Afro-Latinos: a vision of Houston’s mixed-race future

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Texas, United States on 2016-12-05 01:58Z by Steven

Afro-Latinos: a vision of Houston’s mixed-race future

The Houtson Chronicle
Houston, Texas
2016-11-19

Olivia P. Tallet, Reporter

Afro-Latinos embody Texas’ mixed-race future

It happens all the time. At the taco truck, Raul Orlando Edwards placed his fajita order: “Señorita, por favor, póngale la cebolla bien cocida” (“I’d like the onions well-done.”)

“Man,” said the African-American behind him in line, “how did you learn to do that?” Meaning: Why, for a black man, is your Spanish so good?

“I’m Latino,” Edwards answered. The director of the Strictly Street Salsa Studio and founder of the Afro-Latino Festival of Houston, he’s a Panamanian-Jamaican immigrant.

The guy stated the obvious: “I thought you were black!”

“I’m blacker than you are!” Edwards replied. And, he says, they laughed.

These days, in both Texas and the U.S. at large, skin color is an ever less reliable indicator of identity. According to a 2015 Pew survey, about a quarter of U.S. Hispanics identify themselves as Afro-Latino. Like Edwards, the vast majority (70 percent) are foreign-born.

Afro-Latinos generally are descendants of African slaves brought to Spanish and Portuguese colonies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most are biracial or multiracial. Being Afro-Latino, says Alain Lawo-Sukam, professor of Hispanic and Africana Studies at Texas A&M University, is less about skin color than about identity and a sense of belonging.

By their very existence, Afro-Latinos challenge the traditional one-drop” view of race in the United States: the idea that one drop of African blood makes a person black. Afro-Latinos like Edwards aren’t simply black, white or Hispanic. They’re a combination – and as such, a vision of the United States’ racially and ethnically complex future. They’re a minority inside a minority; a melting pot within the melting pot…

Read the entire article here.

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Black Autonomy: Race, Gender, and Afro-Nicaraguan Activism

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science on 2016-12-03 22:58Z by Steven

Black Autonomy: Race, Gender, and Afro-Nicaraguan Activism

Stanford University Press
2016-11-30
248 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780804799560
Paper ISBN: 9781503600546

Jennifer Goett, Associate Professor of Comparative Cultures and Politics
James Madison College, Michigan State University

Decades after the first multicultural reforms were introduced in Latin America, Afrodescendant people from the region are still disproportionately impoverished, underserved, policed, and incarcerated. In Nicaragua, Afrodescendants have mobilized to confront this state of siege through the politics of black autonomy. For women and men grappling with postwar violence, black autonomy has its own cultural meanings as a political aspiration and a way of crafting selfhood and solidarity.

Jennifer Goett’s ethnography examines the race and gender politics of activism for autonomous rights in an Afrodescedant Creole community in Nicaragua. Weaving together fifteen years of research, Black Autonomy follows this community-based movement from its inception in the late 1990s to its realization as an autonomous territory in 2009 and beyond. Goett argues that despite significant gains in multicultural recognition, Afro-Nicaraguan Creoles continue to grapple with the day-to-day violence of capitalist intensification, racialized policing, and drug war militarization in their territories. Activists have responded by adopting a politics of autonomy based on race pride, territoriality, self-determination, and self-defense. Black Autonomy shows how this political radicalism is rooted in African diasporic identification and gendered cultural practices that women and men use to assert control over their bodies, labor, and spaces in an atmosphere of violence.

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Seminar: Ideals of Miscegenation: Ethnicity, Sexuality, and the Chinese Ideology of “Region”

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Religion on 2016-12-03 22:56Z by Steven

Seminar: Ideals of Miscegenation: Ethnicity, Sexuality, and the Chinese Ideology of “Region”

University of Sydney
Old Teachers College
Room 310
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
2016-12-05, 14:00-15:30 AEDT (Local Time)

Ha Guangtian, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
SOAS China Institute, London, United Kingdom

While the word “miscegenation” normally carries a strongly negative connotation in the history of Western racial politics, in this talk, I use the word to describe an emergent political ideology in China that taps into the underlying assumption of one of the most essential state institutions in the governance of China’s ethnic minorities, namely, ethnic regional autonomy. Two aspects of this assumption will be the focus of my talk: its alleged facilitation of inter-ethnic and cross-cultural economic exchange and commercial flow on the one hand, and its often unspoken yet ever present intention in “consummating” this political economic arrangement with a correlated sexual arrangement, typified by inter-ethnic marriage, on the other. Rather than speaking merely at the general level, however, I choose to examine the ramifications and metamorphosis of this ideology among the elite Hui Muslim intellectuals, a group that include both university professors, think-tank researchers, and government officials. The Hui elites have been among the most enthusiastic proponents of this ideology, due particularly to their understanding of who the Hui are and how they came into being as an ethnic group. This historical presumption receives a new meaning under the “One Belt One Road” initiate. The presumptively “miscegenous” ethno-origin of the Hui is seen to offer them a critical edge in fostering a cross-cultural and cross-ethno-national perspective. This perspective, moreover, fits into a general ideology centred on a certain conception of “region” that is being formulated across different academic disciplines and political discourses in contemporary China. In many respects, this not only raises new issues of political re-alignment – or predictions of a new “great game” – in Eurasia, but also poses new challenges for theoretical critique. For the old criticism of racial, cultural, or ethnic essentialism, dear to leftist intellectuals in the 1980s and 1990s, is barely sufficient to address this new change – if anything, it plays right into its hands. By taking the Hui as an example, this talk tries to respond to this challenge at the level both of theory and of politics.

For more information, click here.

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Remapping Race on the Human Genome: Commercial Exploits in a Racialized America

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Forthcoming Media, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-11-27 15:29Z by Steven

Remapping Race on the Human Genome: Commercial Exploits in a Racialized America

Praeger
January 2017
310 pages
6.125 x 9.25
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4408-3063-1
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4408-3064-8

Judith Ann Warner, Professor of Sociology
Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas

Do the commercial applications of the human genome in ancestry tracing, medicine, and forensics serve to further racialize and stereotype groups?

This book explores the ethical debates at the intersection of race, ethnicity, national origin, and DNA analysis, enabling readers to gain a better understanding of the human genome project and its impact on the biological sciences, medicine, and criminal justice.

Genome and genealogical research has become a subject of interest outside of science, as evidenced by the popularity of the genealogy research website Ancestry.com that helps individuals discover their genetic past and television shows such as the celebrity-focused Who Do You Think You Are? and Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.. Applications of DNA analysis in the area of criminal justice and the law have major consequences for social control from birth to death. This book explores the role of DNA research and analysis within the framework of race, ethnicity, and national origin—and provides a warning about the potential dangers of a racialized America.

Synthesizing the work of sociologists, criminologists, anthropologists, and biologists, author Judith Ann Warner, PhD, examines how the human genome is being interpreted and commonly used to affirm—rather than dissolve—racial and ethnic boundaries. The individual, corporate, and government use of DNA is controversial, and international comparisons indicate that regulation of genome applications is a global concern. With analysis of ancestry mapping business practices, medical DNA applications, and forensic uses of DNA in the criminal justice system, the book sheds light on the sociological results of “remapping race on the human genome.”

Features

  • Provides historical background on the human genome in the modern context of the social construction of race and ethnicity
  • Examines the use of overlapping racial-ethnic and geographical origin categories to situate ancestry, health risk, and criminal profiles in a stereotyped or discriminatory manner
  • Argues for a re-examination of genome research to avoid racialization
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Mixed Race Identities in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Forthcoming Media, Oceania, Social Science on 2016-11-27 15:27Z by Steven

Mixed Race Identities in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

Routledge
2016-12-20
246 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781138677708

Edited by:

Farida Fozdar, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology
University of Western Australia

Kirsten McGavin, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Anthropology)
School of Social Science
University of Queensland

This volume offers a “southern,” Pacific Ocean perspective on the topic of racial hybridity, exploring it through a series of case studies from around the Australo-Pacific region, a region unique as a result of its very particular colonial histories. Focusing on the interaction between “race” and culture, especially in terms of visibility and self-defined identity; and the particular characteristics of political, cultural and social formations in the countries of this region, the book explores the complexity of the lived mixed race experience, the structural forces of particular colonial and post-colonial environments and political regimes, and historical influences on contemporary identities and cultural expressions of mixed-ness.

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Tall, pale and handsome: why more Asian men are using skin-whitening products

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive on 2016-11-25 22:50Z by Steven

Tall, pale and handsome: why more Asian men are using skin-whitening products

The Conversation
2016-11-24

Gideon Lasco, Ph.D. Candidate in Medical Anthropology
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
University of Amsterdam

Jose, 19, is a college student in Puerto Princesa City, Philippines.

On a regular school day, after he wakes up, he takes a shower, scrubbing his body using soap made of papaya (Carica papaya), a fruit that’s said to have skin-whitening properties. Afterwards, he applies a facial whitening lotion, and before finally going to school he uses SPF 30 sunscreen, again with whitening properties, on his face and arms.

Jose was one of many young people I met in my ethnographic work as part of the Chemical Youth Project, a research programme that sought to document and make sense of the different chemicals that young people use in their everyday lives, from cosmetics to cigarettes.

Skin whitening among women has long been commonplace in the Philippines and other parts of Asia and the world but, while working on this project, I was struck by the fact that young men too, are using a plethora of whitening products. And that these products have proliferated in various retail outlets, from shopping malls to small sari-sari, or neighbourhood, stores.

But this development is not unique to the Philippines either. A 2015 study found that the prevalence of skin-whitening product use among male university students in 26 low and middle-income countries was 16.7%. The figure was higher in many Asian countries: 17.4% in India, 25.4% in the Philippines, and 69.5% in Thailand.

In the Asia-Pacific region alone, the male cosmetics industry was estimated at $2.1 billion in 2016. Whiteners are likely to be a significant component of this figure; a 2010 study reported that 61% of all cosmetics in India had a whitening effect…

Read the entire article here.

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Colorism And Privilege: An Afro-Cuban American In Havana

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-11-25 00:30Z by Steven

Colorism And Privilege: An Afro-Cuban American In Havana

FEM: UCLA’s Feminist Newsmagazine Since 1973
2016-04-28

Graciela Barada

My father, born in Cuba at the end of Castro’s Revolution, migrated to the United States in 1980. He was a young, black, Spanish-speaking political refugee who left his wife and months-old daughter behind in hopes of building a better life for himself. A “Marielito,” my father braved the 115-mile stretch of the Caribbean sea to Florida under President Carter’s pardon of Cuban refugees. My mother is a white Spaniard who moved to Washington, D.C. in 1989 for graduate school at Georgetown University. An unlikely couple, my parents met at my father’s Cuban nightclub, a hub for Latino culture, music, and dance. Although my siblings and I were born and raised in the U.S., we have been fortunate enough to travel to our parents’ birth countries in order to familiarize ourselves with their respective cultures…

..In Cuba, the Communist Revolution is often portrayed as the “great equalizer,” not just economically but also in respect to race relations. In many ways, this has been true: people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds have access to education, jobs, transportation, healthcare, and other social services. Regardless, there are traces of racial hierarchy and a colonialist mentality which are deeply entrenched in Cuban society. As far as I know, all of my Cuban relatives are black. The majority of them are dark-skinned; when asked, two of my male cousins expressed that they do not feel hated because of their African ancestry and darker pigmentation. Still, they are well-aware that their roles within society are informed by Cuba’s history of racial hierarchy and discrimination…

Read the entire article here.

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The New American Face

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2016-11-21 21:28Z by Steven

The New American Face

The Atlantic
2016-11-21

James Hamblin, Senior Editor


The least and most attractive male faces, based on statistical models.

Leaders are stoking human tendencies toward tribalism—but this instinct can be overcome more easily than once thought.

Since the election of Donald Trump, President Barack Obama has shifted into a prophylactic stance. He is warning that the world is complex, not a simple collection of binaries where things are either completely fantastic or the absolute worst.

Obama sees, rather, an ecosystem, a global community where borders are increasingly illusory, where prosperity for one economy means prosperity for others. Still this is a difficult concept to impart even to competitive students or coworkers, much less a population of seven billion. Recounting how he explained the election outcome to his daughters, Obama said in The New Yorker this week, “This is not mathematics; this is biology and chemistry. These are living organisms, and it’s messy.”

If biology is messy, neurobiology is a dumpster filled with smaller dumpsters, all ablaze. We are competitive by nature, as a matter of survival, and this tendency is easily goaded into hate…

Read the entire article here.

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After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Canada, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States on 2016-11-19 23:19Z by Steven

After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region

Arsenal Pulp Press
2011-05-10
176 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781551523743
ePub ISBN: 9781551523873

Wayde Compton

Finalist, City of Vancouver Book Award

After Canaan, the first nonfiction book by acclaimed Vancouver poet Wayde Compton, repositions the North American discussion of race in the wake of the tumultuous twentieth century. It riffs on the concept of Canada as a promised land (or “Canaan“) encoded in African American myth and song since the days of slavery. These varied essays, steeped in a kind of history rarely written about, explore the language of racial misrecognition (a.k.a. “passing“), the subjectivity of black writers in the unblack Pacific northwest, the failure of urban renewal, black and Asian comedy as a counterweight to official multiculturalism, the poetics of hip hop turntablism, and the impact of the Obama phenomenon on the way we speak about race itself. Compton marks the passing of old modes of antiracism and multiculturalism, and points toward what may or may not be a “post-racial” future, but will without doubt be a brave new world of cultural perception.

Written with the same poetic perceptiveness as cultural theorists Rinaldo Walcott and Dionne Brand, After Canaan is a brilliant and thoughtful collection of essays that ought to be required reading for all.

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BBC’s Emma Dabiri says her first time in Brixton was like discovering a black utopia

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-11-19 01:14Z by Steven

BBC’s Emma Dabiri says her first time in Brixton was like discovering a black utopia

London Evening Standard
2016-11-17

Ellen E. Jones


BBC presenter Emma Dabiri in Brixton Matt Writtle

She’s a SOAS fellow and former model, and now Emma Dabiri is fronting a new BBC show as part of the broadcaster’s Black and British season. She talks race, immigration and the politics of hair

There are many ways of being black and British. More than two million at the last count. Some of these are being celebrated, explored or simply presented this month as part of the BBC’s Black and British season. Programming strands include history, music, football and family life, all of which come together nicely in Back in Time for Brixton, which begins on Monday.

This spin-off from the hugely enjoyable social history series Back in Time For Dinner follows the Irwin family from Dagenham as they go on a time-travelling adventure through  50 years of black British life, recreating interiors, hobbies, talking points and hairdos as they go.

Giles Coren is reprising his presenting role but this time specialist expertise is provided by Emma Dabiri. She is a SOAS fellow in African Studies, a broadcaster and occasional model (her Twitter handle is @thediasporadiva), so there’s plenty to talk about when we meet in the Ritzy cinema’s café, a short walk from Brixton Tube station.

“I think sometimes, when there are attempts at diversity, it’s like, ‘Oh, we’ll just pop a black person in there and that’s diversity’,” she says of the need for the BBC’s season. “But here the emphasis is actually on black stories and black people. Representing all those different versions of blackness is really important, especially at this moment when the issue of British identity is such as it is.”

Dabiri’s own story serves as a typically atypical example. Her mother was born to white Irish parents in Trinidad, where Dabiri’s maternal grandfather worked as a civil engineer. Her father was born to black Nigerian parents in Ireland before moving back to Nigeria, and Dabiri herself was raised in her paternal grandparents’ house in Atlanta, Georgia, before returning to Dublin aged five. In summary? “So my mum was Irish but she’s Trinidadian, and my dad’s Nigerian but he’s Irish,” she laughs.

Although Dabiri, 37, has lived in Hackney since 2000, Brixton retains a special place in her imagination. The first time she ever set foot in London was as a child, when her mother brought her to Brixton to have her hair styled: “In comparison with Ireland at the time it seemed like this black utopia.”…

Read the entire article here

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