Mostly White

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Novels, United States on 2018-12-03 01:20Z by Steven

Mostly White

Torrey House Press
November 2018
200 pages
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-937226-95-4
Electronic ISBN: 978-1-937226-99-2

Alison Hart

Spanning four generations of a mixed-race family, Mostly White is a powerful tale of inter-generational trauma and the healing brought by wildness, music, and the resilience of women. The novel begins with Emma, who survives the abuse of an Indian residential school in 1890s Maine. Beaten and locked in a closet for days, Emma flees to the woods, where she meets Bird Man, an Irish bootlegger. Three generations later, aspiring actor Ella contends with her mixed-race heritage as she navigates color lines in 1980s New York City.

Throughout this sweeping and compassionate novel, Alison Hart’s unforgettable characters struggle with racism, poverty, and how to honor the call of their ancestors while forming their own identities. Mostly White unflinchingly examines facets of America’s difficult past—and the many ways this past pervades our present.

Tags: , , ,

Mayor de Blasio’s son Dante says the SHSAT, the elite high school admissions test, fostered racism at Brooklyn Tech

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2018-06-15 16:33Z by Steven

Mayor de Blasio’s son Dante says the SHSAT, the elite high school admissions test, fostered racism at Brooklyn Tech

New York Daily News
2018-06-14

Dante de Blasio (son of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray, is a rising senior at Yale University.)


Dante de Blasio attends the Brooklyn Technical High School graduation ceremony on June 19, 2015. (Stephanie Keith for New York Daily News)

A year after I graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 2015, the hashtag #BlackinBrooklynTech started appearing on my social media. Black students and recent alumni were using it to share stories of overt acts of racism at the school.

The stories included a teacher laughing at a black student when that student shared her dream of becoming a doctor, white and Asian students using racial slurs to bully black students, and faculty members ignoring a black student’s complaints after he was called the N-word and “monkey” by his peers.

Older black alumni soon got involved, and they shared many of their own stories at a public meeting with the principal. The current and former students who drove the campaign were sick of having to defend their right to earn an elite education in the face of adversity from the students and faculty meant to support their success.

I understood exactly where my fellow black alumni were coming from. I’d had many of my own experiences. Some of them might seem innocuous. For example, I remember being the only black kid in many of my classes (something that seemed normal to many of my classmates). However, many experiences displayed the racism which was all too common in the school…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

EXCLUSIVE: Afro-Latina Slam Poet, Elizabeth Acevedo, Debuts First Novel ‘Poet X’

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-03-20 01:51Z by Steven

EXCLUSIVE: Afro-Latina Slam Poet, Elizabeth Acevedo, Debuts First Novel ‘Poet X’

Latina
2018-03-05

Jenifer Calle, Politics and Culture Writer


@acevedowrites/Instagram

Elizabeth Acevedo has been empowering Afro-Latinas for years by bringing attention to the various experiences of women of color through her powerful words in poetry.

As a Latina, you might remember a certain poem or a book that changed your life, a verse so precise it gave you chills. Acevedo’s debut novel, Poet X, will do just that with its raw emotions that are universal to all young girls, wrapped up in beautiful lyrical verses.

Poet X is a Young Adult novel that follows the story of an unapologetic 15-year-old girl, Xiomara Batista, growing up in Harlem. As a Dominican-American teen stepping into adulthood she takes to her journal to deal with the emotions and frustrations she feels at home and at school. In this three-part novel, Xiomara struggles with her conservative mother, an absent father, her faith in God, her sexuality, and much more. Xiomara’s awakening through slam poetry helps her find her voice but her journey of self-discovery doesn’t come easy…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Incognegro: Renaissance #1

Posted in Articles, Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States on 2018-02-20 03:31Z by Steven

Incognegro: Renaissance #1

Dark Horse Comics
2018-02-07
32 pages
b&w, Miniseries
UPC: 7 61568 00235 5 00111

Writer: Mat Johnson
Artist: Warren Pleece
Editor: Karen Berger

After a black writer is found dead at a scandalous interracial party in 1920s New York, Harlem’s cub reporter Zane Pinchback is the only one determined to solve the murder. Zane must go ”incognegro” for the first time–using his light appearance to pass as a white man–to find the true killer, in this prequel miniseries to the critically acclaimed Vertigo graphic novel, now available in a special new 10th Anniversary Edition.

With a cryptic manuscript as his only clue, and a mysterious and beautiful woman as the murder’s only witness, Zane finds himself on the hunt through the dark and dangerous streets of ”roaring twenties” Harlem in search for justice.

A page-turning thriller of racial divide, Incognegro: Renaissance explores segregation, secrets, and self-image as our race-bending protagonist penetrates a world where he feels stranger than ever before.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Incognegro: Renaissance Author Mat Johnson Talks About Living a Black Life With Skin That Can Look White

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2018-02-20 03:12Z by Steven

Incognegro: Renaissance Author Mat Johnson Talks About Living a Black Life With Skin That Can Look White

Comics
Gizmodo
2018-02-12

Charles Pulliam-Moore


Dark Horse

In Dark Horse’s Incognegro: Renaissance, Zane Pinchback—a young black journalist and New York transplant by way of Tupelo, Mississippi—finds himself smack dab in the middle of Harlem at the height of its Renaissance during the 1920s. Zane, like Incognegro: Renaissance creator Mat Johnson, is a black man with a light enough complexion that people are sometimes unsure or entirely unaware of his race.

To those who know him, Zane’s identity isn’t a question, but for many of the new people he encounters in New York—particularly the white ones—Zane is able to pass as white, and thus move through certain spaces that other black people can’t. Drawn by Warren Pleece, Incognegro: Renaissance opens on a very taboo and illegal book party in Harlem where black and white people co-mingle as the champagne flows freely.

When a black guest suddenly turns up dead of an apparent suicide, the authorities show up on the scene to shut the gathering down, but have zero interest in investigating whether the death may be a homicide because the man is black. Realizing that his ability to pass (and willingness to do work others won’t) might allow him to dig deeper into the potential crime, Zane sets out on a mission to uncover the truth.

When I spoke with Johnson recently about his inspiration for the new series, he explained that much of the core premise is based on his own experiences and a life-long love of Walter Francis White, the civil rights activist who was the head of the NAACP from 1931 to 1955. But what Johnson really wants readers to get out of the series, he said, was a better understanding of the fact that identity in all its forms is fluid…

Read the entire interview here.

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

EXCLUSIVE: White supremacist James Jackson reveals deranged desire to kill black men to save white women in jailhouse interview

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-04-02 15:02Z by Steven

EXCLUSIVE: White supremacist James Jackson reveals deranged desire to kill black men to save white women in jailhouse interview

The New York Daily News
2017-03-26

Ellen Moynihan and Steven Rex Brown

The racist who fatally drove a sword through 66-year-old Timothy Caughman said Sunday he hoped the attack would stop white women from entering relationships with black men.

In an exclusive Rikers Island interview with the Daily News, James Jackson, 28, offered a window into his deranged, hate-filled psyche.

He shared details about his upbringing with “typical liberal” parents, his wishes to have shed more African-American blood, and his fear of being killed in custody now that he is being held in a jail with a largely minority inmate population and staff.

During the disturbing sitdown, Johnson was at times self-aggrandizing, boasting of his white supremacy without shame. In other moments, he appeared dejected by society’s rejection of his violent, racist message — which echoed another notorious racist killer, South Carolina church gunman Dylann Roof.

Most chillingly, Jackson said he had traveled to New York from Baltimore intending to kill numerous black men, imagining that the bloodshed would deter white women from interracial relationships. “‘Well, if that guy feels so strongly about it, maybe I shouldn’t do it,’” he said, imagining how he wanted a white woman to think…

…In 2008, Jackson said, he voted for Barack Obama for President, one of the few people of mixed race he said he could respect. “I couldn’t let Palin get in there. She’s stupid,” he said, referencing then-Republican candidate for vice president Sarah Palin

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Signifyin(g) Saint: Encoding Homoerotic Intimacy in Black Harlem

Posted in Articles, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Gay & Lesbian, History, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Religion on 2017-03-15 01:36Z by Steven

The Signifyin(g) Saint: Encoding Homoerotic Intimacy in Black Harlem

Black Perspectives
2017-03-14

James Padilioni Jr, Ph.D Candidate and Teaching Fellow in American Studies (Africana-affiliated)
College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

On June 25, 1942, Edward Atkinson arrived at 101 Central Park West to sit for a photo shoot in the home studio of Carl Van Vechten. Van Vechten, author of the infamous 1926 novel Nigger Heaven, was a white patron of the Harlem Renaissance and amateur photographer who took hundreds of photographs of Black Harlem’s who’s who such as Paul Robeson, Billie Holiday, and James Weldon Johnson. Atkinson, an off-Broadway actor no stranger to playing a role, transformed himself into Martin de Porres (1579-1639), a Peruvian friar who became the first Afro-American saint when the Vatican canonized him in 1962 as the patron of social justice. I trace Martin’s iconography and ritual performances across Black communities in Latin and Anglo America to reveal the historical relations of power that structure and materialize the networks harnessed by Black peoples to mobilize resources in their varied yet persistent efforts to create meaningful lives out of the fragments of the Middle Passage

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A Good Fellow and a Wise Guy

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, History, United States on 2017-03-13 01:41Z by Steven

A Good Fellow and a Wise Guy

The New York Sun
2006-08-09

William Bryk

Book Review
A Pickpocket’s Tale: The Underworld of Nineteenth-Century New York
by Timothy J. Gilfoyle

George Washington Appo, the once notorious Asian-Irish-American petty criminal who flourished during the last quarter of the 19th century as a pickpocket and swindler, had pretty much faded into obscurity at his death in 1930, aged 73. Even the street where he lived, Donovan’s Lane (better known as Murderer’s Alley) is gone, buried with the infamous Five Points slum beneath the federal courthouses in Foley Square.

Appo resurfaced in Luc Sante’s 1991 best seller, “Low Life,” which briefly presents him as a buffoon, incompetent even as a crook. If Timothy J. Gilfoyle’sA Pickpocket’s Tale” (W.W. Norton, 460 pages,$27.95) serves any purpose, it corrects this slur on Appo’s reputation. Appo practiced pick-pocketing as others practice dentistry or law: He was a thorough professional who picked thousands, if not tens of thousands, of pockets during his career, usually making as much money in a day as the average workingman then made in a year. He was imprisoned four times for pickpocketing, all while still relatively young. He apparently accepted jail as an inevitable cost of doing business…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Patricia Park talks about her Korean American spin on Jane Eyre

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-12-26 17:58Z by Steven

Patricia Park talks about her Korean American spin on Jane Eyre

The Los Angeles Times
2015-05-12

Steph Cha


Patricia Park, author of “Re Jane” (Allana Taranto/Viking)

What if Jane Eyre was a Korean American girl and Rochester was a English professor? Patricia Park on ‘Re Jane

Patricia Park’s debut novel, “Re Jane” (Pamela Dorman/Viking: 340 pp., $27.95), is a retelling of everyone’s favorite Gothic Victorian Brontë romance, “Jane Eyre,” transferred to New York and South Korea in the early 2000s. Her heroine, Jane Re, is a half-Korean orphan raised by her uncle’s family in Flushing, Queens, a neighborhood that feels “all Korean, all the time.” When a prestigious post-college job offer falls through thanks to the dot-com crash, Jane takes a job as an au pair in Brooklyn in order to escape Queens and her uncle’s grocery store.

Her employers are Ed Farley and Beth Mazer, two Brooklyn English professors with an adopted Chinese daughter. Ed, as you may have guessed, is brooding and manly, with a strong jawline and a Brooklyn accent—pure Kryptonite for our wide-eyed, 22-year-old Jane. He lives in the shadow of his older, more accomplished wife, an eccentric feminist scholar with an attic office, who takes it upon herself to educate their sheltered au pair.

With her mixed blood and her torn loyalties, Jane embodies the confusion of both young adulthood and the hyphenated American experience. Impressionable and accommodating at the start of the novel, she struggles to find her own identity as the places and people in her life try to claim her. Her journey is a pleasure to follow, immensely rewarding and speckled with humor and romance…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Re Jane: A Novel

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2016-12-26 02:27Z by Steven

Re Jane: A Novel

Pamela Dorman Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2015-05-05
352 Pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0525427407
Paperback ISBN: 978-0143107941

Patricia Park

  

For Jane Re, half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, Jane toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops and nineteenth–century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.

Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is. Re Jane is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.

Journeying from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul, and back, this is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean American debut.

Tags: , , , , , , ,