So after a pregnant silence, she told me the story of how she met somebody just before she met the man I thought was my dad.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-03-25 03:26Z by Steven

In 2004, my mother and I were having an argument and she called me a “Black bastard.” And I’m like, even if you want to hurt my feelings, who says that? Call me stupid. call me whatever, but “Black bastard?” Where did that come from? So after a pregnant silence, she told me the story of how she met somebody just before she met the man I thought was my dad. She doesn’t really remember a whole lot about him; it was a short-lived relationship. But he was Black. African American. Of course, I was shocked. But I also had a sense of relief and affirmation. And while I was having a lot of questions—I wanted to know who this man was, I wanted some evidence—all these pieces just fell into place: why my lips were bigger, why my skin was darker, why I didn’t look like the rest of my family, and perhaps even why I gravitated to the people and things that I did. It just explained a lot of things that I had a hard time explaining to myself. And it made me feel like perhaps all the choices I had made were not necessarily mine to have made. Maybe in a strange way my biological father had been guiding me towards myself all along. —Zun Lee

Yaba Blay, (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, (Philadelphia: BLACKprint Press, 2013). 92-93.

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Research shows that white parents of multiracial children are often, for the first time, thrust into the realities of racism, are subject to an experience from which they had previously been immune.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-03-25 03:06Z by Steven

Research shows that white parents of multiracial children are often, for the first time, thrust into the realities of racism, are subject to an experience from which they had previously been immune. Where they had once had the privilege of invisibility, white mothers who were raised in homogeneously white families may now face racism from both the white communities who had once embraced them and from “communities of color.”

Tiffany McLain LMFT, “Becoming White: The Experience of Raising Biracial Children,” Psychology Today, February 23, 2018.

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Racism and multiracialism can be allies.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-03-25 02:48Z by Steven

Last year, I predicted 2017 (and the era of Trump more generally) would be a time of renewed faith in the political efficacy of interracial romance and procreation. This prediction was informed by two recent books — one by UC Irvine professor Jared Sexton, the other by NYU professor Tavia Nyong’o — which probe the way racial hybridity is used to avoid reflection and recollection on how white supremacy works. NatGeo’s cover illustration, which codes one biracial twin as “white” and the other as “black,” transmits the idea that racism will be fixed with more lightly bronzed children. This future utopia is one in which children who can pass for white still exist among their tanner peers, but those with dark skin and tightly coiled hair do not. This hope, which imagines a past of white racial “purity,” is a form of anti-blackness itself. Racism and multiracialism can be allies.

Lauren Michele Jackson, “National Geographic Replaces Racist Fictions With Post-racial Fantasies,” New York Magazine, March 16, 2018.

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Kamala Harris Is Dreaming Big

Posted in Arts, Biography, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2018-03-25 02:31Z by Steven

Kamala Harris Is Dreaming Big

April 2018

Abby Aguirre

Harris in Los Angeles with beneficiaries of the DREAM Act—which the senator has made a priority to protect.
Photographed by Zoe Ghertner, Vogue, April 2018

IT’S A COLD JANUARY NIGHT in D.C., and I’m at the Hart Senate Office Building, trailing U.S. Senator Kamala Harris into a conference room. Inside, a group of young Latino congressional staffers has gathered to meet the Democratic star from California. When she enters, flanked by aides, and dressed in a navy suit, matching ruffled blouse, black pearls, and stilettos that give her petite five-feet-four frame a few extra inches of height, the staffers immediately rise from their chairs.

Harris has an air of celebrity that, under normal circumstances, a freshman senator wouldn’t have had time to acquire. But this year has been anything but normal. She greets the 20-somethings as though they’re relatives at a family reunion: “Hi, everybody! Hi, guys!” Then she notices that one of the staffers is still seated, and her voice drops a full octave: “Stand up, man!”

The startled staffer springs to his feet. “Kevin,” he says, extending a hand.

“What’s your last name?” demands Harris.


Thank you!” She shakes his hand. “Kamala Harris.” (That’s pronounced “comma-la,” by the way, and you’d better get it right.)…

Harris with her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who emigrated from India to study at Berkeley in the ’60s.
Photo: Courtesy of Kamala Harris

…HARRIS’S POLITICAL CAREER—seven years as district attorney in San Francisco and then another six as attorney general of California—amounts to an extraordinary run of firsts. She was the first woman and the first person of color to be elected to both positions, and she is now America’s first Indian-American senator and California’s first black senator. In 2012, Harris spoke in prime time at the Democratic National Convention. More Americans learned her name the following year, when President Obama apologized for saying Harris was not only “brilliant,” “dedicated,” and “tough,” but that she “also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general in the country.”…

Read the entire article here.

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How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race’

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2018-03-25 02:14Z by Steven

How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race’

Sunday Review
Gray Matter
The New York Times

David Reich, Professor of Genetics
Harvard Medical School
also, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Angie Wang

In 1942, the anthropologist Ashley Montagu published “Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race,” an influential book that argued that race is a social concept with no genetic basis. A classic example often cited is the inconsistent definition of “black.” In the United States, historically, a person is “black” if he has any sub-Saharan African ancestry; in Brazil, a person is not “black” if he is known to have any European ancestry. If “black” refers to different people in different contexts, how can there be any genetic basis to it?

Beginning in 1972, genetic findings began to be incorporated into this argument. That year, the geneticist Richard Lewontin published an important study of variation in protein types in blood. He grouped the human populations he analyzed into seven “races” — West Eurasians, Africans, East Asians, South Asians, Native Americans, Oceanians and Australians — and found that around 85 percent of variation in the protein types could be accounted for by variation within populations and “races,” and only 15 percent by variation across them. To the extent that there was variation among humans, he concluded, most of it was because of “differences between individuals.”

In this way, a consensus was established that among human populations there are no differences large enough to support the concept of “biological race.” Instead, it was argued, race is a “social construct,” a way of categorizing people that changes over time and across countries.

It is true that race is a social construct. It is also true, as Dr. Lewontin wrote, that human populations “are remarkably similar to each other” from a genetic point of view…

Read the entire article here.

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Tie-Dyed Realities in a Monochromatic World: Deconstructing the Effects of Racial Microaggressions on Black-White Multiracial University Students

Posted in Campus Life, Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2018-03-25 01:59Z by Steven

Tie-Dyed Realities in a Monochromatic World: Deconstructing the Effects of Racial Microaggressions on Black-White Multiracial University Students

Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California
431 pages
ISBN: 9781303700170

Claire Anne Touchstone

A dissertation presented to the Faculty of the School of Education, Loyola Marymount University, in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Education

Traditional policies dictate that Black-White multiracial people conform to monoracial minority status arising from Hypodescent (the “One-Drop Rule“) and White privilege. Despite some social recognition of Black-White persons as multiracial, racial microaggressions persist in daily life. Subtle racist acts (Sue, Capodilupo, Torino, Bucceri, Holder, Nadal, & Esquilin, 2007b) negatively impact multiracial identity development. Since 2007, studies have increasingly focused on the impact of racial microaggressions on particular monoracial ethnic groups. Johnston and Nadal (2010) delineated general racial microaggressions for multiracial people. This project examines the effects of racial microaggressions on the multiracial identity development of 11 part-Black multiracial university students, including the concerns and challenges they face in familial, academic, and social racial identity formation. Data were analyzed through a typological analysis and Racial and Multiracial Microaggressions typologies (Johnston & Nadal, 2010; Sue et al., 2007b). Three themes arose: (a) the external societal pressure for the multiracial person to identify monoracially; (b) the internalized struggle within the mixed-race person to create a cohesive self-identity; and (c) the assertion of a multiracial identity. Participants experienced Racial Microaggressions (Sue, 2010a; Sue et al., 2007b), Multiracial Microaggressions (Johnston & Nadal, 2010), and Monoracial Stereotypes (Nadal, Wong, Griffin, Sriken, Vargas, Wideman, & Kolawole, 2011). Implications included encouraging a multiracial identity, educating the school community, and eliminating racial microaggressions and stereotypes.

Read the entire dissertation here.

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