#CMRS2021 Conference

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States on 2020-02-01 17:52Z by Steven

#CMRS2021 Conference

2021 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference
Arizona State University
Memorial Union
301 E. Orange Street
Tempe, Arizona 85281
2021-02-26 through 2021-02-28

Critical Mixed Race Studies Association
2020-02-01

Join CMRS scholars, artists, activists, students, clinicians, and community members at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, from February 26 – 28, 2021. We will gather under the theme of Ancestral Futurisms.

Conference Theme: Ancestral Futurisms: Embodying Multiracialities Past, Present, and Future

Keynote Speaker: Aisha Fukushima, public speaker, educator, singer, and ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist)

The issue of time has long been debated in mixed-race studies. Racist histories of anti-intermixture, anti-miscegenation, and the illegality–and at times, the selective acceptance–of interracial marriage and unions are not simply components of our collective past but continue to motivate cultural producers, theorists, and community organizers to imagine more just futures. For those of us who think, teach, and organize around multiraciality, the issue of time remains an important one to consider. The 6th Critical Mixed Race Studies conference listens to the past as it gathers under the theme “Ancestral Futurisms” in order to bind alternative histories of multiraciality with their reimagined futures. In doing so, we concentrate on the embodiment of multiplicity and the pursuit of social justice. By challenging past conceptions of multiraciality dictated by white supremacy, we seek to decolonize the politics of multiracialism by producing new practices and radical hope. The goal of our convening is to build and imagine intersectional counterspaces that foster community and collective action among artists, community members, students, clinicians, and academics invested in the critical field of mixed race studies. By moving the conference to Arizona, we seek to engage the Southwest borderlands as an Indigenous space that has been contested through migrations and racial encounters…


The sixth biennial CMRS conference will be held in the Southwest!

For more information, click here.

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Enemies in Love: A German POW, a Black Nurse, and an Unlikely Romance

Posted in Biography, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2019-02-10 22:57Z by Steven

Enemies in Love: A German POW, a Black Nurse, and an Unlikely Romance

The New Press
May 2018
288 pages
5½ x 8¼
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-62097-186-4

Alexis Clark, Adjunct Faculty
Columbia Journalism School, New York, New York

Enemies in Love

A true and deeply moving narrative of forbidden love during World War II and a shocking, hidden history of race on the home front

This is a love story like no other: Elinor Powell was an African American nurse in the U.S. military during World War II; Frederick Albert was a soldier in Hitler’s army, captured by the Allies and shipped to a prisoner-of-war camp in the Arizona desert. Like most other black nurses, Elinor pulled a second-class assignment, in a dusty, sun-baked—and segregated—Western town. The army figured that the risk of fraternization between black nurses and white German POWs was almost nil.

Brought together by unlikely circumstances in a racist world, Elinor and Frederick should have been bitter enemies; but instead, at the height of World War II, they fell in love. Their dramatic story was unearthed by journalist Alexis Clark, who through years of interviews and historical research has pieced together an astounding narrative of race and true love in the cauldron of war.

Based on a New York Times story by Clark that drew national attention, Enemies in Love paints a tableau of dreams deferred and of love struggling to survive, twenty-five years before the Supreme Court’s Loving decision legalizing mixed-race marriage—revealing the surprising possibilities for human connection during one of history’s most violent conflicts.

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Valley of the Guns: The Pleasant Valley War and the Trauma of Violence

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2019-01-22 21:27Z by Steven

Valley of the Guns: The Pleasant Valley War and the Trauma of Violence

University of Oklahoma Press
October 2018
312 Pages
10 b&w illus., 3 maps, 2 tables, 2 charts
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8061-6154-9
Kindle ISBN: 978-0-8061-6251-5
e-pub ISBN: 978-0-8061-6252-2

Eduardo Obregón Pagán, Bob Stump Endowed Professor of History
Arizona State University, Tempe

In the late 1880s, Pleasant Valley, Arizona, descended into a nightmare of violence, murder, and mayhem. By the time the Pleasant Valley War was over, eighteen men were dead, four were wounded, and one was missing, never to be found. Valley of the Guns explores the reasons for the violence that engulfed the settlement, turning neighbors, families, and friends against one another.

While popular historians and novelists have long been captivated by the story, the Pleasant Valley War has more recently attracted the attention of scholars interested in examining the underlying causes of western violence. In this book, author Eduardo Obregón Pagán explores how geography and demographics aligned to create an unstable settlement subject to the constant threat of Apache raids. The fear of surprise attack by day and the theft of livestock by night prompted settlers to shape their lives around the expectation of sudden violence.

As the forces of progress strained natural resources, conflict grew between local ranchers and cowboys hired by ranching corporations. Mixed-race property owners found themselves fighting white cowboys to keep their land. In addition, territorial law enforcement officers were outsiders to the community and approached every suspect fully armed and ready to shoot. The combination of unrelenting danger, its accompanying stress, and an abundance of firearms proved deadly.

Drawing from history, geography, cultural studies, and trauma studies, Pagán uses the story of Pleasant Valley to demonstrate a new way of looking at the settlement of the West. Writing in a vivid narrative style and employing rigorous scholarship, he creatively explores the role of trauma in shaping the lives and decisions of the settlers in Pleasant Valley and offers new insight into the difficulties of survival in an isolated frontier community.

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ASU student explores how parents in multi-racial families communicate about race

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Social Work, United States on 2017-11-27 00:34Z by Steven

ASU student explores how parents in multi-racial families communicate about race

ASU Now
Arizona State University
2017-10-27


ASU doctoral student Annabelle Atkin

It’s First Friday at the Children’s Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. Amid the kids exploring giant bubbles, a kiddie car wash, and a paint maze, there is an 8×4 folding table with a red tablecloth draped over it. Behind the table sits the smiling face of Annabelle Atkin, a doctoral student at the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. An assortment of children’s books featuring characters with diverse racial backgrounds is spread before her. To her right is a colorful poster describing her multiracial families project.

Atkin is working on recruiting multi-racial families for her research. She is exploring how parents of multi-racial families communicate with their children about race, as well as the effects those conversations have on their children’s racial identity and development. Her excitement and interest in this topic shines through when she talks about the families she’s met so far…

Read the entire article here.

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As A Black Native American, Arizona Woman Had To Prove She Was ‘Native Enough’

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2017-03-09 19:44Z by Steven

As A Black Native American, Arizona Woman Had To Prove She Was ‘Native Enough’

KJZZ 91.5 FM
Phoenix, Arizona
2017-03-06

Naomi Gingold, Weekend Morning Host


Roicia Banks with her mom on the day she graduated from her master’s program. Today Banks is confident in her self-identity, proudly African-American and Native American.
(Photo courtesy of Roicia Banks)

Roicia Banks went to graduate school in Texas, and when she was there, people said to her, “Natives still are alive?”

Natives, as in Native Americans.

Laughing, she continued, “Are you kidding me? Yes, we’re alive.”

Banks, who is from Arizona, is undeniably a modern American woman. She is also Native American.

And although — until the Dakota Access Pipeline protests — Native Americans as a modern people rarely graced the national headlines or broke into the modern American psyche, many do lead lives, on and off reservations.

Banks grew up primarily on a reservation. She’s culturally Hopi and registered in a tribe — just a different one than her adopted family. But although she was entirely brought up in Hopi culture, even on the reservation, there were times where she was treated as if she didn’t belong…

Read the entire story here. Listen to the story (00:03:37) here. Download the story here.

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50 years ago: Tucson couple broke down barriers to interracial marriage

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-11-05 01:51Z by Steven

50 years ago: Tucson couple broke down barriers to interracial marriage

Arizona Capital Times
2009-11-01

Luige del Puerto

Henry Oyama was beaming as he led his new bride from the altar of St. Augustine Cathedral in Tucson 50 years ago. She was wearing a traditional white wedding dress, and her left hand was grasping the right arm of her man.

The photos taken that day might leave the impression nothing was out of place, as if it was any other marriage ceremony. But in 1959 the country was on the brink of a major cultural shift to eliminate racism, and the Oyamas had just fought a landmark court battle to overturn an Arizona law that prohibited interracial marriage.

Because Henry Oyama is of Japanese descent and Mary Ann Jordan was white, together they broke down the race-based law that was intended to keep them apart.

The law itself made it illegal for a Caucasian to marry a non- Caucasian, so Oyama felt the onus was on the white person who wanted to marry someone of another race.

“Naturally, the criticism would come more to her,” Oyama said, adding that Mary Ann’s parents believed at the time that their daughter was making herself a target.

The 83-year-old Oyama knows better than most what it’s like to be a target. He spent two years in an internment camp at the beginning of World War II, and he later served the United States as a spy in Panama

Read the entire article here.

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Sanctioning Matrimony: Interethnic Marriage in the Arizona Borderlands

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-04-05 02:48Z by Steven

Sanctioning Matrimony: Interethnic Marriage in the Arizona Borderlands

University of Arizona Press
2016-03-31
256 pages
6.00 x 9.00
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8165-3237-7

Sal Acosta, Assistant Professor of History
Fordham University

A new look at race and ethnicity in the borderlands

Marriage, divorce, birth, baptism, and census records are the essential records of a community. Through them we see who marries, who divorces, and how many children are born. Sal Acosdta has studied a broad base of these vital records to produce the largest quantitative study of intermarriage of any group in the West. Sanctioning Matrimony examines intermarriage in the Tucson area between 1860 and 1930. Unlike previous studies on intermarriage, this book examines not only intermarriages of Mexicans with whites but also their unions with blacks and Chinese.

Following the Treaty of Mesilla (1853), interethnic relationships played a significant part in the Southwest. Acosta provides previously unseen archival research on the scope and tenor of interracial marriages in Arizona. Contending that scholarship on intermarriage has focused on the upper classes, Acosta takes us into the world of the working and lower classes and illuminates how church and state shaped the behavior of participants in interracial unions.

Marriage practices in Tucson reveal that Mexican women were pivotal in shaping family and social life between 1854 and 1930. Virtually all intermarriages before 1900 were, according to Acosta, between Mexican women and white men, or between Mexican women and blacks or Chinese until the 1920s, illustrating the importance of these women during the transformation of Tucson from a Mexican pueblo to an American town.

Acosta’s deep analysis of vital records, census data, and miscegenation laws in Arizona demonstrates how interethnic relationships benefited from and extended the racial fluidity of the Arizona borderlands.

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Tries to Marry Quadroon

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2013-04-28 22:54Z by Steven

Tries to Marry Quadroon

Los Angeles Herald
Volume 35, Number 31 (1907-11-02)
page 2, column 6
Source: California Digital Newspaper Collection

By Associated Press

YUMA, Ariz,, Nov. 1-M. G. Graff, aged 21 years, white, of Riverside, Cal., and Addle Burkhart, aged 20, were refused the office of marriage by Probate Judge Godfrey here today and the license issued them was destroyed on the girl’s confession that she is a quadroon.

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Through in-depth comparative analysis of interviews, we identified three major stressors impacting the identity development of the mixed Mexican participants

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2013-03-08 09:30Z by Steven

Through in-depth comparative analysis of interviews, we identified three major stressors impacting the identity development of the mixed Mexican participants: monoracism, cultural distance, and pressure to authenticate one’s ethnic or racial membership. These challenges precipitated feelings of confusion, isolation, and exclusion. Participants described negative experiences embedded in monoracism or discrimination and pressure from peers as well as family members to identify with only one race or ethnic group. This ranged from getting inquisitive looks because of one’s ethnic ambiguous appearance (i.e., ‘‘What are you?’’) to being denied choice and forced to identify under a certain monoracial label (i.e., ‘‘You’re not Mexican!’’). In addition, we found that mixed minority participants (i.e., Mexican and Black) were frequent victims of interethnic and intraracial discrimination within their own families. This created numerous tensions within and between families and left participants feeling confused and hurt. Participants described getting harassed or ostracized by family members because of their physical appearance, which evidenced their connection to a different ethnic minority heritage. For example, Cierra, who is of mixed Mexican and White heritage, described how her mother frequently harassed her because of her dark skin complexion, which contributed to her overall negative self-image.

First real impacting negative self-image. I’m very excited to see my new baby brother, and I remember thinking how beautiful my mother (of Mexican ethnicity) looked holding this infant, almost like the Madonna and child, and as I tiptoed up to her, and I have to stand on my toes to look at my baby brother and I want to give him a kiss, and she pushes me away and tells me, ‘‘I hate you! You’re so ugly! You’re so dark and ugly!’’ So first impact, BAMB! (Cierra, Mexican and White).

Kelly F. Jackson, Thera Wolven and Kimberly Aguilera, “Mixed Resilience: A Study of Multiethnic Mexican American Stress and Coping in Arizona,” Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, Volume 62, Issue 1. (February 2013): 217. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2012.00755.x.

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In Arizona, Censoring Questions About Race

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-04-02 15:41Z by Steven

In Arizona, Censoring Questions About Race

The New York Times
2012-04-01

Linda Martín Alcoff, Professor of Philosophy
Hunter College, City University of New York

In recent weeks, the state of Arizona has intensified its attack in its schools on an entire branch of study — critical race theory. Books and literature that, in the state’s view, meet that definition have been said to violate a provision in the state’s law that prohibits lessons “promoting racial resentment.” Officials are currently bringing to bear all their influence in the public school curriculum, going so far as to enter classrooms to confiscate books and other materials and to oversee what can be taught.  After decades of debate over whether we might be able to curtail ever so slightly the proliferation of violent pornography, the censors have managed a quick and thorough coup over educational materials in ethnic studies.

I have been teaching critical race theory for almost 20 years. The phrase signifies quite a sophisticated concept for this crowd to wield, coined as it was by a consortium of theorists across several disciplines to signify the new cutting edge scholarship about race. Why not simply call it “scholarship about race,” you might ask? Because, as the censors might be surprised to find, these theorists want to leave open the question of what race is — if there is such a thing — rather than assuming it as a natural object of inquiry. Far from championing a single-minded program for the purpose of propaganda, the point of critical race theory is to formulate questions about race.

Arizona’s House Bill 2281, which was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in May 2010, does not actually mention critical race theory, but the term has been all over the press with a “damning” image from 1990 of Barack Obama, then a Harvard law school student, hugging the law professor Derrick Bell, one of the field’s founders. State Superintendent Tom Horne devised the bill particularly to put a stop to what he describes as the “racist propaganda” of critical race theory, and now other conservatives are sounding the call against what they say is a “deeply disturbing theory.” Perhaps the negative publicity recently produced by the Republican stance on contraception has the party looking for a new target to shore up the base.

What the bill does say may sound to some ears as reasonable. It prohibits courses that “promote resentment toward a race or class of people,” that “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals,” or that are “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.”  The reality, of course, is that ethnic studies teachers are constantly trying to get students from multiple backgrounds in our classes, and many of us have even endeavored to make these courses required for all. But the other two issues raised by the bill, concerning “resentment” and “ethnic solidarity,” are a bit more complicated…

…Yet those who believe that critical race theory aims to produce ethnic or racial “solidarity” may be surprised to find that most critical race theorists have some skepticism about the existence of race. In this they simply follow the anthropology profession, which declared some 50 years ago that the concept of race is an illusion. In a paper published in 1963, S. L. Washburn, the president of the American Anthropological Association, referred to the concept of race as “an antiquated biological notion.” He and others argued that there is simply no global coherency or consistent social practice in regard to the concept of race, and that the biological status of the term was a sham produced by suspect scientific methods. Character traits we associate with races, including intelligence, are produced, not found. Dividing people by race, others explained, was like identifying slides by the box they came in.

Many people who are familiar with the debates over racism — over its causes, its nature and its solution — may be unaware that the very category of race has been debated for decades, not only among anthropologists but also among biologists, sociologists, social psychologists and even philosophers. Human beings share over 99 percent of our genes across racial groups, and no single gene accounts for anything physical other than eye color, a rather insignificant attribute. Diseases often associated with racial groups are found in other groups, thus making them more likely to be the result of reproductive patterns than some biological foundation. If siblings — who share the largest amount of DNA — can be identified as being of different races because of the way they look (as is common in Latin America and in my own family), how can race be biological? There just is no clear cut way to map our social classifications of race onto a meaningful biological category. Debates today concern how to explain the historical development of the physical traits we associate with races, but nobody with any standing believes that the racial groups named in the Great Chain of Being actually exist. In short, scholars have become quite critical of the concept of race…

Read the entire article here.

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