What Obama’s Trip To Havana Revealed About Race In Cuba And The U.S.

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-05-06 01:56Z by Steven

What Obama’s Trip To Havana Revealed About Race In Cuba And The U.S.

African American Intellectual History Society

Devyn Spence Benson, Assistant Professor of History and African and African American Studies
Louisiana State University

During his groundbreaking visit to Havana last month, President Barack Obama suggested that the embrace of U.S.-style democracy and capitalism would “help lift up” Cubans of African descent. Following the speech, former Cuban President Fidel Castro reminded Obama that the Cuban Revolution had already eliminated racial discrimination in the 1960s.

The contemporary state of racial inequality casts doubt on both men’s assertions: black and brown North-American youth still face police brutality (murder), voter suppression, and low graduation rates, while Afro-Cubans have less access to the emerging tourist sector than ever before. “Democracy” or “socialism”—despite the propaganda and good intentions of our leaders—does not naturally uplift people of African descent.

The symbolism of a black U.S. president eating at one of Havana’s few black-owned restaurants and talking about Afro-Cuban access to the new economy should be celebrated. Missed, though, was the opportunity to reestablish coalitions and activism between people of African descent in both countries. Instead, debates about which country had been most successful in battling racism abounded. Similar to previous interactions between Cuba and the United States, this event showed how both countries invoke celebratory histories that reinforce national racial mythologies, rather than the controversial present…

Read the entire article here.

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The Calumet Roundtable: A Discussion with Samantha Joyce

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Videos on 2016-05-04 21:27Z by Steven

The Calumet Roundtable: A Discussion with Samantha Joyce

The Calumet Roundtable

Lee Artz, Host and Professor of Communication
Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana

Samantha Joyce, Professor of Mass Communication
Indiana University, South Bend

In this episode of “The Calumet Roundtable,” host Dr. Lee Artz, Professor of Communication at Purdue University Calumet, and guest Dr. Samantha Joyce, Professor of Mass Communication at Indiana University South Bend, chat about the representation of race and gender in telenovelas in Brazil. Telenovelas are respected, serious television programs in Brazil and Latin America which air six days a week for approximately nine months, usually containing a mix of real life issues and melodrama. Joyce gives a brief explanation of the history of race equality in Brazil. Artz and Joyce compare the miniseries in the United States to telenovelas in Brazil, and they talk about socially progressive messages in telenovelas.

Joyce wrote “Brazilian Telenovelas and the Myth of Racial Democracy,” which is an open textual analysis of the telenovela “Duas Caras.” This program was the first of its kind to present audiences with an Afro-Brazilian hero.

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Race & Racisms: A Critical Approach [Gabriel Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Social Science, Teaching Resources on 2016-05-04 21:09Z by Steven

Race & Racisms: A Critical Approach [Gabriel Review]

Tanya Maria Golash-Boza, Race and Racisms: A Critical Approach (New York, London: Oxford University Press, 2014)

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
Published online before print 2016-04-22
DOI: 10.1177/2332649216645801

Ricardo Gabriel
The Graduate Center
City University of New York

Explaining to students that race is a social construction is one of the biggest challenges faced by all who teach courses on race and ethnicity, humble adjuncts and seasoned professors alike. Furthermore, the constructed and fabricated aspects of race must be balanced with how race and racism have shaped, and continue to shape, our society in concrete ways. Is race “real”? Does systemic racism still exist, or didn’t the civil rights movement take care of all of that? How can there still be racism if we elected a Black president? What about personal responsibility? Even if racism does exist, what can we do about it? These are just some of the questions that typically arise when discussing race and racism in the classroom. How do we explain the continued prevalence of racial inequality in the twenty-first century, in a society that some claim is now “post-“racial? And how do we discuss these issues with students in a way that both stretches their sociological imaginations and encourages a racial justice praxis?

Golash-Boza’s brief edition of Race & Racisms: A Critical Approach takes up this important challenge. Written for the undergraduate*level instructor, its main objective is to “engage students in significant questions related to racial dynamics in the United States and around the world.” From beginning to end. Golash-Boza provides a balanced mix of empirical data, rich theory, and personal narratives as well as useful pedagogical features such as the “Thinking about Racial Justice” sections that facilitate critical thinking.

Chapter 1 provides a concise summary of the scholarship on the origin of the idea that humans can be separated into different racial categories. The greatest strength of this opening chapter is the way it sets the tone for the rest of the book by emphasizing that racial taxonomy and racial ideologies were invented as a justification for colonialism, genocide. and slavery…

Read or purchase the review here.

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Why does the Misty Copeland Barbie doll look so … white?

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-04 18:03Z by Steven

Why does the Misty Copeland Barbie doll look so … white?

The Washington Post

Sara L. Kaufman, Dance Critic

The new Misty Copeland Barbie doll. Photographer Dennis Di Laura
Stylist Sheryl Fetrick

On Monday, Mattel rolled out a Barbie doll modeled on ballerina Misty Copeland, who broke the color barrier at American Ballet Theatre last summer when she was promoted to the top rank of principal dancer, a first for an African American woman.

So why doesn’t the Barbie look like her?…

Read the entire article here.

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Coloring Outside The Lines With Interracial Marriage

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-04 17:52Z by Steven

Coloring Outside The Lines With Interracial Marriage

The Stony Brook Independent
Stony Brook, New York

Kayla Frazier, Staff Writer

For Stony Brook student Shage Price, being the daughter of parents of different races led her to have questions about her looks early on.

“I would always ask my mother why she married daddy and not someone with better hair so my hair would be nice,” Price said.

Price, 21, grew up in Middletown, New York, a predominantly white town on the edge of the Catskill Mountains. Though she had plenty of friends and experienced little or no harassment because of her multiracial background, she said she felt “too black to be white and too white to be black.”

At college, that racial ambivalence has become more of a cultural question. Back home, she said, her high school friends see her as “too artsy to be hood” while on campus, where she is switching her major from linguistics to a multidisciplinary blend including theater and music. She sometimes feels “too hood to be artsy.”

It is no secret that America has continuous lingering issues dealing with race. As millennials come of age, coloring outside the lines, so to speak, is a path waiting to be explored…

Read the entire article here.

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Paperback Row

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-05-04 02:10Z by Steven

Paperback Row

Book Review
The New York Times

Joumana Khatib

Seven new paperbacks to check out this week…

A CHOSEN EXILE: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, by Allyson Hobbs. (Harvard University, $16.95.) People who chose to “pass” were intentionally clandestine and left few clues of their histories, but here, Hobbs, a historian at Stanford, delves into the fraught history of African-Americans who passed as white in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a focus on the black families and identities that were left behind…

Read the entire article here.

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Loyal Southerners – a presentation by Marvin T. Jones

Posted in Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, United States on 2016-05-04 01:42Z by Steven

Loyal Southerners – a presentation by Marvin T. Jones

Rock Creek Nature Center
5200 Glover Road, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20015
Saturday, 2016-05-07, 09:30-11:00 EDT (Local Time)

Marvin T. Jones, Executive Director
Chowan Discovery Group

The story of the most famous of Southern Unionists, Newton Knight (left) will be screened on film. It stars Mathew McConaughey and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Release date is June 24.

Very little has been told and much has been suppressed about Southerners who defended the Union during the Civil War. On June 24, the release of the movie The Free State of Jones brings to the public the best known story of resisters to the Confederacy. In preparation for the movie’s release, Marvin T. Jones of Chowan Discovery will present an overview of loyal southern groups who operated from North Carolina’s Winton Triangle area to Texas including Jones’ Newton Knight and his Knight Company…

For more information, click here.

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“Virtues do not all belong to the whites”: The Portrayals of Americanization and Miscegenation in Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, United States on 2016-05-02 23:23Z by Steven

“Virtues do not all belong to the whites”: The Portrayals of Americanization and Miscegenation in Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance

SEGue: Symposium for English Graduate Students
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
18 pages

Jennifer Bradley
Villanova University

The works of Sui Sin Far, who is widely recognized as the first Asian-American writer, revolve around questions of identity that capture the dissenting voices surrounding Asian-American immigration. A biracial woman of Chinese and English descent, Sui Sin Far writes from a variety of perspectives in order to paint a picture of race relations between Chinese and Americans during a time of intense Sinophobia in the United States. This paper will consider how several of the stories in her collection Mrs. Spring Fragrance showcase central dilemmas of immigration and assimilation. Critics have examined Sui Sin Far’s portrayal of assimilation, but not through the comparative lenses of Americanization and miscegenation. Americanization entails the sharing and appreciation of American values, customs, and culture while miscegenation is characterized by the mixing and interbreeding of different races. In Mrs. Spring Fragrance, white characters tend to view Americanization favorably but regard miscegenation with horror and disgust. Moreover, biracial children of both Chinese and white descent are regarded with confusion and even repulsion. Through miscegenation, white identity mixes with, rather than dominates, Chinese identity. In Mrs. Spring Fragrance, Americanization is often encouraged by whites because it entails an effacement of Chinese heritage, but miscegenation is discouraged because it instead implies an equality of this same Chinese heritage. This paper will turn to the stories of “Mrs. Spring Fragrance,” “The Story of One White Woman Who Married a Chinese,” and “Her Chinese Husband” to examine the contrasting portrayals of Americanization and miscegenation and their implications in forming American culture and society.

Read the entire paper here.

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MixedRaceStudies.org Surpasses 10,000 Posts!

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, My Articles/Point of View/Activities on 2016-05-02 20:48Z by Steven

MixedRaceStudies.org Surpasses 10,000 Posts!


Steven F. Riley, Creator and Founder

Silver Spring, MarylandMixedRaceStudies.org, the a non-commercial website that since 2009, provides the most comprehensive and robust gateway to interdisciplinary English language media about the relevant issues surrounding multiracialism, has now surpassed 10,000 posts.  This site has been called by a preeminent scholar, “the most comprehensive and objective clearinghouse for scholarly publications related to critical mixed-race theory” and by an up and coming scholar “probably the singularly most valuable tool in my work.” The website receives over 2,000 visitors each day over 1.5 million page views each month and is now on Twitter at @mixed_race.

The posts at MixedRaceStudies.org consist of 5,900+ articles; 1,400+ books; 600+ dissertation, papers and reports; 700+ multimedia items; 500+ excerpts/quotes; 100+ course offerings and other related items.

Click here to read the praise given to the site over the years and click here to read about my public activities discussing and/or participating in issues surrounding multiracialsm.

For more information about the website, please feel free to contact Steven Riley via e-mail.

The PEN Ten with Mat Johnson

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-01 20:28Z by Steven

The PEN Ten with Mat Johnson

PEN American Center

Randa Jarrar

The PEN Ten is PEN America’s weekly interview series. This week, guest editor Randa Jarrar talks with Mat Johnson, the author of Pym and the graphic novel Incognegro. His upcoming novel, Loving Day, will be published by Spiegiel & Grau on May 26. Johnson is a Full Professor at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.

When did being a writer begin to inform your sense of identity?

Oh sweet lord, I don’t know. When people started to treat me with respect and stop reacting to me like I was a big goon asshole? That part’s nice. Not to be a twit and turn the question around just to show you how deep I am, but it’s kinda been the other way around. I already had an identity, writing allowed me to clear a place in the world for it to exist. I’m a 6’4”, 230 lbs guy who looks like a Latvian rugby player, but I’m actually a black man of biracial descent. On the page, with Incognegro and Pym, and this new one Loving Day, I created a place for myself, so the world can see me coming…

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever put into words?

This whole damn book I just wrote, Loving Day. I spent the first decades of my life overcompensating for my whitish appearance within the black community, rejecting mixed identity as an escape plan for self-hating blacks of mixed descent. Then as an adult, I slowly began seeing the merits of self-identifying as biracial, and eventually the need for it, despite larger ambivalence to it in the larger black community. So I was petrified to actually talk about this directly in my new novel. I know some old allies are not going to be happy. But art shouldn’t be about making people happy, or confirming their existing ideas. I had to say this, my truth. This book is my coming out as a mulatto

Read the entire interview here.

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