Opinion: New Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel doesn’t owe anyone an explanation about his Blackness

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2022-02-15 15:52Z by Steven

Opinion: New Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel doesn’t owe anyone an explanation about his Blackness

USA TODAY
2022-02-08

Mike Freeman, Race and Inequality Editor–Sports

Mike McDaniel (left) and wide receiver Justin Hardy (16) when McDaniel was an offensive assistant with the Atlanta Falcons. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports

When I saw that Mike McDaniel was hired as Miami Dolphins coach, and the scarily ugly racial twist the hire started to take on social media, the first person I thought of was my daughter.

The McDaniel hire, and subsequent conversations, focused on a central question: what is Black?

And it comes at a time in American history where race is everything. It’s always been everything but the influence of the white nationalist former President is still strong. He inspired a group of mostly white supremacists to storm the Capitol. Not coincidentally hate crimes have risen in recent years. In other words, the uglier parts of racism are making a comeback like the hockey-mask wearing Jason from Friday the 13th.

It’s impossible not to put the McDaniel story in this context.

As for my girl, she is a dream of a daughter: smart, funny, and a stunningly good athlete. My daughter, like McDaniel, is biracial, and she looks white. With straight, blondish hair and blue eyes. Her looks, combined with my dark Black skin, have led to some staggeringly racist moments when we’re in public, since apparently people don’t know how genetics work. Once, a white woman thought I was her babysitter. Another thought I was her driver. “Are you her chauffer?” she asked…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

The complex history of Alexander Twilight, nation’s first African American to earn a bachelor’s degree

Posted in Articles, Biography, Campus Life, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-02-11 00:04Z by Steven

The complex history of Alexander Twilight, nation’s first African American to earn a bachelor’s degree

USA Today
2021-02-08

Marina Affo, Reporter
Delaware News Journal, New Castle, Delaware

Though Twilight is lauded today as an African American scholar, preacher and educator, for much of his life he was marked as white on census records.

Tucked away on Franklin Street at Vermont’s Middlebury College sits a modest, red-bricked building bearing the name of Twilight Hall.

It pays homage to the first student of African descent who graduated from Middlebury in 1823. Alexander Twilight was also the first Black person to obtain a bachelor’s degree across America – a piece of history Middlebury is proud to represent.

At Northern Vermont University, there is Alexander Twilight Theater and in Boston, there is Alexander Twilight Academy, which offers year-round academic programming for middle school students from under-resourced backgrounds to prepare them for high school and college.

Though not widely know, Twilight is celebrated as an accomplished African American man whose achievements paved the way for others like him.

But consider this: Though Twilight is lauded today as an African American scholar, preacher and educator, for much of his life he was marked as white on census records…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Obama even has animal species named after him, like placida barackobamai, a sea slug.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-01-19 05:35Z by Steven

[Barack] Obama even has animal species named after him, like placida barackobamai, a sea slug.

Chris Woodyard, “More cities add Barack Obama’s name to landmarks, highways,” USA TODAY, January 13, 2019. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/01/13/barack-obama-former-president-african-american-black-naming-renaming-freeway-highway/2539917002/.

Tags: , ,

More cities add Barack Obama’s name to landmarks, highways

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Virginia on 2019-01-19 05:12Z by Steven

More cities add Barack Obama’s name to landmarks, highways

USA TODAY
2019-01-13

Chris Woodyard, Los Angeles Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELESBarack Obama hasn’t been the president for nearly two years, but his fame is still spreading – at least when it comes to naming things after him.

The nation’s first African-American president need not go far around the country these days to find something that carries his name. There’s Barack Obama Way in New Albany Township, Indiana, and Barack Obama Boulevard in Pahokee, Florida. There’s a long list of schools now named for him, like Barack Obama Academy for Academic & Civic Development in Plainfield, New Jersey, and Barack Obama Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia.

Obama even has animal species named after him, like placida barackobamai, a sea slug

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Misty Copeland’s latest Under Armour ad reminds us that ballet is a sport

Posted in Articles, Arts, United States, Videos on 2017-07-30 00:37Z by Steven

Misty Copeland’s latest Under Armour ad reminds us that ballet is a sport

USA Today
For The Win: USA Today Sports
2017-07-19

Maggie Hendricks

Under Armour has a new ad out featuring Misty Copeland, guaranteed to both make you want to work out and perhaps pick up a poetry book. Saul Williams provides the backing poem, For Misty, with words as lyrical as her movements…

The systemic structure built to keep me in place
is the stage I dance on
Black and woman
Mothership’s my mother’s hips beheld deep space
Astronaut of corporal grace…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Where did Colin Kaepernick get start as an activist?

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2016-10-22 22:35Z by Steven

Where did Colin Kaepernick get start as an activist?

USA TODAY
2016-09-30

Josh Peter

They remember the conservative haircut he wore at John Pitman High School, and now they see the Afro and cornrows. They remember his studious and soft-spoken ways from a decade ago, and now they see him refusing to stand for the national anthem and agitating for social change.

In Turlock, Calif., where Colin Kaepernick was raised, many residents have asked some version of the same question: What in the heck happened to our hometown hero?

But those who knew Kaepernick at the University of Nevada at Reno, where attended from 2006-10 and was a star quarterback before getting drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011, say they’re not at all confused.

“Anyone who wants to characterize this as some new black awareness on his behalf just simply doesn’t know him or didn’t do the diligence,’’ Reg Stewart, director of the Center for Student Cultural Diversity at Nevada-Reno when Kaepernick was in school, told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s not like I turned on the TV and was like, ‘Wow, where did this come from?’ I was like, ‘You know what, he has been thinking about these issues for at least the time I’ve known him.”…

…At the black student union meetings at Nevada-Reno, Kaepernick was outspoken about issues such as attracting more African Americans to the campus, Bart-Plange said.

“He would let us know, we’ve got to get everybody unified,” Bart-Plange said. “The only way we’re going to get better is together, that’s how we’re stronger, power in numbers, educating each other.”

Kaepernick’s increasing identification as African American began as soon as he arrived at Reno, according to Stewart. African Americans made up about 4% of the student body, but Stewart suggested the university’s cultural diversity center gave Kaepernick an outlet to find his identity as an African American…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

White House wants to add new racial category for Middle Eastern people

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-10-02 00:30Z by Steven

White House wants to add new racial category for Middle Eastern people

USA Today
2016-10-01

Gregory Korte, White House Reporter

WASHINGTON — The White House is putting forward a proposal to add a new racial category for people from the Middle East and North Africa under what would be the biggest realignment of federal racial definitions in decades.

If approved, the new designation could appear on census forms in 2020 and could have far-reaching implications for racial identity, anti-discrimination laws and health research.

Under current law, people from the Middle East are considered white, the legacy of century-old court rulings in which Syrian Americans argued that they should not be considered Asian — because that designation would deny them citizenship under the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. But scholars and community leaders say more and more people with their roots in the Middle East find themselves caught between white, black and Asian classifications that don’t fully reflect their identities…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,

Town founded by freed slaves celebrates 200 years

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2016-08-25 15:24Z by Steven

Town founded by freed slaves celebrates 200 years

USA Today
2016-07-09

Joey Garrison, Metro and Political Reporter
The Tennessean, Nashville, Tennessee

FREE HILL, Tenn. — Tucked away in the wooded hallows and ridges north of Celina, Tenn., in the Upper Cumberland region, freed slaves and later their descendants have lived here for two centuries.

The community is called Free Hill, or often Free Hills, and this unincorporated enclave in tiny, poor and otherwise mostly white Clay County is one of Tennessee’s last remaining black settlements that freed slaves established.

People in this county along the Tennessee-Kentucky border — about two hours northeast of Nashville — tell the story of a white slave owner named Virginia Hill of North Carolina who bought the property to free her slaves and give them a secluded place to live.

Historians aren’t certain about all the facts or years, and what might be part folklore, but documents prove that free blacks had settled at Free Hill before the Civil War

Establishing history

History is the lifeblood of Free Hill. Surnames like Page, Burris and Philpott on the gravestones of the Free Hill Cemetery are some of the same names that carry on today.

And the story of its founding explains the unlikely occurrence of an African-American community arising in an area that is officially in Appalachia.

Accounts of Free Hill residents vary. They almost all begin with a North Carolina slave owner named Virginia Hill, whom most say came to a forest near the Cumberland and Obey rivers sometime before 1840, purchased 2,000 acres and set her slaves free.

Some say the slaves took control of the land themselves. Others say the slaves that Virginia Hill brought were her four biracial children, and that she was seeking to avoid a scandal.

They took her surname Hill — a name that is documented as the earliest African-Americans in Free Hill — and named the community after her.

The story goes that Free Hill became known as a safe haven for runaway slaves leading up to the Civil War and for freed slaves after the war. The names Free Hill and Free Hills have interchangeable meanings: descendants of the Hill family or a hilly area where freed slaves lived…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Oklahoma cop gets life for sex crimes against the poor

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-22 03:00Z by Steven

Oklahoma cop gets life for sex crimes against the poor

USA Today
2016-01-21

Melanie Eversley, Breaking News Reporter


Former officer Daniel Holtzclaw was sentenced to 263 years in prison after he was convicted in December of 18 counts, including first-degree rape.

A former Oklahoma City police officer was sentenced Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison after his conviction for raping and sexually abusing women in a low-income neighborhood while on the beat.

District Judge Timothy Henderson agreed with an earlier court recommendation and sentenced Daniel Holtzclaw to 263 years in prison for the attacks on black women in a low-income neighborhood between 2013 and 2014. Holtclaw, 29, had been charged with 36 counts.

After a six-week trial, a jury on Dec. 10 found Holtzclaw guilty of 18 counts. The youngest victim was 17 at the time of her attack and testified that the incident took place on her mother’s front porch, according to The Oklahoman.

The judge denied a request for a new trial made by Scott Adams, Holtzclaw’s defense attorney, who maintained that Holtzclaw was denied a fair trial because the prosecution made deliberate violations and misrepresentations in discovery.

The case drew national attention because of the race of the victims. Holtzclaw is half-white and half-Asian…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Whites pass for black to gain empathy, experts say in wake of Dolezal case

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-06-13 23:39Z by Steven

Whites pass for black to gain empathy, experts say in wake of Dolezal case

USA Today
2015-06-13

Melanie Eversley, Breaking News Reporter

In history and in many black American families, there’s talk of black people passing for white, especially during the days of Jim Crow laws or slavery when it benefited them or even saved their lives.

But not as much has been written about the white people who pass for black or adopt black culture — from celebrities who adopt traditionally black hairstyles and vernacular, or, as social media has been abuzz with since Thursday, Rachel Dolezal, the NAACP Spokane, Wash., branch president whose parents say she is white.

English professor Alisha Gaines, who is publishing a book about white people who pass for black, says the phenomenon is rooted in a need to identify and empathize with black culture. Some people throughout history have passed for black as a way to immerse themselves in the experience, says Gaines, who teaches at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

One of the people referenced in her book, Black for a Day: Fantasies of Race and Empathy, is Grace Halsell, a late journalist who posed as a black woman for a few weeks in the deep South and wrote about her experiences in a book titled Soul Sister

…The main reason people choose to pass for black is they have a need or desire to promote civil rights and racial justice, says Marcia Dawkins, author of Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity

…Author and educator Nikki Khanna believes it also can be about being accepted.

“Maybe for this particular woman — it seems as if she cares about African-American issues, she heads the chapter of the NAACP in Spokane, I don’t know if she felt that was her way of fitting in,” says Khanna, who has studied how biracial Americans identify in terms of race

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,