‘Passing’ — the original 1929 novel — is disturbingly brilliant

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-11-11 22:28Z by Steven

‘Passing’ — the original 1929 novel — is disturbingly brilliant

Book Reviews
National Public Radio

Carole V. Bell

The one thing most people know about Nella Larsen’s Passing is that it explores a peculiar kind of deception — being born into one marginalized racial category and slipping into another, for privilege, security, or power. But the significance of Passing isn’t found in the surface facts but in the brilliance of its execution: the beauty of the writing, the close character study, and the intense psychological suspense.

Like a decades-early precursor to a Patricia Highsmith novel, a sense of sensual glamour, frustration and foreboding pervades Larsen’s famed novella. In 1927 Chicago, two light-skinned Black women, childhood friends whose lives took different paths, meet again in a theoretically white space, and a strange friendship is renewed despite the danger that the connection might bring. For Irene Redfield, a proper Black doctor’s wife and a doyenne of Harlem society, passing is a petty indulgence, something she dabbles in on occasion, for “the sake of convenience.” Her racial dexterity gains her “restaurants, theater tickets, and things like that.” But to beautiful, orphaned Clare Kendry, passing is a means of survival. Clare had a home with her white relatives who disdained her race; she wanted something more, and she grabbed it, making a permanent break…

Read the entire review here.

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Kinship of Clover, a Novel

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2021-11-11 22:17Z by Steven

Kinship of Clover, A Novel

Red Hen Press
272 pages
5.5 x 0.75 x 8.5 inches
Paperback ISBN: 9781597093811

Ellen Meeropol

He was nine when the vines first wrapped themselves around him and burrowed into his skin. Now a college botany major, Jeremy is desperately looking for a way to listen to the plants and stave off their extinction. But when the grip of the vines becomes too intense and Health Services starts asking questions, he flees to Brooklyn, where fate puts him face to face with a group of climate-justice activists who assure him they have a plan to save the planet, and his plants. As the group readies itself to make a big Earth Day splash, Jeremy soon realizes these eco-terrorists’ devotion to activism might have him–and those closest to him–tangled up in more trouble than he was prepared to face. With the help of a determined, differently abled flame from his childhood, Zoe; her deteriorating, once-rabble-rousing grandmother; and some shocking and illuminating revelations from the past, Jeremy must weigh completing his mission to save the plants against protecting the ones he loves, and confront the most critical question of all: how do you stay true to the people you care about while trying to change the world?

From the author of House Arrest and On Hurricane Island comes a thrilling new activist novel that begs the question, “How far is too far?”

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A British betrayal: the secret deportations of Chinese merchant sailors

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Audio, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2021-11-11 22:09Z by Steven

A British betrayal: the secret deportations of Chinese merchant sailors

The Guardian

Presented by: Nosheen Iqbal with Dan Hancox and Yvonne Foley
Produced by Joshua Kelly and Axel Kacoutié
Executive producers Phil Maynard and Archie Bland

Yvonne Foley, Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

During the second world war, Chinese sailors served alongside their British allies in the merchant navy, heroically keeping supply lines open to the UK. But after the war hundreds of them who had settled in Liverpool suddenly disappeared. Now their children are piecing together the truth

Liverpool is home to the longest-established Chinese community in Europe having built sea links with Shanghai from the 19th century onwards. A thriving Chinatown is among the city’s present day inheritance of the era. But there is a darker side to the story of Liverpool’s Chinese community.

During the second world war, Chinese men served alongside their British comrades in merchant vessels that kept supply lines of food and other essentials flowing into the UK. It was incredibly dangerous work as the enormous cargo ships were ready targets for German U-boats and many of the seamen perished. After the war, many of the Chinese sailors settled in Liverpool with some starting families. But from 1946 onwards many started to go missing from the city.

On a day that Britain remembers the sacrifices of its war dead, writer Dan Hancox tells Nosheen Iqbal how he began investigating what had happened to the missing Chinese sailors and found a story of betrayal that is largely unknown in the UK. In the months following the war, the Home Office carried out thousands of secret deportations of Chinese seamen leaving their wives and children to believe they had been abandoned.

Yvonne Foley tells Nosheen she was 11 when she was told the truth about her Chinese heritage and has been trying ever since to find out what happened to her biological father she has never known.

Listen to the story (00:30:52) here. Download the story here.

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Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-11-11 21:43Z by Steven


Signet Classics (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2021-07-06 (Originally published in 1929)
176 Pages
4-3/16 x 6-3/4
Paperback ISBN: 9780593437841
Ebook ISBN: 9780593439074

Nella Larsen (1891–1964)

Introduction by Brit Bennett

Nella Larsen’s fascinating exploration of race and identity—the inspiration for the Netflix film directed by Rebecca Hall, starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga.

This Signet Classics edition of Passing includes an Introduction by Brit Bennett, the bestselling author of The Vanishing Half.

Irene Redfield is a Black woman living an affluent, comfortable life with her husband and children in the thriving neighborhood of Harlem in the 1920s. When she reconnects with her childhood friend Clare Kendry, who is similarly light-skinned, Irene discovers that Clare has been passing for a white woman after severing ties to her past—even hiding the truth from her racist husband.

Clare finds herself drawn to Irene’s sense of ease and security with her Black identity and longs for the community (and, increasingly, the woman) she lost. Irene is both riveted and repulsed by Clare and her dangerous secret, as Clare begins to insert herself—and her deception—into every part of Irene’s stable existence. First published in 1929, Larsen’s brilliant examination of the various ways in which we all seek to “pass,” is as timely as ever.

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House Arrest, A Novel (2nd Edition)

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Novels, Religion, United States on 2021-11-11 21:16Z by Steven

House Arrest, A Novel (2nd Edition)

Red Hen Press
216 pages
6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-59709-418-4

Ellen Meeropol

Home care nurse Emily Klein usually loves her work. But her new assignment, prenatal visits to a young woman under house arrest for the death of her toddler daughter during a Solstice ceremony, makes her uneasy. Maybe it’s Pippa Glenning’s odd household and the house arrest monitor. Or the court involvement that reminds Emily of her parents’ political activism and her father’s imprisonment. But when she can’t get out of the assignment, Emily is determined to do right by her high-profile and unconventional patient.

Pippa’s racially mixed Family of Isis is in turmoil. Without Tianthe cult leader and Pippa’s lover, who is in jail awaiting trial for the deaths of two toddlers, the group struggles to keep the household and their Tea Room business functioning. If Pippa follows the rules of her house arrest, she may be allowed to keep her baby, but as the pregnant woman in the family it’s her duty to dance for Isis at the upcoming winter Solstice ceremony. To escape the house arrest without being caught, she needs Emily’s help.

Despite their differences, Emily and Pippa’s friendship grows. Emily’s friends, her cousin Anna with whom she lives, Anna’s ex-husband Sam who shares in caring for their young daughter Zoe with spina bifida, her best friend Gina, all warn Emily that Pippa is trouble. When her grandfather dies, Emily reluctantly agrees to accompany Anna to the island in Maine where she was sent to live when her father went to prison. On the island, Emily begins to grapple with her parents? choices a generation earlier.

At home, the media hypes the Frozen Babies Case. Anti-cult sentiment in the city escalates to angry protests and increasing violence. As the winter Solstice approaches, both Emily and Pippa make decisions about their responsibilities to their families, their communities, and to each other– decisions that put their lives, and Pippa’s unborn baby– in jeopardy.

Set in Springfield, Massachusetts and on an island in Penobscot Bay, the story is told from the alternating points of view of Emily, Pippa, Sam, and Gina. House Arrest explores the meaning of family loyalty when beliefs conflict, and questions the necessity of sometimes breaking rules to serve justice.

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The Love Project: A Marriage Made in Poetry

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2021-11-11 20:57Z by Steven

The Love Project: A Marriage Made in Poetry

Red Hen Press
120 pages
6.3 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-59709-733-8
Paperback ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-59709-967-7

Wanda Coleman (1946-2013)
Austin Straus (1939-2017)

There’s plenty of love between Wanda Coleman and Austin Straus, but it has an edge: every kiss, every snuggle, every touch is political. How to make a marriage work under the unyielding pressures of racial bigotry and cultural bias? How to maintain their creativity and independence as poets and artists faced with the daily pressures of survival? For over three decades, Coleman and Straus have grappled with these questions—and with one another. Together, they have built a wall of desire, carnal and spiritual, to shield them from an often unwelcoming world. The Love Project sings their blood oath in an open and jazzy verse that holds nothing back, offering to the world some of the better that has flowered between them.

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Anne Liu Kellor with Kristen Millares Young — Heart Radical

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2021-11-11 20:37Z by Steven

Anne Liu Kellor with Kristen Millares Young — Heart Radical

Third Place Books Events
Third Place Books

Kristen Millares Young, Host

On September 28th, 2021, Third Place Books was honored to host Anne Liu Kellor for the release of her debut memoir, Heart Radical: A Search for Language, Love, and Belonging. She will be joined in conversation by Kristen Millares Young, author of the critically-acclaimed novel Subduction.

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What can DNA tests really tell us about our ancestry? – Prosanta Chakrabarty

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Videos on 2021-11-11 20:23Z by Steven

What can DNA tests really tell us about our ancestry? – Prosanta Chakrabarty


Prosanta Chakrabarty, Professor of Ichthyology, Evolution and Systematics
Louisiana State University

Directed by Artrake Studio

Dig into the science of how ancestry DNA tests work, their accuracy, and why tracing ancestry is so complicated.

Two sisters take the same DNA test. The results show that one sister is 10% French, the other 0%. Both sisters share the same two parents, and therefore the same set of ancestors. So how can one be 10% more French than the other? Tests like these rely on our DNA to answer questions about our ancestry, but DNA actually can’t tell us everything. Prosanta Chakrabarty explores the accuracy of DNA tests.

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Effa Manley’s hidden life

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-11-11 20:13Z by Steven

Effa Manley’s hidden life


Shakeia Taylor

The only woman in the National Baseball Hall of Fame had a fascinating — and confusing — past

She was sure and confident in everything she did. She was tall, smart, and intimidating, a shrewd businesswoman unafraid to speak her mind. For years I’d recognized Effa Manley for many things: her civil rights work, co-owning and managing a Negro League baseball team, her stint as Negro National League treasurer, her role in Larry Doby integrating Major League Baseball’s American League, and being the first African-American woman inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

But for everything Manley was, there is one thing she really wasn’t: Black.

“Everything in my life has been Black,” Manley told sportswriter Henry Hecht of the New York Post in 1975. For many years, that’s seemed like the last word on the matter. While I knew Manley was not the first woman to own a team — a distinction actually held by Olivia Taylor, who became the owner of the Indianapolis ABC Clowns after her husband C.I. Taylor died 1922 — I had always assumed she was African American. Her race, however, has been a source of quiet controversy for years, one of which I was unaware. It wasn’t until I started researching more into her life I found out perhaps Manley wasn’t exactly who she seemed…

Read the entire article here.

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That the sharp rise in multiracial Latinos in 2020 is due to an accounting change, rather than a real demographic or social trend, is clear when we look at the 2019 American Community Survey, run annually by the Census Bureau.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-11-11 16:44Z by Steven

That the sharp rise in multiracial Latinos in 2020 is due to an accounting change, rather than a real demographic or social trend, is clear when we look at the 2019 American Community Survey, run annually by the Census Bureau. The ACS collected and classified race in the same way that the 2010 census had throughout the prior decade. The last of the 2019 ACS data were gathered just a few months before the census, and the reported results showed that the percentage of Latinos categorized as single-race white was unchanged since the ACS survey of 2011.

Morris Levy, Richard Alba, and Dowell Myers, “The Truth About White America,” The Atlantic, October 25, 2021. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/10/2020-census-white-population-decline/620470/.

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