Marisa Franco

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-03 21:59Z by Steven

Marisa Franco

The Graduate School
University of Maryland

“My graduate degree is shaping my life and career in a number of ways. The research skills I have gained at the University of Maryland have prepared me for a career in research in academia. An International Graduate Research Fellowship, in addition, gave me the opportunity to do research abroad, in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and to develop skills in cross cultural research and its communication.”

Marisa Franco earned her PhD in counseling psychology in May 2015. She holds an MS in psychology from UMD, and a BS in applied psychology from New York University, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Franco’s research focuses on “racial identity invalidation,” with particular emphasis on its psychological impact on Black/White mixed-race individuals.

For her innovative work, Franco received a number of Graduate School awards, including the ALL S.T.A.R award, granted to 16 campus graduate students with outstanding records as both researchers and graduate assistants, as well as the International Graduate Research Fellowship. Franco is the only student who has been awarded both a Flagship Fellowship, granted to ten outstanding incoming graduate students, and a McNair Graduate Fellowship, granted to five outstanding incoming graduate students who are alumni of Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Programs.

Franco also has received numerous external awards for her research, including the Michael Sullivan Diversity Award and the Association of Black Psychologists Graduate Research Award.

Franco hopes to become a professor in psychology.

Learn more about her in the interview below:…

Read the entire interview here.

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Chris Harper Mercer: details emerge of Oregon college killer

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-03 21:34Z by Steven

Chris Harper Mercer: details emerge of Oregon college killer

The Guardian

Ben Jacobs and Nicky Woolf

Chris Harper Mercer, the alleged gunman in the Oregon shootings. He had captioned this photo: ‘Me, holding a rifle.’ Photograph: Myspace

Umpqua college shooter, who was born in England according to media reports, had a varied online presence that indicated support for the IRA

The Umpqua shooter has been named as Chris Harper Mercer, a 26-year-old who lived with his mother at an apartment only a few miles from the college.

American media reports said he was born in England and moved to the US at a young age: his stepsister, Carmen Nesnick, told CBS Los Angeles that he travelled to the US as a young boy. Other accounts report that Nesnick specified that Harper-Mercer was born in England.

Harper-Mercer was the son of Ian Mercer and Laurel Margaret Harper. Mercer and Harper filed for divorce on 6 June 2006. He appears to have left an online footprint that hints at interest in mass shootings as well as apparent support for the IRA

…He described himself on the site as a 26-year-old, mixed-race “man looking for a woman”. He said he was “not religious, but spiritual”, and was a “teetotaler” living with his parents and a conservative Republican. Socially, he said, he was “shy at first” and “better in small groups”. He described himself as “always dieting” and looking for “the yin to my yang”…

Read the entire article here.

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Jesse Williams: ‘Celebrity culture? I am not going to participate in that’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-03 03:15Z by Steven

Jesse Williams: ‘Celebrity culture? I am not going to participate in that’

The Guardian

Jana Kasperkevic

The Grey’s Anatomy star is back on screen as TV pin-up Jackson Avery, but for the former teacher it’s his civil rights work he wants people to talk about

There is a heatwave making its way through Los Angeles. It’s the second week of September yet temperatures remain at 32C (89F). At 8am, most of the city is still asleep or just waking up, while surfers at Venice Beach have already spent hours searching for the perfect wave. About 5,000 of the city’s residents will wake up to no power as demand on the power grid has triggered blackouts.

On South La Brea Avenue, the street seems deserted except for Jesse Williams, who has seemingly appeared out of nowhere – with no car in sight or handlers in view as he casually strolls up the street. It’s a surprisingly low-key entrance into the world of a man millions of viewers watched when Grey’s Anatomy returned to ABC for its 12th season. On average, about 8.22 million viewers tuned in every Thursday night during its 11th season.

Williams plays Jackson Avery, a handsome doctor who unlike some of his other male colleagues – McSteamy and McDreamy – has been able to escape death thus far. Yet, even if he were killed off, Williams has a back-up plan: being a civil rights attorney. It was that or being a football player, says Williams, recalling his childhood aspirations.

“I didn’t quite fill out,” he quips before talking about his aspirations in law: “That was the plan. It still very well could be the plan. I could still get around to taking the bar. It’s what I love and what I care about. That’s why I wake up.”

Even now as he spends most of his time in Los Angeles filming Grey’s Anatomy, Williams remains involved with the social justice movement. When he is not playing a doctor at Seattle Grace hospital, Williams serves on the board of directors of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization, and he works as one of the executive producers of Question Bridge, a trans-media art project/exhibit that focused on the experience of black men in the US…

..Being biracial – his mom is white and his dad is black – Williams has been able to experience both sides of the spectrum. “I have access to rooms and information. I am white and I am also black. I am invisible man in a lot of these scenarios. I know how white people talk about black people. I know how black people talk about white folks. I know I am there and everyone speaks honestly around me,” he says.

“I remember a mom of a friend of mine in the suburbs made some comment about a black person and – I had to be 12, about 60 pounds – and I said something and she said: ‘Oh no, not you. You are not black. You are great.’ It was real. That fucking happened. And she meant it. And she meant it sincerely and sweetly. She was paying me a compliment.”

It’s hard to pay Williams a compliment. As we talk he actively avoids taking credit, instead bringing up everyone else who works on the projects he is involved in. He praises the Black Lives Matter organizers, “particularly the incredible women running the organization”; the Advancement Project employees; the new generation of social justice activists…

Read the entire article here.

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Jesse Williams Discusses Biracial Privileges and Social Justice: ‘Black Americans Are Not Angry. They Are Hurting’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-03 02:58Z by Steven

Jesse Williams Discusses Biracial Privileges and Social Justice: ‘Black Americans Are Not Angry. They Are Hurting’

The Root

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele

It has always been a pet peeve of mine when biracial people seem to ignore their white side and act as if the world perceives them as black through and through. I always felt that in their determination to identify solely and sternly as black, they were missing out on an opportunity to share some of the insight they may have about how white people feel and think about race relations. That they might be missing out on an opportunity to act as a conduit between both racial groups.

In an interview with The Guardian, Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams does a fantastic job of articulating the privileges and insights that being biracial affords him, and how he uses that knowledge to inform his work as an activist in working-class black communities. Williams’ mom is white, and his dad is black.

“I have access to rooms and information. I am white and I am also black. I am invisible man in a lot of these scenarios,” Williams said, referring to the Ralph Ellison classic. “I know how white people talk about black people. I know how black people talk about white folks. I know I am there and everyone speaks honestly around me.”…

Read the entire article here.

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‘One Drop of Love’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Census/Demographics, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-02 13:31Z by Steven

‘One Drop of Love’

The Sophian: The Independent Newspaper of Smith College
Northampton, Massachusetts

Eliza Going, Contributing Writer

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni performed her well-known one-woman play challenging the construct of race, “One Drop of Love,” on Sept. 18 and 19 in the Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre. In this show, she not only tells the story of her own experiences with race as a multicultural woman, but she also gives a taste of many different incidents experienced by people of varying ages, backgrounds and cultural identities through the ups and downs of their most intimate relationships.

The play is presented in two formats. In one, DiGiovanni plays a variety of different characters talking conversationally about their experience with race; in the other, she jumps through U.S. history as a census taker. A projector lights up a simple white screen with the year and race section of the corresponding census…

Tying the census into the play introduces a political component that connects the stories of racial injustice to a tangible account of the government’s inattention toward racial or cultural identity. Only in 2010 [2000] did it become possible to check more than one box on the census. “I’m glad she connected the personal and the political in this way because, to me, they’re inextricably linked, and one can’t talk about one without the other,” Elizabeth Haas ’17 said.

Read the entire review here.

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My First Event at the Schomburg – “Resisting Limitations: AfroLatinos and Radical Identity”

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Latino Studies, Live Events, United States on 2015-10-02 13:03Z by Steven

My First Event at the Schomburg – “Resisting Limitations: AfroLatinos and Radical Identity”

the colored boy

Alexander Hardy

So, I’m doing a thing at the Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture for Hispanic Heritage Month. But unlike the majority of the celebrations, lists of notable Latinos and mainstream media representations of people in and from Latin America, this will be a thoroughly Blackety Black affair.

Shoutout to melanin.

Here’s the what/why/who/when/how:

The history of America cannot be appropriately surveyed without considering the presence, influence, hardships, victories and contributions of people of African descent. Our bodies, our lives and our genius reflect and inspire greatness, yet textbooks, media depictions and cultural celebrations routinely minimize and erase our integral role in both society and art.

To commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month, AfroPanamanian writer and educator Alexander Hardy of has invited a diverse cast of AfroLatino storytellers to share stories of struggles, tragedies and progress towards/while affirming, celebrating, exploring, representing and growing to love and accept our wonderful Black and Brown selves in a world (and media environment) that studies and exploits our cultures and essence while ignoring and minimizing our presence and influence.

Resisting Limitation: AfroLatin@s and Radical Identities will showcase transformative, hilarious, tragic and insight-filled tales from powerful voices of the diaspora expressed through prose, poetry, song and art. This event aims to center and share Black and Brown narratives in a climate where such stories aren’t prominent or valued. Join us for a night of celebration, affirmation and exploration of the many iterations of AfroLatin@ identity and pride…

For more information, click here. To purchase tickets, click here.

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These are the beautiful, complex Blaxicans of Los Angeles

Posted in Articles, Arts, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-01 02:23Z by Steven

These are the beautiful, complex Blaxicans of Los Angeles


Jorge Rivas, National Affairs Correspondent

Back when Walter Thompson-Hernandez was in graduate school, his friends and family would give him blank stares as he explained what he was studying.

Finally, in an effort to make his work more accessible, he started an Instagram account dedicated to his research: @BlaxicansOfLA.

Thompson-Hernandez, who grew up in Los Angeles, identifies as Blaxican—his mother is Mexican, and his father is black.

“The term Blaxican is really is an example of the reinvention of language that exist in the U.S,” said Thompson-Hernandez, now a researcher at the University of Southern California who studies the impacts of interracial mixing between African Americans and Latinos in South Los Angeles

Read the entire article here.

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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States, Women on 2015-10-01 01:54Z by Steven

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself

Thayer and Eldridge

Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813-1897)

Edited by Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880)

Read the entire book here or here.

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Sexual Relations Between Elite White Women and Enslaved Men in the Antebellum South: A Socio-Historical Analysis

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Women on 2015-10-01 01:49Z by Steven

Sexual Relations Between Elite White Women and Enslaved Men in the Antebellum South: A Socio-Historical Analysis

Student Pulse
Volume 5, Number 8 (2013)
pages 1-3
5ISSN: 2153-5760

Jacqueline M. Allain
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

There is ample evidence of sexual relations, from rapes to what appear to be relatively symbiotic romantic partnerships, between white slave masters and black women in the Antebellum South. Much rarer were sexual relations between white women and black slave men, yet they too occurred. Using an intersectional socio-historical analysis, this paper explores the factors that contributed or may have contributed to the incidence of sexual encounters between elite white women and slave men, the power dynamics embedded in them, and their implications in terms of sexual consent. The paper demonstrates how upper-class white women who engaged in these relationships used sex as an instrument of power, simultaneously perpetuating both white supremacy and patriarchy.

According to former slave Harriet Jacobs, author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), “The slave girl is raised in an atmosphere of licentiousness and fear. The lash and the foul talk of her master and his sons are her teachers. When she is fourteen or fifteen, her owner, or his sons, or the overseer, or perhaps all of them, begin to bribe her with presents. If these fail to accomplish their purpose, she is whipped and starved into submission to their will.” Jacobs’ account of the sexual violence endured by slave women is merely one of many. Although it is impossible to know exactly how many black women were sexually assaulted under slavery, such abuse was widespread.

Not all sexual encounters between masters and female slaves would be considered rape according to most definitions of the term. Concubinage-type arrangements and even long-term romantic partnerships, perhaps most famously that of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings, were known to exist. Yet, many scholars would agree that “even presumably affectionate and long-term relationships must be reconsidered given the context of slavery” (Foster, 2011, p. 459). The enormous imbalance of gender and racial power between the two parties problematizes the notion of a truly consensual romantic relationship between a slave master and his female slave. These so-called consensual sexual partnerships can be seen, like rape, as an exercise in white patriarchal authority.

But what of sexual relations between planter-class white women and slave men?…

Read the entire article here.

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Genetic Approaches to Health Disparities

Posted in Books, Chapter, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Social Science, United States on 2015-09-29 20:41Z by Steven

Genetic Approaches to Health Disparities

Chapter in Genetics, Health and Society (Advances in Medical Sociology, Volume 16) (2014)
pages 71-93
DOI: 10.1108/S1057-629020150000016003

Catherine Bliss, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of California, San Francisco


This chapter explores the rise in genetic approaches to health disparities at the turn of the twenty-first century.


Analysis of public health policies, genome project records, ethnography of project leaders and leading genetic epidemiologists, and news coverage of international projects demonstrates how the study of health disparities and genetic causes of health simultaneously took hold just as the new field of genomics and matters of racial inequality became a global priority for biomedical science and public health.


As the U.S. federal government created policies to implement racial inclusion standards, international genome projects seized the study race, and diseases that exhibit disparities by race. Genomic leaders made health disparities research a central feature of their science. However, recent attempts to move toward analysis of gene-environment interactions in health and disease have proven insufficient in addressing sociological contributors to health disparities. In place of in-depth analyses of environmental causes, pharmacogenomics drugs, diagnostics, and inclusion in sequencing projects have become the frontline solutions to health disparities.


The chapter argues that genetic forms of medicalization and racialization have taken hold over science and public health around the world, thereby engendering a divestment from sociological approaches that do not align with the expansion of genomic science. The chapter thus contributes to critical discussions in the social and health sciences about the fundamental processes of medicalization, racialization, and geneticization in contemporary society.

Read or the purchase the chapter here.