New documentary ‘Being Both’ explores mixed-race identity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Mexico, United Kingdom on 2019-04-29 16:24Z by Steven

New documentary ‘Being Both’ explores mixed-race identity

METRO.co.uk
2019-04-29

Natalie Morris, Senior lifestyle Writer

The UK’s fastest-growing ethnic group is comprised of anyone with parents who have two of more different ethnicities – and the varieties within that group are almost endless.

The realities of being mixed-race are unique and often overlooked in mainstream narratives, but documentary maker Ryan Cooper-Brown wants to change that. His new short documentary film Being Both tackles issues that directly relate to the mixed-race experience, from displacement and family conflict to racism and fetishisation.

But the film is also brimming with hope and shines a light on the many positives that come with having mixed heritage.

The eight-minute film condenses a series of compelling stories from the mixed-race community. It is an intimate and uplifting short that captures the shared challenges, emotions and histories of mixed-race people from the UK, Denmark, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Germany and Japan

Read the entire article here.

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Constructions of race in Brazil: resistance and resignification in teacher education

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, Teaching Resources on 2019-04-27 02:11Z by Steven

Constructions of race in Brazil: resistance and resignification in teacher education

International Studies in Sociology of Education
Volume 27, 2018 – Issue 2-3: Special Issue: Migration, Borders, and Education: International Sociological Inquiries
pages 307-323
DOI: 10.1080/09620214.2018.1444504

Joel Austin Windle
Department of Modern Languages
Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi, Brazil

Kassandra Muniz
Departamento de Letras
Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Mariana, Brazil

This paper reflects on racial identification in Brazil, considering how concepts of race travel internationally and are transformed locally. In light of the silencing of issues of race in Brazilian public education, we analyse the experiences of student teachers of colour participating in a professional development project coordinated by the authors. We report findings of a qualitative study arising from the project, based on reflective journals and interviews, and focusing on processes of racial resignification and resistance. The narratives produced by participants are situated in relation to dominant discourses of racial democracy and mixing, which deny the possibility of a politicised Afro-Brazilian identity. We show how hybrid identifications, drawing on cultural resources and networks that involve transnational circulation, are part of the construction of new social identities in the context of teacher education.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Girl, Woman, Other

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Novels, United Kingdom, Women on 2019-04-27 01:41Z by Steven

Girl, Woman, Other

Hamish Hamilton (an imprint of Penguin UK)
2019-05-02
464 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9780241364901
Ebook ISBN: 9780241985007

Bernardine Evaristo

Teeming with life and crackling with energy – a love song to modern Britain, to black womanhood, to the ever-changing heart of London

Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.

Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.

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Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Posted in Books, Canada, Forthcoming Media, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2019-04-27 01:35Z by Steven

Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
2019-06-29
295 pages
6 x 1 x 9 inches
ISBN13: 978-1-77112-240-5

Michelle La Flamme, Professor of English
University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

Canada’s history is bicultural, Indigenous, and multilingual, and these characteristics have given risen to a number of strategies used by our writers to code racially mixed characters. This book examines contemporary Canadian literature and drama in order to tease out some of those strategies and the social and cultural factors that inform them.

Racially hybrid characters in literature have served a matrix of needs. They are used as shorthand for interracial desire, signifiers of taboo love, images of impurity, symbols of degeneration, and examples of beauty and genetic perfection. Their fates have been used to suggest the futility of marrying across racial lines, or the revelation of their “one drop” signals a climactic downfall. Other narratives suggest mixed-race bodies are foundational to colonization and signify contact between colonial and Indigenous bodies.

Author Michelle LaFlamme approaches racial hybridity with a cross-generic and cross-racial approach, unusual in the field of hybridity studies, by analyzing characters with different racial mixes in autobiographies, fiction, and drama. Her analysis privileges literary texts and the voices of artists rather than sociological explanations of the mixed-race experience. The book suggests that the hyper-visualization of mixed-race bodies in mono-racial contexts creates a scopophilic interest in how those bodies look and perform race.

La Flamme’s term “soma text” draws attention to the constructed, performative aspects of this form of embodiment. The writers she examines witness that living in a racially hybrid and ambiguous body is a complex engagement that involves reading and decoding the body in sophisticated ways, involving both the multiracial body and the racialized gaze of the onlooker.

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Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Monographs, Slavery, United States, Women on 2019-04-27 01:32Z by Steven

Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America

Oxford University Press
2019-08-05
288 Pages
28 b/w images, 2 maps
6-1/8 x 9¼ inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780190846992

W. Caleb McDaniel, Associate Professor of History
Rice University, Houston, Texas

  • The epic, unique, and haunting story an enslaved woman and her quest for justice
  • Incorporates recent scholarship on slavery, reparations, and the ongoing connection between slavery and incarceration of black Americans
  • McDaniel received a Public Scholar fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities that enabled him to write this book

Born into slavery, Henrietta Wood was taken to Cincinnati and legally freed in 1848. In 1853, a Kentucky deputy sheriff named Zebulon Ward colluded with Wood’s employer, abducted her, and sold her back into bondage. She remained enslaved throughout the Civil War, giving birth to a son in Mississippi and never forgetting who had put her in this position.

By 1869, Wood had obtained her freedom for a second time and returned to Cincinnati, where she sued Ward for damages in 1870. Astonishingly, after eight years of litigation, Wood won her case: in 1878, a Federal jury awarded her $2,500. The decision stuck on appeal. More important than the amount, though the largest ever awarded by an American court in restitution for slavery, was the fact that any money was awarded at all. By the time the case was decided, Ward had become a wealthy businessman and a pioneer of convict leasing in the South. Wood’s son later became a prominent Chicago lawyer, and she went on to live until 1912.

McDaniel’s book is an epic tale of a black woman who survived slavery twice and who achieved more than merely a moral victory over one of her oppressors. Above all, A Sweet Taste of Liberty is a portrait of an extraordinary individual as well as a searing reminder of the lessons of her story, which establish beyond question the connections between slavery and the prison system that rose in its place.

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Born Biracial: How One Mother Took On Race in America

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-04-27 01:32Z by Steven

Born Biracial: How One Mother Took On Race in America

Memories Press
2019-05-01
250 pages
6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1733908818
Paperback ISBN: 978-1733908825
eBook ISBN: 978-1733908801

Susan Graham

The Birth of a National Civil Rights Movement

Susan Graham is the White mother of two biracial children whose father is Black. Born Biracial: How One Mother Took on Race in America is the true story of how she brought an invisible population to the forefront and started the multiracial movement. She started a simple advocacy group and turned it into a national civil rights movement. Along the way, her personal life was suffering. The emotional story of her marriage to a CNN news anchor, being a mother to biracial children, divorce, and remarriage are interwoven in her life’s story. This is the one story every interracial family should read.

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“I think that America has a kind of fantasy about what an interracial relationship is like—people who understand each other from the get-go; they are the future; they will save humanity and all babies will be beige—I mean, there’s a real deep fantasy about this.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-04-22 00:08Z by Steven

“I think that America has a kind of fantasy about what an interracial relationship is like—people who understand each other from the get-go; they are the future; they will save humanity and all babies will be beige—I mean, there’s a real deep fantasy about this.

But we know that can’t be true. We have too many things we misunderstand about each other. So then people assume that people who are together from different races secretly hate themselves and their culture. There is a distrust of interracial relationships, too.

What I wanted to write about was not the kumbaya fantasy or the gross assumptions, but the actual reality. It’s all of these things: We have moments of tremendous love, and we have tremendous dissonance. We have moments when we get each other, and moments when we’ve really failed each other. That’s what that love looks like. It’s complicated and it is real. The minute you’re not allowed to investigate your own interiority and complexity, you’ve lost. I wanted to stop losing.” —Mira Jacob

Amal Ahmed, “Illustrating the Messy Reality of Life as an Interracial Family,” The Atlantic, April 12, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/04/in-mira-jacobs-good-talk-talking-about-race-with-your-family-isnt-easy/586954/.

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Discovering the Illusion: An Interview with T Kira Madden

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Gay & Lesbian, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2019-04-21 16:56Z by Steven

Discovering the Illusion: An Interview with T Kira Madden

Asian American Writers’ Workshop
2019-03-18

Pik-Shuen Fung


T Kira Madden, Photo by Jac Martinez

“Magic and writing, it’s all misdirection, defamiliarization, and at its best, the ahhhhh moment of surprise.”

Nothing is steadfast in the childhood of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, only a slow unraveling. An only child born out of an affair between her wealthy white shoe-brand father and her Chinese-Hawaiian model mother, [T Kira] Madden went back and forth between the chaos of her home, where her parents struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, to the misery of her Boca Raton private school, where she faced ostracism as a queer biracial girl.

Madden writes, “I wanted love the size of a fist. Something I could hold, something hot and knuckled and alive.” To contain, to hold, to be vulnerable—these intense desires both shape and propel her exploration of grief, trauma, pain, and forgiveness. Composed as a kaleidoscope of darkly shimmering fragments, this courageous debut memoir is the documentation of one woman’s attempt to write down and rewrite her own history, so as to make space for more love.

I had the chance to speak with T Kira on a freezing afternoon in January. She welcomed me into her cozy home, where there were glowing candles, a pot of roasted buckwheat tea, and two energetic poodles who insisted on sitting around for the conversation…

Read the entire interview here.

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The Mouse Room

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2019-04-21 16:44Z by Steven

The Mouse Room

She Books (An imprint of She Writes Press)
2014-03-31

Susan Ito, Instructor
Bay Path University, Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Susan Ito is a struggling college student, a young adult on the cusp of parental independence, when she meets her birth mother for the first time. Instead of launching into adulthood, she finds herself entangled in longing for this new kind of mother love where she sees her own self, mirrored in mysterious and tantalizing ways. At the same time that she explores the genetic threads that bind her to this stranger, she works as the “mouse girl,” caring for hundreds of experimental mice in a medical research laboratory. The relationship with her birth mother is as tormented as any partially requited love story: waiting by the phone, haunting the mailbox, and pacing the floor wondering about a promised visit that may or may not happen. Meanwhile, she tracks the intricate family trees of the hordes of squeaky rodents in her care. Memoirist, fiction writer, and solo performer Susan Ito explores themes of family, identity, DNA, and love in this unique and poignant story.

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Illustrating the Messy Reality of Life as an Interracial Family

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Interviews, United States on 2019-04-21 14:51Z by Steven

Illustrating the Messy Reality of Life as an Interracial Family

The Atlantic
2019-04-12

Amal Ahmed


Mira Jacob / Courtesy of Penguin Random House

In her new graphic memoir, the author Mira Jacob documents conversations about love and race with multiple generations of her family.

When the novelist Mira Jacob’s son was 6, he started asking her a lot of questions about race and identity. It started with Michael Jackson: Was he brown or black or white, and what did he like best? Then his questions took a more serious turn: Was it bad to be brown in America? Though he was only 6, Jacob’s son, who is biracial, was old enough to understand the news at the time, which was fixated on the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white cop shot a black teenager. He wanted to know whether white people were afraid of brown people. And what about his own father, who was white? Was he ever scared of brown people?

Jacob didn’t always know how to answer him in the moment. She remembered the confusing conversations about race and identity that she’d had as a child herself, growing up in one of the few South Asian families in New Mexico. But having those conversations with her son in the years leading up to Donald Trump’s presidency made her realize that there weren’t any easy answers to the question of what it means to grow up as a person of color in the United States.

Even though she’s a writer by trade, Jacob couldn’t find the words to describe what she was feeling. She often felt paralyzed thinking about the hurtful comments she might receive online if she did write openly about those tricky conversations. But she still felt the urge to record them somehow, and that led her to producing a memoir in the form of a graphic novel. The book, Good Talk, spans from her childhood in New Mexico to her more recent arguments with in-laws who wanted to vote for Trump and who she felt weren’t listening to her concerns about his racist rhetoric on the campaign trail…

Read the entire interview here.

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