Dr. Rebecca King O’Riain gives opening keynote address

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive on 2014-12-18 21:37Z by Steven

Dr. Rebecca King O’Riain gives opening keynote address

Maynooth University
Maynooth University Department of Sociology
Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland
2014-11-27

Dr. Rebecca King-O’Riain gave the opening keynote address on “mixed race, transconnectivity and the global imagination” at the critical mixed race studies conference on 13 November, 2014 at DePaul, University on Chicago, USA.

Her talk examined two key questions – ‘Is there such a thing as Global Mixed Race? If so, what is it, where did it come from and is it a good thing?’. Below is the abstract for her talk.

If race gains meaning through the process of racialization, this meaning only makes sense within very specific local contexts entwined with complex local histories, which in turn shape local political, economic and social arrangements. Mixed-race studies started primarily in the United States and has been deeply shaped by the politics of race in that context, with strong racial boundaries and the legacy of the ‘one drop rule’. How then do we make sense of mixed race as a global phenomenon across the globe without losing the specificity of local context from which it derives its meaning?

Drawing on our recent edited volume Global Mixed Race, I use empirical research from Kazakhstan, Okinawa, Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico, as well as the UK, Germany, and Canada, to ask what happens when we take mixed race on the road? Because as Mahtani (2014) keenly observes, it is not just about asking ‘what are you?’ but also about asking ‘where (in the world) are you?’…

Read the entire article here.

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When White People See Themselves With Black Skin, Something Interesting Happens

Posted in Articles, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2014-12-18 00:45Z by Steven

When White People See Themselves With Black Skin, Something Interesting Happens

The Huffington Post
2014-12-15

Anna Almendrala, Healthy Living Editor

Macrina Cooper-White, Associate Science Editor

The antidote to racism partly lies in empathy, or the willingness to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,” as the saying goes. But scientists from universities across Europe are taking the maxim one step further, providing people an opportunity to experience life in someone else’s skin by experimenting with virtual reality as a means of helping people shed racial stereotypes.

Researchers from London and Barcelona teamed up to discuss their recent experiments on virtual reality and race in an opinion piece for the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, published Dec. 15. The researchers found that if people got the chance to physically experience their own body with different skin colors (or ages and sexes), their unconscious biases against other racial groups could be diminished.

This isn’t merely a question of changing mentality or perception. The experience of “living” in different skin triggers sensory signals in the brain that allow it to expand its understanding of what a body can look like. This can “cause people to change their attitudes about others,” wrote the study’s co-researcher, Professor Mel Slater, a part-time professor of virtual environments at the University College London and research professor at the University of Barcelona…

Read the entire article here.

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How can you identify as Irish on the census if you are not white?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Europe, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-12-05 15:30Z by Steven

How can you identify as Irish on the census if you are not white?

Manchester Policy Blogs: Ethnicity
Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity
University of Manchester, United Kingdom
2014-11-27

Lindsey Garratt, Research Associate

The census allows people to identify as Irish only if they are also white. What about the growing number of ethnic minority Irish?, asks Lindsey Garratt.

When I moved to the UK from the Republic of Ireland in August 2012, I filled in an application to privately rent a house. The form contained a question on ethnicity.

As I ticked the ‘white Irish’ box, it was the first time I had identified myself as anything other than part of the majority group of a country. Now outside the dominant category and the anonymity this sometimes provides, a fleeting nervousness passed through me – what if identifying myself as Irish went against securing the house?

This thought came and went in an instant, but what hasn’t left me was my second reaction – what category would I have checked if I wasn’t ‘white’, what if I was ‘black’ and Irish, what box could I tick then?…

…Uncoupling ‘white’ from Irish in the census would allow at least three important groups to be recognised. Firstly, those of two migrant origin parents born in Ireland, or those who themselves moved to Ireland and subsequently to the UK. Secondly, those of mixed parentage born in Ireland, who have moved to the UK. Lastly, those of mixed parentage, born in the UK…

Read the entire article here.

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Section of Creative Media lecturer to speak at Global Mixed Race conference in Chicago

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, United States on 2014-11-15 17:10Z by Steven

Section of Creative Media lecturer to speak at Global Mixed Race conference in Chicago

Dundalk Institute of Technology
Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland
2014-11-10

Kathryn Moley
Communications Office

Dundalk Institute of Technology is incredibly proud to announce that Joint Programme Director of Video and Film in the Institute, Zélie Asava, is travelling to Chicago, to participate in a ‘Global Mixed Race’ conference.

The conference will be held at DePaul University’s Lincoln Park Campus and will focus on critical mixed race studies with discussions by scholars, filmmakers and performers at this international conference across November 13th-15th. The DkIT lecturer will join nearly two hundred presenters from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan and Australia who will participate in 45 panels during this third biennial conference, which was founded in 2010…

Read the entire article here.

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On The Cusp of Dual Identities #Dispatch: Afropean

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Autobiography, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, United Kingdom on 2014-11-11 15:53Z by Steven

On The Cusp of Dual Identities #Dispatch: Afropean

Everywhere All The Time
2014-11-10

Bani Amor

Johny Pitts is a writer, photographer, and broadcast journalist interested in issues of Afro-European identity. He won a Decibel Penguin Prize for a short story included in the ‘The Map of Me'; a Penguin books anthology about mixed-race identity. He recently collaborated with author Caryl Phillips on a photographic essay for the BBC and Arts Council England dealing with London and immigration, and curates the online journal Afropean.com, for which he received the 2013 ENAR foundation (European Network Against Racism) award for a contribution to a racism free Europe. He currently hosts a youth travel show for the BBC and recently finished the first draft of a travel narrative about a five month trip through ‘Black Europe’, due to be released in 2015.

Bani Amor: Tell us about yourself. How would you describe your work and the impetus behind it?

John: Well, I hold American and British passports, I was raised between London and Sheffield, in the UK. My Father is black, my mother is white, and I was born on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius, so even my star sign dual! So I identify with W.E.B DuBois’ double consciousness stuff. I feel as though I kind of grew up in that liminal terrain between cultures, races and spaces, and I suppose my work is all about trying to find some kind of coherence in that liminal space. Instead of seeing myself as half-this or mixed-that, I try to solidify the cultural ground I walk on as something whole. And that is where this term ‘Afropean’ comes in.

It is a platform to engage with-and acknowledge the duality of- my influences, whilst bringing them together as something new. I didn’t create the term Afropean, so in a way I’m working off the backs of a Generation X who came of age in the 90’s. People like Neneh Cherry, Zap Mama, Stephen Simmonds, Les Nubians… artists and musicians who brought forth new aesthetics that were a mix of African and European influences. The word was being used, but it hadn’t really entered the popular lexicon, so I snapped up afropean.com and tried to create a community around that. See if there was a way for Afro-Europeans to get a sense of themselves in the same way I feel African Americans did…

Read the entire interview here.

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‘The abuse we suffered due to our skin colour is being airbrushed from Irish history’

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Religion, Social Work, Videos on 2014-11-07 03:19Z by Steven

‘The abuse we suffered due to our skin colour is being airbrushed from Irish history’

TheJournal.ie
Dublin, Ireland
2014-10-22

Nicky Ryan, Staff Reporter


Members of Mixed Race Irish before the committee today. Source: Oireachtas.ie

Mixed Race Irish is asking for the Government to recognise the abuse they suffered in State-run institutions.

IN A EMOTIONAL appearance before an Oireachtas committee, mixed race survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland have called on the Government to recognise the suffering they endured.

The group, Mixed Race Irish, believe the alleged racist abuse they experienced in these institutions is being “airbrushed from Irish history”. They say that few, if any, records exist of mixed race Irish in any State institutions.

“Our research suggests this racism was endemic throughout all the institutions attended by our community,” co-founder Rosemary Adaser told the Justice Committee.

“The nuns showed us films of missionaries going to tame the ‘savages’, and we were told, ‘look at that, they are savages, that’s what you are’,” she said.

Co-founder Carole Brennan said that parish priests “would single out mixed race children and abuse them.”

“We believe we were treated differently, resulting in inequality, in these systems due to one simple fact – the colour of our skin,” she said…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Race Irish group seek redress amid claims of racist abuse in industrial schools

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Work on 2014-10-22 21:44Z by Steven

Mixed Race Irish group seek redress amid claims of racist abuse in industrial schools

The Irish Examiner
Dublin, Ireland
2014-10-22

Noel Baker, Senior Reporter

Mixed Race Irish group seek redress amid claims of racist abuse in industrial schools

Mixed-race Irish who spent time in industrial schools will today claim they faced physical, emotional, and sexual abuse there because of the colour of their skin.

The Mixed-Race Irish group has 71 members, many of whom now live outside Ireland. Representatives of the group will appear before the Oireachtas Justice Committee today as part of a campaign aimed at official recognition of their experiences and access to redress.

Founder members Evon Brennan, Rosemary C Adaser, and Carole Brennan are set to address the committee and are expected to outline how there has been a failure to acknowledge the historical and ongoing suffering of mixed-race Irish children placed in State institutions throughout Ireland between the 1940s and the 1980s.

They claim mixed-race children who spent time in the industrial school system have had their lives blighted as a result, from poor adoption and educational opportunities, reduced job opportunities due to institutional racism, and memories of neglect and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse because of their skin colour.

The group say records relating to their care are not readily available as the Irish Census did not begin to record ethnicity until 1996.

In all, the group believes as many as 150 mixed-race children were placed in State industrial schools between 1940 and 1980, including in St Patrick’s in Kilkenny, on the Navan Road in Dublin, and in Letterfrack in Galway

Read the entire article here.

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Black and Belgian: Navigating Multiracial Identities in Ghent, Belguim

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-10-05 20:03Z by Steven

Black and Belgian: Navigating Multiracial Identities in Ghent, Belguim

Afropean: Adventures in Afro Europe
2014-10-01

Walter Thompson-Hernandez

Introduction

What does it mean to be Black and multiracial in Belgium? How does sub-Saharan African culture and experiences impact the lives of multiracial people or Afropeans in Belgium? How influential is the U.S. Black experience in the formation of an Afropean identity rooted in Belgian and African cultures? These were some of the questions that I pondered, seven weeks ago, at the outset of this project – eight weeks later, I am still grappling with them. This past summer, I arrived in Ghent, Belgium – a city with a population of 100,000 people, located forty-five miles northwest of Brussels – with hopes of understanding and delving into the multiracial experience of five people with parents from a sub-Saharan African country and the Flanders region in Belgium. Through interviews, observational data, photography, and other methods, I compiled valuable information regarding their stories.

Motives

I was drawn to Belgium for various reasons. As the son of an African American father and a first generation immigrant mother from Mexico, I have always been intrigued by the ways in which immigrant-origin populations impact the racial and social fabric of receiving sites. In attempting to construct my own multiethnic and multilingual identity, I have navigated, and often struggled, to understand my role in my family and community, and the subsequent reactions of my relatives – on both sides of the border, on both sides of my family tree. In Belgium, I found similar experiences with people who had at least one parent from an African country. The feelings of marginalization that I came across were all too familiar: ‘People didn’t know how to treat me’ and ‘I felt like I didn’t belong in either Belgium or Africa’ were some of the feelings that were expressed. Often, as I learned, my respondent’s relatives were faced with the challenges of conceptualizing both an African heritage and a Belgian identity. For many of these relatives, as I was told, the idea of a Belgian identity was already complicated by the French-Dutch language divide manifested in the Wallonia and Flanders regions in Belgium. ‘Identity in Belgium is already complicated,’ one person told me. ‘Are we French speaking or are we Dutch speaking? You add race and national origin to that and it really makes things interesting.’ As opposed to many societies around the world, many regions in Belgium, exercise – amidst contentious debate – a French and Dutch multilingual reality that, often, exacerbates identity formation for people of multiracial backgrounds, so that not only does an Afropean, in the spirit of W.E.B. Dubois, have to navigate a “double consciousness” of being European and African, but also split identities pertaining to language.

Secondly, in the age of European “Super Diversity” – a term coined by social scientists to describe the high rates of immigrant inflows to European nations – I was curious about the ways in which second generation children (the children of first-generation immigrants) were constructing their identities in the context of shifting racial and demographic landscapes. In the United States, interracial mixing is, often, romanticized and harmonized in the framework of multicultural ideas dating back to the 1970s. While once seen as a social and racial aberration, evidenced by anti-miscegenation laws and eugenics, multiracial children and families today have in many regions in the U.S. become a normative aspect of society. In Belgium, however, I learned of tacit and explicit “rules and regulations” for interracial mixing…

Read the entire article here.

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Afro-Nordic Landscapes: Equality and Race in Northern Europe

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Europe, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-10-05 17:56Z by Steven

Afro-Nordic Landscapes: Equality and Race in Northern Europe

Routledge
2014-04-02
264 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-415-89743-3

Edited by:

Michael McEachrane

Foreword by:

Paul Gilroy, Professor of American and English Literature
King’s College, London

Afro-Nordic Landscapes: Equality and Race in Northern Europe challenges a view of Nordic societies as homogenously white, and as human rights champions that are so progressive that even the concept of race is deemed irrelevant to their societies. The book places African Diasporas, race and legacies of imperialism squarely in a Nordic context. How has a nation as peripheral as Iceland been shaped by an identity of being white? How do Black Norwegians challenge racially conscribed views of Norwegian nationhood? What does the history of jazz in Denmark say about the relation between its national identity and race? What is it like to be a mixed-race black Swedish woman? How have African Diasporans in Finland navigated issues of race and belonging? And what does the widespread denial of everyday racism in Nordic societies mean to Afro-Nordics?

Contents

  • Foreword Paul Gilroy
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction Michael McEachrane
  • Part I: The Nation
    • 1. Imagining Blackness at the Margins: Race and Difference in Iceland Kristín Loftsdóttir
    • 2. “Struggling to Be Recognized as Belonging to the Fauna of Norway”: On Being Black Norwegian Women madeleine kennedy-macfoy
    • 3. The Midnight Sun Never Sets: An Email Conversation About Jazz, Race and National Identity in Denmark, Norway and Sweden Cecil Brown, Anne Dvinge, Petter Frost Fadnes, Johan Fornäs, Ole Izard Høyer, Marilyn Mazur, Michael McEachrane and John Tchicai
  • Part II: Racism
    • 4. There’s a White Elephant in the Room: Equality and Race in (Northern) Europe Michael McEachrane
    • 5. Racism Is No Joke: A Swedish Minister and a Hottentot Venus Cake—An Email Conversation Beth Maina Ahlberg, Claudette Carr, Madubuko Diakité, Fatima El-Tayeb, Tobias Hübinette, Momodou Jallow, Victoria Kawesa, Michael McEachrane, Utz McKnight, Anders Neergaard, Shailja Patel, Kitimbwa Sabuni and Minna Salami
    • 6. Being and Becoming Mixed Race, Black, Swedish and a Nomadic Subject Anna Adeniji
    • 7. Bertrand Besigye’s Civilization Critique: An Aesthetics of Blackness in Norway Helena Karlsson
    • 8. Two Poems by Bertrand Besigye: (i) How A Black African Orders Black Coffee (To Barack Hussein Obama); (ii) You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down. Or Black Hail Over All of West Side (Translated by John Irons) Bertrand Besigye
  • Part III: Diaspora
    • 9. Talking Back: Voices from the African Diaspora in Finland Anna Rastas
    • 10. Den Sorte: Nella Larsen and Denmark Martyn Bone
    • 11. A Horn of Africa in Northern Europe—An Email Conversation Abdalla Duh, Mohamed Husein Gaas, Abdalla Gasimelseed, Amel Gorani, Nauja Kleist, Anne Kubai, Michael McEachrane, Saifalyazal Omar, Tsegaye Tegenu and Marja Tiilikainen
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Black Legacies: Race and the European Middle Ages

Posted in Books, Europe, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2014-09-28 20:18Z by Steven

Black Legacies: Race and the European Middle Ages

University Press of Florida
2014-09-02
192 pages
6×9
Cloth ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-6007-1

Lynn T. Ramey, Associate Professor of French
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

Black Legacies looks at color-based prejudice in the medieval and modern texts in order to reveal key similarities. Bringing far-removed time periods into startling conversation, this book argues that certain attitudes and practices present in Europe’s Middle Ages were foundational in the western concept of race.

Using historical, literary, and artistic sources, Lynn Ramey show that twelfth- and thirteenth-century discourse was preoccupied with skin color and the coding of black as “evil” and white as “good.” Ramey demonstrates that fears of miscegenation show up in all medieval European societies.  She pinpoints these same ideas in the rhetoric of later centuries. Mapmakers and travel writers of the colonial era used medieval lore of “monstrous peoples” to question the humanity of indigenous New World populations, and how medieval arguments about humanness were employed to justify the slave trade. Ramey even analyzes how race is portrayed in films set in medieval Europe, revealing an enduring fascination with the Middle Ages as a touchstone for processing and coping with racial conflict in the West today.

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