New Media on 2012-04-20 01:57Z by Steven

Film Review: Marley

Film Journal International

Marsha McCreadie

Marley, the documentary by Oscar-winning Kevin Macdonald about the legendary musician and national and international symbol for individual rights, should sparkle and sing—OK, there’s some of that—but it just sort of hums along. Maybe you can’t catch this particular lightning in a bottle, but there might be another way than this respectful, straightforward, admiring approach.

 If anyone could display the spectacular yet contradictory parts of Bob Marley—a multi-talented half-black/half-white womanizer who loved spiritually and pan-nationally; a mesmerizing performer who was a quiet guy; a pride-instiller for his dirt-poor country and religious proselytizer who lived by his own rules—it should be Macdonald. The Oscar-winning British director made the tyrant Idi Amin likeable and the charming James McAvoy despicable in The Last King of Scotland; he set our hearts to pounding with the jarring edit of massacred Israeli Olympians in One Day in September. Marley is thorough, revelatory and completely fair-minded. It’s just not very exciting. Wrong for Bob Marley…

…The Marley family-approved doc includes rare, candid interviews with his children (well, two of the eleven), and three—wait, four—of his seven women. Marley comes across as introspective, also extremely competitive (one too many shots of him at soccer), emphasizing the psychoanalytic angle that he was so driven because he never really knew his white father, married to his mother Cedella but mainly absent until he died when Bob was 10. We see a photo of Norval Marley, learn what little there is to know about this British Marine captain, and find that Bob always saw himself as an outsider: never part of the white community nor of the black, as he was considered a half-caste, not black enough. In the black Jamaican community, it was rumored his white half caused his melanoma, from which he died at 36…

Read the entire review here.

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The Legend of Marley: Kevin Macdonald considers reggae, Rasta and politics in new documentary

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, New Media on 2012-04-20 01:36Z by Steven

The Legend of Marley: Kevin Macdonald considers reggae, Rasta and politics in new documentary

Film Journal International

Doris Toumarkine

It’s taken several decades and faced many frustrating setbacks, but a richly documented and worthy film about the late reggae superstar Bob Marley has at last been realized.

Previously attached to Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme, Marley has been brought to life by Oscar-winning Scottish director Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September), who was persuaded to board the project by executive producer Chris Blackwell, the man who signed Marley to his influential Island Records label.

Just as important, Hollywood producer/financier Steve Bing’s money kicked in (through his Shangri-La Entertainment) and Marley’s family finally acceded to full cooperation and access after much dissension. Marley’s son Ziggy is an exec producer and Bing is a producer.

Expectations are no doubt soaring high for this first full-blown documentary, not just for hard-core Marley and reggae fans but for all those who value pop music and its evolution as integral to Western culture.

Providing a wealth of visual material, music and testimony from talking heads close to Marley, the Magnolia release initially conveys the artist’s extreme poverty in his native Jamaica, where he grew up the mixed-race son of a teenage black mother and older, largely absent white British father, a military man who sailed the seas or just plain drifted…

…Maybe not everything was captured. Marley had a reputation for the wandering eye (he had 11 children) and smoked a lot of weed, aka ganja, but Marley mostly stays clear of those topics.

 More to the point, the doc provides a wealth of music and suggests why the Marley reggae sound caught on so big. Music abounds, including hits from the album Exodus and the reggae smash “No Woman, No Cry,” whose rhythms were unique because, as the doc shows, Marley shifted the traditional beats…

…So what was the most surprising thing Macdonald learned about Marley?

 “I discovered how Marley was such an outcast, such an outsider even in his native country,” he replies. “As a mixed-race man, he was never really respected and he was even looked down upon because he was a Rastafarian. Yet he found his identity as a Rasta and when he became successful, everything changed.”…

Read the entire review here.

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The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina: Their Origin and Racial Status. A Plea for Separate Schools (Electronic Edition)

Posted in Books, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2012-04-20 00:41Z by Steven

The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina: Their Origin and Racial Status. A Plea for Separate Schools (Electronic Edition)

The Seeman Printery, Durham, North Carolina
65 pages

George Edwin Butler (1868-1941)

Text transcribed by Apex Data Services, Inc.
Images scanned by Tampathia Evans
Text encoded by Apex Data Services, Inc., Tampathia Evans and Jill Kuhn Sexton
First edition, 2002


  • A Petition of the Indians of Sampson County
    • Historical
    • The Croatans
    • White’s Lost Colony
    • Their Wanderings and Location
    • Political and Educational History
    • First Separate Schools for Croatans
    • Marriage with Negroes Forbidden
    • Separate Schools in Other Counties
    • Separate Schools in Sampson
    • Why the Indian School in Sampson was Repealed
    • Indian Tax Payers in Sampson
    • Easily Recognized as Indians
    • They Were Never Slaves
    • Formerly Eroneously Classed as Negroes
    • Laws of State Recognize Them as Separate Race
    • State Provides Colleges for Whites and Negroes but not for Indians
    • Indians Justly Proud of Their History
    • Better Educational Facilities Should be Provided
    • Indian Taxes in Sampson
    • Sampson Exceeds all Other Counties, Except Robeson, in Indian Polls and Property
    • Family Relationship Between Robeson and Sampson Croatans
    • New Bethel Indian School
    • Shiloh Indian School
    • The Indian Photographs and Pictures
    • The Emanuel Family
    • The Maynor Family
    • The Brewington Family
    • The Jones Family
    • The Simmons Family
    • The Jacobs Family
    • Indian Families of Sampson


  • The Croatan Normal School at Pembroke Frontispiece
  • New Bethel Indian School
  • Shiloh Indian Sunday School
  • Jonah Manuel and Family
  • Enoch Manuel and Wife
  • William J. Bledsole and Wife
  • Luther Bledsole and Children and Henry Bledsole and Wife
  • Hardy A. Brewington
  • Group of Boys and Girls
  • Lee Locklear, Steve Lowrey, French Locklear
  • Levander Manuel
  • June Brewington
  • C. D. Brewington
  • Jonathan Goodman
  • William Simmons
  • Betsy J. Simmons
  • Enoch Manuel, Jr., and Family
  • Henry Bledsole and Wife

Read the entire book here.

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