Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2019-04-10 16:29Z by Steven

Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race

New York University Press
May 2019
320 pages
16 black and white illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 9781479878611
Paper ISBN: 9781479831456

Chinyere K. Osuji, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden

How interracial couples in Brazil and the US navigate racial boundaries

How do people understand and navigate being married to a person of a different race? Based on individual interviews with forty-seven black-white couples in two large, multicultural cities—Los Angeles and Rio de JaneiroBoundaries of Love explores how partners in these relationships ultimately reproduce, negotiate, and challenge the “us” versus “them” mentality of ethno-racial boundaries.

By centering marriage, Chinyere Osuji reveals the family as a primary site for understanding the social construction of race. She challenges the naive but widespread belief that interracial couples and their children provide an antidote to racism in the twenty-first century, instead highlighting the complexities and contradictions of these relationships. Featuring black husbands with white wives as well as black wives with white husbands, Boundaries of Love sheds light on the role of gender in navigating life married to a person of a different color.

Osuji compares black-white couples in Brazil and the United States, the two most populous post–slavery societies in the Western hemisphere. These settings, she argues, reveal the impact of contemporary race mixture on racial hierarchies and racial ideologies, both old and new.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leitner Human Rights Speaker Series: Chinyere Osuji, Rutgers University – cosponsored with the Center on Race, Law and Justice – Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race in Brazil and the United States

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2019-04-08 19:04Z by Steven

Leitner Human Rights Speaker Series: Chinyere Osuji, Rutgers University – cosponsored with the Center on Race, Law and Justice – Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race in Brazil and the United States

Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham Law School
150 West 62nd Street
Room 3-09
New York, New York 10023
2019-04-09, 12:30-13:30 EDT (Local Time)
Contact: leitnercenter@law.fordham.edu

Chinyere Osuji is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University with affiliations in Africana Studies and Latin American and Latino studies. Before coming to Rutgers-Camden, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Africana Studies.

Chinyere conducts research on the meaning that social actors give to racial and ethnic boundaries. Her first book, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race (April 2019, NYU Press) takes a novel approach to comparing race and ethnicity across societies by examining the experiences of interracial couples. Boundaries of Love relies on 103 qualitative interviews that she conducted with 52 black-white couples between 2008 and 2012 in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro (in Portuguese). Through using what she calls a critical constructionist approach, Boundaries of Love compares the experiences of couples involving black men and white women with those of black women with white men in these two diverse, multicultural settings. This book reveals how non-elites in these two post-Atlantic slavery societies employ cultural repertoires that push against, bridge over, blur, dismantle or reproduce ethnoracial boundaries.

Chinyere’s next project will employ the critical constructionist approach to nursing and healthcare. In addition, she will be examining the lives of African immigrants, focusing on how they form community without being spatially concentrated.

For more information, click here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Amreekiya: A Novel

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States, Women on 2019-02-23 21:52Z by Steven

Amreekiya: A Novel

University Press of Kentucky
2018-11-09
194 pages
6 x 9 in.
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8131-7637-6

Lena Mahmoud

Isra Shadi, a twenty-one-year-old woman of mixed Palestinian and white descent, lives in California with her paternal amu (uncle), amtu (aunt), and cousins after the death of her mother and abandonment by her father at a young age. Ever the outcast in her amu and amtu’s household, they eagerly encourage Isra to marry and leave. After rejecting a string of undesirable suitors, she marries Yusef, an old love from her past.

In Amreekiya, author Lena Mahmoud deftly juggles two storylines, alternating between Isra’s youth and her current life as a married twentysomething who is torn between cultures and trying to define herself. The chapters chronicle various moments in Isra’s narrative, including the volatile relationship of her parents and the trials and joys of forging a partnership with Yusef. Mahmoud also examines Isra’s first visit to Palestine, the effects of sexism, how language affects identity, and what it means to have a love that overcomes unbearable pain.

An exploration of womanhood from an underrepresented voice in American literature, Amreekiya is simultaneously unique and relatable. Featuring an authentic array of characters, Mahmoud’s first novel is a much-needed story in a divided world.

Tags: , ,

How My Southeast L.A. Culture Got to Japan

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2019-02-19 19:15Z by Steven

How My Southeast L.A. Culture Got to Japan

The New York Times
2019-02-19

Walter Thompson-Hernández

I grew up with Chicano and Chicana culture in Los Angeles and heard it had spread to Japan. I wondered: Is this cultural appropriation?

I grew up in southeast Los Angeles, the son of an African-American father and Mexican mother, and the concept of identity is a theme that has been central to my life and a thread that weaves through many of my stories. I heard a rumor that lowrider culture — a community with an affinity for cars, outfit with intricate designs, multicolored lights and heavily tinted windows that can be traced in Southern California to as far back as the 1940s — had traveled to Japan. Apparently a Japanese journalist came to Los Angeles in the early 1990s to cover a lowrider event and returned to Japan with photos and stories to share…

Read the story here and watch the video here.

Tags: , , , , ,

‘I am who I am’: Kamala Harris, daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, defines herself simply as ‘American’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2019-02-03 04:47Z by Steven

‘I am who I am’: Kamala Harris, daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, defines herself simply as ‘American’

The Washington Post
2019-02-02

Kevin Sullivan, Senior Correspondent


Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), center, sings the Alpha Kappa Alpha hymn at the sorority’s annual “Pink Ice Gala” on Jan. 25 in Columbia, S.C. (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg News)

SAN FRANCISCO — In early 2010, an Indian American couple hosted a fundraiser in their elegant Pacific Heights home for Kamala Harris, then a Democratic candidate for California attorney general.

Harris had been San Francisco’s high-profile district attorney for more than six years, but Deepak Puri and Shareen Punian had only recently learned that Harris was, as Punian said, “one of our peeps,” a woman whose mother was an Indian immigrant.

They had always assumed Harris was African American, and so did most of the 60 or 70 Indian American community leaders at the event, many of whom asked Puri and Punian why they had been invited.

“At least half of them didn’t know she was Indian,” said Punian, a business executive and political activist.

Harris, 54, now a U.S. senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, would be several firsts in the White House: the first woman, the first African American woman, the first Indian American and the first Asian American. The daughter of two immigrants — her father came from Jamaica — she would also be the second biracial president, after Barack Obama.

Obama’s soul-searching quest to explore his identity, as the son of a white mother from Kansas and a Kenyan father who was largely absent from his life, was well-documented in his autobiography.

But when asked, in an interview, if she had wrestled with similar introspection about race, ethnicity and identity, Harris didn’t hesitate:

“No,” she said flatly…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Inside Kamala Harris’s relationship with an Indian-American community eager to claim her

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2019-01-21 18:21Z by Steven

Inside Kamala Harris’s relationship with an Indian-American community eager to claim her

McClatchy: DC Bureau
2018-12-18

Katie Glueck, Senior Political Correspondent

Indian-American publications write about her regularly. Her first name means “lotus” in Sanskrit. She takes pride in grinding her own Indian spices. And she has been known to reference slogans that were used by Indian independence fighters like her grandfather.

If Kamala Devi Harris runs for president, the Democratic senator is poised to be championed by Indian-Americans, a constituency with significant representation in the donor community, growing numbers of political activists and candidates—and a sizable presence in states that will play key roles in the Democratic primary, from California to Texas.

“She will change the game if she runs for president,” said Anurag Varma, a Democratic donor who frequently supports Indian-American candidates and “absolutely” would back Harris. “She will create a new game if she becomes president.”…

Harris, of California, is the daughter of Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who was born in India, and Donald Harris, born in Jamaica. The senator identifies as both African-American and South Asian-American, according to her Senate website, which notes that she is the country’s first South Asian-American senator— a background that opens doors with a diverse set of voters….

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

More cities add Barack Obama’s name to landmarks, highways

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Virginia on 2019-01-19 05:12Z by Steven

More cities add Barack Obama’s name to landmarks, highways

USA TODAY
2019-01-13

Chris Woodyard, Los Angeles Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELESBarack Obama hasn’t been the president for nearly two years, but his fame is still spreading – at least when it comes to naming things after him.

The nation’s first African-American president need not go far around the country these days to find something that carries his name. There’s Barack Obama Way in New Albany Township, Indiana, and Barack Obama Boulevard in Pahokee, Florida. There’s a long list of schools now named for him, like Barack Obama Academy for Academic & Civic Development in Plainfield, New Jersey, and Barack Obama Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia.

Obama even has animal species named after him, like placida barackobamai, a sea slug

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

White Women’s Role in School Segregation

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States, Women on 2019-01-07 01:45Z by Steven

White Women’s Role in School Segregation

JSTOR Daily
2019-01-04

Livia Gershon
Nashua, New Hampshire

A classroom of white students in the 19th century
via Flickr

White American women have long played significant roles in maintaining racist practices. One sociologist calls the phenomenon “social mothering.”

In recent years, many public conversations about American racism have focused on white women—their votes for Trump, their opposition to school desegregation, their calls to the police about black people doing innocuous things. As sociologist Joseph O. Jewell points out, however, this is nothing new. White women have long played a role in maintaining institutional racism in this country.

Jewell focuses on two nineteenth-century incidents involving school segregation. The post-Civil War era was a time of changing racial and gender ideologies. White Anglo-Protestant families in U.S. cities viewed the growing visibility of upwardly mobile racial outsiders as a threat. Meanwhile, public schools and other institutions serving children were growing, creating new roles for middle-class white women—what Jewell calls “social mothering.”

In 1868, a white New Orleans engineer and Confederate army veteran learned there were nonwhite students attending his daughter’s school. When questioned, the school’s principal, the ironically-named Stephanie Bigot, provided a list of twenty-eight students “known, or generally reputed to be colored”—presumably girls whose appearances were passably “white.” Bigot claimed that she had no knowledge of their racial backgrounds but that there were rumors among the student body that they were not white.

Jewell writes that the enrollment of racially ambiguous girls posed a particular threat to white New Orleans families. “Allegations of racial passing compromised the entire student body’s ability to secure either marriage into a ‘good’ family or ‘respectable’ employment,” he writes…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Other(ing) People’s Children: Social Mothering, Schooling, and Race in Late Nineteenth Century New Orleans and San Francisco

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Economics, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States, Women on 2019-01-05 20:01Z by Steven

Other(ing) People’s Children: Social Mothering, Schooling, and Race in Late Nineteenth Century New Orleans and San Francisco

Race, Gender & Class
Volume 21, No. 3/4, RGC Intersectionalilty, Race, Gender, Class, Health, Justice Issues (2014)
pages 138-155

Joseph O. Jewell, Associate Professor of Sociology
Texas A&M University

Social mothering—women’s carework in the public sphere—played an important role in whites’ responses to racial minorities’ claims to middle-class mobility and identity in the late nineteenth century. In New Orleans and San Francisco, two cities where racial minorities used public education to achieve and reproduce middle-class position, white women principals were central figures in struggles over schooling that contributed to the de jure segregation of black and Asian children. I analyze two historical cases to show how racialized constructions of social mothering helped to maintain links between race and class. In both incidents, public opinion held white professional women responsible for ensuring the racial purity of white children’s public spaces and social identities. I argue that analyses of the race-class intersection should more carefully consider how the economic domination of racial minorities is maintained through various gendered forms of reproductive labor.

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

The 97-Year-Old Park Ranger Who Doesn’t Have Time for Foolishness

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-11-21 19:34Z by Steven

The 97-Year-Old Park Ranger Who Doesn’t Have Time for Foolishness

Glamour
2011-11-02

Farai Chideya
Photographs by Shaniqwa Jarvis


Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis 

“History has been written by people who got it wrong. But the people who are always trying to get it right have prevailed,” says Reid Soskin, photographed at Rosie the Riveter Park. “If that were not true, I would still be a slave like my great-grandmother.”

As the oldest career National Park Service ranger, Betty Soskin is unabashed about revealing all of America’s history—and her optimism about our future.

What gets remembered is determined by who is in the room doing the remembering,” Betty Reid Soskin likes to say. So she’s made it her singular purpose to always be in the room.

Today that room is the auditorium at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, where—at 97—she’s the oldest person now serving as a permanent National Park Service ranger. She packs the theater three times a week with talks about the Rosies and the typically white narrative about the women who served the war effort, but interweaves her experience as a young black woman in segregated America.

There are a few things you should know about my friend Betty. Barely five feet three inches tall, she is sylphlike and strong. When she walks, she leans slightly forward, as if facing a headwind, and strides with speed and purpose. Betty never planned to be a ranger. She got the job at the young age of 85, after working as a field representative for her California assemblywoman, Dion Aroner. Aroner asked her to sit in on planning meetings for what would become the park, and Betty quickly saw that, if she didn’t speak up, the park would portray a whitewashed version of history. “There was no conspiracy to leave my history out,” she says. “There was simply no one in that room with any reason to know it.” So she sparked additions to the formal narratives: the 120,000 people of Japanese descent placed in internment camps by the government; the 320 sailors and workers, 202 of them black men, who died in the explosions at nearby Port Chicago. “So many stories,” Betty muses, “all but forgotten.”

Working at an all-black union hall during World War II and then briefly in an all-white branch of the Air Force (they didn’t realize she was black when they hired her), Betty saw stories like these firsthand, becoming, as she puts it, “a primary source” from the time. Tom Leatherman, the park’s superintendent, says Betty motivated organizers to bring more people to the table: “Because of Betty, we made sure we had African American scholars review our films and exhibits, but we also made sure we were looking out for other, often forgotten stories—Japanese American, Latino American, American Indian, and LGBTQ narratives—that were equally important.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,