Discussion on Race and Identity: One Year After Charlottesville

Posted in History, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2018-08-24 00:06Z by Steven

Discussion on Race and Identity: One Year After Charlottesville

C-SPAN
Mississippi Book Festival
Jackson, Mississippi
2018-08-18

Chris Goodwin, Introduction
Programs and Communication Division
Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, Mississippi

W. Ralph Eubanks, Moderator and Visiting Professor of English & Southern Studies
University of Mississippi

Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Sheryll Cashin, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Jabari Asim, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director for Creative Writing
Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts

Authors Imani Perry, Sheryll Cashin, and Jabari Asim discuss race and identity.

Watch the entire discussion (00:56:15) here.

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‘A Chosen Exile,’ by Allyson Hobbs: review

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2014-11-07 17:24Z by Steven

‘A Chosen Exile,’ by Allyson Hobbs: review

San Francisco Chronicle
2014-11-01

Imani Perry, Professor, Center for African American Studies
Princeton University

Allyson Hobbs, A Chosen Exile: History of Racial Passing in American Life (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014)

Family across the color line: It is now a popular enough theme that it qualifies as a subgenre of memoir. This contemporary motif has a companion in American literary history. Fiction writers beginning in the 19th century took up the phenomenon of black people so light-skinned that they chose to cross over into whiteness permanently. Passing narratives are what such stories are called. In those works, it was an almost universally tragic choice, marking an essential loss of identity.

Stanford historian Allyson Hobbs’ book “A Chosen Exile” lies between those two genres and yet is something else altogether. It is a book that is at once literary, cultural, archival and social, crossing the borders of various approaches to the study of history in order to create a collage of a fascinating yet elusive phenomenon. Intrigued by the story of a distant relative who crosses the color line, Hobbs has followed this interest to explore the practice of passing with detail and rigor. Her writing is elegant, bubbling with curiosity even as it is authoritative and revelatory.

In order to cover this subject, Hobbs had to be innovative. It’s impossible to know how many African Americans passed for white, and how many crossed back over. A creative intellectual, she uses unpublished family histories, anthropological projects, sociological journals, personal papers, correspondence, court cases, newspapers, literature and film to reveal an important set of stories caught in the thicket of race in the United States…

Read the entire review here.

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