A space of their own?

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-30 19:57Z by Steven

A space of their own?

Yale News

Noah Kim, Staff Reporter

Multiracial students at Yale

Haleigh Larson ’18 spent her North Dakotan childhood in a community she characterizes as “almost completely Scandinavian.” She and her two siblings, the adopted children of white parents, are some of the few residents of color in the entire town.

When she came to Yale in the fall of 2014, Larson was, like all other students of color, assigned a peer liaison and invited to attend events at one of the campus’s cultural houses — in her case, the Afro-American Cultural Center. Never having socialized regularly with people of a similar racial background, Larson was initially eager to explore an aspect of her identity with which she was unfamiliar. But she found it difficult to fully engage with many of the other students and began to feel as if she were not a member of the African-American community at Yale.

“Many of the students there had come to the Af-Am House looking for a space to engage with others who had been raised in similar environments, while I came there trying to learn more about a side of my identity I wasn’t as immersed in,” Larson said. “As a result, there was a huge barrier between me and many of the other students. Besides the occasional email, I certainly didn’t feel like a member.”

Though Larson acknowledges the importance of Yale’s cultural houses for many students of color, she was disappointed with her experience trying to explore her identity within the campus’s existing cultural spaces.

Jessica Nelson ’18, a half-black, half-white student “tangibly involved but not extremely active” in the Af-Am House, experienced similar feelings of alienation upon visiting the center during her freshman year…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed race children celebrate their ‘cultural cocktail’ heritage

Posted in Africa, Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, South Africa on 2016-09-30 19:23Z by Steven

Mixed race children celebrate their ‘cultural cocktail’ heritage

Times Live
Johannesburg, South Africa

Nomahlubi Jordaan, Courts and Law Reporter

Food‚ language and tradition of diverse cultures are the essence of the heritage of children born from multiracial families.

Mark Andrew Sunners‚ a hip hop producer‚ was born in Liverpool in England from a white English father and Xhosa mother from Grahamstown. He was raised in Gaborone in Botswana.

He describes himself as “a bit of a cultural cocktail”.

“I follow both sides. When my mother was still alive I would go to umgidi [traditional celebration of a rite of passage] and imisebenzi [traditional ceremonies] with her as often as she asked. I do from time to time now‚ but definitely not as often.

As a “multicultural” Sunners says he celebrates “typical Western holidays”‚ “but I don’t celebrate a lot of my Xhosa practices as much as I did growing up”.

“I don’t feel I belong to just one culture because I don’t. I belong to both. It is difficult to celebrate Heritage Day purely from a Xhosa or from an English perspective.

“I celebrate Heritage Day with those who mean the most to me‚ family and friends alike. We are all South African‚” says Sunners.

Born from a Xhosa father and English South African mother‚ Cayla Zukiswa Jack‚ 20‚ a University of Cape Town student‚ says a mixed race woman she prefers being in a “diverse” atmosphere.

“That is where I feel comfortable.”…

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‘Growing up in Ireland I was the only black person’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Europe, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-09-30 14:28Z by Steven

‘Growing up in Ireland I was the only black person’

The Irish Times

Anthea McTeirnan

Lorraine Maher, aged nine and today, who is curating the exhibition of photos of mixed-race Irish people at the London Irish Centre in Camden.

A new exhibition in London challenges the perceptions of what Irish people look like

Lorraine Maher’s son Aaron died from cancer two years ago. Aaron, who along with his brothers, Dwayne, Darnel and Rù-ffel, had visited his mother’s homeplace in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, many times and met his Irish family often, was proud to be Irish. Aaron would have chosen to play soccer for the Republic of Ireland, no doubt about that. He was also a fervent Tipperary supporter.

Maher visits his grave often.

“In the graveyard in London, he has his Irish flag and his Tipperary flag on his grave with his St Lucia flag.”

His dad is from St Lucia, and Aaron was proud of his dual heritage.

Aaron’s photograph is on his gravestone, too. “I see people looking at the grave like they are thinking: what has Ireland got to do with him?”

But Aaron was proud of his Irishness, she says. “He had two heritages and both made him proud.”

Even though it is now more common in Britain to use the term “dual heritage” rather than “mixed race”, Maher is not completely sold on the newer description.

“It is challenging because my only heritage is Irish,” she says. “So that is what the conversation I wanted to have is about. For mixed-race Irish people our ancestry, our roots, our blood are Irish.”…

…Maher was never an “immigrant”. She grew up in 1960s-1970s Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, where she was the only black person she knew. After Presentation Convent Primary, she moved to Scoil Mhuire in Greenhill.

“I’m mixed race. I identify as a black woman from Ireland, who is quite pale,” she laughs. “The only heritage I ever had was Irish heritage.” Maher is aware of her other ancestry, “but it is not important at the moment for me”, she says…

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Canada’s racial divide: Confronting racism in our own backyard

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive on 2016-09-30 01:34Z by Steven

Canada’s racial divide: Confronting racism in our own backyard

The Globe and Mail

Tavia Grant, Reporter

Nova Browning Rutherford, who is half black and half white, and has lived in Ontario, Alberta and Los Angeles, poses for a photo at her home in Mississauga, Ont. on Friday. (Michelle Siu for The Globe and Mail)

Growing up in Jacksonville, Fla., Rhonda Britton experienced occasional moments of racism. As the only black girl in her junior-high class, she was once told by a white friend that she wasn’t allowed to come over and play.

But it was when she moved to Canada as an adult that she felt racism more overtly: In 2011, she discovered a historic plaque in front of her church in Halifax spray painted with the words: Fuck All Niggers.

It was a shock, and not the only one: She’d expected Canadians would be kinder and more welcoming than Americans.

But in Nova Scotia, where a large, historic black community has long faced racial discrimination, racist acts are both subtle and blatant…

…Like Dr. Britton, Nova Browning Rutherford has lived in both countries. She was born in Chatham, Ont., to a black father and white mother, and raised in Edmonton and London, Ont., before spending five years in Los Angeles.

She says that a big difference in the U.S. is the separation of people based on race or ethnicity. She often felt pigeonholed. “Black people don’t do that,” she was told when she’d mention to colleagues she was going hiking, or out to a Korean restaurant.

She feels relieved to now live in Toronto. But any notion that Canada is morally superior vanishes when she thinks of the deep disparities in living conditions of indigenous peoples…

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Afro-Latinos Have a Well-Deserved Place at the New National Museum of African American History

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-30 01:18Z by Steven

Afro-Latinos Have a Well-Deserved Place at the New National Museum of African American History


Yara Simón, Trending Editor

This weekend marked the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. After Rep. John Lewis and others spent decades battling Congress for funding, the museum opened its doors on Sunday from 7 a.m. to midnight, according to the New York Times. It’s a celebration of the black community’s contributions to the United States, but it also highlights the injustices faced by an often marginalized group. More than anything, it’s crucial to our understanding of our national identity. The museum comes at a time when racist policing has taken center stage, and just months before the first black president of the United States steps down.

On Saturday, President Barack Obama helped inaugurate the museum. He stood in front of thousands and repeated Langston Hughes’ words, “I too, am America.” “African American history is not somehow separate than the American story,” he said according to the Washington Post. “It is not the underside of the American story. It is central to the American story.”

The 400,000 square-foot museum sits on the National Mall and features more than 36,000 artifacts that aim to explore all parts of blackness. While the intersection between black and Latino identities aren’t always acknowledged, it’s an important part of both groups. The National Museum of African American History and Culture doesn’t ignore the Afro-Latino experience. Check out a few ways they’re being included in African-American history below:…

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For Affirmative Action, Brazil Sets Up Controversial Boards To Determine Race

Posted in Articles, Audio, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-09-29 20:17Z by Steven

For Affirmative Action, Brazil Sets Up Controversial Boards To Determine Race

Parallels: Many Stories, One World
National Public Radio

Lulu Garcia-Navarro, South America Correspondent

When the test scores came out, Lucas Siqueira, 27, was really excited. His high mark on the Foreign Service exam earned him a coveted position at Brazil’s highly competitive Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“They hire 30 diplomats a year and thousands of people sign up,” he says in fluent English from his home in Brasilia, the capital.

It was, he says, a great day.

Siqueira considers himself to be mixed race, known in Brazil as pardo, or brown.

“I consider myself to be a very typical Brazilian and I’ve always been very proud of it. In my dad’s family, my grandfather is black, my grandmother has Indian and white roots. And on my mother’s side they are mostly white, mostly Portuguese,” he said.

How he defines himself matters because he was required to self-identify on his application. In 2014, the government introduced a quota system for federal jobs. The affirmative action regulations require that 20 percent of all government positions be filled by people of color — either black or mixed race.

Lucas Siqueira identified himself as mixed race on his application for a job at Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The government decided he wasn’t, and his case is still on hold. As part of the affirmative action program in Brazil, state governments have now set up boards to racially classify job applicants.
Courtesy of Lucas Siqueira

The problem came once the announcement of the appointments was made public…

Wide disparities

The legacy of the period can still be felt today. Even though the majority of the population is of African descent, only 5 percent of Afro-Brazilians were in higher education as recently as 10 years ago. Because of affirmative action, that number is now 15 percent. Vaz says these are hard won gains, but there is a long way to go.

“Only 5 percent of executives are black in Brazil, politicians, diplomats, all things, so the black people don’t access the space of power in my country. This is the real issue we have,” he says.

In the U.S., race is still largely determined by parentage because of the history of the “one drop rule,” where white institutions historically deemed a person black if they had even one drop of black blood.

In Brazil, he says, the criteria is different. Skin tone matters more than race, because so much of the population is mixed…

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Brown Bodies, White Babies: The Politics of Cross-Racial Surrogacy

Posted in Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-09-29 01:41Z by Steven

Brown Bodies, White Babies: The Politics of Cross-Racial Surrogacy

New York University Press
September 2016
320 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781479808175
Paper ISBN: 9781479894864

Laura Harrison, Assistant Professor
Department of Gender and Women’s Studies
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Brown Bodies, White Babies focuses on the practice of cross-racial gestational surrogacy, in which a woman—through in-vitro fertilization using the sperm and egg of intended parents or donors – carries a pregnancy for intended parents of a different race. Focusing on the racial differences between parents and surrogates, this book is interested in how reproductive technologies intersect with race, particularly when brown bodies produce white babies. While the potential of reproductive technologies is far from pre-determined, the ways in which these technologies are currently deployed often serve the interests of dominant groups, through the creation of white, middle-class, heteronormative families.

Laura Harrison, providing an important understanding of the work of women of color as surrogates, connects this labor to the history of racialized reproduction in the United States.  Cross-racial surrogacy is one end of a continuum in which dominant groups rely on the reproductive potential of nonwhite women, whose own reproductive desires have been historically thwarted and even demonized.  Brown Bodies, White Babies provides am interdisciplinary analysis that includes legal cases of contested surrogacy, historical examples of surrogacy as a form of racialized reproductive labor, the role of genetics in the assisted reproduction industry, and the recent turn toward reproductive tourism.  Joining the ongoing feminist debates surrounding reproduction, motherhood, race, and the body, Brown Bodies, White Babies ultimately critiques the new potentials for parenthood that put the very contours of kinship into question.

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‘Pigmentocracy’ a Major Factor in Brazil, Venezuela Turmoil

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2016-09-29 01:25Z by Steven

‘Pigmentocracy’ a Major Factor in Brazil, Venezuela Turmoil

Fordham Law News: From New York City To You

Ray Legendre

A global audience watched Brazil unveil the 2016 Olympics earlier this month with a flashy, jubilant opening ceremony that celebrated its racial diversity and belied its ongoing political and economic strife. But acting President Michel Temer’s maneuvering in the months before the Games revealed a racial reality in South America’s most populous country that is anything but golden, Fordham Law School Professor Tanya Hernández said.

“It looked like a racial utopia during the opening ceremonies, but if you look at the cabinet this president has put into place there’s nary a dark-skinned person in the crowd,” said Hernández, associate director and head of global and comparative law programs and initiatives for the Center on Race, Law & Justice at Fordham Law. “You would think you were looking at Sweden, as opposed to Brazil, when you look at the cabinet.”

Temer’s rapid assembly of lighter-skinned cabinet members in the wake of President Dilma Rousseff’s suspension of powers in May highlights the implicit racial bias that exists in Brazil and other Latin American countries with large mixed-race populations. The so-called “pigmentocracy” considers “lighter as brighter” and more capable of excelling in government and other high paying jobs, said Hernández, author of Racial Subordination in Latin America. Lighter-skinned people, of European heritage, are also less likely to suffer the rampant violence and housing displacement as poor black citizens of African descent…

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Towne Street Theatre Announces Special Events During the Limited Engagement Run of PassingSOLO

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-09-29 01:04Z by Steven

Towne Street Theatre Announces Special Events During the Limited Engagement Run of PassingSOLO

Los Angeles

Towne Street Theatre, L.A.’s premiere African-American Theatre Company, is proud to announce that there will be a number of special events during the limited engagement run of “PassingSOLO.” The production, which runs for three weeks only from October 8 – 23 at the Stella Adler Theatre, will offer theatre-goers receptions, special presentations, and talkbacks.

Nancy Cheryll Davis’ acclaimed one-woman show is adapted from Nella Larsen’s 1927 novella and the Towne Street Theatre play “Passing.” “PassingSOLO” will be in L.A. for a limited engagement before she takes it to Germany this fall, where it will be presented at the University of Duisburg in Essen, Germany.

It’s the height of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance and like a moth to a flame, Irene Westover Redfield is drawn to childhood friend Clare Kendry Bellew, who’s suddenly reappeared in her life. Both share a secret. Their birth certificates read “Negro” but both can – and do – pass as white. In fact, Clare’s been married to a wealthy, white racist for twenty years. Now she’s sought out Irene as she flirts with her roots. A memory play, “PassingSOLO” explores the conflicting demands of race and friendship; the slippery line between trust and deception – always with the danger of discovery. Nancy Cheryll Davis portrays both Irene and Clare, as their renewed friendship exposes the price we pay in a society where freedom is bought with deceit. Check out this video on Youtube to learn more about PassingSOLO

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A hidden bias against interracial couples

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-09-29 00:49Z by Steven

A hidden bias against interracial couples

The Seattle Times

Allison Skinner, Postdoctoral Researcher
Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences
University of Washington

Although most white Americans self-report little to no racial bias against black people, they tend to show robust implicit, or unconscious, biases.

NEXT year marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found laws banning interracial marriage to be unconstitutional. Although polls indicate that acceptance of interracial marriage has increased dramatically since then, incidents of prejudice and violence against interracial couples continue.

In April, a Mississippi landlord evicted a family after he found out the couple was interracial. Then in August, a man stabbed an interracial couple in Olympia after seeing them kiss in public.

As a social psychologist, I wondered if these types of incidents are aberrations or indications of a persistent underlying bias against interracial couples.

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