‘I know I’m Irish and I don’t have to prove that to anybody’

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, Media Archive on 2022-05-12 21:14Z by Steven

‘I know I’m Irish and I don’t have to prove that to anybody’

The Irish Times
2022-05-07

Sorcha Pollak, Immigration Reporter

Marguerite Penrose has written a memoir called Yeah, But Where are You Really From? Photograph: Alan Betson

Growing up as a black person with a disability in Dublin, Marguerite Penrose sensed her difference

On June 9th 2020, one week after thousands of young Irish people marched through the streets of Dublin calling for an end to racism and inequality, a new post appeared on the recently established Black and Irish Instagram page.

“My name is Marguerite. I was born in Dublin in 1974. I am a PROUD Irish/Zambian, living in Meath now.”

Marguerite Penrose had never spoken or written publicly about her background. She preferred not to dwell on the first three years of her life which she spent in a mother and baby home on the Navan Road, or her battles with scoliosis throughout her life. She didn’t like remembering the racist remarks outside nightclubs or disapproving stares on the bus. She preferred focusing on the positives – her incredible adopted family and her wonderful friends.

But then she decided to speak out about growing up as a black woman with a disability in Dublin…

Read the entire article here.

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Yeah, But Where Are You Really From? A story of overcoming the odds

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Europe, Media Archive, Monographs on 2022-05-12 17:59Z by Steven

Yeah, But Where Are You Really From? A story of overcoming the odds

Sandycove (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2022-05-12
240 pages
234mm x 18mm x 153mm
313g
Paperback ISBN: 9781844885930
eBook ISBN: 9781844885947

Marguerite Penrose

Marguerite Penrose’s is an extraordinary story of making a great life from complicated beginnings. Marguerite was born in a Dublin mother-and-baby home in 1974, the daughter of an Irish mother and a Zambian father. Severe scoliosis indicated a future of difficult medical procedures. She was a little girl who needed a break. And she got it at three when she was fostered – and later adopted – by a young couple, Mick and Noeline, and acquired a mam, dad, sister, Ciara, and loving extended family.

Growing up, Marguerite’s appearance was occasionally remarked on by strangers, but it wasn’t until her teens that she understood that her skin colour was a provocation for some. The progressive city that she knew was revealed to have an unpleasant undercurrent. So, she became an expert in shaping her life around anything that marked her out as ‘different’.

Marguerite’s story is one of facing some big questions – Who am I? How do I live in world made for people with bodies different to mine? Why does anyone care about my skin colour? – with intelligence, humour, courage and common-sense. She writes about coming to terms with the circumstances of her birth and, like so many in her position, looking for answers. About navigating the world as an active woman with a disability. About what it means to be both Irish and Black, particularly at a moment when the conversation is becoming mainstream in Ireland and she is thinking about it in new ways herself. Mostly, she writes about embracing life in a spirit of openness and positivity.

Yeah, But Where Are You Really From? is a captivating, wise and inspiring memoir by a truly remarkable woman.

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Racism in Ireland: “I grew up feeling like I was born with some awful condition”

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2022-03-29 01:39Z by Steven

Racism in Ireland: “I grew up feeling like I was born with some awful condition”

Her
2020

Taryn de Vere

From online abuse to comments in the Dáil, racism has come to the forefront of the national conversation in recent months. But who is suffering and just how prevalent is it? In a new series, Her asks women living in Ireland to tell us about their real life experiences…

“No one should want to bleach their hair or hide their skin because they’ve been told the way they were born looks ‘ghetto'”

Vanessa Ifediora says that growing up black in Northern Ireland was difficult. “Bullying was rife, mostly instigated by the parents who sent their kids into school with a script of what to say to me,” says the Belfast woman. “Children that young only parrot what their parents teach them.

“When I was 16, the manager at my part-time job showed me a picture of some blonde haired baby whose mother was mixed race, and told me: ‘Keep your chin up, when you marry a white guy nobody will even know your children are black.'”

Moving away from her home city as an adult didn’t put an end to these experiences. Vanessa was also subjected to blatant racism while living in Cork.”It was only seven years ago – I don’t know what it’s like now – but, then,  in Cork people would openly walk right up to me and insult me…

Read the entire article here.

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Moses Roper: the fugitive from slavery cast aside by British abolitionists

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2022-02-17 02:24Z by Steven

Moses Roper: the fugitive from slavery cast aside by British abolitionists

The Guardian
2022-02-16

Mark Brown, North of England correspondent

Moses Roper, painted in 1839, was the first fugitive enslaved person to lecture in the cause of abolition in Britain and Ireland.

Historians argue Roper’s story could have helped end US slavery earlier but supporters turned on him

In his day, the 19th-century fugitive from slavery Moses Roper was a well-known public figure who toured Britain and Ireland telling gripped and shocked audiences about his horrific experiences in Florida.

Today he is largely overlooked but, two Newcastle University academics argue, the important story of this fascinating man represents a “lost opportunity” for the British abolition movement to have helped end slavery in the US earlier.

Bruce Baker, a reader in American history, said it was surprising how little attention had been paid to Roper, given he was a pioneer. “Historians haven’t really paid a lot of attention to Roper, even though he was the first fugitive slave to lecture in the cause of abolition in Britain and Ireland.”

Baker and his colleague Fionnghuala Sweeney, a reader in American and Black Atlantic Literatures, have now published a paper in an academic journal and are working on a full biography of Roper. They aim to rescue him from obscurity, painting a picture of a radical, driven man ruined by the British abolition movement that turned against him.

Roper fled enslavement in Florida in 1834 and, fearing for his safety, made his way to Britain, where he was supported by churchmen and abolitionists. They helped fund his education and in 1837 he published the first edition of his Narrative of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper from American Slavery

Read the entire article here.

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‘I am not a beggar’: Moses Roper, Black Witness and the Lost Opportunity of British Abolitionism

Posted in Articles, Europe, History, Media Archive, Religion, Slavery, United Kingdom, United States on 2022-02-17 01:37Z by Steven

‘I am not a beggar’: Moses Roper, Black Witness and the Lost Opportunity of British Abolitionism

Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies
Published online 2022-02-09
DOI: 10.1080/0144039X.2022.2027656

Fionnghuala Sweeney, Reader in American and Black Atlantic Literatures
Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Bruce E. Baker, Historian
Paxton, Scotland, United Kingdom

Scholars have long known the Narrative of North Carolina writer and activist Moses Roper, first published in London in 1837. This article uses newly discovered sources and the multiple editions of the Narrative to reconstitute the biography of this first fugitive slave abolitionist to lecture in Ireland and Britain. It explores Roper’s interactions with British abolitionists, especially prominent Baptist ministers Francis A. Cox and Thomas Price. Roper’s indisputable witness to the horrors of American slavery played a crucial role in refocusing British and Irish attention from the completed task of West Indian emancipation to the looming work yet to be done in the United States. Supporting Roper’s independence, in both his campaigning and his creation of his own British family, proved too much for the British abolitionist establishment, resulting in Roper being cast out and a major opportunity to lead on matters of transatlantic moral consequence lost. More significantly, African American voice was denied its authority and a platform from which to speak.

Read the entire article here.

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‘Passing,’ Ruth Negga refuses to be pinned down

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Europe, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom, United States, Women on 2021-11-12 19:40Z by Steven

‘Passing,’ Ruth Negga refuses to be pinned down

The Los Angeles Times
2021-11-11

Sonaiya Kelley, Staff Writer

Actress Ruth Negga stars in “Passing,” now streaming on Netflix. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Ruth Negga has given the subject of identity a lot of thought.

And not just because she stars as Clare Kendry, a fair-skinned Black woman who moves through life as a white woman, in “Passing,” Rebecca Hall’s adaptation of Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel. No, Negga’s musings on identity stem back to her childhood in Ireland and England, where she was first introduced to the concept of being othered.

“To be honest, I’ve never fit in anywhere,” she said over Zoom in October. “I think being Black in Ireland when there wasn’t that many Black people and being Black and Irish in London at an all-white school in the early ’90s wasn’t great for me either.”

At the same time, being hard to categorize has not always been a bad thing, she says. “I think sometimes there is a pleasure I get in being different. I felt safe being the other in many ways because that’s where I could be my whole, true self.”

The Ethiopian-Irish actor frequently upends notions of social constructs such as race and identity in her work. In “Passing,” which is set in the 1920s, Clare enjoys the privileges afforded only to white women by day while sneaking off to Harlem to commune with Black folks by night (Tessa Thompson co-stars as Irene, a woman who only flirts with the possibility of passing). And in 2016’s “Loving,” Negga stars as Mildred Jeter, a woman in an interracial marriage who challenges the Supreme Court to end the anti-miscegenation laws that condemn her marriage as unlawful…

Read the entire interview here.

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Emma Dabiri: ‘When race begins and ends with social media, we have quite reductive, distorted interpretations of what we’re dealing with’

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2021-09-27 18:52Z by Steven

Emma Dabiri: ‘When race begins and ends with social media, we have quite reductive, distorted interpretations of what we’re dealing with’

The Irish Independent
2021-07-18

Liadan Hynes


Writer Emma Dabiri, photographed by Steve Ryan

Irish-Nigerian writer and academic Emma Dabiri talks about growing up in Ireland as an outsider, how this shaped her activism and career, and why leisure is liberation

‘I had already been angry, had spent most of my life angry,” Emma Dabiri writes in her latest book, What White People Can Do Next. She’s talking about her reaction to the murder of George Floyd in America last May at the hands of a police officer, and the subsequent protests that broke out around the world.

Now, though, she no longer gets angry. Last summer’s events were, Emma reflects, in terms of racism, “just business as usual”.

She recalls wryly now how people contacted her in the wake of Floyd’s murder.

“So, for me, it’s completely horrific, but why was it that murder that sparked the world? State-sanctioned killing has been happening regularly for centuries; that one captured the public’s imagination,” she says.

“I had people messaging me saying ‘this time must be unbearably distressing for you’, and I’m like, well, why is it wildly more distressing than any of the millions of other times this has happened? Because you happened to hear of it this time? Because this time it happened to move you? Why do you think this is the first time I’m engaging with something like this?”

Broadcaster, author and academic Emma, whose father was Nigerian and whose mother is Irish, was born in Dublin but moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she lived before returning to Ireland with her mum when she was four. She grew up here in the 1980s and early 1990s, before moving to London when she was 19.

“I experienced racism from quite a young age. My response to those experiences was to read, and try and make sense of what I was experiencing through reading,” explains Emma, who left Ireland to do a degree in African studies and post-colonial theory at SOAS University of London.

She understood racism at an early age: “These weren’t things that I decided, or discovered recently, I have been living and working with and through this stuff for many, many years.”…

Read the entire article here.

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The Boundaries of Mixedness: A Global Perspective

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Europe, Family/Parenting, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science, South Africa, United States on 2021-08-30 20:41Z by Steven

The Boundaries of Mixedness: A Global Perspective

Routledge
2020-10-12
164 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9780367522926
eBook ISBN: 9781003057338

Edited by:

Erica Chito Childs, Professor of Sociology
Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York

The Boundaries of Mixedness tackles the burgeoning field of critical mixed race studies, bringing together research that spans five continents and more than ten countries. Research on mixedness is growing, yet there is still much debate over what exactly mixed race means, and whether it is a useful term. Despite a growing focus on and celebration of mixedness globally, particularly in the media, societies around the world are grappling with how and why crossing socially constructed boundaries of race, ethnicity and other markers of difference matter when considering those who date, marry, raise families, or navigate their identities across these boundaries. What we find collectively through the ten studies in this book is that in every context there is a hierarchy of mixedness, both in terms of intimacy and identity. This hierarchy of intimacy renders certain groups as more or less marriable, socially constructed around race, ethnicity, caste, religion, skin color and/or region. Relatedly, there is also a hierarchy of identities where certain races, languages, ethnicities and religions are privileged and valued differently. These differences emerge out of particular local histories and contemporary contexts yet there are also global realities that transcend place and space.

The Boundaries of Mixedness is a significant new contribution to mixed race studies for academics, researchers, and advanced students of Ethnic and Racial Studies, Sociology, History and Public Policy.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective: An Introduction / Erica Chito Childs
  • Hierarchies of Mixing: Navigations and Negotiations
    • 2. An Unwanted Weed: Children of Cross-region Unions Confront Intergenerational Stigma of Caste, Ethnicity and Religion / Reena Kukreja
    • 3. Mixed Race Families in South Africa: Naming and Claiming a Location / Heather Dalmage
    • 4. Negotiating the (Non)Negotiable: Connecting ‘Mixed-Race’ Identities to ‘Mixed-Race’ Families / Mengxi Pang
  • Hierarchies of Mixedness: Choices and Challenges
    • 5. Linguistic Cultural Capital Among Descendants of Mixed Couples in Catalonia, Spain: Realities and Inequalities / Dan Rodriguez-Garcia
    • 6. ‘There is Nothing Wrong with Being a Mulatto’: Structural Discrimination and Racialized Belonging in Denmark / Mira Skadegaard
    • 7. Exceptionalism with Non-Validation: The Social Inconsistencies of Being Mixed Race in Australia / Stephanie Guy
  • Mixed Matters Through a Wider Lens
    • 8. Recognising Selves in Others: Situating Dougla Manoeuverability as Shared Mixed-Race Ontology / Susan Barratt and Aleah Ranjitsingh
    • 9. What’s Love Got To Do With It? Emotional Authority and State Regulation of Interracial/National Couples in Ireland / Rebecca King-O’Riain
    • 10. Re-viewing Race and Mixedness: Mixed Race in Asia and the Pacific / Zarine Rocha
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In Ireland, Lifting a Veil of Prejudice Against Mixed-Race Children

Posted in Articles, Europe, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Religion, Social Work on 2021-01-17 03:24Z by Steven

In Ireland, Lifting a Veil of Prejudice Against Mixed-Race Children

The New York Times
2021-01-15

Caelainn Hogan


Jess Kavanagh says she always knew that her mother, Liz, was adopted. “It was obvious,” she said. “My grandparents were white and my mam was Black.” Paulo Nunes dos Santos for The New York Times

The singer Jess Kavanagh is working to raise awareness about the experiences of mixed-race Irish people, particularly those born in the country’s infamous mother and baby homes.

While helping her mother work merchandise tables at some of Dublin’s most respected venues, Jess Kavanagh first got a taste for the music scene. When she started doing gigs herself — a petite singer with a belter of a voice — people would come up after to tell her she sounded “like a Black person,” the last words half whispered.

They were assuming she was white.

Ms. Kavanagh, a rising solo star in Ireland after years touring with acts like Hozier and the Waterboys, had to form what she calls a “linguistic arsenal” to express her experience as a mixed-race Irish woman. What drives her to speak out is a legacy of silence. As the daughter of a Black Irish woman who was born in one of Ireland’s infamous mother and baby homes, she is raising awareness about how those institutions hid away generations of mixed-race Irish children.

More than five years ago, reports that children were interred in a sewage system at a mother and baby institution in Tuam, in western Ireland, compelled the Irish government to open an investigation into the institutions, where unmarried women and girls who became pregnant were sent. They were run by religious orders.

The final report, published on Tuesday, confirmed that of the 57,000 children born in Ireland’s 18 homes over several decades starting in 1920, around 9,000 died…

Read the entire article here.

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The hidden story of African-Irish children

Posted in Articles, Europe, History, Media Archive, Religion on 2020-12-06 02:54Z by Steven

The hidden story of African-Irish children

BBC News
2020-12-03

Deirdre Finnerty

In the middle of the last century, thousands of students from African countries were studying at Irish universities. Some had children outside marriage, who were then placed in one of Ireland’s notorious mother and baby homes. Today these children, now adults, are searching for their families.

As a child, Conrad Bryan wondered if his father was a king. He was from Nigeria – or so he had been told – a place Conrad imagined was far more exciting than the orphanage outside Dublin where he lived.

“When you want something and you can’t have it, your imagination takes over,” he says…

Read the entire article here.

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