Myth of race still embedded in scientific research, scholar says

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2017-11-21 04:08Z by Steven

Myth of race still embedded in scientific research, scholar says

Cornell Chronicle
2017-11-20

Susan Kelley
Telephone: 607-255-9737


Dorothy Roberts, professor of law, Africana studies and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, speaks Nov. 15 in Klarman Hall.
Chris Kitchen/University Photography

The concept of “race” – the idea that humans are naturally divided into biologically distinct groups – has been definitively proven false. But the 21st century has seen a disturbing increase in scientists inaccurately presenting race as the reason for racial inequality, says an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and law.

“Social scientists absolutely should engage with this rise of racial science to work on research designs that account for structural racism and state violence and that confront the racial politics of science … and unabashedly put racial justice at the center,” said Dorothy Roberts Nov. 15.

Roberts, a professor of professor of law, Africana studies and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke on “Racism and the New Racial Science” at the 2017 Institute for the Social Sciences’ Annual Lecture in Klarman Hall.

There has been a long legacy of scientists presenting the concept of biological race as an explanation for racial inequality, Roberts said. European typologists created the idea of race in the 17th century to support slavery, colonialism and the conquest of people whom they defined as separate and inferior, Roberts said…

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My mother spent her life passing as white. Discovering her secret changed my view of race — and myself.

Posted in Articles, Biography, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-11-21 03:34Z by Steven

My mother spent her life passing as white. Discovering her secret changed my view of race — and myself.

The Washington Post
2017-11-20

Gail Lukasik


The author’s mother, Alvera Fredric, was born into a black family in New Orleans but spent her life passing as white. (Family photo)

I’d never seen my mother so afraid.

“Promise me,” she pleaded, “you won’t tell anyone until after I die. How will I hold my head up with my friends?”

For two years, I’d waited for the right moment to confront my mother with the shocking discovery I made in 1995 while scrolling through the 1900 Louisiana census records. In the records, my mother’s father, Azemar Frederic of New Orleans, and his entire family were designated black.

The discovery had left me reeling, confused and in need of answers. My sense of white identity had been shattered.

My mother’s visit to my home in Illinois seemed like the right moment. This was not a conversation I wanted to have on the phone.

But my mother’s fearful plea for secrecy only added to my confusion about my racial identity. As did her birth certificate that I obtained from the state of Louisiana, which listed her race as “col” (colored), and a 1940 Louisiana census record, which listed my mother, Alvera Frederic, as Neg/Negro, working in a tea shop in New Orleans. Four years later, she moved north and married my white father…

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Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, Law, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2017-11-20 04:52Z by Steven

Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination

New York University Press
2018-08-03
224 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781479830329

Tanya Katerí Hernández, Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law
Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York

Narratives of mixed-race people bringing claims of racial discrimination in court, illuminating traditional understandings of civil rights law

As the mixed-race population in the United States grows, public fascination with multiracial identity has promoted the belief that racial mixture will destroy racism. However, multiracial people still face discrimination. Many legal scholars hold that this is distinct from the discrimination faced by people of other races, and traditional civil rights laws built on a strict black/white binary need to be reformed to account for cases of discrimination against those identifying as mixed-race.

In Multiracials and Civil Rights, Tanya Katerí Hernández debunks this idea, and draws on a plethora of court cases to demonstrate that multiracials face the same types of discrimination as other racial groups. Hernández argues that multiracial people are primarily targeted for discrimination due to their non-whiteness, and shows how the cases highlight the need to support the existing legal structures instead of a new understanding of civil rights law.

Coming at a time when explicit racism is resurfacing, Hernández’s look at multiracial discrimination cases is essential for fortifying the focus of civil rights law on racial privilege and the lingering legacy of bias against non-whites, and has much to teach us about how to move towards a more egalitarian society.

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Real American: A Memoir

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2017-11-20 02:50Z by Steven

Real American: A Memoir

Henry Holt and Co.
2017-10-03
288 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781250137746

Julie Lythcott-Haims

A fearless debut memoir in which beloved and bestselling How to Raise an Adult author Julie Lythcott-Haims pulls no punches in her recollections of growing up a biracial black woman in America.

Bringing a poetic sensibility to her prose to stunning effect, Lythcott-Haims briskly and stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of a marriage between an African-American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called “micro” aggressions in addition to blunt force insults can puncture a person’s inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Lythcott-Haims’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered “the other.”

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Lucy Parsons bio reveals new facts about the birth, ethnicity of the ‘Goddess of Anarchy’

Posted in Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States, Women on 2017-11-20 01:58Z by Steven

Lucy Parsons bio reveals new facts about the birth, ethnicity of the ‘Goddess of Anarchy’

The Chicago Tribune
2017-11-15

Mark Jacob, Metro Editor


A new biography of Lucy Parsons reveals new facts about her life. Photo courtesy of the Lucy Parsons Project/Justice Design (/ LUCY PARSONS PROJECT)

Lucy Parsons, an anarchist firebrand who was one of the most enigmatic Chicagoans ever, might fit in better today than she did during her own time a century ago.

She was a black woman married to a white man. Scandalous then, no big thing now…

She favored an eight-hour workday and a social safety net, positions that made her a radical in the late 1800s but would qualify her for Congress today.

And Parsons had another trait of today’s politicians: She was a merchant of misinformation.

Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical” is an important new biography by University of Texas historian Jacqueline Jones that fact-checks Parsons’ made-up details about her own background, correcting errors existing in virtually every biographical sketch ever written about this amazing woman…

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Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Justice, United States, Women on 2017-11-20 01:48Z by Steven

Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical

Basic Books
2017-12-05
480 pages
6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
Hardcover ISBN 13: 9780201510355
eBook ISBN 13: 9780201626636

Jacqueline Jones, Mastin Gentry White Professor of Southern History
University of Texas, Austin

From a prize-winning historian, a new portrait of an extraordinary activist and the turbulent age in which she lived

Goddess of Anarchy recounts the formidable life of the militant writer, orator, and agitator Lucy Parsons. Born to an enslaved woman in Virginia in 1851 and raised in Texas-where she met her husband, the Haymarket “martyr” Albert Parsons-Lucy was a fearless advocate of First Amendment rights, a champion of the working classes, and one of the most prominent figures of African descent of her era. And yet, her life was riddled with contradictions-she advocated violence without apology, concocted a Hispanic-Indian identity for herself, and ignored the plight of African Americans.

Drawing on a wealth of new sources, Jacqueline Jones presents not only the exceptional life of the famous American-born anarchist but also an authoritative account of her times-from slavery through the Great Depression.

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‘I tried to be what white people valued’ — a searing memoir of growing up biracial

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-11-20 01:30Z by Steven

‘I tried to be what white people valued’ — a searing memoir of growing up biracial

The Chicago Tribune
2017-11-10

Heidi Stevens, Contact Reporter


Julie Lythcott-Haims’Real American: A Memoir” tells her story of growing up with an African-American father and a white British mother in the 1970s and early ’80s in New York, Wisconsin and Virginia. (Julie Lythcott-Haims photo by Kristina Vetter)

Julie Lythcott-Haims has written a deeply affecting memoir about growing up biracial.

It’s poetic and candid, and it dives into discussions we really ought to be having about race in America — past, present and future.

Real American: A Memoir” (Henry Holt) tells Lythcott-Haims’ story of growing up with an African-American father and a white British mother in the 1970s and early ’80s in New York, Wisconsin and Virginia. It’s a series of essays that read like individual poems — some brief, some ballads — that work together to narrate her life.

One goes like this:…

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“What are you?”: Embracing a mixed-roots identity

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-11-20 01:18Z by Steven

“What are you?”: Embracing a mixed-roots identity

The Pitt News
2017-11-12

Erica Brandbergh, Columnist


(Illustration by Raka Sarkar | Senior Staff Illustrator)

I once asked my dad, out of curiosity, whether he put Caucasian, Asian or both on surveys that ask about his race. He paused for a bit and said he didn’t know. I asked if he identified with one more than the other, and he was unsure of that as well.

My dad is half-Japanese. He was born on an American Army base in Okinawa and came to the United States at a young age with my grandparents and his siblings. His mom — who we call “Oba” — is from southwestern Japan. My Oba never taught my father Japanese, so I never learned much beyond the basics that she taught me when she was my kindergarten teacher.

Despite my diminished interaction with my non-white heritage, it was clear from my experiences growing up as someone with only one-quarter Asian ancestry that white society at large didn’t consider me fully one of its own. That reality is even more pronounced for people who are half non-white, like my father, or even more…

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One in Twelve

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-11-18 01:54Z by Steven

One in Twelve

Mary Frances Berry
2014-12-25

Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History
University of Pennsylvania

When I read in the New Orleans Times Picayune that about 12 percent of Louisiana residents who identify themselves as white have at least 1 percent African ancestry, or one African ancestor within the last 11 generations, I thought of Louis Antoine Snaer and his family. Louis Antoine was one of many New Orleans free men of color who joined the Union army in the Louisiana Native Guards, but the only one to remain an officer after the Union capture of New Orleans in 1862. The others were ejected when Union commanders decided African Americans as a race were “naturally” unfit for leadership, and could not expect white officers to respect them. But Snaer did not identify himself. He passed as “white” in silence and stayed in the service. He became a Union military hero who led troops at the Battle of Port Hudson, and retired as a decorated officer.

Snaer was later elected to political office as a “Negro” and then like other Colored Creoles moved his family to northern California after Plessy v Ferguson (1896) leaving behind their identities and their histories as Colored Creoles, and becoming white for all intents and purposes…

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Review: Identity in Passing: RACE-ING and E-RACE-ING in American and African American History

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-11-18 01:19Z by Steven

Review: Identity in Passing: RACE-ING and E-RACE-ING in American and African American History

The Journal of African American History
Volume 101, No. 3, Summer 2016
pages 344-355
DOI: 10.5323/jafriamerhist.101.3.0344

Thomas J. Davis, Professor of History
Arizona State University, Tempe

Passing is a long-standing theme in American and African American history.1 Indeed, because identity has been an ever-present element in history, passing has been an ever-present element in history generally. Distinguishing between and among groups and categorizing individual members has again and again prompted questions about who is who, about what exactly distinguishes one from another, and about who belongs where. But passing is about more than contested and oft-disputed categories. When it reaches to lived-experience, passing is about self and society, about individual image and imagining, about self-image and self-imagining, about social image and social change. Passing is about the scope, source, substance, and control of individual identity.

Despite its centrality, identity appears in historical narratives typically as a given, or at least as taken for granted. Except for persons cast as “others,” group labels conveniently cover flawed lines of distinction. Our focus concentrates on identity only when it becomes contested, when uncertainty or ambiguity raise doubts; when identity becomes an issue of power, when such questions as “who…

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