Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Europe, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs on 2022-06-19 22:35Z by Steven

Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country

University of Minnesota Press
August 2022
304 pages
5½ x 8½
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-5179-1230-7
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-5179-1231-4

Ryan Thomas Skinner, Associate Professor of Music and African American and African Studies
Ohio State University

Foreword by Jason Timbuktu Diakité

A compelling examination of Sweden’s African and Black diaspora

Contemporary Sweden is a country with a worldwide progressive reputation, despite an undeniable tradition of racism within its borders. In the face of this contradiction of culture and history, Afro-Swedes have emerged as a vibrant demographic presence, from generations of diasporic movement, migration, and homemaking. In Afro-Sweden, Ryan Thomas Skinner uses oral histories, archival research, ethnography, and textual analysis to explore the history and culture of this diverse and growing Afro-European community.

Skinner employs the conceptual themes of “remembering” and “renaissance” to illuminate the history and culture of the Afro-Swedish community, drawing on the rich theoretical traditions of the African and Black diaspora. Remembering fosters a sustained meditation on Afro-Swedish social history, while Renaissance indexes a thriving Afro-Swedish public culture. Together, these concepts illuminate significant existential modes of Afro-Swedish being and becoming, invested in and contributing to the work of global Black studies.

The first scholarly monograph in English to focus specifically on the African and Black diaspora in Sweden, Afro-Sweden emphasizes the voices, experiences, practices, knowledge, and ideas of these communities. Its rigorously interdisciplinary approach to understanding diasporic communities is essential to contemporary conversations around such issues as the status and identity of racialized populations in Europe and the international impact of Black Lives Matter.

Contents

  • Foreword
  • Jason Timbuktu Diakité
  • A Note on Orthography
  • Introduction: Race, Culture, and Diaspora in Afro-Sweden
  • Part I. Remembering
    • 1. Invisible People
    • 2. A Colder Congo
    • 3. Walking While Black
  • Part II. Renaissance
    • 4. Articulating Afro-Sweden
    • 5. The Politics of Race and Diaspora
    • 6. The Art of Renaissance
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for My Father and Discovering My Family

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2022-06-19 22:34Z by Steven

My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for My Father and Discovering My Family

Viking (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2022-06-07
320 Pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9780593295960

Nabil Ayers

A memoir about one man’s journey to connect with his musician father, ultimately redefining what family really means

Throughout his adult life, whether he was opening a Seattle record store in the ’90s or touring the world as the only non-white band member in alternative rock bands, Nabil Ayers felt the shadow and legacy of his father’s musical genius, and his race, everywhere.

In 1971, a white, Jewish, former ballerina, chose to have a child with the famous Black jazz musician Roy Ayers, fully expecting and agreeing that he would not be involved in the child’s life. In this highly original memoir, their son, Nabil Ayers, recounts a life spent living with the aftermath of that decision, and his journey to build an identity of his own despite and in spite of his father’s absence.

Growing up, Nabil only meets his father a handful of times. But Roy’s influence is strong, showing itself in Nabil’s instinctual love of music, and later, in the music industry—Nabil’s chosen career path. By turns hopeful–wanting to connect with the man who passed down his genetic predisposition for musical talent—and frustrated with Roy’s continued emotional distance, Nabil struggles with how much DNA can define a family… and a person.

Unable to fully connect with Roy, Nabil ultimately discovers the existence of several half-siblings as well as a paternal ancestor who was enslaved. Following these connections, Nabil meets and befriends the descendant of the plantation owner, which, strangely, paves the way for him to make meaningful connections with extended family he never knew existed.

Despite his father’s absence, Nabil, through sheer will and a drive to understand his roots, redefines what family truly is.

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The Meaning of Multiraciality: A Racially Queer Exploration of Multiracial College Students’ Identity Production

Posted in Books, Campus Life, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2022-06-19 22:33Z by Steven

The Meaning of Multiraciality: A Racially Queer Exploration of Multiracial College Students’ Identity Production

Lexington Books (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield)
June 2022
168 pages
Trim: 6 x 9
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-7936-1727-9
eBook ISBN: 978-1-7936-1728-6

Aurora Chang, Director of Faculty Development and Career Advancement
George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

The Meaning of Multiraciality: A Racially Queer Exploration of Multiracial College Students’ Identity Production provides a comprehensive overview of Multiraciality as a term, experience, and identity using data from a study of Multiracial college students and well as the author’s own experiences as a Multiracial person. Utilizing a racially queer framework, they discuss what it means to be a Multiracial insider (being a Multiracial researcher studying Multiracial study participants), the counter-stories of Multiracial college students, the theorizing that has emerged as a result, and the educational consequences and impacts on Mulitracial students overall. The author explores the following questions: How do Multiracial students produce their identities? How do Multiracial students exercise their agency? How does the notion of Multiraciality perpetuate and disrupt notions of race? How can we expand theoretical understandings of race so that they take Multiracial people into account, specifically within educational settings? The author illustrates the agentic ways in which Multiracial college students come to understand and experience the complexity of their racialized identity production. Their counter-narratives reveal an otherwise invisible student population, providing an opportunity to broaden critical discourses around education and race.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: Multiracial Me
  • Chapter Two: The History and Complexity of the Term, Multiracial
  • Chapter Three: Multiraciality and Critical Race Theory
  • Chapter Four: Multiracial College Students’ Counter-Narratives
  • Chapter Five: Multiracial Students and Educational Implications
  • Chapter Six: Racial Queerness
  • Epilogue
  • References
  • About the Author
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Multiracial Heritage Week: June 7-14, 2022

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2022-06-09 19:13Z by Steven

Multiracial Heritage Week: June 7-14, 2022

United States Census Bureau
2022-06-07
Release Number CB22-SFS.85

From the Congressional Record, 117th Congress, HON. JIM COSTA OF CALIFORNIA, June 7, 2021. HONORING MULTIRACIAL HERITAGE WEEK, “Multiracial Heritage Week is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions and achievements of the multiracial community. Multiracial individuals are not only parts of other populations, but they are also a growing population in and of itself.”

From Census.gov > Topics > Population > Race > About Race

What is Race?

The data on race were derived from answers to the question on race that was asked of individuals in the United States. The Census Bureau collects racial data in accordance with guidelines provided by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and these data are based on self-identification.

The racial categories included in the census questionnaire generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country and not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically. In addition, it is recognized that the categories of the race item include racial and national origin or sociocultural groups. People may choose to report more than one race to indicate their racial mixture, such as “American Indian” and “White.” People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race.

OMB requires five minimum categories: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander…

Read the entire release here.

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The Importance of Being Turbaned

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2022-05-21 22:25Z by Steven

The Importance of Being Turbaned

The Antioch Review
Volume 69, Number 2, Spring 2011
pages 208-221

Paul A. Kramer, Associate Professor of History
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

This narrative piece, selected by The Best American Essays 2012 as a “notable essay,” tells the story of Rev. Jesse Routté, an African American Lutheran minister in New York who, in response to racist abuse during a 1943 trip to Mobile, Alabama, returned four years later disguised as a turbaned, Swedish-accented “foreigner.” When he reported positive treatment, it flaunted contradictions in Jim Crow’s racial definitions.

Read the entire article here.

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A Fable of Agency

Posted in Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Virginia, Women on 2022-05-21 21:45Z by Steven

A Fable of Agency

The New York Review of Books
2022-05-26

Brenda Wineapple

Special Collections, University of Virginia Library

Lumpkin’s Jail; engraving from A History of the Richmond Theological Seminary, 1895

The Devil’s Half Acre: The Untold Story of How One Woman Liberated the South’s Most Notorious Slave Jail by Kristen Green. Seal, 332 pp., $30.00

Kristen Green’s The Devil’s Half Acre recounts the story of a fugitive slave jail, and the enslaved woman, Mary Lumpkin, who came to own it.

In The Allure of the Archives (1989), a gem of a book, the French historian Arlette Farge talks about unearthing, insofar as it’s possible, a past that’s not quite past—particularly in relation to the lives of women, whose histories have often been hidden, forgotten, or written over, women spoken about but whom we seldom hear speaking. Combing through the judicial archives at the Préfecture of Paris, Farge reads the sullen or angry answers that ordinary eighteenth-century Parisian women, some of the city’s poorest and most vulnerable, give to the police who have arrested them. And she knows that to understand what they say, or don’t say, we need to care and not to care: to distance ourselves with empathy while we set aside expectations and assumptions. Deciphering what’s left in the archives, Farge writes, “entails a roaming voyage through the words of others, and a search for a language that can rescue their relevance.”

Piecing together stories about women who managed the uncertainties and privations of their situations is even more difficult when the women in question have been enslaved and thus forbidden even the basic rights that an eighteenth-century Parisian laundress enjoyed. That is Kristen Green’s task in her impassioned The Devil’s Half Acre, which she calls “the untold story of how one woman liberated the South’s most notorious slave jail.”

Green is a journalist and also the author of Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County (2015), a personal account of how that Virginia county defied Brown v. Board of Education and shut down its schools for almost five years rather than integrate them. In The Devil’s Half Acre, she recovers the life of Mary Lumpkin, an enslaved woman of mixed race born in 1832 who, likely by 1840, was held in bondage at Lumpkin’s Jail, a chamber of horrors located between Franklin and Broad Streets in Shockoe Bottom, the central slave-trading quarter in Richmond, Virginia

Read the entire review here.

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“I am a White woman who married a Black man and had a Black baby,” said Amanda Lewis, a sociologist who runs the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2022-05-20 21:29Z by Steven

For some people, identifying themselves as more than one race matters little if Americans tend to put people in either the “Black” or “White” categories. Former President Barack Obama, who has a White mother though he identifies as Black, has described being mistaken for a waiter or parking valet before he was famous.

“I am a White woman who married a Black man and had a Black baby,” said Amanda Lewis, a sociologist who runs the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“That’s the way others see her. That’s the way we think of her,” Lewis said of her daughter. “The opposite doesn’t happen. Instead of trying to make White people more comfortable, we need to embrace the multiracial democracy we’ve become.”

Tim Henderson, “Multiracial Residents Are Changing the Face of the US,” Stateline, May 13, 2022. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2022/05/13/multiracial-residents-are-changing-the-face-of-the-us.

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Interracial couple representation in pop culture isn’t as progressive as we think

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2022-05-20 19:48Z by Steven

Interracial couple representation in pop culture isn’t as progressive as we think

Andscape
2021-05-21

Rebecca Theodore-Vachon

Chuck Anderson

The optics, while a sign of change, don’t point to any change in the status quo

In June 2013, Cheerios aired its usual family-friendly commercial where a cherub-faced little girl approaches her mother in the kitchen and asks, “Dad says Cheerios is good for your heart. Is that true?” What should have been a heartwarming ad about an everyday American family quickly attracted a firestorm of controversy. Why? This commercial depicted an interracial family consisting of a Black father, white mother and a mixed-race child.

Over the last five years, these portrayals of interracial relationships are so common that they often go unmarked. Yet, even though there is more diversity of different kinds of pairings – multiethnic, non-monogamous, queer – the optics are just one part of the story. Are depictions of interracial unions and by extension, mixed-race and biracial children, a sign of racial progress?

The answer isn’t as clear-cut as one might think. Hollywood has been wrestling with how to best reflect the representation and nuances of Black-white interracial unions with varying results. The critiques and conversations surrounding Black-white interracial relationships have evolved beyond just the visual representation to how filmmakers and TV showrunners choose to depict these unions. Are interracial couples rather than strictly monoracial, Black ones being presented because they’re more palatable to mainstream audiences? Do biracial, particularly light-skinned children, reinforce colorism? These are some of the concerns as the proliferation of interracial couplings continues to spread across media…

Read the entire article here.

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The Privilege of Racial Identity

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2022-05-20 15:53Z by Steven

The Privilege of Racial Identity

The Spectator: The University of Wisconsin-Eau-Claire’s Student Newspaper Since 1923
2022-04-28

Kiara Jackson

I can’t, nor will I ever speak for all mixed-race people, because every story is different. Every story has its own challenges. But, I can try to speak for myself.

Mixed people do not owe anyone an explanation for their Blackness.

No one gets to decide their race. But most people get the privilege to say “I’m Black,” or “I’m Native Hawaiian.” They get the privilege of knowing exactly where they come from, exactly what to tell people when asked and exactly what bubble to fill in on standardized tests.

They get the privilege of racial identity.

Being mixed, you don’t get this same privilege. I can’t, nor will I ever speak for all mixed-race people, because every story is different. Every story has its own challenges. But, I can try to speak for myself…

Read the entire article here.

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Why Not Pass?

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2022-05-20 15:21Z by Steven

Why Not Pass?

Yes!
2022-05-18

Gila K. Berryman

Illustration by Fran Murphy/YES! Media

The Vanishing Half” deals with the theme of racial “passing” in the 1950s. Passing is different today, but still presents a choice between safety and authenticity

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett was one of the most popular novels of the last few years—a bestseller on multiple “best book” lists. The story begins in 1954, when identical twins Stella and Desiree, aged 16, run away from home and their Southern town of light-skinned Black folks. In a year, the twins will go their separate ways, “their lives splitting as evenly as their shared egg,” when Stella crosses over to pass as White—she disappears, marries her White employer, and doesn’t look back.

American Whiteness exacts a high price in exchange for its safety and privilege. In order to pass, Stella severs every connection to her previous life so she can hide her true identity, even from her husband. As a result, she can never completely let her guard down around White people, and she refuses to have anything to do with Black people for fear that they might recognize some vestige of her Blackness…

Read the entire article here.

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