Motherhood in Liminal Spaces: White Mothers’ Parenting Black/White Children

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Work, Women on 2016-02-09 01:54Z by Steven

Motherhood in Liminal Spaces: White Mothers’ Parenting Black/White Children

Affilia
Published online before print: 2016-01-08
DOI: 10.1177/0886109916630581

Mary Elizabeth Rauktis, Research Assistant Professor of Social Work
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Rachel A. Fusco, Associate Professor of Social Work
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Sara Goodkind, Associate Professor of Social Work
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Cynthia Bradley-King, Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Most of the extant social work research on biracial children and families has focused on the experiences of transracially adopted black or biracial children and their white parents or Afro-Caribbean/white children and their white mothers in the United Kingdom. This study adds to the body of knowledge by using focus group interviews analyzed through a feminist lens to understand the experiences of a diverse group of white women parenting their biological black/white biracial children. The findings suggest that having children locates them in a liminal space between whiteness and blackness. Many face racism from their families and communities, which they are unprepared for, given their upbringing as white Americans. Yet despite these experiences, many still practice color-blind perspective in socializing their children. Implications of these findings include the need for early intervention and support for white mothers raising biracial children as well as the need to challenge the assumption that mothers are solely responsible for the well-being and cultural and racial socialization of their children.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Episode 16: The Value of Diversity

Posted in Audio, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2016-02-07 16:08Z by Steven

Episode 16: The Value of Diversity

Inflection Point: Conversations with women changing the status quo
2015-09-24

Lauren Schiller, Host

Companies are now paying consultants to increase the diversity of their workforce, with an eye on innovation and the bottom line. But is that the only motivation businesses should be considering?

We’ll talk with Joelle Emerson, a diversity consultant, and Allyson Hobbs, an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Stanford University and the author of “A Chosen Exile. A History of Racial Passing in American Life.” Hobbs argues that what is missing from our society is a deep understanding of the lives of others. The value of diversity. That’s our Inflection Point.

Listen to the episode here.

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Permanent Exile: On Marie Vieux-Chauvet

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Women on 2016-02-07 15:52Z by Steven

Permanent Exile: On Marie Vieux-Chauvet

The Nation
2010-01-14

Madison Smartt Bell, Professor of English
Goucher College, Baltimore, Maryland


Marie Vieux-Chauvet (Anthony Phelps)

In Love, Anger, Madness, Marie Vieux-Chauvet explores the choking fear of life under “Papa Doc” Duvalier.

For the last thirty years of the twentieth century, Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s Amour, colère et folie was legendary for being lost. Published in France by Gallimard in 1968, this triptych of thematically linked novellas soon caused alarming ripples in the author’s native Haiti, where the Vieux-Chauvet family had already lost three of its members to the regime of state terror erected by François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, beginning in 1957. Warned that the book would almost certainly provoke serious reprisals, Vieux-Chauvet persuaded Gallimard to withdraw it, while she went into permanent exile in New York City, where she died in 1973 at 57. Her husband, Pierre Chauvet, made an emergency trip to Haiti, where he purchased as many copies of the book already in circulation there as he could recover–in order to destroy them. Remnants of the Gallimard edition were discreetly sold by Vieux-Chauvet’s children, in very few venues, until the stock was exhausted in 2000, and a pirated edition made a shadowy appearance in 2003. But otherwise the book was virtually impossible to find until its republication in France by Zellige in 2005.

Is the artifact worth such a weight of suffering and struggle? Whether any work of art can ever be worth even a single human life is a question that will never be settled–but this book is surely a masterpiece. Within the community of Haitian writers and writers of the Haitian diaspora it has been prized not only for its rarity but also for its great literary power. In her succinct introduction to the present edition, Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat ranks Vieux-Chauvet among a “multigenerational triad” of the greatest Haitian writers (including Jacques Roumain and Jacques Stephen Alexis) and dubs the trilogy “the cornerstone of Haitian literature.” Backed by such accolades, and now available in both French and English, Amour, colère et folie can take the central place it deserves in late-twentieth-century Haitian letters. If Duvalierism is the central political experience of the end of the Haitian twentieth century, the psychology of those oppressed by it has never been more compellingly rendered than here.

The three narratives that compose this volume have no continuity of plot from one to the next and no common characters. However, they reflect one another in tone, mood and theme sufficiently to integrate the book as a larger whole–a continuum describing the reactions of different classes of people to a generally similar experience of invasion and oppression from without their households, and a suffocating claustrophobia within. Love is the longest and most realistic narrative; Madness is more surreal and much shorter. Standing between them, Anger (which might have been translated better as “Wrath”) has the structure and feeling of Greek tragedy without echoing any particular Greek play in terms of specific characters or plot lines.

Love is set within the community of “aristocrats,” to which Vieux-Chauvet belonged: a comparatively small group of mixed European and African blood, which, since the Haitian Revolution ended in 1804, has preserved, as if in amber, the eighteenth-century French acculturation it received during the colonial period. These milat, as they are called (a term that derives from the uncomplimentary “mulatto” but in the Haitian context conveys wealth, education and social standing as much or more than pigmentation), have in reality always been a thin, fragile, creamy layer floating uneasily at the top of the vast black Haitian majority. For most of Haiti’s history, the often but not always light-skinned elite has been able to concentrate a great deal of the country’s wealth and a disproportionate share of political power; but in Love its position is felt to be threatened by the rise of a movement based on black power, which resembles nothing so much as the Duvalier regime, though Chauvet does make the faint self-protective gesture of setting the story in 1939, eighteen years before Duvalier took the presidency…

Read the entire review here.

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The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Letters, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-02-06 21:17Z by Steven

The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice

Alfred A. Knopf
2016-02-02
480 Pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0679446521
eBook ISBN: 978-1101946923

Patricia Bell-Scott, Professor of Child and Family Development and Women’s Studies
University of Georgia

Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice

A groundbreaking book—two decades in the works—that tells the story of how a brilliant writer-turned-activist, granddaughter of a mulatto slave, and the first lady of the United States, whose ancestry gave her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, forged an enduring friendship that changed each of their lives and helped to alter the course of race and racism in America.

Pauli Murray first saw Eleanor Roosevelt in 1933, at the height of the Depression, at a government-sponsored, two-hundred-acre camp for unemployed women where Murray was living, something the first lady had pushed her husband to set up in her effort to do what she could for working women and the poor. The first lady appeared one day unannounced, behind the wheel of her car, her secretary and a Secret Service agent her passengers. To Murray, then aged twenty-three, Roosevelt’s self-assurance was a symbol of women’s independence, a symbol that endured throughout Murray’s life.

Five years later, Pauli Murray, a twenty-eight-year-old aspiring writer, wrote a letter to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt protesting racial segregation in the South. The president’s staff forwarded Murray’s letter to the federal Office of Education. The first lady wrote back.

Murray’s letter was prompted by a speech the president had given at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, praising the school for its commitment to social progress. Pauli Murray had been denied admission to the Chapel Hill graduate school because of her race.

She wrote in her letter of 1938:

“Does it mean that Negro students in the South will be allowed to sit down with white students and study a problem which is fundamental and mutual to both groups? Does it mean that the University of North Carolina is ready to open its doors to Negro students . . . ? Or does it mean, that everything you said has no meaning for us as Negroes, that again we are to be set aside and passed over . . . ?”

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote to Murray:

“I have read the copy of the letter you sent me and I understand perfectly, but great changes come slowly . . . The South is changing, but don’t push too fast.”

So began a friendship between Pauli Murray (poet, intellectual rebel, principal strategist in the fight to preserve Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, cofounder of the National Organization for Women, and the first African American female Episcopal priest) and Eleanor Roosevelt (first lady of the United States, later first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and chair of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women) that would last for a quarter of a century.

Drawing on letters, journals, diaries, published and unpublished manuscripts, and interviews, Patricia Bell-Scott gives us the first close-up portrait of this evolving friendship and how it was sustained over time, what each gave to the other, and how their friendship changed the cause of American social justice.

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Yale French Studies, Number 128: Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Women on 2016-02-06 19:38Z by Steven

Yale French Studies, Number 128: Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine

Yale University Press
2016-01-05
168 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Paper ISBN: 9780300214192

Edited by:

Kaiama L. Glover, Associate Professor of French
Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, New York

Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken, Assistant Professor of Caribbean and Postcolonial Literatures in French
City College of New York

This issue considers the oeuvre of Haitian writer Marie Vieux-Chauvet (1916–1973) as a prism through which to examine individual and collective subject formation in the postcolonial French-writing Caribbean, the wider Afro-Americas, and beyond. While both Vieux-Chauvet and her corpus are situated in the violent space of mid-twentieth century Haiti, her work articulates the obstacles to claiming legitimized human existence on a global scale. The contributors to this interdisciplinary volume examine Vieux-Chauvet’s positioning within the Haitian public sphere, as well as her broader significance to understanding gendered and racialized postcolonial subjectivities in the twenty-first century.

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2015 IMPACT25 Influencer: Misty Copeland

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Women on 2016-02-04 02:58Z by Steven

2015 IMPACT25 Influencer: Misty Copeland

ESPN W
2015-12-07

Dimity McDowell Davis, Special to espnW.com


From line sketches to pencils and final color, Marvel captured the essences of our IMPACT25 nominees and turned them into super versions of themselves. Behind Marvel’s IMPACT25 heroes »

“Every time I dance, I’m trying to prove myself to myself.” —Misty Copeland

Ballerina Misty Copeland’s year was, in all aspects, a grand jeté: the powerful ballet leap in which the dancer flies high above the stage in an impressive splits pose. Before this year, Copeland had already disrupted the classical world of ballet — she was the first African American to play the lead role in “Swan Lake” — and challenged millions to rethink their definition of an athlete through her Under Armour campaign. (Tutus and tiaras deserve as much respect as shoulder pads.)

In 2015, she continued to turn heads. Her muscular body landed on the cover of Time, and months later, she landed her biggest role to date. On June 30, the American Ballet Theatre promoted her to the role of principal dancer, making her the first African-American woman in the company’s 75-year history to hold that title…

Read the entire article here.

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Dangerous Creole Liaisons: Sexuality and Nationalism in French Caribbean Discourses from 1806 to 1897

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Women on 2016-02-04 02:45Z by Steven

Dangerous Creole Liaisons: Sexuality and Nationalism in French Caribbean Discourses from 1806 to 1897

Liverpool University Press
2016-05-02
224 Pages
239 x 163mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781781383018

Jacqueline Couti, Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies
University of Kentucky

Dangerous Creole Liaisons explores a French Caribbean context to broaden discussions of sexuality, nation building, and colonialism in the Americas. Couti examines how white Creoles perceived their contributions to French nationalism through the course of the nineteenth century as they portrayed sexualized female bodies and sexual and racial difference to advance their political ideologies. Questioning their exhilarating exoticism and titillating eroticism underscores the ambiguous celebration of the Creole woman as both seductress and an object of lust. She embodies the Caribbean as a space of desire and a political site of contest that reflects colonial, slave and post-slave societies. The under-researched white Creole writers and non-Caribbean authors (such as Lafcadio Hearn) who traveled to and wrote about these islands offer an intriguing gendering and sexualization of colonial and nationalist discourses. Their use of the floating motif of the female body as the nation exposes a cultural cross-pollination, an intense dialogue of political identity between continental France and her Caribbean colonies. Couti suggests that this cross-pollination still persists. Eventually, representations of Creole women’s bodies (white and black) bring two competing conceptions of nationalism into play: a local, bounded, French nationalism against a transatlantic and more fluid nationalism that included the Antilles in a “greater France.”

Table of Contents

  • Introduction Chercher la femme: Traces of an Ever-Present Absence
  • 1. The (White) Female Creole Body: Bearer of Culture and Cultural Signifier
  • 2. Falling from Grace: Creole Gothic, Flawed Femininity, and The Collapse of Civilization Coda I (Re)writing History: Revival of the Declining Creole Nation and Transatlantic Ties
  • 3. Sexualizing and Darkening Black Female Bodies: Whose Imagined Community?
  • 4. Colonial Democracy and Fin de Siècle Martinique: The Third Republic and White Creole Dissent
  • Coda II Heritage and Legacies
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
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The Mulatta Concubine: Terror, Intimacy, Freedom, and Desire in the Black Transatlantic

Posted in Africa, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States, Women on 2016-02-03 03:32Z by Steven

The Mulatta Concubine: Terror, Intimacy, Freedom, and Desire in the Black Transatlantic

University of Georgia Press
2016-01-15
248 pages
8 b&w photos
Trim size: 6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8203-4896-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-8203-4897-1

Lisa Ze Winters, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Exploring the geographies, genealogies, and concepts of race and gender of the African diaspora produced by the Atlantic slave trade

Popular and academic representations of the free mulatta concubine repeatedly depict women of mixed black African and white racial descent as defined by their sexual attachment to white men, and thus they offer evidence of the means to and dimensions of their freedom within Atlantic slave societies. In The Mulatta Concubine, Lisa Ze Winters contends that the uniformity of these representations conceals the figure’s centrality to the practices and production of diaspora.

Beginning with a meditation on what captive black subjects may have seen and remembered when encountering free women of color living in slave ports, the book traces the echo of the free mulatta concubine across the physical and imaginative landscapes of three Atlantic sites: Gorée Island, New Orleans, and Saint Domingue (Haiti). Ze Winters mines an archive that includes a 1789 political petition by free men of color, a 1737 letter by a free black mother on behalf of her daughter, antebellum newspaper reports, travelers’ narratives, ethnographies, and Haitian Vodou iconography. Attentive to the tenuousness of freedom, Ze Winters argues that the concubine figure’s manifestation as both historical subject and African diasporic goddess indicates her centrality to understanding how free and enslaved black subjects performed gender, theorized race and freedom, and produced their own diasporic identities.

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Daughters of Interracial Couples are More Likely To Say They are Multiracial

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Religion, Social Science, United States, Women on 2016-01-28 22:55Z by Steven

Daughters of Interracial Couples are More Likely To Say They are Multiracial

TIME Magazine
2016-01-28

Carey Wallace

Study suggests it’s because they’re considered “intriguing.”

One of the fastest growing racial groups in the country isn’t a single racial group–it’s people from multiracial backgrounds, the children of interracial unions. A new study has found however, that young women are much more likely to call themselves multiracial than young men are.

Since 1967, when the Supreme Court declared state laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional in Loving vs.Virginia, the rate of interracial marriages in the United States has climbed from below one percent to 10% of all new marriages today.

And by 2050, as those numbers continue to rise, social scientists estimate that one out of every five Americans will be mixed-race.

How will this growing population choose to identify themselves? Will they embrace one parent’s background more than the other? Will they create a blend of the two? Or will they create something completely new?

To find out, Lauren Davenport, professor of political science at Stanford, sifted data from tens of thousands of incoming college freshmen with multi-racial backgrounds across the country…

Read the entire article here.

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The Role of Gender, Class, and Religion in Biracial Americans’ Racial Labeling Decisions

Posted in Articles, Economics, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Religion, Social Science, United States, Women on 2016-01-28 19:10Z by Steven

The Role of Gender, Class, and Religion in Biracial Americans’ Racial Labeling Decisions

American Sociological Review
Volume 81, Number 1, February 2016
pages 57-84
DOI: 10.1177/0003122415623286

Lauren D. Davenport, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Stanford University

Racial attachments are understood to be socially constructed and endogenous to gender, socioeconomic, and religious identities. Yet we know surprisingly little about the effect of such identities on the particular racial labels that individuals self-select. In this article, I investigate how social identities shape the racial labels chosen by biracial individuals in the United States, a rapidly growing population who have multiple labeling options. Examining national surveys of more than 37,000 respondents of Latino-white, Asian-white, and black-white parentage, I disentangle how gender, socioeconomic status, and religious identity influence racial labeling decisions. Across biracial subgroups and net of all other influences, economic affluence and Jewish identity predict whiter self-identification, whereas belonging to a religion more commonly associated with racial minorities is associated with a minority identification. Gender, however, is the single best predictor of identification, with biracial women markedly more likely than biracial men to identify as multiracial. These findings help us better understand the contextual nature of racial identification and the processes via which social identities interact with racial meanings in the United States.

Read the entire article here or here.

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