Chyrstyn Fentroy — First Black Woman To Join Boston Ballet In A Decade — Debuts As Snow Queen In ‘The Nutcracker’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-12-02 22:07Z by Steven

Chyrstyn Fentroy — First Black Woman To Join Boston Ballet In A Decade — Debuts As Snow Queen In ‘The Nutcracker’

WBUR 90.9 FM
Boston, Massachusetts
2018-11-30

Arielle Gray, Arts Fellow

Lasha Khozashvili and Chyrstyn Fentroy in Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker (Photo by Angela Sterling, courtesy of Boston Ballet)
Lasha Khozashvili and Chyrstyn Fentroy in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker (Photo by Angela Sterling, courtesy of Boston Ballet)

Artificial snow falls gently from the top of the stage of the Boston Opera House, encasing the space in an ethereal glittering glow. Beneath it dances Chyrstyn Fentroy as the Snow Queen, entwined in an elegant flow of limbs and carefully choreographed steps with the Snow King. The Boston Ballet is rehearsing for its opening night of “The Nutcracker,” the other worldly production based off of E.T.A Hoffman’s novella. Fentroy debuted as the Snow Queen on Thursday evening and will star in the role again on Sunday, Dec. 2.

Fentroy makes a stunning Snow Queen, traversing the stage in a series of light, precise steps. The role is a notable milestone for Fentroy, who has been deeply involved in the world of dance since she was old enough to walk. She tells me she’s the first black female dancer to join the Boston Ballet in the last decade.

Growing up as the daughter of two dancers in Los Angeles, Fentroy spent a lot of time in the dance studio. “’The Nutcracker’ specifically is something that’s kind of been a part of my life forever,” Fentroy told WBUR. “I grew up watching my mom do the Sugarplum Fairy variation and spent so many years in the wings watching performances.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Loving Day, And The Fluidity Of Racial Identity

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-06-12 13:53Z by Steven

Loving Day, And The Fluidity Of Racial Identity

Cognoscenti
WBUR 90.9 FM
Boston, Massachusetts
2017-06-12

John Vercher

Today, June 12, marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Loving v. Virginia decision that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage and made my existence, well, legal.

At 50 years young, the decision that allowed people like my parents — who could see past shades of melanin — to marry anyone they pleased is holding strong.

More or less.

It wasn’t until the year 2000 that 60 percent of Alabama voters finally elected to honor the Supreme Court’s decision, and remove anti-miscegenation laws from their state constitution. A whole 60 percent!

But they did it. And that’s a cause for celebration.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to take a look at privilege. Specifically, mine

Read the entire article here.

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The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-05-10 18:36Z by Steven

The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being

WBUR 90.9 FM
Boston, Massachusetts
2017-05-02

John Vercher


I’m raising my sons to be proud of their blackness, writes John Vercher. But they’ll benefit from their lighter skin. (Ayo Ogunseinde/Unsplash)

I used to make fun of my Pop’s Afro. Then, as now, he took meticulous care of it. I remember with such clarity the way he used to trim it in the mirror of our basement bathroom. The way he leaned over the sink to wash it, neck craned under the faucet to keep the shampoo from running in his eyes. The way he styled and shaped it to geometric perfection. That Afro was the epitome of cool.

Except to me. His natural, his turtlenecks under his leather jackets, his ankle-high leather boots, made him a walking anachronism. An outdated Richard Roundtree; Shaft in the wrong time.

I envied that hair, though I didn’t know it at the time. I still do. Not only for myself but also for my sons. I am a biracial black man, but I was not blessed with my father’s good hair. His loose curls plus my mother’s arrow-straight locks left me with a shock more Prince than Angela Davis; skin more Dwayne Johnson than Wesley Snipes. A child of the 70s, my parents let my hair grow long and wavy and so I heard that question, as early as grade school; the question that dogged me through high school, followed me to college, nipped at my heels through adulthood, until I shaved my thinning hair:

“What are you, exactly?”…

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The only people who qualify as non-racist are those who defy and denounce the false logic of race altogether.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-12-17 21:08Z by Steven

The only people who qualify as non-racist are those who defy and denounce the false logic of race altogether.

Carlos Hoyt, “Mean, Kind Or Non: Which Type Of Racist Are You?Cognoscenti, WBUR 90.9 FM, December 15, 2016. http://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2016/12/15/race-and-racism-carlos-hoyt.

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Mean, Kind Or Non: Which Type Of Racist Are You?

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, Social Science on 2016-12-17 02:47Z by Steven

Mean, Kind Or Non: Which Type Of Racist Are You?

Cognoscenti
WBUR 90.9 FM
Boston, Massachusetts
2016-12-15

Carlos Hoyt, Assistant Professor of Social Work
Wheelock College, Boston, Massachusetts


We have to stop believing and acting as if we can have it both ways, writes Carlos Hoyt: adhering to the notion of race while also trying to end racism. Pictured: Richard Spencer, who leads a movement that mixes racism, white nationalism and populism, speaks at the Texas A&M University campus Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in College Station, Texas. (David J. Phillip/AP)

COMMENTARY

Do you take issue with the following declaration?

“Race is real, race matters, and race is the foundation of identity.”

Let’s break it down. Many people are aware that the concept of race has no biological validity; that it’s a social construct, like gender or money, which are “real” only in so far as we treat them as such. So, in response to the first part of the thesis, many people might say, “Race is a social construct with very real effects.” As such, race certainly matters in myriad ways. As for race as the foundation of identity, many people might reason that, since identity is multi-faceted, race is, indeed, among the factors that comprise it…

Read the entire article here.

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In ‘Black Lotus,’ Author Sil Lai Abrams Explores Search For Racial Identity

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-04 01:48Z by Steven

In ‘Black Lotus,’ Author Sil Lai Abrams Explores Search For Racial Identity

Here & Now
WBUR 90.9 FM, Boston, Massachusetts
2016-08-03


Sil Lai Abrams, author of “Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity.” (Courtesy of Che Williams)

When Sil Lai Abrams was a child, her white father and her Chinese mother explained her dark skin and curly hair were a result of her Hawaiian birthplace. But when she was 14, her father told her that her biological father was a black man.

Abrams struggled for years to figure out just who she was, and tells her story in the new memoir “Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity.” Abrams joins Here & Now’s Eric Westervelt to talk about the book…

Listen to the interview here. Read an excerpt from the book here.

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‘Evoking The Mulatto’ In Mixed-Race America

Posted in Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2015-11-24 17:00Z by Steven

‘Evoking The Mulatto’ In Mixed-Race America

On Point with Tom Ashbrook
WBUR 90.9 FM
Boston, Massachusetts
2015-11-23

Tom Ashbrook, Host

Guests:


(Clockwise From Top Left) Filmmaker Lindsay Catherine Harris, Ko Smith, Kailya Warren and Bryant Koger in still images from Harris’ “Evoking the Mulatto” multimedia project. (Courtesy the Filmmaker)

Mixed-race America in the time of Black Lives Matter and demographic change. We’ll talk race, identity and the film project “Evoking the Mulatto”.

Mixed race America is a fast-growing piece of the American pie. Ten percent of American births now, and growing. Until 1967, interracial marriage was illegal in many states. Today, relationships regularly cross all the old racial lines. What is it like to be that American? A new film project with the provocative title “Evoking the Mulatto” talks with lots of mixed race Americans about their everyday experience and their most intimate thoughts on love, beauty, justice, racial identity, and the American future. This hour, On Point, we’re listening to mixed race Americans.

Listen to the story (00:47:49) here. Download the story here.

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Does The Heritage Controversy Tell Us More About Warren Or The Media?

Posted in Articles, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-05-28 02:36Z by Steven

Does The Heritage Controversy Tell Us More About Warren Or The Media?

Radio Boston
WBUR
2012-05-22

Dan Mauzy, Associate Producer

Hosts

Meghna Chakrabarti, Co-Host

Anthony Brooks, Co-Host

Guests

Kevin Noble Maillard, Associate Professor of Law (member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma)
Syracuse University

David Catanese, National Political Reporter
Politico

Here’s a bit of a problem that political reporters have to contend with: How should we handle those stories that appear to distract from what most regard as the big, important issues of the day? When a particular campaign or a political party fans the flames of one of these sidebar stories in an effort to keep a controversy alive, what should the media do?
 
The story about Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native American ancestry presents one of those challenges.
 
The Harvard law professor who’s challenging Sen. Scott Brown has talked proudly about her Native American heritage, and we’ve learned that she listed herself as a “minority” for nearly a decade back in the late 1980s and early 90s. Warren has tried to explain why and there’s no evidence that Harvard, or any other university, hired her because of her claim…

Read the entire article here. Listen to the interview (00:25:32) here. Download it here.

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