Thoughts on Identity: Who is Hapa?

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, United States on 2018-03-18 21:26Z by Steven

Thoughts on Identity: Who is Hapa?

The Daily Gazette: Swarthmore College’s daily student newspaper. Founded 1997.
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Charlotte Iwasaki

The first time that I consciously considered my multicultural background was in fifth grade when a friend jokingly announced to the class that I was both a Jap and a Nazi. At the time, I laughed along with the class, but I later asked my father what they meant by “Jap” after school. He was vague and kind in answering, but I understood. I knew that my dad was Japanese and that my mom was Caucasian, mostly German, but I never saw myself as really either, or even both. Being mixed race wasn’t something I thought about at the time, but I have never since forgotten.

My parents often tossed around the word “hapa” in reference to my sister and me. They picked up the term back when they were in college in southern California where people often describe anyone who is half-Asian as “hapa.” Growing up, I naturally adopted the word without much thought. But after I entered high school, I began to question what exactly I considered to be my personal identity.

I started the cultural club, Hapa, with the intention of creating a space for people that similarly identify as mixed race and Asian. When I first came to Swarthmore, I was surprised that there wasn’t a community for students from multicultural and multiethnic backgrounds. Everyone in SAO (Swarthmore Asian Organization) was kind and welcoming, but I didn’t feel completely comfortable; I didn’t see anyone like myself in the people around me…

Read the entire article here.

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A Way of Sharing

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Judaism, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2017-12-05 22:20Z by Steven

A Way of Sharing

UMKC Today
University of Missouri, Kansas City

Photo credit: Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Knowledge, Expertise and Experience

Women from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and nearby states in North America attended the 2015 Women of Color Leadership Conference.

MC Mia Ramsey strolled across the stage in her black sweater, black skirt, white T and pink sneakers. An energetic lady, Ramsey was ready to inspire and encourage women through song, jokes, personal stories and rousing introductions of presenters.

The 10th annual conference, “Together We Rise: 10 Years of Paving the Way,” at the University of Missouri-Kansas City focused on improving the lives of all women of color. More women of diverse backgrounds attend each year to share their expertise and to learn from facilitators and speakers.

Shortly after keynote speaker Lacey Schwartz took to the podium, she made an emphatic statement: “Tell the truth about things that are hard to tell the truth about.” If that had been the case, her life would have been less complicated, and she would have known far sooner exactly who she was.

In the documentary “Little White Lie,” Schwartz tells her story of growing up in New York with her parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity, only to discover she was not white, but biracial. She created the documentary to start a conversation about difficult conversations…

Read the entire article here.

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Worried about racism’s impact on her biracial son, a mother looks at home schooling

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-11-12 19:51Z by Steven

Worried about racism’s impact on her biracial son, a mother looks at home schooling

The Washington Post Magazine

Tracy Jan, Reporter

Tracy Jan, a reporter for The Washington Post, and her husband, Gerald Taylor, a former history teacher, with son Langston. (André Chung/For The Washington Post)

The declaration came emphatically, out of nowhere — dropped between sudsing his hair and rinsing out the shampoo with a plastic yellow duck full of water. “I’m not black,” my then 4-year-old son announced, while playing with his superhero figurines in the tub.

I assured him that not only was he black, because his daddy is black, but that he was also Chinese, like me. He wrinkled his nose and shook his head at this reality check. I was just as confused — where was all this coming from?

“If you’re not black and you’re not Chinese, what are you?” I asked, hoping he would not say “white.”

“I’m just Langston,” he answered…

Read the entire article here.

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Black mixed-race men, perceptions of the family, and the cultivation of ‘post-racial’ resilience

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Work, United Kingdom, United States on 2017-11-03 14:37Z by Steven

Black mixed-race men, perceptions of the family, and the cultivation of ‘post-racial’ resilience

First Published 2017-11-02
DOI: 10.1177/1468796817739667

Remi Joseph-Salisbury
School of Education and Childhood
Leeds Beckett University, Headingley Campus, Leeds, United Kingdom

Historically and contemporarily, popular discourses have pathologised Black mixed-race men as the embodiment of a ‘clash of cultures’. In centring the voices of Black mixed-race men in the UK and the US, this article offers a refutation to these discourses. With a specific focus on secondary schooling, the article draws upon accounts from semi-structured interviews in order to demonstrate how Black mixed-race men perceive their families as offering a source of strength and support. In order to understand how the family supports Black mixed-race men in overcoming the challenges posed by a hostile, ‘post-racial’ white supremacist environment, I develop a conceptualisation of ‘post-racial’ resilience. Through this concept, I highlight the creative and innovative ways Black mixed-race men and their families respond to the lived realities of pervasive racial inequities that are occluded by ‘post-racialism’. The article considers the role that parents play in three, inextricably linked, aspects of Black mixed-race men’s lives: schooling, identity formation, and experiences of racism.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Identity Politics of Difference: The Mixed-Race American Indian Experience

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Teaching Resources, United States on 2017-10-17 02:36Z by Steven

Identity Politics of Difference: The Mixed-Race American Indian Experience

University Press of Colorado
168 pages
1 table
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60732-543-7

Michelle R. Montgomery, Assistant Professor
School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, American Indian Studies, and Ethnic, Gender & Labor Studies
University of Washington, Tacoma

In Identity Politics of Difference, author Michelle R. Montgomery uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine questions of identity construction and multiracialism through the experiences of mixed-race Native American students at a tribal school in New Mexico. She explores the multiple ways in which these students navigate, experience, and understand their racial status and how this status affects their educational success and social interactions.

Montgomery contextualizes students’ representations of their racial identity choices through the compounded race politics of blood quantum and stereotypes of physical features, showing how varying degrees of “Indianness” are determined by peer groups. Based on in-depth interviews with nine students who identify as mixed-race (Native American–White, Native American–Black, and Native American–Hispanic), Montgomery challenges us to scrutinize how the category of “mixed-race” bears different meanings for those who fall under it based on their outward perceptions, including their ability to “pass” as one race or another.

Identity Politics of Difference includes an arsenal of policy implications for advancing equity and social justice in tribal colleges and beyond and actively engages readers to reflect on how they have experienced the identity politics of race throughout their own lives. The book will be a valuable resource to scholars, policy makers, teachers, and school administrators, as well as to students and their families.

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Living a white lie

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, Passing, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2017-08-10 02:30Z by Steven

Living a white lie

Silver Chips Online: Montgomery Blair High School’s Online Student Newspaper
Silver Spring, Maryland

Lily Alexander, Managing Features Editor, Print-Online Coordinator

Jim Queen, 70, now lives in San Francisco with his wife of 40 years. From 1954 to 1957, he attended Montgomery Blair High School, where he was forced to pass as a white student by hiding his far more complex and multiracial heritage.

In 1954, Jim Queen arrived at Montgomery Blair High School. The school was all white. He was not.

The janitors would come to watch him run. They knew – or at least sensed – he wasn’t who he said he was. As he raced around the quarter-mile track at old Blair High School, they would silently agree about what was never said aloud. And at a time when race relations in the United States were defined by divisions, from water fountains to hospitals, Jim Queen was an anomaly. The janitors suspected it. His parents knew it. And so did he.

The school system did not.

Three years before MCPS [(Montgomery County Public Schools)] officially opened its doors to integration, Jim Queen was a student with a mixed heritage – part white, part black, part Native American – studying at a school comprised entirely of white students. For over two years, Queen maintained this façade, keeping his racial background a secret from friends, teachers and classmates.

Now 70, Queen is far-removed from his time at Blair, but the experiences of his upbringing and childhood clouded by questions of racial identity and self-discovery have played a large role in small farm in shaping the man he has become…

…More recently, Queen launched the “One Race Movement.” This movement promotes the idea that we all belong to one race – the human race – and that the concept of multiple races is “a false social construct used historically to divide and exploit people,” rather than a scientifically-based idea. He developed this idea after rediscovering his own Wesort roots and learning about the Genome Project conducted by Craig Venter, which aimed to prove that all humans originally come from Africa. To convey his movement’s core message, Queen designed a symbol that now adorns clothing and posters, depicting the silhouettes of many different colored faces and the word “ONE” beneath it…

Read the entire article here.

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The limits of affirmative action in Brazil

Posted in Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Videos on 2017-08-07 20:13Z by Steven

The limits of affirmative action in Brazil

France 24

Brazil has the highest proportion of so-called “mixed race” people in the world. Yet only 13% of people aged 18 to 24 in that category are enrolled at university. Back in 2012, the government decided to introduce quotas for universities. But recently, the system appears to have stalled. Black student groups have denounced students they say are “too white” to benefit from this affirmative action policy, while universities have set up committees to examine skin color and ethnic background.

A programme prepared by Patrick Lovett and Aline Schmidt.

Watch the entire program here.

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NYU Guesses Racial, Ethnic Identity of Some Employees

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-13 20:50Z by Steven

NYU Guesses Racial, Ethnic Identity of Some Employees

Washington Square News

Sayer Devlin, Deputy News Editor

Jessica Francis
Because NYU receives federal funding, the university’s office of human resources is required to guess the racial and ethnic identities of employees who do not self-report that information.

An NYU professor, who is a person of color, told WSN that he had a very brief meeting — less than five minutes — with the university’s human resources department, which he believes was used to guess his ethnicity.

The practice of determining the race and ethnicity of employees through post-employment records and visual observations is explicitly legal according to a directive by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. However, the practice of assigning an employee’s race based on their appearance raises ethical questions.

NYU is required to collect data on the race, ethnicity, gender, veteran status and disability status of all their employees — though employees are not required to disclose this information — because the university receives federal funding.

“Self-identification will remain the preferred method for compiling information about the sex, race or ethnicity of applicants and employees,” the directive reads. “A contractor’s invitation to self-identify race or ethnicity should state that the submission of such information is voluntary. However, contractors may use post-employment records or visual observation when an individual declines to self-identify his or her race or ethnicity.”

NYU Spokesperson John Beckman said in an email that he could not comment on this incident regarding the aforementioned professor…

…CAS Associate Professor of Sociology Ann Morning serves on one of the U.S. Census Bureau Committees, the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations, which advises the racial categories used in the census. Morning said that guessing the racial identities of faculty might be the best way to to collect that information…

Read the entire article here.

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Stanford graduate student finds patterns in stories about multiracialism

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-22 00:55Z by Steven

Stanford graduate student finds patterns in stories about multiracialism

Stanford News
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Alex Shashkevich

Vanessa Seals (Image credit: Margaret Sena)

English doctoral student Vanessa Seals studies contemporary American novels and memoirs about multiracial people’s experiences to examine the role families play in their search for identity.

Who am I? It’s a question many of us ask at some point in our lives.

Vanessa Seals, a doctoral student in English, is exploring how people of mixed race tackle this question and form their racial identities.

Seals read and analyzed more than 50 contemporary American novels and memoirs, largely written in the past two decades, about the experiences of multiracial people as part of her dissertation research. She found that mixed-race individuals represented in the literature almost always look to their family and relatives when trying to figure out who they are…

Read the entire article here.

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Longtime professor Martha Jones reflects on her time at the University

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-05-23 22:54Z by Steven

Longtime professor Martha Jones reflects on her time at the University

The Michigan Daily

Riyah Basha, Daily News Editor

Courtesy of Martha Jones

In her 15 years at the University of Michigan, History Prof. Martha Jones has invested much of herself into the campus community — and the return has not disappointed. As a co-director of the Law School’s program in Race, Law and History, former associate chair of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and, most recently this winter, her work as a Presidential Bicentennial professor with the landmark Stumbling Blocks exhibit — Jones has become somewhat of a stalwart in convening campus around issues of race and social justice.

Jones arrived in Ann Arbor the day before 9/11, and — from the battle over affirmative action and Proposal 2 to Obama to Trump to the University’s contentious celebration of its 200th year — took part in molding the University in the years thereafter. This summer, though, Jones will relocate to Baltimore to join the history department at Johns Hopkins University. She joined the Daily for an exit interview of sorts, to reflect on her career at the University and the lessons she’s taken from this year, and decade, of powerful turbulence…

Read the entire interview here.

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