Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science on 2014-07-14 06:29Z by Steven

Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality

University of British Columbia Press
2014-10-15
288 pages
6 x 9″
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-7748-2772-0
Library E-Book: ISBN: 978-0-7748-2774-4

Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Geography and the Program in Journalism
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Racially mixed people in the global north are often portrayed as the embodiment of an optimistic, post-racial future. In Mixed Race Amnesia, Minelle Mahtani makes the case that this romanticized view of multiraciality governs both public perceptions and personal accounts of the mixed-race experience. Drawing on a series of interviews, she explores how, in order to adopt the view that being mixed race is progressive, a strategic forgetting takes place–one that obliterates complex diasporic histories. She argues that a new anti-colonial approach to multiraciality is needed, one that emphasizes how colonialism shapes the experiences of mixed-race people today.

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The racist face of Brazil’s miscegenation

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-07-10 16:33Z by Steven

The racist face of Brazil’s miscegenation

Black Women of Brazil: The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent
2013-05-22

Jarid Arraes
Cariri, Ceará, Brasil

The issue of miscegenation in Brazil is often oversimplified and romanticized. It is not uncommon to hear that Brazil is a mestiço (mixed race) and plural country and, consequently, all its inhabitants had their ethnicity inevitably mixed at some point in their ancestry. But under the axiom of a mixed country hides a violent and racist reality: the generalization of whiteness in a predominantly black country.

If all Brazilians are mixed and have black and Indian blood in their veins, why are many people reluctant to recognize their own ancestry?…

Read the entire article here.

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The Institutional Racism Against Black Indians

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2014-07-06 01:18Z by Steven

The Institutional Racism Against Black Indians

Indian Country Today Media Network.com
2014-07-04

Julianne Jennings

Black Indians are constantly confronted with the fact that they do not fit any of society’s stereotypes for Native Americans. Those stereotypes are imposed by both whites and sadly, other Indians. This lack of understanding of another nation’s history has interwoven ignorance thus extinguishing fact. Nevertheless, despite their own distortions and mutations of the past, it is interesting to note how the right to remember or forget are not going unnoticed; where personal biographies have intersected with historical watershed events (i.e. slavery, blood-mixing, cultural blending) is now producing historically-conscious discourse about race, racism, and who is a “real” Indian.

Raymond H. Brooks, 72, Montaukett Nation, Long Island, New York, was made furious from a recent posting he read on Facebook. The post read, “My good friend is a real Indian because he lives on an Indian reservation and the government gives him money. That’s how you can tell who a real Indian is.”

Those who hold the power, get to set the rules; and according to Brooks, “Our tribe had its status taken away in 1910 because a New York State county Judge Abel Blackmar said, “We were no longer a tribe because we had intermarried with blacks and whites. And that when he looked around the court room, He didn’t see any Indians” The tribe has been fighting to get their State recognition restored ever since. You can go to the tribes website and read their history and what is currently happening with their Bill (montauktribe.Org).

…Employing discredited biological over cultural definitions of who is an Indian and who is not is an assault on our self-determination. We have endured 450 years of forced assimilation which included slavery and post slavery intermarriage, making our walk one of plurality. We are therefore all multiracial. Blood mixing is also believed to be the reason certain phenotypes (physical characteristics) common within Native people also occur in African American populations…

Read the entire article here.

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On the Mexican Mestizo

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2014-07-05 21:10Z by Steven

On the Mexican Mestizo

Latin American Research Review
Volume 14, Number 3 (1979)
pages 153-168

John K. Chance, Professor of Anthropology
Arizona State Univerisity

No one with even a passing acquaintance with the literature on Mexican society, not to mention the rest of Spanish America, can fail to be impressed by the frequent use of the term mestizo. Despite its ubiquity in the writings of social scientists, however, the concept of the mestizo is customarily employed in a vague fashion and usually left undefined. This is especially evident in the work of anthropologists, who for many years have been preoccupied with defining the Mexican Indian but have rarely focused their analytical powers on the mestizo. The term itself has been used rather loosely to refer to a certain group of people who presumably comprise a majority of the Mexican population, a cultural pattern shared by these people and other Latin Americans, and even a personality type.

Ethnographers frequently refer to the communities they study as being either Indian or mestizo, but rarely do they provide enough information to allow us to decide whether these are viable identities for the people themselves or distinct cultural configurations. Usually, when used as an adjective, “mestizo” is simply a shorthand descriptive term employed by the investigator. In this context, it is little more than a catch-all designation meaning non-Indian and non-Spanish, sometimes implying as well an identification with Mexican national culture. One wonders how social scientists concerned with Mexico and its people could ever get along without the term, despite the fact that it is only infrequently used by Mexicans themselves. Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán remarks: “In all cases when [Mexicans] are explicitly asked if they consider themselves mestizos, only the educated ones, that is, the intellectuals or persons who have had contact with large urban centers, agree that they are; the ordinary person is not familiar with the term or gives it another meaning.”

It seems clear that the term rarely, if at all, refers to a viable ethnic identity in Mexico today. When called upon to distinguish themselves from people of indigenous background, Mexicans are more likely to call themselves gente de razon, gente decente, vecinos, catrines, correctos, or simply mexicanos. Yet it is obviously impossible to dismiss the concept of the mestizo altogether, for it has played an important part in the rise of Mexican nationalism, and the term itself appears frequently in historical documents, particularly those of the colonial period. This paper is not directly concerned with the current usage of the term among Mexicans themselves, nor will it deal with the concept as it is used by modern ethnographers. The goal is rather to clarify the place of the mestizo in Mexican history, particularly the colonial period. While most of the data presented pertain to a single city—Oaxaca, or Antequera in colonial times—it will be argued that a similar pattern probably existed in other cities of what was once known as New Spain. The basic contention is that the historical continuity assumed by many between the colonial and modern mestizo does not in fact exist if we pay close attention to how people were racially classified in Mexican cities during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries.

By far the most influential work in English that is based on this assumption is the chapter entitled “The Power Seekers” of Eric Wolf’s classic Sons of the Shaking Earth. Because Wolf’s portrait of the genesis of the mestizo and his role in the making of modern Mexico has been so influential, I will use it as a foil at many points for the development of my argument. The criticism of Wolf’s account, however, is not intended to belittle what I regard as a masterly synthesis of Mesoamerican culture history. Indeed, though it was written twenty years ago, Sons of the Shaking Earth remains remarkably current in many respects. But some of the ideas could stand revision, and this paper will attempt to show that Wolf’s treatment of the mestizo now needs to be reformulated in view of recent evidence…

Read the entire article here.

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Neymar and the Disappearing Donkey

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-06-30 21:48Z by Steven

Neymar and the Disappearing Donkey

Africa is a Country
2014-06-17

Achal Prabhala
Bangalore, India

By the time you read this, it’s possible that every single person on the planet will know who Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is…

…You could come to any number of conclusions from Neymar’s remarkable transformation. For instance, you could conclude that race doesn’t exist in Brazil, which is the favourite line of a specific tribe of Brazilians – impeccable liberals all, who just happen to be upper-class, white and at the top of the heap.

Or you could conclude that everyone in Brazil is indeed mixed – which is, incidentally, the second-favourite line of the selfsame tribe.

Or you could wonder what happened to this boy.

***

It’s too easy to condemn Neymar for pretending to be white: judging by the images, he is partly white. It’s silly to accuse him of denying his mixed-race ancestry, because the simplest search throws up hundreds of images of him as a child, none of which he seems to be ashamed of. There is this: when asked if he had ever been a victim of racism, he said, “Never. Neither inside nor outside the field. Because I’m not black right?”

Actually, the word he used was preto, which is significant, since, in Brazil, when used as a colour ascribed to people – rather than things, like rice or beans – it is the equivalent of the n-word; negro and negra being the acceptable ways of describing someone who is truly black. (And moreno or morena being standard descriptors for someone dark-skinned, as well as, occasionally, euphemisms for blackness). Technically speaking, however, his logic was faultless – and even kind of interestingly honest: the Neymar who made that statement was an unworldly eighteen-year-old who had never lived outside Brazil. And in Brazil, Neymar is not black…

Read the entire article here.

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An Evening with Hip Hop Scholar/Activist and 2008 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate, Rosa Clemente

Posted in Anthropology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2014-06-29 17:28Z by Steven

An Evening with Hip Hop Scholar/Activist and 2008 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate, Rosa Clemente

Yemaya Pictures
California State University, Los Angeles
2014-05-08, 20:00 PDT
5151 State University Drive
Annenberg Science Building 132 (Science Building Wing B, Lecture Hall)
Los Angeles, California 90032

From May 8, 2014. The Pan-African Studies Department at California State University, Los Angeles presents An Evening with Hip Hop Scholar/Activist Rosa Clemente. Rosa speaks about Afro-Latin@ Identity and Critical Approaches to Blackness.

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Seoul International Seminar on Racism/Mixed Race in Korea and Japan

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-06-18 20:36Z by Steven

Seoul International Seminar on Racism/Mixed Race in Korea and Japan

Yonsei University, South Korea
2014-06-21 through 2014-06-22
Co-organized & Sponsored by Department of Cultural Anthropology & Institute of Korean Studies, Yonsei University

…1:30-3:30 pm Mixed race/blood in modern Japan

(Chair: Lee Sang Kook, Yonsei University)

  1. A.K.M. Skarpelis (NYU Sociology and Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo) , “Eugenic Ironies: Assimilating Colonial Korea into the Japanese Empire”
  2. Johanna O. Zulueta (Soka University), “Multiculturalism and Mixed Race in Okinawa: Politics of Inclusion/Exclusion in the Post-Cold War Years”
  3. Sachiko Horiguchi (Temple University Japan Campus) & Yuki Imoto (Keio University), “From Konketsu to Hafu: The politics of mixed-race categories in modern Japan”

Discussant: Han Geon Soo (Kangwon National University), Park Kyung Min (Michigan State University)

Coffee Break

4:00-6:00pm Cultural politics of mixed race celebrities in East Asia

Chair: Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash University)

  1. Ji-Hyun Ahn (University of Washington Tacoma), “Questioning the cultural currency of whiteness: White mixed-race celebrities and (contemporary) Korean popular culture”
  2. Jeehyun Lim (Denison University), “Black and Korean in Neoliberal Multiculturalism in South Korea”
  3. Kaori Mori-Want (Shibaura Institute of Technology), “Japan We are Haafu, So What?: A Different Perspective in Mixed Race Studies in the Voices of Japanese Haafu Comedians”

Discussant: Jung Hyesil (Hanyang University), Sachiko Horiguchi (Temple University Japan Campus)

6:00- 8:00 pm Reception…

For more information click here.

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Japanese Brazilians celebrate mixed heritage

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2014-06-18 07:43Z by Steven

Japanese Brazilians celebrate mixed heritage

Al Jazeera
2014-06-17

Jillian Kestler-D’Amour, Online Producer

Sao Paulo, Brazil – The room was a mixture of Brazilian green and yellow and Japanese red and white, as more than 200 members of the city’s large Japanese community turned out to watch the country of their ancestors take on Cote d’Ivoire in both teams’ World Cup opening match.

Chants of Japao! (Japan in Portuguese) rang out through the crowd, which was dominated by navy jerseys with the names Honda, Toshio, Takaya, Shiota, and Kagawa affixed to the back. The room erupted when Japanese star Keisuke Honda put the Samurai Blue ahead in the first half, but fans were ultimately stunned when Cote d’Ivoire scored twice in two minutes to win, 2-1.

“I feel very proud that Japan is in the World Cup and that we can host them here in Brazil,” said Analia Kita, before the game began. Wife of Kihatino Kita, the director of the Japanese-Brazilian Association that hosted the screening, Analia said she has tickets to cheer on Japan when the team takes on Switzerland next week in Natal.

“Between Japan and Brazil, it’s going to be very hard to choose [my favourite],” she said laughing. “But it’s going to have to be Brazil. I’m Brazilian.”…

…Dual identities

“We can characterise it as a mixture. We have 106 years of immigration and in this time, we have seen the mixture and integration of the Japanese culture in Brazil,” explained Celia Sakurai, a researcher on Japanese-Brazilian community and culture.

Born in Sao Paulo where she lives today, Sakurai told Al Jazeera that Japanese influence on Brazil’s culture can be viewed through the popularity of anime, Manga comics, and haikai (the Portuguese-language version of a haiku), the practise of judo and taeko (traditional Japanese drumming), and other arts…

Read the entire article here.

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Black In The Dominican Republic: Denying Blackness

Posted in Anthropology, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Social Science, Videos on 2014-06-11 20:11Z by Steven

Black In The Dominican Republic: Denying Blackness

HuffPost Live
The Huffington Post
2014-06-10

Marc Lamont Hill, Host

In Latin America and Caribbean countries like the Dominican Republic many deny being of African decent, despite 90 percent of the population possessing black ancestry. Where has the blackness gone in the region?

Guests:

  • Biany Perez (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Graduate Student at Bryn Mawr College
  • Christopher Pimentel (New York , New York) Finance Student at Baruch College
  • Robin Derby (Los Angeles, California) Associate Professor of History, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Kimberly Eison Simmons (Columbia, South Carolina) Associate Professor, Anthropology and African American Studies, University of South Carolina
  • Silvio Torres-Saillant (Syracuse, New York) Professor of English, Syracuse University

 

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Galileo Wept: A Critical Assessment of the Use of Race in Forensic Anthropology

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive on 2014-06-10 20:24Z by Steven

Galileo Wept: A Critical Assessment of the Use of Race in Forensic Anthropology

Transforming Anthropology
Volume 9, Issue 2 (July 2000)
pages 19–29
DOI: 10.1525/tran.2000.9.2.19

Diana Smay
Emory University

George Armelago, Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropolgy (1936-2014)
Emory University

Anthropology has been haunted by the misuse of the race concept since its beginnings. Although modern genetics has shown time and again that race is not a biological reality and cannot adequately describe human variation, many anthropologists are unable or unwilling to put aside racial typology as an explanatory tool. Here, we consider the case of forensic anthropology as an example often held up by uncritical anthropologists as evidence that the race concept “works.” The logic appears to be that if forensic anthropologists are able to identify races in skeletal remains, races must be biological phenomena. We consider four general viewpoints on the subject of the validity and utility of race in forensic anthropology and offer an argument for the elimination of race as part of the “biological profile” identified by forensic anthropologists.

Read the entire article here.

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