Defining Métis: Catholic Missionaries and the Idea of Civilization in Northwestern Saskatchewan, 1845–1898

Posted in Books, Canada, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion on 2017-05-18 01:27Z by Steven

Defining Métis: Catholic Missionaries and the Idea of Civilization in Northwestern Saskatchewan, 1845–1898

University of Manitoba Press
April 2017
240 pages
6 × 9
Paper ISBN: 978-0-88755-774-3

Timothy P. Foran, Curator of British North America
Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, Quebec

Defining Métis examines categories used in the latter half of the nineteenth century by Catholic missionaries to describe Indigenous people in what is now northwestern Saskatchewan. It argues that the construction and evolution of these categories reflected missionaries’ changing interests and agendas.

Defining Métis sheds light on the earliest phases of Catholic missionary work among Indigenous peoples in western and northern Canada. It examines various interrelated aspects of this work, including the beginnings of residential schooling, transportation and communications, and relations between the Church, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the federal government.

While focusing on the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and their central mission at Île-à-la-Crosse, this study illuminates broad processes that informed Catholic missionary perceptions and impelled their evolution over a fifty-three-year period. In particular, this study illuminates processes that shaped Oblate conceptions of sauvage and métis. It does this through a qualitative analysis of documents that were produced within the Oblates’ institutional apparatus—official correspondence, mission journals, registers, and published reports.

Foran challenges the orthodox notion that Oblate commentators simply discovered and described a singular, empirically existing, and readily identifiable Métis population. Rather, he contends that Oblates played an important role in the conceptual production of les métis.

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Commentary: Puerto Rican: If you’re a shade darker, you face discrimination

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2017-05-18 01:11Z by Steven

Commentary: Puerto Rican: If you’re a shade darker, you face discrimination

Orlando Sentinel
2017-05-04

Pura Delgado
Orlando, Florida


In Miami, the Rev. Alphonso Jackson, left, from the Second Baptist Church and the Rev. Jeremy Upton from Refuge Church explain to children why state Sen. Frank Artiles resigned from the Florida Senate. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

State Sen. Frank Artiles, a Miami Republican, apologized recently for racist comments toward African-American lawmakers. It was offensive and disheartening that we now have lawmakers freely speaking to colleagues using such disgusting words. Artiles had the nerve to dismiss his racist and sexist conduct to partisan motives: He was not happy because his bills weren’t moving, and he thought that because his community is diverse that gives him the right to insult and degrade.

Artiles apologized on the Senate floor and later resigned. We can only hope that his apology was sincere…

Read the entire article here.

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Too pretty to play? Stephen Curry and the light-skinned black athlete

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2017-05-17 02:16Z by Steven

Too pretty to play? Stephen Curry and the light-skinned black athlete

The Conversation
2017-04-30

Ronald Hall, Professor of Social Work
Michigan State University


Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry walks off the court after a game against the Denver Nuggets in February. USA Today Sports/Reuters

During a recent interview, Golden State Warriors Draymond Green discussed why players around the league have long doubted or dismissed the talents of his superstar teammate, Stephen Curry. But it was Green’s last point, mentioned almost as an aside – “And of course, Steph is light-skinned so [players] want to make him out to be soft” – that got the most attention.

To white Americans, the relationship between skin color and toughness or masculinity might not be obvious. They might associate skin color with race or with attractiveness. But toughness? Not so much.

My first book, published in 1992, referred to skin color as “The Last Taboo Among African Americans.” It explored how African-Americans, within their community, grapple with prejudices that stem from their various shades of skin colors. If you’re black, depending on the shade of your skin, other black people might think of you as “high yella” or “red-boned,” a “white wanna-be” or just not “black enough.”…

..After the first African slaves arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, a population of mixed-race blacks emerged. Their masters and fellow slaves celebrated their exotic features – not quite African, but not exactly white. The women were called “fancy girls” and paraded at quadroon balls, events for wealthy white men to meet and mingle with them. Lighter-skinned black men, meanwhile, were dubbed “run ‘round men” because, with their fairer skin, they could supposedly have their pick of any woman in the black community…

Read the entire article here.

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Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, Symbols and Hope

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-05-17 01:47Z by Steven

Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, Symbols and Hope

Manchester University Press
160 pages
June 2017
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-5261-0501-1
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-5261-0502-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-5261-0503-5

Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Emory University, Atlanta Georgia

  • Employs a novel comparative analysis of the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations to determine if Obama’s performance on racial issues differed significantly from his immediate predecessors
  • Does distinct analyses of Barack Obama’s performance on substantive and symbolic issues of importance to African Americans
  • Uses a commissioned public opinion data set of black voters to probe attitudes toward President Obama and explanations for his performance on racial issues
  • Encourages readers to consider the ways that institutional constraints on the presidency and candidates’ campaign choices limit the role of the president to address racial issues

The election of Barack Obama marked a critical point in American political and social history. Did the historic election of a black president actually change the status of blacks in the United States? Did these changes (or lack thereof) inform blacks’ perceptions of the President?

This book explores these questions by comparing Obama’s promotion of substantive and symbolic initiatives for blacks to efforts by the two previous presidential administrations. By employing a comparative analysis, the reader can judge whether Obama did more or less to promote black interests than his predecessors. Taking a more empirical approach to judging Barack Obama, this book hopes to contribute to current debates about the significance of the first African American presidency. It takes care to make distinctions between Obama’s substantive and symbolic accomplishments and to explore the significance of both.

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The Future Is Mixed Race

Posted in Audio, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Interviews, Media Archive on 2017-05-17 01:41Z by Steven

The Future Is Mixed Race

Inside Higher Ed
Academic Minute
2017-05-16

Lynn Pasquerella, Host and President
Association of American Colleges & Universities

Today on the Academic Minute, Scott Solomon, professor of biosciences at Rice University, delves into gene flow and how globalization and mixed-race children could hold a key to our future.

Are human beings a finished product? In today’s Academic Minute, Rice University’s Scott Solomon delves into gene flow and how globalization and mixed-race children could hold a key to our future. Solomon is a professor of biosciences at Rice. A transcript of this podcast can be found here.

Download the episode (00:02:29) here.

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Red and Yellow, Black and Brown: Decentering Whiteness in Mixed Race Studies

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2017-05-17 01:28Z by Steven

Red and Yellow, Black and Brown: Decentering Whiteness in Mixed Race Studies

Rutgers University Press
304 pages
2017-06-09
13 photographs, 4 tables, 6 x 9
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8135-8730-1
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8135-8731-8

Edited by:

Joanne L. Rondilla, Program lecturer in Asian Pacific American Studies
School of Social Transformation
Arizona State University, Tempe

Rudy P. Guevarra, Jr., Associate Professor of Asian American Studies
Arizona State University

Paul Spickard, Professor of History; Professor of Asian American Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Red and Yellow, Black and Brown gathers together life stories and analysis by twelve contributors who express and seek to understand the often very different dynamics that exist for mixed race people who are not part white. The chapters focus on the social, psychological, and political situations of mixed race people who have links to two or more peoples of color— Chinese and Mexican, Asian and Black, Native American and African American, South Asian and Filipino, Black and Latino/a and so on. Red and Yellow, Black and Brown addresses questions surrounding the meanings and communication of racial identities in dual or multiple minority situations and the editors highlight the theoretical implications of this fresh approach to racial studies.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction: About Mixed Race, Not About Whiteness / Paul Spickard, Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., Joanne L. Rondilla
  • Part I. Identity Journeys
    • Chapter 2. Rising Sun, Rising Soul: On Mixed Race Asian Identity That Includes Blackness / Velina Hasu Houston
    • Chapter 3. Blackapina / Janet C. Mendoza Stickmon
  • Part II. Multiple Minority Marriage and Parenting
    • Chapter 4. Intermarriage and the Making of a Multicultural Society in the Baja California Borderlands / Verónica Castillo-Muñoz
    • Chapter 5. Cross-Racial Minority Intermarriage: Mutual Marginalization and Critique / Jessica Vasquez-Tokos
    • Chapter 6. Parental Racial Socialization: A Glimpse into the Racial Socialization Process as It Occurs in a Dual-Minority Multiracial Family / Cristina M. Ortiz
  • Part III. Mixed Identity and Monoracial Belonging
    • Chapter 7. Being Mixed Race in the Makah Nation: Redeeming the Existence of African-Native Americans / Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly
    • Chapter 8. “You’re Not Black or Mexican Enough!” Policing Racial/Ethnic Authenticity among Blaxicans in the US / Rebecca Romo
  • Part IV. Asian Connections
    • Chapter 9 Bumbay in the Bay: The Struggle for Indipino Identity in San Francisco / Maharaj Raju Desai
    • Chapter 10. Hyper-visibility and Invisibility of Female Haafu Models in Japanese Beauty Culture / Kaori Mori Want
    • Chapter 11. Checking “Other” Twice: Transnational Dual Minorities / Lily Anne Y. Welty Tamai
  • Part V. Reflections
    • Chapter 12. Neanderthal-Human Hybridity and the Frontier of Critical Mixed Race Studies / Terence Keel
    • Chapter 13. Epilogue: Expanding the Terrain of Mixed Race Studies: What We Learn from the Study of NonWhite Multiracials / Nitasha Tamar Sharma
  • Bibliography
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index
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Shaping a child’s race identity: Black, white, or other?

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-05-17 01:28Z by Steven

Shaping a child’s race identity: Black, white, or other?

Chinook Observer
Long Beach, Washington
2017-05-09

Ruth Elaine Jutila Chamberlin


Lindsay Chamberlin was photographed near the time of her adoption. FAMILY PHOTO

We sat in straight chairs, waiting to meet our daughter. Burt held Jordan, age two, and Jamie, 13 months, while I jittered solo, eager to hold the baby. “Eager” doesn’t come close. I was afire. Atingle!

Here’s what we knew (no photos available): Eight months old. African-American/Irish-American. Foster child, next county. We wanted her! But were we, a white couple, the right parents for this child? Adoption workers would watch us interact with the baby and decide, yes or no.

The caseworker came in, carrying Lindsey (we’d already named her, hoping to adopt her). I was stunned! My imaginary Lindsey was a shy, pint-sized, brown-skinned baby. The real one was big for her age, light-skinned, calm, and forceful.

Lindsey was in charge of the meeting. She shot us piercing looks. Dear child! First she lost her birthmom, her familiar voice and heart rhythms. Lindsey grieved. Another mom took her. Everything changed. Lindsey grieved more. But she was brave. She learned to roll over, sit and creep, eat solid food, looking to that mom for praise and safety. Now SHE’S gone? NOT FAIR! No one asked ME!…

Read the entire article here.

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Black for a Day: White Fantasies of Race and Empathy

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States on 2017-05-15 00:05Z by Steven

Black for a Day: White Fantasies of Race and Empathy

University of North Carolina Press
May 2017
230 pages
6.125 x 9.25, 12 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3283-4
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3282-7
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3284-1

Alisha Gaines, Assistant Professor of English
Florida State University

In 1948, journalist Ray Sprigle traded his whiteness to live as a black man for four weeks. A little over a decade later, John Howard Griffin famously “became” black as well, traveling the American South in search of a certain kind of racial understanding. Contemporary history is littered with the surprisingly complex stories of white people passing as black, and here Alisha Gaines constructs a unique genealogy of “empathetic racial impersonation”–white liberals walking in the fantasy of black skin under the alibi of cross-racial empathy. At the end of their experiments in “blackness,” Gaines argues, these debatably well-meaning white impersonators arrived at little more than false consciousness.

Complicating the histories of black-to-white passing and blackface minstrelsy, Gaines uses an interdisciplinary approach rooted in literary studies, race theory, and cultural studies to reveal these sometimes maddening, and often absurd, experiments of racial impersonation. By examining this history of modern racial impersonation, Gaines shows that there was, and still is, a faulty cultural logic that places enormous faith in the idea that empathy is all that white Americans need to make a significant difference in how to racially navigate our society.

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Samosa Caucus: Indian Americans in US Congress are emerging as a power bloc

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2017-05-14 22:41Z by Steven

Samosa Caucus: Indian Americans in US Congress are emerging as a power bloc

Hindustan Times
New Delhi, India
2017-05-14

Yashwant Raj, U.S. Correspondent


Potentially presidential: Congresswoman Kamala Harris. (File photo)

A new power bloc rises in the US. Can an Indian American some day be president of the United States?

As the young Congressman peered intently at the faces of Indian Americans around him in a small, crowded hall inside the Indian embassy in downtown DC, he felt a rush of emotion; he felt beholden to them. “I stand on your shoulders to be in the United States Congress,” he said, tapping the podium, as was his habit, with his pen. “Please visit me in our office; my office is your office, and anything you need on any issue, you come to us and we will help you. Pramila, me, Ami, Ro and everyone else – we are at your service.” He calls them the “Samosa Caucus”.

That was Raja Krishnamurthi, one of five Indian Americans elected to the US Congress that started its 115th two-year term in 2017. The three he mentioned by their first names were Pramila Jayapal, Ami Bera and Ro Khanna – all elected to the House of Representatives – and Kamala Harris, the one he missed, is the fifth of the group and the first American of Indian descent elected to the Senate.

They are all Democrats, relatively young – with Bera, Harris and Jayapal the oldest, at 51 – and brimming with hope, plans and ambition. They made history in the past election by winning in record numbers. They are now caucusing as a group in the US legislature in the tradition of India Caucus, the Black Caucus and various other groupings, which, however, are officially recognised as such.

The Samosa Caucus is not there yet, but a beginning has been made…

Read the entire article here.

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Youth and Empire: Trans-Colonial Childhoods in British and French Asia by David Pomfret (review)

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive on 2017-05-14 22:16Z by Steven

Youth and Empire: Trans-Colonial Childhoods in British and French Asia by David Pomfret (review)

The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth
Volume 10, Number 2, Spring 2017
pages 271-273

Molly J. Giblin, Instructor
University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee

Youth and Empire: Trans-Colonial Childhoods in British and French Asia.
By David Pomfret.
Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015. 416pp. Cloth $65.

While colonial cities like Singapore, Hong Kong, Saigon, and Hanoi were home to relatively small numbers of Europeans in comparison to the settler colonies of Algeria, Australia, or New Zealand, David Pomfret’s Youth and Empire argues that childhood in these spaces served as a touchstone upon which regimes of race and hierarchies of power were negotiated. Pomfret’s sociocultural history explores the role of childhood in British and French colonial urban centers in Asia. Because youth epitomized both the physical and figurative vulnerability of Europeans in the tropics, attempts to regulate childhood mirrored the efforts of French and British colonial authorities to safeguard the future of a European project in the East. Colonial subjects used childhood, children, and child-rearing to delineate boundaries of identity, thus bringing together everyday life and high-level policymaking.

Pomfret builds upon work by such scholars as Ann Laura Stoler, Elizabeth Buettner, Julia Clancy Smith, and Frances Gouda, who have articulated how imperial authority pivoted around constellations of sex, gender, domesticity, and the family. He unites the children of the colonized and of colonizers within a single but capacious analytical framework that allows him to contrast the productive (but potentially dangerous) malleability of the European child with the perpetual infantilization of Asian colonial subjects. Pomfret examines how childhood itself was at the fulcrum of the European colonial project in Asia because it worked in tandem with parallel hierarchies of race, gender, and civilization. The scope of the project—stretching between two empires and across spaces within them—creates a challenge that Pomfret rises to meet. He recognizes that conceptions of childhood were constructed and shifting within Europe as well as in its overseas territories. Nonetheless, he manages to draw broad conclusions across imperial lines while pointing to moments of divergence, showing how local cultures weighed differently upon the demands of colonial prestige, expectations of age, and racial seclusion. In an anthropologically informed argument, he demonstrates that confluences in policy and perception were due in part to cross-cultural perceptions of youth, but more importantly, grew out of pan-imperial conversations about whiteness, race, and cultural hygiene.

Pomfret’s wide-ranging study is based upon artful readings of published and archival sources that span the globe and two centuries of colonial history. Because Pomfret evaluates childhood from the standpoint of colonial management, potential paths of inquiry remain somewhat underdeveloped. Perhaps due to constraints of language, most of Pomfret’s historical informants are European. He demonstrates that “local pressures ensured that colonial childhoods developed quite different meanings and parameters on the ground” (53). However, such pressures seem to be grounded in administrative exigencies or national prejudices. What of indigenous ones? While he does attempt to draw indigenous voices out of European sources and is alert to trans-racial physical and emotional connections expressed within them, only in the last third of the book does the reader encounter substantive discussions of any of the non-European participants involved in ordering childhood. Though he refers many times to interaction with Asian wives, amahs, wet nurses, students, and medical practitioners, they are for the most part spectral, serving as foils against which the subjectivities of European childhood were assembled. His sophisticated analysis of the twin discourses of childhood and infantilization becomes somewhat muted by too-neat distinctions between early assimilationist and later associationist French policy, and he overly insists on the pervasiveness of the “decivilizing” critiques that Europeans leveled against Chinese in the nineteenth century (28). Moreover, Pomfret’s tendency to ventriloquize Asian responses risks replicating the discourses that he claims to analyze. Likewise, Pomfret’s multicentered approach shows how people and ideas moved across imperial spaces. Yet he does not linger upon existing codes of kinship (Confucian and otherwise) that would likely have coexisted in the multiethnic cities of Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Pomfret does touch upon widespread European ideas about the antiquity of East Asian cultures. However, he argues, that narrative contributed to an emphasis on how cultural failings (such as a lack of…

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