Métis Rising: Living Our Present Through the Power of Our Past

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Canada, Economics, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2022-05-09 14:24Z by Steven

Métis Rising: Living Our Present Through the Power of Our Past

University of British Columbia Press
2022-04-30
280 pages
6 x 9
3 b&w illus., 2 maps, 8 charts, 3 tables
Hardcover ISBN: 9780774880749

Yvonne Boyer and Larry Chartrand

Métis Rising draws on a remarkable cross-section of perspectives to tell the histories, stories, and dreams of people from varied backgrounds, demonstrating that there is no single Métis experience – only a common sense of belonging and a commitment to justice.

The contributors to this unique collection, most of whom are Métis themselves, examine often-neglected aspects of Métis existence in Canada. They trace a turbulent course, illustrating how Métis leaders were born out of the need to address abhorrent social and economic disparities following the Métis–Canadian war of 1885. They talk about the long and arduous journey to rebuild the Métis nation from a once marginalized and defeated people; their accounts ranging from personal reflections on identity to tales of advocacy against poverty and poor housing. And they address the indictment of the jurisdictional gap whereby neither federal nor provincial governments would accept governance responsibility towards Métis people.

Métis Rising is an extraordinary work that exemplifies how contemporary Métis identity has been forged by social, economic, and political concerns into a force to be reckoned with.

A must-read not only for scholars and students of Métis and Indigenous studies but for lawyers, policymakers, and all Canadians who wish a broader understanding of this country’s colonial past.

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Bright: A Memoir

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, United States on 2022-05-09 03:31Z by Steven

Bright: A Memoir

Sarabande Books
2022-08-09
200 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1946448927

Kiki Petrosino, Professor of Poetry
University of Virginia

Bright: A Memoir, the first full-length essay collection from acclaimed poet Kiki Petrosino, is a work of lyric nonfiction, offering glimpses of a life lived between cultural worlds. “Bright,” a slang term used to describe light-skinned people of interracial American ancestry, becomes the starting point for an extended meditation on the author’s upbringing in a mixed Black and Italian American family. Alternating moments of memoir, archival research, close reading and reverie, this work contemplates the enduring, deeply personal legacies of enslavement and racial discrimination in America. Situated at the luminous crossroads where public and private histories collide, Bright asks important questions about love, heritage, identity and creativity.

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‘Lost Boundaries’ Doctor Ousted, Charges Bias

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom on 2022-05-09 03:30Z by Steven

‘Lost Boundaries’ Doctor Ousted, Charges Bias

JET Magazine
1953-06-25

Dr. Albert C. Johnston, Negro physician in Keene, N. H., whose story of passing for white was told in the movie Lost Boundaries, was fired from his post as radiologist at Keene’s Elliott Community Hospital. Chester Kingsbury, hospital board president, said racial prejudice was not the reason for the dismissal, claimed that Dr. Johnston could not devote full time to the job. Dr. Johnston said he would not seek reinstatement, Dr. Johnston explained there was “no doubt whatsoever” that he was fired because of the film of his life. “They have been picking on me ever since my story came out (in 1949). I don’t give a darn for the job itself, but I’m concerned over the fact that I was fired because I’m a Negro,” he declared. The physician said he learned that the hospital was looking for a new radiologist soon after he let his children know their racial identity in 1947, added that “somebody began knifing me.”

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Three years after the release of “Lost Boundaries,” Dr. [Albert] Johnston was fired from his job as a radiologist at Keene Community Hospital. The president of the hospital board told reporters “racial prejudice was not the reason for the dismissal,” but the doctor believed otherwise.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2022-05-09 03:16Z by Steven

Three years after the release of “Lost Boundaries,” Dr. [Albert] Johnston was fired from his job as a radiologist at Keene Community Hospital. The president of the hospital board told reporters “racial prejudice was not the reason for the dismissal,” but the doctor believed otherwise. “They have been picking on me ever since my story came out,” he told the press. “In spite of all that I have accomplished as a white man, I have, more or less, an empty life.” The Johnston family abandoned New Hampshire in 1966 and moved permanently to Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Johnston died in 1988 and Thyra Johnston in 1995. One of Albert Jr.’s original songs had been used in “Lost Boundaries,” and he became a successful composer.

J. Dennis Robinson, “Lost Boundaries: How a UNH student inspired one of America’s first “race films” and why we’re still talking about it,” New Hampshire Magazine, April 12, 2022. https://www.nhmagazine.com/lost-boundaries/.

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Blurring the Lines of Race & Freedom: Mulattoes & Mixed Bloods in English Colonial America by A.B. Wilkinson (review)

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2022-05-09 02:53Z by Steven

Blurring the Lines of Race & Freedom: Mulattoes & Mixed Bloods in English Colonial America by A.B. Wilkinson (review)

Journal of Social History
Volume 55, Number 3, Spring 2022
pages 801-803

Max Speare
Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, California

Blurring the Lines of Race & Freedom: Mulattoes & Mixed Bloods in English Colonial America. By A.B. Wilkinson. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 2020. x plus 336 pp. $26.99).

In Blurring the Lines of Race & Freedom, A.B. Wilkinson adds to a growing field of scholarship questioning the genesis of ideas and production of race and social differences in the trans-Atlantic world. Wilkinson’s detailed examination looks at the ways mixed-heritage people—or individuals with at least two ancestors from predominantly African, European, and Indigenous backgrounds—shaped legal and cultural understandings of interracial mixture in British North America. He focuses on the meeting of communities around the Tidewater Chesapeake, the Carolina Lowcountry, and the English sugar and coffee plantations in the Caribbean. Despite legislators in these regions governing monoracial categories of colonial subjects as “white,” “Indian,” or “Negro,” Wilkinson convincingly argues that people from these blended ancestries and their families complicated racially bound labor systems of enslavement and indentured servitude. In so doing, they slowed down elites’ establishment of a solid racial hierarchy from the seventeenth century until the eve of the American Revolution.

Wilkinson’s sources range across multiple genres that reveal Anglo-Americans’ increasing hostility towards people of blended ancestries and interracial relationships. His interrogation of hundreds of fugitive slave and servant advertisements shows some of mixed-heritage people’s strategies for performing freedom and racial passing. Wilkinson uses many court cases showing that mixed-heritage people could successfully challenge the conditions of their labor arrangements through freedom petitions, particularly when Anglo-Americans’ racial thought was in its infancy and when colonial authorities held more lenient notions of hypodescent, a concept that served as a forerunner for the United States’s one-drop rule and miscegenation laws. Whether someone achieved manumission or lessened indentured service contracts was often based on perceptions about an individual’s proximity to European heritage, and most likely passed on through their mother’s lineage…

Read or purchase the review here.

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Lost Boundaries: How a UNH student inspired one of America’s first “race films” and why we’re still talking about it

Posted in Articles, Biography, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2022-05-09 02:34Z by Steven

Lost Boundaries: How a UNH student inspired one of America’s first “race films” and why we’re still talking about it

New Hampshire Magazine
2022-04-12

J. Dennis Robinson
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

A Johnston family portrait. From left to right, standing: Albert Sr. and Albert Jr. From left to right, seated: Thyra, Paul, Ann and Donald.

How a UNH student inspired one of America’s first “race films” and why we’re still talking about it

Albert Johnston Jr. was 16 when he found out he was Black. His fair-skinned African American parents had been “passing” as white, they told him, since moving from Chicago to rural Gorham, New Hampshire, and later to Keene. His father had been the town’s country doctor with 2,500 white patients. He was an active member of the school board, the Masons and the Rotary. His mother Thyra was a two-time president of the Gorham Women’s Club and active in the Congregational Church.

Born in 1925, growing up skiing the White Mountains, Albert had only a single Black acquaintance in high school. In an era of widespread racial segregation and discrimination, he felt a seismic shift as he adapted from a dark-skinned Caucasian to a light-skinned Negro. Formerly gregarious, he drew inward. He attended and then dropped out of Dartmouth College. He enlisted and left the Navy, talked of suicide, battled with his parents, and spent time in a psychiatric ward.

Then Albert took a road trip. Decades before Ken Kesey and “Easy Rider,” with only a few dollars in their pockets, Albert and an old school chum named Walt hitch-hiked and hopped freight trains from New Hampshire to California. For Albert, it was a spiritual journey into the homes of his long-lost African American relatives and into the roots of Black culture. For Walt, who was white, it was a great adventure with a good friend. After odd jobs, a love affair and a stint at the University of California in Los Angeles, Albert found his way home. Renewed and focused, he enrolled in the well-regarded music program at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. And there in a UNH college lounge in front of 20 fellow students, Albert (Class of ’49) finally laid his burden down. During a seminar on the “race problem” in America, the topic turned to “cross-bred” people. He could offer some insight on that topic, Albert told his classmates, because he, himself, was a Negro. The room got very still, he later recalled, like the sudden silence after the climax of a concerto.

“Why not tell everybody?” Albert said. “Why carry a lie around all your life?”…

Read the entire article here.

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