‘When I Was White’ Centers On The Formation Of Race, Identity And Self

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-08-08 23:33Z by Steven

‘When I Was White’ Centers On The Formation Of Race, Identity And Self

National Public Radio
2019-08-08

Hope Wabuke


When I Was White: A Memoir by Sarah Valentine, Hardcover, 292 pages

When one thinks of American blackness, there is the unsaid ugly truth that nearly all American blacks who have descended from the historical African diaspora in America have one (or several) rapacious white slave owners in their family tree at some point.

Here, in the early days of the United States, was the invention of racism for economic necessity. From 1619 until 1865, white male Americans chose to breed a black enslaved workforce through the state-sanctioned rape of black women to build the new nation and support their white supremacist class. Race became the single unifying identifier — determining everything about one’s life starting with this most basic division: enslaved or free.

The American law was that the “condition of the child followed that of the mother,” backed up by the “one drop rule,” the legal framework that dictated even one drop of blackness made an individual black, never white. The idea of blackness as a pollutant, a taint that would erode the purity of whiteness, was seized by politicians around the world then — and now.

Because of this legacy of sexual violence and anti-blackness, black and white mixed individuals have long been considered black in America.

To a much larger degree than many people would like to admit, race still determines a vast part of one’s life — social networks and mobility, birth and other medical care, employment opportunities and so on. Indeed, there is an entire genre of literature and film, popularized in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, composed of blacks “passing” for white to avoid this racism. Some of the most famous examples are Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel, Passing; James Weldon Johnson’s 1912 opus, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; and the 1959 film The Imitation of Life.

Sarah Valentine, the author of the memoir When I Was White, did not choose to pass for white; her mother made the choice for her. So Valentine was raised as white by white parents in white middle-class communities — only to discover as a young woman that her biological father was actually black. As Valentine endeavors to explore what her new identity means to her, she searches for ways to connect to her blackness. For Valentine, learning that she is black is to reject whiteness; she cannot comprehend how the privileges of whiteness can be held hand in hand with the racism the black body is subject to…

Read the entire review here.

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Is ‘Race Science’ Making A Comeback?

Posted in Articles, Audio, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-07-16 00:43Z by Steven

Is ‘Race Science’ Making A Comeback?

Code Switch: Race and Identity Remixed
National Public Radio
2019-07-10

Shereen Marisol Meraji, Host/Correspondent

Gene Demby, Lead Blogger

Jess Kung, Intern


Angela Saini, author of Superior: The Return of Race Science.
Henrietta Garden

When Angela Saini was 10 years old, her family moved from what she called “a very multicultural area” in East London to the almost exclusively white Southeast London. Suddenly her brown skin stood out, making her a target. She couldn’t avoid the harassment coming from two boys who lived around the corner. One day, they pelted her and her sister with rocks. She remembers one hit her on the head. She remembers bleeding.

There had been racist comments before that, she says, “but that was the first time that someone around my own age had decided to physically hurt me. And it was tough.”

It was also one of the first stories she reported, writing about the incident and reading it out for class. She says that’s what made her a journalist.

Saini is now an award-winning science journalist, often reporting on the intersection of science, race and gender. Her latest book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, tracks the history and ideology of race science up to its current resurgence…

Read the story here. Download the story (00:22:14) here.

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Episode 1

Posted in Arts, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, United Kingdom, United States on 2019-02-06 02:22Z by Steven

Episode 1

Shade Podcast: UK culture and news podcast focused on the mixed race experience
2019-01-19

Laura Hesketh, Co-Host
Liverpool, England

Lou Mensah, Co-Host
London, England

Debut episode from Laura Hesketh & Lou Mensah where we discuss identification, Meghan Markle (00:01:36), the Khloé Kardashian bi racial doll tweet (00:07:25), Colin Kaepernick (00:10:40), Steven Riley (00:12:22), and more.

Listen to the episode (00:14:19) here. Download the episode here.

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A Family Tree With Roots Deep In Slavery

Posted in Autobiography, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2018-12-03 01:03Z by Steven

A Family Tree With Roots Deep In Slavery

Code Switch: Race and identity, remixed
National Public Radio
2018-11-21

Nabil Ayers

All families have histories.
Man_Half-tube/Getty Images

“Well hello there Nabil!

“I welcome your letter.

“So in the little bit of information you shared with me, I am intrigued.

“I have worked for a number of years, 26 in fact, on my genealogy. It has been a passion and at times an obsession.”

In her initial email to me, Karen surprised me with her excitement and candor — neither of which I was expecting from the woman whom I had gently accused of being the descendant of the man who owned my ancestors…

…My mother, who is white, chose to have me and raise me on her own. My father is black, but because he has never been part of my life, I’ve never held a strong black identity or felt I belonged to any single race. I grew up in very diverse and liberal surroundings where, if anyone asked, I was racially mixed, and that was fine.

I’m often asked the question, “What are you?” Or the less invasive, but still pointed, “Where are you from?” I’ve always described myself as “half black and half white.” It’s a phrase I still use for simplicity…

Read the entire article here.

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A Furious Voice, Forged In The ‘Fire’ Of Prejudice

Posted in Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2018-04-25 21:38Z by Steven

A Furious Voice, Forged In The ‘Fire’ Of Prejudice

Book Review
National Public Radio
2008-10-10

Jessa Crispin, Founder and Editor
Bookslut.com

If I Could Write This in Fire
By Michelle Cliff
Hardcover, 104 pages
University of Minnesota Press
List price: $21.95

While on a tour of the University of Virginia, Jamaican-American novelist and short-story writer Michelle Cliff is informed by a doctoral student that Thomas Jefferson never owned slaves. “‘Villagers,’ as they’re affectionately known,” says the student, “built [this] university, Monticello, every rotunda, column and finial the great man dreamed of. They liked him so much they just pitched in, after their own chores are done.”

It’s one of many unsettling moments in If I Could Write This in Fire, a collection of essays that is Cliff’s first nonfiction book. Everywhere Cliff goes, she sees people treating history as if it were a story they could rewrite at will: women at cocktail parties uttering, “Pinochet was not so bad”; guests at a dinner party disbelieving that the blacks in Birth of a Nation were white actors in blackface.

Cliff, 61, has always been an outsider — a lesbian born on a homophobic Caribbean island, an immigrant in the U.K. (where she studied) and the U.S. (where she settled), a mixed-race intellectual trying to make sense of a black and white world…

Read the entire review here.

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Paintings Of Barack And Michelle Obama Unveiled At Portrait Gallery

Posted in Articles, Arts, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-02-12 19:38Z by Steven

Paintings Of Barack And Michelle Obama Unveiled At Portrait Gallery

National Public Radio
2018-02-12

Camila Domonoske


Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama stand next to their newly unveiled portraits during a ceremony Monday at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Brand new portraits of former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama — wearing matching calm, strong expressions — were revealed on Monday at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Kehinde Wiley painted Barack Obama sitting in a chair, elbows in his knees, leaning forward with an intense expression. The background, typical of a Wiley painting, is a riotous pattern of intense greens.

“Pretty sharp,” Obama said with a grin.

Amy Sherald, a Baltimore-based artist, painted Michelle Obama sitting in a floor-length gown, chin on her hand, looking directly at the viewer with a calm, level gaze.

The paintings, like the presidency they honor, are a historic first. Wiley and Sherald — both already famous for their portraits of black Americans — are the first black painters to receive a presidential portrait commission from the museum…

Read the entire article here.

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Xenia Rubinos is Behind the New Theme Song for NPR’s Latino USA

Posted in Articles, Arts, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-01-30 02:21Z by Steven

Xenia Rubinos is Behind the New Theme Song for NPR’s Latino USA

Remezcla
2018-01-03

Julyssa Lopez
Berlin, Germany


Photo by Max Schiano. Courtesy of Xenia Rubinos

Boricua-Cuban artist and multi-instrumentalist Xenia Rubinos is no stranger to Latino USA, the longest-running Latino-focused radio program on American public media, distributed nationally by NPR. She’s a devoted listener who says she’s regularly tuned in to learn about everything from Pedro Almodóvar movies to the Puerto Rican debt crisis—and she’s also been on the show herself to discuss her music and identity with Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa.

“They are able to educate through really personal storytelling, which instantly brings you in and keeps you listening,” Rubinos told Remezcla. “I’m also a huge fan and admirer of Maria Hinojosa; she is a hero of mine. I think she will be an iconic and important voice in American journalism for many years to come…she’s a totally fierce badass journalist and woman.”

So, Rubinos was absolutely floored last July when the Latino USA team asked her to compose the program’s first-ever theme song, which will open each episode of Latino USA moving forward. Latino USA announced this week that in addition to its Rubinos-designed theme song, it is also premiering a new format. The team will focus on deep-dives into single stories and topics, dropping multiple 15- to 30-minute podcasts weekly and covering extended cuts of interviews, roundtable discussions and short “explainers” of the news. Devotees who want to stick to the original Latino USA hour can still get the whole show on terrestrial radio…

Read the entire article here.

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2020 Census To Keep Racial, Ethnic Categories Used In 2010

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-01-26 21:16Z by Steven

2020 Census To Keep Racial, Ethnic Categories Used In 2010

National Public Radio
2018-01-26

Hansi Lo Wang, National Correspondent


A map shows the locations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s regional offices for the 2020 census.
Hansi Lo Wang/NPR

A Census Bureau announcement about the race and ethnicity questions for the 2020 census suggests the Trump administration will not support Obama-era proposals to change how the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity, census experts say.

If approved, the proposals would change how the Latino population is counted and create a new checkbox on federal surveys for people with roots in the Middle East or North Africa. Research by the Census Bureau shows these revisions could improve the accuracy of the upcoming national headcount in 2020. Any changes would carry wide implications for legislative redistricting, civil rights laws and health statistics.

So far, though, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, which sets the standards for race and ethnicity data for federal agencies, has not released any decisions. OMB has also not responded to NPR’s request for comment…

Read the entire article here.

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Trump Administration Delays Decision On Race, Ethnicity Data For Census

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-12-03 02:07Z by Steven

Trump Administration Delays Decision On Race, Ethnicity Data For Census

National Public Radio
2017-12-02

Hansi Lo Wang, National Correspondent


The 2010 census form included separate questions about race and Hispanic origin. The White House has yet to announce its decision on a proposal that would allow race and ethnicity to be asked in a single, combined question on the 2020 census.
Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

A major decision on the way the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity through the census and other surveys was expected to be announced this week by the Trump administration.

But the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, which sets standards for this type of data for all federal agencies, was silent on Friday, which OMB had said was the deadline for an announcement.

A spokesperson for OMB could not provide any information about the delay.

Under consideration by the White House are proposals introduced during the Obama administration that would fundamentally change how the government counts the Latino population. Another proposal would create a new checkbox on census forms and other federal surveys for people with roots in the Middle East or North Africa. If approved, the policy changes could have significant implications on the upcoming 2020 census, as well as legislative redistricting, civil rights laws and health statistics…

Read the entire article here.

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How The U.S. Defines Race And Ethnicity May Change Under Trump

Posted in Articles, Audio, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-11-23 16:51Z by Steven

How The U.S. Defines Race And Ethnicity May Change Under Trump

All Things Considered
National Public Radio
2017-11-23

Hansi Lo Wang


The Trump administration is expected to announce possible changes to how the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity by Dec. 1.
Chelsea Beck/NPR

Some major changes may be coming to how the U.S. government collects data about the country’s racial and ethnic makeup.

The Trump administration has been considering proposals to ask about race and ethnicity in a radical new way on the 2020 Census and other surveys that follow standards set by the White House.

Introduced when President Obama was still in office, the proposed changes could result in a fundamental shift in how the government counts the Latino population.

Another proposal would create a new checkbox on the census form for people with roots in the Middle East or North Africa, or MENA, which would be the first ethnic or racial category to be added in decades.

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget is expected to release a decision on these proposals by Dec. 1, but an announcement may come out before the end of the month…

Read the entire article here. Listen to the story here. Read the transcript here.

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