Interracial Marriages among Asian Americans in the U.S. West, 1880-1954

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-06-25 01:40Z by Steven

Interracial Marriages among Asian Americans in the U.S. West, 1880-1954

University of Florida
2011
257 pages

Eunhye Kwon

A dissertation presented to the graduate school of the University of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

My work is about the first two generations of Chinese and Japanese Americans who married whites in the U.S. West between 1880 and 1954. It was a time when interracial marriage was illegal in most of the states. From two major archival sources—the Survey of Race Relations, 1924–1927, and records about Japanese American internees during World War II—, my work finds that more than two hundred Chinese and Japanese Americans and their white spouses could circumvent miscegenation laws and lived as legally married couples in the U.S. West before the 1950s.

Existing scholarship on the history of miscegenation laws has revealed the role of the laws in making racial categories and stigmatizing interracial intimacy between non-white men and white women. My work shows that marriages between white women and Chinese and/or Japanese men were major targets of racist and misogynist assumptions about interracial intimacy in the U.S. West. Such marriages were further marginalized by federal government’s policies on Asian exclusion and on the mixed marriage families during the World War II internment of Japanese Americans. Government policies upheld a white male citizen’s ability to assimilate his Asian wife and his patriarchal prerogative to his interracial family. The same government policies persistently denied the claims of white women married to Chinese and/or Japanese men that they, as wives and mothers, were assimilating agents in their interracial families.

My work uncovers the history of a small but significant number of interracial couples consisting of Chinese and/or Japanese husbands and white wives, who argued against the negative construction of their interracial marriages. My work also notes the emergence of a cultural pluralist defense of interracial marriage between non-white men and white women by progressive intellectuals such as Franz Boas, W.E.B. Du Bois, Sidney Gulick, and Robert Park in the early twentieth century. White women married to Chinese and/or Japanese men claimed that their interracial families were legitimate American families decades before postwar American liberals began to openly support interracial marriage.

Read the entire dissertation here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Lunchtime Lecture: Eleanor Kipping

Posted in Arts, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2019-06-25 01:31Z by Steven

Lunchtime Lecture: Eleanor Kipping

SVA MFA Art Practice
335 West 16th Street
New York, New York 10011
Telephone: 212.592.2781
Tuesday, 2019-07-02, 12:30-14:00 EDT (Local Time)

Headshot_Kipping_by Mia Caballero.jpg
Without Borders Festival IV: Between You and Me, Lord Gallery (1200 Afro picks, gold leaf, rocking chair, book of poetry)

Eleanor Kipping is a socially engaged artist and educator. Her interdisciplinary creative practice is concerned with the Black female experience as Other in the United States regarding hair politics, colorism, and racial passing and how these topics may be explored at the intersection(s) of installation, performance, and social practice. She holds a BS from the New England School of Communications, an MFA from the University of Maine and has participated in residencies at Skowhegan and Gakko in Japan. Kipping is the 2019 Art Practice Artist-in-Residence.

For more information, click here.

Tags: ,

“You’re not white enough; you’re not black enough. You’re kind of that gray-area kid, and I think that’s one of the hardest spots to be in,” Cloud said. “Kids are brutal, and if you don’t fit in, where do you go?”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-06-25 01:29Z by Steven

[Natasha] Cloud was just “Tash” at home, but she couldn’t find her place at school.

“You’re not white enough; you’re not black enough. You’re kind of that gray-area kid, and I think that’s one of the hardest spots to be in,” Cloud said. “Kids are brutal, and if you don’t fit in, where do you go?”

Basketball helped. Cloud eventually started thinking of herself as a black woman, helped along by the realization that when the outside world looks at her, they don’t see a woman raised by two white parents or even a biracial person.

Ava Wallace, “‘Why am I different?’ Behind this WNBA player’s activism was a search for the answer.The Washington Post, June 22, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/06/19/wnba-player-natasha-cloud-speaks-out-gun-violence-after-finding-her-voice.

Tags: , , ,

Long Read | Refusing race and salvaging the human

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science on 2019-06-24 19:57Z by Steven

Long Read | Refusing race and salvaging the human

New Frame
2019-06-20

Paul Gilroy, Professor of American and English Literature
King’s College, London, United Kingdom

Illustration by Anastasya Eliseeva.
Illustrator: Anastasya Eliseeva

In his Holberg Lecture, Paul Gilroy, winner of the Holberg Prize for 2019, advocates turning away from the defaulted racial ordering of life in pursuit of a new humanism.

It is commonplace to observe that democracy in Europe has reached a dangerous point. As ailing capitalism emancipates itself from democratic regulation, ultra-nationalism, populism, xenophobia and varieties of neo-fascism have become more visible, more assertive and more corrosive of political culture.

The widespread appeal of racialised group identity and racism, often conveyed obliquely with a knowing wink, has been instrumental in delivering us to a situation in which our conceptions of truth, law and government have been placed in jeopardy. In many places, pathological hunger for national rebirth and the restoration of an earlier political time have combined with resentful, authoritarian and belligerent responses to alterity and the expectation of hospitality.

Those reactions underscore the timeliness and importance of analysing racism, nationalism and xenology, which are nowadays frequently disseminated online. Intensified by evasive and dubious techno-political forces, they have begun to correspond to the anxieties of lived experience in precarious and austere conditions.

The effects of that shift are augmented by the uptake of generic conceptions of racial identity sourced from the United States. They have gained significant international currency, even in places barely touched by the signature racial habits of the north Atlantic, which would project the world only in black and white…

Read the entire lecture here.

Tags: , ,

‘Why am I different?’ Behind this WNBA player’s activism was a search for the answer.

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States, Women on 2019-06-24 19:36Z by Steven

‘Why am I different?’ Behind this WNBA player’s activism was a search for the answer.

The Washington Post
2019-06-22

Ava Wallace


Natasha Cloud in the Mystics’ locker room Friday, when she followed through on a “media blackout” to discuss only gun violence. (Doug Kapustin for The Washington Post)

Some 30 minutes after the Washington Mystics lost to the Seattle Storm on June 14 in Southeast D.C., starting guard Natasha Cloud moved from her seat along the back wall of the Mystics’ locker room to stand at the front, pausing twice to maneuver around various reporters pointing TV cameras and cellphones at her face.

She was not among the Mystics’ leading scorers that night, but she would be their only player to address the media.

Her voice quavering but strong, Cloud, 27, read a prepared statement on behalf of the team rather than answer questions about the game. She followed through on plans she announced the day before on Instagram to hold a “media blackout” to address only gun violence in Washington.

Cloud’s public action came together over little more than 24 hours. But it was the culmination of a long journey, the result of maturation, her increased status with the Mystics since the start of last season and, most importantly, a level of comfort in her own skin that took years to achieve.

“This is my fifth year in the league, and it took me five years to be like, I know something’s wrong, but how do I use my voice? What is my voice? Who am I to speak on the situation?” Cloud said. “You know, I didn’t grow up that way. I grew up in a privileged, white family. How do I correlate that?”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Legible Citizen: Race Making and Classification in Jim Crow Louisiana, 1955-1965

Posted in Census/Demographics, Dissertations, History, Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2019-06-24 19:07Z by Steven

The Legible Citizen: Race Making and Classification in Jim Crow Louisiana, 1955-1965

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
May 2013
34 pages

Michell Chresfield

Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Vanderbilt University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS in History

This study examines three legal contests during the high tide of black freedom agitation, 1955-1965, in which citizens of Louisiana challenged the state Bureau of Health’s authority to make racial classifications. Through these cases, I argue that state bureaucrats rather than the judiciary and legislature emerged as a new arbiter of race by the mid-twentieth century; by making racial categorization part of vital information recording, Bureau administrators could gain a better understand of citizens while also helping to shape the very meaning of citizenship in a racialized sense; and that this latter development was obscured by the ubiquitous and seemingly race neutral methods of vital statistic collection. Together these cases enrich general narratives of the Jim Crow era which have tended to focus on the role of the judiciary and the legislature exclusively. Through the inclusion of state bureaucrats, this study illustrates how racial categorization has persisted in a climate that is both more fluid and more obscure than generally acknowledged.

Read the entire thesis here.

Tags: ,

Jamaica gets first Taino chief in over 500 years

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2019-06-24 18:52Z by Steven

Jamaica gets first Taino chief in over 500 years

The Gleaner
Kingston, Jamaica
2019-06-19

Paul H. Williams, Gleaner Writer


Paul H. Williams

When the Europeans came to what is now known as Jamaica (Yamaye), the Tainos had established themselves in several villages all over the island. They had functional social, commercial, religious and political systems.

The cacique (also spelt kasike/cacike) was the paramount chief of the cacicazgo (chiefdom), which consisted of several villages. The cacique’s power was vast, and he was highly respected. The power that he wielded and the respect he commanded were obliterated after the Spaniards arrived.

The history books are explicit in their narratives about the total genocide of the Tainos in Jamaica. Yet, it is a fact that the Taino DNA had survived through interbreeding, and there are many Jamaicans, some of whom are academics, who have laid claim to their Taino ancestry and preserving Taino heritage.

Robert Pairman is one of the people who are active in preserving the Taino heritage in Jamaica, and recently he was enstooled in an elaborate ritualistic ceremony as kasike (cacique) of the Taino Tribe, Jamaican Hummingbird (YukayekeYamayeGuani), inside the Asafu Yard at Charles Town Maroon village in Portland.

For more than two hours, people watched as history unfolded in front of their eyes. They listened to the impassioned voice of Boriken (Puerto Rico) Taino elder Bibi Vanessa Inarunikia Pastrana as she guided the participants and informed onlookers about their Taino and Africa heritage, and the need to embrace them. It was she who handed Pairman the mayana (Jamaican Taino ceremonial axe) that was used by a Jamaican cacique…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Seven essential facts about multiracial youth

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2019-06-24 18:39Z by Steven

Seven essential facts about multiracial youth

CYF News
American Psychological Association
August 2013

Astrea Greig

A psychology grad student shares what she’s learned from her research on multiracial adolescents and adults.

I have learned a vast amount of information about the multiracial population while completing my dissertation on multiracial adolescents and young adults. Some of these things I did not previously know even though I am multiracial myself. The following are seven vital topics that may interest all who work with this population…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Princess of the Hither Isles: A Black Suffragist’s Story from the Jim Crow South

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States, Women on 2019-06-21 20:13Z by Steven

Princess of the Hither Isles: A Black Suffragist’s Story from the Jim Crow South

Yale University Press
2019-09-24
352 pages
6⅛ x 9¼
9 b/w illus.
Hardcover ISBN: 9780300242607

Adele Logan Alexander, Emeritus Professor of History
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Born in the late nineteenth century into an affluent family of mixed race—black, white, and CherokeeAdella Hunt Logan (1863–1915) was a key figure in the fight to obtain voting rights for women of color. A professor at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and a close friend of Booker T. Washington, Adella was in contact with luminaries such as Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Despite her self-identification as an African American, she looked white and would often pass for white at segregated suffrage conferences, gaining access to information and political tactics used in the “white world” that might benefit her African American community.

Written by Adella’s granddaughter Adele Logan Alexander, this long-overdue consideration of Adella’s pioneering work as a black suffragist is woven into a riveting multigenerational family saga and shines new light on the unresolved relationships between race, class, gender, and power in American society.

Tags: , ,

“Black Wimmin Who Pass, Pass into Damnation”: Race, Gender, and the Passing Tradition in Fannie Hurst’s Imitation of Life and Douglas Sirk’s Film Adaptation

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2019-06-21 20:07Z by Steven

“Black Wimmin Who Pass, Pass into Damnation”: Race, Gender, and the Passing Tradition in Fannie Hurst’s Imitation of Life and Douglas Sirk’s Film Adaptation

Journal of Narrative Theory
Volume 49, Number 1, Winter 2019
pages 27-54
DOI: 10.1353/jnt.2019.0001

Lauren Kuryloski, Assistant Professor of Teaching
State University of New York, Buffalo

Fannie Hurst’s 1933 novel Imitation of Life is ostensibly the story of Bea Pullman, an entrepreneurial, white, single mother who establishes a successful waffle-house restaurant chain with the help of her black maid and friend, Delilah. It is also a story of ‘passing,’ and Hurst’s only novel explicitly dealing with issues of race. The novel was later adapted into two films, with Douglas Sirk’s 1959 version the adaptation discussed here. While both Hurst’s and Sirk’s versions of Imitation of Life were met with widespread commercial success, each treatment illustrates the narratological challenges of working with the passing trope, particularly when attempting to represent the relationship between black and white characters and acts of gender and race passing. Hurst’s and Sirk’s depictions of passing, and more specifically their employment of the ‘white passing’ narrative, reveals the irresolvable paradox of all such acts. To pass is to both subvert notions of fixed identity categories and cement them, a reality elucidated by the complicated representation of gender and race passing in novel and film.

Both literary and cinematic versions of Imitation of Life interrogate passing and its potential to destabilize existing social hierarchies. Although Sirk exercises significant artistic license in his adaptation, both versions of the story adhere to the same essential narrative arc. In each text the central white female protagonist, known as Bea in the novel and Lora in the film, accomplishes a gender pass, moving into the masculinized public sphere to secure financial stability for her family. Similarly, each version of the narrative features the light-skinned black daughter of the protagonist’s maid, known as Peola in the novel and Sarah Jane in the film, who performs the traditional racial pass in an attempt to enjoy the financial and social privileges associated with whiteness. Through the depiction of these double acts of passing, the narratives construct a commentary on the very real limitations that white and black female characters face in an unequal society. Moreover, the characters’ abilities to pass into different identities suggests the inherently performative nature of all identity categories, deconstructing essentialist notions of race and gender and revealing the subversive promise such performances hold. The passing trope’s allure resides in this ability to upend static conceptions of selfhood.

Yet despite the progressive potential to disrupt normative identity codes that passing appears to offer, Hurst’s and Sirk’s texts demonstrate the inherent internal conflict of all such narratives, as passing is often suggestive of subversion while in fact reifying the very same systems it purports to undermine. Although the passer may transgress established social boundaries and upset notions of fixed-identity categories, the move across identity lines simultaneously grants authority to binary constructions of identity. This paradox is at the heart of any act of passing and serves as the primary conflict in both novel and film. The characters in Imitation of Life may achieve varying degrees of financial or material success by passing, but their success is fleeting and mitigated by the system of narrative punishment that is doled out for their actions. While the texts toy with depicting race and gender identity as social constructions to be both challenged and performed at will, both the novel and film conclude that such performances are but imitations of real life, even when ‘real life’ is simply an adherence to essentialist race and gender roles. My work offers an analysis of this punishment and (occasional) reward system through a study of the way in which acts of racial passing are used in the service of moving the white female protagonist toward either her ultimate narrative chastisement (in the novel) or her redemption (in the film), demonstrating that passing relies on the maintenance of normative social hierarchies.

Both Hurst’s and Sirk’s versions of Imitation of Life have received significant critical attention, and the genre of passing has itself been the subject of sustained scholarly debate. However, while both the novel and film…

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , ,