Brown Beauty: Color, Sex, and Race from the Harlem Renaissance to World War II

Posted in Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2018-10-15 00:06Z by Steven

Brown Beauty: Color, Sex, and Race from the Harlem Renaissance to World War II

New York University Press
September, 2018
368 pages
27 illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 9781479875108
Paper ISBN: ISBN: 9781479802081

Laila Haidarali, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies
Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Examines how the media influenced ideas of race and beauty among African American women from the Harlem Renaissance to World War II.

Between the Harlem Renaissance and the end of World War II, a complicated discourse emerged surrounding considerations of appearance of African American women and expressions of race, class, and status. Brown Beauty considers how the media created a beauty ideal for these women, emphasizing different representations and expressions of brown skin.

Haidarali contends that the idea of brown as a “respectable shade” was carefully constructed through print and visual media in the interwar era. Throughout this period, brownness of skin came to be idealized as the real, representational, and respectable complexion of African American middle class women. Shades of brown became channels that facilitated discussions of race, class, and gender in a way that would develop lasting cultural effects for an ever-modernizing world.

Building on an impressive range of visual and media sources—from newspapers, journals, magazines, and newsletters to commercial advertising—Haidarali locates a complex, and sometimes contradictory, set of cultural values at the core of representations of women, envisioned as “brown-skin.” She explores how brownness affected socially-mobile New Negro women in the urban environment during the interwar years, showing how the majority of messages on brownness were directed at an aspirant middle-class. By tracing brown’s changing meanings across this period, and showing how a visual language of brown grew into a dynamic racial shorthand used to denote modern African American womanhood, Brown Beauty demonstrates the myriad values and judgments, compromises and contradictions involved in the social evaluation of women. This book is an eye-opening account of the intense dynamics between racial identity and the influence mass media has on what, and who we consider beautiful.

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Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2018-08-21 02:19Z by Steven

Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination

New York University Press
2018-08-03
224 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781479830329

Tanya Katerí Hernández, Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law
Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York

Narratives of mixed-race people bringing claims of racial discrimination in court, illuminating traditional understandings of civil rights law

As the mixed-race population in the United States grows, public fascination with multiracial identity has promoted the belief that racial mixture will destroy racism. However, multiracial people still face discrimination. Many legal scholars hold that this is distinct from the discrimination faced by people of other races, and traditional civil rights laws built on a strict black/white binary need to be reformed to account for cases of discrimination against those identifying as mixed-race.

In Multiracials and Civil Rights, Tanya Katerí Hernández debunks this idea, and draws on a plethora of court cases to demonstrate that multiracials face the same types of discrimination as other racial groups. Hernández argues that multiracial people are primarily targeted for discrimination due to their non-whiteness, and shows how the cases highlight the need to support the existing legal structures instead of a new understanding of civil rights law.

Coming at a time when explicit racism is resurfacing, Hernández’s look at multiracial discrimination cases is essential for fortifying the focus of civil rights law on racial privilege and the lingering legacy of bias against non-whites, and has much to teach us about how to move towards a more egalitarian society.

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Multiracial Parents: Mixed Families, Generational Change, and the Future of Race

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2017-11-09 03:18Z by Steven

Multiracial Parents: Mixed Families, Generational Change, and the Future of Race

New York University Press
November 2017
192 pages
2 tables and 1 figure
Cloth ISBN: 9781479840540
Paper ISBN: 9781479825905

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent

The views and experiences of multiracial people as parents

The world’s multiracial population is considered to be one of the fastest growing of all ethnic groups. In the United States alone, it is estimated that over 20% of the population will be considered “mixed race” by 2050. Public figures—such as former President Barack Obama and Hollywood actress Ruth Negga—further highlight the highly diverse backgrounds of those classified under the umbrella term of “multiracial.”

Multiracial Parents considers how mixed-race parents identify with and draw from their cultural backgrounds in raising and socializing their children. Miri Song presents a groundbreaking examination of how the meanings and practices surrounding multiracial identification are passed down through the generations.

A revealing portrait of how multiracial identity is and is not transmitted to children, Multiracial Parents focuses on couples comprised of one White and one non-white minority, who were mostly “first generation mixed,” situating her findings in a trans-Atlantic framework.

By drawing on detailed narratives about the parents’ children and family lives, this book explores what it means to be multiracial, and whether multiracial identity and status will matter for multiracial people’s children. Many couples suggested that their very existence (and their children’s) is a step toward breaking down boundaries about the meaning of race and that the idea of a mixed-race population is increasingly becoming normalized, despite existing concerns about racism and racial bias within and beyond various communities.

A critical perspective on contemporary multiracial families, Multiracial Parents raises fundamental questions about the future significance of racial boundaries and identities.

Table Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Mixed People and ‘Mixing’ in Today’s Britain
  • 1. Multiracial People as Parents
  • 2. How Do Multiracial People Identify Their Children?
  • 3. The Parenting Practices of Multiracial People
  • 4. Multiracial People, Their Children, and Racism
  • 5. The Future: ‘Dilution’ and Social Change?
  • Conclusion: A Generational Tipping Point?
  • Appendix: Participants
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Call for Essays: Shades of Prejudice: Asian American Women on Colorism in America from NYU Press, Edited by Nikki Khanna (Forthcoming 2018)

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers, Women on 2017-10-17 02:34Z by Steven

Call for Essays: Shades of Prejudice: Asian American Women on Colorism in America from NYU Press, Edited by Nikki Khanna (Forthcoming 2018)

Nikki Khanna, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Vermont
Department of Sociology
31 South Prospect Street
Burlington, Vermont 05405
Telephone: (802) 656-2162

2017-07-06

DEADLINE: Manuscripts will be accepted on a rolling basis, though the final deadline is OCTOBER 31, 2017.

I am pleased to announce an open submission call for my forthcoming anthology from New York University Press, SHADES OF PREJUDICE, a collection of essays written by Asian American women about their personal experiences with colorism.

Colorism is the practice of discrimination whereby light skin is privileged over dark, and is a global issue affecting racial groups worldwide. Colorism exists is just about every part of Asia and affects Asian diasporas, including most Asian American communities—including those descended from Southeast Asia (e.g., India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia), but also those from Japan, China, and other parts of Eastern Asia.

I am looking for Asian American women (including multiracial American women with Asian ancestry) to share their personal experiences with colorismhow has your skin shade (and other “racialized” physical features like eye color, eye shape, and other facial features) influenced your life?

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

  • Submissions should be sent to: nkhanna@uvm.edu (in the subject heading, please type in all-caps: SHADES OF PREJUDICE SUBMISSION)
  • Please send your personal narrative as a Microsoft® Word document and label your document: “LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME.doc.”
  • Essays should be approximately 1,000-2,500 words, double-spaced, and Times New Roman font.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nikki Khanna is an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Vermont and has written extensively on issues regarding race. You can read more about the author here: www.nikkikhanna.com and http://www.uvm.edu/sociology/faculty/faculty_bios/Khanna/.

HERE ARE SOME IDEAS OF QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY WANT TO ADDRESS:

  • What do you consider (physically) beautiful and why? Where does your image of beauty come from? (family, friends, media, or somewhere else?)
  • What is the importance of skin shade in your Asian ethnic community and how has this affected your life? For example, has it had an effect on dating or finding a mate? Has it influenced your interactions or relationships with family members or others? Has it affected any of your life opportunities? (job, education, etc.?).
  • How did you learn that light skin was preferred over dark skin in your Asian ethnic community? Can you provide specific examples?
  • Have you personally benefitted from having light skin? If so, how so? Is there a particular experience that you can share?
  • How have your family, community, peers, friends, media or others reinforced the stereotype that light skin is somehow more desirable than dark skin?
  • Have you felt pressure to use products designed to lighten or whiten your skin? If yes, why and what types of products? What has your experiences been with these products? How do you feel about whitening products?
  • Have you tried any other means to lighten or change the shade of your skin?
  • Have you felt pressure from your ethnic community or larger American society to conform to particular beauty standards? How so? Explain.
  • Have you struggled with, resisted, or actively challenged the “light is beautiful” message? How so?
  • Have other physical/facial characteristics (those that are often related to race) had an influence on your life (e.g., your eye color, eye shape, nose shape)?
  • Have you felt pressure to surgically alter any of your physical features to conform to a particular beauty standard in your Asian ethnic community or in larger American society (e.g., eyelid surgery)? Explain.
  • Do you think light skin is seen as desirable because some people desire to look/be white, because light skin is related to social class or caste, or to something else? Why? What in your personal life has informed the way you explain why light skin is considered more desirable than dark?
  • Do you think the impact of your skin color on your life is influenced by other factors – such as your gender, social class/caste, ethnic group, generation, or other factors? For example, do you think skin color more so affects women than men? Why or why not? Do you think that your experiences are similar or different to male family members or men in your Asian ethnic community? Do you think your generation (whether you are 1st, 2nd, 3rd or later generation Asian American) has influenced the importance of skin color in your life?
  • Did growing up in America challenge or reinforce the idea that light skin is better than dark? How so? Could you share a particular example? Relatedly, how have American beauty standards affected your vision of what is considered beautiful and how does this related to beauty standards in your ethnic community? Are those standards complementary or contradictory?

For more information, click here.

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New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration

Posted in Books, History, Judaism, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2017-02-20 00:08Z by Steven

New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration

New York University Press
February 2017
368 pages
28 halftones
Cloth ISBN: 9781479888801

Judith Weisenfeld, Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of Religion
Princeton University

When Joseph Nathaniel Beckles registered for the draft in the 1942, he rejected the racial categories presented to him and persuaded the registrar to cross out the check mark she had placed next to Negro and substitute “Ethiopian Hebrew.”  “God did not make us Negroes,” declared religious leaders in black communities of the early twentieth-century urban North. They insisted that so-called Negroes are, in reality, Ethiopian Hebrews, Asiatic Muslims, or raceless children of God. Rejecting conventional American racial classification, many black southern migrants and immigrants from the Caribbean embraced these alternative visions of black history, racial identity, and collective future, thereby reshaping the black religious and racial landscape.

Focusing on the Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, Father Divine’s Peace Mission Movement, and a number of congregations of Ethiopian Hebrews, Judith Weisenfeld argues that the appeal of these groups lay not only in the new religious opportunities membership provided, but also in the novel ways they formulated a religio-racial identity. Arguing that members of these groups understood their religious and racial identities as divinely-ordained and inseparable, the book examines how this sense of self shaped their conceptions of their bodies, families, religious and social communities, space and place, and political sensibilities.

Weisenfeld draws on extensive archival research and incorporates a rich array of sources to highlight the experiences of average members. The book demonstrates that the efforts by members of these movements to contest conventional racial categorization contributed to broader discussions in black America about the nature of racial identity and the collective future of black people that still resonate today.

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Brown Bodies, White Babies: The Politics of Cross-Racial Surrogacy

Posted in Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-09-29 01:41Z by Steven

Brown Bodies, White Babies: The Politics of Cross-Racial Surrogacy

New York University Press
September 2016
320 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781479808175
Paper ISBN: 9781479894864

Laura Harrison, Assistant Professor
Department of Gender and Women’s Studies
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Brown Bodies, White Babies focuses on the practice of cross-racial gestational surrogacy, in which a woman—through in-vitro fertilization using the sperm and egg of intended parents or donors – carries a pregnancy for intended parents of a different race. Focusing on the racial differences between parents and surrogates, this book is interested in how reproductive technologies intersect with race, particularly when brown bodies produce white babies. While the potential of reproductive technologies is far from pre-determined, the ways in which these technologies are currently deployed often serve the interests of dominant groups, through the creation of white, middle-class, heteronormative families.

Laura Harrison, providing an important understanding of the work of women of color as surrogates, connects this labor to the history of racialized reproduction in the United States.  Cross-racial surrogacy is one end of a continuum in which dominant groups rely on the reproductive potential of nonwhite women, whose own reproductive desires have been historically thwarted and even demonized.  Brown Bodies, White Babies provides am interdisciplinary analysis that includes legal cases of contested surrogacy, historical examples of surrogacy as a form of racialized reproductive labor, the role of genetics in the assisted reproduction industry, and the recent turn toward reproductive tourism.  Joining the ongoing feminist debates surrounding reproduction, motherhood, race, and the body, Brown Bodies, White Babies ultimately critiques the new potentials for parenthood that put the very contours of kinship into question.

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The Race Whisperer: Barack Obama and the Political Uses of Race

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-07-27 02:15Z by Steven

The Race Whisperer: Barack Obama and the Political Uses of Race

New York University Press
2016-07-26
224 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781479853717
Paper ISBN: 9781479819256

Melanye T. Price, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Political Science
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—New Brunswick

Nearly a week after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin, President Obama walked into the press briefing room and shocked observers by saying that “Trayvon could have been me.” He talked personally and poignantly about his experiences and pointed to intra-racial violence as equally serious and precarious for black boys. He offered no sweeping policy changes or legislative agendas; he saw them as futile. Instead, he suggested that prejudice would be eliminated through collective efforts to help black males and for everyone to reflect on their own prejudices.

Obama’s presidency provides a unique opportunity to engage in a discussion about race and politics. In The Race Whisperer, Melanye Price analyzes the manner in which Barack Obama uses race strategically to engage with and win the loyalty of potential supporters. This book uses examples from Obama’s campaigns and presidency to demonstrate his ability to authentically tap into notions of blackness and whiteness to appeal to particular constituencies. By tailoring his unorthodox personal narrative to emphasize those parts of it that most resonate with a specific racial group, he targets his message effectively to that audience, shoring up electoral and governing support. The book also considers the impact of Obama’s use of race on the ongoing quest for black political empowerment. Unfortunately, racial advocacy for African Americans has been made more difficult because of the intense scrutiny of Obama’s relationship with the black community, Obama’s unwillingness to be more publicly vocal in light of that scrutiny, and the black community’s reluctance to use traditional protest and advocacy methods on a black president. Ultimately, though, The Race Whisperer argues for a more complex reading of race in the age of Obama, breaking new ground in the study of race and politics, public opinion, and political campaigns.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Barack Obama and Black Blame: Authenticity, Audience and Audaciousness
  • 2. Barack Obama, Patton’s Army, and Patriotic Whiteness
  • 3. Barack Obama’s More Perfect Union
  • 4. An Officer and Two Gentlemen: The Great Beer Summit of 2009
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Passing: Identity and Interpretation in Sexuality, Race, and Religion

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Gay & Lesbian, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, Religion on 2015-12-28 21:17Z by Steven

Passing: Identity and Interpretation in Sexuality, Race, and Religion

New York University Press
August 2001
283 pages
5 illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 9780814781227
Paper ISBN: 9780814781234

Edited by:

María C. Sánchez, Associate Professor of English
University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Linda Schlossberg, Lecturer on Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Harvard University

Passing for what you are not—whether it is mulattos passing as white, Jews passing as Christian, or drag queens passing as women–can be a method of protection or self-defense. But it can also be a uniquely pleasurable experience, one that trades on the erotics of secrecy and revelation. It is precisely passing’s radical playfulness, the way it asks us to reconsider our assumptions and forces our most cherished fantasies of identity to self-destruct, that is centrally addressed in Passing: Identity and Interpretation in Sexuality, Race, and Religion.

Identity in Western culture is largely structured around visibility, whether in the service of science (Victorian physiognomy), psychoanalysis (Lacan’s mirror stage), or philosophy (the Panopticon). As such, it is charged with anxieties regarding classification and social demarcation. Passing wreaks havoc with accepted systems of social recognition and cultural intelligibility, blurring the carefully-marked lines of race, gender, and class.

Bringing together theories of passing across a host of disciplines—from critical race theory and lesbian and gay studies, to literary theory and religious studies—Passing complicates our current understanding of the visual and categories of identity.

Contributors: Michael Bronski, Karen McCarthy Brown, Bradley Epps, Judith Halberstam, Peter Hitchcock, Daniel Itzkovitz, Patrick O’Malley, Miriam Peskowitz, María C. Sánchez, Linda Schlossberg, and Sharon Ullman.

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Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, Race

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Gay & Lesbian, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States, Women on 2015-12-28 20:50Z by Steven

Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, Race

New York University Press
April 2014
273 pages
12 halftones
Cloth ISBN: 9781479812981
Paper ISBN: 9781479859498

Ellen Samuels, Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and English
University of Wisconsin, Madison

In the mid-nineteenth-century United States, as it became increasingly difficult to distinguish between bodies understood as black, white, or Indian; able-bodied or disabled; and male or female, intense efforts emerged to define these identities as biologically distinct and scientifically verifiable in a literally marked body. Combining literary analysis, legal history, and visual culture, Ellen Samuels traces the evolution of the “fantasy of identification”—the powerful belief that embodied social identities are fixed, verifiable, and visible through modern science. From birthmarks and fingerprints to blood quantum and DNA, she examines how this fantasy has circulated between cultural representations, law, science, and policy to become one of the most powerfully institutionalized ideologies of modern society.

Yet, as Samuels demonstrates, in every case, the fantasy distorts its claimed scientific basis, substituting subjective language for claimed objective fact. From its early emergence in discourses about disability fakery and fugitive slaves in the nineteenth century to its most recent manifestation in the question of sex testing at the 2012 Olympic Games, Fantasies of Identification explores the roots of modern understandings of bodily identity.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: The Crisis of Identification
  • Part I Fantasies of Fakery
    • 1. Ellen Craft’s Masquerade
    • 2. Confidence in the Nineteenth Century
    • 3. The Disability Con Onscreen
  • Part II Fantasies of Marking
  • Part III Fantasies of Measurement
    • 6. Proving Disability
    • 7. Revising Blood Quantum
    • 8. Realms of Biocertification
    • 9. DNA and the Readable Self
  • Conclusion: Future Identifications
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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White by Law 10th Anniversary Edition: The Legal Construction of Race

Posted in Books, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2015-10-30 00:38Z by Steven

White by Law 10th Anniversary Edition: The Legal Construction of Race

New York University Press
October 2006
236 pages
Paper ISBN: 9780814736944

Ian Haney López, John H. Boalt Professor of Law
University of California, Berkeley

White by Law was published in 1996 to immense critical acclaim, and established Ian Haney López as one of the most exciting and talented young minds in the legal academy. The first book to fully explore the social and specifically legal construction of race, White by Law inspired a generation of critical race theorists and others interested in the intersection of race and law in American society. Today, it is used and cited widely by not only legal scholars but many others interested in race, ethnicity, culture, politics, gender, and similar socially fabricated facets of American society.

In the first edition of White by Law, Haney López traced the reasoning employed by the courts in their efforts to justify the whiteness of some and the non-whiteness of others, and revealed the criteria that were used, often arbitrarily, to determine whiteness, and thus citizenship: skin color, facial features, national origin, language, culture, ancestry, scientific opinion, and, most importantly, popular opinion.

Ten years later, Haney López revisits the legal construction of race, and argues that current race law has spawned a troubling racial ideology that perpetuates inequality under a new guise: colorblind white dominance. In a new, original essay written specifically for the 10th anniversary edition, he explores this racial paradigm and explains how it contributes to a system of white racial privilege socially and legally defended by restrictive definitions of what counts as race and as racism, and what doesn’t, in the eyes of the law. The book also includes a new preface, in which Haney López considers how his own personal experiences with white racial privilege helped engender White by Law.

Table of Contents

  • Preface to the Revised and Updated Edition
  • Acknowledgments
  • A Note on Whiteness
  • 1. White Lines
  • 2. Racial Restrictions in the Law of Citizenship
  • 3. The Prerequisite Cases
  • 4. Ozawa and Thind
  • 5. The Legal Construction of Race
  • 6. White Race-Consciousness
  • 7. The Value to Whites of Whiteness
  • 8. Colorblind White Dominance
  • Appendix A. The Racial Prerequisite Cases
  • Appendix B. Excerpts from Selected Prerequisite Cases
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Table of Legal Authorities
  • Index
  • About the Author
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