5 Shades of Pink: A Coerced Identity

Posted in Arts, Census/Demographics, History, Live Events, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2009-10-04 23:52Z by Steven

5 Shades of Pink: A Coerced Identity

In cooperation with The Graduate Association of Rhetoric and Performance Studies.
A Graduate Thesis Performance Exploring Biracial Identity in the 19th Century.

Monroe Lecture Center Theater
California Avenue, South Campus
Hofstra University
2009-03-19 19:30 (Local Time)

by Melissa J. Edwards
Hofstra University

This performance explores the influences of the 1859 play The Octoroon by Dion Boucicault, miscegenation laws, and the U.S. Census on biracial identity.  All these factors are used in the analysis of the racial identity of [“Pinky”] Sally Maria Diggs, a 9-year-old girl whose freedom was purchased by the congregation [for $900 USD on 1860-02-05] of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, through the efforts of the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher and his associates.  The performance is intended to educate and present the theories of social impact on racial identity while providing historical fact and content.

“Freedom Ring” by Eastman Johnson, from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1934-03-21, p. 1
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Public Library

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Performing Bi- and Multi-Racial Identity

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, United States on 2009-10-04 23:31Z by Steven

Performing Bi- and Multi-Racial Identity

Paper presented at the annual meeting of the NCA 94th Annual Convention, TBA
San Diego, California

13 pages

Melissa J. Edwards
Hofstra University

Bi or Multi Racial identity is not clearly defined within American racial terms. This performative criticism of Kristen A. Renn’s study of college age students who identified themselves as biracial explains the historical, governmental, and social reasons for confusion or the lack of clarification of identity among this group. I explore this phenomenon through various theoretical analyses culminating with a written performance expressing the frustration of the students in this racial identity limbo.

Read the entire paper here.

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