“Often race is used as a variable without people really defining it biologically, and that is a very minimum we should expect from a scientific variable that you’ll be able to define it biologically.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-11-22 23:24Z by Steven

Often race is used as a variable without people really defining it biologically, and that is a very minimum we should expect from a scientific variable that you’ll be able to define it biologically. They just treat these social categories as though they are biological without really doing the legwork to figure out why that is a valid way to think about these things.Angela Saini

Bob McDonald, “The return of race science — the quest to fortify racism with bad biology,” Quirks & Quarks, CBC Radio, November 15, 2019. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/nov-16-watching-wildfire-with-radar-the-return-of-race-science-and-more-1.5359599/the-return-of-race-science-the-quest-to-fortify-racism-with-bad-biology-1.5359610.

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Noel Ignatiev’s Long Fight Against Whiteness

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-11-22 23:06Z by Steven

Noel Ignatiev’s Long Fight Against Whiteness

The New Yorker
2019-11-15

Jay Caspian Kang


Noel Ignatiev, the author of “How the Irish Became White,” believed that whiteness was a fiction, and that true stories could dispel it. Photograph by Pekah Pamella Wallace

In 1995, Noel Ignatiev, a recent graduate of the doctoral program in history at Harvard, published his dissertation with Routledge, an academic press. Many such books appear, then disappear, subsumed into the endless paper shuffling of the academic credentialling process. But Ignatiev was not a typical graduate student, and his book, “How the Irish Became White,” was not meant to stay within the academy. A fifty-four-year-old Marxist radical, Ignatiev had come to the academy after two decades of work in steel mills and factories. The provocative argument at the center of his book—that whiteness was not a biological fact but rather a social construction with boundaries that shifted over time—had emerged, in large part, out of his observations of how workers from every conceivable background had interacted on the factory floor. Ignatiev wasn’t merely describing these dynamics; he wanted to change them. If whiteness could be created, it could also be destroyed.

“How the Irish Became White” quickly broke out of the academic-publishing bubble. Writing in the Washington Post, the historian Nell Irvin Painter called it “the most interesting history book of 1995.” Mumia Abu-Jamal, the activist and death-row inmate, provided an enthusiastic back-cover blurb. Today, many of the ideas Ignatiev proposed or refined—about the nature of whiteness, and about the racial dynamics that unfold among immigrant workers—are taken for granted in classrooms; they influence films, literature, and art. But Ignatiev found it hard to accept the academic rewards that came with his book’s success. Committed to radicalism, he spent much of his time in academia doing what he had done on the factory floor: publishing leaflets and zines about the possibilities of revolutionary change…

Read the entire article here.

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Whites can be black if they wish, says lecturers’ union

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-11-22 21:00Z by Steven

Whites can be black if they wish, says lecturers’ union

The Telegraph
2019-11-18

Mike Wright, Social Media Correspondent

Anthony Lennon 
Anthony Lennon, a white theatre director who describes himself as an ‘African born again’ Credit: Twitter

People should be allowed to identify as black no matter what colour they are born, a lecturers’ union has said.

The University and College Union (UCU), which represents more than 100,000 university lecturers and staff, set out its position on whether people should be able to self-identify as different races or genders.

In the paper “UCU Position on Trans Inclusion”, it stated: “The UCU has a long history of enabling members to self-identify, whether that is being black, disabled, LGBT or women.”…

…The debate over racial self-identification has become heated in recent years. Last November, Anthony Lennon, a white theatre director who describes himself as an “African born again”, drew criticism for securing public funding intended to help ethnic minorities develop their stage careers.

Mr Lennon, 53, who was born in London and whose parents are Irish, won a place on a two-year Arts Council-funded scheme, after a leading black theatre company accepted his claim to be of “mixed heritage”

Read the entire article here.

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Shape Shifters: Journeys across Terrains of Race and Identity

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology on 2019-11-22 03:26Z by Steven

Shape Shifters: Journeys across Terrains of Race and Identity

University of Nebraska Press
January 2020
432 pages
8 photos, index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4962-0663-3
eBook (EPUB) ISBN: 978-1-4962-1698-4
eBook (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-4962-1700-4

Edited by:

Lily Anne Y. Welty Tamai, Curator of History
Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California

Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, Professor of History
University of La Verne, Point Mugu, California

Paul Spickard, Distinguished Professor of History
University of California, Santa Barbara

Shape Shifters

Shape Shifters presents a wide-ranging array of essays that examine peoples of mixed racial identity. Moving beyond the static “either/or” categories of racial identification found within typical insular conversations about mixed-race peoples, Shape Shifters explores these mixed-race identities as fluid, ambiguous, contingent, multiple, and malleable. This volume expands our understandings of how individuals and ethnic groups identify themselves within their own sociohistorical contexts.

The essays in Shape Shifters explore different historical eras and reach across of the globe, from the Roman and Chinese borderlands of classical antiquity to Medieval Eurasian shape-shifters, the Native peoples of the missions of Spanish California, and racial shape-shifting among African Americans in the post–civil rights era. At different times in their lives or over generations in their families, racial shape-shifters have moved from one social context to another. And as new social contexts were imposed on them, identities have even changed from one group to another. This is not racial, ethnic, or religious imposture. It is simply the way that people’s lives unfold in fluid sociohistorical circumstances.

With contributions by Ryan Abrecht, George J. Sanchez, Laura Moore, and Margaret Hunter, among others, Shape Shifters explores the forces of migration, borderlands, trade, warfare, occupation, colonial imposition, and the creation and dissolution of states and empires to highlight the historically contingent basis of identification among mixed-race peoples across time and space.

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UAH professor publishes new book on mixed-race at home and abroad

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2019-11-22 03:24Z by Steven

UAH professor publishes new book on mixed-race at home and abroad

University of Alabama in Huntsville
2019-11-21

jennifer sims
Dr. Jennifer Patrice Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) recently published her second book
Photo Credit Michael Mercier

Dr. Jennifer Patrice Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) recently published her second book, Mixed-Race in the US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future coauthored with UK-based scholar Dr. Chinelo L. Njaka. The book is the second in the Critical Mixed Race Studies book series by Emerald Publishing

Read the entire press release here.

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Despite this history, and although denying people civil rights according to their race is no longer legal, socially, the one-drop rule is still very much alive.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-11-22 03:19Z by Steven

Despite this history, and although denying people civil rights according to their race is no longer legal, socially, the one-drop rule is still very much alive. Many Americans, including liberals who politically reject racism, routinely define white people who have black ancestors as “passing” for white. The same Americans would find it absurd to accuse a black person who has white ancestors of “passing” for black, since the one drop rule is based on hypodescent—i.e., the belief that African “blood” overwhelms all others. Sadly, folks who employ the term “passing” seem unaware that they are repeating two centuries of essentialist pseudoscience developed by white supremacists to justify slavery and segregation. —Victoria Bynum

Eric London, “Historian Victoria Bynum on the inaccuracies of the New York Times 1619 Project,” World Socialist Web Site, October 30, 2019. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/10/30/bynu-o30.html.

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