Mixed Race Conference reflects on identity

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2017-03-02 03:21Z by Steven

Mixed Race Conference reflects on identity

The Daily Trojan
Los Angeles, California

Erum Jaffrey

Julia Erickson | Daily Trojan
Roundtable · Panelists spoke with Maria Root (second from left) to discuss her 25 years of experience in multiracial studies at the fourth annual Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference. The event was hosted by the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

When Rudy Guevarra Jr. filled out identification forms in elementary school, he remembers never checking the provided boxes for race. Instead, he drew his own box, and wrote “Mexican-Filipino,” unable to choose one parent’s culture over the other.

Guevarra delivered the keynote address for the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference on Sunday, a speech titled “Borderlands of Multiplicity: Reflections on Intimacies and Fluidity in Critical Mixed Race Studies”. The three-day conference held at USC featured a series of workshops, lectures, panels, movie-screenings and concerts on the topic of “Trans,” coinciding with the Hapa Japan Festival. It was hosted by USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

An associate professor of Asian Pacific American studies at Arizona State University, Guevarra spoke about his mixed race heritage as a “Mexipino,” or Mexican-Filipino, growing up in the borderland city of San Diego and how that influenced his doctoral research in borderlands, labor history and multiethnic identities…

…The conference fell on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision that declared anti-interracial marriage laws unconstitutional.

“It’s not just celebrating who we are, but also reflecting on how our multiplicity can enhance the greater good of the communities we work in,” said Chandra Crudup, co-coordinator of the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference…

Read the entire article here.

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30 Books #9: Colette Bancroft on Michael Tisserand’s ‘Krazy’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-03-02 03:07Z by Steven

30 Books #9: Colette Bancroft on Michael Tisserand’s ‘Krazy’

critical mass: The blog of the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors

Colette Bancroft

In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 16 announcement of the 2016 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Colette Bancroft offers an appreciation of biography finalist Michael Tisserand’s Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White (Harper Collins).

In a surreal desert landscape, a tiny white mouse throws a brick at the head of a black cat. On impact, the cat lifts lightly off the ground, hearts floating in the air above its lovestruck head.

That image, and the story it suggests, might sound slight. But it was the heart and soul of Krazy Kat, a tremendously influential comic strip that ran for more than 30 years at a time when newspaper comic strips were among the most popular American art forms.

Its creator is the subject of Michael Tisserand’s engaging, revealing biography, Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White

…In exploring the artist’s life story, Tisserand reveals something that adds even more depth and complexity to the strip: Herriman came from a mixed-race New Orleans family that moved to California during his childhood and ever after passed as white

Read the entire review here.

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With role in ‘The King and I,’ a mixed-race actress tries to finds her way

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-02 02:54Z by Steven

With role in ‘The King and I,’ a mixed-race actress tries to finds her way

The Star Tribune

Rebecca Ritzel, Theater critic

Matthew Murphy
Manna Nichols and Kavin Panmeechao in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.

Manna Nichols was still a student at Oklahoma City University when she was cast by a major American theater in a major musical- theater role.

That was four years ago, at Washington’s Arena Stage, and Nichols was playing Eliza Doolittle opposite the great Canadian actor Benedict Campbell, son of former Guthrie Theatre artistic director Douglas Campbell.

As a mixed-race actor of Chinese, Caucasian and American Indian descent, Nichols was thrilled to land a role that would typically go to a white woman. For better or worse, she’s since become a go-to actor for Asian-specific roles. In 2013, she played Kim in a touring “Miss Saigon” that drew protests at Ordway Center, and last summer she took on the part of Liat in the Guthrie staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific.”

Next week, Nichols returns to the Twin Cities in another canonical Asian role: She’s Tuptim, the King of Siam’s reluctant junior wife in the Lincoln Center touring production of “The King and I.” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1951 musical about a spunky 19th-century English teacher who disrupts the Siamese court opens Tuesday at the Orpheum in Minneapolis.

Nichols talked about what she has faced when it comes to race and casting, why she tried out for this show, which won a 2015 Tony for best revival, and what was special about the Guthrie’s “South Pacific.”…

Read the entire interview here.

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Rachel Dolezal: ‘I’m not going to stoop and apologise and grovel’

Posted in Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-03-02 01:51Z by Steven

Rachel Dolezal: ‘I’m not going to stoop and apologise and grovel’

The Guardian

Decca Aitkenhead

Two years ago, she was a respected black rights activist and teacher. Then she was exposed as a white woman who had deceived almost everyone she knew. Why did she do it?

Spokane is a modest town of wide streets and snow-capped horizons in Washington state, 90 miles from the Canadian border. Its population is 91% white, and voted heavily for Donald Trump. The lunchtime crowd in a downtown hotel bar is too absorbed in the ice hockey game on big screens to notice the woman who sidles into the lobby, and though curious to see what kind of attention she would attract, I feel relieved for her. Her great spiralled mane bounces as she approaches in a jade dress and heels, but only a fool would mistake the look for self-assurance.

Two years ago, life was going well for Dolezal. Branch president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and chair of Spokane’s police ombudsman commission, she was well known and respected for her civil rights activism. Her Eastern Washington University students adored her; her 21-year-old son was about to intern for a diversity advocacy group in Washington DC; her younger son was doing well in high school. When a local TV news crew arrived one afternoon to interview her, Dolezal thought they were there to talk about hate crimes.

“Are you,” asked the reporter, “African American?” Like a cartoon, her features froze. “I don’t understand the question.” The reporter pressed, “Are your parents white?” Dolezal turned from the camera and fled…

…The 39-year-old says she can count the friends she has left in town on her fingers. “Right now the only place that I feel understood and completely accepted is with my kids and my sister.” She has written a memoir, titled In Full Color, but 30 publishing houses turned her down before she found one willing to print it. “The narrative was that I’d offended both communities in an unforgivable way, so anybody who gave me a dime would be contributing to wrong and oppression and bad things. To a liar and a fraud and a con.”….

Read the entire article here.

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The film “A United Kingdom” reminds us of the progress made with interracial marriage

Posted in Africa, Articles, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2017-03-02 01:25Z by Steven

The film “A United Kingdom” reminds us of the progress made with interracial marriage

The State Press
Tempe, Arizona

Guillermo Mijares, Political Reporter

Photo by Karen Ta | The State Press
“People shouldn’t be uncomfortable seeing an interracial couple.” Illustration published on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017.

I believe we are undoubtedly the most progressive generation so far. This past weekend I went to see a film that reminded me of that.

A United Kingdom” reminds us that it wasn’t too long ago that skin color was a barrier to overcome for some couples. In fact, it wasn’t until the year 2000 when the state of Alabama finally changed its decision and lifted the ban on the right to an interracial marriage in the state.

Just 55 years ago, Arizona repealed its ban on interracial marriages. Many of our parents lived to witness this repeal, yet we tend to forget this unfortunate part of history.

This film reminds us that a visual image today of an interracial couple is almost entirely a non-issue, certainly among millennials. As a college student at ASU, I witness many interracial couples daily, which is something past generations could not witness.

Despite the flaws our world has when it comes to race relations, I believe people, especially younger people and students, are leading the way to a more accepting society…

…Though the film addressed a racial issue, it wouldn’t address why people were so uncomfortable seeing an interracial couple.

Author and Time magazine contributor Arica L. Coleman Ph.D, said that this has been an on-going problem with the film industry.

She said she gives credit to the industry for highlighting important and progressive moments in historical films, but she also finds a problem in those same films for not presenting the full picture to the public when it comes down to race.

“They are problematic — they sell an illusion — and a problem I have with the topic of interracial marriage is the whole notion of using interracial marriage as a sign of progress with race, but it also can be used as an eraser,” she said. “Also, just like most of the time with Hollywood, it’s almost always the black man with the exotic white woman, which continues to show that the lack for black women is still present.”…

Read the entire article here.

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