One man’s quest for Loving Day, a holiday for multiracial Americans

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-06-11 21:38Z by Steven

One man’s quest for Loving Day, a holiday for multiracial Americans

The Los Angeles Times
2016-06-10

Jaweed Kaleem


Ken Tanabe founded Loving Day in 2004, and leads celebrations and workshops across the U.S. on being multiracial. (Pearl Shavzin-Dremeaux)

Forty-nine years ago on June 12, the Supreme Court struck down laws in 16 states that banned mixed-race marriages. The decision in Loving vs. Virginia overturned the conviction of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple from Caroline County, Va., who had been arrested, jailed and banned from their home state for violating its Racial Integrity Act.

It also ushered in a new era in the American family.

Today, the Pew Research Center counts 22 million multiracial Americans, about 6.9% of the U.S. population. Nearly 10% of married couple households — more than 5 million — are interracial or inter-ethnic, according to the U.S. census.

For 12 years, Ken Tanabe, a Japanese-Belgian freelance graphic designer living in New York, has been working to educate Americans about what he sees as one of the most significant civil rights cases through Loving Day, the unofficial holiday that cities across the country are slowly adapting to celebrate the lives of the fast-growing multiracial population.

Now Tanabe, whose organization has tracked and sponsored many of the dozens of dance and music festivals, film screenings, picnics and forums taking place across the country in June to commemorate Loving vs. Virginia, has launched a campaign to get the holiday recognized by the federal government…

Read the entire article here.

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‘Did Somebody Say “Mulatto”?’ Speaking Critically on Mixed Heritage

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-23 19:51Z by Steven

‘Did Somebody Say “Mulatto”?’ Speaking Critically on Mixed Heritage

The Huffington Post
The Blog
2014-11-21

A. B. Wilkinson, Assistant Professor of History
University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Photograph: Ken Tanabe

One of the main characters in the award-winning film Dear White People is a mixed “black and white” college student who works to make sense of her life and relationships. The movie addresses several thought-provoking subjects, and the storyline around this character raises the question: Should people of mixed heritage have to choose one part of their ancestry over another?

From Nov. 13 to Nov. 15, over 600 people came together at DePaul University in Chicago to explore this question and other issues surrounding ideas of race, perceptions of racial mixture, and the experiences of mixed-heritage people. The goal of the 2014 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, titled “Global Mixed Race,” was to “bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines around the world to facilitate a conversation about the transnational, transdisciplinary, and transracial field of Critical Mixed Race Studies.”

As the number of people who identify as “mixed” increases, discussions around various topics concerning people of mixed ancestry are also expanding and challenging our perceptions of race and racism. Both critical mixed-race studies and films like Dear White People accomplish the same goal of furthering conversations regarding race — dialogues that we can engage in with friends, family, and those in our communities at large…

…CMRS Asks: Is There a “Global Mixed Race”?

Activists, artists, and scholars who compose critical mixed-race studies (CMRS) are complicating questions beyond “What are you?” and combating the myth of the “tragic mulatta/o.” In past decades, CMRS has expanded over a number of academic fields spanning several disciplines.

While CMRS has fought over the years to gain legitimacy within scholarly circles, one of its greatest attributes is that the coalition is not made up of solely academics but includes community activists, students, educators, families, visual artists, independent filmmakers, and others interested in the varied experiences of mixed-heritage peoples. Of course, not all these categories are mutually exclusive, as many of the activists, artists, etc., are also scholars.

Laura Kina and Camilla Fojas of DuPaul University organized the third CMRS conference, “Global Mixed Race,” which featured a variety of people telling their own stories, sharing the stories of others, and dissecting theories that surround notions of ethnoracial mixture.* In the opening keynote address, sociologist Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain, co-editor of the book Global Mixed Race, explored the idea of a “mixed experience,” where she discussed the commonalities that people of mixed descent share widely across the globe.

King-O’Riain noted that people of mixed heritage have had to learn how to live and operate within their respective societies, often finding themselves ostracized by individuals within their local communities and battling exclusive national definitions of citizenship. King-O’Riain explained that people of mixed ancestry therefore have often had to skillfully create a flexible hybrid identity, one where they develop a keen ability to operate among several groups…

Read the entire article here.

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“Global Mixed Race,” the 3rd biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, was held at DePaul University in Chicago Nov 13-15, 2014.

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2014-11-21 03:06Z by Steven

“Global Mixed Race,” the 3rd biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, was held at DePaul University in Chicago Nov 13-15, 2014.

News from the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference
2014-11-18

Camilla Fojas, Vincent de Paul Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies
DePaul University


Photograph by Ken Tanabe

A big thank you to the over 600 people who attended Global Mixed Race. Videos of our keynotes and Live Performance showcase are forthcoming. Please visit us on Facebook to see event snapshots. High-resolution press photographs are available on request. Follow the archive of the event on Twitter #CMRS2014. Read a reflection from our Social Media Caucus organizer Sharon H. Chang. Watch Mixed Roots Stories top 3 highlights from each day.

The 2016 conference will be held Nov 10-12, 2016 at University of Southern California and will be hosted by Associate Professor Duncan Ryuken Williams, founder of the Hapa Japan Project (along with project co-director Velina Hasu Houston) and Director of USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. We will continue to partner with Mixed Roots Stories to offer arts and cultural programming. We are moving forward with founding an association. Join our mailing list to stay informed. We anticipate organizing a symposium in 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and a full CMRS conference on the United States east coast in 2018. We are currently seeking institutional partners in the United Kingdom or Japan to host a CMRS symposium in 2017. Please contact us at cmrs@depaul.edu if you would like to volunteer…

For more information, click here.

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Reflections on the 2014 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2014-11-17 01:47Z by Steven

Reflections on the 2014 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Multiracial Asian Families: thinking about race, families, children, and the intersection of mixed ID/Asian
2014-11-16

Sharon H. Chang

Ah. Where do I begin. I’m sitting on a plane waiting to takeoff to Seattle (correction, taking off) thinking on my last 3 days in Chicago at the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference. I’m exhilarated, emotional, exhausted, enlightened. I got to present some of my research for the first time. After years of researching, [a] major milestone. I got to be with and meet in the flesh so many folk doing great work whom I had mostly only known by name or via social media thumbnails till that point: Eliaichi Kimaro of A Lot Like You; Jeff Chiba Stearns of One Big Hapa Family, Yellow Sticky Notes, and the forthcoming Mixed Match; Megumi Nishikura of Hafu; Fanshen Cox [Digiovanni] of One Drop of Love and, with partner Chandra Crudup, Mixed Roots Stories; Ken Tanabe of Loving Day; Co-creators of War Baby / Love Child (as well as two of the conference’s founders) Laura Kina and Wei Ming Dariotis; and Steven Riley of MixedRaceStudies.org

Read the entire article here.

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“Loving Day” with founder, Ken Tanabe

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-05-31 14:31Z by Steven

“Loving Day” with founder, Ken Tanabe

A.C.T.O.R. (A Continuing Talk on Race)
Busboys and Poets
Langston Room
14 & V, N.W.
Washington, D.C.
2014-06-01, 17:00-19:00 EDT (Local Time)

This month A.C.T.O.R. presents a celebration and discussion about “Loving Day” with founder, Ken Tanabe. Join us for an enlightening discussion on multiracial identity and interracial relationships!

Loving Day commemorates the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which struck down all laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

The A.C.T.O.R. (A Continuing Talk on Race) open discussion series is produced and hosted by Busboys and Poets as a community service. It provides the opportunity for people to come together and speak openly and honestly about issues of race. The intent is that each person walks away from the discussion feeling something: challenged, educated, uncomfortable, enlightened, refreshed, reassured and hopefully inspired and moved to action! Each month there is a new topic for discussion with a Busboys and Poets-sponsored facilitator.

For more information, click here.

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War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art

Posted in Anthologies, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, United States on 2013-01-28 01:12Z by Steven

War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art

University of Washington Press
January 2013
304 pages
63 illustrations, 44 in color, maps
7 x 10 in.
ISBN: 978-0-295-99225-9

Edited by

Laura Kina, Associate Professor Art, Media and Design and Director Asian American Studies
DePaul University

Wei Ming Dariotis, Associate Professor Asian American Studies
San Francisco State University


Cover art by Mequitta Ahuja

War Baby/Love Child examines hybrid Asian American identity through a collection of essays, artworks, and interviews at the intersection of critical mixed race studies and contemporary art. The book pairs artwork and interviews with nineteen emerging, mid-career, and established mixed race/mixed heritage Asian American artists, including Li-lan and Kip Fulbeck, with scholarly essays exploring such topics as Vietnamese Amerasians, Korean transracial adoptions, and multiethnic Hawai’i. As an increasingly ethnically ambiguous Asian American generation is coming of age in an era of “optional identity,” this collection brings together first-person perspectives and a wider scholarly context to shed light on changing Asian American cultures.

Visit the website here.

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ITYC Audio Journal #2: What Are You?-Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations

Posted in Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-10-14 16:32Z by Steven

ITYC Audio Journal #2: What Are You?-Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations

Is That Your Child? Thought in Full Color
2012-10-07

Michelle McCrary, Host

Last Thursday, I attended an event at the Brooklyn Historical Society for their “Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations” series called What Are You? The panel tackled the this perpetual question often aimed at people who are perceived to be ethnically ambiguous.

Presenting their own encounters/experiences with the “what are you?” question were Angela Tucker, creator of the webseries Black Folk Don’t; Heidi Durrow, author of the New York Times Bestseller The Girl Who Fell from the Sky and co-host of Mixed Chicks Chat; Jen Chau, founder of Swirl, Inc.; Erica Chito Childs, author of Fade to Black and White: Interracial Images in Popular Culture and Ken Tanabe, founder of Loving Day.

Here, in this second installment of ITYC Audio Journal, I share details about the panel discussion and some of my personal thoughts about race, identity and “what are you?”

Download the audio here (00:40:48).

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2nd Annual: What Are You?

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-10-03 23:26Z by Steven

2nd Annual: What Are You?

Brooklyn Historical Society
Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations
2012-10-04, 19:00 EDT (Local Time)

Let’s talk about race and ethnicity, and where we’re from (or where we’re from from); how we express our own multicultural identities, and how others perceive us. Panelists will start the conversation and we hope you’ll join in. We’ll discuss big questions like: How does our cultural background shape us? Can we see race? Is identity fixed or fluid?  #CBBGwhatru

Featuring:

Co-sponsored by Swirl, a multi-ethnic, anti-racist organization that promotes cross-cultural dialogue

For more information, click here.

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New Americans: Rise of the Multiracials: A Documentary

Posted in Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2012-07-28 20:14Z by Steven

New Americans: Rise of the Multiracials: A Documentary

A Work-In-Progress Documentary

Eli Steele, Producer

With more Americans marrying across the color line today than before, it is inevitable that the racial makeup of America’s face will forever change. Of the nine million individuals that identified themselves as multiracial on the 2010 census, more than 50 percent were under 18 years of age, including filmmaker Eli Steele’s two children, Jack and June. By 2050, they and their multiracial peers are expected to account for 25% of the total population.
 
This fate was long predicted by early Americans such as James Madison and Frederick Douglass who knew the color line could not keep the races apart for eternity. And now that this fate is upon us, what does it mean for a country that has shed so much blood in the name of race?

With this question on his mind, Filmmaker Eli Steele, who is multiracial himself, has embarked on a journey through America to explore various aspects of the American landscape for clues to what the future holds. So far, he has encountered individuals ranging from a U.S. Army soldier who refuses to self identify his race to a radio host who identifies as Black American despite a white mother and black father. Aside from interviews, Steele plans to explore the role of multiracial individuals in key moments in American history, the ongoing demographic shifts that are rapidly redefining once firm racial boundaries, and pockets of resistance to the multiracial baby boom.
 
Steele also plans to journey into the history of his family for to be multiracial is a fate that is at once deeply personal and political. Why did the ancestors of his children make the decisions to cross the color line, especially at times where there were no societal advantages in doing so? By learning more about the world they came from and the decisions they made, Steele hopes to provide his children with a better understanding of the world and people they come from. 
 ​
To date, Steele has discovered there are two Americas at odds with one another. There is the private America of individuals has advanced race relations to the point that 85 percent of 18 to 29 year olds and 73 percent of 30 to 49 year olds would consider marriage to another race. On the other side, there is the public America of government institutions and corporations that continue their race policies despite an obvious absurdity: if an individual is more than one race, then what is race? Will America reconcile its race policies with the irreversible trends of private America or will there always be a disconnect?

The outcome of this new front on the culture war around race will determine whether America continues its legacy of racial strife or finally looks past skin color to the person’s content of character. At the end of his journey, Steele hopes to return to his two children, Jack and June, with a better and realistic understanding of how to prepare them for the America they will live in 2050.

Interview subjects include Clay Cane, Jennifer Ceci, Jen Chau, Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Eric ‘Charles’ Jaskolski, Angela Mckee, Farzana Nayani, Jared Sexton, and Ken Tanabe.

For more information, click here.

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Interracial Relationships and Loving v. Virginia

Posted in History, Law, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2011-07-04 02:50Z by Steven

Interracial Relationships and Loving v. Virginia

CityLine Boston
WCVB Boston
2011-06-15

Karen Holmes Ward, Director of Public Affairs and Community Services; Host and Executive Producer of CityLine

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Visiting Scholar
Brown University

Ken Tanabe, President and Founder
LovingDay.org

Dr. Dawkins discusses the ongoing impact of interracial romantic relationships, multiracial identities and passing in the United States with Loving Day founder Ken Tanabe and CityLine host Karen Holmes Ward.

Notes by Steven F. Riley: There are several significant inaccuracies in this video.

  1. Interracial marriage was in fact legal, not illegal, in most states 44 years ago.  Only 16 states had bans on interracial marriage at that time.
  2. Ms. Ward’s comment, “No steps were taken to change the law until one appropriately named couple fought for their rights…” is grossly inaccurate.  There was no one “law” to ban such marriages in the United States. Each state had its own anti-miscegenation statute.  Most importantly, the battle to end anti-miscegenation (anti-interracial marriage) laws in the United States was a 50 year struggle which included such landmark cases like California Supreme Court: Perez v. Sharp (1948), U.S. Supreme Court: McLaughlin v. Florida (1964) and ending of course, with Loving v. Virginia (1967).
  3. Mr. Tanabe’s comment, “After the case, for the first time, interracial marriage was legalized in the United States.” is incorrect.  Loving v. Virginia did not legalize interracial marriage in the United States.  It legalized interracial marriage only in the remaining 15 states (Maryland repealed its law during the case) that still had bans on such marriages.  In fact, there were 10 states that never enacted any bans on interracial marriage. Mr. Tanabe seems to have forgotten that Mildred and Richard Loving (the plaintiffs in the case) were legally married in Washington, D.C. in June of 1958, six months before they were arrested for violating the section of the law which prohibited interracial couples from being married out of state and then returning to Virginia.

To get a comprehensive view of anti-miscegenation laws and their impact on race relations in the United States, please read Peggy Pascoe’s multiple award winning book, What Comes Naturally, Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America. Also, please read my thoughts about the misreprentation of the Loving v. Virginia case in contemporary discourses.

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