When White People See Themselves With Black Skin, Something Interesting Happens

Posted in Articles, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2014-12-18 00:45Z by Steven

When White People See Themselves With Black Skin, Something Interesting Happens

The Huffington Post

Anna Almendrala, Healthy Living Editor

Macrina Cooper-White, Associate Science Editor

The antidote to racism partly lies in empathy, or the willingness to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,” as the saying goes. But scientists from universities across Europe are taking the maxim one step further, providing people an opportunity to experience life in someone else’s skin by experimenting with virtual reality as a means of helping people shed racial stereotypes.

Researchers from London and Barcelona teamed up to discuss their recent experiments on virtual reality and race in an opinion piece for the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, published Dec. 15. The researchers found that if people got the chance to physically experience their own body with different skin colors (or ages and sexes), their unconscious biases against other racial groups could be diminished.

This isn’t merely a question of changing mentality or perception. The experience of “living” in different skin triggers sensory signals in the brain that allow it to expand its understanding of what a body can look like. This can “cause people to change their attitudes about others,” wrote the study’s co-researcher, Professor Mel Slater, a part-time professor of virtual environments at the University College London and research professor at the University of Barcelona…

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Caught in the Middle: Defensive Responses to IAT Feedback Among Whites, Blacks, and Biracial Black/Whites

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-16 21:48Z by Steven

Caught in the Middle: Defensive Responses to IAT Feedback Among Whites, Blacks, and Biracial Black/Whites

Social Psychological and Personality Science
Published online before print: 2014-12-15
DOI: 10.1177/1948550614561127

Jennifer L. Howell
Department of Psychology
University of Florida

Sarah E. Gaither, Provost’s Career Enhancement Postdoctoral Scholar
Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Kate A. Ratliff, Assistant Professor of Psychology
University of Florida

This study used archival data to examine how White, Black, and biracial Black/White people respond to implicit attitude feedback suggesting that they harbor racial bias that does not align with their self-reported attitudes. The results suggested that people are generally defensive in response to feedback indicating that their implicit attitudes differ from their explicit attitudes. Among monoracial White and Black individuals, this effect was particularly strong when they learned that they were implicitly more pro-White than they indicated explicitly. By contrast, biracial Black/White individuals were defensive about large discrepancies in either direction (more pro-Black or more pro-White implicit attitudes). These results pinpoint one distinct difference between monoracial and biracial populations and pave the way for future research to further explore how monoracial majority, minority, and biracial populations compare in other types of attitudes and responses to personal feedback.

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‘Half Asian’? ‘Half White’? No — ‘Hapa’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-16 01:37Z by Steven

‘Half Asian’? ‘Half White’? No — ‘Hapa’

National Public Radio
Code Switch: Frontiers of Race, Culture and Ethnicity

Alex Laughlin, Social Media Journalist
National Journal

She was tall and freckled, with long, dark hair — and we stood out in the same way. As I leaned in to say hi, she yelled over the din, “You’re hapa, aren’t you?” It was the last word I expected to hear in D.C., but I welcomed the refreshing respite from the constant and inevitable question: “What are you?”

What am I? This is what they’re really asking here: What is the particular racial mix that created you? Because YOU don’t fit into a single box in my mind, and that confuses me.

I’m half Korean and half white, and it’s usually easier to just leave it there. If I were to volunteer my identity though, I would tell you I’m hapa.

Hapa is a Hawaiian pidgin word used to describe mixed-race people — primarily, though not exclusively, those who are half white and half Asian. It’s short for hapalua, the Hawaiian word that literally means “half” — and it originated as a derogatory term toward mixed-race children of plantation guest workers from the Philippines, Korea, China and Japan, and the women they married in Hawaii in the early part of the 20th century

…Artist Kip Fulbeck lived in Hawaii for several years, and he remembers a more keen awareness of racial and cultural differences among nonwhites than on the mainland.

“If I’m living in Hawaii and playing pickup basketball,” he said, “they’ll say ‘Hapa haole, throw me the ball!’ or ‘Hey, buddhahead! Hey, kimchi!'”…

…In 2000, Fulbeck started taking photos of hapa people and inviting them to identify themselves in their own words. The collection of photographs grew into the Hapa Project, a multiracial identity project encompassing traveling exhibits, presentations and a published book: Part Asian, 100% Hapa. He has photographed thousands of people for the project, and the community surrounding it remains lively online…

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‘I’m proud of my African heritage’

Posted in Africa, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2014-12-16 01:15Z by Steven

‘I’m proud of my African heritage’

The Korea Times

Kim Se-jeong

Top award winner Park Ji-han says taekwondo changed him

When Park Ji-han was in his first year at elementary school, his classmates called him “African shala shala” because of his background and because he spoke Arabic.

Now, a decade later, the handsome youth’s nickname is “walking statue.” The high school sophomore stands about 179 centimeters tall, and he has chiseled features that could stare down any K-pop star or actors for that matter.

The change speaks volumes about how much Park, 17, went through as a young boy and how far he has come. He attributes this to taekwondo.

A student at Daekyeong Commercial High School in Seoul, he was recently named the grand winner in the 3rd Korea Multicultural Youth Awards organized by The Korea Times and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

Park was born in 1997 to a Korean mother and Sudanese father. He lives with his parents and older brother in Itaewon in Seoul.

He began learning taekwondo when he was in the second grade.

“I had no friends in the first grade, but in the second grade I finally met a good friend, and I practiced taekwondo with him,” he told The Korea Times. Initially, he took up the martial art to defend himself as he was still scared of the boys who had mocked him…

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Little White Lie

Posted in Autobiography, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Passing, Religion, United States, Videos on 2014-12-15 00:59Z by Steven

Little White Lie

Independent Lens
Public Broadcasting Service
Monday, 2015-03-23, 22:00 EST (21:00 CST) (check schedule here)

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 18, she finally confronts her mother and learns the truth: her biological father was not the man who raised her, but an African American 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.

Schwartz 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.

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INTERVIEW: Martha S. Jones, University of Michigan Professor

Posted in Anthropology, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2014-12-14 23:25Z by Steven

INTERVIEW: Martha S. Jones, University of Michigan Professor

Impolite Conversations

John L. Jackson Jr., Richard Perry University Professor of Communication, Anthropology, and Africana Studies
University of Pennsylvania

Martha S. Jones, Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Associate Professor of History and Afroamerican and African Studies
University of Michigan

Impolite Conversations is a fascinating collection of essay that captures a set of exchanges between journalist Cora Daniels and cultural anthropologist John L. Jackson, Jr. I make an appearance in Jackson’s chapter titled “All my best friends are light skinned women.” You’ll have to read the book to see how I fare. But check out my brief exchange with John about how I think about the question of skin color today here. This episode is part of their Impolite Conversations Web Series.

View the interview here. Download the interview here.

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A Look at Looking Different

Posted in Articles, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-12-03 15:59Z by Steven

A Look at Looking Different

The New York Times

Felicia R. Lee

‘Crossing Borders,’ at the Brooklyn Historical Society

Alexander David grew up with a Chinese mother and a white Jewish father in the liberal Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. He attended the predominantly Asian elite Stuyvesant High School. He was comfortable in his skin in both places, but in a world of tribes, the Asian kids considered him white, and the white ones considered him Asian.

“We’re not like a racially blind kind of society,” Mr. David said in an interview recently.

Mr. David’s experience is now part of an unusual project by the Brooklyn Historical Society called “Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations,” which has as its centerpiece a collection of more than 100 oral histories of people who identify themselves as being of mixed heritage, whether through race, ethnicity, religion or nationality.

Three years in the making, “Crossing Bridges” will be completed in mid-January and is uncommon in subject and scope for a historical society, said Annie Valk, vice president of the Oral History Association. It comes with public programs, a school curriculum and an interactive website

…About 30 of the oral histories are now gathered on the website, which includes photographs, audio clips, transcripts and scholarly articles. The full oral history collection will be available next year at the historical society’s Othmer Library, the repository of more than 1,200 oral history narratives on a variety of topics. In February, educators will also be offered a curriculum for grades six through 12.

All the oral history subjects were volunteers who live or work in Brooklyn, or did so in the past. They were a diverse flock, including biracial lesbian couples and Jewish couples from different European countries. Their stories reflect changes from the time when mixed marriage often meant spouses of different religions to a time when it means gay or interracial marriage, or both, said Sady Sullivan, the former director of oral history at the historical society. Ms. Sullivan, who conceived the project, has been named the curator of oral history at Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

“The idea I get really excited about is that this is for the future,” Ms. Sullivan said. “What will it be like to listen to stories about the social construction of race in 150 years?”…

…Championing multiracial families — including the struggle for the right to check more than one census box for race — has also had detractors. Some argue that multiracial identity only increases racial stratification. Others have argued that discussions about multiracial identity too often fail to examine how race is related to wealth and power.

Nitasha Tamar Sharma, an associate professor of African-American studies and Asian-American studies at Northwestern, wondered how the oral histories would be framed. “Is it going to be used only as a celebration?” asked Professor Sharma, who writes about and researches issues of racial identity…

Read the entire article here.

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Looking Black or Looking Back? Using Phenotype and Ancestry to Make Racial Categorizations

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-02 21:30Z by Steven

Looking Black or Looking Back? Using Phenotype and Ancestry to Make Racial Categorizations

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Available online: 2014-12-01
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.11.011

Allison L. Skinner
Department of Psychology
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Gandalf Nicolas
Department of Psychology
College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia


  • We examine effects of racial ancestry and phenotypicality on race categorization.
  • Both factors influence categorization, but phenotipicality effects are larger.
  • Low Black phenotypicality targets were perceived as warmer and more competent.
  • Bias against low Black phenotypicality targets was perceived as less discriminatory.
  • All biracial targets were categorized as biracial.

When it comes to the racial categorization of biracial individuals, do people look at phenotypicality (i.e., a race consistent appearance) for clues, or do they look back at racial ancestry? We manipulated racial ancestry and racial phenotypicality (using morphed photos) to investigate their influence on race categorizations. Results indicated that while ancestry and phenotypicality information both influenced deliberate racial categorization, phenotypicality had a substantially larger effect. We also investigated how these factors influenced perceptions of warmth and competence, and racial discrimination. We found that Black-White biracials with low Black phenotypicality were perceived as warmer and more competent than biracial targets with moderate and high Black phenotypicality. Moreover, given identical instances of racially discriminatory treatment, low Black racial phenotypicality targets were significantly less likely to be perceived as victims of racial discrimination. Our findings shed light on how ancestry and phenotype influence perceptions of race and real world social judgments such as perceptions of discrimination. Previous studies have shown that low minority ancestry biracials are presumed to have experienced less discrimination, our findings indicate that racial cues impact perceptions of discrimination even in incidences of known racial discrimination.

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Latino Life: Are We Tolerant Of Our Own Hispanic Diversity?

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2014-12-01 01:21Z by Steven

Latino Life: Are We Tolerant Of Our Own Hispanic Diversity?

NBC News

Raul A. Reyes

Being Latino means being part of a rich, diverse culture. Or does it? Some Latinos feel removed from their peers because of their skin color, language ability, or mixed-race heritage. Others have faced criticism for holding political views at odds with the Hispanic mainstream. In fact, many Latinos know all too well what it is like not to fit in with their own community.

“Most people believe that all Latinos look like the stereotypical Puerto Rican or Mexican,” said Mirna Martinez-Santiago, 43, a New York attorney. “I am from Honduras. I am black, racially, but I identify as Latina.”

The host of The Opinion Talk Show gave some examples of how her skin color has caused confusion – and awkward moments.

“I walk into a Dominican hair salon and the employees are talking about me,” Martinez-Santiago said. “I can hear them talk about my pelo malo (bad hair). I tell them there is nothing wrong with my hair, and they are shocked that I can understand them. I try to educate people, but the best way to educate people is just by being,” said Martinez-Santiago…

Julie A. Dowling, associate professor of Latina/o Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said Latino identity depends on many factors, including regional differences, national origin, physical features and language ability.

“There are wide, diverse experiences in competition with the stereotypical images. So people are constantly judged by these images,” Dowling explained.

“The stereotype of Latinos is that they are Mexican, Spanish-speaking immigrants, and possibly undocumented,” Dowling said. “And because it is such a strong stereotype, people often define themselves in relation to it.”

The author of a new book on Latino identity, Dowling added that “even the U.S. Census Bureau is still trying to figure out who Latinos are.”…

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11-2 Insight Dr. Yaba Blay Author of One Drop – Shifting the Lens on Race

Posted in Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-28 04:50Z by Steven

11-2 Insight Dr. Yaba Blay Author of One Drop – Shifting the Lens on Race

Power 99FM, WUSL-FM
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Loraine Ballard Morill, Host

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

Dr. Yaba Blay author of (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race talks about the changing definition of race and whether it matters.

Download the interview here.

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