Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs on 2018-06-10 03:30Z by Steven

Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

2Leaf Press
2018-06-08
470 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-28-5
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-29-2

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd

Introduction by Gerald Horne
Foreword by Velina Hasu Houston
Edited by Karen Chau

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd’s debut, Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, is a lyrical and compelling memoir about a son of an African American father and a Japanese mother who has spent a lifetime being looked upon with curiosity and suspicion by both sides of his ancestry and the rest of society. Cloyd begins his story in present-day San Francisco, reflecting back on a war-torn identity from Japan, U.S. military bases, and migration to the United States, uncovering links to hidden histories.

Dream of the Water Children tells two main stories: Cloyd’s mother and his own. It was not until the author began writing his memoir that his mother finally addressed her experiences with racism and sexism in Occupied Japan. This helped Cloyd make better sense of, and reckon with, his dislocated inheritances. Tautly written in spare, clear poetic prose, Dream of the Water Children delivers a compelling and surprising account of racial and gender interactions. It tackles larger social histories, helping to dispel some of the great narrative myths of race and culture embedded in various identities of the Pacific and its diaspora.

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In Depth with Gerald Horne

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, History, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2016-10-16 21:44Z by Steven

In Depth with Gerald Horne

In Depth
C-SPAN
2016-10-02

Peter Slen, Host

Gerald Horne, Professor of History and African-American Studies
University of Houston

Author Gerald Horne talked about his life and career and responded to viewer comments and questions. His most recent book is Paul Robeson: The Artist as Revolutionary.

Gerald Horne is the author of numerous books, including Confronting Black Jacobins: The U.S., the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic, Race to Revolution: The United States and Cuba During Slavery and Jim Crow, The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America, Black Revolutionary: William Patterson and the Globalization of the African-American Freedom Struggle, Negro Comrades of the Crown: African-Americans and the British Empire Fight the U.S. Before Emancipation, Fighting in Paradise: Labor Unions, Racism and Communists in the Making of Modern Hawaii, and W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography, among others [including The Color of Fascism: Lawrence Dennis, Racial Passing, and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism in the United States].

Watch the interview (03:00:05) here.

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The Color of Fascism: Lawrence Dennis, Racial Passing, and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism in the United States

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-05-03 18:42Z by Steven

The Color of Fascism: Lawrence Dennis, Racial Passing, and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism in the United States

New York University Press
2006-11-20
256 pages
4 illustrations
ISBN: 9780814736869

Gerald Horne, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of History
University of Houston

What does it mean that Lawrence Dennis—arguably the “brains” behind U.S. fascism—was born black but spent his entire adult life passing for white? Born in Atlanta in 1893, Dennis began life as a highly touted African American child preacher, touring nationally and arousing audiences with his dark-skinned mother as his escort. However, at some point between leaving prep school and entering Harvard University, he chose to abandon his family and his former life as an African American in order to pass for white. Dennis went on to work for the State Department and on Wall Street, and ultimately became the public face of U.S. fascism, meeting with Mussolini and other fascist leaders in Europe. He underwent trial for sedition during World War II, almost landing in prison, and ultimately became a Cold War critic before dying in obscurity in 1977.

Based on extensive archival research, The Color of Fascism blends biography, social history, and critical race theory to illuminate the fascinating life of this complex and enigmatic man. Gerald Horne links passing and fascism, the two main poles of Dennis’s life, suggesting that Dennis’s anger with the U.S. as a result of his upbringing in Jim Crow Georgia led him to alliances with the antagonists of the U.S. and that his personal isolation which resulted in his decision to pass dovetailed with his ultimate isolationism.

Dennis’s life is a lasting testament to the resilience of right-wing thought in the U.S. The first full-scale biographical portrait of this intriguing figure, The Color of Fascism also links the strange career of a prominent American who chose to pass.

Read the preface here.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction: More Than Passing Strange
  • 1. Passing Fancy?
  • 2. Passing Through
  • 3. Fascism
  • 4. The Face—of Fascism
  • 5. Fascism and Betrayal
  • 6. Approaching Disaster
  • 7. Framing a Guilty Man?
  • 8. Fascism on Trial
  • 9. A Trial on Trial
  • 10. After the Fall
  • 11. An Isolationist Isolated?
  • 12. Passing On
  • Notes
  • Index
  • About the Author
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The fascist who ‘passed’ for white

Posted in Articles, Europe, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2013-04-04 21:00Z by Steven

The fascist who ‘passed’ for white

The Guardian
2007-04-04

Gary Younge, Feature Writer and Columnist

Lawrence Dennis was a leading light in the American fascist movement of the 1930s. He was a fan of Hitler and a self-avowed anti-semite. Now a new book reveals that he was actually black—although even his wife didn’t know. Gary Younge reports

Lawrence Dennis was, arguably, the brains behind American fascism. He attended the Nuremberg rallies, had a personal audience with Mussolini, and met Nazi leaders; throughout the 1930s he provided the intellectual ballast for America’s bourgeoning pro-fascist movement. But though his work was well known and well appreciated by the intelligentsia and political elites on both sides of the Atlantic, there was one crucial fact about him that has never emerged until now: he was black. It turns out that the man Life magazine once described as “America’s number one intellectual fascist” was, in fact, a light-skinned African American, born in the segregated South—although he “passed” for white among the greatest race hatemongers known to mankind.

In a new book, The Colour of Fascism, Gerald Horne reveals how Dennis managed to live a lie for his entire adult life. “It’s not clear that his wife knew that he was black,” says Horne, a history professor at the University of Houston. “He certainly never told his daughter. When she asked him, he would just smile enigmatically.”…

…”Passing” was common in American society at the time. Despite laws against miscegenation, the pervasive practice of masters raping their slaves had produced a large number of light-skinned people. Under America’s rigidly enforced codes of racial supremacy, any child of a mixed-race relationship was deemed “black”, regardless of their complexion. They called it the one-drop rule: one drop of “black blood” made you black…

Read the entire article here.

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Authors Probe Roots of U.S. Far Right

Posted in Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-05-01 19:58Z by Steven

Authors Probe Roots of U.S. Far Right

Southern Poverty Law Center
Intelligence Report
Winter 2009, Issue Number: 136

Heidi Beirich

Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant
By Jonathan Peter Spiro
Burlington, Vt.: University of Vermont Press, 2009
$39.95 (hardback)

The Color of Fascism: Lawrence Dennis, Racial Passing, and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism in the United States
By Gerald Horne
New York: New York University Press, 2009
$22.00 (hardback)

A bumper crop of works on influential early 20th century American racists, fascists and eugenicists has been hitting the bookshelves in 2009. Two of the most interesting are on Madison Grant (1865-1937), perhaps the most important conservationist of his time and so pernicious a racist and anti-Semite that he helped inspire Hitler’s policies, and Lawrence Dennis (1893-1977), the biggest defender of fascism in the 1930s, who was, surprisingly, a black man passing for white.

Jonathan Peter Spiro’s biography of Grant, a very rich member of the American WASP elite, is eye opening. It is astonishing to realize how many major American figures of the early 1900s were so rabidly racist and anti-Semitic — and perfectly willing to use the power of the state to sterilize those they saw as lesser beings. Spiro’s book is fundamental to understanding how profoundly our nation has been shaped by racist and anti-Semitic ideas…

…Grant’s most important work, The Passing of the Great Race, was first published in 1916 by the elite Charles Scribner’s Sons. Its basic thesis, still popular among American white supremacists today, is that miscegenation and immigration were destroying America’s superior “Nordic” race. In their time, Grant’s beliefs were popular, even meriting a mention in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (the celebrated author and Grant shared the same Scribner editor).

Presaging Hitler’s infamous words, Grant called Nordics “the Master Race.” To protect that race, Grant was quite clear that restrictions curtailing Jewish and Southern European immigration were necessary. Eugenics, too, were required. He wrote that the effort should begin by sterilizing the “criminals,” the “insane” and the “diseased,” followed by the “weaklings” and, ultimately, all “worthless race types.”…

…American Fascist

Gerald Horne’s The Color of Fascism is a much slimmer volume on the unlikely career as an American fascist of Lawrence Dennis, a far-right thinker who passed as white and whose ideas are still prized today by radical right activists, including veteran anti-Semite Willis Carto.

Dennis was an interesting character. He was born in Atlanta of a black mother and white father in 1893 and was a child prodigy. Before the age of 10, Dennis wrote a book on his Christian beliefs and preached his religion to massive crowds in the U.S. and Europe—never hiding his black mother, who shepherded him around the world. But as he grew older, the light-skinned Dennis made a decision to leave his far darker-skinned mother behind and to begin to pass for white. By the 1920s, he had achieved the unthinkable for a black man of the time, graduating from Exeter and then Harvard and going on to make careers for himself in the State Department and on Wall Street, where he was one of the few who predicted the 1929 stock market crash. That prediction led to a profitable run of speaking engagements for Dennis in the 1930s and vaulted him into the upper-class social circles of the far right, where he became particularly close to Charles and Anne Lindbergh.

By the 1930s, Dennis had evolved into the public face of American fascism, making connections with American extremists and traveling to Europe to meet with Mussolini, whom he later said he was “less impressed with” than Hitler. In 1941, Dennis was named “America’s No. 1 Intellectual Fascist” by Life.

So what made Dennis an adherent of an ideology that most certainly would have oppressed him and other African Americans? Horne theorizes that Dennis may well have been attracted to fascism simply because it stood starkly opposed to American “democracy,” which then so openly oppressed blacks living under Jim Crow. He wrote often and eloquently of the impending ascendancy of the fascist model, and regularly ascribed America’s decay to its racist policies — a point that oddly seemed missed by his many racist allies…

Read the entire review here.

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