Call for Essays: Shades of Prejudice: Asian American Women on Colorism in America from NYU Press, Edited by Nikki Khanna (Forthcoming 2018)

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Forthcoming Media, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers, Women on 2017-08-07 16:05Z by Steven

Call for Essays: Shades of Prejudice: Asian American Women on Colorism in America from NYU Press, Edited by Nikki Khanna (Forthcoming 2018)

Nikki Khanna, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Vermont
Department of Sociology
31 South Prospect Street
Burlington, Vermont 05405
Telephone: (802) 656-2162

2017-07-06

DEADLINE: Manuscripts will be accepted on a rolling basis, though the final deadline is OCTOBER 31, 2017.

I am pleased to announce an open submission call for my forthcoming anthology from New York University Press, SHADES OF PREJUDICE, a collection of essays written by Asian American women about their personal experiences with colorism.

Colorism is the practice of discrimination whereby light skin is privileged over dark, and is a global issue affecting racial groups worldwide. Colorism exists is just about every part of Asia and affects Asian diasporas, including most Asian American communities—including those descended from Southeast Asia (e.g., India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia), but also those from Japan, China, and other parts of Eastern Asia.

I am looking for Asian American women (including multiracial American women with Asian ancestry) to share their personal experiences with colorismhow has your skin shade (and other “racialized” physical features like eye color, eye shape, and other facial features) influenced your life?

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

  • Submissions should be sent to: nkhanna@uvm.edu (in the subject heading, please type in all-caps: SHADES OF PREJUDICE SUBMISSION)
  • Please send your personal narrative as a Microsoft® Word document and label your document: “LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME.doc.”
  • Essays should be approximately 1,000-2,500 words, double-spaced, and Times New Roman font.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nikki Khanna is an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Vermont and has written extensively on issues regarding race. You can read more about the author here: www.nikkikhanna.com and http://www.uvm.edu/sociology/faculty/faculty_bios/Khanna/.

HERE ARE SOME IDEAS OF QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY WANT TO ADDRESS:

  • What do you consider (physically) beautiful and why? Where does your image of beauty come from? (family, friends, media, or somewhere else?)
  • What is the importance of skin shade in your Asian ethnic community and how has this affected your life? For example, has it had an effect on dating or finding a mate? Has it influenced your interactions or relationships with family members or others? Has it affected any of your life opportunities? (job, education, etc.?).
  • How did you learn that light skin was preferred over dark skin in your Asian ethnic community? Can you provide specific examples?
  • Have you personally benefitted from having light skin? If so, how so? Is there a particular experience that you can share?
  • How have your family, community, peers, friends, media or others reinforced the stereotype that light skin is somehow more desirable than dark skin?
  • Have you felt pressure to use products designed to lighten or whiten your skin? If yes, why and what types of products? What has your experiences been with these products? How do you feel about whitening products?
  • Have you tried any other means to lighten or change the shade of your skin?
  • Have you felt pressure from your ethnic community or larger American society to conform to particular beauty standards? How so? Explain.
  • Have you struggled with, resisted, or actively challenged the “light is beautiful” message? How so?
  • Have other physical/facial characteristics (those that are often related to race) had an influence on your life (e.g., your eye color, eye shape, nose shape)?
  • Have you felt pressure to surgically alter any of your physical features to conform to a particular beauty standard in your Asian ethnic community or in larger American society (e.g., eyelid surgery)? Explain.
  • Do you think light skin is seen as desirable because some people desire to look/be white, because light skin is related to social class or caste, or to something else? Why? What in your personal life has informed the way you explain why light skin is considered more desirable than dark?
  • Do you think the impact of your skin color on your life is influenced by other factors – such as your gender, social class/caste, ethnic group, generation, or other factors? For example, do you think skin color more so affects women than men? Why or why not? Do you think that your experiences are similar or different to male family members or men in your Asian ethnic community? Do you think your generation (whether you are 1st, 2nd, 3rd or later generation Asian American) has influenced the importance of skin color in your life?
  • Did growing up in America challenge or reinforce the idea that light skin is better than dark? How so? Could you share a particular example? Relatedly, how have American beauty standards affected your vision of what is considered beautiful and how does this related to beauty standards in your ethnic community? Are those standards complementary or contradictory?

For more information, click here.

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Colorism In Latinx Communities

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-07-30 00:07Z by Steven

Colorism In Latinx Communities

The Lumen Blog
2015-07-16

Yesenia Padilla
San Diego, California

A few weeks ago, I was absentmindedly scrolling through my Facebook feed when I noticed a meme a relative—we’ll call her Jenni—posted.  “Lol,” she wrote, “too good not to share!” The meme was in English and Spanish, and read, “When people tell me I look White [sic] not mexican [sic]” then was followed by a litany (in Spanish) of talking-out-one’s-neck insults to the hypothetical insulter:

“Listen you tacky barefoot indian from the hills, not all Mexicans are the same dark-as-a-tire skin color as you.”

I stared blankly at post as it collected likes, the “tears of laugher” emojis, and “jajaja”’s piling up in the comments. I was shocked. Jenni posted this? My relative, who goes to protests for immigrant rights and anti-gentrification rallies, who knows all of our ita’s traditional recipes, who listens almost exclusively to salsa and cumbias? Does this person who shares my blood feel this way about my brothers, and our cousins who are considerably darker than she? Does my family member feel this way about me?

In posting this meme, my milk-white, freckled pariente Jenni was reproducing colorist attitudes and ideas that were not only accepted in Latinx communities but actively encouraged and enforced. It didn’t matter that we grew up together in San Francisco, one of the more liberal cities on the West Coast (pre-tech boom, of course). Colorism, the discrimination and prejudice of light-skinned People of Color (POC) against darker-skinned POC, has deep roots in Latinx communities and must be confronted…

Read the entire article here.

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Strip Clubs and the Sociology of Racism

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States, Women on 2017-07-10 22:54Z by Steven

Strip Clubs and the Sociology of Racism

Blackfeminisms.com: Centered on feminism & Women of the African Diaspora
May 2017

Melissa C. Brown

Strip clubs and sex work in general have long been studied by feminist scholars. There are two debates in feminism about sex work: radical feminists believe all sex work is exploitation within a patriarchal society. Radical feminists claim sex work exploits all women. Contemporary feminists believe sexual agency does exist. They emphasize empowerment and sexual agency within sexual economies, claiming women can take control in the sex industry. Feminists who argue for a more complicated position suggest focusing on sex workers right transnationally by analyzing both oppression and empowerment for women.

Sociologist Siobhan Brooks studied racial stratification in strip clubs in her 2010 Sexuality Research and Social Policy article:

These debates largely overlook structural racism within the sex industry that makes it difficult for women of color to maximize the benefit of the empowering aspects of sex work sex radical feminists underscore and produces problems not addressed by radical feminists, because sex work in and of itself is often not viewed as a problem by women of color but rather lack of decent shifts, safety, and better monetary gain…

Taking Black Feminist Thought to the Strip Club

Brooks builds her argument on Patricia Hill Collins’s concept of controlling images. According to Collins, Black women face four: the mammy, the matriarch, the welfare mother and the Jezebel. Jezebel emerged during slavery. Collins argues mass media helps spread these racial ideologies. Black women are defined as sexually aggressive and more sexually available.

Brooks uses ethnography, fieldwork, and participant-observation for the study by interviewing 12 Black and Latina women aged 19 to 45 from NYC and Oakland. According to Brooks, dancers express having to manage racism as men offer money to White women over women of color, leading them to earn less. Some conceal their racial identity or engage in racial passing. Mixed women express being able to perform multiple ethnicities for customers. Darker women have to perform extra emotional labor…

Read the entire article here.

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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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Skin Color and Politics Focus of Dan T. Blue Symposium

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Communications/Media Studies, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-04-10 01:16Z by Steven

Skin Color and Politics Focus of Dan T. Blue Symposium

North Carolina Central University
Durham, North Carolina
2017-04-03


Yaba Blay

North Carolina Central University (NCCU)’s 2017 Dan T. Blue Symposium in Political Science will take place April 10-13 with a focus on “The Politics of Skin Color.”

The conference is hosted by Yaba Blay, Ph.D., holder of the Dan T. Blue Endowed Chair at NCCU. Blay is a nationally recognized researcher and ethnographer who uses personal and social narratives to explore issues of race, class and culture. All events during the symposium are free and open to the public.

“Light skin versus dark skin: Which is more socially advantageous? Regarded as more beautiful? Considered more Black? Treated more favorably by the law?” Blay asks. “These are not as much questions of personal opinion as they are issues of power and politics.”

The symposium keynote event brings Blay on stage with CNN contributor and activist Michaela Angela Davis and Patrice Grell Yursik, whose online persona Afrobella is considered the godmother of brown beauty blogging, for a public conversation about colorism beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, at the A.E. Student Union.

Blay defines colorism as a discriminatory system of value based on skin tone that encourages people of color to opt for separation in place of unity. Photography from her 2013 book “(1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race,” will be on display April 10-13 in a pop-up exhibit at the NCCU Museum of Art, with an opening reception Tuesday, April 11, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Blay will present a lecture on her work immediately following the reception in the Hubbard-Totten Building Auditorium…

Read the entire article here.

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Denying your light skin privilege is harmful to the Black community as a whole

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-25 01:02Z by Steven

Denying your light skin privilege is harmful to the Black community as a whole

Afropunk
2017-03-22

Erin White, Contributor
Atlanta, Georgia


Photo: PeopleImages / Getty

“Stop dividing us!” “We’re all black at the end of the day.” “There is no #TeamLightSkin/#TeamDarkSkin!”

Let’s cut the crap—nothing is as simple as “We’re all ______.” It’s nice to be reminded that we’re all in this together, human solidarity and back solidarity are beautiful things. They’re just not the only things. And when we don’t acknowledge the realities of the bad stuff, we let them fester and we leave others, the people we claim to be in solidarity with, more vulnerable.

People of color can never fully separate themselves from their race and what it signifies to ‘others’, of course, but let’s not pretend that light skin blacks do not receive privileges that are at the expense of dark skin blacks. Every hip-hop reference, every magazine cover, the ease of crossover success for the ambiguously brown while darker skinned folks (especially women) somehow seem largely underrepresented, and subsequently under-valued.

Society at large places a very high value on the perceived proximity to whiteness…

Read the entire article here.

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41 Women of Color Get REAL About Beauty and Diversity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-03-22 18:32Z by Steven

41 Women of Color Get REAL About Beauty and Diversity

Allure
2017-03-21

Elizabeth Siegel, Deputy Beauty Director

Lindsy Van Gelder, Writer

Patrick Demarchelier, Photographer


Left, on Dilone: Swimsuit by Alix. Bracelet by Hervé Van Der Straeten. Center, on Aamito Lagum: Swimsuit by Acacia Swimwear. Earrings by Marni. Right, on Imaan Hammam: Swimsuit by Mikoh. Earrings by Loewe.

We smooth it with scrubs. We soften it with creams. We dab it with highlighter. But our skin is so much more than a reflection in the mirror. Our skin is the metaphor that defines how we’re seen — and how we see ourselves. For our April 2017 cover story, Allure asked 41 women of color to tell us the story of their lives through their skin — and skin tone. Because our skin can be both a vulnerability and a defense. But most importantly, it can be a source of celebration…

Meghan Markle, actress, Suits

“I have the most vivid memories of being seven years old and my mom picking me up from my grandmother’s house. There were the three of us, a family tree in an ombré of mocha next to the caramel complexion of my mom and light-skinned, freckled me. I remember the sense of belonging, having nothing to do with the color of my skin. It was only outside the comforts of home that the world began to challenge those ideals. I took an African-American studies class at Northwestern where we explored colorism; it was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community. For castings, I was labeled ‘ethnically ambiguous.’ Was I Latina? Sephardic? ‘Exotic Caucasian’? Add the freckles to the mix and it created quite the conundrum. To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot. For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: ‘A face without freckles is a night without stars.’ ”…

Misha Green, cocreator, writer, and producer, Underground

“My skin is a shade darker than caramel, with a speckle of chicken pox scars that I tried to pass off as freckles in middle school. Spending summers in the South growing up, I was always aware of colorism in the black community, but it wasn’t really until I attended an all-white middle school that I encountered it. I remember riding the bus and one of my classmates was turned around in her seat staring at me. I asked why. She wanted to know what I was mixed with. She had never seen such a pretty black girl, so she assumed I must be mixed with something. At the time, I was too offended to answer. But since then, I have been asked what I’m mixed with too many times to count, and each time I am met with skepticism when I reply that I am black. I continue by informing the misinformed — the African diaspora comes in many hues; all of them are beautiful.”…

Read the entire article here.

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What You Need To Know About Colorism, As Told By A Light Skinned Black Woman

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2017-03-15 00:54Z by Steven

What You Need To Know About Colorism, As Told By A Light Skinned Black Woman

Elite Daily
2017-03-07

Jenna Graham, Staff Writer


Boris Jovanovic

“What are you mixed with?” is something I’m asked regularly. It’s the most common question I receive from a stranger, and it still manages to get deep under my skin.I raise my eyebrow and respond with a blunt, “I’m black,” only to be challenged with “black and what?”

Sometimes I respond “just black,” and when I can’t resist being slick I’ll answer, “black and proud.”

Being black, despite all the ugly we’ve endured, is the most remarkable experience I’ll ever know…

Read the entire article here.

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Trevor Noah, Colorism and The Unexpected Role He Plays In Expanding the Divide

Posted in Africa, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, South Africa, United States on 2017-02-11 03:27Z by Steven

Trevor Noah, Colorism and The Unexpected Role He Plays In Expanding the Divide

Atlanta Black Star
2017-02-05

Jared Ball, Professor of Communication Studies
Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland

“He’s out to neutralize, not to awaken.” – Willa Paskin

The leadership of our School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University has encouraged that professors like myself find ways this semester to incorporate into our work the new book Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. Noah is the South African-born, biracial, Colored comedian and host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Copies have been distributed to students and faculty alike and I anticipate there being a flurry of engagement for courses in media studies as Noah’s book has plenty to offer.

Immediately we can start with critiques of false balance and Western politicized notions of objectivity, both of which were in play during Noah’s recent extended exchange with the aggressive right wing commentator Tomi Lahren. Many know of Noah’s nightly television work and it appears many more know him now after the straw woman performed her role in enhancing Noah’s credibility and right in time to coincide nicely with his book’s launch. What liberal aspirant to the throne of legitimacy wouldn’t want her as an interlocutor? Even in the silly film Pop Star Conner Friel (Andy Samberg) made sure his entourage consisted of a “perspective adjuster” whose sole function was to make the star look better by comparison. Muhammad Ali’s legend wasn’t born by his fights with Henry Cooper and Brian London. It were the fights with Liston, Frazier, Foreman and the federal government that told us he was the greatest.

We can also as a class ask, what is happening semiotically with the book’s cover? It read to me from the first like the perfect symbolic display of Noah’s entire political function as celebrity.  Noah’s beige face, askew, askance even – especially – with that grin, hand touching his head, painted on a tattered township wall, imposing, top-down upon a faceless Black African woman, almost saying, in an aloof, twisted version of the Old Spice commercial, “aww-shucks, look at me. Now look at you. Now look at me again. Now look at you. And back to me. I’ve made it and you can to? Never mind that. Look at me!” Its reminiscent of any billboard falsely advertising an exclusive lifestyle of which most onlookers can only dream…

Read the entire article here.

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