Creating the Ideal Mexican: 20th and 21st Century Racial and National Identity Discourses in Oaxaca

Posted in Anthropology, Caribbean/Latin America, Definitions, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2016-10-22 20:38Z by Steven

Creating the Ideal Mexican: 20th and 21st Century Racial and National Identity Discourses in Oaxaca

University of Massachusetts, Amherst
September 2015
235 pages

Savannah N. Carroll

Submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

This investigation intends to uncover past and contemporary socioeconomic significance of being a racial other in Oaxaca, Mexico and its relevance in shaping Mexican national identity. The project has two purposes: first, to analyze activities and observations of cultural missionaries in Oaxaca during the 1920s and 1930s, and second to relate these findings to historical and present implications of blackness in an Afro-Mexican community. Cultural missionaries were appointed by the Secretary of Public Education (SEP) to create schools throughout Mexico, focusing on the modernization of marginalized communities through formal and social education. This initiative was intended to resolve socioeconomic disparities and incorporate sectors of the population into the national framework that had been excluded prior to the Mexican Revolution in 1910. While these efforts were predominantly implemented in indigenous communities located in the northern part of Oaxaca, observations from cultural missionaries related to social and educational conditions reveal ongoing disparities between what it means to be indigenous versus mestizo. The exclusion of moreno, or Afro-descended people from this state sponsored initiative indicates that blackness along with indigenity is otherized, with the primary difference being that Afro-descended Mexicans lack visibility.

To gain a better perspective of the historical and present significance of blackness, my project moves from the general to the specific to include JosĆ© Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, an Afro-descended community that is isolated, has no tourist attractions or services, dirt roads, and little access to socioeconomic resources. Morelos was established by blacks who escaped slavery and lived independently in their own community. People in the town strongly identify with this history and its relation to their present condition. After speaking with local activists, it became apparent that rights that were supposed to be gained from the Mexican Revolution, such as land rights and public education, did not happen in Morelos, which adversely affects peopleā€™s prospects for socioeconomic advancement.

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“I am on the Coloured Side”: The Roles of the White Suitor and the Black Mother in the Tragic Mulatta Narrative

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-27 19:56Z by Steven

“I am on the Coloured Side”: The Roles of the White Suitor and the Black Mother in the Tragic Mulatta Narrative

University of Massachusetts atĀ Amherst
2013

Shannon D. Luders Manuel

What I propose to add to the already established dialogue regarding the tragic mulatta narrative is an investigation into the commonalities of the genreā€™s endings, as well as to assert that the tragic mulatta genre is present even at the turn of the 21st century with such works as Danzy Sennaā€™s Caucasia. While my investigation by no means covers an exhaustive list of tragic mulatta narratives, the readings provide an overview of the ways in which the narrative has both evolved over time and stayed consistent during the antebellum, post-bellum, Harlem Renaissance, and the present day. I present each author as both building from previous authorsā€™ works and as limited to the time period in which he or she pens the novel(s).

The tragic mulatta of the post-bellum rejected white male suitors as a larger and more crucial rejection of sexual slavery and depravity, as well as attempting to shield the suitors from experiencing rejection from their own white contemporaries, as Angela does at the end of Plum Bun: ā€œBut I want you to know that from now on, so far as sides are concerned, I am on the coloured side. And I donā€™t want you to come over on that sideā€ (373). However, the tragic mulattas continue to reject white male suitors even into the 21st century, and I assert that this repetition is limiting both to the characters themselves and to the narrative lives of contemporary mulatta readers. I further assert that the genre continues to pair rejection of the white male suitor with a reappropriation of true ā€œblacknessā€ and maternal domesticity. Through observing the tragic mulattaā€™s need to gain identity and sense of place through her darker mother or sister and the rejection of a white male suitor, tragic mulatta scholarsā€”as well as critical race theorists in generalā€”become more aware of the unique position the genre holds in identity formation as seen through what I believe are critical fictional texts for an interracial nation.

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Improving Anti-Racist Education for Multiracial Students

Posted in Dissertations, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2014-04-16 19:43Z by Steven

Improving Anti-Racist Education for Multiracial Students

University of Massachusetts, Amherst
May 2014
479 pages

Eric Hamako

Submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education

This dissertation explores how antiā€racist education might be improved, soĀ that it more effectively teaches Multiracial students about racism. A brief history of antiā€racist education and a theory of monoracismā€“the systematic oppression of Multiracial peopleā€“provide context for the study. Antiā€racist education in communities and colleges has supported U.S. social movements for racial justice. However, most antiā€racist education programs are not designed by or for students who identify with two or more races. Nor have such programs generally sought to address Multiraciality or monoracism. Since the 1980s, Multiraciality has become more salient in popular U.S. racial discourses. The number of people identifying as Multiracial, Mixed Race, or related terms has also increased, particularly among schoolā€age youth. Further, the size and number of Multiracial peopleā€™s organizations have also grown. Antiā€racist education may pose unintended challenges for Multiracial students and their organizations. This study asked twentyā€five educators involved in Multiracial organizations to discuss antiā€racist education: what it should teach Multiracial students; what is working; what is not working; and how it might be improved. Qualitative data were gathered via five focus group interviews in three West Coast cities. Participants proposed learning goals for Multiracial students. Goals included learning about privilege and oppression; social constructionism; historical and contemporary contexts of racism; and impacts of racism and monoracism on Multiracial people. Participants also called for education that develops interpersonal relationships, selfā€reflection, and activism. Participants also discussed aspects of antiā€racist education that may help or hinder Multiracial studentsā€™ learning, as well as possible improvements. Participants problematized the exclusion of Multiraciality, the use of Black/White binary racial paradigms, linear racial identity development models, and the use of racial caucus groups or affinity spaces. Participants also challenged educatorsā€™ monoracist attitudes and behaviors, particularly the treatment of questions as pathological ā€œresistance.ā€ Suggestions included addressing Multiraciality and monoracism, accounting for intersectionality and the social construction of race, validating selfā€identification, and teacher education about monoracism. The study then critically analyzes participantsā€™ responses by drawing on literature about antiā€racist education, social justice education, multicultural education, transgender oppression (cissexism), and monoracism. Based on that synthesis, alternate recommendations for research and practice are provided.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
  • ABSTRACT
  • 1. INTRODUCTION
    • Significance of the problem
    • Goals and intended audiences
    • Locating myself as a researcher
    • Research questions
    • Organization of the study
  • 2. FOUR CRITIQUES OF COMMUNITYā€BASED ANTIā€RACIST EDUCATION
    • A brief overview of CBARE
    • Two brief histories of CBARE
    • Antiā€intersectional praxes
    • Binary racial paradigms
    • Racial essentialism
    • Pathologizing ā€œresistanceā€
    • Toward new antiā€racist praxes: Accounting for monoracism
  • 3. THEORIZING MONORACISM
    • Theorizing monoracism
    • Addressing challenges to a theory of monoracism
    • Benefits of theorizing monoracism
    • Summary
  • 4. METHODOLOGY
    • Focus group interview methodology
    • Participants
    • Focus groups: Number, size, and locations
    • Preā€focus group data collection: Surveys, curricula sharing, and curricula analysis
    • Focus group data collection
    • Data analysis
  • 5. LEARNING GOALS FOR MULTIRACIAL STUDENTS
    • Representational knowledge: Learn about racism and monoracism
    • Representational knowledge: Hierarchies that trouble Multiracial organizing
    • Relational knowledge: Learn to connect with other people
    • Reflective knowledge: Learn about oneself
    • Summary
  • 6. DISCUSSION OF LEARNING GOALS FOR MULTIRACIAL STUDENTS
    • Representational knowledge: Learn about racism and monoracism
    • Representational knowledge: Hierarchies that trouble Multiracial organizing
    • Relational knowledge: Learn to connect with other people
    • Reflective knowledge: Learn about oneself
    • Summary
  • 7. ANTIā€RACIST EDUCATION: WHAT IS WORKING AND NOT WORKING FOR MULTIRACIAL STUDENTS
    • Monoracism in antiā€racist educational theories, curricula, and pedagogies
    • Monoracism in educatorsā€™ attitudes and behaviors
    • Summary
  • 8. DISCUSSION OF ANTIā€RACIST EDUCATION: WHAT IS WORKING AND NOT WORKING FOR MULTIRACIAL STUDENTS
    • Monoracism in antiā€racist educational theories, curricula, and pedagogies
    • Monoracism in educatorsā€™ attitudes and behaviors
    • Summary
  • 9. CONCLUSION
  • APPENDICES
    • A. RECRUITING SCRIPT
    • B. PARTICIPATION CONFIRMATION EMAIL
    • C. HUMAN SUBJECTS WRITTEN INFORMED CONSENT FORM
    • D. SURVEY 1: PARTICIPANT INTAKE SURVEY
    • E. PHONE/EMAIL REMINDER SCRIPT
    • F. SURVEY 2: CURRICULA EVALUATIONS
    • G. SURVEY 3: FOCUS GROUP PARTICIPANT WORKSHEET
    • H. FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEW PROTOCOL
    • I. MULTIRACIAL TIMELINE CURRICULUM
    • J. DESIGN A MONORACIST INSTITUTION CURRICULUM
    • K. RACIALBREAD COOKIE CURRICULUM
    • L. MULTIRACIAL POWER SHUFFLE CURRICULUM
  • BIBLIOGRAPHY

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