“Often race is used as a variable without people really defining it biologically, and that is a very minimum we should expect from a scientific variable that you’ll be able to define it biologically.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-11-22 23:24Z by Steven

Often race is used as a variable without people really defining it biologically, and that is a very minimum we should expect from a scientific variable that you’ll be able to define it biologically. They just treat these social categories as though they are biological without really doing the legwork to figure out why that is a valid way to think about these things.Angela Saini

Bob McDonald, “The return of race science — the quest to fortify racism with bad biology,” Quirks & Quarks, CBC Radio, November 15, 2019. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/nov-16-watching-wildfire-with-radar-the-return-of-race-science-and-more-1.5359599/the-return-of-race-science-the-quest-to-fortify-racism-with-bad-biology-1.5359610.

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The return of race science — the quest to fortify racism with bad biology

Posted in Articles, Audio, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2019-11-21 21:03Z by Steven

The return of race science — the quest to fortify racism with bad biology

Quirks & Quarks
CBC Radio
2019-11-15

Bob McDonald, Host and CBC’s Chief Science Correspondent


An anti-racism demonstrator holds a placard during a protest march in 2018 in London, U.K. Author Angela Saini said when she grew up as an ethnic minority in the city, there was a lot of racism in her area. (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty)

A look at the re-emergence of ‘scientific’ attempts to explain perceived racial differences

In an era of rising ethnic nationalism and white supremacy, a British science writer’s new book explores why old notions of “race science” are finding new popularity.

This revival drew Angela Saini to explore the history and new life that’s been given to the idea that science can justify old ideas of human difference based on skin colour, nationality or religion — what she called the biologization of race. The persistence of this idea in the modern era can be seen in a variety of ways, from the popularity of dubious DNA ancestry testing to shadowy online groups repackaging scientific racism for the 21st century.

In her new book Superior: The Return of Race Science, Saini traces the history of race science back to the Age of Enlightenment, when philosophers and European thinkers started to classify human beings based on colour or other superficial features, the same way they classified plants or other animals.

Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald spoke with Saini about a range of topics: how modern science shows that racial categories are social constructs, not well-defined biological categories; how notions of race science are fed by and feed into politics; and how well-intentioned scientists should think about studying questions about human difference, including marginalized groups who may share susceptibility to disease…

Read the article an listen to the interview here.

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She was being raised as a white child in Texas while her Haitian father was fighting racism in Montreal

Posted in Articles, Audio, Canada, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Texas, United States on 2019-11-12 19:54Z by Steven

She was being raised as a white child in Texas while her Haitian father was fighting racism in Montreal

The Doc Project
CBC Radio
2019-10-28

Shari Okeke, Producer


Rhonda Fils-Aimé and her father, Philippe, at a family gathering this year in Braunfels, Texas. (Submitted by Rhonda Fils-Aimé)

Rhonda Fils-Aimé was adopted by a white family as a baby, and her biological father, Philippe, had no idea

Until she was 49 years old, the only information Rhonda Lux had about her family background was that she was German, French and Indian. That’s what her adoptive mother had told her, and for most of her life, Rhonda didn’t question it.

Rhonda was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1968 and was left in a children’s shelter.

“I was adopted by a white family and raised in a white community,” she said.

Only recently, in 2017, did Rhonda discover the truth about her racial heritage and manage to find her father, Philippe — who she learned had been part of an historic protest against racism in Montreal

Read the article and listen to the story (00:28:31) here.

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“Historically, in the United States, if you had one drop of black blood, you were defined as black. You had various names for people who looked as white as their master, but they were defined as black. I didn’t grow up identifying as black because of that — for me it was more about pride, culture and my parents’ politics.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-12-31 04:29Z by Steven

“Historically, in the United States, if you had one drop of black blood, you were defined as black. You had various names for people who looked as white as their master, but they were defined as black. I didn’t grow up identifying as black because of that — for me it was more about pride, culture and my parents’ politics. But Maria, like me, walks into a room and people don’t see that she’s black. She deals with that as a conflict more than just the fact of being mixed. If you pass as white in the world but know yourself not to be white, you’re privy to all those uncensored comments about black people that other black people sort of in liberal circles are shielded from. You’re constantly aware of this kind of mask falling away.” —Danzy Senna

Eleanor Wachtel, Danzy Senna’s darkly comic take on racial identity, Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel, CBC Radio, June 15, 2018. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/writersandcompany/danzy-senna-s-darkly-comic-take-on-racial-identity-1.4707804.

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Danzy Senna’s darkly comic take on racial identity

Posted in Audio, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2018-12-31 04:21Z by Steven

Danzy Senna’s darkly comic take on racial identity

Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel
CBC Radio
2018-06-15

Eleanor Wachtel, Host


Danzy Senna’s novel New People follows graduate student Maria through bohemian Brooklyn in the 1990s as she wrestles with her identity and her future. (Mara Casey)

American novelist Danzy Senna draws on her experience growing up in an interracial family in her edgy, prize-winning fiction. In her latest novel, New People, she writes with insight and subversive humour about what it means to be half-black and half-white.

Senna was born in Boston in 1970 to parents from very different worlds, who wed a year after interracial marriage became legal. Her mother, the poet and novelist Fanny Howe, came from a privileged background, with English/Irish family roots going back to the Mayflower. Her father, the African-American editor and academic Carl Senna, grew up in poverty in the South, the son of an orphaned black mother and absent Mexican father. In her 2009 memoir, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? A Personal History, Senna traces her father’s family story and her own complicated upbringing following her parents’ breakup when she was five years old. Raised with an acute black consciousness, during a time when, as Senna describes it, “‘mixed’ wasn’t an option; you were either black or white,” she brings to all her writing an awareness — and astute analysis — of class, race and identity…

Read the entire story here. Listen to the full episode (00:54:47) here.

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“I definitely want to reach people who not only are of mixed ethnicity but who also identify as Black.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-05-14 20:40Z by Steven

“We always hear people say there are no Black people in Vancouver, but there are. I identify as a Black woman. I know there was a larger Black community in Vancouver many years ago, but people have been displaced. I definitely want to reach people who not only are of mixed ethnicity but who also identify as Black.

“I’m writing this for the community that I wish were here now. So whether you are Black, of mixed race or can identify with the trauma parts of the book, I think there are different layers in the work where you can see something different every time. That’s what I like with the hybrid form, of poetry and prose.” —Chelene Knight

Ryan B. Patrick, “Why Chelene Knight wrote letters to the current occupants of the houses she lived in growing up,” CBC Books, March 6, 2018. http://www.cbc.ca/books/why-chelene-knight-wrote-letters-to-the-current-occupants-of-the-houses-she-lived-in-growing-up-1.4533897.

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Why Chelene Knight wrote letters to the current occupants of the houses she lived in growing up

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Canada, Interviews on 2018-05-10 19:41Z by Steven

Why Chelene Knight wrote letters to the current occupants of the houses she lived in growing up

CBC Books
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
2018-03-06

Ryan B. Patrick, Associate Producer


Chelene Knight is an author based in Vancouver. (Chelene Knight/BookThug)

Chelene Knight is a Vancouver-based writer and editor. Of Black and East Indian heritage, Knight’s Dear Current Occupant mixes poetry and prose to tell a story about home and belonging, set in the 1980s and 1990s of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

The book plays with genre by way of a series of letters addressed to the current occupants now living in the 20 different houses she moved in and out of with her mother and brother. Knight tells CBC Books how she wrote Dear Current Occupant.

A bus ride beginning

“The first draft was originally all poetry, but my publisher suggested I rewrite it as creative nonfiction. I tried to write this book in generic memoir form. I sat down wanting to write about some of my childhood experiences. But it couldn’t come out. I thought maybe it’s not the right time.

“Then I was on the bus one snowy day and I passed by one of the houses that I lived in as a child and something sparked in me. I got off the bus and I stood in front of this house. I had a notebook with me and I started scribbling. The memories were coming back to me — flooding in — and it was this visceral thing where I needed to be in that place and then be transported back to those times.”…

…Writing for others

“We always hear people say there are no Black people in Vancouver, but there are. I identify as a Black woman. I know there was a larger Black community in Vancouver many years ago, but people have been displaced. I definitely want to reach people who not only are of mixed ethnicity but who also identify as Black.

“I’m writing this for the community that I wish were here now. So whether you are Black, of mixed race or can identify with the trauma parts of the book, I think there are different layers in the work where you can see something different every time. That’s what I like with the hybrid form, of poetry and prose.”

Read the entire article here.

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‘A dirty deed’: Fort McMurray Métis demand apology after historic eviction of an Indigenous settlement

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Videos on 2018-05-02 15:29Z by Steven

‘A dirty deed’: Fort McMurray Métis demand apology after historic eviction of an Indigenous settlement

CBC News
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
2018-04-25

David Thurton, Mobile Journalist
Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

Moccasin Flats is the unresolved story of how at least 12 Indigenous families were evicted or relocated from a Fort McMurray riverside community in the late 1970s to make way for a city expanding feverishly to accommodate oilsands growth.

That history still pains Fort McMurray Métis president Gail Gallupe.

“It was really a dirty deed,” Gallupe said. “To be ignored and to be treated so shabbily in those days. There was so much discrimination and so much racism.”

On Monday, the Fort McMurray Métis local announced it will commission an academic study that aims to clarify details of the contentious removal of the predominantly Métis settlement for oilsands development…

Read the story here.

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Bedside Books: How Half-Breed by Maria Campbell connected musician Nick Ferrio to his grandmother

Posted in Arts, Audio, Autobiography, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2018-04-25 23:50Z by Steven

Bedside Books: How Half-Breed by Maria Campbell connected musician Nick Ferrio to his grandmother

CBC Radio
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
2018-04-16


Musician Nick Ferrio examines Maria Campbell’s autobiography, Half-Breed, and its depiction of race issues in Canada. (Jeff Bierk/Goodread Biography)

Musician Nick Ferrio is based in Peterborough, Ont., but his roots are in Saskatchewan. He recently read Maria Campbell’s memoir Half-Breed and its account of an Indigenous woman’s encounters with racism, and the book resonated with him, thanks to his own Cree ancestry.

Ferrio’s album Soothsayer also mixes several influences to create a personal style and sound.

Mapping internal conflict

“I think every Canadian should read Half-Breed. It’s an incredible story of a mixed woman whose ancestry is part Cree. She explains the racism she faced in Canada. It resonated with me as my paternal grandmother is Cree. Because of the Indian Act, her family was forced to leave the reserve. When she moved to Toronto, she had internal racism. She was ashamed of her identity. She passed as white, so she blended into white culture in Toronto. That’s a dark thing.”..

Listen to the story here. Read the story here.

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‘You Don’t Look Black’: How I’m Talking to My Kids About Being Mixed Race

Posted in Articles, Canada, Family/Parenting, Media Archive on 2018-04-22 20:48Z by Steven

‘You Don’t Look Black’: How I’m Talking to My Kids About Being Mixed Race

CBC Parents
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
2018-03-15

Kara Stewart-Agostino


Photo by @criene/Twenty20

“Mama, am I black or white?” This was the question I received one night before bed when my son was in grade 1. A boy in his class had been called the N-word at school and he was full of questions.

He wanted to know what it meant and if someone could call him that. Some of the kids had insisted that he is black because (to their eyes) I am black. Others insisted that he’s not because he doesn’t “look black.”

Although the kids on the school yard perceive me as black, I am the child of a Jamaican born mother and a Scottish/Irish-Canadian born father who met in Winnipeg in the 1970s. As a mixed child, questions of racial identity are not new to me. I think of my kids as second generation mixed Canadians — the cultures of their grandparents are layered and entwined. Their skin is fair enough that they could “pass as white” but both have a head full of curls and tan to a golden brown in the summer sun. Meanwhile their Italian-Canadian born father will burn on a partly cloudy June day…

Read the entire article here.

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