Who Was the Real James Young Deer?

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2019-10-24 17:28Z by Steven

Who Was the Real James Young Deer?

Bright Lights Film Journal
Issue May 2013 (2013-04-30)
10 pages

Angela Aleiss, Full Time Lecturer, Information Systems
California State University, Long Beach

James Young Deer, 1909, at Bison

The Mysterious Identity of the Pathè Producer Finally Comes to Light

“With his acting experience and technical know-how, Young Deer soon advanced to one of Pathé’s leading filmmakers. His Indian identity served him well: no one in the cast or crew at that time would have taken orders from a black man.”

Few in Hollywood knew that James Young Deer, general manager of Pathé Frères West Coast Studio from 1911 to 1914, was really an imposter. After all, Young Deer had earned a reputation as the first Native American producer and had worked alongside D. W. Griffith, Fred J. Balshofer, and Mack Sennett. As one of Hollywood’s pioneer filmmakers, Young Deer oversaw the production of more than 100 one-reel silent Westerns for Pathé, the world’s largest production company with an American studio in Edendale in Los Angeles.

Young Deer was married to Lillian St. Cyr, a Winnebago Indian from Nebraska known as “Princess Red Wing” and star of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1914 classic The Squaw Man. He boasted of a full-blooded Winnebago heritage similar to his wife: his birthplace became Dakota City, Nebraska, and his father was “Green Rainbow” from the Winnebago reservation. He claimed he attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, the first off-reservation Indian boarding school.

In a 2010 BBC Radio 3 segment, “James Young Deer: The Winnebago Film-Maker,” no one — including this author — could unscramble Young Deer’s murky past. Young Deer was elusive, and a search in his background leads to a maze of contradictions and discrepancies. But after ten months of poking through dusty archives and faded vital records and tracking down Lillian’s relatives, the identity of this mysterious filmmaker finally came to light. His real name: James Young Johnson, born about April 1, 1878, in Washington, D.C., to mulatto parents George Durham Johnson and Emma Margaret Young.

“If Young Deer claimed to be Winnebago, he was lying to himself and others to promote himself,” says David Smith, Winnebago historian, author, and former director of Indian Studies at Little Priest Tribal College in Nebraska. Smith has heard endless stories about Young Deer’s supposed Winnebago heritage, and he’s had enough. His reaction is understandable: Native American identity is an especially sensitive issue, and no Indian tribe wants their name appropriated by some wannabe.

Little did anyone know that Young Deer’s true heritage lies hidden within the small mid-Atlantic community of whites, African Americans, and Native Americans once known as the “Moors of Delaware.” So secluded were these people that the late historian Clinton A. Weslager referred to them as “Delaware’s Forgotten Folk.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Tale of Hollywood’s Most Curious Career Imposter

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-09-01 02:44Z by Steven

The Tale of Hollywood’s Most Curious Career Imposter

Messy Nessy: Cabinet of Chic Curiosities
2019-07-11

Francky Knapp

Korla Pandit (John Roland Redd)

Sex sells, and it sells even better with a dash of mystery. For every housewife in mid-century America, the enigmatic charm of Indian performer Korla Pandit was the ticket to getting weak in the knees before the kids came home from school. In the 15 minutes allotted to The Korla Pandit Program, the performer brought a scintillating new rhythm to suburbia’s ho-hum beat. Every week, he’d grace the small screen and play the sultry sounds of Miserlou with a coy smile, wearing a bejewelled turban, and flashing those soul-searching bedroom eyes. It was all part of his schtick, of course, and one of the most strangest in Hollywood history, given that Pandit wasn’t Indian, but African American. Today, the persona he created opens up a dialogue about race, fame, and surprising flexibility of truth…

Korla Pandit (John Roland Redd) as a child

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Chinyere K. Osuji

Posted in Anthropology, Audio, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-07-12 12:09Z by Steven

Chinyere K. Osuji

New Books Network
2019-07-11

Reighan Gillam, Host and Assistant Professor of Anthropology
University of Southern California

Chinyere K. Osuji, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race (New York: New York University Press, 2019)

The increasing presence of interracial relationships is often read as an antidote to racism or as an indicator of the decreasing significance of race. In her book, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race (NYU Press, 2019), Chinyere K. Osuji examines how interracial couples push against, navigate, and often maintain racial boundaries. In-depth interviews with black-white couples in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Los Angeles demonstrate how couples negotiate racial difference with their spouses, within their families, and during public encounters. This comparative study of interracial couples in Brazil and in the United States shows just how race can be constructed differently, while racial hierarchies persist. This book would be of interest to those in fields such as racial and ethnic studies, family and kinship studies, gender studies, and Latin American studies.

Listen to the interview (00:52:56) here. Download the interview here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Being More ‘Open:’ Black Women Negotiate Dating and Marrying White Men

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2019-07-11 17:23Z by Steven

Being More ‘Open:’ Black Women Negotiate Dating and Marrying White Men

Chinyere Osuji, PhD
2019-07-10

Chinyere K. Osuji, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden

When I was studying at Harvard in the early 2000s, I had a black professor who had built part of his career gas-lighting anti-black discrimination in favor of 1990s-style black cultural inferiority tropes. My grad school girlfriends and I awkwardly giggled over “the sex parts” of his book on black upward mobility. He cited statistics saying that black women did not perform oral sex as often as white women, making them less desirable sexual partners. Sexual incompatibility on this sex act was part of the motor driving black men to date interracially more than black women. I was struck by how he ignored scholarship showing how white women are lauded as the essence of beauty, domesticity, and ideal womanhood. Instead, in a reversal of the Jezebel stereotype, he explained this race-gender imbalance as due to black women being prudes. I remember that when we stopped laughing, we speculated on which black woman might have hurt him and whether this was scholarly revenge porn against black women. We also questioned how his much paler wife felt about this discussion.

Over a decade later, I noticed the increasing popularity of a similar dynamic: “Black women need to be more open!”

How many black women have heard this in reference to our dating and marriage prospects?…

…In my book, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race, I conducted over 100 interviews with people in black-white couples in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro. I had the privilege of listening to men and women across racial pairings share the monotony, excitement, struggles, and joys of being married to a person on the other side of the ethnoracial hierarchy. Almost all couples seemed content in their relationships. Several were parents navigating how to raise children who were comfortable with the black, white, multiracial, and multi-ethnic sides of their extended families.

One thing that struck me about the black women whom I interviewed was how several of them complained about their white husbands who “just didn’t get it.” As people on the top of gender, racial, and often class hierarchies, these white men often could not make sense of the privileges they accrued in a society that fought very hard to occlude them. The work often fell on their black wives to teach them how they navigated the world as white middle class men. A few white husbands were “woke” to these dynamics. When I interviewed them individually, we laughed about their couple tactic of wives “tagging” them for interactions with customer service representatives and other outsiders. This strategy ensured that they used their race and gender privileges for the good of the family. Still, black women in other relationships described the emotional labor of explaining intersections of disadvantage to their oblivious white husbands…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Sociologist’s Book Highlights Experiences of Interracial Couples and the Meanings They Give to Race and Ethnicity

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-06-11 00:16Z by Steven

Sociologist’s Book Highlights Experiences of Interracial Couples and the Meanings They Give to Race and Ethnicity

Rutgers-Camden News Now
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
2019-06-10

Tom McLaughlin, Media Relations Specialist


Throughout her book, Osuji uses her findings to challenge the notion that society should rely on interracial couples and their multiracial children to end racism.

While people in American society often talk about race mixture as an antidote to the country’s racial problems, interracial couples remain stigmatized, according to a new book by a Rutgers University–Camden sociologist.

“The idea is that, the more people who are interracially marrying, then we will have more multiracial children and magically there won’t be racial inequality or racism anymore,” says Chinyere Osuji, an assistant professor of sociology at Rutgers University–Camden.

That’s not the case, says the Rutgers–Camden researcher.

According to Osuji, looking at interracial couples in Brazil – a country historically known for its racial diversity – shows how racism can coexist with race mixture. She explains that, although the country does have a substantial multiracial population, interracial couples are very much still stigmatized and race mixing is segregated by class – more likely to occur “in poor communities, where brown and black people live.”

These are just a few of the illuminating findings in Osjui’s groundbreaking new book, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Love and the Meaning of Race (NYU Press, 2019)…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Los Angeles has renamed a street after former President Obama

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-05-15 23:48Z by Steven

Los Angeles has renamed a street after former President Obama

Cable News Network (CNN)
2019-05-05

Saeed Ahmed, Senior Editor

(CNN) The City of Los Angeles has renamed a nearly 4-mile stretch of road from “Rodeo Road” to “Obama Boulevard,” in honor of the country’s first African-American president.

The location is significant, the city said, because Obama held his first campaign rally in Los Angeles on February 20, 2007, at Rancho Cienega Park. The park sits on Rodeo Road, right across from W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“For every child who will drive down this street and see the name of the first Black President of our country, this boulevard will serve as a physical reminder that no goal is out of reach and that no dream is too big,” tweeted City Council President Herb Wesson after the renaming Saturday.

Rodeo Road, which runs through a historic black neighborhood, is not the first strip to be named in honor of former presidents. The district where the road sits is also home to Washington Boulevard, Adams Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard….

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2019-05-01 22:08Z by Steven

Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race

New York University Press
May 2019
320 pages
16 black and white illustrations
152.40 x 228.60 mm
Cloth ISBN: 9781479878611
Paper ISBN: 9781479831456

Chinyere K. Osuji, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden

How interracial couples in Brazil and the US navigate racial boundaries

How do people understand and navigate being married to a person of a different race? Based on individual interviews with forty-seven black-white couples in two large, multicultural cities—Los Angeles and Rio de JaneiroBoundaries of Love explores how partners in these relationships ultimately reproduce, negotiate, and challenge the “us” versus “them” mentality of ethno-racial boundaries.

By centering marriage, Chinyere Osuji reveals the family as a primary site for understanding the social construction of race. She challenges the naive but widespread belief that interracial couples and their children provide an antidote to racism in the twenty-first century, instead highlighting the complexities and contradictions of these relationships. Featuring black husbands with white wives as well as black wives with white husbands, Boundaries of Love sheds light on the role of gender in navigating life married to a person of a different color.

Osuji compares black-white couples in Brazil and the United States, the two most populous post–slavery societies in the Western hemisphere. These settings, she argues, reveal the impact of contemporary race mixture on racial hierarchies and racial ideologies, both old and new.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leitner Human Rights Speaker Series: Chinyere Osuji, Rutgers University – cosponsored with the Center on Race, Law and Justice – Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race in Brazil and the United States

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-04-08 19:04Z by Steven

Leitner Human Rights Speaker Series: Chinyere Osuji, Rutgers University – cosponsored with the Center on Race, Law and Justice – Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race in Brazil and the United States

Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham Law School
150 West 62nd Street
Room 3-09
New York, New York 10023
2019-04-09, 12:30-13:30 EDT (Local Time)
Contact: leitnercenter@law.fordham.edu

Chinyere Osuji is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University with affiliations in Africana Studies and Latin American and Latino studies. Before coming to Rutgers-Camden, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Africana Studies.

Chinyere conducts research on the meaning that social actors give to racial and ethnic boundaries. Her first book, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race (April 2019, NYU Press) takes a novel approach to comparing race and ethnicity across societies by examining the experiences of interracial couples. Boundaries of Love relies on 103 qualitative interviews that she conducted with 52 black-white couples between 2008 and 2012 in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro (in Portuguese). Through using what she calls a critical constructionist approach, Boundaries of Love compares the experiences of couples involving black men and white women with those of black women with white men in these two diverse, multicultural settings. This book reveals how non-elites in these two post-Atlantic slavery societies employ cultural repertoires that push against, bridge over, blur, dismantle or reproduce ethnoracial boundaries.

Chinyere’s next project will employ the critical constructionist approach to nursing and healthcare. In addition, she will be examining the lives of African immigrants, focusing on how they form community without being spatially concentrated.

For more information, click here.

Tags: , , , , ,

How My Southeast L.A. Culture Got to Japan

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2019-02-19 19:15Z by Steven

How My Southeast L.A. Culture Got to Japan

The New York Times
2019-02-19

Walter Thompson-Hernández

I grew up with Chicano and Chicana culture in Los Angeles and heard it had spread to Japan. I wondered: Is this cultural appropriation?

I grew up in southeast Los Angeles, the son of an African-American father and Mexican mother, and the concept of identity is a theme that has been central to my life and a thread that weaves through many of my stories. I heard a rumor that lowrider culture — a community with an affinity for cars, outfit with intricate designs, multicolored lights and heavily tinted windows that can be traced in Southern California to as far back as the 1940s — had traveled to Japan. Apparently a Japanese journalist came to Los Angeles in the early 1990s to cover a lowrider event and returned to Japan with photos and stories to share…

Read the story here and watch the video here.

Tags: , , , , ,

More cities add Barack Obama’s name to landmarks, highways

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Virginia on 2019-01-19 05:12Z by Steven

More cities add Barack Obama’s name to landmarks, highways

USA TODAY
2019-01-13

Chris Woodyard, Los Angeles Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELESBarack Obama hasn’t been the president for nearly two years, but his fame is still spreading – at least when it comes to naming things after him.

The nation’s first African-American president need not go far around the country these days to find something that carries his name. There’s Barack Obama Way in New Albany Township, Indiana, and Barack Obama Boulevard in Pahokee, Florida. There’s a long list of schools now named for him, like Barack Obama Academy for Academic & Civic Development in Plainfield, New Jersey, and Barack Obama Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia.

Obama even has animal species named after him, like placida barackobamai, a sea slug

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,