A space of their own?

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-30 19:57Z by Steven

A space of their own?

Yale News
2016-09-21

Noah Kim, Staff Reporter

Multiracial students at Yale

Haleigh Larson ’18 spent her North Dakotan childhood in a community she characterizes as “almost completely Scandinavian.” She and her two siblings, the adopted children of white parents, are some of the few residents of color in the entire town.

When she came to Yale in the fall of 2014, Larson was, like all other students of color, assigned a peer liaison and invited to attend events at one of the campus’s cultural houses — in her case, the Afro-American Cultural Center. Never having socialized regularly with people of a similar racial background, Larson was initially eager to explore an aspect of her identity with which she was unfamiliar. But she found it difficult to fully engage with many of the other students and began to feel as if she were not a member of the African-American community at Yale.

“Many of the students there had come to the Af-Am House looking for a space to engage with others who had been raised in similar environments, while I came there trying to learn more about a side of my identity I wasn’t as immersed in,” Larson said. “As a result, there was a huge barrier between me and many of the other students. Besides the occasional email, I certainly didn’t feel like a member.”

Though Larson acknowledges the importance of Yale’s cultural houses for many students of color, she was disappointed with her experience trying to explore her identity within the campus’s existing cultural spaces.

Jessica Nelson ’18, a half-black, half-white student “tangibly involved but not extremely active” in the Af-Am House, experienced similar feelings of alienation upon visiting the center during her freshman year…

Read the entire article here.

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

New Yale award to honor high school juniors for community engagement

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-06-20 19:32Z by Steven

New Yale award to honor high school juniors for community engagement

Yale News
New Haven, Connecticut
2016-06-15


This photograph of Ebenezer Bassett is part of the collection in the Yale Library’s Department of Manuscripts and Archives.

Select high school juniors across the nation will be honored for their public service through the Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement, established by Yale’s Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM). The first awards will be presented in the spring of 2017 to high school students in the Class of 2018.

The new award honors the legacy of influential educator, abolitionist, and public servant Ebenezer Bassett (1833-1908), the United States’ first African American diplomat.

“Ebenezer Bassett is an exemplar of so many qualities we seek to foster in all Yale students,” said Yale President Peter Salovey. “He was a superb intellectual who used the fruits of his education to serve his fellow global citizens and contribute to a more unified world. We are proud to bring heightened awareness of his name and legacy to those who follow in his footsteps today — and particularly to do so by recognizing outstanding young people who are tomorrow’s college students.”.

Professor Stephen Pitti, director of the RITM Center, added: “The faculty in the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration established this award to honor emerging leaders who, like Ebenezer Bassett in the 19th century, bring under-recognized perspectives to the public sphere, think hard about our collective futures, work on behalf of others, and exemplify intelligence and courage.”

Born into a Native American (Schaghticoke) and African American family nearly 200 years ago, Bassett was the first black student admitted to the Connecticut Normal School (now Central Connecticut State University). He excelled there and at Yale, where he pursued courses in mathematics and classics in the 1850s. Bassett was a friend and supporter of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and served as principal of the Philadelphia Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheney University). He was named consul general to Haiti (becoming the first African American ambassador) and as chargé d’affaires to the Dominican Republic, gaining a hemispheric understanding of racial politics. He also served as Haiti’s consul in New York City

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

At Yale, a Right That Doesn’t Outweigh a Wrong

Posted in Campus Life, History, Media Archive, Religion, Slavery, United States, Women on 2016-05-01 00:45Z by Steven

At Yale, a Right That Doesn’t Outweigh a Wrong

The New York Times
2016-04-29

Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Peter V & C Vann Woodward Professor of History, African American Studies, and American Studies
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

NEW HAVEN — Yale made a grievous mistake this week when it announced that it would keep the name of an avowed white supremacist, John C. Calhoun, on a residential college, despite decades of vigorous alumni and student protests. The decision to name residential colleges for Benjamin Franklin and Anna Pauline Murray, a black civil rights activist, does nothing to redeem this wrong.

It is not a just compromise to split the difference between Calhoun and Murray; there should be no compromise between such stark contrasts in values. The decision to retain the Calhoun name continues the pain inflicted every day on students who live in a dormitory named for a man distinguished by being one of the country’s most egregious racists.

To be sure, there’s something noteworthy about the contrast between these two figures who now sit across campus from each other. Although they lived in different centuries, Calhoun in the 19th, and Murray in the 20th, in many ways, she lived in — and fought against — the world that he built.

Calhoun, a Yale graduate, congressman and the seventh vice president of the United States, owned dozens of slaves in Fort Hill, S.C. Murray grew up in poverty in Durham, N. C., as the granddaughter of an enslaved woman. Calhoun championed slavery as a “positive good”; Murray’s great-grandmother was raped by her slave master. Calhoun profited immensely from the labor of the enslaved people on his plantation; Murray was a radical labor activist in Harlem during the Great Depression

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Students propose multiracial peer liaison program

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-04 23:08Z by Steven

Students propose multiracial peer liaison program

Yale Daily News
New Haven, Connecticut
2016-02-03

Monica Wang, Staff Reporter

When Chandler Gregoire ’17 stepped onto Yale’s campus as a freshman more than three years ago, she was assigned two peer liaisons: one from the Afro-American Cultural Center and the other from the Asian American Cultural Center. Ethnically, Gregoire explained, she is half white, one-quarter Black and one-quarter Asian, and Yale felt compelled to match her multiple identities with the appropriate cultural resources.

A well-established initiative under the Yale College Dean’s Office, the peer liaison program has functioned to connect freshmen of color with the University’s four cultural centers — the AACC, the Af-Am House, La Casa Cultural and the Native American Cultural Center — since 2008. And while multiracial students have served as peer liaisons for these houses in the past, there is currently no formal multiracial peer liaison program to which members of Yale’s growing community of multiracial students can turn for support. Faced with difficulties in navigating her own multiracial identity, especially within the spaces of the existing cultural centers, Gregoire founded the Racial and Ethnic Openness Club with other multiracial friends in the spring of 2014.

Now, REO has proposed the idea of a multiracial peer liaison program. Discussions between students and administrators are ongoing, with several other options for supporting multiracial students also being discussed…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Halloween Costume Emails Stokes Debate At Yale

Posted in Audio, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-10 02:05Z by Steven

Halloween Costume Emails Stokes Debate At Yale

All Things Considered
National Public Radio
2015-11-09

Audie Cornish, Host

Yale University is in turmoil after a series of emails about culturally insensitive Halloween costumes. Some students there are protesting what they say is a hostile environment for students of color. Sebi Median-Tayac [Aaron Z. Lewis], one of the leaders of the protest, speaks with NPR’s Audie Cornish.

Listen to the story (00:03:58) here. Download the story here. Read the transcript here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

What’s Really Going On at Yale

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-10 01:49Z by Steven

What’s Really Going On at Yale

Medium
2015-11-08

Aaron Z. Lewis, Senior
Yale University


Dean Jonathan Holloway; Photo credit: Yale Daily News

By now, you’ve probably seen the video of a Yale student yelling at a professor, the Facebook post about a “white girls only” party, or the email about offensive Halloween costumes. Unfortunately, the short YouTube clips and articles I’ve seen don’t even come close to painting an accurate picture of what’s happening at Yale. I’m a senior here, and I’ve experienced the controversy firsthand over the past week (and years). I want to tell a more complete story and set a few facts straight.

For starters: the protests are not really about Halloween costumes or a frat party. They’re about a mismatch between the Yale we find in admissions brochures and the Yale we experience every day. They’re about real experiences with racism on this campus that have gone unacknowledged for far too long. The university sells itself as a welcoming and inclusive place for people of all backgrounds. Unfortunately, it often isn’t…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Before Green and Bouchet, another African American Yale College grad. Maybe.

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-03-25 21:41Z by Steven

Before Green and Bouchet, another African American Yale College grad. Maybe.

Yale Alumni Magazine
2014-03-07

Mark Alden Branch ’86

Just last Friday, we told you that the first African American to graduate from Yale College was not Edward Bouchet in 1874, but Richard Henry Green in 1857. Since then, though, we’ve been reminded of two other nineteenth-century alumni whose histories complicate—or problematize, as they like to say in the academy—our attempt to name the first African American graduate.

The most fascinating case surrounds Moses Simons, Class of 1809, who is, oddly enough, considered to be Yale’s first Jewish graduate. (Dan Oren ’79, ’84MD, makes that case for Simons in his book Joining the Club: A History of Jews at Yale.) But two scholars, relying almost exclusively on an account of an 1818 criminal assault trial in New York, have advanced the claim that Simons was African American—most likely, they say, the son of a Jewish man, also named Moses Simons, and of an African American mother…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Yale College’s first black grad: it’s not who you think

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, United States on 2014-03-25 21:31Z by Steven

Yale College’s first black grad: it’s not who you think

Yale Alumni Magazine
2014-02-28

Carole Bass ’83, ’97MSL
Mark Alden Branch ’86

In 1874, Edward Bouchet became the first African American to graduate from Yale College. Or so the university’s histories tell us—and we’ve reported it ourselves more than once.

Yet that very year, a Quaker publication from Philadelphia recognized an earlier pioneer:

“The first colored graduate of the Academical Department of Yale,” it says, “was Richard Henry Green, in 1857.” At least two other newspapers published similar items around the same time in 1874.

Green, a New Haven native who died in 1877 at age 43, seems to have been lost from Yale history. Now he has been found again, thanks to research by an archivist at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City.

“It’s a fascinating story,” the archivist, Rick Stattler, says in a phone interview. “I sort of stumbled across it by accident” while researching Green family papers that will be auctioned in April.

When he discovered that Richard Henry Green “may have been a pioneer African American student at Yale, I was a little skeptical,” Stattler says. “But it turned out to be true.”

A “Mulatto” Clerk

How Green’s race was viewed at Yale—by the college, by his classmates, and by Green himself—is unknown. Yale records don’t mention his race, and no images or physical descriptions of him have been found, says Judith Schiff, the university’s chief research archivist and author of the Yale Alumni Magazine‘s “Old Yale” column.

But the 1850 US census lists Richard Henry Green as a 17-year-old “mulatto” clerk, living in New Haven with other “mulatto” family members. The 1860 census records Green’s race as “black.”

And in 1874, while Green was still alive and with Edward Bouchet seemingly making history, somebody at the Society of Friends in Philadelphia knew that Green was actually “the first colored graduate” of Yale College…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

New Contenders Emerge in Quest to Identify Yale’s First African-American Graduate

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-03-18 02:48Z by Steven

New Contenders Emerge in Quest to Identify Yale’s First African-American Graduate

The New York Times
2014-03-16

Ariel Kaminer

For Richard Henry Green, recently declared to have been Yale College’s first known African-American graduate, fame, or at least the certainty of his claim on history, was fleeting.

Just last month, an Americana specialist at the Swann Auction Galleries made public the discovery that Mr. Green, the son of a New Haven bootmaker, had attended Yale 17 years before Edward Bouchet, an 1874 graduate previously thought to have broken its color barrier. But while Mr. Bouchet spent a century and a half on that pedestal, his accomplishments praised with every honor, from academic symposiums to undergraduate fellowships to a portrait in Yale’s main library, the scant weeks since Mr. Green unseated him have brought nothing but new challengers.

According to an article in the journal Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, a man named Moses Simons may in fact have been the first undergraduate to break Yale’s color barrier. This possibility is remarkable not just because Mr. Simons graduated long before either of the two previous contenders — all the way back in 1809, when Thomas Jefferson was president — but because Mr. Simons is already celebrated for breaking an entirely different sort of barrier…

…The record of Mr. Simons’s trial includes references to him as “coloured,” and to the discomfort that he aroused in some “Southern gentlemen.” And the author of that trial record ended his account with a rant about keeping America free of “the African tinge.”

What’s more, a number of men in the Jewish, slave-owning Simons family of Charleston, S.C., were known to have fathered children of mixed race.

But as strongly as the trial record implies African ancestry, Dale Rosengarten, founding director of the Jewish Heritage Collection at the College of Charleston, cautioned that “unless you can actually know who the parents were, you don’t actually know.” She added: “If this man did have a dark complexion, darker than the average Caucasian, it’s possible that he had other admixtures.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Interracial Family Memoirs: Reconstructing Genealogies across the Color Line

Posted in History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2013-09-11 03:57Z by Steven

Interracial Family Memoirs: Reconstructing Genealogies across the Color Line

Yale University
230 Prospect Street
Room 101
New Haven, Connecticut 06511
2013-09-16, 12:00-13:15 EDT (Local Time)

Cedric Essi, Ph.D. Candidate in American Studies
University of Erlangen-Nürnberg

During the last two decades numerous autobiographical works have emerged which explore family histories in black and white, such as Barack Obama’sDreams from My Father,” June Cross’sSecret Daughter” or Edward Ball’sSlaves in the Family.” Essi subsumes these works under the umbrella term ‘interracial family memoir’ and draws up a typology of ‘genealogies’ in order to categorize and interrogate the ways in which these texts thematize kinship across the color line. This talk will provide a critical overview of the genre and discusses how the US-specific ideology of the one-drop rule affects interracial family experiences, to what extent transnational affiliations conflict with racial self-identification, on what terms white motherhood is rendered visible and how the interracial family is often imagined as an allegory of the American nation. This talk is part of the GLC Brown Bag Lunch Series. Bring your lunch; drinks & dessert will be provided.

For more information, click here.

Tags: ,