From Okinawa to Hawaii and Back Again

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2015-08-31 17:42Z by Steven

From Okinawa to Hawaii and Back Again

What It Means to Be American: Hosted by The Smithsonian and Zócalo Public Square

Laua Kina, Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, & Design
DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

Kibei Nisei, 30 x 45 inches Oil on canvas (2012)

A Painter Follows the Currents of Her Family History

I am a hapa, yonsei Uchinanchu (a mixed-race, 4th-generation Okinawan-American) who was born in Riverside, California, in 1973 and raised in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains in Washington state. My mom’s roots stem from Spanish-Basque migrants in California and white southerners in Tennessee. My father is Okinawan from Hawaii. Because I don’t look quite white, people frequently ask, “What are you?” From an early age, even though Hawaii and Japan were enigmas to me, I have had to explain my relationship to these “exotic” places.

Growing up, we lived by my mother’s family and visited her parents weekly at their road-side motel near a Puget Sound ferry landing, but I knew little about my father’s childhood, an ocean away, on a Piihonua sugarcane plantation near Hilo. I got a glimpse on occasional vacations to visit family on the Big Island of Hawaii or my aunties in Los Angeles. The only other traces were evident in the Spam in our sushi, the fact that we called instant ramen noodles saimin, and in the echoes of Pidgin English in Dad’s accent that refused to be erased.

I am a painter, and at the heart of my paintings is the journey I’ve been on to understand how these different currents have formed my American experience. I’ve followed their flow back in time to the canefields of Territorial Hawaii and early 20th-century Okinawa, Japan…

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That’s What She Said: Red-face

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2015-08-31 17:17Z by Steven

That’s What She Said: Red-face

Eagle Feather News
Saskatchewan, Canada

Dawn Dumont

Rachel Dolezal is a white woman who decided one day that she was African-American. This crazy white lady braided in some fake hair, darkened her skin with tanning sessions and then became the leader of Spokane’s NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People).

I had no idea that we could switch races whenever we felt like it. I’ve stupidly been Cree just because I emerged from a Cree v-jay-jay. So, for the rest of the month, I’m choosing to be Tibetan. Since this morning, I’ve already sherpa’d six people up Diefenbaker Hill. (I really should have chosen a less hardy race.)

When I look in the mirror, I see a round-cheeked First Nation female looking back at me, but the world begs to disagree. I’ve been mistaken for Vietnamese, Spanish, Hawaiian, and Mexican-Japanese (which seemed oddly specific.) But I don’t have any identity issues. Probably because I lived on a reserve for the first 18 years of my life where I consumed enough deer meat, bologna steak and KFC family meals to keep me real for a lifetime.

It wasn’t until I got to university that I discovered people struggling with their identity. In my first year, friends would point out First Nations people in the hallways who were passing as white. They would casually say: “That’s Jason, he’s from Kawacatoose but he’s white now,” as if he had just switched banks…

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Does It Matter If Black + White Equals Black or Multiracial?

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-08-31 01:24Z by Steven

Does It Matter If Black + White Equals Black or Multiracial?

Northwestern University News
Evanston, Illinois

Pat Vaughan Tremmel, Associate Director and Social Sciences Editor

According to a new Northwestern study, racial characterizations do matter.

EVANSTON, Ill. — “Is Barack Obama Black or Biracial?” a recent headline asks.

The question of whether Obama should be considered black or multiracial has been a concern of the media throughout the campaign.

Should such racial characterizations of people like Obama — who have one black parent and one white parent — really matter?

According to a new Northwestern University study, they do matter.

The findings suggest that the immediate response of non-black study participants is to categorize a racially ambiguous person as black when it was known that one of the person’s parents was black and one was white.

In other words, when study participants knew of the person’s black-white ancestry, in comparison to not knowing of the parentage, they quickly adhered to the simplistic characterization of biracial people as black, said Northwestern’s Destiny Peery

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Rewriting the History of American Sociology

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-08-31 01:14Z by Steven

Rewriting the History of American Sociology

Northwestern University News
Evanston, Illinois

Hilary Hurd Anyaso, Law and Social Sciences Editor

Groundbreaking book argues W.E.B. Du Bois is primary founder of modern sociology

EVANSTON, Ill. — In his groundbreaking new book, Northwestern University’s Aldon Morris has done no less than rewrite the history of sociology by making a compelling case that black sociologist and activist W.E.B. Du Bois was the primary founder of modern sociology in America at the turn of the 20th century. It is a sociology that bases its theoretical claims on rigorous empirical research.

Pulling from over a decade of research in primary sources such as personal letters, conference proceedings and scholarly writings, “The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology” (University of California Press, August 2015) argues that power, money, politics and the ideology of white supremacy led to W.E.B. Du Bois being “written out” of the founding of sociology. Moreover his intellectual breakthroughs were marginalized in the field for the last century.

Morris, the Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, argues that Du Bois’ pioneering work was often characterized in the academy as unscientific and politically motivated while systemic racial biases colored the intellectual work of leading white sociologists, even those with liberal bents throughout the 20th century.

In Morris’ gripping narrative, Robert E. Park, the white University of Chicago scholar considered to be one of the major architects of modern-day sociology, and Booker T. Washington, the most famous and powerful black man in America between 1895 and 1915, play a central role in marginalizing the pioneering work that Du Bois and other black scholars produced at Atlanta University, a historically black institution.

The Du Bois-Atlanta School profoundly influenced the discipline by laying the intellectual foundations of scientific sociology, Morris argues, noting that Max Weber, the famous German sociologist and philosopher, was significantly influenced by Du Bois’ work…

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The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2015-08-31 01:08Z by Steven

The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology

University of California Press
August 2015
320 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780520276352
Adobe PDF E-Book ISBN: 9780520960480
ePUB Format ISBN: 9780520960480

Aldon D. Morris, Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

In this groundbreaking book, Aldon D. Morris’s ambition is truly monumental: to help rewrite the history of sociology and to acknowledge the primacy of W. E. B. Du Bois’s work in the founding of the discipline. Calling into question the prevailing narrative of how sociology developed, Morris, a major scholar of social movements, probes the way in which the history of the discipline has traditionally given credit to Robert E. Park at the University of Chicago, who worked with the conservative black leader Booker T. Washington to render Du Bois invisible. Morris uncovers the seminal theoretical work of Du Bois in developing a “scientific” sociology through a variety of methodologies and examines how the leading scholars of the day disparaged and ignored Du Bois’s work.

The Scholar Denied is based on extensive, rigorous primary source research; the book is the result of a decade of research, writing, and revision. In exposing the economic and political factors that marginalized the contributions of Du Bois and enabled Park and his colleagues to be recognized as the “fathers” of the discipline, Morris delivers a wholly new narrative of American intellectual and social history that places one of America’s key intellectuals, W. E. B. Du Bois, at its center.

The Scholar Denied is a must-read for anyone interested in American history, racial inequality, and the academy. In challenging our understanding of the past, the book promises to engender debate and discussion.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Race and the Birth of American Sociology
  • 1. The Rise of Scientific Sociology in America
  • 2. Du Bois, Scientific Sociology, and Race
  • 3. The Du Bois–Atlanta School of Sociology
  • 4. The Conservative Alliance of Washington and Park
  • 5. The Sociology of Black America: Park versus Du Bois
  • 6. Max Weber Meets Du Bois
  • 7. Intellectual Schools and the Atlanta School
  • 8. Legacies and Conclusions
  • Notes
  • References
  • Illustration Credits
  • Index
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Conservatives Are Missing the Point of Black Lives Matter

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2015-08-31 01:03Z by Steven

Conservatives Are Missing the Point of Black Lives Matter

The Atlantic

Adrienne Green, Editorial Fellow

Courtesy of Shaun King

Those that questioned Shaun King about his race think that it’s relevant to the movement. They’re wrong.

Shaun King, a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, responded last week to accusations published by some conservative websites that he has lied about being biracial, and about being the victim of racially-motivated attacks.

“The reports about my race, about my past, and about the pain I’ve endured are all lies,” he wrote on Thursday in [an] article for Daily Kos, the liberal news site where he works.

Both The Daily Caller—which referred to King as “the facebook pastor”—and cited a police report from 1995, which listed King’s identity as white. King, who claims the incident that resulted in the police report was an example of racial tensions that had surfaced at his school, offered harrowing details about the brutality he says he faced.

“In March of 1995, it all boiled over and a racist mob of nearly a dozen students beat me severely, first punching me from all sides,” King wrote. “When I cradled into a fetal position on the ground they stomped me mercilessly, some with steel-toed boots, for about 20 seconds. That day changed the entire trajectory of my life.”

In an attempt to defend his identity and silence his critics, King offered up a complicated family history, identifying his biological parents as a white mother and “light skinned black man,” who, The Washington Post reports, is not the man listed on his birth certificate

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The family who never knew their father

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2015-08-31 00:46Z by Steven

The family who never knew their father

BBC News Magazine

Harry Low

Our story about the forced repatriation of Chinese sailors who had been recruited for the Merchant Navy during World War Two told of the devastation for those families left behind. Barbara Janecek shared her own tale in response.

She had read about Yvonne Foley, whose father Nan Young, a Chinese ship engineer, was sent back to the Far East following the end of the war. He was one of thousands of recruits from Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong who lived in Liverpool.

“I was always waiting for my father to come back, I was always daydreaming he would,” says Barbara, whose father John had suffered the same fate. John Ong had married Eileen Hing in 1943 when they were both aged 23. Eileen was devastated when her husband left, leaving his wife to raise three children under the age of four…

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The Wrongs of the Right: Language, Race, and the Republican Party in the Age of Obama

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-08-31 00:38Z by Steven

The Wrongs of the Right: Language, Race, and the Republican Party in the Age of Obama

New York University Press
May 2014
232 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780814760543

Matthew W. Hughey, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Connecticut

Gregory S. Parks, Assistant Professor of Law
Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

On November 5, 2008, the nation awoke to a New York Times headline that read triumphantly: “OBAMA. Racial Barrier Falls in Heavy Turnout.” But new events quickly muted the exuberant declarations of a postracial era in America: from claims that Obama was born in Kenya and that he is not a true American, to depictions of Obama as a “Lyin African” and conservative cartoons that showed the new president surrounded by racist stereotypes like watermelons and fried chicken.

Despite the utopian proclamations that we are now live in a color-blind, postracial country, the grim reality is that implicit racial biases are more entrenched than ever. In Wrongs of the Right, Matthew W. Hughey and Gregory S. Parks set postracial claims into relief against a background of pre- and post-election racial animus directed at Obama, his administration, and African Americans. They provide an analysis of the political Right and their opposition to Obama from the vantage point of their rhetoric, a history of the evolution of the two-party system in relation to race, social scientific research on race and political ideology, and how racial fears, coded language, and implicit racism are drawn upon and manipulated by the political Right. Racial meanings are reservoirs rich in political currency, and the Right’s replaying of the race card remains a potent resource for othering the first black president in a context rife with Nativism, xenophobia, white racial fatigue, and serious racial inequality. And as Hughey and Parks show, race trumps politics and policies when it comes to political conservatives’ hostility toward Obama.


  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. The Grand Old Party and African Americans: A Brief Historical Overview
  • 2. Unsweet Tea and Labor Pains: The Tea Party, Birthers, and Obama
  • 3. A Fox in the Idiot Box: Right-Wing Talking Heads
  • 4. Political Party, Campaign Strategy, and Racial Messaging
  • 5. The Social Science of Political Ideology and Racial Attitudes
  • 6. Unconscious Race Bias and the Right: Its Meaning for Law in the Age of Obama
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Index
  • About the Authors
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Inconsistency within Expressed and Observed Racial Identifications: Implications for Mental Health Status

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-08-30 02:32Z by Steven

Inconsistency within Expressed and Observed Racial Identifications: Implications for Mental Health Status

Sociological Perspectives
Published online before print 2015-08-29
DOI: 10.1177/0731121415602133

Whitney N. Laster Pirtle, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of California, Merced

Tony N. Brown, Associate Professor of Sociology
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

The present study extends previous work on distress that arises from discrepancy between self and interviewer racial identifications. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) data, we examine mental health consequences of inconsistency over time within expressed (self) and observed (interviewer) racial identifications among American Indians. Given that phenotype signals race, we also contribute to prior research by examining whether skin color moderates inconsistency’s mental health consequences. Analyses show that observed racial inconsistency increased American Indians’ depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. That is, when interviewers labeled a respondent “American Indian” at one wave of data but not another, there were deleterious implications for mental health status. In addition, an interaction between observed inconsistency and skin color demonstrated that observed inconsistency tended to be harmful when respondents were observed as having light skin. We argue observed inconsistency captures the distressing experience of being not readily classifiable.

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Looking for my Shanghai father

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2015-08-30 02:17Z by Steven

Looking for my Shanghai father

BBC News Magazine

Jody-Lan Castle

Yvonne Foley with her mother Grace

After World War Two ended, the British government forcibly repatriated hundreds of Chinese sailors who had been recruited for the Merchant Navy. Their sudden departure had a devastating effect on families left behind, like that of Yvonne Foley.

“You’re just like your father,” Yvonne’s mother exclaimed, “always arguing, trying to change the world.”

The nine-year-old was confused. That sounded nothing like her father.

“I mean your Shanghai father,” her mother insisted.

Who? Yvonne was momentarily baffled, but then put it to the back of her mind.

Two years later, in 1957, the subject came up again. This time her mother, Grace, wanted to tell her more.

The man Yvonne had been calling “Dad” was not her biological father. Instead her birth father was Nan Young, a Chinese ship engineer her mother had met in Liverpool in 1943…

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