What Scientists Mean When They Say ‘Race’ Is Not Genetic

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2016-07-20 21:07Z by Steven

What Scientists Mean When They Say ‘Race’ Is Not Genetic

The Huffington Post
2016-02-09

Jacqueline Howard, Senior Science Editor

A new paper explains why it can be dangerous to think otherwise.

If a team of scientists in Philadelphia and New York have their way, using race to categorize groups of people in biological and genetic research will be forever discontinued.

The concept of race in such research is “problematic at best and harmful at worst,” the researchers argued in a new paper published in the journal Science on Friday.

However, they also said that social scientists should continue to study race as a social construct to better understand the impact of racism on health.

So what does all this mean? HuffPost Science recently posed that question and others to the paper’s co-author, Michael Yudell, who is associate professor and chair of community health and prevention at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia…

Read the entire article here.

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Akala: Dynamite by any other name…

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-07-20 18:59Z by Steven

Akala: Dynamite by any other name…

The Guardian
2013-06-01

Kate Mossman, Editor and Pop critic
New Statesman


Akala in Notting Hill last month: ‘In Brixton and Tottenham my sister was worshipped because she was representing a side of intellectual black culture that is never usually acknowledged.’ Photograph: Karen Robinson for the Observer

Rapper, adapter of Shakespeare and brother of Ms Dynamite, Akala is on a mission to correct a few misconceptions

A few weeks ago in these pages, Birmingham rapper Lady Leshurr asked why there had been no high-profile female rappers in the UK since Ms Dynamite. Akala seems a good person to consult – one, because he’s her brother, and two, because you can ask Akala just about anything and you’ll get a pretty comprehensive answer. In the course of 68 minutes in a London community centre under the Westway, he talks about 16th-century explorers, Biggie Smalls, the universities of 13th-century Timbuktu, tai chi, the Black Wall Street of Oklahoma, the African city portraits of Olfert Dapper, Eminem, peanuts, Napoleon’s generals, traffic lights and golf. But back to Ms Dynamite.

“I remember the Daily Mail wrote an article about my sister at the time,” he says, “and essentially their argument was, ‘Well, she’s not really black, is she – she’s quite clever and she’s got a white mum!’ It was so funny the way they tried to co-opt us. Remember that big story about Bob Marley and his ‘white dad’ last year? He was unequivocally black power, but he’s rewritten as this fun-loving Rasta. Mark Duggan [the Tottenham man shot by police in August 2011] was also mixed race, but no one’s ever going to co-opt Mark Duggan!”…

Read the entire article here.

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My Soul Has Found Its Home

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2016-07-20 13:33Z by Steven

My Soul Has Found Its Home

Jews of Colour Canada: Building community through identity and faith
2016-07-11

Shirley Gindler-Price
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Out of the 95,000 US Occupation babies born in Germany shortly after WWII, there were approximately 5000 of us, post WWII Afro-German children, so-called Negro mulatto babies, better known as German ‘Brown Babies.’ Born to German women and African-American soldiers, the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) deemed that we formed a special group, presenting a human and racial problem of a special nature. Our national and cultural heritage [and perhaps even our religious birthright] were seen to be in direct contrast to our skin color.

Born in Nuremberg, Germany, my mutti and I eventually moved to Ansbach, where at the age of two, I would be given up for adoption. As it was with so many other post WWII German ‘Brown Babies,’ I was adopted by an African American military couple stationed in Germany…

Read the entire article here or here.

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Black Lives in Germany: A Multigenerational Struggle for Acceptance

Posted in Articles, Europe, History, Media Archive on 2016-07-20 13:32Z by Steven

Black Lives in Germany: A Multigenerational Struggle for Acceptance

The Root
2016-04-04

Damaso Reyes


Damaso Reyes

Biracial Afro-Germans search for their identity in a country where many think that to be German is to be white.

Who am I? It seems like a simple enough question, but it is one that thousands of Germans of African descent have to ask themselves every day. In a country that defines identity with a great deal of precision, those who fall outside the norm find themselves trapped in a kind of limbo, neither here nor there.

After World War II, tens of thousands of African-American GIs participated in the occupation of Germany. Many of these young men, barred from combat units by segregation, found homes in supply units. In a country where food was in short supply, not only were these soldiers “exotic,” but they held the keys, if not to the kingdom, then certainly to survival.

Like many of their fellow white soldiers, black troops made connections with German women. Soon thereafter, children were born, and German society has struggled with what to do with them for the seven decades since. Multigenerational Afro-Germans have struggled to find their place in a society that often doesn’t accept that they belong…

…For the second postwar generation of Afro-Germans, the struggle for recognition wasn’t any easier. It was this generation of Afro-Germans who came together and created the Initiative of Black People in Germany. Fifty-three-year-old Tahir Della, the son of a black GI and a white mother from Leipzig, is a member of the board of the organization, and he talked about how he thinks other Germans see their fellow citizens of African descent…

Read the entire article here.

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Lost kin

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-07-20 02:26Z by Steven

Lost kin

University of Chicago Magazine
May/June 2015

Allyson Hobbs, Assistant Professor of History
Stanford University

Excerpt from A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life by Allyson Hobbs, published by Harvard University Press. Copyright © 2014 by Allyson Hobbs. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“Going as white” permanently created confusion as some family members disappeared across the color line, creating gaps in family genealogy. One woman explained, “My father’s people, half of them pass for white so naturally I know nothing about hardly any of them.”

For others, embarrassment and shame prevented an open discussion of family history: “Not much has been disclosed about the Patterson family. It is our guess that there were too many blood mixtures of which the immediate family is not any too proud to relate. … That this family has many skeletons is without a doubt true.” Merthilda C. Duhe wrote that her father used passing as a strategy to create a new life for himself; she knew little about him or his family because he left New Orleans and “deserted the family while they were very young and went over to the white side in Chicago.”

Others expressed uncertainty about the racial backgrounds of their ancestors. One man questioned his grandfather’s race and explained, “Father was always sensitive about that side of his family.” When asked whether her relatives in Detroit “go for colored or do they go for white,” Mrs. Clemens responded, “I don’t know, and I don’t know what I am. We are 100 per cent American and that is all we can say.” Raymond Brownbow did not know much about his maternal grandmother, a mixed- race house servant who was “described as being very nearly white.” As he explained, “I know very little about her, because it seems that my mother was and is a bit reluctant to discuss her. I remember my mother once telling me that she couldn’t stand the remarks that people would make upon learning of her mother’s mixed blood, and for that reason she refrained from talking much about her.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Rebooting beyond the idea of Race

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive on 2016-07-20 01:32Z by Steven

Rebooting beyond the idea of Race

Mixed Roots Stories
2016-07-06

Temu and Elisabeth Diaab

“Remember how we always wanted to write a children’s book?” Elisabeth asked me one morning over coffee. “Let’s do it now, she said.” Our son had just moved into a college dorm, we were juggling two internet businesses, and even considering having a second child.

Although, I was born in Los Angeles, California, and Elisabeth, a world away, in Constance, Germany, we were amazed by how similar our experiences were. We were both of mixed racial heritage, our parents were both Muslim and Christian, we had both answered a long list of “interesting” questions regarding our ethnicity. We were drawn together in a very special way…

Read the entire article here.

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Commodification of the Black Body, Sexual Objectification and Social Hierarchies during Slavery

Posted in Articles, Economics, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Religion, Slavery, United States, Women on 2016-07-19 20:35Z by Steven

Commodification of the Black Body, Sexual Objectification and Social Hierarchies during Slavery

The Earlham Historical Journal: An Undergraduate Journal of Historical Inquiry
Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana
Volume VII: Issue II (Spring 2015)
pages 21-43

Iman Cooper

The horror of the institution of slavery during the late eighteenth century was not that it displaced millions of African people from their homes to the US, but rather that it laid the foundation for the commodification and dehumanization of the black body that was culturally, socially, and politically maintained for hundreds of years to come. This essay will first explore the commodification of African captives as the foundation of my analysis, in order to later examine the social and political ramifications of the sexual objectification that was rampant during the slavery era, through the analysis of Harriet Jacob‘s slave narrative. Slavery had long-reaching effects on the conceptualization of the black body, which is later depicted by the emergence of the mulatto class. White slave owners executed their perceived right under the creation of commoditized black bodies to sexually abuse their slaves, producing mixed race (mulatto) children. Social, religious, economic, and political factors allowed the sustained commodification of black bodies to occur. As a result of commodification, black bodies were rendered disciplined subjects; beholden to the will of white men. Simultaneously, white planters‘ wives were socially conditioned to remain publicly silent in the face of their husband‘s betrayal and abuse; hence they often executed their anger on the black slave, further rendering the black body an object to be claimed by others to enact their will upon. Commodification of the black body at the start of the era allowed for the objectification of the black female body to continue throughout slavery, as portrayed by the simultaneous abuse of the masters and the subsequent retribution of the master‘s wives, which were enacted on the black female body…

Fetishization of the Black Female Slave and Mulatto Children

Black women were both fetishized and regarded as impure, when seen in contrast to the modesty of white women; therefore at the height of slavery, relationships with slave women were decidedly culturally unacceptable. However, just because these relationships were frowned upon does not mean that men resisted crossing the line of this social taboo; they did. The violation of this boundary by slave-owners was sometimes shamelessly explicit, while other times they attempted to keep their affairs secretive, for fear of both the societal backlash and the anger of their wives. As a result, the mulatto class grew extensively during the slavery era, becoming a visible marker of the extensiveness of this issue in the society. The skin color of these children served as a visible reminder for the wives and the community of their husband‘s infidelity. Masters sometimes took care of their mulatto children and eventually freed them, but more often than not, children either worked on the plantation, or (at their wives‘ insistence) were put up for auction and sold into slavery. As the mistress of the plantation, wives held a degree of power that could either improve the lives of slaves on her plantation, or create further harm and devastating destruction…

Read the entire article here.

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Indian, African-Guyanese numbers continue to decline, census finds

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2016-07-19 20:22Z by Steven

Indian, African-Guyanese numbers continue to decline, census finds

Stabroek News
Georgetown, Guyana
2016-07-19

Staff Writer

– mixed race, Amerindian populations still growing

Although the country’s two largest ethnic groups, East Indian and African-Guyanese, continued to decline in their numbers between 2002 and 2012, the drop was offset by continued growth in the mixed race and Amerindian populations, according to the last census.

However, the 2012 National Population and Housing Census also found that despite the shifts, which include the decline in the East Indian-Guyanese population from 326,277 or 43.4% to 297,493 or 39.8%—a drop of 28,784 or 3.6%—the overall ethnic distribution pattern remained unchanged from the 1980s.

The Bureau of Statistics yesterday announced the release of two Compendiums that further detail the findings of the four-year-old census, including the ethnic composition of the population…

Read the entire article here.

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Crucifying the White Savior (Film)

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Mississippi, Slavery, United States on 2016-07-19 19:44Z by Steven

Crucifying the White Savior (Film)

Shadow and Act
2016-06-29

Andre Seewood

We no longer have to forgive them, for they know exactly what they are doing.

The new film by Gary Ross, “The Free State of Jones” is uncontestably a White savior film. Laid bare, “The Free State of Jones” is a simplistically constructed tale of a Confederate army deserter who eventually lives in a polygamous relationship with a Black former slave named Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) with whom he has a mixed race child and his White wife and their White child. The film’s story is a heroification of the 1862 true story of Newton Knight a real Confederate deserter from Jones County, Mississippi, who ironically didn’t actually “save” anyone, but instead merely prolonged the inevitable suffering of those Blacks and his mixed race progeny who were trapped within the White supremacist power structure of the United States of America.

The film builds its White savior character not in the broad conflicts between Confederate and Union soldiers, Free Black men and the KKK, but in small scenes of selfless heroism and demonstrative yet intimate “White-man- taking-charge- and-directing- the-actions- of-others” scenes that accumulate over the course of the two-and- a-half- hour film until there is no doubt about who is saving whom in a battle and who desperately needed to be protected from whom in a White supremacist society. Yet “The Free State of Jones” is an oddly racially segregated film that separates its Black token characters from its White fully developed characters, even as they fight (presumably) together to protect their illegal territory. There are certain battle and robbery scenes where no Black token is shown and others where Black tokens fight next to each other but are segregated from their fellow White fighters, revealing that Knight’s Free State was conditional at best. Moreover, the film never manages to convince the skeptical spectator that Knight’s higher ideals of freedom, autonomy, and “Every man is a man” equality were not simply rooted in his adulterous lust for a Black woman’s body.

However, if we take off the metaphorical rose colored glasses that director Gary Ross has placed in front of the camera, it is not too difficult to see that Newton Knight was merely a Confederate deserter who wanted to have his cake and eat it too- a Black mistress and a White wife – and through the benefit of his White privilege, he was allowed to do so with peculiar impunity until the end of his days…

Read the entire article here.

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“Daddy, I wish there weren’t any Black people.”

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-19 19:16Z by Steven

“Daddy, I wish there weren’t any Black people.”

Medium
2016-05-05

Abe Lateiner

Taking a deep breath, I respond to my daughter with a wish of my own.

I’ve begun to see that it’s not about having the “right” answers when kids ask about race. Don’t get me wrong: I think there are better and worse answers to offer. There’s also a lot to be said for having a calm, thoughtful answer in the first place, sending the important signal that it’s fine to talk about race openly.

At the end of the school day this past fall, I drove to pick up my 5 year-old daughter, Estella, from kindergarten. As we walked down the steps outside, Estella said she felt like walking instead of driving. It was a beautiful day, and so I happily agreed to take a walk around the block and then drive home.

We were at the tipping point of the New England autumn. Some of the leaves were beginning to turn yellow, and a few were already burning red. We were admiring the colors as Estella skipped along, her little hand in mine, when she said, “Daddy, I wish that we lived in a world where people couldn’t change their skin color.”

I’ve been intentional about talking race with Estella. As a White father with a multiracial daughter, I don’t have any sort of grand strategy beyond teaching her that race and skin color are only tangentially related. “Black” people don’t have skin that is the color black, “White” people don’t have skin that is the color white, many “Black” people have lighter skin than some “White” people, and so on. So when we talk about racial categories, I’ll often say, “Isn’t it silly that we use those words to describe people? They’re just made up.”

But I’m also careful to explain that even though race is made up, it gets people hurt, traumatized, and even killed. I’ve told her that the people we call “Black” are more likely to be treated unfairly by the police just because of the way that they look…

Read the entire article here.

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