The long history and legacy of passing in America

Posted in Articles, Audio, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2017-05-04 22:30Z by Steven

The long history and legacy of passing in America

The Washington Post
2017-05-03

Alex Laughlin


(Illustration by Chris Kindred for The Washington Post)

Anita Hemmings was Vassar College’s first African American graduate. But no one was supposed to know that she was black.

A light-skinned mixed-race woman, Hemmings passed as white for most of her time at Vassar — until her roommate hired a private investigator to find out the truth.

Hemmings graduated college in 1897 and continued passing as white for the rest of her life. Her story fits in with a broader history of African Americans passing in this country for personal safety, economic and social reasons.

In this episode of “Other: Mixed Race in America,” we learn the story of Hemmings, and we also learn about the legacy of passing that is inherited through generations of mixed-race Americans…

Listen to the podcast (00:19:12) here.

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The Death of Race: Building a New Christianity in a Racial World

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy, Religion on 2017-05-04 20:42Z by Steven

The Death of Race: Building a New Christianity in a Racial World

Fortress Press
2016-11-01
182 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781506408880
Ebook ISBN: 9781506408897
5.50 x 8.50

Brian Bantum, Associate Professor of Theology
Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington

Brian Bantum says that race is not merely an intellectual category or a biological fact. Much like the incarnation, it is a “word made flesh,” the confluence of various powers that allow some to organize and dominate the lives of others. In this way, racism is a deeply theological problem, one that is central to the Christian story and one that plays out daily in the United States and throughout the world.

In The Death of Race, Bantum argues that our attempts to heal racism will not succeed until we address what gives rise to racism in the first place: a fallen understanding of our bodies that sees difference as something to resist, defeat, or subdue. Therefore, he examines the question of race, but through the lens of our bodies and what our bodies mean in the midst of a complicated, racialized world, one that perpetually dehumanizes dark bodies, thereby rendering all of us less than God’s intention.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Race Is a Story Written on My Body
  • 2. Bodies Matter
  • 3. Naked and Ashamed
  • 4. This Is My Body, Born for You
  • 5. Jesus Walks
  • 6. Jesus Makes Us Free to Become Like Mary
  • 7. Race Must Die
  • 8. There Is Life in the Tomb
  • Epilogue
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Journal of Intercultural Studies: Call for Papers: Special Issue

Posted in Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Social Science, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2017-05-04 19:01Z by Steven

Journal of Intercultural Studies: Call for Papers: Special Issue

Journal of Intercultural Studies
2016-11-04

Deadline: 2017-07-31

Studying mixed race in a global perspective is an increasingly important phenomenon. The global economy, growing rates of migration, and rapidly advancing information and communication technologies have brought diverse groups in closer contact in more areas of the globe, even those previously regarded as racially and ethnically homogenous. Intermarried couples and mixed race celebrities are often heralded in media reports as examples of a growing phenomenon where race, culture and colour are argued to no longer matter, even when that is far from the reality. Amidst these widespread claims of a post-racial or colourblind world, the Othering of certain groups and racialized discourse remains, and is often most clear in debates over the possibility or perceived threat of intimacy and sex with racialized Others. In an ever-changing globalised world, mixing across established boundaries of race, ethnicity, religion or tribe can be celebrated, yet it can also be constructed as very dangerous, and these complexities need to be studied globally. While countless academic studies and media reports have been devoted to investigating, documenting and/or explaining this phenomenon of mixed identities and relationships, many questions remain unanswered.

  • What does mixed race mean across the globe?
  • What are the lived experiences of mixed couples and mixed race individuals in different countries and contexts?
  • What are attitudes toward ‘mixing’?
  • How do the children of mixed couples identify?
  • Is there a way to understand the experiences of mixed people and families in a global context, or is there too much difference – different histories, different populations and different contexts – to find common ground?

Submission Instructions

We are looking for original papers that critically address the issue of mixed race globally from new and innovative perspectives to make up this Special Issue.

Papers to be between 7000–8000 words in length, and submitted to https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/cjis (when submitting please label you manuscript a ‘Special Issue Paper’).

The Critical Mixed Race will be published early–2018: we are accepting papers up until the 31th July 2017

Editorial information

Guest Editor: Erica Chito Childs, Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Centre

For more information, click here.

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One Drop of Love: Fanshen Cox discusses mixed race in America

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-05-04 03:41Z by Steven

One Drop of Love: Fanshen Cox discusses mixed race in America

The Williams Record
Williamstown, Massachusetts
2017-05-03

Alex Medeiros, Opinions Editor


Fanshen Cox discusses her new work, ‘One Drop Love,’ while exploring history, family, class and love. Photo courtesy of Fanshen Cox

Last Thursday, the Students of Caribbean Ancestry (SOCA) coordinated a one-woman show produced and written by Jamaican-American Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni. This performance was part of “Heritage Week” celebrating SOCA heritage. Cox’s interactive show, called “One Drop of Love,” explores history, family, class, justice and love. It challenges the audience to recognize the enduring power of the “one drop rule.”

In the 18th century, when the slave trade was in full force, many of the colonists who came to the Caribbean islands raped their slaves, resulting in mixed race children. Although some of these children were lighter skinned, like Cox, the “one drop rule” pronounced that one drop of African blood meant that the child was of African descent and therefore could not benefit from being the son or daughter of a white man. In fact, many millions of people in the United States still endure the repercussions of such an arbitrary rule, centuries after it was created.

Cox’s performance, also produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, aimed to address this issue of the “one drop rule.” As a half-Jamaican half-Caucasian woman, Fanshen has experienced her fair share of racial confusion…

Read the entire article here.

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The continued rejection of racial mixing lies in deep-seated notions of racial difference and maintenance of racial boundaries.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-05-04 03:29Z by Steven

The continued rejection of racial mixing lies in deep-seated notions of racial difference and maintenance of racial boundaries. In the U.S., we are still highly segregated in our neighborhoods and friendship circles. Even in our favorite TV shows and movies, interracial couples are infrequent, and biracial children even rarer. Most individuals will maintain that race does not matter in terms of who they work with or are friends with. But despite that, it remains socially acceptable for us to discriminate in terms of who we date. Most whites will not admit they do not want a black neighbor, but will freely admit their racial preferences in dating, referencing physical attraction and lack of cultural similarities as reasons not to consider dating anyone of another race.

Erica Chito Childs, “Williams’s Pregnancy Proves Interracial Couples Still Aren’t Accepted,” Fortune, May 3, 2017. http://fortune.com/2017/05/03/serena-williams-pregnant-fiance-alexis-ohanian-photo/.

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The Asian Turn in Mixed Race Studies: Retrospects and Prospects

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2017-05-04 03:20Z by Steven

The Asian Turn in Mixed Race Studies: Retrospects and Prospects

Asia Pacific Perspectives
Volume 14, Number 2: Spring 2017

Emma J. Teng, T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations; Associate Professor of Chinese Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In 1930, the young Han Suyin (pen name of Rosalie Chou, 1916-2012) read this passage in a book called Races of the World: “Racial mixtures are prone to mental unbalance, hysteria, alcoholism, generally of weak character and untrustworthy…” Shaken, she prayed, “Oh God… don’t let me go mad, don’t let my brain go, I want to study.”1

Probably the most famous Eurasian author of the 20th century, one who served as a major interpreter of China to the West during the tumultuous Cold War era, Han was haunted by these words and driven throughout her life by a determination to prove them untrue, fighting the pronounced stigma and the obstacles faced by mixed-heritage individuals during her era. As she highlighted in this famous scene from her autobiographical A Mortal Flower (1965), such stigma was not only a product of social prejudice, but also heavily reinforced by scientific and pseudoscientific discourses of the time.

From our vantage point today, it is a good moment to take stock of how far we have come (or failed to come) over the century that separates us from Han’s birth. How have popular perceptions of “mixed-race” peoples changed in Asia and across the globe? How have academic discourses evolved? And perhaps most importantly, how have “mixed” individuals themselves advocated for their equal rights and recognition? The articles in this pathbreaking issue of Asia Pacific Perspectives address these vital questions and others, focusing their analyses on historical and contemporary manifestations of “mixedness” across East Asia…

Read the entire article here.

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Should I Get a Pet From a No-Kill Shelter?

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Philosophy, United States on 2017-05-04 02:54Z by Steven

Should I Get a Pet From a No-Kill Shelter?

The Ethicist
The New York Times Magazine
2017-04-26

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Professor of Philosophy, Law
New York University

…My mother is from Central America. She came to the United States for college and met my American father. I am, therefore, 50 percent Latino genetically, but I don’t identify as Latino. There were (to my regret) no Central American influences in my upbringing — no Spanish language, no Latino relatives, no foods from “the old country.” There was also no discrimination directed at me or my mother (we look “white”). Is it ethical to identify as Latino in social situations and on the census? Name Withheld

Our ethnic and racial categories drape loosely around the realities of our complex lives. I am the son of an English woman and a Ghanaian man. I am an American citizen. Am I a black American? African-American? Anglo-American? Anglo-African? “Latino” is a word that hovers uneasily between a category defined by culture and one defined by descent. The latter conception makes you Latino. The former doesn’t quite. There’s also a notion that ethnicity should be defined by your own sense of identity — by whether you think of yourself as Latino. But whether you think of yourself as Latino is shaped by ideas about culture and descent. There isn’t a single correct view about that. Still, here’s a solution: In cases in which you don’t have the time or space to explain your situation, probably the least confusing thing to say to people in the United States is that your mother is Latina. (As far as forms go, if they permit you to check two boxes, I’d do that. If they don’t, I don’t believe it matters much what you do.).

Read the entire article here.

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Williams’s Pregnancy Proves Interracial Couples Still Aren’t Accepted

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2017-05-04 02:35Z by Steven

Williams’s Pregnancy Proves Interracial Couples Still Aren’t Accepted

Fortune
2017-05-03

Erica Chito Childs, Associate Professor of Sociology
Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center


Serena Williams arrives at the Costume Institute Benefit May 1, 2017 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New YorkANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

When Romanian tennis captain Ilie Nastase imagined Serena Willams’s baby with her white fiancé Alexis Ohanian would look like “chocolate with milk” last week, his offensive comments were immediately criticized in the media. Williams herself called out his comments as racist on Instagram. Days later Nastase apologized, saying, “That was the first time I had heard about her pregnancy, and my reaction was spontaneous.”

This feud offered the public a glimpse of how mixed race people around the globe are subject to a variety of similarly insulting terms. Nastase may try to pass off his remark as an isolated incident. But in reality, it reflects the continued widespread opposition to and discomfort with interracial couples and multiracial children.

On one hand, mixed race celebrities and interracial celebrity couples like Williams and Ohanian are heralded in the media as examples of a world where race, ethnic background, and color no longer matter. This belief in a post-racial world grew louder after the election of President Barack Obama, who is biracial. Accompanying these proclamations of multiracialism was the notion that opposition to interracial unions was a thing of the past. In addition, we also hear that interracial marriages are on the rise and the biracial population is booming.

Yet a closer look at the statistics tells a different story…

Read the entire article here.

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#RedefineAtoZ: Blasian Narratives, a ‘Vulnerable’ Exploration Into Racial, Cultural Identities

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-05-04 02:22Z by Steven

#RedefineAtoZ: Blasian Narratives, a ‘Vulnerable’ Exploration Into Racial, Cultural Identities

NBC News
2017-05-01


Blasian Narratives is a “multi-media docu-theatre project that takes an intimate look into the lives of Black and Asian individuals to explore the constructs of racial and cultural identities, and to explore difference and marginalization in the United States and beyond.” Paulo Chun / NBC News

NAME: Jivan Atman (creator, director); active cast: Julian Booker, Marlon Booker, Cenisa Gavin, Shiranthi Goonathilaka, Janei Maynard, Chris Sanders

(Past and recent contributors: Jessica Lam, Malcolm Lizzappi, Audrey Williams, Fredrick Cloyd, Paula Reyna Williams, Whitney Francis, Charon Cummings, Sabrina Im)

AGES: Early and late 20’s, a 40-something and 60-something

HOMETOWNS: Phnom Pehn, Cambodia; Anchorage, Alaska; Honolulu, Hawaii; Atlanta, Georgia; Oakland, California; San Francisco, California; San Diego, California; Long Beach, California; London, UK; St. Paul, Minnesota; Westminster, California; Houston, Texas; Aurora, Colorado; Sarasota, Florida

TWITTER: @blasianproject / INSTAGRAM: @blasianproject / FACEBOOK: Blasian Narratives

Read the entire article here.

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This Is What a Modern-Day Witch Hunt Looks Like

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Passing, Philosophy, United States on 2017-05-04 01:53Z by Steven

This Is What a Modern-Day Witch Hunt Looks Like

New York Magazine
Daily Intelligencer
2017-05-02

Jesse Singal


Rebecca Tuvel, a philosophy professor and the target of a protracted online pile-on.

In late March, Hypatia, a feminist-philosophy journal, published an article titled “In Defense of Transracialism” by Rebecca Tuvel, an assistant professor of philosophy at Rhodes College in Memphis, as part of its spring 2017 issue. The point of the article, as the title suggests, is to toy around with the question of what it would mean if some people really were — as Rachel Dolezal claimed — “transracial,” meaning they identified as a race that didn’t line up with how society viewed them in light of their ancestry.

Tuvel structures her argument more or less as follows: (1) We accept the following premises about trans people and the rights and dignity to which they are entitled; (2) we also accept the following premises about identities and identity change in general; (3) therefore, the common arguments against transracialism fail, and we should accept that there’s little apparent logically coherent reason to deny the possibility of genuine transracialism.

Anyone who has read an academic philosophy paper will be familiar with this sort of argument. The goal, often, is to provoke a little — to probe what we think and why we think it, and to highlight logical inconsistencies that might help us better understand our values and thought processes. This sort of article is abstract and laden with hypotheticals — the idea is to pull up one level from the real world and force people to grapple with principles and claims on their own merits, rather than — in the case of Dolezal — baser instincts like disgust and outrage. This is what many philosophers do…

Read the entire article here.

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