Recognizing the Need to Support Multiracial College Students

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-25 13:22Z by Steven

Recognizing the Need to Support Multiracial College Students

Insight Into Diversity
September 2016

Allen Kenneth Schaidle

Roughly 2.4 percent of Americans identified as multiracial in the 2000 census. In 2010, that number increased to 2.9 percent, and the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that individuals identifying as multiracial will dramatically rise in the following decades. This increase can in part be attributed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to decriminalize interracial marriage in the case Loving v. Virginia, in 1967, sparking what many call the “multiracial baby boom.”

However, the U.S. census currently restricts individuals by allowing them to define themselves as being in only one of five racial categories; multiracial individuals often do not identify with these classifications because they adhere to multiple racial and cultural identities.

The rise in the number of young people who identify as multiracial presents higher education institutions with an opportunity to expand their racial categories to better serve this growing population and become more inclusive in the process…

Read the entire article here.

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Q&A: Sophomore creates group to discuss mixed-race issues

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-25 13:08Z by Steven

Q&A: Sophomore creates group to discuss mixed-race issues

The Ithican
Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York
2016-08-24

Celisa Calacal, Opinion Editor


Sophomore Walt Martzen created the group IC Mixed, where students can discuss mixed-race issues, a topic Martzen believes is often missing from conversations on race and identity.
Jade Cardichon/The Ithacan

This semester, sophomore Walt Martzen plans to expand the conversation on mixed-race identities through a new student discussion group, IC Mixed. As a biracial student himself, Martzen created this group over the summer to bring students of mixed race together and educate other students about what it means to be biracial or multiracial.

Though the group is not an official student organization recognized by the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs, Martzen hopes the group will inspire an organic discussion about mixed-race identities beginning this semester.

Opinion Editor Celisa Calacal spoke with Martzen about his inspiration behind creating the group, why it’s important to talk about mixed-race identities and his personal experiences as a biracial student.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Celisa Calacal: What inspired you to start this group?

Walt Martzen: I think one of the things that really got me thinking about how mixed people define themselves is when I went to ECAASU [East Coast Asian-American Student Union] last year with Asian-American Alliance. … There was a lot of good discussion that happened around talking about what it means to be Asian in that context and also what it means to be mixed. … It’s something that I struggled with at first and I didn’t realize, but I would call myself half-Chinese or half-white and that kind of language, I didn’t realize how it kind of isolated me. And so, I think from those conversations I kind of realized how important it is that, even while as mixed people, we are allies for different people, especially when maybe you look more white and people can’t tell you’re Asian or you look more like a certain race, and it’s important that we also take care of ourselves and that we look after our own health, and I think that’s one of the things that we want to do…

Read the entire interview here.

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The mystery of the Melungeons

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Media Archive, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States, Virginia on 2016-08-25 01:17Z by Steven

The mystery of the Melungeons

The Economist
2016-08-24

VARDY, TENNESSEE AND BIG STONE GAP, VIRGINIA

The story of an Appalachian people offers a timely parable of the nuanced history of race in America

HEAD into Sneedville from the Clinch River, turn left at the courthouse and crawl up Newman’s Ridge. Do not be distracted by the driveways meandering into the woods, the views across the Appalachians or the shadows of the birds of prey; heed the warnings locals may have issued about the steepness and the switchbacks. If the pass seems challenging, consider how inaccessible it must have been in the moonshining days before motor cars.

Halfway down, as Snake Hollow appears on your left, you reach a narrow gorge, between the ridge and Powell Mountain and hard on Tennessee’s north-eastern border. In parts sheer and wooded, it opens into an unexpected valley, where secluded pastures and fields of wild flowers hug Blackwater Creek—in which the water is not black but clear, running, like the valley, down into Virginia. This is the ancestral home of an obscure American people, the Melungeons. Some lived over the state line on Stone Mountain, in other craggy parts of western Virginia and North Carolina and in eastern Kentucky. But the ridge and this valley were their heartland.

The story of the Melungeons is at once a footnote to the history of race in America and a timely parable of it. They bear witness to the horrors and legacy of segregation, but also to the overlooked complexity of the early colonial era. They suggest a once-and-future alternative to the country’s brutally rigid model of race relations, one that, for all the improvements, persists in the often siloed lives of black and white Americans today. Half-real and half-mythical, for generations the Melungeons were avatars for their neighbours’ neuroses; latterly they have morphed into receptacles for their ideals, becoming, in effect, ambassadors for integration where once they were targets of prejudice…

The two big questions about them encapsulate their ambiguous status—on the boundaries of races and territories, and between suffering and hope, imagination and fact. Where did the Melungeons come from? And do they still exist?…

Read the entire article here.

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Essentialism and Racial Bias Jointly Contribute to the Categorization of Multiracial Individuals

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-24 22:03Z by Steven

Essentialism and Racial Bias Jointly Contribute to the Categorization of Multiracial Individuals

Psychological Science
Volume 26, Number 10 (October 2015)
pages 1639-1645
DIO: 10.1177/0956797615596436

Arnold K. Ho, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Organizational Studies
University of Michigan

Steven O. Roberts, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Psychology
University of Michigan

Susan A. Gelman, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Linguistics
University of Michigan

Categorizations of multiracial individuals provide insight into the psychological mechanisms driving social stratification, but few studies have explored the interplay of cognitive and motivational underpinnings of these categorizations. In the present study, we integrated research on racial essentialism (i.e., the belief that race demarcates unobservable and immutable properties) and negativity bias (i.e., the tendency to weigh negative entities more heavily than positive entities) to explain why people might exhibit biases in the categorization of multiracial individuals. As theorized, racial essentialism, both dispositional (Study 1) and experimentally induced (Study 2), led to the categorization of Black-White multiracial individuals as Black, but only among individuals evaluating Black people more negatively than White people. These findings demonstrate how fundamental cognitive and motivational biases interact to influence the categorization of multiracial individuals.

Read or purchase the article here.

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The JewAsian Phenomenon: Raising Jewish-Asian Families

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2016-08-24 21:33Z by Steven

The JewAsian Phenomenon: Raising Jewish-Asian Families

JewishBoston: The Vibe of the Tribe
2016-08-10

Judy Bolton-Fasman, Culture Reporter

A new book, as well as a conversation with its authors, sheds light on a growing segment of the Jewish population—Jewish-Asian children who are raised as Jews.

Helen Kim and Noah Leavitt are the authors of “JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews,” the first book-length study of Jewish-Asian couples and their children. While the two sociologists, who are married and professors at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., have a personal stake in the subject, they have also observed that as a Jewish-Asian couple they are far from alone in raising their children as Jews. In the book, the couple’s research on Jewish-Asian families is encapsulated in interviews and extensive studies on the subject.

Keren McGinity, director of Interfaith Families Jewish Engagement at Hebrew College, notes: “‘JewAsian’ is groundbreaking because it’s the first book to complicate the intermarriage narrative by looking at it through the trifold lens of ethnicity, race and religion. Kim and Leavitt’s work highlights important new ways of understanding Jewish-American, Asian-American and Jew-Asian identities, challenging dominant racial, ethnic and interfaith marriage discourses in the process. I am thrilled to have it on my syllabus for the course ‘Jewish Intermarriage in the Modern American Context’ at Hebrew College this fall.”

Kim and Leavitt recently talked to JewishBoston about their new book and their family life…

Read the entire interview here.

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‘I Have a Black Son in Baltimore’: Anxious New Parents and an Era of Unease

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-24 14:13Z by Steven

‘I Have a Black Son in Baltimore’: Anxious New Parents and an Era of Unease

The New York Times
2016-08-23

Rachel L. Swarns


Bill Janu, a Baltimore police detective, greeted Shanna Janu, his wife, and their son, Wesley, as he arrived home from work one day this month. Credit Lexey Swall for The New York Times

BALTIMORE — He assembled the crib and mounted the bookshelves. She unpacked the bedding and filled the closet with onesies and rompers. Then husband and wife stood in the nursery and worried. Bill Janu, a police officer, is white. Shanna Janu, a lawyer, is black. As they eagerly awaited their baby’s birth this spring, they felt increasingly anxious.

They had chosen not to find out their baby’s gender ahead of time. But their nearly two years of marriage had been punctuated by the killings of African-American men and boys in Ferguson, Mo.; Brooklyn; Cleveland; North Charleston, S.C.; and Baltimore, all at the hands of the police. Mr. Janu, who longed for a son, tried to reassure his wife. Mrs. Janu emailed him one article after another, warning of the perils that face black boys.

As the due date approached, Mr. Janu found himself praying for a girl.

In the delivery room at St. Agnes Hospital, after more than 20 hours of labor, the infant finally arrived, red-faced and wailing. The newborn had Mr. Janu’s blue eyes and Mrs. Janu’s full lips and nose. The new father exulted. Then he felt the weight of his new reality.

“Now, I have a black son in Baltimore,” the white police detective remembered thinking as he cradled his baby boy…

Read the entire article here.

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On passing, wishing for darker skin, and finding your people: A conversation between two mulattos

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-08-23 21:41Z by Steven

On passing, wishing for darker skin, and finding your people: A conversation between two mulattos

Fusion
2015-06-15

Collier Meyerson

In 10th grade, I auditioned for the role of Julie in the musical Show Boat, one of the most famous portrayals of the tragic mulatto trope. I was cast, instead, as Queenie, the mammy. I deserved the part of Julie. I had a good singing voice. But there were no black people in my school to play the part of Queenie.

My first personal tragic mulatto moment.

Playing the mammy in Show Boat made me realize something my black mother had always told me and I never believed: the world did not see me as Julie, trying to manage two different backgrounds. It saw me as black. Specifically, white people saw me as black.

On Wednesday, I spoke with Mat Johnson, the author of Loving Day, a new novel that explores the mulatto experience—one that Johnson sees as a subset of the black experience. And one that the United States didn’t recognize until 2000, the first year the Census collected data on people of more than one race…

CM: I don’t personally pass as white. And I’ve always wondered about others who can. Do you ever choose to intentionally pass as white?

MJ: Every single time I get pulled over by a cop. And I feel guilty as I’m doing it, but you have never met a whiter man than me pulled over by a police officer. I mean, I sound like Gomer Pyle.

When I moved to New York I wondered what would happen if I stopped playing up my black identity. And I basically just let that go. I didn’t cut my hair in a way to look blacker. Didn’t have facial hair in a way that made me look blacker. I wore clothes that were more ethnically generic, just generally bland preppy. And I went through this whole period. It was maybe like a month where I just let that disappear…

Read the entire interview here.

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Katherine Johnson, the NASA Mathematician Who Advanced Human Rights with a Slide Rule and Pencil

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-08-23 19:52Z by Steven

Katherine Johnson, the NASA Mathematician Who Advanced Human Rights with a Slide Rule and Pencil

Vanity Fair
September 2016

Charles Bolden, Administrator
National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Katherine Johnson, photographed at Fort Monroe, in Hampton, Virginia.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz

NASA chief Charles Bolden recalls the historic trajectory of the “human computer” who played a key role in the Apollo 11 moon landing, and as a female African-American in the 1960s, shattered stereotypes in the process.

When I was growing up, in segregated South Carolina, African-American role models in national life were few and far between. Later, when my fellow flight students and I, in training at the Naval Air Station in Meridian, Mississippi, clustered around a small television watching the Apollo 11 moon landing, little did I know that one of the key figures responsible for its success was an unassuming black woman from West Virginia: Katherine Johnson. Hidden Figures is both an upcoming book and an upcoming movie about her incredible life, and, as the title suggests, Katherine worked behind the scenes but with incredible impact…

..“In math, you’re either right or you’re wrong,” she said. Her succinct words belie a deep curiosity about the world and dedication to her discipline, despite the prejudices of her time against both women and African-Americans. It was her duty to calculate orbital trajectories and flight times relative to the position of the moon—you know, simple things. In this day and age, when we increasingly rely on technology, it’s hard to believe that John Glenn himself tasked Katherine to double-check the results of the computer calculations before his historic orbital flight, the first by an American. The numbers of the human computer and the machine matched.

With a slide rule and a pencil, Katherine advanced the cause of human rights and the frontier of human achievement at the same time. Having graduated from high school at 14 and college at 18 at a time when African-Americans often did not go beyond the eighth grade, she used her amazing facility with geometry to calculate Alan Shepard’s flight path and took the Apollo 11 crew to the moon to orbit it, land on it, and return safely to Earth…

Read the entire article here.

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Nicholas Guyatt’s ‘Bind Us Apart’

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-08-23 19:28Z by Steven

Nicholas Guyatt’s ‘Bind Us Apart’

Book Reviews
The New York Times
2016-04-29

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History
Columbia University, New York, New York

BIND US APART
How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation
By Nicholas Guyatt
Illustrated. 403 pp. Basic Books. $29.99.

Half a century ago, inspired by the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, historians embarked on an effort to identify the origins of racial segregation. C. Vann Woodward insisted that rather than existing from time immemorial, as the ruling’s opponents claimed, segregation emerged in the 1890s. Others located its genesis in Reconstruction or the pre-Civil War North.

Eventually, the debate faded. Now, Nicholas Guyatt offers a new interpretation. Segregation and its ideological justification “separate but equal,” he argues, originated in the early Republic in the efforts of “enlightened Americans” to uplift and protect Indians and African-­Americans. After trying and abandoning other policies, these reformers and policy makers concluded that only separation from whites — removal of Indians to the trans-Mississippi West and blacks to Africa — would enable these groups to enjoy their natural rights and achieve economic and cultural advancement. Thus, almost from the outset, the idea of separating the races was built into the DNA of the United States.

Guyatt, who teaches at the University of Cambridge, is the author of a well-­regarded book on the history of the idea (still very much alive today) that God has chosen this country for a special mission. In “Bind Us Apart” he addresses another theme central to our national identity: Who is an American? To find an answer he offers a detailed account of early national policies toward Indians and blacks…

…One of Guyatt’s surprising findings is how many liberals believed that the Indian population should be assimilated through intermarriage. “You will mix with us by marriage,” [Thomas] Jefferson told an Indian delegation in 1808. “We shall all be Americans.” Not all whites agreed, of course. In the 1820s “all hell broke loose” in Cornwall, Conn., when two young Indian men who arrived to study at a religious school ended up marrying local white women…

Read the entire review here.

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Anti-Blackness And The Myths Of “Monoracial Privilege” & The “White/Black Binary”

Posted in Articles, Media Archive on 2016-08-23 19:04Z by Steven

Anti-Blackness And The Myths Of “Monoracial Privilege” & The “White/Black Binary”

Gradient Lair: Black women + art, media, social media, socio-politics & culture
2014-02-20

Trudy Hamilton

In the last few days in social media I have seen conversations about the experiences of multiracial/mixed people of colour and these conversations have often been framed by anti-Blackness including notions of “monoracial privilege” and the “White/Black binary.” At times, these conversations have been so incredibly cruel that perhaps I should have done more to avoid them (somewhat hard to on Twitter as these conversations have occurred even among “anti-racism activists” and “feminists”) because it does not really help for someone like me who deals with anxiety and deals with anti-Blackness daily where I live. On the one hand, many non-Black people of colour demand solidarity with Black people–often to the point where Black people’s deaths become rhetorical devices about “generic” “people of colour” being extrajudicially killed (when this is overwhelmingly a Black experience) and Black women are expected to just be mules to drag their signs written with concepts that Black women created–but on the other hand, they use anti-Black framing to articulate their identities and experiences, while also not holding White supremacy accountable for why these differences even matter in a way that creates hierarchical and intersecting oppressions…

Read the entire article here.

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