Blasian Invasion: Racial Mixing in the Celebrity Industrial Complex

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs on 2017-12-30 04:08Z by Steven

Blasian Invasion: Racial Mixing in the Celebrity Industrial Complex

University Press of Mississippi
2017-10-26
192 pages (approx.)
6 x 9 inches, index
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496814227

Myra S. Washington, Assistant Professor
Department of Communication and Journalism
University of New Mexico

An exposition of a dynamic, multiracial-racial identity

Myra S. Washington probes the social construction of race through the mixed-race identity of Blasians, people of Black and Asian ancestry. She looks at the construction of the identifier Blasian and how this term went from being undefined to forming a significant role in popular media. Today Blasian has emerged as not just an identity Black/Asian mixedrace people can claim, but also a popular brand within the industry and a signifier in the culture at large. Washington tracks the transformation of Blasian from being an unmentioned category to a recognized status applied to other Blasian figures in media.

Blasians have been neglected as a meaningful category of people in research, despite an extensive history of Black and Asian interactions within the United States and abroad. Washington explains that even though Americans have mixed in every way possible, racial mixing is framed in certain ways, which almost always seem to involve Whiteness. Unsurprisingly, media discourses about Blasians mostly conform to usual scripts already created, reproduced, and familiar to audiences about monoracial Blacks and Asians.

In the first book on this subject, Washington regards Blasians as belonging to more than one community, given their multiple histories and experiences. Moving beyond dominant rhetoric, she does not harp on defining or categorizing mixed race, but instead recognizes the multiplicities of Blasians and the process by which they obtain meaning. Washington uses celebrities, including Kimora Lee, Dwayne Johnson, Hines Ward, and Tiger Woods, to highlight how they challenge and destabilize current racial debate, create spaces for themselves, and change the narratives that frame multiracial people. Finally, Washington asserts Blasians as not only evidence for the fluidity of identities, but also for the limitations of reductive racial binaries.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • CHAPTER ONE: Theorizing Blasians
  • CHAPTER TWO: Birth of a Blasian
  • CHAPTER THREE: Modeling Race: Refashioning Blasianness
  • CHAPTER FOUR: “Because I’m Blasian” Tiger Woods, Scandal, and Protecting the Blasian Brand
  • CHAPTER FIVE: Sporting the Blasian Body
  • CONCLUSION: En-Blasianing the Future
  • Notes
  • Index
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Dwayne Johnson – “Race Shifter” in a “Post-Racial” World?

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-22 19:19Z by Steven

Dwayne Johnson – “Race Shifter” in a “Post-Racial” World?

Shadow and Act: On Film, Television and Web Content of Africa and Its Diaspora
2016-06-13

Sergio Mims


Dwayne Johnson

With “Central Intelligence” hitting theaters this weekend, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, a conversation worth having…

I’m sure we’ve all privy to all the chatter about how we’re now living in a so-called “post-racial” society. Though I think most of us would respond to that with a “Yeah right!” But things are changing, albeit slowly. And it dawned on me, with Johnson becoming one of Hollywood’s most dependable actors today, starring in blockbuster after blockbuster, and carrying some of them almost alone, that he’s the one person who could be an example of this “post-racial” utopia we’re supposed to be living in.

It should be very obvious by now that Johnson has been positioning himself to become a major movie star. He easily could have gone on to be a B-movie actor, content with taking supporting roles in action/exploitation films, and starring in direct-to-video movies, like some of his former WWE cohorts. But Johnson has much higher aspirations. And it’s not just the film projects that he’s attached himself to; either by design or by happenstance, it’s also how he’s been perceived racially by the public. He has become a “race shifter” for lack of a better word.

Through his obviously ethnic, but not clearly defined looks (he’s black Canadian/Samoan), he has managed to become “identified” as it were, by different audiences, as different things, and has used that to his advantage, whether intentionally or not. I should say that, of course, we identify him as a black actor here on S&A, or else we wouldn’t be covering him at all. And Johnson has never obscured, or refused to acknowledge his bi-racial heritage, unlike let’s say Vin Diesel, who has seemingly gone out of his way to not publicly acknowledge his mixed heritage, preferring to instead let people think he’s, perhaps, Italian…

Read the entire article here.

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The Rock Obama Cold Open – SNL

Posted in Arts, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2015-03-29 19:36Z by Steven

The Rock Obama Cold Open – SNL

Saturday Night Live
National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
2015-03-28

After the actions of Rep. John Boehner (Taran Killam), Sen. Ted Cruz (Bobby Moynihan) and Sen. Tom Cotton (Kyle Mooney) make him lose his cool, President Obama (Jay Pharoah) turns into The Rock Obama (Dwayne Johnson).

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Dwayne Johnson – ‘Race Shifter’ In A Post Racial World?

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2013-07-10 18:32Z by Steven

Dwayne Johnson – ‘Race Shifter’ In A Post Racial World?

Shadow and Act: On Cinema Of The African Diaspora
2013-03-27

Sergio Mims, Staff Writer

We all know that there’s been a lot of talk about how we are all now living in a “post-racial” society. Though I think, most of us will respond to that with a “Yeah right.”

But things are changing, albeit slowly, but they are changing. And it dawned on me last night, during  an advance screening of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, that the one person who could be an example of this post racial utopia we’re supposed to be living in, is Dwayne Johnson.

It should be very obvious by now the Johnson has been positioning himself to be a major A–list movie star. He easily could have just gone on to be a B-movie actor, content with doing supporting roles in action/exploitation films, and starring in direct-to-video movies, like some of his former WWE cohorts. But Johnson has much higher aspirations.

And it’s not just the film projects that he’s attached himself to, but also, either by design or by happenstance, how he’s been perceived racially by the public. He has become a “race shifter” for lack of a better word.

Through his obviously ethnic, but not clearly defined looks (he’s black Canadian/Samoan), he has managed to become “identified” as it were, by different audiences, as different things, and has used that to his advantage.

I should say that, of course, we identify him as black on S & A, or else we wouldn’t always be reporting news about his various film projects. And Johnson has neither ever obscured, or refused to acknowledge his bi-racial heritage, unlike Vin Diesel, who has gone out of his way to not publicly acknowledge his mixed heritage, preferring to instead let people think he’s, perhaps, Italian…

Read the entire article here.

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Being Multiracial in a Country that Sees Black and White

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, History, Identity Development/Psychology, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2010-01-05 00:13Z by Steven

Being Multiracial in a Country that Sees Black and White

Interpolations: A Journal of First Year Writing
Deparment of English, University of Maryland
Fall 2009

Lavisha McClarin
University of Maryland

In America mixed race individuals are becoming more prominent in the media, politics and sports throughout the country. Some of the most popular mixed race individuals that we see everyday include Tiger Woods, Vin Diesel, Mariah Carey, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, Derek Jeter, Halle Berry, Alicia Keys and of course President [Barack] Obama. The fact that this population of mixed race individuals is growing at an astounding rate is the reason behind the current discussion on the racial classification of such individuals. Before the 1960s many researchers considered “biracial identity [to be] equivalent to black identity…or a subset of blacks” (Rockquemore 21). This thought continued to exist in the United States by researchers until the 1990s [sic] when “biracial people were [considered] a separate [racial] group” (21). The multiracial movement that has arisen during the 1990s believes that “every person, especially every child, who is multi-ethnic/interracial has the same right as any other person to assert an identity that embraces the fullness and integrity of their actual ancestry” (Tessman 1). Although there are overall positive effects for these individuals from the movement, there are also negative affects that could potentially cause more problems for America’s current racial system. However, despite the negative effects of the movement, there is evidence that shows that this potential transition to a multiracial system in the US has beneficial aspects to it…

Read the entire article here.

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