Raptors GM draws on mixed upbringing in building team’s post-Kawhi Leonard identity

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Canada, Media Archive, United States on 2019-11-20 01:29Z by Steven

Raptors GM draws on mixed upbringing in building team’s post-Kawhi Leonard identity

The Washington Post
2019-11-19

Ben Golliver, NBA Reporter


“I don’t think I look super Asian or white,” said Toronto Raptors General Manager Bobby Webster, who became the NBA’s youngest GM when he was appointed in 2017. “Being both was freeing.” (Chris Young/The Canadian Press/Associated Press)

LOS ANGELES — When Bobby Webster took the stage as a guest speaker at the U.S.-Japan Council’s annual conference earlier this month, the moderator introduced him as a world champion and a hapa.

The first label was self-evident: Webster is the Toronto Raptors’ general manager, a low-key strategic planner and salary cap specialist who reports to Masai Ujiri, the organization’s brash, larger-than-life president.

The second term — a Hawaiian phrase that means “part” and refers to people of mixed race — described Webster’s Japanese-American background. Webster’s mother, Jean, descended from Japanese immigrants who came to work in the stables at a Hawaiian sugar plantation around the turn of the 20th century. Webster’s father, Bob, a redheaded Chicago native, moved to Hawaii in his late 20s and never left…

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The untold story of wrestler Andrew Johnson’s dreadlocks

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2019-09-19 02:19Z by Steven

The untold story of wrestler Andrew Johnson’s dreadlocks

The Undefeated
2019-09-18

Jesse Washington

Buena wrestler Andrew Johnson returns to mat after dreadlock haircut incident
Andrew Johnson is pictured during his 120-pound bout at the Williamstown Duals on Jan. 5 in New Jersey, Johnson’s first time back on the wrestling mat since he was forced to cut off his dreadlocks or forfeit his match on Dec. 19, 2018. Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media/Barcroft Media

How the high school athlete endured his infamous haircut

When Andrew Johnson walked into The Line Up barbershop last April, all eyes focused on him. Since that awful day in December when a referee had forced the 16-year-old Buena Regional High School wrestler to either cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his match, he felt as if the world was constantly watching him, especially in his small New Jersey town. Watching and whispering about things beyond his control.

Yo, that’s that kid who got his locs chopped by the white ref.

Andrew, who goes by Drew, sat down in Chris Perez’s chair. Perez has tended Drew’s hair since middle school. After a video of Drew’s shearing attracted a massive social media audience last December, he had reshaped Drew’s hair into shorter dreadlocks that radiated from his head.

But now Drew had a new problem. The night before, he had grabbed a pair of scissors from the kitchen and hacked at what remained of his dreads, then asked his little sister to finish the job. Drew loved his hair but was tired of it causing so much trouble. Tired of being treated differently and made into something he was not. Tired of looking in the mirror and seeing the referee, Alan Maloney, looking back.

Maloney already had a racist incident in his past before telling Drew that his hair was “unnatural” and giving him 90 seconds to cut it. What resulted was far more than a humiliating haircut for one high school student. It became a shared and painful experience for many who see how issues of identity, subjugation, power and freedom are intertwined in African American hair…

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Hachimura, Japan’s mixed-race basketball star who once ‘hid from the world’

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Media Archive on 2019-09-01 01:18Z by Steven

Hachimura, Japan’s mixed-race basketball star who once ‘hid from the world’

Japan Today
2019-08-26

Natsuko Fukue


Japan’s Rui Hachimura is set to star at the basketball World Cup. Photo: AFP

TOKYORui Hachimura says he gets his height from his Beninese father and his work ethic from his Japanese mother — a combination that has propelled him to basketball stardom.

The 21-year-old made history in June when he became the first Japanese to be selected in the first round of the NBA draft, picked up by the Washington Wizards.

And like tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, Hachimura’s fast-growing fame is raising the profile of biracial sportspeople in a homogeneous country where mixed-race children still face prejudice.

Hachimura, who is 203 cms tall, will lead Japan’s challenge at the basketball World Cup in China, which begins on Saturday. He is also poised to be a poster boy the hosts at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Big pressure for one so young.

As a child Hachimura stood out in Japan — and not just because of his height. “I inherited my body from my father and my diligence from my mother,” he said in a recent interview with the Mainichi Shimbun daily.

He now feels a sense of pride at being biracial but admits to feeling self-conscious about it when he was a child…

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Effa Manley

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2019-08-16 20:09Z by Steven

Effa Manley

Ebbets Field Flannels
2019

Joe Swide


c. 1938. Wonderful image of Effa in a dress and wearing a Newark Eagles ball cap while being instructed on how to hold a bat by one of her players.

The most powerful woman in baseball

In the summer of 1947, the most powerful woman in baseball received a call from Bill Veeck, the owner of the Cleveland Indians. Veeck had spent the last five years scouting the Negro Leagues for the right ballplayer to integrate the American League and shortly after the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League had broken baseball’s color line by acquiring Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs, Veeck set his eyes on Larry Doby of the Newark Eagles. However, whereas the Dodgers managed to acquire Robinson without paying a cent to the Monarchs, Veeck found himself in a very different sort of negotiation with the owner of the Eagles, Effa Manley.

Manley was born into a biracial family in Philadelphia in 1897. Her mother was a white seamstress who was married to a black man but had an affair with her white employer, leading many to believe that he was Manley’s biological father. In any case, Manley was raised in a predominantly black community with a biracial identity like that of her siblings, and her ability to pass as either black or white enabled her to navigate both sides of the country’s racial divide…

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‘Why am I different?’ Behind this WNBA player’s activism was a search for the answer.

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States, Women on 2019-06-24 19:36Z by Steven

‘Why am I different?’ Behind this WNBA player’s activism was a search for the answer.

The Washington Post
2019-06-22

Ava Wallace


Natasha Cloud in the Mystics’ locker room Friday, when she followed through on a “media blackout” to discuss only gun violence. (Doug Kapustin for The Washington Post)

Some 30 minutes after the Washington Mystics lost to the Seattle Storm on June 14 in Southeast D.C., starting guard Natasha Cloud moved from her seat along the back wall of the Mystics’ locker room to stand at the front, pausing twice to maneuver around various reporters pointing TV cameras and cellphones at her face.

She was not among the Mystics’ leading scorers that night, but she would be their only player to address the media.

Her voice quavering but strong, Cloud, 27, read a prepared statement on behalf of the team rather than answer questions about the game. She followed through on plans she announced the day before on Instagram to hold a “media blackout” to address only gun violence in Washington.

Cloud’s public action came together over little more than 24 hours. But it was the culmination of a long journey, the result of maturation, her increased status with the Mystics since the start of last season and, most importantly, a level of comfort in her own skin that took years to achieve.

“This is my fifth year in the league, and it took me five years to be like, I know something’s wrong, but how do I use my voice? What is my voice? Who am I to speak on the situation?” Cloud said. “You know, I didn’t grow up that way. I grew up in a privileged, white family. How do I correlate that?”…

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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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Is Naomi Osaka Japanese enough for Japan?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2019-02-02 03:19Z by Steven

Is Naomi Osaka Japanese enough for Japan?

Nikkei View: Perspectives on Asian-American culture through the lens of identity, history, and experience
2019-02-01

Gil Asakawa

Naomi Osaka photo by Peter Menzel
Naomi Osaka at the 2018 Nottingham Open qualifiers, photo by Peter Menzel, Creative Commons/flickr

I love following the exciting young career of Naomi Osaka, the world’s first Japanese tennis star who has been ranked number-one by the Women’s Tennis Association, after her recent win in the Australian Open.

I love her passion and skill and determination to win. And most of all, I love that she is mixed-race, with a Japanese mom and Haitian dad. And, that she’s culturally as American as she is Japanese or Haitian.

She was born in Japan, and her family came to the U.S. when she was just three years old. They first lived with her father’s family in Long Island, New York, and by the time she was 10, the family (which includes an older sister who also competes in tennis) moved to Florida, where they still live.

Osaka claims both American and Japanese citizenship. She’s 21 now, and the media have begun pointing out Japan’s citizenship law: At 22, Japan doesn’t allow dual citizenship. Naomi will soon have to choose her nationality…

Read the entire article here.

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Naomi Osaka And The Expectations Put Upon Biracial Japanese

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Videos on 2019-01-31 18:26Z by Steven

Naomi Osaka And The Expectations Put Upon Biracial Japanese

Kotaku East
Kotaku
2019-01-31

Brian Ashcraft
Osaka, Japanese


Screenshot: ANNnewsCH

Earlier this week, Naomi Osaka fielded a question from a Japanese reporter who wanted the tennis star to reply in Japanese. “I’m going to say it in English,” Osaka replied.

The reporter said kongurachureeshon (congratulations) instead of omedetou gozaimasu, Japanese for “congratulations,” before going into a question about the difficulty of playing the left-handed player Petra Kvitová. “First,” the reporter continued, “in Japanese, could you say something about how hard it was?”…

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Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Doesn’t Like Attention. She’s About to Get a Ton of It.

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2019-01-28 01:57Z by Steven

Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Doesn’t Like Attention. She’s About to Get a Ton of It.

TIME
2019-01-10

Sean Gregory, Senior Writer

On a wet December morning in a South Florida weight room, the 21-year-old who stunned Serena Williams at the U.S. Open is hard at work preparing to show that the biggest moment of her life was more than a fluke. As an arrow flashes on an iPad in front of her, Naomi Osaka darts in the direction it signals, pauses, then pivots when it sends her the other way, without missing a step. Her coach, Sascha Bajin, joins the drill but leaps the wrong way and almost lands on Osaka’s ankle. Bajin feigns horror, prompting fellow pro tour player Monica Puig to suggest Osaka give her coach a hug. “She gives hugs like no other,” Bajin says, his sarcasm thicker than midsummer heat. “I only hug people I like,” Osaka parries…

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Backlash Over Ad Depicting Naomi Osaka With Light Skin Prompts Apology

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2019-01-22 16:36Z by Steven

Backlash Over Ad Depicting Naomi Osaka With Light Skin Prompts Apology

The New York Times
2019-01-22

Daniel Victor


At left, a cartoon version of Naomi Osaka in an ad for Nissin, a Japanese instant-noodle brand; at right, the real Ms. Osaka at the Australian Open this month.
Nissin; Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Naomi Osaka, the half-Haitian, half-Japanese tennis champion, is the star of a new Japanese anime-style advertisement.

The problem? The cartoon Ms. Osaka bears little resemblance to her real, biracial self.

Her skin was unmistakably lightened, and her hair style changed — a depiction that has prompted criticism in Japan, where she has challenged a longstanding sense of cultural and racial homogeneity.

The ad — unveiled this month by Nissin, one of the world’s largest instant-noodle brands — features Ms. Osaka and Kei Nishikori, Japan’s top-ranked male tennis player, in a cartoon drawn by Takeshi Konomi, a well-known manga artist whose series “The Prince of Tennis” is popular in Japan…

Mr. Konomi and Ms. Osaka, who faces Elina Svitolina in an Australian Open quarterfinal match on Wednesday, have not publicly commented on the backlash to the ad…

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