Rodney King juror: ‘My father was black’

Posted in Articles, Biography, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2012-05-19 17:34Z by Steven

Rodney King juror: ‘My father was black’

Ventura County Star
Camarillo, California

Gretchen Wenner, Staff Reporter

SQUAW VALLEY — Juror No. 8 from the Rodney King beating trial has always heard the 12-member panel described as either all white or as having no blacks.
Now, he wants the public to know that’s not the whole story: His father was a black man.
“Nobody’s ever guessed that I was black,” Henry King Jr. told The Star.
From the get-go, the media made a big thing about the jury having no blacks, said King, a 69-year-old retiree living in Fresno County.

“It made you feel like they didn’t think we could come out with a fair verdict because we were supposed to be an all-white jury,” he said…

…”There are a few things about me that people don’t know,” he initially said, then choked back tears before saying his father was black.
It’s something he didn’t share with other jurors during the trial and doesn’t recall sharing when they occasionally socialized afterward. Nor had he talked about it with a reporter.
“Forty years ago, you really didn’t say that you were part black,” said King. “Now, I’m proud of it.”
When he applied last year to be on the Fresno County Grand Jury, one of the first things he told them was that his father was black.
“They thought I was joking,” he said.
During interviews on the phone and at his home on 5 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada foothills, King shared family photos and thoughts on his background and the trial. Both of his parents have since died.
“I look pretty white,” said King, whose friends call him Hank. “If you looked at me, you wouldn’t know I had black blood in me.”
His eyes are blue; his skin is light.
King variously described himself as part black, as having black blood and occasionally as black or mixed-race.
“I don’t know if you would say mulatto or what,” he said at one point.
In his younger years, he didn’t often think about his racial background…

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‘Beautiful Hybrids’: Caroline Gurrey’s Photographs of Hawai‘i’s Mixed-race Children

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Oceania, United States on 2012-05-19 01:50Z by Steven

‘Beautiful Hybrids’: Caroline Gurrey’s Photographs of Hawai‘i’s Mixed-race Children

History of Photography
Volume 36, Issue 2 (May 2012)
pages 184-198
DOI: 10.1080/03087298.2012.654947

Anne Maxwell, Associate Professor of English
University of Melbourne, Australia

In the early years of the twentieth century the Hawaiian-based American photographer Caroline Gurrey produced a much praised set of the photographs of Hawai‘i’s ‘mixed race’ children. Critics have noted that stylistically Gurrey’s photographs belong to the pictorialist school and possibly even to the high art style of the Photo-Seccessionists, however research into her background and life, and the contexts in which these photographs were produced and consumed, suggests that if we want a fuller understanding of both Gurrey’s intentions and these photographs’ historical importance, we should also take note of the part they played in the burgeoning eugenics movement and indigenous Hawaiians’ reactions to American imperialism.

According to Naomi Rosenblum, professional women photographers did not emerge until the 1880s, following a shift in attitudes concerning female education and employment opportunities. When this occurred, there was a veritable explosion of female interest in the medium so that bv the early twentieth century not only were there thousands of amateur women photographers but the numbers taking up photography (or professional and artistic reasons were also large. Historians of photography have investigated the achievements of these early women photographers, with the result that over the last decade a rough consensus as to who were the most important has emerged. Not surprisingly, most of those singled out are from the USA, Great Britain, France and Germany, where the technology and the professional and social networks supporting early photography were most advanced. Missing are the professional women photographers who lived and worked in the smaller western and non-western countries adjacent or peripheral to these larger ones. Although fewer in number, these women warrant historical and critical attention, if only because the limited institutional support available in these places meant they had to labour that much harder to achieve recognition.

One such is the Hawai‘i-based American photographer Caroline Gurrey (whose name before marriage was Haskins), who was active during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Gurrey gained limited critical acclaim while she was alive, but because of her Hawaiian location, and because she was obliged to abandon her artistic ambitions for photojournalism, her name has now virtually sunk into oblivion. Of the few contemporary critics who know of Gurrey’s achievements, most agree that her most important works are the artistic portraits of Hawai‘i’s…

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