Creole Renegades: Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing on 2016-04-01 02:37Z by Steven

Creole Renegades: Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora

University Press of Florida
240 pages
6.125 x 9.256
Hard Cover ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-4979-3

Bénédicte Boisseron, Associate Professor in French and Francophone Studies
University of Montana

In Creole Renegades, Bénédicte Boisseron looks at exiled Caribbean authors—Edwidge Danticat, Jamaica Kincaid, V. S. Naipaul, Maryse Condé, Dany Laferriére, and more—whose works have been well received in their adopted North American countries but who are often viewed by their home islands as sell-outs, opportunists, or traitors.

These expatriate and second-generation authors refuse to be simple bearers of Caribbean culture, often dramatically distancing themselves from the postcolonial archipelago. Their writing is frequently infused with an enticing sense of cultural, sexual, or racial emancipation, but their deviance is not defiant.

Underscoring the typically ignored contentious relationship between modern diaspora authors and the Caribbean, Boisseron ultimately argues that displacement and creative autonomy are often manifest in guilt and betrayal, central themes that emerge again and again in the work of these writers.


  • Acknowledgments
  • Note on Translations
  • Introduction: The Second-Generation Caribbean Diaspora
  • 1. Anatole Broyard: Racial Betrayal and the Art of Being Creole
  • 2. Maryse Condé’s Histoire de la femme cannibale: Coming Out in the French Antilles
  • 3. Edwidge Danticat and Dany Laferrière: Parasitic and Remittance Diaspora
  • 4. V. S. Naipaul and Jamaica Kincaid: Rhetoric of National Dis-Allegiance
  • 5. Creole versus Bossale Renegade: “Turfism” in the Black Diaspora of the Americas
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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“We Called That Touch”

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-04-01 02:06Z by Steven

“We Called That Touch”

Boston Review

Ed Pavlić, Professor of English and Creative Writing
University of Georgia

Race and the Intimate Tangle of American Experience

It might seem to you that I am white. Then again, depending upon how and where we meet—and upon things in your life I know nothing about—it might seem to you that I’m not white. So far, in forty-nine years here, my experience has indicated this much to me. My father came to the United States by way of Canada from what is now Croatia. My mother is a white American liberal from Wisconsin. Many in America would say that, because of the race of my parents, my identity is essentially fixed in those terms, that such matters are innate, inborn. For many on all sides of the color line, this either/or racial paradigm possesses the self-evidence of a law of nature. Yet the social and political machinery necessary to maintain the reality of this illusion proves lethal to men, women, and children everyday.

Nonetheless, contrary to this culture-bound delusion, whiteness is not a natural inheritance. People “believing themselves white” (to borrow a phrase from Ta-Nehisi Coates, who borrowed the idea from James Baldwin) must invest in that belief continually. Whether consciously or not, they must rehearse its prohibitions and privileges all their waking days—in their dreams, even. Our world offers them a great assistance with this and, on average, the dividends paid by this pact with whiteness are real. At the same time, Eula Biss recently argued that this “believing themselves white” business accrues a cost, “White Debt.” It seems to me that she is describing shame even more than debt. Her essay tiptoes around naming the terrible price people believing themselves white pay to sustain that belief.

I confess that, even in the abstract, I have never been able to acquire a knack for honoring the supposed impermeability of American racial categories. Just where is the border in what one says, thinks, imagines, who one loves? Even more, where is the border in how one goes about these things? My racial ambiguity has not only been internal but has been reflected in—perhaps fueled by—the ways that, since childhood, my race has been so frequently “misread,” or far from self-evident. More than once in my twenties, police asked me point blank: Are you black or white? In these previews of often subtler interrogations to come, it always seemed to me that the question was the answer. Yet for years and long after I knew better, and even up until now, I have been afraid to openly analyze the dynamics that have produced these questions. I dealt with them lyrically, both in poems and in life. But in a fearful and tiresome symmetry, this silence and lyrical angularity (like Dickinson’s “tell it slant”) also forced me to treat my condition as if it were a personal psychosis, mine and mine alone, an essential and incommunicable privacy. It’s taught me how necessary privacy is but also how an incommunicable privacy narrows, collapses, becomes a trap…

Read the entire article here.

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On Jerusalem Walls, Artist Memorializes Hebrew Israelite Rabbi from Harlem

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2016-04-01 00:56Z by Steven

On Jerusalem Walls, Artist Memorializes Hebrew Israelite Rabbi from Harlem

The Assimilator: Intermarrying high and low culture

Sam Kestenbaum, Staff Writer

Wikicommons / Solomon Souza / YouTube

When Rabbi Mordecai Herman would visit the Lower East Side of the 1920s, then teeming with Jewish immigrants from Europe, he cut an intriguing figure.

He was a wizened black rabbi and former sailor from Harlem who spoke Hebrew, some Yiddish, and was a pioneering spiritual leader of the early black Hebrew Israelite movement.

Now, nearly a century after his life’s work, Herman has been memorialized on the streets of Jerusalem — a Jewish homecoming for a forgotten religious figure.

This is thanks to Solomon Souza, an Israeli artist who has transformed Jerusalem’s central Mehane Yehudah market into a pop-up art gallery, emblazoning the enclosed market’s shuttered metal doors with over 150 graffiti portraits of iconic figures like Albert Einstein, Golda Meir, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and the biblical prophet Moses

Read the entire article here.

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Construction and initial validation of the Multiracial Experiences Measure (MEM)

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-04-01 00:36Z by Steven

Construction and initial validation of the Multiracial Experiences Measure (MEM)

Journal of Counseling Psychology
Volume 63, Issue 2, March 2016
pages 198-209
DOI: 10.1037/cou0000117

Hyung Chol Yoo, Associate Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies
Arizona State University

Kelly F. Jackson, Associate Professor of Social Work
Arizona State University, Phoenix

Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., Asian Pacific American Studies
Arizona State University, Tempe

Matthew J. Miller

Blair Harrington

This article describes the development and validation of the Multiracial Experiences Measure (MEM): a new measure that assesses uniquely racialized risks and resiliencies experienced by individuals of mixed racial heritage. Across 2 studies, there was evidence for the validation of the 25-item MEM with 5 subscales including Shifting Expressions, Perceived Racial Ambiguity, Creating Third Space, Multicultural Engagement, and Multiracial Discrimination. The 5-subscale structure of the MEM was supported by a combination of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Evidence of criterion-related validity was partially supported with MEM subscales correlating with measures of racial diversity in one’s social network, color-blind racial attitude, psychological distress, and identity conflict. Evidence of discriminant validity was supported with MEM subscales not correlating with impression management. Implications for future research and suggestions for utilization of the MEM in clinical practice with multiracial adults are discussed.

Read or purchase the article here.

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