‘Passing,’ Ruth Negga refuses to be pinned down

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Europe, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom, United States, Women on 2021-11-12 19:40Z by Steven

‘Passing,’ Ruth Negga refuses to be pinned down

The Los Angeles Times
2021-11-11

Sonaiya Kelley, Staff Writer

Actress Ruth Negga stars in “Passing,” now streaming on Netflix. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Ruth Negga has given the subject of identity a lot of thought.

And not just because she stars as Clare Kendry, a fair-skinned Black woman who moves through life as a white woman, in “Passing,” Rebecca Hall’s adaptation of Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel. No, Negga’s musings on identity stem back to her childhood in Ireland and England, where she was first introduced to the concept of being othered.

“To be honest, I’ve never fit in anywhere,” she said over Zoom in October. “I think being Black in Ireland when there wasn’t that many Black people and being Black and Irish in London at an all-white school in the early ’90s wasn’t great for me either.”

At the same time, being hard to categorize has not always been a bad thing, she says. “I think sometimes there is a pleasure I get in being different. I felt safe being the other in many ways because that’s where I could be my whole, true self.”

The Ethiopian-Irish actor frequently upends notions of social constructs such as race and identity in her work. In “Passing,” which is set in the 1920s, Clare enjoys the privileges afforded only to white women by day while sneaking off to Harlem to commune with Black folks by night (Tessa Thompson co-stars as Irene, a woman who only flirts with the possibility of passing). And in 2016’s “Loving,” Negga stars as Mildred Jeter, a woman in an interracial marriage who challenges the Supreme Court to end the anti-miscegenation laws that condemn her marriage as unlawful…

Read the entire interview here.

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Born of Lakes and Plains: Mixed-Descent Peoples and the Making of the American West

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2021-11-12 17:19Z by Steven

Born of Lakes and Plains: Mixed-Descent Peoples and the Making of the American West

W. W. Norton & Company
2022-02-25
464 pages
Hardcover ISBN: ISBN: 978-0-393-63409-9

Anne F. Hyde, Professor of History
University of Oklahoma

A fresh history of the West grounded in the lives of mixed-descent Native families who first bridged and then collided with racial boundaries.

Often overlooked, there is mixed blood at the heart of America. And at the heart of Native life for centuries there were complex households using intermarriage to link disparate communities and create protective circles of kin. Beginning in the seventeenth century, Native peoples—Ojibwes, Otoes, Cheyennes, Chinooks, and others—formed new families with young French, English, Canadian, and American fur traders who spent months in smoky winter lodges or at boisterous summer rendezvous. These families built cosmopolitan trade centers from Michilimackinac on the Great Lakes to Bellevue on the Missouri River, Bent’s Fort in the southern Plains, and Fort Vancouver in the Pacific Northwest. Their family names are often imprinted on the landscape, but their voices have long been muted in our histories. Anne F. Hyde’s pathbreaking history restores them in full.

Vividly combining the panoramic and the particular, Born of Lakes and Plains follows five mixed-descent families whose lives intertwined major events: imperial battles over the fur trade; the first extensions of American authority west of the Appalachians; the ravages of imported disease; the violence of Indian removal; encroaching American settlement; and, following the Civil War, the disasters of Indian war, reservations policy, and allotment. During the pivotal nineteenth century, mixed-descent people who had once occupied a middle ground became a racial problem drawing hostility from all sides. Their identities were challenged by the pseudo-science of blood quantum—the instrument of allotment policy—and their traditions by the Indian schools established to erase Native ways. As Anne F. Hyde shows, they navigated the hard choices they faced as they had for centuries: by relying on the rich resources of family and kin. Here is an indelible western history with a new human face.

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Film Screening with Director in Attendance: “Becoming Black”(2019)

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Europe, Live Events, Media Archive, Videos on 2021-11-12 16:07Z by Steven

Film Screening with Director in Attendance: “Becoming Black”(2019)

Black German Heritage & Research Association
Online Event
Wednesday, 2021-11-17, 17:30-19:30Z (12:30-14:30 EST)

As the next segment of our ongoing All Black Lives Matter event series, and in cooperation with the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, The University of Toronto, and Africana Studies at Rutgers University-Camden, the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) is pleased to invite you to a film screening of Ines Johnson-Spain’s autobiographical documentary “Becoming Black“(2019).

SYNOPSIS: Becoming Black (dir. Ines Johnson-Spain, 2019, 91 min.):

In the 1960s, the East German Sigrid falls in love with Lucien from Togo, one of several African students studying at a trade school on the outskirts of East Berlin. She becomes pregnant, but is already married to Armin. Sigrid and Armin raise their daughter as their own, withholding from her knowledge of her African paternal heritage. That child grows up to become the filmmaker Ines Johnson-Spain. In filmed encounters with her aging stepfather Armin and others from her youth, Johnson-Spain tracks the strategies of denial developed by her parents and the surrounding community. Her intimate but also critical exploration comprising both painful and confusing childhood memories and matter-of-fact accounts testifies to a culture of repression. When blended with movingly warm encounters with her Togolese family, Becoming Black becomes a thought-provoking reflection on identity, social norms and family ties.

The link to view the film will be posted on Eventbrite for registrants to stream from November 15-18, 2021.

For more information and to register, click here.

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From Joseph Boyden To Michelle Latimer – Why Does This Keep Happening?

Posted in Articles, Audio, Canada, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-11-12 15:41Z by Steven

From Joseph Boyden To Michelle Latimer – Why Does This Keep Happening?

Canadaland
2021-02-15

Our gatekeepers keep elevating Indigenous artists with tenuous connections to Indigeneity.

Through most of 2020, Michelle Latimer was the hottest Indigenous filmmaker in Canada. In September, she had two works at TIFF: the feature documentary Inconvenient Indian, which took the top two prizes for which it was eligible at the festival, and the first instalments of Trickster, a prestige CBC drama about growing up on reserve whilst contending with monsters both figurative and literal.

“Latimer’s young characters are multifaceted, her interplay between score and imagery sets an energetic pace, and, most importantly, her respect for the trickster in Indigenous storytelling is evident,” TIFF’s Geoff Macnaughton wrote in his programme note for Trickster. “If the archetype can truly impact younger generations, that respect is paramount — and Latimer’s version exemplifies why it matters who gets to tell the story.”

When she appeared on the cover of NOW‘s annual TIFF issue, the magazine proclaimed that she “reclaims Indigenous storytelling.”

But three months later, the CBC published an investigation that brought forward serious questions about Latimer’s evolving claims of Indigenous identity and heritage — concerns about which had been raised privately since at least the summer.

In short order, Inconvenient Indian was pulled from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and its future release thrown into doubt. The CBC chose to not move ahead with a second season of Trickster, following conversations with the cast, crew, and author of the source material.

And as first reported by Variety, Latimer hired crisis PR firm Navigator to manage the fallout, serving the CBC with a notice of libel.

There’s a lot to unpack there, and today’s episode of CANADALAND attempts to do so, through interviews with comedian and Thunder Bay host Ryan McMahon, filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, and Inuk seal hunter Steven Lonsdale, the latter two of whom were featured in Inconvenient Indian.

For host Jesse Brown, one of the big questions is: Why does this keep happening? Between Joseph Boyden, once Canada’s hottest Indigenous novelist, and now Michelle Latimer, why do Canada’s white cultural gatekeepers keep elevating Indigenous artists whose actual connections to Indigeneity are tenuous? Brown implicates himself in this, as he and McMahon had recently met with Latimer about helming a potential dramatic television adaption of Thunder Bay.

Listen to the episode (00:59:49) here.

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