The Afro-Turks: Turkey’s Little-known Black Minority Reclaims Its Past

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Europe, History, Media Archive, Slavery on 2017-11-13 02:33Z by Steven

The Afro-Turks: Turkey’s Little-known Black Minority Reclaims Its Past

Haaretz
2017-10-26

Davide Lerner and Esra Whitehouse


An Afro-Turk farmer, Gungor Delibas, whose family is originally from Sudan, with a picture of her and her Turkish husband, in Haskoy, Turkey, October 2017. Davide Lerner

IZMIR, Turkey – Dotted along Turkey’s Aegean coastline are a smattering of villages that the country’s Afro-Turks call home.

“The first generation suffers, the second generation denies and the third generation questions,” reads the opening line of Mustafa Olpak’s book, the first and the last autobiographical and introspective study of Turkey’s dwindling black minority. Olpak coined the term Afro-Turk and founded the movement to help resurrect their identity, but the history of the estimated 1.3 million people who were forced into slavery and shipped from Africa to the territories controlled by the Ottoman Empire remains little more than a footnote of Turkish history.

While “the library of the Congress of the United States of America has over 600 personal accounts of African-American slaves, none could be found in Ottoman archives,” notes Turkish historian Hakan Erdem in his commentary to Olpak’s book. Before his death last year, Olpak had dreamed of delivering a copy of his book to former U.S. President Barack Obama, and had even traveled to Istanbul’s airport in a hopeless attempt to meet him as he landed for a state visit.

Today the number of Afro-Turks is estimated at only a few tens of thousands. Many still live in the villages of Haskoy, Yenicifler and Yenikoy, near Izmir, while some reside in rural areas around Ayvalik, Antalya and Adana, as well as in Istanbul. Most were first brought to Turkey to work as domestic servants or in the tobacco and cotton fields along the Aegean Sea; they settled near Izmir once they were freed. Although the slave trade was officially made illegal in 1857 following pressure from Britain and other European powers, it took until the beginning of the 20th century to eliminate the practice altogether and to liberate those who were owned by Ottoman families since before the slave trade was outlawed.

In Izmir, the state provided safe houses for former slaves as well as assistance to integrate them into the labor market; whole villages and neighborhoods inhabited by the Afro-Turks were dubbed “Arap” areas – the Turkish word for Arab, which is still used as slang to refer to black people…

Read the entire article here.

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Unmaking Race and Ethnicity: A Reader

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Barack Obama, Books, Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Law, Media Archive, Mexico, Religion, Slavery, Social Justice, Social Science, Teaching Resources, United States on 2017-01-30 01:51Z by Steven

Unmaking Race and Ethnicity: A Reader

Oxford University Press
2016-07-20
512 Pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches
Paperback ISBN: 9780190202712

Edited by:

Michael O. Emerson, Provost and Professor of Sociology
North Park University
also Senior Fellow at Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research

Jenifer L. Bratter, Associate Professor of Sociology; Director of the Program for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Culture at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research
Rice University, Houston, Texas

Sergio Chávez, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rice University, Houston, Texas

Race and ethnicity is a contentious topic that presents complex problems with no easy solutions. (Un)Making Race and Ethnicity: A Reader, edited by Michael O. Emerson, Jenifer L. Bratter, and Sergio Chávez, helps instructors and students connect with primary texts in ways that are informative and interesting, leading to engaging discussions and interactions. With more than thirty collective years of teaching experience and research in race and ethnicity, the editors have chosen selections that will encourage students to think about possible solutions to solving the problem of racial inequality in our society. Featuring global readings throughout, (Un)Making Race and Ethnicity covers both race and ethnicity, demonstrating how they are different and how they are related. It includes a section dedicated to unmaking racial and ethnic orders and explains challenging concepts, terms, and references to enhance student learning.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • UNIT I. Core Concepts and Foundations
    • What Is Race? What Is Ethnicity? What Is the Difference?
      • Introduction, Irina Chukhray and Jenifer Bratter
      • 1. Constructing Ethnicity: Creating and Recreating Ethnic Identity and Culture, Joane Nagel
      • 2. The Racialization of Kurdish Identity in Turkey, Murat Ergin
      • 3. Who Counts as “Them?”: Racism and Virtue in the United States and France, Michèle Lamont
      • 4. Mexican Immigrant Replenishment and the Continuing Significance of Ethnicity and Race, Tomás R. JimĂ©nez
    • Why Race Matters
      • Introduction, Laura Essenburg and Jenifer Bratter
      • 5. Excerpt from Racial Formation in the United States From the 1960s to the 1990s, Michael Omi and Howard Winant
      • 6. Structural and Cultural Forces that Contribute to Racial Inequality, William Julius Wilson
      • 7. From Traditional to Liberal Racism: Living Racism in the Everyday, Margaret M. Zamudio and Francisco Rios
      • 8. Policing and Racialization of Rural Migrant Workers in Chinese Cities, Dong Han
      • 9. Why Group Membership Matters: A Critical Typology, Suzy Killmister
    • What Is Racism? Does Talking about Race and Ethnicity Make Things Worse?
      • Introduction, Laura Essenburg and Jenifer Bratter
      • 10. What Is Racial Domination?, Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer
      • 11. Discursive Colorlines at Work: How Epithets and Stereotypes are Racially Unequal, David G. Embrick and Kasey Henricks
      • 12. When Ideology Clashes with Reality: Racial Discrimination and Black Identity in Contemporary Cuba, Danielle P. Clealand
      • 13. Raceblindness in Mexico: Implications for Teacher Education in the United States, Christina A. Sue
  • UNIT II. Roots: Making Race and Ethnicity
    • Origins of Race and Ethnicity
      • Introduction, Adriana Garcia and Michael Emerson
      • 14. Antecedents of the Racial Worldview, Audrey Smedley and Brian Smedley
      • 15. Building the Racist Foundation: Colonialism, Genocide, and Slavery, Joe R. Feagin
      • 16. The Racialization of the Globe: An Interactive Interpretation, Frank Dikötter
    • Migrations
      • Introduction, Sandra Alvear
      • 17. Excerpt from Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945, George J. Sánchez
      • 18. Migration to Europe since 1945: Its History and Its Lessons, Randall Hansen
      • 19. When Identities Become Modern: Japanese Emigration to Brazil and the Global Contextualization of Identity, Takeyuki (Gaku) Tsuda
    • Ideologies
      • Introduction, Junia Howell
      • 20. Excerpt from Racism: A Short History, George M. Fredrickson
      • 21. Understanding Latin American Beliefs about Racial Inequality, Edward Telles and Stanley Bailey
      • 22. Buried Alive: The Concept of Race in Science, Troy Duster
  • Unit III. Today: Remaking Race and Ethnicity
    • Aren’t We All Just Human? How Race and Ethnicity Help Us Answer the Question
      • Introduction, Adriana Garcia
      • 23. Young Children Learning Racial and Ethnic Matters, Debra Van Ausdale and Joe R. Feagin
      • 24. When White Is Just Alright: How Immigrants Redefine Achievement and Reconfigure the Ethnoracial Hierarchy, Tomás R. JimĂ©nez and Adam L. Horowitz
      • 25. From Bi-Racial to Tri-Racial: Towards a New System of Racial Stratification in the USA, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
      • 26. Indigenism, Mestizaje, and National Identity in Mexico during the 1940s and the 1950s, Anne Doremus
    • The Company You Keep: How Ethnicity and Race Frame Social Relationships
      • Introduction, William Rothwell
      • 27. Who We’ll Live With: Neighborhood Racial Composition Preferences of Whites, Blacks and Latinos, Valerie A. Lewis, Michael O. Emerson, and Stephen L. Klineberg
      • 28. The Costs of Diversity in Religious Organizations: An In-Depth Case Study, Brad Christerson and Michael O. Emerson
    • The Uneven Playing Field: How Race and Ethnicity Impact Life Chances
      • Introduction, Ellen Whitehead and Jenifer Bratter
      • 29. Wealth in the Extended Family: An American Dilemma, Ngina S. Chiteji
      • 30. The Complexities and Processes of Racial Housing Discrimination, Vincent J. Roscigno, Diana L. Karafin, and Griff Tester
      • 31. Racial Segregation and the Black/White Achievement Gap, 1992 to 2009, Dennis J. Condron, Daniel Tope, Christina R. Steidl, and Kendralin J. Freeman
      • 32. Differential Vulnerabilities: Environmental and Economic Inequality and Government Response to Unnatural Disasters, Robert D. Bullard
      • 33. Racialized Mass Incarceration: Poverty, Prejudice, and Punishment, Lawrence D. Bobo and Victor Thompson
  • Unit IV. Unmaking Race and Ethnicity
    • Thinking Strategically
      • Introduction, Junia Howell and Michael Emerson
      • 34. The Return of Assimilation? Changing Perspectives on Immigration and Its Sequels in France, Germany, and the United States, Rogers Brubaker
      • 35. Toward a Truly Multiracial Democracy: Thinking and Acting Outside the White Frame, Joe R. Feagin
      • 36. Destabilizing the American Racial Order, Jennifer Hochschild, Vesla Weaver, and Traci Burch
    • Altering Individuals and Relationships
      • Introduction, Horace Duffy and Jenifer Bratter
      • 37. A More Perfect Union, Barack Obama
      • 38. What Can Be Done?, Debra Van Ausdale and Joe R. Feagin
      • 39. The Multiple Dimensions of Racial Mixture in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: From Whitening to Brazilian Negritude, Graziella Moraes da Silva and Elisa P. Reis
    • Altering Structures
      • Introduction, Kevin T. Smiley and Jenifer Bratter
      • 40. The Case for Reparations, Ta-Nehisi Coates
      • 41. “Undocumented and Citizen Students Unite”: Building a Cross-Status Coalition Through Shared Ideology, Laura E. Enriquez
      • 42. Racial Solutions for a New Society, Michael Emerson and George Yancey
      • 43. DREAM Act College: UCLA Professors Create National Diversity University, Online School for Undocumented Immigrants, Alyssa Creamer
  • Glossary
  • Credits
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Michael Dixon: A Discussion About Race, Representation, and Biracial Identity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-18 20:59Z by Steven

Michael Dixon: A Discussion About Race, Representation, and Biracial Identity

Or Does It Explode
2016-03-14

Tasha Mathew

Michael Dixon is a California-born artist who teaches as an associate professor at Albion College and was recently awarded studio space in New York through the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program. His paintings direct us toward controversy, self-reflection, and an appreciation for the value of these experiences.

Dixon explores the personal experiences of biracial blacks, including an immersive investigation into his own experiences. As such, concepts of social psychology condense within each portrait – concepts such as social identity theory and self-categorization theory – allowing us to explore our identification with one particular group over another.

His most recent projects include Shared Histories/Turkey: an investigations into Turkish, biracial blacks and The More Things Change, The More Things Stay The Same: a reflection upon the recent killings of unarmed black men…

Read the entire interview here.

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Turkish descendants of African slaves begin to discover their identity

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive on 2013-03-24 03:00Z by Steven

Turkish descendants of African slaves begin to discover their identity

The National
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2012-09-01

Piotr Zalewski

No one knows how many Afro-Turks there are but, in a country that’s beginning to acknowledge its great diversity, they’re beginning to unearth their forgotten history.

In 1961, Ertekin Azerturk, a Turkish businessman from Istanbul, placed a long-distance call. The voice of the switchboard operator who answered—a woman’s voice, sweet and crisp, like a singer’s—must have made his head spin. Must have, because from that day on, Azerturk insisted on speaking to the same operator each time he picked up the phone. During one call he found the gumption to ask his mystery girl out on a date. Her reply was as surprising to him as his request was to her. “No way,” Tomris, the operator, told Azerturk. “You won’t like me,” she explained, “because I’m dark.”

But Azerturk didn’t back down and Tomris eventually gave in. When they met, he was dumbstruck. He had understood Tomris was dark, but had never figured she would be black. (He had never previously met or even heard of a Turk who was.) Tomris was, like her voice, striking, and Azerturk was smitten. Over the Azerturk family’s objections, the pair married.

…As a child, Muge could not fully grasp why her skin was the colour it was—or why it should matter. She finally learnt, and understood, the truth in her teens. She and her brother were descendants, three generations removed, of black slaves…

Read the entire article here.

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The Fate of the Afro-Turks: Nothing Left But the Colour

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Europe, History, Media Archive on 2012-09-12 00:24Z by Steven

The Fate of the Afro-Turks: Nothing Left But the Colour

Qantara.de
Bonn, Germany
2012-08-27

Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere (Translated from the German by Michael Lawton)

The Afro-Turks, whose ancestors came to the Ottoman Empire as slaves in the nineteenth century, are still struggling for recognition. Now, though, their desire to assimilate into the wider society has become greater than their desire to maintain their own identity.

A banner with the text “Sixth Spring Festival” hangs across the street near the park in Cirpi, a small village about 20 kilometres away from Bayindir, a regional centre south-east of Izmir. Such festivals have become common in Anatolia, with hundreds of them occurring between March and May every year.

But in Cirpi, it’s something special. The Sixth Spring Festival is really the Sixth Festival of the Calf, the traditional celebration of the Afro-Turks, which they’ve been celebrating since the nineteenth century in and around Izmir, formerly known as Smyrna.
 
In 1924, the Turkish republic banned the celebration, and it was not until 2007 that the event could be re-established by the Association of Afro-Turks. The first five annual festivals were modest affairs, but the sixth turned into a big event with 400 participants. They’ve not yet slaughtered a calf though…

…Alev Karakartal, is an Afro-Turk woman who now lives in Istanbul. Speaking at a conference there in early June 2012, she described the strategy with which many Afro-Turks confront discrimination. “By entering into mixed marriages,” she said, “Afro-Turks try to have lighter-skinned children, so that eventually their colour will disappear altogether.” But Olpak responds, “We have nothing else left aside from the colour. There’s nothing left culturally any more.”
 
When Karakartal, who is herself of mixed descent, asked her parents about her origins, the answer was always, “We are Turks and Muslims,” and that roots weren’t important…

Read the entire article here.

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