Accessing the Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations Oral History Collection through the Digital Humanities

Posted in Articles, Audio, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-25 13:55Z by Steven

Accessing the Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations Oral History Collection through the Digital Humanities

Brooklyn Historical Society Blog
Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn, New York
2015-03-23

Julia Lipkins

I’m pleased to announce that the Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations (CBBG) oral history collection is now open for research! From 2011 to 2014, a team of oral historians sponsored by BHS conducted interviews with mixed-heritage people and families in Brooklyn. CBBG narrators and interviewers explored the themes of cultural hybridity, race, ethnicity and identity formation in the United States. The complete collection of over 100 oral history interviews is available for use in the Othmer Library and a portion of the contents are accessible online at the CBBG website.

An exciting feature of the CBBG website is a new digital humanities application known as OHMS, or the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer. OHMS, developed by oral history wunderkind Doug Boyd and his team at the University of Kentucky Libraries, tackles an inherent challenge in oral history archives, i.e. accessing the oral history via the recording manifestation vs. transcript manifestation. While the audio recording provides the richness and context of the narrator’s voice, the transcript offers researchers the capacity to conduct keyword searches throughout the interview. OHMS solves this dilemma by marrying the audio recording to the transcript, thereby making both manifestations of the interview searchable…

For more information, click here.

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Family Secret And Cultural Identity Revealed In ‘Little White Lie’

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2015-03-23 14:03Z by Steven

Family Secret And Cultural Identity Revealed In ‘Little White Lie’

Morning Edition
National Public Radio
2015-03-23

Michele Norris, Host and Special Correspondent

Filmmaker Lacey Schwartz grew up in a white Jewish family in Woodstock, New York, believing she was white. Schwartz learns she’s bi-racial as she prepares to attend college.

Listen to the story here. Download the audio here. Read the transcript here.

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Allan Wolper Talks to Lacey Schwartz

Posted in Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2015-03-16 18:01Z by Steven

Allan Wolper Talks to Lacey Schwartz

Conversations with Allan Wolper
WBGO 88.3 FM
Newark, New Jersey
2015-03-16

Allan Wolper, Professor of Journalism
Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, Newark

Lacey Schwartz has written, produced and directed a documentary, Little White Lie, detailing how she grew up as a white, Jewish girl in Woodstock, New York, only to learn in college that her biological father was black and a friend of her family. Her late biological father was Rodney Parker, a legendary New York City college basketball scout from Brooklyn whose life was captured in a book called Heaven is a Playground that was later made into a movie. President Barack Obama said it was the best basketball book he had ever read. The one hour documentary, part of the Independent Lens series will air at 10 p. m. on Monday 23 on PBS stations across the country.

Listen to the interview here.

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Daughter Discovers Father’s Black Lineage

Posted in Articles, Audio, Biography, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-03-16 01:39Z by Steven

Daughter Discovers Father’s Black Lineage

National Public Radio
2007-10-02

Farai Chideya, Host

Famed literary critic Anatole Broyard carried a big secret most of his life. He was a black man passing as white. His daughter, Bliss Broyard, writes about how she learned of her father’s hidden life and explored her black ancestry in the memoir One Drop.

Anatole Broyard was one of the most respected literary critics. The late editor and columnist for the New York Times book review provided a lavish life for his family in New England, but he carried a secret so deep that he couldn’t tell his own children.

Now, his daughter Bliss Broyard has written the memoir “One Drop” about his life and her search for her family.

Bliss, welcome to the show.

Ms. BLISS BROYARD (Daughter of Anatole Broyard; Author, “One Drop”): Thanks, Farai, for having me.

CHIDEYA: So when your father was dying, you find out the big family secret: That your father is part-black. Your brother says, that’s all? What was your reaction?

Ms. BROYARD: Pretty much along the same lines. The afternoon that we found out, we had just witnessed my father suffering terrible pain. He was in the last stages of prostate cancer. So my mom took it upon herself to tell us because it seemed clear that my father wasn’t going to live very much longer.

So it seems, frankly, like not a big deal. And we had known about a secret for a couple of months, and I imagined that it was, you know, my dad had witnessed some horrible crime or incest or something. So the fact that it was just that he was part-black and we didn’t even realize or understand exactly why had it been a secret at all…

Listen to the interview here. Read the transcript here. Download the interview here.

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What was it like raising three biracial children?

Posted in Articles, Audio, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-12 01:45Z by Steven

What was it like raising three biracial children?

WBEZ 91.5
Chicago, Illinois
2015-03-06

Bill Healy

Rosa Ramirez was in basic training in the Army, when she came across a girl in her barracks with red hair and blue eyes. “What kind of blood do you have?” Ramirez asked her. “Do you see the world blue?”

Ramirez had gone to high school in Texas and spent time picking fruit in the fields of California. But when it came to race, she was clueless.

Ramirez tells her daughter, Judy, in this week’s StoryCorps, “In my hometown, it was Mexicans and whites. We didn’t have any idea about blacks or Germans or Italians.”

Rosa Ramirez served four years in the military before moving to Virginia, where she met her future husband. Her daughter asked what it was like when Rosa told her parents she wanted to marry a black man?…

Read the entire article here.

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Box Marked Black + Futility of Nicknames

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2015-02-24 21:52Z by Steven

Box Marked Black + Futility of Nicknames

Stage and Studio with Dmae Roberts: The Best of Performing, Literary and Media Arts
KBOO 90.7 FM or KBOO.FM
Portland, Oregon
2015-02-24, 11:00-12:00 PST (Local Time)

Dmae Roberts, Host

Dmae spotlights two different writers: Damaris Webb who’s performing her autobiographical play The Box Marked Black about growing up mixed race and Matt Kolbet, a writer in Newberg who’s just published his debut novel The Futility of Nicknames which is inspired by some elements of his life but is an entirely fictional story. Two varied stories: one real, one imaginary on the next Stage & Studio.

Damaris Webb is a performer, director and teaching artist who recently (re) relocated to Portland, OR after 26 years making and producing work in New York City. Ms Webb holds her MFA from Naropa’s Contemporary Performance Program, and her BFA from NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing. Her original work is often seen in non-traditional performance venues such as late night parties, warehouses and church basements, it is sometimes epic and may involve zombies, superheroes or sock puppets. Recent projects include directing Rich Rubin’s “Cottonwood in the Flood” staged reading for the 2015 Fertile Ground. In Portland, she offers Contemplative Dance Practice through Be Space and is a coach for PlayWrite, Inc. For more info: www.DamarisWebb.com.

The Box Marked Black is a tender solo performance piece, tracing the experience of growing up mulatto in the pre-Huxtable era. With only Jenny Willis from The Jeffersons as a guide, our multi-disciplinary storyteller creates narrative from the perspective of both sides of her interracial family, embodying multiple characters, childhood memories (including a Roots sock puppet re-enactment) and fantasy…

For more information, click here. Download the episode (00:32:01) here.

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One Playwright’s ‘Obligation’ To Confront Race And Identity In The U.S.

Posted in Arts, Audio, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-02-18 03:25Z by Steven

One Playwright’s ‘Obligation’ To Confront Race And Identity In The U.S.

Code Switch: Frontiers of Race, Culture and Ethnicity
All Things Considered
National Public Radio
2015-02-16

Jeff Lunden

Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins may be only 30 years old, but he’s already compiled an impressive resume. His theatrical works, which look at race and identity in America, have been performed in New York and around the country. Last year, Jacobs-Jenkins won the best new American play Obie Award for two of his works, Appropriate and An Octoroon.

An Octoroon is currently playing at Theater for a New Audience in New York…

…Over the past five years, the young playwright has written a trilogy of highly provocative and fantastical explorations of race in America. In Neighbors, a family of minstrels in blackface moves in next to a contemporary mixed-race family. In Appropriate, a white family discovers their dead father belonged to the KKK. His latest, An Octoroon, is a loose adaptation of a play written more than 150 years ago that deals with identity and race.

“They are all kind of like me dealing with something very specific, which has to do with the history of theater and blackness in America and form,” he says. “And also, my obligation, as a human being with regards to any of these themes.”

It is Jacob-Jenkins’ self-examination that drove Ben Brantley, the chief drama critic for The New York Times, to rank An Octoroon on the top of his best pays list last year. He saw it at Soho Rep, a tiny off-Broadway theater.

“[Jacobs-Jenkins] starts off from self-consciousness, which you would think would be a crippling place for a playwright to begin,” Brantley says.”But his self-consciousness isn’t just particular; it’s national, it’s universal. And it’s the self-consciousness of realizing that we don’t have the vocabulary, the tools to discuss race.”

The play, based on a 1859 melodrama by the Irish-Anglo playwright Dion Boucicault, tells the story of a young man who’s about to inherit a plantation and falls in love with a woman who is an octoroon — seven-eighths white, one-eighth black.

Director Sarah Benson points out that, in the original, all the parts had to be played by white actors…

Read the entire article here. Listen to the story here. Download the audio here. Read the transcript here.

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The Garifuna Exodus

Posted in Articles, Audio, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-02 01:29Z by Steven

The Garifuna Exodus

Latino USA
2015-01-23

Maria Hinojosa, Executive Producer & Anchor

Marlon Bishop, Producer

For centuries, the Garifuna people — descendents of both Africans and indigenous Arawak people from the Caribbean — have lived peacefully in seaside towns on the North Coast of Honduras. There’s always been a trickle of migration from the community to the United States – especially the Bronx, where the largest Garifuna community outside of Central America lives.

But starting last spring, the trickle of migrants became a flood. Hundreds of Garifuna from each town left, thousands all together, embarking on the dangerous journey through Central America and Mexico to the U.S. border. It was mostly mothers with small children. They showed up in places like the Bronx, seeking refuge with family members, wearing GPS ankle monitors placed on them by U.S. immigration officers who detained them. They await court dates in limbo, unsure if they will be forced to go back to the homes they fled…

Read the entire introduction and listen to the story here.

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The gains and losses of racial “code switching”

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-01-29 16:19Z by Steven

The gains and losses of racial “code switching”

KALW 91.7 FM
San Francisco, California
2015-01-27

Hana Baba, News Reporter/Host

On today’s episode of “Crosscurrents,” we are talking about identity. We have heard how people, whether intentionally or not, can “pass” as another race, just by the sound of their voice. Passing can also be a full-time, physical endeavor. The United States has a long history of African Americans who chose to live as white in their daily lives.

Stanford Professor Allyson Hobbs recently released a book covering this history, called A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life. Hobbs recently visited KALW, and I asked her to explain when and why this form of “code switching” was preferred.

ALLYSON HOBBS: Particularly during the Jim Crow era, which was the era of legalized segregation, there were many advantages to passing as white. … To pass as white meant to get a better job, it meant to live in a better neighborhood, being treated with much more respect and dignity than African Americans were often treated…

Listen to the interview here.

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A Dialogue on Institutional Colorism and Moving Toward Healing with Dr. Yaba Blay

Posted in Articles, Audio, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2015-01-29 16:16Z by Steven

A Dialogue on Institutional Colorism and Moving Toward Healing with Dr. Yaba Blay

For Harriet
2015-01-28

Kimberly Foster, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher

For Harriet is nearly five years old, and I’ve learned there are a few topics that are sure to spark contentious debate. Colorism is one of them. Discussions on colorism provoke strong feelings in Black women, in particular, and it seems that rarely do the conversation’s participants walk away with a deeper understanding of the institutional consequences of colorism or the ways we can move forward in combatting them.

What Bill Duke’s Light Girls documentary sorely missed was the voice of a Black woman colorism scholar, so I felt compelled to speak with Dr. Yaba Blay about how we can have a more effective conversation on colorism in our attempts to heal. Dr. Blay is currently co-director and assistant teaching professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University. She’s the artistic director and producer of the (1)ne Drop Project, and she was a consulting producer for CNN’s Black in America 5.

Read her phenomenal book, (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race

Listen to the interview and read the transcript here.

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