History Matters: The story behind ‚ÄėLost Boundaries‚Äô

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2018-03-06 21:11Z by Steven

History Matters: The story behind ‚ÄėLost Boundaries‚Äô

The Portsmouth Herald (Seacoast Online)
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
2018-03-05

J. Dennis Robinson

Albert Johnston Jr. was 16 when he found out he was black. His fair-skinned African-American parents had been ‚Äúpassing‚ÄĚ as white, they told him, since moving from Chicago to rural Gorham, New Hampshire, and later to Keene. Albert‚Äôs father had been the town‚Äôs country doctor with 2,500 white patients and an active member of the school board, the Masons and the Rotary. His mother, Thyra, was a two-time president of the Gorham Women‚Äôs Club and active in the Congregational Church.

Born in 1925, growing up skiing the White Mountains of the Granite State, Albert had only a single black acquaintance in high school. In an era of widespread racial segregation and discrimination, Albert felt a seismic shift as he adapted from a dark-skinned Caucasian to a light-skinned ‚ÄúNegro.‚ÄĚ

Then Albert took a road trip. Two decades before Ken Kesey and Easy Rider, with only a few dollars in their pockets, Albert and an old school chum named Walt hitchhiked and hopped freight trains from New Hampshire to California. For Albert, it was a spiritual journey into the homes of his long-lost African-American relatives and into the roots of black culture. For Walt, who was white, it was a great adventure with a good friend. Albert eventually found his way home. Renewed and focused, he enrolled in the well-regarded music program at the University of New Hampshire.

And here, in a UNH college lounge in front of 20 fellow students, Albert Johnston Jr. finally laid his burden down. During a seminar on the ‚Äúrace problem‚ÄĚ in America, the topic turned to ‚Äúcross-bred‚ÄĚ people. He could offer some insight on that topic, Albert told his classmates, because he, himself, was a Negro.

The room got very still, he later recalled, like the sudden silence after the climax of a concerto. The Johnston family secret was about to explode, first into the pages of Reader‚Äôs Digest magazine, and then as a controversial book and feature film called ‚ÄúLost Boundaries.‚ÄĚ…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

A different portrait of black fatherhood

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2018-03-06 19:31Z by Steven

A different portrait of black fatherhood

In Pictures
BBC News
2018-03-06


Zun Lee

Zun Lee was raised in Germany by Korean parents – but as an adult he discovered his real father was a black American with whom his mother had had a brief affair.

After this discovery, he began to explore fatherhood among black Americans.

Lee says the US media mainly portrays black fathers in one of two ways:

  • the absent father, often portrayed as a “deadbeat”
  • the traditional family patriarch, as seen in TV programmes such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

And his project, on display at the Bronx Documentary Centre, in New York, aims for a more balanced and nuanced portrayal.

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

They freed and recognised their mixed-race children, setting them up as plantation-owners in their own rights. A mixed-race property-owning class emerged, equal in rights and wealth to their white neighbours and relatives.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-03-06 04:29Z by Steven

Developing a genealogy of racial prejudice in Saint-Domingue, [Julien] Raimond began with a study of the colony‚Äôs history. He noted that, in the early 18th century, during the first generations of the colony‚Äôs existence, almost all the white settlers who travelled to the colony had been men. They had married African women. They ‚Äď and the French state ‚Äď acknowledged these relationships. They freed and recognised their mixed-race children, setting them up as plantation-owners in their own rights. A mixed-race property-owning class emerged, equal in rights and wealth to their white neighbours and relatives. By the 1760s, however, white colonists increasingly saw free people of colour as a threat to access to land and capital in a colony that was increasingly crowded, filled with recent immigrants from France seeking to become rich. Using racial difference as a weapon in their economic struggle, white colonists began to impose discriminatory legislation against mixed-race people.

Blake Smith, ‚ÄúOn prejudice,‚ÄĚ Aeon, March 5, 2018. https://aeon.co/essays/what-if-prejudice-isnt-what-causes-racism.

Tags: , , ,

New $10 bill starring Nova Scotian will debut in Halifax next week

Posted in Articles, Biography, Canada, Economics, History, Media Archive, Women on 2018-03-06 04:06Z by Steven

New $10 bill starring Nova Scotian will debut in Halifax next week

CBC News
Nova Scotia
2018-03-02


Wanda Robson, the sister of Viola Desmond, smiles as it is announced during a ceremony in 2016 that her sister will be featured on Canadian currency. (Canadian Press)

Viola Desmond’s banknote will be unveiled at Halifax Central Library on Thursday

Canadians will get their first peek at the new $10 bill featuring civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond at an event in Halifax next week.

The banknote will be unveiled Thursday at the Halifax Central Library by federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Viola Desmond, the new face of the $10 bill, ‚Äėrepresents courage‚Äô

Posted in Articles, Biography, Canada, Economics, History, Media Archive, Social Justice, Women on 2018-03-06 03:51Z by Steven

Viola Desmond, the new face of the $10 bill, ‚Äėrepresents courage‚Äô

The Globe and Mail
2016-12-09

Laura Stone


Viola Desmond, shown in this undated handout image provided by Communications Nova Scotia, often described as Canada’s Rosa Parks for her 1946 decision to sit in a whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theatre, will be the first woman to be celebrated on the face of a Canadian banknote.

Viola Desmond just wanted to watch a movie.

The year was 1946 and the movie was The Dark Mirror, a psychological thriller starring Olivia de Havilland. Ms. Desmond, a beauty-school owner from Halifax, was temporarily stranded in New Glasgow, N.S., after some car trouble. She hadn’t been to the movies in years, probably not since Gone with the Wind came out in 1939.

So, she walked to a nearby theatre, bought a ticket and sat in the front ‚Äď a better view for the petite woman with poor eyesight.

There was only one problem: She was black…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

A Family Affair

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2018-03-06 03:35Z by Steven

A Family Affair

Ball Bearings Magazine
2018-02-26

Merritt Mclaughlin


Photos/Illustrations by Annelise Hanshaw

When a child is raised with parents from different cultures, they are exposed to different perspectives and beliefs that shape how they approach the world.

In the Celtic culture, the most valuable things are said to come in threes‚ÄĒThe Earth, the Sea, and the Sky, and the three stages of life. Representing this ideology is the Celtic knot, known also as the Triquetra or the Trinity Knot.

The Celtic knot is composed of lines woven together meeting at three key points. The knot has been adopted into many other cultures despite its Celtic origin.

The knot, a versatile and ornate symbol, adorns wedding rings, glows with sunlight streaming through stained glass church windows, and even shows up on TV shows.

Celebrating Differences

Stephen Baker’s Celtic knot is embedded in his skin, a tattoo laying directly over his heart. For him, its points represent his mom, his siblings, and his step-dad.

Like the knot, his family is woven together despite the staggering differences in their cultures.

Stephen is biracial, and he appreciates all the different cultures and people who came together to create his unique worldview…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

On prejudice

Posted in Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Philosophy, Slavery on 2018-03-06 01:27Z by Steven

On prejudice

Aeon
2018-03-05

Blake Smith, Postdoctoral Fellow
European University Institute, Florence, Italy


Famille Métisse (1775) by Marius-Pierre le Masurier. Photo courtesy Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac/RMN

An 18th-century creole slaveholder invented the idea of ‚Äėracial prejudice‚Äô to defend diversity among a slave-owning elite

n 1791, Julien Raimond published one of the first critiques of racial prejudice. Raimond was a free man of racially mixed ancestry from the French colony of Saint-Domingue (today the country of Haiti), and his essay ‚ÄėObservations on the Origin and Progress of White People‚Äôs Prejudice against People of Colour‚Äô argued that legal discrimination against people of African origin resulted from psychological biases. Raimond‚Äôs work was the first sustained account of how racial prejudice operates ‚Äď and how it might be eliminated. Today, the idea that unconscious biases permeate individual psychology, prompting discriminatory behaviours and perpetuating social inequality, is central to discussions of race in politics, academia and everyday life. But this idea was the product of a specific 18th-century moment, with surprising and troubling motivations behind it.

Raimond was an activist for the rights of people of colour. In 1789, he left his home in Saint-Domingue just before the outbreak of the French Revolution. He went to Paris to lobby the government to grant equal status to free people of African origin. In Paris, Raimond joined a circle of radical thinkers and politicians who believed that racial equality had to be part of the emerging Revolution. But Raimond was no opponent of slavery. On the contrary, while his allies argued for its abolition, Raimond insisted that racial equality and abolition of slavery had nothing to do with each other. The first page of his treatise claimed that a cabal of ‚Äėwhite plantation-owners ‚Ķ have cleverly conflated the cause of people of colour with that of slaves‚Äô. Raimond, in fact, wanted to preserve slavery. He believed that eliminating racial prejudice would bring white and non-white slave-owners together in a united front against enslaved Africans. He drew on the pro-slavery arguments of white plantation-owners. Raimond‚Äôs idea that there is such a thing as ‚Äėracial prejudice‚Äô and that discrimination is rooted in this psychological phenomenon originated in these plantation-owners‚Äô defences of slavery.

Raimond‚Äôs ideas strike many present-day readers as bizarre and hypocritical. After all, he pioneered modern critiques of racial prejudice while also defending slavery. Most people today presume that racism led to slavery, and that slavery and racism were practically synonymous. But in the 18th century, this was not so clearly the case. From Raimond‚Äôs perspective, as an 18th-century creole slave-owner, slavery and racism were distinct, and it seemed urgent to disentangle them. Slavery, after all, had existed for thousands of years, while modern racial discrimination, Raimond held, was something recent, contingent and reformable. Like many thinkers of his era (including many of the United States‚Äô Founding Fathers), Raimond saw the world divided between an elite of propertied men and a servile mass of labourers. He saw that the power of a tiny elite would be more resilient if the privileged included people of different colours…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,