South Boston: Growing Up Southie

Posted in Anthropology, Audio, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-30 23:06Z by Steven

South Boston: Growing Up Southie

Boston, Massachusetts


Jennifer J. Roberts

Pat Nee

Jennifer J. Roberts and ex-gangster Pat Nee take you to their ‘hood’ for a surprising story of growing up Black in Southie.

Southie – it’s got a bit of a reputation. Gangsters, busing desegregation; but most of all, the type of close knit Irish community that gave rise to it all. Although her family came here from Ireland in the 1800’s, Jennifer J. Roberts looked different from almost everyone in this neighborhood. Though she never knew him, her grandfather was black. In this Detour, Jennifer will show you Southie as only someone who knows it as both an insider and outsider can. She’ll take you to a diner that’s as quintessential Southie as it gets, and introduce you to the surrogate father who took her under his wing – the notorious criminal Irishman, Pat Nee. As she shows you the most poignant places of her youth, where navigating identity in the racially charged era of the Boston Busing Crisis was a constant, you’ll see how friends, enemies, and unlikely allies can be as much of a home as any house with a roof… Because people in Southie may seem a little rough around the edges, but they’re always willing to lend a hand if you get into any trouble. And by the end of your journey, you’ll come to see that like Jennifer herself, South Boston isn’t just one thing.

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We Wear the Mask: 15 Stories about Passing in America

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Gay & Lesbian, History, Judaism, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing, Religion on 2017-07-30 22:48Z by Steven

We Wear the Mask: 15 Stories about Passing in America

Beacon Press
224 Pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-080707898-3
Ebook ISBN 978-080707899-0
Size: 5.5 x 8.5 Inches

Edited by:

Brando Skyhorse, Associate Professor of English
Indiana University, Bloomington

Lisa Page, Acting Director of Creative Writing
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Fifteen writers reveal their diverse experiences with passing, including racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, and economic.

American history is filled with innumerable examples of “passing.” Why do people pass? The reasons are manifold: opportunity, access, safety, adventure, agency, fear, trauma, shame. Some pass to advance themselves or their loved ones to what they perceive is a better quality of life.

Edited by authors Brando Skyhorse and Lisa Page, We Wear the Mask is a groundbreaking anthology featuring fifteen essays—fourteen of them original—that examine passing in multifaceted ways. Skyhorse, a Mexican American, writes about how his mother passed him as an American Indian before he gradually learned and accepted who—and what—he really is. Page writes about her mother passing as a white woman without a black ex-husband or biracial children. The anthology also includes essays by Marc Fitten, whose grandfather, a Chinese Jamaican, wanted to hide his name and ethnicity and for his children to pass as “colored” in the Caribbean; Achy Obejas, a queer Jewish Cuban woman who discovers that in Hawaii she is considered white. There’s M. G. Lord, who passes for heterosexual after her lesbian lover is killed; Patrick Rosal, who, without meaning to, “passes” as a waiter at the National Book Awards ceremony; and Sergio Troncoso, a Latino man, who passes for white at an internship on Capitol Hill. These and other compelling essays reveal the complex reality of passing in America.

Other contributors include:

  • Teresa Wiltz, who portrays how she navigated racial ambiguity while growing up in Staten Island, NY
  • Trey Ellis, the author of “The New Black Aesthetic,” who recollects his diverse experiences with passing in school settings
  • Margo Jefferson, whose parents invite her uncle, a light-complexioned black man, to dinner after he stops passing as white
  • Dolen Perkins-Valdez, who explores how the glorification of the Confederacy in the United States is an act of “historical passing”
  • Gabrielle Bellot, who feels the disquieting truths of passing as a woman in the world after coming out as trans
  • Clarence Page, who interrogates the phenomenon of “economic passing” in the context of race
  • Susan Golomb, a Jewish woman who reflects on the dilemma of having an identity that is often invisible
  • Rafia Zakaria, a woman who hides her Muslim American identity as a strategy to avoid surveillance at the airport
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Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Census/Demographics, Communications/Media Studies, Forthcoming Media, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-07-30 22:17Z by Steven

Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States

Oxford University Press
280 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780190657468
Paperback ISBN: 9780190657475

Natalie Masuoka, Associate Professor of Political Scienc
Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

  • Provides readers seeking to understand the history of American race relations with both historical methods and analyses of empirical data
  • Offers a new theory of thinking about race, the “identity choice” framework which is situated in the major debates on U.S. racial formation
  • Will be of interest to scholars of critical race theory and identity theory, in addition to multiracial individuals and others interested in US racial politics

While pundits point to multiracial Americans as new evidence of a harmonious ethnic melting pot, in reality mixed race peoples have long existed in the United States. Rather than characterize multiracial Americans as a “new” population, this book argues that instead we should view them as individuals who reflect a new culture of racial identification. Today, identities such as “biracial” or “swirlies” are evoked alongside those more established racial categories of white, black Asian and Latino. What is significant about multiracial identities is that they communicate an alternative viewpoint about race: that a person’s preferred self-identification should be used to define a person’s race. Yet this definition of race is a distinct contrast to historic norms which has defined race as a category assigned to a person based on certain social rules which emphasized things like phenotype, being “one-drop” of African blood or heritage.

In Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States, Natalie Masuoka catalogues how this cultural shift from assigning race to perceiving race as a product of personal identification came about by tracing events over the course of the twentieth century. Masuoka uses a variety of sources including in-depth interviews, public opinion surveys and census data to understand how certain individuals embrace the agency of self-identification and choose to assert multiracial identities. At the same time, the book shows that the meaning and consequences of multiracial identification can only be understood when contrasted against those who identify as white, black Asian or Latino. An included case study on President Barack Obama also shows how multiracial identity narratives can be strategically used to reduce anti-black bias among voters. Therefore, rather than looking at multiracial Americans as a harbinger of dramatic change for American race relations, this Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States shows that narratives promoting multiracial identities are in direct dialogue with, rather than in replacement of, the longstanding racial order.

Table of Contents

  • CHAPTER 1: Identity Choice: Changing Practices of Race and Multiracial Identification
  • CHAPTER 2: Exclusive Categories: Historical Formation of Racial Classification in the United States
  • CHAPTER 3: Advocating for Choice: Political Views of Multiracial Activists
  • CHAPTER 4: Declaring Race: Understanding Opportunities to Self-Identify as Multiracial
  • CHAPTER 5: Implications of Racial Identity: Comparing Monoracial and Multiracial Political Attitudes
  • CHAPTER 6: In the Eye of the Beholder: American Perceptions of Obama’s Race
  • CHAPTER 7: Multiracial and Beyond: Racial Formation in the 21st Century
  • References
  • Appendices
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Colouring the Caribbean: Race and the art of Agostino Brunias

Posted in Arts, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2017-07-30 21:56Z by Steven

Colouring the Caribbean: Race and the art of Agostino Brunias

Manchester University Press
December 2017
272 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-5261-2045-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-5261-2047-2

Mia L. Bagneris, Jesse Poesch Junior Professor of Art History
Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana

Colouring the Caribbean offers the first comprehensive study of Agostino Brunias’s intriguing pictures of colonial West Indians of colour – so called ‘Red’ and ‘Black’ Caribs, dark-skinned Africans and Afro-Creoles, and people of mixed race – made for colonial officials and plantocratic elites during the late-eighteenth century. Although Brunias’s paintings have often been understood as straightforward documents of visual ethnography that functioned as field guides for reading race, this book investigates how the images both reflected and refracted ideas about race commonly held by eighteenth-century Britons, helping to construct racial categories while simultaneously exposing their constructedness and underscoring their contradictions. The book offers provocative new insights about Brunias’s work gleaned from a broad survey of his paintings, many of which are reproduced here for the first time.


  • Introduction
  • 1. Brunias’s tarred brush, or painting Indians black: race-ing the Carib divide
  • 2. Merry and contented slaves and other island myths: representing Africans and Afro-Creoles in the Anglxexo-American world
  • 3. Brown-skinned booty, or colonising Diana: mixed-race Venuses and Vixens as the fruits of imperial enterprise
  • 4. Can you find the white woman in this picture? Agostino Brunias’s ‘ladies’ of ambiguous race
  • Coda – Pushing Brunias’s buttons, or re-branding the plantocracy’s painter: the afterlife of Brunias’s imagery
  • Index
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In Passing: Arab American Poetry and the Politics of Race

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-07-30 20:46Z by Steven

In Passing: Arab American Poetry and the Politics of Race

Ethnic Studies Review
Volume 28, Issue 2 (2005)
pages 17-36

Katherine Wardi-Zonna
Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania

Anissa Janine Wardi
Chatham College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Racial passing has a long history in America. In fact, there are manifold reasons for passing, not the least of which is to reap benefits-social, economic and legal-routinely denied to people of color. Passing is conventionally understood to be a volitional act that either situationally or permanently allows members of marginalized groups to assimilate into a privileged culture. While it could be argued that those who choose to pass are, in a sense, race traitors, betraying familial, historical and cultural ties to personhood,1 Wald provides another way of reading passing, or “crossing the line,” as a “practice that emerges from subjects’ desires to control the terms of their racial definition, rather than be subject to the definitions of white supremacy” (6). She further contends that racial distinction, itself, “is a basis of racial oppression and exploitation” (6).

Read the entire article here.

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Twin Cities Artists And Organizers Host Conference On Mixed Race Identity

Posted in Articles, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States on 2017-07-30 18:50Z by Steven

Twin Cities Artists And Organizers Host Conference On Mixed Race Identity

Press Release
For Immediate Release: June 26, 2016

Twin Cities Artists And Organizers Host Conference On Mixed Race Identity
Midwest Mixed Conference
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
St. Paul, Minnesota
August 4-6, 2017

Minneapolis, MN – What began as a space for community dialogues about mixed race identities and experiences, has grown into a unique conference centered around art, community, and courageous conversation. From August 4th to 6th, 2017, artists and community organizers from the Twin Cities will host the first MidWest Mixed Conference, to explore themes connected to multiracial identities with art at the center. According to conference organizers “In a nation and a world with a growing number of people who identify as mixed race, we see the urgency of shining light on the diverse experiences of mixed people, youth, and families, as well as putting forward stories that can unite us, and deepen our analysis of racial issues.”

The conference will provide spaces to explore mixed and multiracial experiences through art, activities, presentations, and conversations. The call is currently open for conference presenters and registration will open at the end of June. In addition to conference presenters, featured speakers include Rebecca Polston and Ricardo Levins Morales. The conference will also include a screening of Mixed Match, an acclaimed animated film about mixed race blood cancer patients navigating ancestry and genetics as they search for bone marrow donors.

While many conversations and events around mixed and multiracial experiences happen in East Coast and West Coast cities, little attention has been paid to the unique experiences and histories of multiracial people and/or transracial adoptees across the Midwest. Multiracial individuals, transracial adoptees, and youth are all welcome.

ABOUT MIDWEST MIXED | As members of communities that are deeply polarized around race and other measures of identity, the goal of MWM is not to divide, but to provide safer spaces to move deeply into our authentic selves, both during and beyond the conference. We are a group of parents, youth, artists, teachers, community organizers, and friends all dedicated to courageous conversations. After two years of hosting a space known as “The Mixed Dialogues”, members of the group formed a committee to plan the first MidWest Mixed Conference, in hopes of reaching more people.

View the Press Kit here.

Media Contacts

Alissa Paris | MidWest Mixed, Co-founder
Lola Osunkoya | MMW Conference Organizer

Website |
E-Mail |

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Documentary Team Covers the Mixed-Race Experience in “Mixed Up”

Posted in Arts, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-30 18:06Z by Steven

Documentary Team Covers the Mixed-Race Experience in “Mixed Up”

Denver, Colorado

Laura Shunk, Food Critic

Filmmaker and librarian Rebekah Henderson will tackle mixed-race identity in her forthcoming documentary. Courtesy Rebekah Henderson

Rebekah Henderson works as a Ross-Cherry Creek librarian. Trish Tolentino makes movies and owns Stories Not Forgotten, a video production company that archives family memories. The two had never worked together before they partnered on “What Makes a Mother,” a short interview-driven documentary about the hills and valleys of motherhood, which was released this year. But they found that they collaborated well, and now they’ve regrouped to start work on a second film, “Mixed Up,” which will delve into the experience of being a mixed-race person in the United States.

After seeing another film about a mixed-race family that she says downplayed the challenges of navigating U.S. culture and systemic racism, Henderson, who is half black and half white and is married to a man who is also of mixed race, felt driven to share stories of others like herself, who may not fit any particular check-box of racial identity. She also felt compelled to share her experience with her son, who looks white. “It’s hard to say this publicly, but I was disappointed that my son turned out so white,” she says. “On one hand, I think it’s just that mom thing that you’re disappointed that he doesn’t look like you. But it brought up all these things. I’ve always identified as black, because I grew up in the ’80s: If I checked white, they would erase it and say, ‘No, you’re black.’ That was my experience growing up as mixed race. My husband is also mixed race, but he looks white, so he identifies as mixed race.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Fact and Fiction in Mixed-Race Marriages

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2017-07-30 17:49Z by Steven

Fact and Fiction in Mixed-Race Marriages

Talking Apes: How natural selection reprogrammed the brain for language
Psychology Today

David Ludden Ph.D., Professor of Psychology
Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville Georgia

Virginia is for lovers” may be the state’s travel slogan, but 50 years ago one couple was banished from the state for committing the crime of getting married. Richard Loving, a man of European descent, had fallen in love with Mildred Jeter, a woman of African and Native American origins. They wanted to marry, but Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws forbade mixed-race marriages. So they crossed the Potomac and said their vows in the nation’s capital, which had no such restrictions.

When they returned home, Mr. and Mrs. Loving were arrested. Instead of going to prison, the couple agreed to leave the state permanently. With the help of the ACLU, the Lovings sued the Commonwealth of Virginia. However, it wasn’t until 1967 that the Supreme Court declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. At that time, 16 states still had such laws on the books.

Since then, the number of mixed-race marriages has increased steadily. In 1970, just three years after the Supreme Court decision, surveys showed there were about 900,000 mixed-race couples living in the United. Three decades later, studies showed a five-fold increase to 4.9 million. These numbers include not just black-white marriages but rather all biracial couplings—any mixture of black, white, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American—and regardless of whether the pair is legally married or cohabiting.

Ironically, Virginia now has a higher percentage of black-white marriages than any other state. So maybe now Virginia really is for lovers after all…

Read the entire article here.

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I understand the challenge of overcoming colorism. It. Is. EVERYWHERE in our culture.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-07-30 17:38Z by Steven

I understand the challenge of overcoming colorism. It. Is. EVERYWHERE in our culture. From the time we are children, we are praised or tutted at simply because of our physical features. He’s light skinned, you’ll have such cute babies, or, your daughter is so pretty, but she’s so dark. I spent many a night in the shower, scrubbing myself furiously with my mother’s skin whitening soap, willing it to make me a little lighter, my eyes a little greener, my hair a little more blonde and straight.

Yesenia Padilla, “Colorism in Latinx Communities,” The Lumen Blog, July 16, 2015.

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Moreno, Negro, Indio: Explained

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-30 00:57Z by Steven

Moreno, Negro, Indio: Explained

La Galería Magazine: Voices of the Dominican Diaspora

Gerald Lopez

Una fiesta de Sarandunga en Bani Circa 1960s en La Vereda, de Bani. Photo taken from book Instrumentos Dominicanos by Fradique LIzardo.

Growing up in NYC and being in circles of proud Afro-descendant brothers and sisters, I noticed that Dominicans were seen as prime examples of self-hate, race deniers and would often go as far as calling themselves Indio (Native Americans). There is some truth to these claims and while others are simply misunderstandings, it is far more complicated than it seems. What do Dominicans of predominant African ancestry identify as? I’ve dug through history books, looked at geography, and at common language for this answer. It turns out that since very early on there were two words used to describe enslaved Africans in the Dominican Republic:

Negr@ (Black): This word was strongly associated with being enslaved and was part of the slave master’s denigrating lingo in which he reduced our humanity to a color, black. In doing this they disassociated us from our culture and history. There is no ethnic group in Africa that is called Negro. In Dominican society and history, the term Negro was associated with being property (a slave), while Moreno was associated with being a Free African. Often you will find both in Dominican history books, church baptisms, and slave transactions, the word Negro used for a slave. For example, this is from the ‘Archivos Reales de Bayaguana’ which can be found here.

Read the entire article here.

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