Hybrida: Poems

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Poetry, Social Justice, United States on 2019-04-19 18:33Z by Steven

Hybrida: Poems

W. W. Norton
May 2019
144 pages
6.4 × 8.5 in
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-324-00248-2

Tina Chang, Poet Laureate of Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn, New York

A stirring and confident examination of mixed-race identity, violence, and history skillfully rendered through the lens of motherhood.

In this timely, assured collection, Tina Chang confronts the complexities of raising a mixed-race child during an era of political upheaval in the United States. She ruminates on the relationship between her son’s blackness and his safety, exploring the dangers of childhood in a post–Trayvon Martin era and invoking racialized roles in fairy tales. Against the stark urban landscapes of threat and surveillance, Chang returns to the language of mothers.

Meditating on the lives of Michael Brown, Leiby Kletzky, and Noemi Álvarez Quillay—lost at the hands of individuals entrusted to protect them—Chang creates hybrid poetic forms that mirror her investigation of racial tensions. Through an agile blend of zuihitsu, ghazal, prose poems, mosaic poems, and lyric essays, Hybrida envisions a childhood of mixed race as one that is complex, emotionally wrought, and often vulnerable. Hybrida is a twenty-first-century tale that is equal parts a mother’s love and her fury, an ambitious and revelatory exploration of identity that establishes Tina Chang as one of the most vital voices of her generation.

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“My aim is to locate myself in this discussion as a biracial Black man who has both been the victim of racism and has in some instances “passed” for white because of my light skin.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-05-18 21:19Z by Steven

“Along with my personal identity struggles, the historical legacy of racism in the United States for communities of color informs my experiences. My current work responds to the police killings of unarmed Black men, women, and children across America. While this is a constant attack on the Black community, the increased international media attention, public awareness, and public movements are new phenomena. The recent killings of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner to Tamir Rice and Michael Brown, illustrate that Black victims can range in age from 12 to 50 years old. This raises the question of the value of Black bodies in contemporary America, which is linked to a long history of violence against its Black population through slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration. My aim is to locate myself in this discussion as a biracial Black man who has both been the victim of racism and has in some instances “passed” for white because of my light skin. I see this as the cost of a legacy of racism that is particularly troublesome to me and this conversation must continue.” —Michael Dixon

Tasha Mathew, “Michael Dixon: A Discussion About Race, Representation, and Biracial Identity,” Or Does It Explode, March 14, 2016.
http://www.ordoesitexplode.com/#!Michael-Dixon-A-Discussion-About-Race-Representation-and-Biracial-Identity/pidwk/56e5a6850cf26296007f90ad.

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Multiracial Community Organizations Response to #Ferguson

Posted in My Articles/Point of View/Activities, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Statements, United States on 2015-03-05 02:09Z by Steven

Multiracial Community Organizations Response to #Ferguson

2014-11-26

As members of the multiracial community, we want to express our concern and compassion for the family of Michael Brown Jr. We are connected to these events and stand in solidarity with the many individuals and communities that have been harmed by the legacies of white supremacy, privilege, and racism. As community organizers, scholars, activists, writers, and artists, we remain resolute in dismantling racism through our work and actions.

#BlackLivesMatter

Critical Mixed Race Studies
Loving Day
MAVIN
Mixed Roots Stories
Mixed Race Studies
Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC)
Multiracial Asian Families
National Association of Mixed Student Organizations (NAMSO)
Kaily Heitz

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Talking about Critical Mixed Race Studies in the Wake of Ferguson

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-21 20:38Z by Steven

Talking about Critical Mixed Race Studies in the Wake of Ferguson

University of Washington Press Blog
2015-01-21

Laura Kina, Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, & Design
DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

In this guest post, Laura Kina, coeditor of War Baby / Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art, discusses the emerging discipline of mixed race studies and what it can contribute to ongoing dialogues surrounding race, police brutality, and social justice in the wake of Ferguson.

Since the deaths this past summer of two unarmed black men, Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York by white police officers, our nation has been embroiled in discussions of police brutality and racial profiling. The social unrest and racial tensions of our current moment are a stark contrast to the congratulatory “post-racial” moment in 2008 with the election of President Barack Obama–the first black “biracial” president. Recent racial tensions also present stark contrast to the celebration of the multiracial “melting pot” that America celebrated following the 2000 US Census, which allowed individuals to self-identify as more than one race for the first time.

Those earlier, problematic readings of race—as something to either get beyond or as something new and worthy of celebration—coupled with the dearth of history and representations of mixed race Asian American lives inspired my coauthor Wei Ming Dariotis and I to publish War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2013). Along with my DePaul colleague Camilla Fojas, we also set out to challenge these myths and establish a scholarly field of Critical Mixed Race Studies

Read the entire article here.

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I Don’t See Race; I Only See Grayish-Brown, Vaguely Humanoid Shapes

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2015-01-01 20:07Z by Steven

I Don’t See Race; I Only See Grayish-Brown, Vaguely Humanoid Shapes

The Onion
Issue 50•49, 2014-12-12

Janice Ketchum

I don’t understand why everyone seems to be so angry lately. Everywhere you look, there are marches, protests, riots—and all of it over so-called racism in our great country. I just don’t get it. I really don’t. But maybe that’s because, when I look at my fellow Americans, I don’t see a particular race or color. In fact, all I see is just a series of muted, roughly person-shaped silhouettes.

And this world would be a much better place if everyone else did, too.

If we want to go forward as a country, we have to move beyond race once and for all. It’s 2014! Why is it so hard for people to look past each other’s race, like I do, and see everyone as vaporous, beige-ish forms with limbs? All those blurry, vaguely human-shaped troublemakers shouting in the streets and the translucent bleeding-heart blobs moralizing on TV may feel the need to categorize everyone they see by their skin color, but I don’t give it a second thought. I wouldn’t even know how!

Take, for example, the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, which sparked widespread outrage over “institutional racism.” These protesters are stuck in the past. They haven’t progressed enough to see that we’re all just grayish-brown smudges between approximately 4 and 6 and a half feet tall. They are part of the problem! Whereas they see “black” victims and “white” police, I just see amorphous clouds of the same basic hue, some of which have guns…

Read (with tongue-in-cheek) the entire article here.

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Obama’s message of hope and change is all but lost amid the chaos of Ferguson

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-12-21 22:14Z by Steven

Obama’s message of hope and change is all but lost amid the chaos of Ferguson

The Guardian
2014-08-22

Patricia Williams, James L. Dohr Professor of Law
Columbia University, New York, New York

The president is being pressed to take sides in a personal, political and structural tragedy in a divided nation

In 2008, the year that Barack Obama became president of the United States, the New York-based artist Carrie Mae Weems created a video installation in which Obama’s face melts from one thing to another: model citizen, communist infiltrator, immigrant, foreigner, friend, black Jesus, brown Hitler, American dream, chicken, monkey, zebra, joker, minstrel. As Weems’s voiceover describes it: “A reason to hope, a reason to change, a reason to reason …”

Of course, Obama has always been somewhat shape-shifting in his symbolism – it’s probably what got him elected to begin with. The “hope and change” that became his trademark was more than mere slogan; the very idea of a first black president became a mirror for whatever people wanted to see in him.

Now we come to a situation all too familiar in America with the death of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Obama is being pressed to take one of two sides in a layered personal, political, and structural tragedy for which carelessly drawn lines in the sand could not be more unhelpful. The last two weeks of anguish in Ferguson cap a difficult season for Obama. Already besieged by the situations in Ukraine, Iraq, Gaza, Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan, he has had to manoeuvre his way through attacks at home from every side. From Congressional Republicans threatening to sue him for trying to implement healthcare reform to the snarkily undermining comments of Hillary Clinton – this summer has been a season of confrontation. Is Obama too aggressive in his exercise of executive power? Or too chicken to invade? Is he passive on immigration? Too intemperate with Congress? Rarely has a president been so buffeted by such a variety of inconsistently projected personality traits…

Read the entire article here.

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“Race”: a Political Weapon

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-12-14 01:40Z by Steven

“Race”: a Political Weapon

Counterpunch: Tells the Facts and Names the Names
2014-12-03

Luciana Bohne, Professor
Edinboro University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania

“The racial categories included in the census questionnaire generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country and not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically.”

US Census

According to a widely circulated statistic, the police kill a young black man every twenty-eight hours in America. Without doubt, the police have a problem with race. Moreover, the justice system appears to have a problem, too, as proven by the Grand Jury’s failed indictment of Darren Wilson in the killing this summer of young Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The failed indictment does not mean that Wilson is innocent; only that he will not be brought to trial. This is a terrible perversion of the path to justice. It suggests deliberate prevention of trial on the nearly 100% certainty that Wilson would be found guilty if tried. I am disturbed, however, by the well-intentioned flagellants among the white, non-racist community virtually calling for “America’s” white male blood, metaphorically speaking. I am disturbed because this is the wrong response to the judicial outrage in Ferguson. We should be calling for ruling-class blood, not dividing ourselves into blacks and whites. Isn’t this division a benefit that our divide-and-rule oppressors hardly deserve? Let us not play with the cards in their deck.

To begin with, is “America” racist? Real, existing Americans voted for a black candidate for president, one, moreover, who ticked off only the “African American” category on race in the US Census of 2010. In choosing the less privileged racial group than white, Obama adhered to the principle of “hypo descent,” which the US has traditionally used to determine the race of a child born of a mixed-race union. We have a black political class in the Congress; a black Supreme Court justice; two blacks have been secretary of state (one a woman). We have not one institution in which blacks don’t figure more or less prominently. Mixed marriages have been legal since 1967. In 2008, about 14% of all first marriages were mixed race; 9% of whites, 16% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics, and 31% of Asians were interracially married…

Read the entire article here.

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See How They Love One Another – #BlackLivesMatterSunday

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Religion, Social Justice, United States on 2014-12-14 00:57Z by Steven

See How They Love One Another – #BlackLivesMatterSunday

Grace Sandra: Always Grace. Always Advocate. Always Hope.
2014-12-13

Frank Robinson, Retired Pastor and author of Letters To A Mixed Race Son

Around 260 AD the second of two great plagues killed much of the world. It was estimated two thirds of Alexandria died as result. Frightened people immediately began to shove diseased loved ones outside. They were dumped in roadways before they died and the dead were left unburied. Many who fled died of this epidemic, as it was nearly inescapable.

The Christians responded differently. They stayed and cared for the sick. They saw to basic needs of those who suffered. Many of these Christians became ill and lost their own lives, even while heroically nursing the sick, burying the dead and caring for others.

There was such a vivid contrast between pagans, who immediately abandoned their dearest to die alone, and the Christian community, who stayed and fed, nursed and served others to the end. According to Tertullian, the Romans marveled, “See how they love one another!”…

…In response to recent, tragic events in our nation, Bishop Charles Blake, presiding officer of the Church of God in Christ asked his denomination to hold a “Black Lives Matter” awareness and prayer event this Sunday. It is intended to mourn, remember and honor two recently deceased African American men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, both killed by police. The event also is to remind all of the importance of all African American lives. Pastors and members of COGIC churches are asked to wear black Sunday December 14, 2014 to show solidarity. A special prayer will be given for all men present in the service…

Read the entire article here.

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Obama Plans Meetings on Ferguson Unrest at the White House

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-12-01 19:08Z by Steven

Obama Plans Meetings on Ferguson Unrest at the White House

The New York Times
2014-11-30

Julie Hirschfeld Davis, White House Reporter

WASHINGTON — President Obama is planning a day of meetings at the White House on Monday to respond to the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and racially tinged anger across the country after a grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager.

Mr. Obama, who has labored to strike the right balance in reacting to the crisis, has not scheduled a trip to Ferguson despite days of speculation about a presidential visit there.

But he will gather his cabinet on Monday to discuss the results of a review of federal programs that provide military-style equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies. The initiatives were called into question in August, after the Ferguson police responded with riot gear and assault-style weapons to protests in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown, the teenager, by Officer Darren Wilson

…The president has faced a challenge in calibrating his response to the situation in Ferguson, working to balance the task of urging calm and unity with his desire, as America’s first black president, to acknowledge racial wounds — all while being careful not to interfere in the investigation…

Read the entire article here.

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Michael Brown and the deadly effects of colorism

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-29 00:37Z by Steven

Michael Brown and the deadly effects of colorism

Newsworks: WHYY News
The Philadelphia Experiment
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2014-10-30

Solomon Jones

The outcry triggered by the killings of unarmed men by police officers — from Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson, Mo., to the choking death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY — has largely focused on the victims’ skin color.

But little has been said about the fact that the men killed by police are not just African American. They are often dark skinned. That deep, ebony complexion, and all that it symbolizes, is significant, said Dr. Yaba Blay, co-director and assistant teaching professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University.

For dark-skinned black men, Blay said, “The unquestionable state of their blackness invokes fear in others. We haven’t seen racially ambiguous men gunned down by police.”

Complex prejudice

Such violence is just one consequence of what academics call colorism — the prejudging of others based on complexion…

Read the entire article here.

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