New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration

Posted in Books, History, Judaism, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2017-02-20 00:08Z by Steven

New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration

New York University Press
February 2017
368 pages
28 halftones
Cloth ISBN: 9781479888801

Judith Weisenfeld, Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of Religion
Princeton University

When Joseph Nathaniel Beckles registered for the draft in the 1942, he rejected the racial categories presented to him and persuaded the registrar to cross out the check mark she had placed next to Negro and substitute “Ethiopian Hebrew.”  “God did not make us Negroes,” declared religious leaders in black communities of the early twentieth-century urban North. They insisted that so-called Negroes are, in reality, Ethiopian Hebrews, Asiatic Muslims, or raceless children of God. Rejecting conventional American racial classification, many black southern migrants and immigrants from the Caribbean embraced these alternative visions of black history, racial identity, and collective future, thereby reshaping the black religious and racial landscape.

Focusing on the Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, Father Divine’s Peace Mission Movement, and a number of congregations of Ethiopian Hebrews, Judith Weisenfeld argues that the appeal of these groups lay not only in the new religious opportunities membership provided, but also in the novel ways they formulated a religio-racial identity. Arguing that members of these groups understood their religious and racial identities as divinely-ordained and inseparable, the book examines how this sense of self shaped their conceptions of their bodies, families, religious and social communities, space and place, and political sensibilities.

Weisenfeld draws on extensive archival research and incorporates a rich array of sources to highlight the experiences of average members. The book demonstrates that the efforts by members of these movements to contest conventional racial categorization contributed to broader discussions in black America about the nature of racial identity and the collective future of black people that still resonate today.

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Black German: An Afro-German Life in the Twentieth Century

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Europe, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs on 2017-02-19 19:45Z by Steven

Black German: An Afro-German Life in the Twentieth Century

Liverpool University Press
2017-03-01
216 Pages
210 x 147 mm
29 B&W illustrations
Paperback ISBN: 9781781383117

Theodor Michael

Translated by:

Eve Rosenhaft, Professor of German Historical Studies
University of Liverpool

This is the first English translation of an important document in the history of the black presence in Germany and Europe: the autobiography of Theodor Michael. Theodor Michael is the last surviving member of the first generation of ‘Afro-Germans’: Born in Germany in 1925 to a Cameroonian father and a German mother, he grew up in Berlin in the last days of the Weimar Republic. As a child and teenager he worked in circuses and films and experienced the tightening knot of racial discrimination under the Nazis in the years before the Second World War. He survived the war as a forced labourer, founding a family and making a career as a journalist and actor in post-war West Germany. Since the 1980s he has become an important spokesman for the black German consciousness movement, acting as a human link between the first black German community of the inter-war period, the pan-Africanism of the 1950s and 1960s, and new generations of Germans of African descent.

Theodor Michael’s life story is a classic account of coming to consciousness of a man who understands himself as both black and German; accordingly, it illuminates key aspects of modern German social history as well as of the post-war history of the African diaspora. The text has been translated by Eve Rosenhaft, Professor of German Historical Studies at the University of Liverpool and an internationally acknowledged expert in black German studies. It is accompanied by a translator’s preface, explanatory notes, a chronology of historical events and a guide to further reading, so that the book will be accessible and useful both for general readers and for undergraduate students.

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Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Posted in Books, Canada, Forthcoming Media, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2017-02-19 17:38Z by Steven

Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
October 2017
295 pages
ISBN13: 978-1-77112-240-5

Michelle La Flamme, Professor of English
University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

Canada’s history is bicultural, Indigenous, and multilingual, and these characteristics have given risen to a number of strategies used by our writers to code racially mixed characters. This book examines contemporary Canadian literature and drama in order to tease out some of those strategies and the social and cultural factors that inform them.

Racially hybrid characters in literature have served a matrix of needs. They are used as shorthand for interracial desire, signifiers of taboo love, images of impurity, symbols of degeneration, and examples of beauty and genetic perfection. Their fates have been used to suggest the futility of marrying across racial lines, or the revelation of their “one drop” signals a climactic downfall. Other narratives suggest mixed-race bodies are foundational to colonization and signify contact between colonial and Indigenous bodies.

Author Michelle LaFlamme approaches racial hybridity with a cross-generic and cross-racial approach, unusual in the field of hybridity studies, by analyzing characters with different racial mixes in autobiographies, fiction, and drama. Her analysis privileges literary texts and the voices of artists rather than sociological explanations of the mixed-race experience. The book suggests that the hyper-visualization of mixed-race bodies in mono-racial contexts creates a scopophilic interest in how those bodies look and perform race.

La Flamme’s term “soma text” draws attention to the constructed, performative aspects of this form of embodiment. The writers she examines witness that living in a racially hybrid and ambiguous body is a complex engagement that involves reading and decoding the body in sophisticated ways, involving both the multiracial body and the racialized gaze of the onlooker.

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Blood Will Tell: Native Americans and Assimilation Policy

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2017-02-19 11:43Z by Steven

Blood Will Tell: Native Americans and Assimilation Policy

University of Nebraska Press
2017-08-01
252 pages
5 illustrations, index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8032-2543-5

Katherine Ellinghaus, Hansen Lectureship in History
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
University of Melbourne

Blood Will Tell reveals the underlying centrality of “blood” that shaped official ideas about who was eligible to be defined as Indian by the General Allotment Act in the United States. Katherine Ellinghaus traces the idea of blood quantum and how the concept came to dominate Native identity and national status between 1887 and 1934 and how related exclusionary policies functioned to dispossess Native people of their land. The U.S. government’s unspoken assumption at the time was that Natives of mixed descent were undeserving of tribal status and benefits, notwithstanding that Native Americans of mixed descent played crucial roles in the national implementation of allotment policy.

Ellinghaus explores on-the-ground case studies of Anishinaabeg, Arapahos, Cherokees, Eastern Cherokees, Cheyennes, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, Lakotas, Lumbees, Ojibwes, Seminoles, and Virginia tribes. Documented in these cases, the history of blood quantum as a policy reveals assimilation’s implications and legacy. The role of blood quantum is integral to understanding how Native Americans came to be one of the most disadvantaged groups in the United States, and it remains a significant part of present-day debates about Indian identity and tribal membership. Blood Will Tell is an important and timely contribution to current political and scholarly debates.

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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 2017-02-19 11:41Z 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
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Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family

Posted in Arts, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2017-02-19 03:45Z by Steven

Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family

Random House
December 2002
160 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0195031720
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-0-375-82168-4

Shannon Lanier and Jane Feldman

Personal testimonies from descendants of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings pose important questions about equality, freedom, and family.

On October 31, 1998, the Associated Press broke the news that there was finally scientific proof for what many people already knew was true, but others would not believe: Thomas Jefferson had a relationship with his slave Sally Hemings after the death of his wife. This DNA link was proven through the Eston Hemings line.

Jefferson’s Children is the story of the Jefferson and Hemings families, and their efforts to be recognized and united as proud descendants of this great American genius. Some discovered their heritage through written family records, and others have based their beliefs on oral histories. Regardless of their sources, many descendants of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings want the world to know that skin color isn’t what makes a family.

Thomas Jefferson wrote about equality. He believed in freedom. Yet, he owned slaves. This contradiction in character raises many questions among historians and descendants as they unravel the “truth” about this complex man. Did he indeed father children with his slave, Sally Hemings? How would he view the issues of racism among his ancestors today?

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Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

Posted in Books, Europe, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Monographs, United States on 2017-02-13 02:35Z by Steven

Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

Princeton University Press
March 2017
224 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
7 halftones
Hardcover ISBN: 9780691172422
eBook ISBN: 9781400884636

James Q. Whitman, Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law
Yale Law School

Nazism triumphed in Germany during the high era of Jim Crow laws in the United States. Did the American regime of racial oppression in any way inspire the Nazis? The unsettling answer is yes. In Hitler’s American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies.

As Whitman shows, the Nuremberg Laws were crafted in an atmosphere of considerable attention to the precedents American race laws had to offer. German praise for American practices, already found in Hitler’s Mein Kampf, was continuous throughout the early 1930s, and the most radical Nazi lawyers were eager advocates of the use of American models. But while Jim Crow segregation was one aspect of American law that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was not the most consequential one. Rather, both American citizenship and antimiscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws—the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Whitman looks at the ultimate, ugly irony that when Nazis rejected American practices, it was sometimes not because they found them too enlightened, but too harsh.

Indelibly linking American race laws to the shaping of Nazi policies in Germany, Hitler’s American Model upends understandings of America’s influence on racist practices in the wider world.

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Know It by Heart

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2017-02-09 01:47Z by Steven

Know It by Heart

Northwestern University Press
June 2003
256 pages
5.5 x 8.5
Trade Paper ISBN: 978-1-880684-95-5

Karl Luntta, Director of Media Relations
The State University of New York, Albany

When a racially mixed family moves into an all-white neighborhood in East Hartford, Connecticut, in 1961, lives are altered forever. Karl Luntta’s Know It by Heart follows the adventures of young Dub Teed, his sister Susan and neighbor Doug Hammer, who befriend newly arrived Ricky Dubois, the daughter of an African-American woman and her white husband. When burning crosses appear at night-and worse-the young adolescents set out to find justice and discover themselves in the process.

Despite the book’s serious anti-racist theme, Know It by Heart is filled with humor reminiscent of Mark Twain. In this suspenseful novel, Karl Luntta brilliantly captures the world of the young adolescent in his characters and dialogue and in the innate comedy and awkwardness of that age. This is a book that will appeal to parents and teenagers alike.

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Selected Plays

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-08 22:04Z by Steven

Selected Plays

Northwestern University Press
April 2011
272 pages
6 x 9
Trade Paper ISBN: 978-0-8101-2751-7

Alice Childress (1916—1994)

Edited by:

Kathy A. Perkins, Professor of Theatre
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

As the first African American woman to have a play professionally produced in New York City (Gold Through the Trees, in 1952) and the first woman to win an Obie for Best Play (for Trouble in Mind, in 1956), Alice Childress occupies an important but surprisingly under-recognized place in American drama. She herself rejected an emphasis on the pioneering aspects of her career, saying that “it’s almost like it’s an honor rather than a disgrace” and that she should “be the fiftieth and the thousandth by this point”—a remark that suggests the complexity and singularity of vision to be found in her plays. Childress worked as an actress before turning to playwriting in 1949, and she was a political activist all of her life.

Spanning the 1940s to the 1960s, the plays collected here are the ones Childress herself believed were her best, and offer a realistic portrait of the racial inequalities and social injustices that characterized these decades. Her plays often feature strong-willed female protagonists whose problems bring into harsh relief the restrictions faced by African American women. This is the first volume devoted exclusively to the work of a major playwright whose impact on the American theater was profound and lasting.

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Duncan McDonald: Flathead Indian Reservation Leader and Cultural Broker, 1849-1937

Posted in Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation on 2017-02-06 14:51Z by Steven

Duncan McDonald: Flathead Indian Reservation Leader and Cultural Broker, 1849-1937

University of Nebraska Press
2016-03-31
256 pages
28 illustrations, 6 maps, index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-934594-15-5

Robert Bigart, Librarian Emeritus
Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, Montana

Joseph McDonald, President Emeritus (and grandnephew of Duncan McDonald)
Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, Montana

Duncan McDonald (1849–1937) led a remarkable life as an entrepreneur, tribal leader, historian, and cultural broker on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana. The mixed-blood son of a Hudson’s Bay Company fur trader and a Nez Perce Indian woman, Duncan accompanied the Pend d’Oreille Indians on a buffalo hunt and horse-stealing expedition to the Montana plains during the early 1870s. During the late nineteenth century he was put in charge of Fort Connah, the Hudson’s Bay Company post on the Flathead Indian Reservation, and worked as an independent trader across the northern Rocky Mountains.

Duncan established a hotel and restaurant, among other businesses, on the Flathead Reservation. In 1878 and 1879 he wrote a history of the 1877 Nez Perce Indian War, which was published in a Deer Lodge, Montana, newspaper. Long a thorn in the side of Flathead Indian agents, Duncan was chairman of the Flathead Business Committee between 1909 and 1924 and for many years represented the interests and views of tribal members to the Montana white community.

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