For Some Adopted Kids, There’s a Danger in Erasing Racial Lines

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-18 20:16Z by Steven

For Some Adopted Kids, There’s a Danger in Erasing Racial Lines

The Takeaway
WNYC Radio
New York, New York
2017-07-10

Todd Zwillich, Host


Rebecca Carroll (upper left) with her siblings, circa 1974. (Courtesy of Guest)

The Takeaway has been presenting conversations about race and identity through our original series, “Uncomfortable Truths: Confronting Racism in America.”

Last week, we featured a conversation with Takeaway listener Rechelle Schimke and her brother, Gerritt. Rechelle is white; Gerritt, who was adopted, is black.

Rebecca Carroll, editor of special projects at WNYC Radio, heard echoes of her own story in that conversation. Rebecca, like Gerritt, is black, and was also adopted by a white family.

But while Gerritt’s experience resulted in a seeming erasure of racial lines, Rebecca insists on the importance of recognizing the different identities that have shaped the history of race in America.

Listen to the interview (00:08:00) here.

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A Family Comes Out of the (Racial) Closet

Posted in Audio, Family/Parenting, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-06-27 00:27Z by Steven

A Family Comes Out of the (Racial) Closet

The Takeaway
WNYC
2017-06-13


Alison Fornés with her daughter Amiya Fornés-Sicam (left) and mother Julia Fornés (right). (Alison Fornes)

Alison Fornés, an education consultant based in Salem, Massachusetts, wrote to us wanting to speak with her mother, Julia, as part our “Uncomfortable Truths” series.

Talking to your mom about identity may not seem like a conversation most people would classify as “uncomfortable,” but Julia largely kept the story of her upbringing from her daughter. In 1956, at just six years old, Julia was sent from Puerto Rico to an orphanage in Connecticut. Because of racial tensions in the area in 1956, Julia was discouraged from carrying on her traditions from back home in order to be viewed as a more desirable adoptee for a family. She spent much of her life trying to pass as anything but Puerto Rican.

As Alison got older, she started to wonder why she didn’t know more about her mother’s childhood traditions back in the Caribbean. So she sat down to ask Julia about why she felt compelled to hide her Puerto Rican identity, and how she eventually came to embrace it.

Listen to the story here.

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Oreo: A Comeback Story

Posted in Audio, Judaism, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2015-07-25 01:55Z by Steven

Oreo: A Comeback Story

On The Media
WNYC FM
New York, New York
Friday, 2015-07-17

Mythili Rao, Host and Producer

Guests: Mat Johnson, Harryette Mullen, Mark Anthony Neal and Danzy Senna

In 1974, Fran Ross published her first and only novel, “Oreo.” The satirical tale of a biracial teenager’s Theseus-style quest to find her father was almost completely overlooked in its era. Now, more than 4 decades later, its re-issue is being met with critical praise. Producer Mythili Rao explores why Ross’s take on racial identity was so ahead of its time.

Listen to the interview (00:10:58) here.

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The Family Secret in the Mirror

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Judaism, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2015-04-16 14:01Z by Steven

The Family Secret in the Mirror

The Brian Lehrer Show
WNYC 93.9 FM
New York, New York
Monday, 2015-03-23

Brian Lehrer, Host


Lacey Schwartz wins the documentary section prize for her documentary work-in-progress, ‘Outside The Box’ at the TAA Awards during the 5th Annual Tribeca Film Festival. (Mat Szwajkos/Getty)

Raised as a white Jewish kid in Woodstock, New York, filmmaker Lacey Schwartz tells the story of her discovery that she is in fact bi-racial and doesn’t just take after her father’s Sicilian ancestor. In her documentary “Little White Lie,” she discusses the effect of the lies and the truth about her family and identity.

Download the episode here.

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Richard Pryor’s Daughter on Growing Up Biracial

Posted in Articles, Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2013-04-12 20:00Z by Steven

Richard Pryor’s Daughter on Growing Up Biracial

WNYC Radio
New York, New York
WNYC News
2013-04-07

Soterios Johnson

April 7, 2013 – Richard Pryor, one of the most influential comedians of all-time, gained pop star status in the 1970’s with his incisive storytelling about issues including race.  Now, his daughter Rain is sharing her take on growing up biracial in ’70s and ’80s Los Angeles, the child of the African-American comic genius and a Jewish go-go dancer.

In her one-woman show, “Fried Chicken and Latkes,” Pryor brings to life the family members, societal pressures and personal experiences that forged her identity at a time when attitudes about race in the U.S. were rapidly changing.

“I really wanted to tell a story about me, so people would get to know who I am,” Pryor said.  “But at the same time really talk about things that were important to me.  And, race was always such a big issue for me, and still is, especially in our country.”…

Read the entire article here. Download the interview here.

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Bengali Harlem

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Audio, History, Media Archive, United States on 2013-01-13 16:33Z by Steven

Bengali Harlem

The Brian Lehrer Show
WNYC 93.9 FM/ 820 AM
2013-01-11

Brian Lehrer, Host

Vivek Bald, Assistant Professor of Writing and Digital Media
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Vivek Bald, documentary director and assistant professor of writing and digital media at MIT and the author of Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America, reveals the little known history of early South Asian immigrants, from Tremé to Harlem.

→explore the Bengali Harlem website, including an excerpt from Aladdin Ullah’s one-man show here.

Download the interview here. Stream m3u here. (00:14:12).

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Fatal Invention: Race and Science

Posted in Audio, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2011-09-13 21:28Z by Steven

Fatal Invention: Race and Science

The Brian Lehrer Show
WNYC
Monday, 2011-08-15

Brian Lehrer, Host

Dorothy Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

Dorothy Roberts, Kirkland & Ellis professor and faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, and author of Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics and Big Business Re-create Race In the Twenty-First Century, discusses how the findings of the Human Genome Project a decade ago stands in contrast to racial definitions in medicine and technology.

Download the audio here (00:13:04).

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