Works Progress Austin (“Casta” by Adrienne Dawes)

Posted in Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Mexico on 2017-12-04 04:46Z by Steven

Works Progress Austin (“Casta” by Adrienne Dawes)

Salvage Vanguard Theater
1110 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704
Telephone: (512) 474-7886
2017-12-22, 20:00-21:30 CST (Local Time)

Casta a new play by Adrienne Dawes

Casta is inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera, a mixed-race painter from Oaxaca. Casta paintings were a unique form of portraiture that organized racial mixtures of the New World according to a hierarchy defined by Spanish elites. How do Old World anxieties about ambiguous racial identity reflect contemporary biases?

This is the third WPA workshop for Casta. In this current draft of Casta, the creative team is incorporating puppetry, expanding music by composer Graham Reynolds and exploring bilingual text. After a week of developing these new elements, audiences are invited to witness the piece in its current form.

For more information, click here.

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Why Is Skin Color Different? Huge Genetic Study Reveals Prevailing Theory of Pigmentation is Wrong

Posted in Africa, Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2017-12-04 04:20Z by Steven

Why Is Skin Color Different? Huge Genetic Study Reveals Prevailing Theory of Pigmentation is Wrong

Newsweek
2017-11-30

Kastalia Medrano, Staff Writer


These are South African individuals in a household that exemplify the substantial skin pigmentation variability in the Khomani and Nama populations.
Brenna Henn

Scientists used to think that the same small handful of genes accounted for about half of all pigment variation in human skin. A new study shows the genetic picture behind skin color is far more complex.

Research supporting the prior, simpler conclusion was skewed by Eurocentrism. Because it focused almost exclusively on Northern Eurasian populations from higher latitudes, the data missed a huge swath of the globe. Now, scientists have factored in people of color living in lower latitudes—and found that the prevailing theory is wrong.

Scientists from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Stanford University, and Stony Brook University worked with groups of indigenous southern African peoples called the KhoeSan, notable to some for their use of “click” language. They interviewed them, measured their respective heights and weights, and used a tool called a reflectometer to measure their skin pigmentation.

After seven years of research, and data gathered from about 400 individuals, the researchers realized that the closer a population lives to the equator, the greater the number of genes play a part in determining skin pigmentation. A paper describing the research was published November 30 in the scientific journal Cell.

“Previous work has shown the biomedical consequences of ethnically biased studies. Over the past 10 years, approximately 80 percent of genetic association studies were performed in European-descent groups,” Alicia Martin, a postdoctoral scientist in the lab of Broad Institute member Mark Daly, told Newsweek by email. “What we find here is that the biology of pigmentation or ‘architecture’ can be very different in Africans.” Martin says the findings emphasize the need to fund more genetic work in diverse populations…

Read the entire article here.

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60th GRAMMY Awards: Full Nominees List

Posted in Articles, Arts, Latino Studies, Media Archive on 2017-12-04 02:27Z by Steven

60th GRAMMY Awards: Full Nominees List

Grammys
Recording Academy
Santa Monica, California
2017-11-28

Find out who is nominated for the 60th GRAMMY Awards in New York on Jan. 28

The nominations for the 60th GRAMMY Awards are here! Find out who has been nominated in each of the 84 categories below (use the links to jump to a desired field).

32. Best Jazz Vocal Album
(For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal jazz recordings.)…

Bad Ass And Blind
Raul Midón

Read the entire article here.

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Racial (Dis)Harmony: The Overestimated Post-racial Power of Meghan Markle

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2017-12-04 02:08Z by Steven

Racial (Dis)Harmony: The Overestimated Post-racial Power of Meghan Markle

Bitch Media
2017-12-01

Dr. Shantel Gabrieal Buggs, Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies
Florida State University


Photo credit: Twitter/newsjsBW

This week, the engagement of American actress Meghan Markle to British royal Prince Harry set social media ablaze.

Race is at the center of this internet firestorm: Markle is biracial, with a Black mother and white father. As a Black and white mixed-race woman who studies multiracial identity and interracial relationships, the online debates over Markle and her fiancé have been both perplexing and unsurprising. Over the last year, Markle’s racial background has drawn negative press in Britain. Last November, Prince Harry publicly called out the barely veiled racism and sexism in the media coverage of their relationship. Despite this treatment, their engagement is viewed as an opportunity to change what it means to be British and royal, with American fans celebrating a “real Black princess” who will bring #BlackGirlMagic to the royal family and the seemingly stale royal wedding traditions. Several essays have been written about what Markle’s presence means for the British monarchy and the broader racial politics of the West…

Read the entire article here.

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Loci associated with skin pigmentation identified in African populations

Posted in Africa, Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2017-12-04 01:50Z by Steven

Loci associated with skin pigmentation identified in African populations

Science
2017-10-12
eaan8433
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8433

Nicholas G. Crawford, Derek E. Kelly, Matthew E. B. Hansen, Marcia H. Beltrame, Shaohua Fan, Shanna L. Bowman, Ethan Jewett, Alessia Ranciaro, Simon Thompson, Yancy Lo, Susanne P. Pfeifer, Jeffrey D. Jensen, Michael C. Campbell, William Beggs, Farhad Hormozdiari, Sununguko Wata Mpoloka, Gaonyadiwe George Mokone, Thomas Nyambo, Dawit Wolde Meskel, Gurja Belay, Jake Haut, NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Harriet Rothschild, Leonard Zon, Yi Zhou, Michael A. Kovacs, Mai Xu, Tongwu Zhang, Kevin Bishop, Jason Sinclair, Cecilia Rivas, Eugene Elliot, Jiyeon Choi, Shengchao A. Li, Belynda Hicks, Shawn Burgess, Christian Abnet, Dawn E. Watkins-Chow, Elena Oceana, Yun S. Song, Eleazar Eskin, Kevin M. Brown, Michael S. Marks, Stacie K. Loftus, William J. Pavan, Meredith Yeager, Stephen Chanock, Sarah Tishkoff

Despite the wide range of skin pigmentation in humans, little is known about its genetic basis in global populations. Examining ethnically diverse African genomes, we identify variants in or near SLC24A5, MFSD12, DDB1, TMEM138, OCA2 and HERC2 that are significantly associated with skin pigmentation. Genetic evidence indicates that the light pigmentation variant at SLC24A5 was introduced into East Africa by gene flow from non-Africans. At all other loci, variants associated with dark pigmentation in Africans are identical by descent in southern Asian and Australo-Melanesian populations. Functional analyses indicate that MFSD12 encodes a lysosomal protein that affects melanogenesis in zebrafish and mice, and that mutations in melanocyte-specific regulatory regions near DDB1/TMEM138 correlate with expression of UV response genes under selection in Eurasians.

Variation in epidermal pigmentation is a striking feature of modern humans. Human pigmentation is correlated with geographic and environmental variation (Fig. 1). Populations at lower latitudes have darker pigmentation than populations at higher latitudes, suggesting that skin pigmentation is an adaptation to differing levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) (1). Because equatorial regions receive more UVR than temperate regions, populations from these regions (including sub-Saharan Africans, South Asians, and Australo-Melanesians) have darker pigmentation (Fig. 1), which likely mitigates the negative impact of high UVR exposure such as skin cancer and folate degradation (1). In contrast, the synthesis of vitamin D3 in response to UVR, needed to prevent rickets, may drive selection for light pigmentation at high latitudes (1).

The basal layer of human skin contains melanocytes, specialized pigment cells that harbor subcellular organelles called melanosomes in which melanin pigments are synthesized and stored and then transferred to keratinocytes (2). Melanosome morphology and content differs between melanocytes that synthesize mainly eumelanins (black-brown pigments) or pheomelanins (pigments which range from yellow to reddish-brown) (3). Variation in skin pigmentation is due to the type and quantity of melanins generated, melanosome size, and the manner in which keratinocytes sequester and degrade melanins (4).

While over 350 pigmentation genes have been identified in animal models, only a subset of these genes have been linked to normal variation in humans (5). Of these, there is limited knowledge about loci that affect pigmentation in populations with African ancestry (6, 7).

Skin pigmentation is highly variable within Africa

To identify genes affecting skin pigmentation in Africa, we used a DSM II ColorMeter to quantify light reflectance from the inner arm as a proxy for melanin levels in 2,092 ethnically and genetically diverse Africans living in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana (table S1 and figs. S1 and S2) (8). Skin pigmentation levels vary extensively among Africans, with darkest pigmentation observed in Nilo-Saharan speaking pastoralist populations in Eastern Africa and lightest pigmentation observed in San hunter-gatherer populations from southern Africa (Fig. 2 and table S1)…

Read the entire article here.

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“She’s not exotic. She’s not from a tribe in the Amazon. She’s American”: Gina Yashere on Meghan Markle’s engagement

Posted in Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Videos on 2017-12-04 01:21Z by Steven

“She’s not exotic. She’s not from a tribe in the Amazon. She’s American”: Gina Yashere on Meghan Markle’s engagement

Channel 4 News
London, United Kingdom
2017-11-28

Cathy Newman, Presenter

Interview with author Afua Hirsch and Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff who is deputy editor of gal-dem – an online magazine written by women of colour. And from New York – the comedian Gina Yashere.

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Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2017-12-04 01:03Z by Steven

Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging

Jonathan Cape (an imprint of Penguin Random House UK)
2018-02-01
384 Pages
15.6 x 3 x 24 cm
ISBN-13: 978-1911214281

Afua Hirsch

Where are you really from?

You’re British. Your parents are British. You were raised in Britain. Your partner, your children and most of your friends are British.

So why do people keep asking you where you are from?

Brit(ish) is about a search for identity. It is about the everyday racism that plagues British society. It is about our awkward, troubled relationship with our history. It is about why liberal attempts to be ‘colour-blind’ have caused more problems than they have solved. It is about why we continue to avoid talking about race.

In this personal and provocative investigation, Afua Hirsch explores a very British crisis of identity. We are a nation in denial about our past and our present. We believe we are the nation of abolition, but forget we are the nation of slavery. We are convinced that fairness is one of our values, but that immigration is one of our problems. Brit(ish) is the story of how and why this came to be, and an urgent call for change.

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