‘A Chosen Exile’: Black People Passing In White America

Posted in Articles, Audio, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2014-10-08 00:47Z by Steven

‘A Chosen Exile’: Black People Passing In White America

Code Switch: Frontiers of Race, Culture and Ethnicity
All Things Considered
National Public Radio
2014-10-07

Karen Grigsby Bates, Correspondent
Culver City, California


Dr. Albert Johnston passed in order to practice medicine. After living as leading citizens in Keene, N.H., the Johnstons revealed their true racial identity, and became national news. (Historical Society of Cheshire County)

Several years ago, Stanford historian Allyson Hobbs was talking with a favorite aunt, who was also the family storyteller. Hobbs learned that she had a distant cousin whom she’d never met nor heard of.

Which is exactly the way the cousin wanted it.

Hobbs’ cousin had been living as white, far away in California, since she’d graduated from high school. This was at the insistence of her mother.

“She was black, but she looked white,” Hobbs said. “And her mother decided it was in her best interest to move far away from Chicago, to Los Angeles, and to assume the life of a white woman.”…

…Hobbs began writing about passing for her doctoral dissertation, and was encouraged to turn it into a book. The dissertation became A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in America. It’s a history of passing told through the lens of personal stories…

…Then there’s the sad tale of Elsie Roxborough, a beauty from a distinguished Detroit family who became the first black girl to live in a dorm at the University of Michigan. She tried acting in California, then moved to New York to live as a white woman. When her disapproving father refused to support her, Roxborough — then known as Mona Manet — committed suicide. Her grieving and equally pale sister passed as a white woman to claim the body, so Roxborough’s secret wouldn’t be given away. Her death certificate declared she was white….

Read the article here. Listen to the story (00:04:58) here. Download the story here.

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Monica Pearson Show with Fanshen Cox

Posted in Arts, Audio, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-09-19 15:31Z by Steven

Monica Pearson Show with Fanshen Cox

Monica Pearson Show
KISS 104FM, Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia
2014-09-14

Monica Pearson, Host

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Award-Winning Actress, Producer and Educator
One Drop of Love

Listen Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni’s radio interview with Emmy Winner Monica Pearson on KISS 104 FM in Atlanta here (00:34:47). Download the interview here.

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A mixed-race German confronts white supremacists face-to-face, including the Klan

Posted in Articles, Arts, Audio, Europe, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2014-09-16 01:44Z by Steven

A mixed-race German confronts white supremacists face-to-face, including the Klan

Public Radio International
2014-09-15

Leo Hornak, Producer

Susie Blair, Producer

Most people would probably run for shelter if confronted with death threats. But Mo Asumang had a different impulse: “I don’t want to hide — it’s not my nature.”

Asumang — who is half-German and half-Ghanaian — came into the public eye during the 1990s as one of the first black women on German television. More recently, the actress and presenter became the target of right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis simply for being a person of color on television.

One particularly jarring threat came via song — a track titled “This Bullet Is For You, Mo Asumang” by the German white-power band White Aryan Rebels.

“Of course I get emails from neo-Nazis, and they are really awful,” she says. “I don’t want to mention what they write.”

But instead of shying away from her attackers, Asumang decided to confront them directly. “I thought, ‘Who are these people? How do they react when they meet me?’” she says.

She filmed those confrontations as part of an upcoming documentary called “The Aryans.” The title references the attacks against her, which are based on her “non-Aryan” identity. But Aryan is a problematic title — one that Asumang says was co-opted by the Nazis to describe the “master race.” Historically, she says, it’s not a white identity at all…

Read the entire article here. Listen to the interview here.

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A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life – Allyson Hobbs

Posted in Audio, Forthcoming Media, History, Interviews, Live Events, Passing, United States on 2014-09-16 01:17Z by Steven

A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life – Allyson Hobbs

Research at the National Archives and Beyond
BlogTalk Radio
Thursday, 2014-11-06, 21:00 EST (Friday, 2014-11-07, 02:00Z)

Bernice Bennett, Host

Allyson Hobbs is an assistant professor in the history department at Stanford. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and she received a Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Chicago. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. Allyson teaches courses on American identity, African American history, African American women’s history, and twentieth century American history. She has won numerous teaching awards including the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize. She has appeared on C-SPAN and National Public Radio and her work has been featured on CNN.com and Slate.com. Allyson’s first book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, published by Harvard University Press, examines the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present.

For more information, click here.

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One drop or two: Mixed-race identity and politics in America with Sharon H. Chang

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-09-10 18:10Z by Steven

One drop or two: Mixed-race identity and politics in America with Sharon H. Chang

Rabble Podcast Network
2014-09-09

Charlene Sayo, Co-host

Andrew Sayo, Co-host

Eirene Cloma, Co-host

When Seattle-based researcher and writer Sharon H. Chang wrote an essay that detailed why she tells her mixed-race son that he’s Asian and not white, many readers were surprised —some were downright offended—that she would deny him his “whiteness.” These reactions led Sharon—who herself is mixed-race—to write a follow-up essay aptly titled “Why Mixed with White isn’t White.” Naturally, I had to feature her on MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman. For this episode, Sharon tackles race, racism, mixed-race identity and the dangers of assuming white privilege when you look anything but.

Listen to interview (00:31:07) here. Download the interview here.

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American Pop Culture Hides, Reveals Multiracial Asian-Americans

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Audio, Communications/Media Studies, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-26 01:45Z by Steven

American Pop Culture Hides, Reveals Multiracial Asian-Americans

Voice of America
2014-08-03

Jim Stevenson

The discussion of race in the United States has always been complex and often difficult. Yet in an overwhelmingly large percentage of families, it is not difficult to find some evidence of a multiracial influence.

LeiLani Nishime is assistant professor of communications at the University of Washington and author of Undercover Asian. She examines how multiracial Asian Americans are often overlooked even when presented in highly visible popular media such as movies, television shows, magazine articles and artwork. Nishime contrasts the phenomenon with examples when audiences can view multiracial Asians as multiracial. She told VOA’s Jim Stevenson her fascinating study began with simple discussions in the classroom.

NISHIME: I had students in class who wanted to hear about mixed race and so I taught one class on it; they liked it so much I turned it into a two-week unit, and they liked that so much I turned it into a class, and after that I thought, “well, maybe there is enough there to write a book about.” I mostly draw from pop culture and from visual culture specifically, so advertising, television, film, that sort of thing. That’s partly just because of my own background and training, I was trained in literary studies and I did most of my dissertation work on film. I’m also interested in popular cultural icons because I feel like they have something to say about our culture more generally.

STEVENSON: Tiger Woods is definitely one of the most recognized athletes around the world, and of course, with some of the things that happened in Tiger’s career in the past few years made him even more well-known, I guess. Tiger is an interesting case: his father is African American, his mother is Thai.

NISHIME: There are times where he identifies as African-American, some as Asian-American – he had made up this term, “Cablinasian,” for a while, that he calls himself. I think though, for most of his career, he actually tries not to identify racially at all. His publicity can paint him as something new, something outside of our usual racial categories.

Read the interview here. Download the interview here.

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Re:Membering (our memories our stories)

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Audio, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-18 15:51Z by Steven

Re:Membering (our memories our stories)

Hapa Happy Hour: A lively discussion and celebration of the mixed heritage experience.
2014-08-04

Hosts:

Rena Heinrich
Hiwa Bourne
Lisa Liang

The ladies talk about Lisa’s succesful one woman show: Alien CItizen: An Earth Odyssey! Recorded last year (July 2013).

Download the episode here.

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Multi-Racial In Wisconsin…And The “What Are You?” Question

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2014-08-09 22:23Z by Steven

Multi-Racial In Wisconsin…And The “What Are You?” Question

Wisconsin Public Radio
Central Time
2014-06-02

Rob Ferrett, Host

Jennifer Patrice Sims
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin, Madison

A sociology researcher looks at multi-racial identity in Wisconsin–and how people deal with the questions “what are you?” and “where are you from?”

Listen to the interview here. Download the interview here (00:10:45).

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‘Everything I Never Told You’ Exposed In Biracial Family’s Loss

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Audio, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Interviews, United States on 2014-08-04 18:54Z by Steven

‘Everything I Never Told You’ Exposed In Biracial Family’s Loss

Code Switch: Frontiers of Race, Culture and Ethnicity
National Public Radio
2014-06-28

Arun Rath
All Things Considered

It’s May, 1977, in small-town Ohio, and the Lee family is sitting down at breakfast. James is Chinese-American and Marilyn is white, and they have three children — two girls and a boy. But on this day, their middle child Lydia, who is also their favorite, is nowhere to be found.

That’s how Celeste Ng’s new novel, Everything I Never Told You, begins.

It’s soon discovered that Lydia has drowned in a nearby lake, in what looks like a suicide. The incident pulls the family into an emotional vortex and reveals deep cracks in their relationships with each other.

This all takes place an era when interracial marriages are only recently legal (the Supreme Court struck down interracial marriage bans in 1967). Lydia’s death forces members of the Lee family to confront their individual insecurities and grapple with their identity as a biracial family in the Midwest.

But would it be very different for them today? Ng answered that question for NPR’s Arun Rath, host of All Things Considered.

Ng, who is a first-generation Asian-American Midwesterner, also spoke about her own experiences growing up and about the state of the American conversation on race…

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

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Fatal Invention with Dorothy Roberts

Posted in Audio, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-07-30 20:49Z by Steven

Fatal Invention with Dorothy Roberts

Research at the National Archives and Beyond
BlogTalk Radio
Thursday, 2014-07-24, 21:00 EDT, (Friday, 2014-07-25, 01:00Z)

Bernice Bennett, Host

Dorothy Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century

Dorothy Roberts, an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and the law, joined the University of Pennsylvania as its 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the Law School where she also holds the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mosell Alexander chair. Her pathbreaking work in law and public policy focuses on urgent contemporary issues in health, social justice, and bioethics, especially as they impact the lives of women, children and African-Americans. Her major books include Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (New Press, 2011); Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2002), and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997). She is the author of more than 80 scholarly articles and book chapters, as well as a co-editor of six books on such topics as constitutional law and women and the law.

Popular History Internet Radio with BerniceBennett on BlogTalkRadio

Download the episode here.

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