On blackness and autism, identity and essence

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-29 00:54Z by Steven

On blackness and autism, identity and essence

Ray Hemachandra @ Golden Moon Publishing: Autism, spirit, beauty. Compassion. Love. Kindness. Sparks of light.
2014-02-24

Ray Hemachandra

Often I’m asked “What are you?”

Racial and ethnic identity still inform so much in our culture. The question asked really is a question of identity. “What are you?” masks the underlying question, “Who are you?”

When I was young I was black. My father, Neal Hemachandra, was black. His mother, Leathe Wade Colvert, was black. Her mother, Martha Pleasant, came from Virginia and slave plantations. She was black.

I was black even as I carried an Asian Indian name and just as much ethnic heritage: my father’s father, Balatunga Hemachandra, emigrated from Sri Lanka. I was black even as I was Jewish: my blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jewish mother’s family were immigrants from eastern Europe, and much of their family died in the Holocaust. I was black even as American Indian and black Dutch genes contributed to my father’s ancestral lines…

American history and family history confirmed this identity. One drop. My parent’s mixed marriage: they were married in New York City, where they both were born, by a prominent NYC African American judge, Hubert Delany, brother of the Delany sisters who became famous decades later. My parents’ marriage was reported in the black press in several papers up and down the East Coast

Read the entire article here.

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Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs on 2014-10-28 21:08Z by Steven

Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

2Leaf Press
October 2014
300 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-28-5
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-29-2

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd

Dream of the Water Children, at once a haunting collective memory and a genre-bending critical account of dominance and survival, interweaves intimate multi-family details with global politics spanning generations and continents. Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd’s debut work defies categorization as histories and families are intimately connected through sociological ghosts alive in the present. It is a one-of-a-kind ‘non-fiction’ inter-disciplinary evocation that will appeal to not only those interested in Black and Asian relations and mixed-race Amerasian histories, but also a wide general audience including those interested in Asian, Asian-American, Nikkei, African-American, and mixed-race identities as well as multicultural literature, history and post-colonial memoir. Those focused on academic studies such as women and gender studies, ethnic and critical mixed-race studies, social justice curriculum, political histories, memory, feminism, and militarization, etc. will appreciate the profound questions for thought that rise up from the pages. Cloyd’s book not only challenges readers to explore technologies of violence, identity, difference, and our responsibilities to the world, it will also move readers through emotional depths.

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“What Are You?” Multiracial Identity and the Persistence of Racism in a “Post-Racial” Society

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-27 18:30Z by Steven

“What Are You?” Multiracial Identity and the Persistence of Racism in a “Post-Racial” Society

University of Virginia
2014

Hephzibah Virginia Strmic-Pawl

In 2000, and for the first time, the U.S. Census allowed individuals to “mark one or more” races, and now the U.S. Census projects that those who choose two or more races will triple by 2050. The occurrence of the “biracial baby boom,” a new post-racial ideology, and the election of the first Black (or biracial depending on one’s categorization) U.S. president have led to great hopes for a nation where race no longer matters.

On the other hand, there is persistent discrimination including wide disparities in education, wealth, and employment. Thus, does multiracialism signify that society’s race relations are improving and that we are deconstructing racial categories and racism? Or, does multiracialism naively overlook the continuing vestiges of race and racism and merely reify “race” in efforts to defend the recognition and experiences of those who are “mixed race?”

Through a study of 70 people of mixed-race descent, I seek an answer to this debate. I ask: how does multiracial identity manifest itself and align with and/or contest the current racial hierarchy? I find 67 of the 70 respondents do prefer a multiracial identity, a preference that reveals the coherence of multiracialism and its ability to challenge the racial hierarchy. Yet, much of this dissertation is dedicated to the differences in experiences of Asian-Whites and Black-Whites. The majority of the Asian-Whites have close White friends and networks, have few experiences and perceptions of racism, and have a color-blind approach to racism. By comparison, BlackWhites are more likely to be aligned with Black networks and Blackness, experience and perceive racism to be a significant problem, and expend significant effort navigating their race.

This project, then, has two main findings: 1) those of mixed-race descent are choosing to identify with both races and 2) the continuing significance of race and racism leads to markedly different narratives for those of Asian and White descent compared to those of Black and White descent. Thus, multiracialism has validity yet is limited in its ability to move the discussion forward on race, for it relies on race in order to defy race.

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Albert Chong: “The Photomosaics: Works on Paper, Wood, and Stone”, on view through November 1, 2014

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media, United States on 2014-10-19 23:21Z by Steven

Albert Chong: “The Photomosaics: Works on Paper, Wood, and Stone”, on view through November 1, 2014

Counterpath
613 22nd Street
Denver, Colorado 80205
(303) 953-2692
2014-10-03 through 2014-11-01


“Angela” (2011) by Albert Chong

Opening Friday, October 3, 2014, at 7 p.m., and on view through November 1, 2014, Counterpath is excited to host an exhibit of recent work by Albert Chong, “The Photomosaics: Works on Paper, Wood, and Stone.” The work consists of image transfers onto gridded ceramic or stone tiles that combine to make up a larger image. Included are blatantly political portraits of presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, made from portraits of thousands of dead soldiers, to a portrait of activist and former Black Panther Party member Angela Davis, her iconic afro consisting of thousands of portraits of African American women with processed hair. Photomosaics have the mass and presence of sculpture and the transmissive abilities of photography.

For more information, click here.

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I’m more than someone who’s of mixed race

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-17 19:01Z by Steven

I’m more than someone who’s of mixed race

The Appleton Post-Crescent
Appleton, Wisconsin
2014-10-08

Mia Sato, Post-Crescent Community Columnist

Identity can be tough to sort out sometimes, but it doesn’t change some things about me

My life is defined by numerical classifications. I’m 19 years old, a second-year college student, the eldest of four children. I have a zip code, a GPA, 16 credits on my fall semester schedule, with 60 more to complete before I graduate. Each of these numbers reflects some aspect of my existence, and each number is grounds for people to make a judgment.

For as long as I can remember, I have been identified as “half” Japanese and “half” white American. On government forms, my pen would meander, hovering over the White and Asian boxes equally, unsure of which to check. Sometimes, I’d check both and was asked to pick one. Sometimes, I’d check one or the other and consider if it was the correct choice. Sometimes, I’d check neither and let my mother complete the rest for me.

I’ve learned that racial identity is more than a choice between clear-cut, straightforward options for children with parents of mixed heritage. It’s at times alienating, divisive and difficult to make sense of…

Read the entire article here.

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Hapa changes name to Association of Multiracial People at Tufts to reflect new goals

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-16 18:11Z by Steven

Hapa changes name to Association of Multiracial People at Tufts to reflect new goals

The Tufts Daily
Medford, Massachusetts
2014-10-14

Yuki Zaninovich, Contributing Writer

For the Association of Multiracial People at Tufts (AMPT), there is a lot in a name. AMPT, formerly known as Tufts Hapa, aims to create a community for students who identify as persons of mixed heritage. Though the name change may seem subtle to some, it now better reflects the target demographic of the group, according to Co-President Zoe Uvin.

According to Uvin, a senior, “hapa” means “half” in Native Hawaiian and is often used to refer to people who identify as a mix of two races. However, this choice of terminology made it seem like the club had a limited scope of interest.

“The term ‘Hapa’ has the connotation of being half-Asian, so I think the name change definitely reflected our priorities much more,” Uvin said. “We’re an association, not a political group or movement of any kind, and we wanted any person who is multiracial, or feels that their family or community makes their identity multiracial, to feel welcomed to join us.”

The name change has been favorably received, according to treasurer Rachel Steindler, a sophomore…

Read the entire article here.

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Identity In Pieces: When You Don’t Know Where You Count

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-15 19:09Z by Steven

Identity In Pieces: When You Don’t Know Where You Count

The Aerogram: A curated take on South Asian art, literature, life and news
2014-10-01

Jaya Saxena
Queens, New York

Last summer, I wore a pink and yellow sari to my cousin’s wedding. As my Indian family lingered in the hotel lobby, dressed up and waiting for our shuttle, we received a few looks from other hotel patrons. Even in New York, it’s not every day you see a group of formally-dressed Indian people, so we didn’t pay the reaction much mind. To them, we looked like we belonged together, and if they noticed me I was just the lightest of the crowd.

A few months later, I went to another Indian wedding in Boston. This time, my then-fiance (a tall white guy with a red beard) and I traveled alone on the T, dressed in Indian finery as we’d been asked. The stares we got were different this time–they were wondering what these two white people were doing dressed up as Indians.

A common refrain when talking about racism is that it’s not about race. Or that it is and it isn’t. It is in that hundreds of years of built up context have given people of color the short end of the stick, but obviously there is nothing inherent about whiteness that means it deserves more (and if you think there is, kindly stop reading and find yourself a bog to suffocate in). What makes racism is power and lived experience. It’s that a white kid who shoots up a school is taken alive, while a black kid walking down the street is shot dead. It’s that resumes with “white” names are accepted over identical ones with “ethnic” names. And it’s why I really have no clue if I can call myself biracial…

Read the entire article here.

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What It’s Like To Be Half-Japanese

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive on 2014-10-14 00:19Z by Steven

What It’s Like To Be Half-Japanese

Thought Catalog
2014-10-08

Michelle Reimann

Eurasian, half-Japanese, bi-racial, mixed race, hafu, hapa, double, hybrid, dual culture, TCK (third culture kid,) the axis of evil (yeah, yeah: I am German and Japanese, get over it.) However you choose to describe me my lineage is often one of the most frequently asked questions when I meet new people. I have been asked if I am Brazilian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Indonesian, Malaysian, Turkish, and basically every nationality under the sun. I can’t keep up with the flavor of the day in terms of political correctness anymore so for the purpose of this article I am going to refer to people like myself as halflings.

I mean this as a term of endearment, and also as a tribute to one of my favorite TV series coming to an end this week. True Blood had me going for seven strong seasons and I am already mourning the loss. The series explored the halfling protagonist Sookie Stackhouse’s (played by Anna Paquin) struggles with being half fairy, half human. Now, I admit what I am is not nearly as exciting as being half fairy but I can relate to many of Sookie’s trials and tribulations of being being caught between two worlds.

I am not speaking out on behalf of all halflings everywhere, but simply want to share with you my experiences of being what I am in Japan. I have never experienced racism but rather the us versus them concept — not discrimination but differentiation. I don’t have any painful memories. If anything, we halflings get special treatment in Japan. We are often viewed with a mixture of curiosity, awe, envy, admiration, adoration, sometimes suspicion or confusion and a barrage of other emotions…

Read the entire article here.

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Daughters tell stories of ‘war brides’ despised back home and in the U.S.

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2014-10-08 00:27Z by Steven

Daughters tell stories of ‘war brides’ despised back home and in the U.S.

The Japan Times
2014-10-05

Lucy Alexander

Hiroko Furukawa was working as a sales assistant at the PX U.S. military supply store in Ginza in 1950 when she met a GI named Samuel Tolbert. Shortly afterwards, Hiroko and Samuel found themselves married and on a train to meet his parents in upstate New York. Hiroko, who came from an upper-class Tokyo family, changed into her best kimono for the occasion, to the horror of her husband, whose family were rural chicken farmers.

“When they arrived at the farm, Samuel’s family stared at Hiroko as if she came from Mars,” explains journalist Lucy Craft. “They made it clear to her that she’d better get into Western clothes. So she did, and she began her life as the wife of a chicken farmer.”

According to Craft, herself the daughter of a Japanese “war bride,” this is one of countless examples of the struggles endured by a despised and largely hidden immigrant group. Craft believes that about 50,000 Japanese women moved to America with their GI husbands after World War II — at that time, the largest-ever migration of Asian women to America.

The 1945 War Brides Act allowed American servicemen who had married abroad to bring their wives to the United States, on top of existing immigration quotas. The trickle of new arrivals became a flood with the passing of the landmark Immigration Act of 1952 that lifted race-based barriers on entering the country.

“Hostility to Japan as a nation meant that Japanese women were the last foreign wives to be allowed to move to the U.S.,” says Craft. “This was a time when interracial marriage was prohibited in many states.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Multiracial family embraces twins’ uniqueness

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2014-10-02 15:33Z by Steven

Multiracial family embraces twins’ uniqueness

News 10, KXTV
Sacramento, California
2014-10-02

Daria Givens, News 10 Staff

A Lincoln family embodies California’s melting pot and embraces their uniqueness.

LINCOLNFraternal twins Viviana and Dennis look very different from each other. They are part of the Ng Family, a multiracial family from all parts of the world.

The twins’ parents Kenika and Ashley Ng also come from multiracial families. Kenika Ng’s is African-American and Hispanic; his father is Hawaiian and Chinese. Ashley Ng is Irish and Hispanic.

Combine their racial make-up, and their children have more of a unique blend. Ten-month-old Viviana, who is four minutes older than her brother, has bright blue eyes and light brown hair like her mother and looks white. Dennis on the other hand, with the big brown eyes and black hair looks like his dad.

Read the entire article and watch the story here.

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