These NYC kids have written the history of an overlooked Black female composer

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2021-12-03 20:11Z by Steven

These NYC kids have written the history of an overlooked Black female composer

National Public Radio
2021-12-02

Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR Arts Desk

Three of the student authors of Who Is Florence Price? (left to right: Sebastián Núñez, Hazel Peebles and Sophia Shao), joined by their English teacher, Shannon Potts.
Courtesy of Special Music School

For decades, it was almost impossible to hear a piece of music written by Florence Price. Price was a Black, female composer who died in 1953. But a group of New York City middle school students had the opportunity to quite literally write Florence Price’s history. Their book, titled Who Is Florence Price?, is now out and available in stores.

The kids attend Special Music School, a K-12 public school in Manhattan that teaches high-level music instruction alongside academics. Shannon Potts is an English teacher there.

“Our children are musicians, so whether or not we intentionally draw it together, they bring music into the classroom every day in the most delightful ways,” Potts says. “So if you’re talking about themes and poetry, immediately a child will qualify it with the way that a theme repeats in music.”

Potts assigned her sixth, seventh and eighth grade students to study Florence Price — a composer born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1887. She was the first Black woman to have her music played by a major American orchestra: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed her Symphony No. 1 in 1933 and her Piano Concerto in One Movement the next year. In 1939, at her famed Lincoln Memorial concert, the contralto Marian Anderson included Price’s arrangement of the spiritual “My Soul Is Anchored in the Lord.”…

Read the entire article here.

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‘Passing’ filmmaker Rebecca Hall shares the personal story behind her movie

Posted in Articles, Audio, Autobiography, Biography, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom, United States, Women on 2021-12-03 02:32Z by Steven

‘Passing’ filmmaker Rebecca Hall shares the personal story behind her movie

Fresh Air
National Public Radio
2021-11-30

Terri Gross, Host

Rebecca Hall (right) works on the set of Passing with actors Ruth Negga (left) and Tessa Thompson.
Netflix

Actor/filmmaker Rebecca Hall had what she describes as a “real gasp” moment when she first read Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel Passing.

The book centers on two light-skinned African American women who run into each other after not having seen each other for many years. One of the women is an active member of Harlem’s Black community. The other is married to a white man and is passing as white.

Reading the story of these fictional women, Hall realized that her maternal grandfather had also passed as white.

“Suddenly, aspects of my family life that were tinged with so much mystery and obfuscation, there was a reason for that,” Hall says.

Hall’s mother, acclaimed opera singer Maria Ewing, also passed as white, though not necessarily by her own volition. Instead, Hall says, Ewing tended to “be whatever people chose to see” — which sometimes meant being described as “exotic” by members of the opera community.

Hall was so moved by Larsen’s novel that she drafted a script for a film adaptation — and then she put it away until she felt ready to do something with it. Now, 13 years later, her adaptation of Passing is available on Netflix

Read the entire interview here.

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‘Passing’ — the original 1929 novel — is disturbingly brilliant

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-11-11 22:28Z by Steven

‘Passing’ — the original 1929 novel — is disturbingly brilliant

Book Reviews
National Public Radio
2021-11-10

Carole V. Bell

The one thing most people know about Nella Larsen’s Passing is that it explores a peculiar kind of deception — being born into one marginalized racial category and slipping into another, for privilege, security, or power. But the significance of Passing isn’t found in the surface facts but in the brilliance of its execution: the beauty of the writing, the close character study, and the intense psychological suspense.

Like a decades-early precursor to a Patricia Highsmith novel, a sense of sensual glamour, frustration and foreboding pervades Larsen’s famed novella. In 1927 Chicago, two light-skinned Black women, childhood friends whose lives took different paths, meet again in a theoretically white space, and a strange friendship is renewed despite the danger that the connection might bring. For Irene Redfield, a proper Black doctor’s wife and a doyenne of Harlem society, passing is a petty indulgence, something she dabbles in on occasion, for “the sake of convenience.” Her racial dexterity gains her “restaurants, theater tickets, and things like that.” But to beautiful, orphaned Clare Kendry, passing is a means of survival. Clare had a home with her white relatives who disdained her race; she wanted something more, and she grabbed it, making a permanent break…

Read the entire review here.

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Netflix’s ‘Colin in Black and White’ shows a star athlete reaching toward Blackness

Posted in Articles, Audio, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2021-11-08 04:03Z by Steven

Netflix’s ‘Colin in Black and White’ shows a star athlete reaching toward Blackness

All Things Considered
National Public Radio
2021-10-29

Eric Deggans, TV Critic

Jaden Michael plays a young Colin Kaepernick in Netflix’s ‘Colin in Black and White.’
Courtesy of Netflix

If you had any questions about where Colin Kaepernick’s activist spirit originated, a look at Netflix’s new limited series, Colin in Black and White, removes all doubt.

These days, Kaepernick is known as the ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose decision to kneel during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice inspired others and kicked off years of conflicts. He became a free agent in 2017 and remains unsigned by an NFL team, a situation many analysts attributed to political blowback from the controversy sparked by his protest.

But Colin in Black and White makes the case that he’s been fighting those kinds of battles since he was in middle school, facing down clueless coaches, oblivious friends and well-intentioned white parents who adopted a biracial kid but seemed to have little idea how to handle his desire to embrace Blackness…

Read the entire review here.

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1 In 7 People Are ‘Some Other Race’ On The U.S. Census. That’s A Big Data Problem

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2021-10-01 18:07Z by Steven

1 In 7 People Are ‘Some Other Race’ On The U.S. Census. That’s A Big Data Problem

National Public Radio
2021-09-30

Hansi Lo Wang


Growing numbers of Latinos identifying as “Some other race” for the U.S. census have boosted the category to become the country’s second-largest racial group after “White.” Researchers are concerned the catchall grouping obscures many Latinx people’s identities and does not produce the data needed to address racial inequities.
Ada daSilva/Getty Images

For Leani García Torres, none of the boxes really fit.

In 2010, she answered U.S. census questions for the first time on her own as an adult. Is she of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? That was easy. She marked, “Yes, Puerto Rican.”

But then came the stumper: What is her race?

“Whenever that question is posed, it does raise a little bit of anxiety,” García Torres explains. “I actually remember calling my dad and saying, ‘What race are you putting? I don’t know what to put.’ ”

The categories the once-a-decade head count uses — “White,” “Black” and “American Indian or Alaska Native,” plus those for Asian and Pacific Islander groups — have never resonated with her.

“It’s tricky,” the Brooklyn, N.Y., resident by way of Tennessee says. “Both of my parents are from the island of Puerto Rico, and we’re just historically pretty mixed. If you look at anyone in my family, you wouldn’t really be able to guess a race. We just look vaguely tan, I would say.”…

Read the entire article here.

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The Story Of J.P. Morgan’s ‘Personal Librarian’ — And Why She Chose To Pass As White

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-09-14 14:38Z by Steven

The Story Of J.P. Morgan’s ‘Personal Librarian’ — And Why She Chose To Pass As White

Code Switch
National Public Radio
2021-08-31

Karen Grigsby Bates, Senior Correspondent


Marie Benedict (left) and Victoria Christopher Murray
Phil Atkins

This summer on Code Switch, we’re talking to some of our favorite authors about books that taught us about the different dimensions of freedom. In our last installment, we talked to author Julia Alvarez about her poetry collection The Woman I Kept to Myself and how difficult it can be to share your many selves with the world. Next up, a conversation with authors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray on their book The Personal Librarian.

At the turn of the 20th century, financier J.P. Morgan amassed a rich collection of antique objects related to the power of the written word: manuscripts, books, artwork. He did it all with the idea of enjoying his collection privately. But shortly after his death, Morgan’s personal librarian, a woman named Belle da Costa Greene, convinced J.P. Morgan’s son, Jack Morgan, to make the library a gift to New York City.

The Morgan, as it is now known, welcomes thousands of visitors each year — scholars, researchers, tourists and art lovers — to enjoy the collection. What most don’t know is this: For more than four decades, the library’s collections were acquired and curated by a Black woman. Belle da Costa Greene was quietly passing as white in order to work for one of the most powerful men in the United States

Read the story here.

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Work Of First African American Painter With International Reputation Explored

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Europe, History, Media Archive on 2021-09-12 22:16Z by Steven

Work Of First African American Painter With International Reputation Explored

Art Where You’re At
National Public Radio
2021-09-07

Susan Stamberg, Special Correspondent


Photograph of Henry Ossawa Tanner in 1907.
Frederick Gutekunst (1831–1917)/National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

I just met Henry Ossawa Tanner. Nice trick, since he died in 1937. Tanner was the first African American artist with an international reputation. His paintings are in many museums, but I’ve walked past them countless times. Now, preparing for this column, I got to know a bit about his life and times (as well as new revelations about his artistic thinking) and thought I’d make the introductions.

Quite the gentleman. Born in Pittsburgh, 1859. Grew up in Philadelphia. Died an expatriate in Paris. “He saw right away that he could do better in France,” says Dallas Museum of Art curator Sue Canterbury.

He was having trouble getting into the art classes he wanted — and finding teachers who’d take him on. In France, skin color didn’t matter as much. He told a magazine writer, “in Paris no one regards me curiously. I am simply M[onsieur] Tanner, an American artist. Nobody knows or cares what was the complexion of my forebears.”

The French liked his work. In 1897, the government bought one of his pieces for the state collections. With that rare honor his reputation soared. Museums started buying Tanners. By 1900, when mass reproductions of Christ’s portrait and books on his life were circulating, curator Canterbury says, “Tanner was considered the leading European painter of religious scenes…

Read the entire article here.

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What The New Census Data Shows About Race Depends On How You Look At It

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2021-09-01 00:29Z by Steven

What The New Census Data Shows About Race Depends On How You Look At It

National Public Radio
2021-08-13

Connie Hanzhang Jin

Ruth Talbot

Hansi Lo Wang, Correspondent, National Desk

Over the past decade, the United States continued to grow more racially and ethnically diverse, according to the results of last year’s national head count that the U.S. Census Bureau released this week.

There are many ways to slice the data and change how the demographic snapshot looks.

Since the 2000 count, participants have been able to check off more than one box when answering the race question on census forms. But breakdowns of the country’s racial and ethnic makeup often don’t reflect a multiracial population that has increased by 276% since the 2010 census. They focus instead on racial groups that are made up of people who marked only one box, with multiracial people sometimes lumped together in a catchall group.

Using the new 2020 census results, here’s what a breakdown with a catchall group for multiracial people looks like:

The 2020 U.S. Racial And Ethnic Makeup By Residents With One Race Reported

This breakdown puts residents who said they identified with two or more racial categories into an independent group. It also groups together people who identified as Hispanic or Latino, which federal standards do not consider a racial category. How that group should be represented is a subject of much debate.

One ▢ = 150,000 people

Read the entire article here.

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This Is How The White Population Is Actually Changing Based On New Census Data

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2021-08-23 02:37Z by Steven

This Is How The White Population Is Actually Changing Based On New Census Data

National Public Radio
2021-08-22

Hansi Lo Wang, Correspondent, National Desk

Ruth Talbot

Some news coverage of the latest 2020 census results may have led you to think the white population in the U.S. is shrinking or in decline.

The actual story about the country’s biggest racial group is more complicated than that.

And it’s largely the result of a major shift in how the U.S. census asks about people’s racial identities. Since 2000, the forms for the national, once-a-decade head count have allowed participants to check off more than one box when answering the race question.

While the 2020 census results show fewer people checking off only the “White” box compared with in 2010, there was an almost 316% jump in the number of U.S. residents who identified with the “White” category and one or more of the other racial groups. Their responses boosted the size of a white population that includes anyone who marked “White.”…

Read the entire article here.

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What Does It Mean To Be Latino? The ‘Light-Skinned Privilege’ Edition

Posted in Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2021-08-21 03:46Z by Steven

What Does It Mean To Be Latino? The ‘Light-Skinned Privilege’ Edition

Code Switch
National Public Radio
2021-07-14

Shereen Marisol Meraji, Co-host/ Senior Producer

Kumari Devarajan, Producer

Leah Donnella, Editor


Maria Hinojosa (left) and Maria Garcia.
Krystal Quiles for NPR

Maria Garcia and Maria Hinojosa are both Mexican American, both mestiza, and both relatively light-skinned. But Maria Hinojosa strongly identifies as a woman of color, whereas Maria Garcia has stopped doing so. So in this episode, we’re asking: How did they arrive at such different places? To find out, listen to our latest installment in this series about what it means to be Latino.

Listen to the story (00:37:15) here.

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