Race in a Baby’s Face

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-07-29 16:39Z by Steven

Race in a Baby’s Face

Psychology Today
2014-07-28

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, Ed.D, Psychologist and Co-founder
Stanford University LifeWorks program for Integrative Learning

Crawling the color line

Race is supposedly something objective, even biological, that we’re ascribed at birth and marks us through our whole lives, assigning us to a group that separates us from others. But for many people race is ambiguous, complex, and uncertain. I’ve never understood my race or that of my children. And for the newest babies in my extended family, it’s not clear at all what their race is supposed to be.

When my niece had a baby, a beautiful boy, everyone oohed and aahed when they saw the cute little guy. One of his cousins glowed, “Oh he’s so cute!”  But suddenly a puzzled expression came over him and he looked at the baby’s father, then at the mother, and back at the baby and blurted out: “Wait…..they had a white baby?”…

Read the entire article here.

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I’m Not White, But Nobody Can Ever Tell What Race I Am

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-07-28 21:48Z by Steven

I’m Not White, But Nobody Can Ever Tell What Race I Am

xoJane.com
2014-07-25

Casey Walker
Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts

I have to go through a “coming out” moment in every new relationship to explain my ethnicity.

My skin is pale olive in the winter and a soft brown in the summer, and my hair is a thick, dark mess of curls. I have eyes that are deep brown and almond-shaped. My maternal grandparents are immigrants who left their small village and came to America with the hope of creating a better life for future generations. They lived in California and worked in agriculture, and my mother was the first person in her family to attend college.

Chances are, the thought of my ethnicity has crossed your mind by this point—race is one of the most basic descriptors, so it’s normal to try and come to a conclusion in order to construct a basic identity for me. However, in my case, people are usually wrong—I have lived my entire life experiencing instances of racial misidentification. I am not Mexican, Italian, Puerto Rican, or black (some of the most common assumptions). People have projected various stereotypes onto me, spoken to me in languages they assumed I understood, and thrown around various racial comments in reference to their assumptions.

So… what am I?…

Read the entire article here.

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Maybe You’re Just An Asshole: The Mixed Race Persecution Complex

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-07-26 19:49Z by Steven

Maybe You’re Just An Asshole: The Mixed Race Persecution Complex

Musings of a Mixed Race Feminist: Random diatribes from a mixed race feminist scholar.
2014-07-25

Donna J. Nicol, Associate Professor Women & Gender Studies
California State University, Fullerton

“Black girls are always hatin’ on me. I can’t help it if their man prefers light-skinned pretty women.”

“You have no idea how hard it is to be mixed race.”

I get it. Being mixed race in a mono-racial society is tough. There still isn’t much room for multiplicity in our society. From race categories on forms, to Barack Obama being called the first “Black” president even as he was raised by his white grandparents, to people asking a mixed race person “what are you?” as if being mixed means you are freak, it is undoubtedly hard where it seems people want to force you into a box just to make their lives easier. I get it….I live that same reality on a daily basis but I have also noticed another phenomenon that either few mixed race people acknowledge, understand or are willing to talk about and that is what I call “the mixed race persecution” complex…

Read the entire article here.

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Little White Lie [Philadelphia Premiere]

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Religion, United States, Videos on 2014-07-24 07:51Z by Steven

Little White Lie [Philadelphia Premiere]

Blackstar Film Festival
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2014-31-07 through 2014-08-03

International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Telephone: 215-387-5125
2014-08-02, 15:10 EDT (Local Time)

Lacey Schwartz, Producer/Director

Mehret Mandefro, Producer

Followed by Q&A with Lacey Schwartz and Mehret Mandefro moderated by:

Yaba Blay, Assistant Teaching Professor of Africana Studies
Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Co-presented by Leeway Foundation

Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity—that is, until she discovers that her biological father is actually a black man with whom her mother had an affair. This personal documentary raises the questions of what defines our identity, our family of origin and the family that raises us. While exploring her parents’ stories, and her own, Schwartz discovers a legacy of family secrets, denial, and, ultimately, redemption.

For more information, click here.

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The sweetness of forbidden fruit: Interracial daters are more attractive than intraracial daters

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2014-07-24 06:49Z by Steven

The sweetness of forbidden fruit: Interracial daters are more attractive than intraracial daters

Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
Published online: 2014-07-09
DOI: 10.1177/0265407514541074

Karen Wu
Department of Psychology and Social Behavior
University of California, Irvine

Chuansheng Chen, Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior and Education
University of California, Irvine

Ellen Greenberger, Research Professor and Professor Emerita of Psychology & Social Behavior
University of California, Irvine

Past research on interracial dating has focused on demographic and adjustment factors while ignoring the traits most valued in romantic partners. We examined whether interracial and intraracial daters differ in the extent to which they possess various desirable attributes. In Study 1, undergraduates estimated their partners’ ratings of them on 27 attributes. A factor analysis yielded attractiveness (e.g., physically attractive), cerebral (e.g., intelligent), relational (e.g., compassionate), and vibrancy (e.g., confident) attributes. Compared with intraracial daters, interracial daters reported that their partners saw them more positively on attractiveness, cerebral, and relational attributes (Study 1), rated their partners more positively on attractiveness and cerebral attributes (Study 2), and were rated by independent coders as more physically attractive (Study 3). Implications are discussed.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Little White Lie

Posted in Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-07-23 23:41Z by Steven

Little White Lie

OTB Productions LLC
2013
66 minutes

Lacey Schwartz, Producer/Director

Mehret Mandefro, Producer

James Adolphus, Co-Director

What defines our identity, our family of origin or the family that raises us? How do we come to terms with the sins and mistakes of our parents? Lacey discovers that answering those questions means understanding her parents’ own stories as well as her own. She pieces together her family history and the story of her dual identity using home videos, archival footage, interviews, and episodes from her own life. Little White Lie is a personal documentary about the legacy of family secrets, denial, and redemption.

Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical upper-middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity — despite the open questions from those around her about how a white girl could have such dark skin. She believes her family’s explanation that her looks were inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather. But when her parents abruptly split, her gut starts to tell her something different.

At age of 18, she finally confronts her mother and learns the truth: her biological father was not the man who raised her, but a black man named Rodney with whom her mother had had an affair. Afraid of losing her relationship with her parents, Lacey doesn’t openly acknowledge her newly discovered black identity with her white family. When her biological father dies shortly before Lacey’s 30th birthday, the family secret can stay hidden no longer. Following the funeral, Lacey begins a quest to reconcile the hidden pieces of her life and heal her relationship with the only father she ever knew.

Little White Lie, formerly called Outside the Box, is a feature documentary produced by Truth Aid in association with ITVS. The film will enter the festival circuit in 2014 and be broadcast on Independent Lens on PBS in 2015.

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Black American Indians seek to honor their mixed ancestry

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2014-07-23 21:49Z by Steven

Black American Indians seek to honor their mixed ancestry

Al Jazeera America
2014-07-22

Naureen Khan

WASHINGTON — The soaring sound of “Wade in the Water,” a Negro spiritual once said to be used on the Underground Railroad, filled Plymouth Congressional United Church of Christ Saturday morning.

But on this particular Saturday, church-goers offered their respects to the Great Spirit, in addition to the Holy Spirit, looked on as a Native American drum processional wound its way through the aisle, and took part in a ceremonial tobacco offering.

At the first gathering of the newly created National Congress of Black American Indians, organizers and attendees came to unite and celebrate individuals of both African and Native American ancestry — a subject often fraught with complicated questions of race, identity and citizenship.

Although Native Americans and African-Americans have crossed paths, intermarried and formed alliances since pre-colonial times, often uniting in their common fight against slavery and dispossession, their shared history has been slow to be unearthed and brought into the light.

The formation and the first meeting of the NCBAI sought to remove the taboo of mixed ancestry and bring together those who could trace their ancestry to both communities. The gathering received endorsement and letters of support from Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, D.C. mayor Vincent Gray and Prince George County Executive Rushern L. Baker III.

“This has been a conversation that has been avoided and pushed aside, and folks who have wanted to have this conversation have been marginalized, subjugated, separated, downtrodden, stepped on,” said Jay Gola Waya Sunoyi, one of the founders of the National Congress. “But still we’re here.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Why Mixed with White isn’t White

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-07-22 23:15Z by Steven

Why Mixed with White isn’t White

Hyphen: Asian America Unabrided
2014-07-22

Sharon H. Chang

When I wrote my first post for Hyphen, “Talking Mixed-Race Identity with Young Children,” I was deliberately blunt about race. I wrote about how I don’t tell my multiracial son, who presents as a racial minority, that he’s white — but I do tell him he’s Asian. While the essay resonated with many people, others made comments like this:

“Your child is as white as he is Asian… Why embrace one label and not the other?”

“Why is he Asian but not white? He has white ancestors as much as Asian ones. So if it’s OK to call him Asian, it’s OK to call him white. Or, if it’s not OK to call him white (because he’s not completely white) then it’s not OK to call him Asian, because he’s not completely Asian either.”

“Your child is neither white nor Asian. I once heard this description: When you have a glass of milk and add chocolate to it, you no longer have just a glass of milk and you no longer just have chocolate because you have created something completely different. A bi-racial or multi-racial child is not either/or.”

In the 1990s, psychologist and mixed-race scholar Maria P.P. Root wrote the famous “Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage,” stirred by her examination of mixed-race identity, interviews with hundreds of multiracial folk across the U.S., and the struggles multiracial people face in forming and claiming a positive sense of self. “I have the right not to justify my existence to the world,” it reads. “To identify myself differently than strangers expect me to identify. To create a vocabulary about being multiracial or multiethnic.”

Almost two decades later, these proclamations still ring so true. Some people are completely unwilling to honor my family’s choice to identify as mixed-race and Asian because it doesn’t align with their own ideas about how we should identify. The right of a mixed-race person to self-construct and self-define, even today, endures continual policing from people with their own agendas…

Read the entire article here.

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Essentializing Ethnicity: Identification Constraint Reduces Diversity Interest

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-07-10 20:56Z by Steven

Essentializing Ethnicity: Identification Constraint Reduces Diversity Interest

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Available online: 2014-07-10
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.07.001

Tiane L. Lee
University of Maryland, College Park

Leigh S. Wilton
Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Virginia S.Y. Kwan, Associate Professor of Psychology
Arizona State University

Highlights

  • We primed essentialism with instruction to “Check One”, rather than “Check All”, ethnicities.
  • Minorities reduced diversity engagement, distancing from activities that express background.
  • Essentialist European-Americans showed less interest in intergroup friendship.
  • Interaction with chronic essentialist beliefs replicated in a non-race-related context.

The present research investigates the effects of a subtle essentialist cue: restricting individuals to identify with only one ethnicity. Although this constraint is mundane and commonly used in everyday life, it sends a message of essentialized group differences. Three studies illustrate the harmful impact of this essentialist cue on diversity. Studies 1a and 1b show that it decreases Asian-Americans’ desire to participate in ethnicity-related activities. Study 2 reveals that it reduces essentialist European-Americans’ desire for friendship with a minority target. Study 3 illustrates the mechanism through which an essentialist cue reduces intergroup contact, with perceivers’ chronic beliefs moderating this effect. Together, these findings demonstrate the powerful impact of the seemingly small act of how we ask people to identify with an ethnic group.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Creating positive out-group attitudes through intergroup couple friendships and implications for compassionate love

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology on 2014-06-23 02:34Z by Steven

Creating positive out-group attitudes through intergroup couple friendships and implications for compassionate love

Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
Published online before print: 2014-02-10
DOI: 10.1177/0265407514522369

Keith M. Welker
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Richard B. Slatcher, Associate Professor of Psychology
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Lynzey Baker
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Arthur Aron, Professor of Psychology
State University of New York, Stony Brook

Building personal relationships with out-group members is an important catalyst of positive intergroup attitudes. In a 2 × 2 experimental design, Caucasian and African American individuals and couples were randomly assigned to interact in either cross-race or same-race individual dyads and couple pairs. Participants completed pretest measures of race attitudes and engaged in a high self-disclosure closeness-induction task with an in-group or out-group race member in pairs of couples or individuals and completed measures of self-disclosure and intergroup attitudes. These results suggest that intergroup contact in the presence of romantic partners may be particularly effective for improving intergroup attitudes. We explore the implications of these results for developing compassionate love toward out-groups.

Read the entire article here.

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