Q&A: Professor examines those ‘outside the color lines’ in new book

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-08-31 23:56Z by Steven

Q&A: Professor examines those ‘outside the color lines’ in new book

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jenney Price

The history of segregation in the United States is often seen in black and white. Leslie Bow, professor of English and Asian American studies, is interested in the experiences of communities that fell outside those color lines. In her new book, Partly Colored: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South, Bow examines what segregation demanded of people who did not fall into the category of black or white — including Asians, American Indians and people of mixed race.

Wisconsin Week: What did segregation mean for people who — as you described it — stood outside the color lines? You posed the question, “Where did the Asian sit on the segregated bus?’

Leslie Bow: I think what’s most interesting to me about a project like this is that we often conflate race with African-Americans or see race as a black-white issue. When we say “multiculturalism” … we don’t think conceptually or theoretically about the challenge that poses to the way we think about racial history in the United States…

…WW: You mentioned your parents, who are Chinese-American. They attended white schools in Arkansas but didn’t socialize with and weren’t invited to the homes of their white classmates and I wondered how much their experience impacted your research interests?

LB: Definitely, because it was something that they themselves did not talk about. What I found was that they mediated that experience by creating a third level of segregation where there was limited social engagement with either whites or blacks. Their social context was wholly Chinese-American at the time. So, to me that was just the jumping off point for really an exploration of ambiguity, which is very much the bread and butter of literary studies: How you come to this process of interpreting multiple meanings within any given text…

Read the entire article here.

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“What About the Children?” The Psychological and Social Well-Being of Multiracial Adolescents

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-08-31 23:02Z by Steven

“What About the Children?” The Psychological and Social Well-Being of Multiracial Adolescents

The Sociological Quarterly
Volume 47, Issue 1 (February 2006)
pages 147–173
DOI: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.2006.00041.x

Mary E. Campbell, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Iowa

Jennifer Eggerling-Boeck
University of Wisconsin–Madison

We used the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to examine the social and psychological well-being of multiracial adolescents. Using two different measures of multiracial identity, we investigated the ways in which these adolescents compare to their monoracial counterparts on five outcomes: depression, seriously considering suicide, feeling socially accepted, feeling close to others at school, and participating in extracurricular activities. We found that multiracial adolescents as a group experience some negative outcomes compared to white adolescents, but that this finding is driven by negative outcomes for those with American Indian and white heritage. We found no consistent evidence, however, that multiracial adolescents as a group face more difficulty in adolescence than members of other racial and ethnic minority groups. The results were similar, whether the multiracial population is defined by self-identification or by their parents’ racial identifications.

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Hapa-Palooza Festival: September 12, 13 & 15, 2012

Posted in Canada, Forthcoming Media, Live Events on 2012-08-31 19:50Z by Steven

Hapa-Palooza Festival: September 12, 13 & 15, 2012

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2012-09-12, 2012-09-13 and 2012-09-15

Hapa-Palooza: A Vancouver Celebration of Mixed-Roots Arts and Ideas is a new cultural festival that celebrates the city’s identity as a place of hybridity, synergy and acceptance. A vibrant fusion of music, dance, literary, artistic and film performances, Hapa-Palooza places prominence on celebrating and stimulating awareness of mixed-roots identity, especially amongst youth.

For more information, click here.

Brazil Enacts Affirmative Action Law for Universities

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, New Media, Politics/Public Policy on 2012-08-31 18:36Z by Steven

Brazil Enacts Affirmative Action Law for Universities

The New York Times

Simon Romero, Brazil Bureau Chief

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s government has enacted one of the Western Hemisphere’s most sweeping affirmative action laws, requiring public universities to reserve half of their admission spots for the largely poor students in the nation’s public schools and vastly increase the number of university students of African descent across the country.

The law, signed Wednesday by President Dilma Rousseff, seeks to reverse the racial and income inequality that has long characterized Brazil, a country with more people of African heritage than any nation outside of Africa. Despite strides over the last decade in lifting millions out of poverty, Brazil remains one of the world’s most unequal societies.

“Brazil owes a historical debt to a huge part of its own population,” said Jorge Werthein, who directs the Brazilian Center for Latin American Studies. “The democratization of higher education, which has always been a dream for the most neglected students in public schools, is one way of paying this debt.”…

…But while affirmative action has come under threat in the United States, it is taking deeper root in Brazil, Latin America’s largest country. Though the new legislation, called the Law of Social Quotas, is expected to face legal challenges, it drew broad support among lawmakers.

Of Brazil’s 81 senators, only one voted against the law this month. Other spheres of government here have also supported affirmative action measures. In a closely watched decision in April, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the racial quotas enacted in 2004 by the University of Brasília, which reserved 20 percent of its spots for black and mixed-race students…

…Brazil’s 2010 census showed that a slight majority of this nation’s 196 million people defined themselves as black or mixed-race, a shift from previous decades during which most Brazilians called themselves white…

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Race, Theory, and Scholarship in the Biracial Project

Posted in Books, Chapter, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-08-31 18:12Z by Steven

Race, Theory, and Scholarship in the Biracial Project

Chapter in:

Race Struggles
University of Illinois Press
352 pages
6.125 x 9.25 in.; 4 tables
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-07648-0

Edited by:

Theodore Koditschek, Professor of History
University of Missouri, Columbia

Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, Associate Professor of History; Associate Professor of African American Studies
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Helen A. Neville, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Educational Psychology
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Chapter Author:

Minkah Makalani, Assistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies
University of Texas, Austin

Since the early 1990s, there has emerged in the United States a push to racially reclassify persons with one black and one white parent as biracial. A central feature of what I am calling the biracial project is a cohort of scholars, themselves biracial identity advocates, who argue that such an identity is more appropriate for people of mixed parentage (PMP) than a black one. These scholars maintain that when PMP identify as biracial, they gain a more mentally healthy racial identity, have fewer experiences of alienation, and are able to express their racial and cultural distinction from African Americans. In addition to the presumed personal benefits of such an identity, these scholars suggest that a biracial identity is a positive step in moving society beyond race and toward a color-blind society. What remains troubling about this scholarship, though, is a tendency to conceptualize PMP as a distinct racial group, and the inattention to the potentially negative political impact such a reclassification would have on African Americans.

Historically and currently, white supremacy in the United States has hinged on the oppression of people of African descent. The position of African Americans in the political economy has served as the basis for developing a racialized social system, restructuring that system at different historical moments, and incorporating new social groups into the racial hierarchy as races. Asserting a new racial group premised on a claim to an inherent (biological) whiteness and a rejection of blackness taps into the intricacies, logics, and values of that very system. It is therefore important to remember that the push for a biracial racial category arose and made its greatest strides amid predictions that by the year 2050 whites will be a numerical minority. More than a question of self-identity, the push for a biracial identity concerns substantiating the existence of a new race to be positioned as an intermediary between blacks and whites in a reordered racialized social system. Indeed, in the United States there have always been multiple racial groups situated below whites in the racial hierarchy. Sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva has recently argued that, increasingly, different groups are beginning to hold a position of “honorary whiteness” within that hierarchy. Taking into account the structures of race in Latin America and the Caribbean, I remain unconvinced that an honorary white racial status in the United States would include PMP, as Bonilla-Silva suggests, though I agree with his claim that various racialized groups that were previously denied the privileges of whiteness increasingly enjoy advantages, privileges, and access to centers of power that continue to be denied black people and those whom Bonilla-Silva calls the “collective black.” Far from helping to erase existing color lines or challenging the new racial formations described by Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua and Bonilla-Silva, it would draw yet another color line. And unlike certain Asian and Latino groups, a new biracial race stakes its claim, quite literally, on possessing whiteness.

The biracial project approaches racial identity as racial identification, or the assertion of a racial category. Using identity as a synonym tor race has also entailed inadequate attention to the complexities of identity. Consequently, these works rarely engage the psychological scholarship on black identity formation, not to mention the historical, sociological, and cultural interrogations of blackness that have appeared in Black Studies over the past century. Most troubling is the inattention, if not utter aversion, to the history of PMP considering themselves black and struggling over the meanings of blackness.

It is hardly coincidental that these scholars presume certain antiracist attributes to inhere in a biracial identity. In asserting the subversive character of a biracial identity, Maria P. P. Root maintains that it “may force us to reexamine our construction of race and the hierarchical social order it supports.” Naomi Zack and G. Reginald Daniel more plainly argue that a biracial identity hastens the end of racial categories altogether by challenging popular notions of race. For Zack in particular, a biracial identity serves as the basis for “ultimately disabus(ing) Americans of their false beliefs in the biological reality of race,” thus leading society away from racial classifications and hastening racisms demise. Still, the progressive qualities of a biracial identity are more apparent than real, largely asserted with little research substantiating the claims of its proponents.

The presence of a biracial race would certainly disrupt popular ideas about race, but as scholars supporting biracial identity root it in biological notions of race “mixture,” it seems unlikely that such a disruption would result in the end of racial classifications. Work on race in the Caribbean and Latin America shows that a racially mixed identity is entirely consistent with a racialized social system. Moreover, recent work interrogating-color blindness has shown that this is the current dominant racial ideology, suggesting that a color-blind society as a goal is more likely to ensure the persistence of racism than its decline. I therefore find especially troubling the claims by Naomi Zack, G. Reginald Daniel, Kathleen Odell Korgen, Paul R. Spickard, Maria P. P. Root, and others discussed below, that the biracial project represents a progressive social movement.” In my view, based both on the popular push for such a reclassification and the scholarship discussed here, this project is less concerned with ending racism than with responding to the racialization of all people of African descent in the United States as black.

Situating the discussion of biracial identity in the context of race and racial oppression as structural relationships, I provide a detailed review of the theoretical and prescriptive literature advocating a biracial identity. Specifically, I am concerned with this racial projects theoretical basis for a biracial identity, how it conceptualizes race and racism, the place of the one-drop rule in this conceptualization, and the defense of biracial identity as an antiracist tool…

Read the chapter here.

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A quantitative method of morphological assessment of hybridization in the U. S. Negro-White male crania

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2012-08-31 01:16Z by Steven

A quantitative method of morphological assessment of hybridization in the U. S. Negro-White male crania

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 41, Issue 2 (September 1974)
pages 269–278
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330410209

Sudha S. Saksena
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Muskingum College [Muskingum University], New Concord, Ohio

Portions of this paper are based on a doctoral dissertation submitted to the University of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana, in 1967. Part of this paper appeared in abstract form in American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 29, No. 1, 1968, pp. 124–125.

The study develops a morphological method of assessing the amount of parental components in a U.S. Negro-White Hybrid sample and tests to what extent a multivariate discriminant analysis actually reflects the morphological pattern of hybridization.

To formulate norms of description for the parental and hybrid populations, a seventeenth century London Farringdon Street series of 94 crania was selected to represent the British White ancestral component and the data on the cadaverand-skeletal series in the T. W. Todd collection of Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, were used in the selection of 115 Unmixed Negro and 115 Negro-White Hybrid male crania.

The conclusions are: (1) the morphological scores of the Negro-White Hybrid series shows a biological overlap with the two parental series in the proportion of 1:3 (i.e., 25% White to 75% Negro). This overlap reflects the probable porportion of ancestral mixture in the ratio of one-fourth White to three-fourths Negro in the Negro-White Hybrid sample; and (2) the morphological approach to the assessment of the parental components with multivariate discriminant analysis as a tool, proves to be highly reliable in providing a biologically meaningful index of relationship.

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Mothers and Their Biracial Children: Growing Up Biracial in a One Race Fits All Society

Posted in Dissertations, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2012-08-31 01:00Z by Steven

Mothers and Their Biracial Children: Growing Up Biracial in a One Race Fits All Society

Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio
November 2009
86 pages

Kristin Felts-Keller

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Education

This thesis is a qualitative study on the Mothers of biracial children and the formation of a biracial identity in a one race fits all society. The goal of this study was to gain a deeper understanding and explore the concerns mothers of biracial children hold for their children. It is not intended to be applied to the general population but it does however, give us an insight into what it means to be biracial, how it is perceived as a race and how the Mothers of these children teach their children to cope with their race and form a positive sense of self-identity.

Read the entire thesis here.

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Cole Porter Scores An Interracial Couple’s Highs And Lows

Posted in Articles, Arts, Audio, Biography, New Media, United States on 2012-08-31 00:01Z by Steven

Cole Porter Scores An Interracial Couple’s Highs And Lows

National Public Radio
All Things Considered
Music: Mom and Dad’s Record Collection

NPR Staff

As summer winds down, All Things Considered is winding down its series “Music: Mom and Dad’s Record Collection.”

For the past few months, the show has asked listeners to tell their stories about a particular piece of music they associate with their parents. Listener Melanie Cowart of San Antonio, Texas, wrote in to explain how Cole Porter’sBegin the Beguine” — a song that’s been interpreted by Artie Shaw, Ella Fitzgerald and many others — became a running soundtrack for her parents’ relationship.

“My father was African-American; my mother was white,” Cowart tells NPR’s Melissa Block. “They met in 1929, at a time when that type of a relationship was not something that was acceptable in society. In fact, in many states, including in Missouri where they met, it was against the law. But they fell in love and formed a very strong bond.”…

Read the entire transcript here. Download the audio here (00:05:42).

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Purdu­e Hapa Stude­nt Assoc­iatio­n Callo­ut Sept. 17, 2012

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States on 2012-08-30 23:00Z by Steven

Purdu­e Hapa Stude­nt Assoc­iatio­n Callo­ut Sept. 17, 2012

Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana
Class of 1950, Room 121
2012-09-17, 18:00-20:00 CDT (Local Time)

The term “Hapa” refers to a biracial/multiracial person with Asian and/or Pacific Islander roots. As a club, we promote both diversity and unity, and we strive to raise awareness of identity crisis amongst Hapas, as well as Asian interest on campus. With leadership and volunteering opportunities, memorable events, and fellow club members to create long lasting memories and friendships, Purdue HSA is Purdue’s newest upcoming organization. Come to our callout to learn more about what HSA is all about!

For more information, click here.

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While others may see me as “half,” I know that I am whole.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2012-08-30 03:31Z by Steven

As the child of a native Japanese woman and an Irish American father, a salient feature of my life has been this ethnic heritage and the circumstances into which I was born in post—World War II Tokyo. My life, between Japan and the United States, has been marked heavily by my connections to these diverse roots. I have found meaning in my life through learning to accept and appreciate these roots, to balance their influences and blend them into a synergistic whole. While others may see me as “half,” I know that I am whole. This whole me is greater than the sum of its parts and connects me to something beyond my self, to communities of others and to a collective self.

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, When Half Is Whole: Multiethnic Asian American Identities, (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2012), 2.