A mixed-race princess is just what the Royal family needs

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-11-29 01:21Z by Steven

A mixed-race princess is just what the Royal family needs

The Spectator
2017-11-27

Linden Kemkaran
Sevenoaks, Kent, United Kingdom

We’ve had a brown president in the White House and today, that palest of institutions, the Royal family, is formally admitting a mixed-race girl into its bosom. Wow, just wow.

I do wonder, speaking as a mixed-race girl myself, does this acceptance of colour into one of the world’s oldest monarchies mean that brown people have finally been acknowledged as being an integral part of the fabric of modern society?…

Read the entire article here.

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Britain’s black history has been shamefully whitewashed

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-01-16 02:11Z by Steven

Britain’s black history has been shamefully whitewashed

The Spectator
2017-01-14

Hakim Adi, Professor of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora
University of Chichester, Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom


Author David Olusoga (Photo: Getty)

I have been researching and writing about black British history for over 30 years but never before have I been fortunate enough to review a 600-page book on the subject, published to accompany a recent major BBC documentary. The book and the four-part series give some indication of the extent of a history which David Olusoga presents as ‘forgotten’: the subject, he argues, has been largely excluded from the mainstream narrative of British history. Why it should be forgotten, and who might have forgotten it should give us all pause for reflection, since the denial of black British history by those who should know better could be considered tantamount to racism.

Olusoga reminds us that Britain’s ‘island story’ cannot be understood in isolation from the rest of the world and certainly not from Africa and other parts of what was once the British empire. He also demonstrates that Africans were often a central part of Britain’s history centuries before the empire, going back to the Roman period and beyond. Indeed, he argues that black British history is not just about black people but about encounters between blacks and whites, including intermarriage or the ‘mixed relationships’ that have been commented on since Elizabethan times.

The latest archaeological techniques and historical research show that in Roman Britain there were many individuals of African heritage of all classes. We are now becoming more familiar with the fourth-century ‘Ivory Bangle Lady’ of York and ‘The Beachy Head Lady’ from sub-Saharan Africa, thought to have lived in East Sussex c. 200 AD. It seems likely that soon we will have more conclusive evidence that Africans were travelling to Britain long before the arrival of the Romans

Read the entire review here.

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The ‘anti-racist’ crowd have resorted to the old politics of racism

Posted in Articles, Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2016-03-09 19:46Z by Steven

The ‘anti-racist’ crowd have resorted to the old politics of racism

The Spectator
2016-03-07

Brendan O’Neill

The self-important slayers of ‘cultural appropriation’ have gone too far this time. Clearly they didn’t get a big-enough moral kick from chastising white people who do yoga (on the basis that yoga has ‘roots in Indian culture’), moaning about Beyonce donning a sari (‘how is this different from white folks wearing cornrows?’, the racial police demanded), and fuming about middle-class indie kids who wear Native American headdresses at music festivals (apparently this ‘perpetuates damaging, archaic and racist stereotypes’).

So now they’re turning their fire on a black actress who, in their view, is not black enough to play Nina Simone. Yes, even black people can now be accused of being insufficiently black for certain cultural pursuits.

The actress in question is Zoe Saldana, a fine actress whose curious combination of vulnerability and steeliness has made her the darling of the modern Hollywood blockbuster. She’s one of the best things in the Star Trek reboot movies and she even managed to inject some humanity into James Cameron’s otherwise soulless, eco-miserabilist epic, Avatar. And next she will play Simone, in a big biopic, the trailer for which was released last week.

But the identity-politics mob isn’t happy. Why? Because Saldana is a light-skinned black person, a ‘half black’, as some have foully put it, and she used make-up to make herself as black as Simone…

Read the entire article here.

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What is ‘post-racial’?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2011-03-14 00:41Z by Steven

What is ‘post-racial’?

The Spectator
Seattle University
2011-02-16

Frances Dinger

Since Barack Obama became the first black president in 2008, the word “post-racial” has been liberally used by some media groups. We are, according to some, at a point in our country’s history when we can be past race but minorities are still incarcerated at a disproportionate rate to whites and are more often living below the poverty line, especially in urban areas (whites outnumber minorities in the case of poverty in rural areas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau). So, what does it mean to say we are a post-racial nation when the numbers suggest otherwise?

“We’re not post-racial,” said sociology professor Gary Perry. “We’re post-talking about race.”

With the rise of the multi-racial and multi-cultural movement, some ethnic groups are becoming less visible. And the issue is complicated further considering races are not measured uniformly across government agencies. A 20-year-old student named Michelle López-Mullins who is of Peruvian, Chinese, Irish, Shawnee and Cherokee descent is counted as “Hispanic” by the Board of Education but the National Center for Health statistics would count her both as “Asian” and “Hispanic,” according to a Feb. 9 New York Times article by Susan Saulny.

During the 2010 census, individuals had the option of checking a box marked “mixed race,” making counting all the more complicated.

While trivial to some, racial statistics help government agencies consider disparities in health, education, employment and housing, among other protections. So, where are we in the race discussion when even government agencies are sometimes unsure how to group individuals? Does a movement for “mixed race” mean we are moving toward greater equality or acceptance?

“Symbolically, there’s this idea that we’ve arrived at a place absent of race,” Perry said. “[…] It’s not that we’re post-racial, but the mixing we’re seeing indicates race doesn’t matter.”

Perry emphasized that what we see in the media from minority celebrities is not the reality faced by many Americans of color…

Read the entire article here.

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