Archibald Motley Jr. and Racial Reinvention: The Old Negro in New Negro Art

Posted in Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2017-09-06 04:20Z by Steven

Archibald Motley Jr. and Racial Reinvention: The Old Negro in New Negro Art

University of Illinois Press
September 2017
248 pages
6 x 9 in.
8 color photographs, 34 black & white photographs

Phoebe Wolfskill, Assistant Professor
Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies
Indiana University, Bloomington

The painter’s struggle at the crossroads of artistic expression and social progress

An essential African American artist of his era, Archibald Motley Jr. created paintings of black Chicago that aligned him with the revisionist aims of the New Negro Renaissance. Yet Motley’s approach to constructing a New Negro–a dignified figure both accomplished and worthy of respect–reflected the challenges faced by African American artists working on the project of racial reinvention and uplift.

Phoebe Wolfskill demonstrates how Motley’s art embodied the tenuous nature of the Black Renaissance and the wide range of ideas that structured it. Focusing on key works in Motley’s oeuvre, Wolfskill reveals the artist’s complexity and the variety of influences that informed his work. Motley’s paintings suggest that the racist, problematic image of the Old Negro was not a relic of the past but an influence that pervaded the Black Renaissance. Exploring Motley in relation to works by notable black and non-black contemporaries, Wolfskill reinterprets Motley’s oeuvre as part of a broad effort to define American cultural identity through race, class, gender, religion, and regional affiliation…

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Scripts of Blackness: Race, Cultural Nationalism, and U.S. Colonialism in Puerto Rico

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Economics, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-02-08 20:07Z by Steven

Scripts of Blackness: Race, Cultural Nationalism, and U.S. Colonialism in Puerto Rico

University of Illinois Press
February 2015
320 pages
6.125 x 9.25 in.
38 black & white photographs, 3 maps, 1 chart, 3 tables
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-03890-7
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08045-6

Isar P. Godreau, Researcher and Former Director
Institute for Interdisciplinary Research
University of Puerto Rico, Cayey

Ideas of blackness, whiteness, and racial mixture in a Puerto Rican barrio

The geopolitical influence of the United States informs the processes of racialization in Puerto Rico, including the construction of black places. In Scripts of Blackness, Isar P. Godreau explores how Puerto Rican national discourses about race—created to overcome U.S. colonial power—simultaneously privilege whiteness, typecast blackness, and silence charges of racism.

Based on an ethnographic study of the barrio of San Antón in the city of Ponce, Scripts of Blackness examines institutional and local representations of blackness as developing from a power-laden process that is inherently selective and political, not neutral or natural. Godreau traces the presumed benevolence or triviality of slavery in Puerto Rico, the favoring of a Spanish colonial whiteness (under a hispanophile discourse), and the insistence on a harmonious race mixture as discourses that thrive on a presumed contrast with the United States that also characterize Puerto Rico as morally superior. In so doing, she outlines the debates, social hierarchies, and colonial discourses that inform the racialization of San Antón and its residents as black.

Mining ethnographic materials and anthropological and historical research, Scripts of Blackness provides powerful insights into the critical political, economic, and historical context behind the strategic deployment of blackness, whiteness, and racial mixture.

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Regina Anderson Andrews, Harlem Renaissance Librarian

Posted in Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2014-11-09 17:52Z by Steven

Regina Anderson Andrews, Harlem Renaissance Librarian

University of Illinois Press
May 2014
176 pages
6 x 9 in.
23 black & white photographs

Ethelene Whitmire, Associate Professor of Library & Information Studies
University of Wisconsin, Madison

The life of a groundbreaking librarian and Harlem Renaissance figure

The first African American to head a branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL), Regina Andrews led an extraordinary life. Allied with W. E. B. Du Bois, Andrews fought for promotion and equal pay against entrenched sexism and racism and battled institutional restrictions confining African American librarians to only a few neighborhoods within New York City.

Andrews also played a key role in the Harlem Renaissance, supporting writers and intellectuals with dedicated workspace at her 135th Street Branch Library. After hours she cohosted a legendary salon that drew the likes of Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Her work as an actress and playwright helped establish the Harlem Experimental Theater, where she wrote plays about lynching, passing, and the Underground Railroad.

Ethelene Whitmire’s new biography offers the first full-length study of Andrews’ activism and pioneering work with the NYPL. Whitmire’s portrait of her sustained efforts to break down barriers reveals Andrews’s legacy and places her within the NYPL’s larger history.

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Jean Toomer: Race, Repression, and Revolution

Posted in Biography, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2014-11-09 17:48Z by Steven

Jean Toomer: Race, Repression, and Revolution

University of Illinois Press
July 2014
336 pages
6.125 x 9.25 in.
10 black & white photographs, 1 chart
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-03844-0

Barbara Foley, Professor of English
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark

Political and personal repression and its effect on the work of a Harlem Renaissance luminary

The 1923 publication of Cane established Jean Toomer as a modernist master and one of the key literary figures of the emerging Harlem Renaissance. Though critics and biographers alike have praised his artistic experimentation and unflinching eyewitness portraits of Jim Crow violence, few seem to recognize how much Toomer’s interest in class struggle, catalyzed by the Russian Revolution and the post–World War One radical upsurge, situate his masterwork in its immediate historical context.

In Jean Toomer: Race, Repression, and Revolution, Barbara Foley explores Toomer’s political and intellectual connections with socialism, the New Negro movement, and the project of Young America. Examining his rarely scrutinized early creative and journalistic writings, as well as unpublished versions of his autobiography, she recreates the complex and contradictory consciousness that produced Cane.

Foley’s discussion of political repression runs parallel with a portrait of repression on a personal level. Examining family secrets heretofore unexplored in Toomer scholarship, she traces their sporadic surfacing in Cane. Toomer’s text, she argues, exhibits a political unconscious that is at once public and private.

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Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2014-06-15 23:29Z by Steven

Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture

University of Illinois Press
January 2014
264 pages
6 x 9 in.
15 black & white photographs
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-03807-5
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-07956-6

Leilani Nishime, Assistant Professor of Communication
University of Washington, Seattle

Representations of mixed race Asian Americans in popular culture

In this first book-length study of media images of multiracial Asian Americans, Leilani Nishime traces the codes that alternatively enable and prevent audiences from recognizing the multiracial status of Asian Americans. Nishime’s perceptive readings of popular media–movies, television shows, magazine articles, and artwork–indicate how and why the viewing public often fails to identify multiracial Asian Americans. Using actor Keanu Reeves, golfer Tiger Woods, and the television show Battlestar Galactica as examples, Nishime suggests that this failure is tied to gender, sexuality, and post-racial politics. In contrast to these representations, Nishime provides a set of alternative moments when audiences can view multiracial Asians as multiracial. Through a consideration of the Matrix trilogy, reality TV star Kimora Lee Simmons, and the artwork of Kip Fulbeck, these examples highlight both the perils and benefits of racial visibility, uncovering our society’s ways of constructing racial categories. Throughout this incisive study, Nishime offers nuanced interpretations that open the door to a new and productive understanding of race in America.

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Daughter of the Empire State: The Life of Judge Jane Bolin

Posted in Biography, Books, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2014-03-30 14:58Z by Steven

Daughter of the Empire State: The Life of Judge Jane Bolin

University of Illinois Press
December 2011
168 pages
6 x 9 in.
4 black & white photographs
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-03657-6
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-252-09361-6

Jacqueline A. McLeod, Associate Professor of History and African & African American Studies
Metropolitan State College of Denver

The trailblazing work of the first African American woman judge

This long overdue biography of the nation’s first African American woman judge elevates Jane Matilda Bolin to her rightful place in American history as an activist, integrationist, jurist, and outspoken public figure in the political and professional milieu of New York City before the onset of the modern Civil Rights movement.

Bolin was appointed to New York City’s domestic relations court in 1939 for the first of four ten-year terms. When she retired in 1978, her career had extended well beyond the courtroom. Drawing on archival materials as well as a meeting with Bolin in 2002, historian Jacqueline A. McLeod reveals how Bolin parlayed her judicial position to impact significant reforms of the legal and social service system in New York.

Beginning with Bolin’s childhood and educational experiences at Wellesley and Yale, Daughter of the Empire State chronicles Bolin’s relatively quick rise through the ranks of a profession that routinely excluded both women and African Americans. Deftly situating Bolin’s experiences within the history of black women lawyers and the historical context of high-achieving black New Englanders, McLeod offers a multi-layered analysis of black women’s professionalization in a segregated America.

Linking Bolin’s activist leanings and integrationist zeal to her involvement in the NAACP, McLeod analyzes Bolin’s involvement at the local level as well as her tenure on the organization’s national board of directors. An outspoken critic of the discriminatory practices of New York City’s probation department and juvenile placement facilities, Bolin also co-founded, with Eleanor Roosevelt, the Wiltwyck School for boys in upstate New York and campaigned to transform the Domestic Relations Court with her judicial colleagues. McLeod’s careful and highly readable account of these accomplishments inscribes Bolin onto the roster of important social reformers and early civil rights trailblazers.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Her Standing in Poughkeepsie: Family Lineage and Legacy
  • 2. On Her Own: The Years at Wellesley and Yale
  • 3. Politics of Preparation: The Making of the Nation’s First African American Woman Judge
  • 4. Politics of Practice: An African American Woman Judge on the Domestic Relations Court
  • 5. Speaking Truth to Power: A View from the Benchof Judge Jane Bolin
  • 6. Persona Non Grata: Jane Bolin and the NAACP, 1931–50
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Index
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Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2014-02-12 08:58Z by Steven

Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements

University of Illinois Press
December 2013
224 pages
1 map
6 x 9 in
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-03793-1
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-07944-3

Erica Lorraine Williams, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia

Winner of the National Women’s Studies Association/University of Illinois Press First Book Prize

How sexism, racism, and socio-economic inequality interact in the Brazilian sex industry

Brazil has the largest economy of any Latin American country with a population five times greater than any other South American country, and for nearly a decade, Brazil has surpassed Thailand as the world’s premier sex tourism destination. As the first full-length ethnography of sex tourism in Brazil, this pioneering study treats sex tourism as a complex and multidimensional phenomenon that involves a range of activities and erotic connections, from sex work to romantic transnational relationships. Erica Lorraine Williams explores sex tourism in the Brazilian state of Bahia from the perspectives of foreign tourists, tourism industry workers, sex workers who engage in liaisons with foreigners, and Afro-Brazilian men and women who contend with foreigners’ stereotypical assumptions about their licentiousness.

In her analysis, Williams argues that the cultural and sexual economies of tourism are inextricably linked in the Bahian capital city of Salvador’s tourism industry. She shows how the Bahian state strategically exploits the touristic desire for exotic culture by appropriating an eroticized blackness and commodifying the Afro-Brazilian culture in order to sell Bahia to foreign travelers. Drawing on eighteen months of ethnographic research and in-depth interviews, Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements combines historical, sociological, anthropological, cultural studies, and feminist perspectives to demonstrate how sexism, racism, and socio-economic inequality interact in the context of tourism in Bahia.

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Creole Echoes: The Francophone Poetry of Nineteenth-Century Louisiana

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Louisiana, Poetry, United States on 2013-12-09 04:15Z by Steven

Creole Echoes: The Francophone Poetry of Nineteenth-Century Louisiana

University of Illinois Press
January 2004
280 pages
6 x 9 in.
1 black & white photograph
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-07149-2

Translated by:

Norman R. Shapiro, Professor of French
Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut

A collection of the first published works of Creole poets of the 1800s, in French, appearing beside the new English translations by the award-winning translator Norman R. Shapiro

Creole poets have always eluded easy definition, infusing European poetic forms with Louisiana themes and Native American and African influences to produce an impressive variety of often highly accomplished and always strikingly engaging verses. The first major collection of its kind, Creole Echoes contains over a hundred of these poems by more than thirty different poets—Louisiana residents of European, African, and Caribbean origin.

The poems gathered here exhibit the Creole poets’ wide range of theme, tone, and sensibility. Somber elegies, whimsical verse, animal fables, love sonnets, odes to nature, curses, polemics, and lauds all find voices here.

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Fannie Barrier Williams: Crossing the Borders of Region and Race

Posted in Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2013-05-30 01:37Z by Steven

Fannie Barrier Williams: Crossing the Borders of Region and Race

University of Illinois Press
2014
288 pages
6.125 x 9.25 in.
5 black & white photographs
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-03811-2
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-07959-7

Wanda A. Hendricks, Associate Professor of History
University of South Carolina

The biography of a key activist of the Progressive Era

Born shortly before the Civil War, activist and reformer Fannie Barrier Williams (1855-1944) became one of the most prominent educated African American women of her generation. In this first biography of Williams, Wanda A. Hendricks focuses on the critical role of geography and social position in Williams’s life, illustrating how the reform activism of Williams and other black women was bound up with place and space.

Growing up in Brockport, New York, a mostly white society that encouraged social equality and embraced her and her family, Williams was insulated from the political turmoil surrounding the debates about slavery and black rights. Hendricks shows how Williams became “raced” for the first time in early adulthood, when she became a teacher in Missouri and Washington, D.C., and faced the injustices of racism and the stark contrast between the lives of freed slaves and her own privileged upbringing. She carried this new awareness with her to Chicago, where she joined forces with women’s clubs, the Unitarian church, and various other interracial social justice organizations to become a prominent spokesperson for Progressive economic, racial, and gender reforms.

By highlighting how Williams experienced a set of freedoms in the North that were not imaginable in the South, this clearly-written, widely accessible biography expands how we understand intellectual possibilities, economic success, and social mobility in post-Reconstruction America.

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Kings for Three Days: The Play of Race and Gender in an Afro-Ecuadorian Festival

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs on 2013-05-30 01:35Z by Steven

Kings for Three Days: The Play of Race and Gender in an Afro-Ecuadorian Festival

University of Illinois Press
May 2013
216 pages
6 x 9 in.
16 black & white photographs, 3 maps
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-03751-1
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-07901-6

Jean Muteba Rahier, Associate Professor of Anthropology and African & African Diaspora Studies
Florida International University

A vibrant study of symbol and social significance in one of Ecuador’s black populations

With its rich mix of cultures, European influences, colonial tensions, and migration from bordering nations, Ecuador has long drawn the interest of ethnographers, historians, and political scientists. In this book, Jean Muteba Rahier delivers a highly detailed, thought-provoking examination of the racial, sexual, and social complexities of Afro-Ecuadorian culture, as revealed through the annual Festival of the Kings. During the Festival, the people of various villages and towns of Esmeraldas—Ecuador’s province most associated with blackness—engage in celebratory and parodic portrayals, often donning masks, cross-dressing, and disguising themselves as blacks, indigenous people, and whites, in an obvious critique of local, provincial, and national white, white-mestizo, and light-mulatto elites. Rahier shows that this festival, as performed in different locations, reveals each time a specific location’s perspective on the larger struggles over identity, class, and gender relations in the racial-spatial order of Esmeraldas and of the Ecuadorian nation in general.

Contents

  • List of Figures
  • Preface and Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Setting Up the Stage: Contextualizing the Afro-Esmeraldian Festival of the Kings
  • 2. The Village of Santo Domingo de Ónzole and the Period of Preparation of the Festival of the Kings: The Centrality of Sexual Dichotomy and Role Reversal
  • 3. The Festival of the Kings in Santo Domingo de Ónzole
  • 4. The Festival of the Kings in La Tola
  • 5. Race, Sexuality, and Gender as They Relate to the Festival of the Kings
  • 6. Performances and Contexts of the Play in January 2003
  • Conclusion: From the Centrality of Place in Esmeraldian Ethnography to Theoretical and Methodological Considerations for the Study of Festivities
  • Glossary of Esmeraldian Spanish Terms
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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