But Still, Like Air, I’ll Rise

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2017-04-22 19:55Z by Steven

But Still, Like Air, I’ll Rise

The Lark
New York, New York
2017-04-18

Velina Hasu Houston

This piece is part of a blog salon, curated by Caridad Svich, called “Stages of Resistance.” The series welcomes reflections on themes related to making work for live performance in political and aesthetic resistance to forms and systems that oppress human rights and censor or severely limit freedom of expression. We are in increasingly hostile, volatile times around the world, and this salon hopes to serve as a space for considered, thoughtful, polemical articulations of practice and theory on the subject of resistance, the multiple meanings of political art, and the ways in which progressive, wholistic cultural change may be instigated through artworks. Stay tuned for more articles and reflections in this series throughout March and April 2017!

Don’t write about people of color.

Don’t blend Eastern and Western theater aesthetics.

These were things that were said to me when I began making art for the stage.

The inspirations for the art I wanted to make often included immigrants, people of color, and globally blended theater aesthetics. Did that mean I needed to learn to be an excellent secretary, like many of my white teachers in Junction City, Kansas, told me? No.

For someone who is Japanese, African American, Native American Indian, and Cuban, life is always political. Even amid this complexity, people of color come from mono-ethnic perspectives and do not understand a multiethnic perspective such as mine. To exist in almost any space creates challenges, but the making of art that resists those challenges allows me to liberate myself from the categorical cages into which many feel they must place me. Art, therefore, is an avenue to freedom…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Red and Yellow, Black and Brown: Decentering Whiteness in Mixed Race Studies

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2017-04-21 01:57Z by Steven

Red and Yellow, Black and Brown: Decentering Whiteness in Mixed Race Studies

Rutgers University Press
304 pages
2017-06-09
13 photographs, 4 tables, 6 x 9
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8135-8730-1
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8135-8731-8

Edited by:

Joanne L. Rondilla, Program lecturer in Asian Pacific American Studies
School of Social Transformation
Arizona State University, Tempe

Rudy P. Guevarra, Jr., Associate Professor of Asian American Studies
Arizona State University

Paul Spickard, Professor of History; Professor of Asian American Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Red and Yellow, Black and Brown gathers together life stories and analysis by twelve contributors who express and seek to understand the often very different dynamics that exist for mixed race people who are not part white. The chapters focus on the social, psychological, and political situations of mixed race people who have links to two or more peoples of color— Chinese and Mexican, Asian and Black, Native American and African American, South Asian and Filipino, Black and Latino/a and so on. Red and Yellow, Black and Brown addresses questions surrounding the meanings and communication of racial identities in dual or multiple minority situations and the editors highlight the theoretical implications of this fresh approach to racial studies.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction: About Mixed Race, Not About Whiteness / Paul Spickard, Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., Joanne L. Rondilla
  • Part I. Identity Journeys
    • Chapter 2. Rising Sun, Rising Soul: On Mixed Race Asian Identity That Includes Blackness / Velina Hasu Houston
    • Chapter 3. Blackapina / Janet C. Mendoza Stickmon
  • Part II. Multiple Minority Marriage and Parenting
    • Chapter 4. Intermarriage and the Making of a Multicultural Society in the Baja California Borderlands / Verónica Castillo-Muñoz
    • Chapter 5. Cross-Racial Minority Intermarriage: Mutual Marginalization and Critique / Jessica Vasquez-Tokos
    • Chapter 6. Parental Racial Socialization: A Glimpse into the Racial Socialization Process as It Occurs in a Dual-Minority Multiracial Family / Cristina M. Ortiz
  • Part III. Mixed Identity and Monoracial Belonging
    • Chapter 7. Being Mixed Race in the Makah Nation: Redeeming the Existence of African-Native Americans / Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly
    • Chapter 8. “You’re Not Black or Mexican Enough!” Policing Racial/Ethnic Authenticity among Blaxicans in the US / Rebecca Romo
  • Part IV. Asian Connections
    • Chapter 9 Bumbay in the Bay: The Struggle for Indipino Identity in San Francisco / Maharaj Raju Desai
    • Chapter 10. Hyper-visibility and Invisibility of Female Haafu Models in Japanese Beauty Culture / Kaori Mori Want
    • Chapter 11. Checking “Other” Twice: Transnational Dual Minorities / Lily Anne Y. Welty Tamai
  • Part V. Reflections
    • Chapter 12. Neanderthal-Human Hybridity and the Frontier of Critical Mixed Race Studies / Terence Keel
    • Chapter 13. Epilogue: Expanding the Terrain of Mixed Race Studies: What We Learn from the Study of NonWhite Multiracials / Nitasha Tamar Sharma
  • Bibliography
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Definitive Hapa Japan Books To Launch In LA

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-26 23:37Z by Steven

Definitive Hapa Japan Books To Launch In LA

Kaya Press
Los Angeles, California
2017-02-15

Kaya Press is thrilled to announce the official publication of Hapa Japan: History Vol. 1 and Hapa Japan: History Vol. 2 edited by Duncan Ryūken Williams.

Described by Ruth Ozeki as “essential reading for all citizens of our transcultural, transnational, boundless, borderless, beautifully mixed-up world,” these volumes bring together scholarship on the rich historical and contemporary experiences and representations of global Hapa Japanese…

Read the entire press release here.

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

Hapa Japan: History (Volume 2)

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2017-02-26 22:17Z by Steven

Hapa Japan: History (Volume 2)

Kaya Press
2017-02-28
400 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781885030542

Edited by:

Duncan Ryūken Williams, Associate Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages and Cultures
University of Southern California

The film Kiku and Isamu (1959) was one of the first cinematic depictions of mixed-race children in postwar Japan, telling the story of two protagonists facing abandonment by two different Black GI fathers and ostracism from Japanese society. Bringing together studies of the representations of the Hapa Japanese experience in culture, Hapa Japan: Identities & Representations (Volume 2) tackles everything from Japanese and American films like Kiku and Isamu to hybrid graphic novels featuring mixed-race characters. From Muslim Japanese-Pakistani children in a Tokyo public school to “Blasian” youth at the AmerAsian School close to a US military base in Okinawa, the Hapa experience is multiple, and its cultural representations accordingly are equally diverse. This anthology is the first publication to attempt to map this wide range of Hapa representations in film, art and society.

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

Mixed Student Union Hosts Fourth Annual Heritage Conference

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-06 18:51Z by Steven

Mixed Student Union Hosts Fourth Annual Heritage Conference

Pacific Ties
University of California, Los Angeles
2016-05-13

Ayesha Sheikh

UCLA’s Mixed Student Union (MSU) hosted their fourth annual Mixed Heritage Conference on April 30 in the James West Alumni Center. The organization’s goal for hosting the conference on campus, according to the organization’s co-director Ariel Pezner, was to spread awareness of mixed identity among student audiences within UCLA as well as circles of mixed groups outside UCLA.

The reach of the organization’s efforts go well beyond the campus, with its connections to several other student organizations such as those at the University of Southern California. Chelsea Strong, co-director of MSU alongside Pezner, shared that the conference was the biggest event hosted by the organization to attract students, staff, and faculty of all backgrounds “to get a chance to learn critically about mixed heritage.” To manifest the appropriate space for this exchange of ideas and learning, prominent speakers from various mixed backgrounds were invited to speak.

The keynote Speaker Dr. Velina Hasu Houston, who wrote her senior thesis at UCLA and received her doctorate from USC, is recognized locally and internationally for her analytical playwriting on genres of mixed heritage, a topic often overlooked as “too uninteresting” for the arts.

The conference brought into projection the importance of using art as a medium to communicate beyond the subjects of the composition itself. Among Dr. Houston’s most renowned works is “Tea, with Music” and “Cinnamon Girl.” She is a leadership force for many organizations such as HapaSC, a mixed heritage organization at USC, and Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC), whose mission statement is “to advocate for and foster multiracial community and identity.”….

…Some of the other organizations’ representatives in attendance included Dr. Chandra Crudup, from One Drop of Love and the co-director of Mixed Roots Stories (MRS), who sponsored the conference. In addition to teaching at Arizona State University, Dr. Crudup is also a social worker. She said, “Race is in the face a lot more than in the past,” and that there needs to be a healthy way to deal with social justice issues. She spoke on what a healthy lifestyle looks like, a survival guide to not getting “jaded out by issues that affect life at work and socially.”…

Read the entire article here.

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

Rising Sun, “Rising Soul”: Mixed Race Japanese of African Descent

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2016-02-16 20:30Z by Steven

Rising Sun, “Rising Soul”: Mixed Race Japanese of African Descent

University of Southern California, University Park Campus
Los Angeles, California
Montgomery Ross Fisher Building (MRF)
Montgomery Ross Fisher Auditorium (340)
Friday, 2016-02-26, 14:00-17:00 PST (Local Time)

Rising Soul is a documentary film that explores the question, “What is the impact of Afro-Japanese offspring and their origins as children of Japanese war brides?” At the end of World War II, many Japanese women married American men of African descent and immigrated to the United States. While several stories examine the lives of Japanese war brides who married white Americans, none delve deeply into the history of Japanese war brides who married African Americans, and the journeys of their mixed-race children. Rising Soul explores the transnational juncture of Japanese and African American cultures embodied in the African-descent offspring of Japanese war brides, women that not only faced the challenges of life in the U.S., but who also confronted the adversities of interracial marriages to African Americans – hardships that emanated not only from white society, but also from Japanese including other Japanese war brides married to whites, from African Americans, and from Asian Americans. The documentary seeks to de-mystify Asian and Black identity from a perspective that does not see it as an anomaly or a subset of Hapa or Haafu identity but as something very real, primary, and organic to mixed race. Through interviews, glimpses into cultural phenomena, and historical artifacts, the film illuminates the complexity of that identity, and the betwixt and between and fusion that multiple heritages of color can foster. A panel will feature Rising Soul producer Monique Yamaguchi, screenwriter Velina Hasu Houston; and subjects from the film including Linda Gant, Sumire Gant, Kiyoshi Houston, Curtiss Takada Rooks, and Rika Houston. Excerpts from the film also will be screened.

For more information and to RSVP, click here. View the flyer here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs on 2016-01-18 19:45Z by Steven

Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

2Leaf Press
June 2016
appx. 500 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-28-5
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-29-2

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd

Introduction by Gerald Horne
Foreword by Velina Hasu Houston
Edited by Karen Chau

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd’s debut, Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, is a lyrical and compelling memoir about a son of an African American father and a Japanese mother who has spent a lifetime being looked upon with curiosity and suspicion by both sides of his ancestry and the rest of society. Cloyd begins his story in present-day San Francisco, reflecting back on a war-torn identity from Japan, U.S. military bases, and migration to the United States, uncovering links to hidden histories.

Dream of the Water Children tells two main stories: Cloyd’s mother and his own. It was not until the author began writing his memoir that his mother finally addressed her experiences with racism and sexism in Occupied Japan. This helped Cloyd make better sense of, and reckon with, his dislocated inheritances. Tautly written in spare, clear poetic prose, Dream of the Water Children delivers a compelling and surprising account of racial and gender interactions. It tackles larger social histories, helping to dispel some of the great narrative myths of race and culture embedded in various identities of the Pacific and its diaspora.

Tags: , , , , ,

The Hafu Nation: Five Voices

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2015-05-07 20:13Z by Steven

The Hafu Nation: Five Voices

Tokyo Weekender: Japan’s Premier English Magazine
2015-05-03

Kyle Mullin


Velina Hasu Houston (Photo by Ken Matsui)

Four members of the “Hafu Nation” share their experiences of living life from (at least) two perspectives.

Ariana Miyamoto has proven that beauty is not merely skin deep. Although some of her detractors criticized her for not being ethnically pure enough to represent Japan in this year’s Miss Universe pageant, many more supporters see her selection as an opportunity to address what role that mixed race individuals will play in the future of Japan. One work that has brought this question to movie audiences around the world is the documentary “Hafu” (the most common word used to describe Japanese people of mixed race). We reached out to one of the directors of the film, Megumi Nishikura, who put us in touch with several members of the local and international hafu community, who shared their views about Miyamoto’s selection, as well as their own experiences of multiethnicity inside and outside of Japan…

Velina Hasu Houston: A playwright and professor at USC who holds an MFA and PhD, and has explored the U.S.-Japan relationship through drama, fiction, essays, and film, among other forms.

“If Ms. Miyamoto were part white instead of part African American, there might be less brouhaha and discourse about her being named to represent Japan in the Miss Universe pageant. For example, recently Ms. Saira Kunikida, who is Japanese and Italian, was selected by Isetan to represent and be “the perfect symbol” (in the words of Fashion Headline Japan) of its “This is Japan” motto.

“Because Japan thinks of itself as a racially homogeneous and racially pure society, anybody that does not appear to be conventionally Japanese faces myriad issues of prejudgment and, at the very worse, discrimination in Japanese society. Sometimes this is positive in that Japanese citizens may be curious about someone who looks different, especially if that person appears to have some Asian traits. […] But more often than not being hafu in Japanese society can be trying. Japanese citizens stare at hafu constantly—on trains, walking down the street, in stores, and so on. It gets tiring always feeling as though you are being watched. You also may be racially profiled. If Japanese citizens perceive you to be of a certain race or national origin, they may behave differently toward you, thinking that you may act in a way that is to their detriment. These types of encounters are frustrating for hafu because our blood is Japanese as much as it is whatever else we are…

Read the entire article here.

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

Mixed Race 3.0: Risk and Reward in the Digital Age

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-16 01:42Z by Steven

Mixed Race 3.0: Risk and Reward in the Digital Age

USC Annenberg Press
2015-01-30
113 pages
ISBN: 9781625175564

Edited by:

Ulli K. Ryder
Department of Gender and Women’s Studies
University of Rhode Island

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Clinical Assistant Professor
Annenberg School for Communication and Jounalism
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Have you been asked, “what nationality are you” or “what country are you from”?
Have you been puzzled when forms tell you to “select only one ethnicity”?
Have you been disturbed to hear that you’re the “face of a colorblind future”?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, this book is for you.

Mixed Race 3.0: Risk and Reward in the Digital Age is an e-book that contains 17 contributions (many with exclusive photos) from award-winning writers, researchers and artists who embody a “mixed mindset.” Audacious and razor-sharp, Mixed Race 3.0 exposes the many monochromatic portrayals of multiracial people’s richness, variety and struggles in history, politics, mass-media and technology. Fans of Loving Day, Race Remixed, Mixed Chicks Chat, The Mixed Experience Podcast, Mixed Girl Problems and Critical Mixed Race Studies will be captivated, incensed and inspired by the powerful discussions of risks and rewards of being multiracial today.

Beyond memoir or case study, this book offers three versions of what it means to be mixed from a variety of voices. Version 1 is “Mixed Race 1.0: A Monologue.” Or, how did multiracial identities emerge in the U.S. and what challenges did they face? Version 2 is “Mixed Race 2.0: A Dialogue.” Or, what are some core differences between how multiracials think and talk about themselves and how U.S. and global cultures think and talk about them? Version 3 is “Mixed Race 3.0: A Megalogue.” Or, where in the world is this entire thing going as technology plays more of a role?

With honest storytelling and up-to-date critical inquiry, Mixed Race 3.0 plots a path not just to being mixed in the 21st century, but one open to anyone interested in simply “how to be.” The result is a poignant, intelligent, and daring journey that dissects the controversial label—multiracial—and challenges any politician, pundit or provocateur that purports to speak for or about all multiracial people.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
    • Herman S. Gray
  • Introduction
  • Section 1 Mixed Race 1.0: A Monologue
    • Gary B. Nash
    • Peggy Pascoe
    • Jordan Clarke
  • Section 2 Mixed Race 2.0: A Dialouge
    • Ken Tanabe
    • Lori L. Tharps
    • Andrew K. Jolivette
    • Ulli K. Ryder
    • Marcia Alesan Dawkins
    • Stephanie Sparling
  • Section 3 Mixed Race 3.0: A Megalogue
    • Rainier Spencer
    • Velina Hasu Houston
    • Lindsay A. Dawkins
    • Amanda Mardon
    • Shoshana Sarah
    • Mary Beltrán
    • Lisa Rueckert
  • The Authors and Artists
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Global Mixed Race,” the 3rd biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, was held at DePaul University in Chicago Nov 13-15, 2014.

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2014-11-21 03:06Z by Steven

“Global Mixed Race,” the 3rd biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, was held at DePaul University in Chicago Nov 13-15, 2014.

News from the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference
2014-11-18

Camilla Fojas, Vincent de Paul Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies
DePaul University


Photograph by Ken Tanabe

A big thank you to the over 600 people who attended Global Mixed Race. Videos of our keynotes and Live Performance showcase are forthcoming. Please visit us on Facebook to see event snapshots. High-resolution press photographs are available on request. Follow the archive of the event on Twitter #CMRS2014. Read a reflection from our Social Media Caucus organizer Sharon H. Chang. Watch Mixed Roots Stories top 3 highlights from each day.

The 2016 conference will be held Nov 10-12, 2016 at University of Southern California and will be hosted by Associate Professor Duncan Ryuken Williams, founder of the Hapa Japan Project (along with project co-director Velina Hasu Houston) and Director of USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. We will continue to partner with Mixed Roots Stories to offer arts and cultural programming. We are moving forward with founding an association. Join our mailing list to stay informed. We anticipate organizing a symposium in 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and a full CMRS conference on the United States east coast in 2018. We are currently seeking institutional partners in the United Kingdom or Japan to host a CMRS symposium in 2017. Please contact us at cmrs@depaul.edu if you would like to volunteer…

For more information, click here.

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