By phone I’m white, British and middle class. A Londoner maybe. Definitely educated and probably called Oliver. An accent they can’t place on a black baritone that blends with feminine cadences. Physically, I’m often mistaken for half-Asian…

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-12-05 22:24Z by Steven

By phone I’m white, British and middle class. A Londoner maybe. Definitely educated and probably called Oliver. An accent they can’t place on a black baritone that blends with feminine cadences. Physically, I’m often mistaken for half-Asian. Occasionally when my broad shoulders, thick thighs and big belly are accounted for, the answer is Samoan. But my beard suggests I have a relationship with the Quran, certainly when it comes to airports in Southend, Stockholm and San Francisco.

So I feel the double-take when people meet me for the first time.

“Oh!” they will say. “I had no idea you were…”

…Gay?

Ashley Thomas, “Life in The Hinterlands; Growing up Gay & Mixed Race on The Isle of White,” The Afropean: Adventures in Afro Europe, May 9, 2017. http://afropean.com/life-in-the-hinterlands-growing-up-gay-mixed-race-in-the-isle-of-white/.

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A Way of Sharing

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Judaism, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2017-12-05 22:20Z by Steven

A Way of Sharing

UMKC Today
University of Missouri, Kansas City
2015-06-08


Photo credit: Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Knowledge, Expertise and Experience

Women from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and nearby states in North America attended the 2015 Women of Color Leadership Conference.

MC Mia Ramsey strolled across the stage in her black sweater, black skirt, white T and pink sneakers. An energetic lady, Ramsey was ready to inspire and encourage women through song, jokes, personal stories and rousing introductions of presenters.

The 10th annual conference, “Together We Rise: 10 Years of Paving the Way,” at the University of Missouri-Kansas City focused on improving the lives of all women of color. More women of diverse backgrounds attend each year to share their expertise and to learn from facilitators and speakers.

Shortly after keynote speaker Lacey Schwartz took to the podium, she made an emphatic statement: “Tell the truth about things that are hard to tell the truth about.” If that had been the case, her life would have been less complicated, and she would have known far sooner exactly who she was.

In the documentary “Little White Lie,” Schwartz tells her story of growing up in New York with her parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity, only to discover she was not white, but biracial. She created the documentary to start a conversation about difficult conversations…

Read the entire article here.

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National Identity, Citizenship, and Belonging: Afro-descendants in Spain and Catalonia – Agnes

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Europe, Media Archive on 2017-12-05 22:07Z by Steven

National Identity, Citizenship, and Belonging: Afro-descendants in Spain and Catalonia – Agnes

The Afropean: Adventures in Afro Europe
2017-10-27

Abena Wariebi

The second excerpt from interviews taken from a Master’s thesis carried out by Abena Wariebi at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.

Entitled “National Identity, Citizenship, and Belonging: Afro-descendants in Spain and Catalonia”, the thesis is an investigation of black identities in Barcelona, specifically exploring what it means to be black and Spanish, or black and Catalan.

These interviews represent a small part of the black community in Barcelona. This thesis is in no way conclusive or overall encompassing. It does not represent the views or opinions of all Afro-descendants in Barcelona or Spain. Nevertheless, these accounts are powerful, enriching, and demonstrate the unquestionable solidarity that exists within the diaspora.

Name: Agnes
Age: 20
Profession: Teacher and Photographer


Agnes, teacher and photographer

“I think my mum is the only person in the world who thinks I’m Spanish. Because when I go out on the street, when like a policeman comes and they see my passport or whatever they keep asking ‘oh but where are you from? This says Spain; this says you were born in Barcelona but where are you from? Where is your dad from? Where is your mum from? So, I feel like, I don’t want to be Spanish.

I really feel like I’m Cameroonian. And in a way my dad always tried to raise me to feel like I’m not Spanish, I’m Cameroonian.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Does Race Matter in America’s Most Diverse ZIP Codes?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2017-12-05 18:01Z by Steven

Does Race Matter in America’s Most Diverse ZIP Codes?

The New York Times
2017-11-24

John Eligon


Darryl Johnson, center, and his wife, Marissa Johnson, with their daughter Sienna at their restaurant in Vallejo, Calif. The city is one of the most racially balanced in the United States.
Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

VALLEJO, Calif. — Beyond the burgers and fries coming from the kitchen and the oldies blaring from the radio, the scene playing out daily at the Original Red Onion might appear unfamiliar to much of the country.

The restaurant’s married owners — Marissa Johnson, a Filipino-American, and Darryl Johnson, an African-American — work alongside Jahira Fragozo, who is of Miskito and Yaqui Indian descent. Ms. Johnson bonds with a customer, Hillory Robinson, who is black, over the challenges of motivating their children in the winter. “They need something to do,” Ms. Robinson says.

Ms. Johnson gushes a short time later when a regular, Dylan Habegger, who is white, decides to tackle the restaurant’s new, spicy creation with a name that describes its effect. “Uh oh,” Ms. Johnson tells him, “you’re trying the Burner today.”

The Original Red Onion sits in one of the country’s most racially diverse ZIP codes: 94591, in Vallejo, Calif. About 30 miles north of Oakland, it is the rare place in the United States where black, white, Asian and Hispanic people not only coexist in nearly equal numbers, but actually connect…

Read the entire article here.

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Life in The Hinterlands; Growing up Gay & Mixed Race on The Isle of White

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-12-05 17:26Z by Steven

Life in The Hinterlands; Growing up Gay & Mixed Race on The Isle of White

The Afropean: Adventures in Afro Europe
2017-05-09

Ashley Thomas

Life as a mixed gay man seems a singular experience.

Who, what and where are the fluid foundations on which I’m constructed, construed and constrained. To some I am black but not Black, clearly not white or not Black enough. To others, I am an undecided shade of, well, I suppose you might say…

…Brown?

The Isle of Wight is a brilliant homophone. With its crumbling chalk and its crumbling people, it’s REALLY FUCKING WHITE. It’s located somewhere between the English south coast and 27 years ago. The island could seem blank or barren, but this is no creative backwater. At best, rural seaside racism is imaginative: I admired coconut-kicker most for its tropical rhythm…

Read the entire article here.

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We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet: Letters to My Filipino-Athabascan Family

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Justice, United States on 2017-12-05 04:11Z by Steven

We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet: Letters to My Filipino-Athabascan Family

State University of New York Press
February 2018
200 pages
Paperback ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6952-2

E. J. R. David, Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Alaska, Anchorage

A father’s personal and intimate account of his Filipino and Alaska Native family’s experiences, and his search for how to help his children overcome the effects of historical and contemporary oppression.

In a series of letters to his mixed-race Koyukon Athabascan family, E. J. R. David shares his struggles, insecurities, and anxieties as a Filipino American immigrant man, husband, and father living in the lands dominated by his family’s colonizer. The result is We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet, a deeply personal and heartfelt exploration of the intersections and widespread social, psychological, and health implications of colonialism, immigration, racism, sexism, intergenerational trauma, and internalized oppression. Weaving together his lived realities, his family’s experiences, and empirical data, David reflects on a difficult journey, touching upon the importance of developing critical and painful consciousness, as well as the need for connectedness, strength, freedom, and love, in our personal and collective efforts to heal from the injuries of historical and contemporary oppression. The persecution of two marginalized communities is brought to the forefront in this book. Their histories underscore and reveal how historical and contemporary oppression has very real and tangible impacts on Peoples across time and generations.

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The Concept of “Passing”…

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-12-05 03:50Z by Steven

The Concept of “Passing”…

Another View Radio Show
WHRV 89.5 FM
Norfolk, Virginia
2017-10-07

Barbara Hamm Lee, Executive Producer and Host

It’s a phenomenon unique to communities of color – those with very light skin “passing” for white, particularly for African Americans, during the Jim Crow era. On the next Another View we’ll talk with Donna Drew Sawyer, author of Provenance: A Novel, about what happens in the life of a fictional character who passes for white; and historian Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander who shares the history of this practice.

Download the interview (01:00:00) here.

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Some Social Differences on the Basis of Race Among Puerto Ricans

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2017-12-05 02:34Z by Steven

Some Social Differences on the Basis of Race Among Puerto Ricans

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro)
Hunter College, City College of New York
Issued December 2016
Centro RB2016-10
12 pages

Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Research Associate

Puerto Ricans are a multiracial people. This is given by the fact that the Puerto Rican population is composed of people from different categories of socially differentiated and defined racial groups, and also because not an insignificant number of Puerto Rican individuals share ancestry derived from multiple racial groups. Yet, the analysis of social difference and inequities among Puerto Ricans on the basis of physical difference is largely avoided, and when it is conducted its findings are often neglected.

This avoidance and neglect among Puerto Ricans tends to exist because the subject of race is generally fraught and uncomfortable, often sidestepped by allusions to color-blindness couched in racial democracy arguments or by claiming that in an extensively miscegenated population not any one person or any one group of people could claim superiority over any other on the basis of physical attributes.1 Moreover, social inequities on the basis of physical differences also tend to be avoided and neglected as a subject of meaningful discussion and engagement for the sake of group or national solidarity.2

The brief analysis that follows seeks to shed light on current socioeconomic conditions among Puerto Ricans and highlights how physical differences denoted by socially defined racial categories may affect those conditions.

One immediate issue to raise is how to categorize racial difference among Puerto Ricans. By and large, the most extensive sources of data available for the analysis of social conditions for Puerto Ricans rely on data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census and other agencies of the United States government, which in turn conform to directives by the Office of Management and Budget to establish racial categories in the United States. Presently, and since the 1970s, these categories have been listed broadly as American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, and White. The Office of Management and Budget has also made a provision to include an open ended residual category to capture other racial categories or designations that those listed may not (i.e., Some Other Race). Moreover, since 2000, at least for census purposes, the Census Bureau allows for multiple racial designations so that an individual may select more than one racial category with which to identify himself or herself.

The appropriateness and validity of these official governmental categories to describe the Puerto Rican population (and other Hispanics) as well as other population has been challenged.3 But in the absence of as extensive and as reliable sources of data and given the official nature of these categories, and therefore their weightiness in public policy, the analysis will proceed using them…

Read the entire report here.

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Being Black: Still a multi-front struggle

Posted in Africa, Articles, Biography, Europe, History, Media Archive on 2017-12-05 01:19Z by Steven

Being Black: Still a multi-front struggle

DW
2017-04-07


Theodor Wonja Michael

A particular excerpt of the DW documentary “Afro.Germany” went viral: the touching testimony of one of the oldest Afro-Germans born in Berlin. Here’s what can be learned from social media users’ hundreds of reactions.

“I am an African – I didn’t even know Cameroon and Togo were German colonies,” said one social media user, reacting to an online video clip about the life and times of Theodor Wonja Michael, one of Germany’s oldest contemporary witnesses.

The clip is an excerpt from “Afro.Germany,” a documentary project by Deutsche Welle, which aims to chronicle the diversity of Black experiences in Germany and challenge the historical amnesia surrounding Germany’s colonial past.

The video narrates Michael’s extraordinary experiences as a Black person in Germany.

Born in Berlin in 1925, Michael was forced to act in “human zoos” during his childhood. He survived the Nazi era and later became an actor and author

A further challenge: fluid identities

However, subsequent analysis by researchers such as E. P. Johnson, has drawn attention to the more troubling implications of Black identity politics.

Black pride can inadvertently promote the problematic notion of Black authenticity – that is to say, it can construct an image of the the “real Blacks” and the “real” Black experience, to which the individuals must conform and relate. This line of thinking can hinder efforts geared towards separating identity from race.

For example, one commentator insisted on referring to Michael as “mixed-race” and denounced the acceptance of “trans-racial crap.”

Race does not define us, but it does influence our experience of the world. Needless to say, “Black” includes a spectrum of peoples whose experience of race varies depending on the interaction of other factors, such as class, culture, gender, nationality, etc. For many people, race is not a black and white issue, but a multi-front struggle for inclusion in their “own” communities.

“My mother was French, my father was American […] Being light skinned, I fought blacks because I wasn’t dark enough. I fought whites because I was colored. Fought Spanish, Puerto Ricans because they said I was a ‘wanna be’ and fake,” said one commentator…

Read the entire article here.

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“Africa has the greatest amount of phenotypic variability in skin color, and yet it’s been underrepresented in large scale endeavors.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-12-05 00:44Z by Steven

Africa has the greatest amount of phenotypic variability in skin color, and yet it’s been underrepresented in large scale endeavors,” said Alicia Martin, a postdoctoral scientist in the lab of Broad Institute member Mark Daly. “There are some genes that are known to contribute to skin pigmentation, but by and large there are many more new genes that have not been discovered.”

David Cameron, “Skin pigmentation is far more genetically complex than previously thought,” Broad Institute, November 30, 2017. https://www.broadinstitute.org/news/skin-pigmentation-far-more-genetically-complex-previously-thought.

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