Before Green and Bouchet, another African American Yale College grad. Maybe.

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-03-25 21:41Z by Steven

Before Green and Bouchet, another African American Yale College grad. Maybe.

Yale Alumni Magazine

Mark Alden Branch ’86

Just last Friday, we told you that the first African American to graduate from Yale College was not Edward Bouchet in 1874, but Richard Henry Green in 1857. Since then, though, we’ve been reminded of two other nineteenth-century alumni whose histories complicate—or problematize, as they like to say in the academy—our attempt to name the first African American graduate.

The most fascinating case surrounds Moses Simons, Class of 1809, who is, oddly enough, considered to be Yale’s first Jewish graduate. (Dan Oren ’79, ’84MD, makes that case for Simons in his book Joining the Club: A History of Jews at Yale.) But two scholars, relying almost exclusively on an account of an 1818 criminal assault trial in New York, have advanced the claim that Simons was African American—most likely, they say, the son of a Jewish man, also named Moses Simons, and of an African American mother…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Yale College’s first black grad: it’s not who you think

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, United States on 2014-03-25 21:31Z by Steven

Yale College’s first black grad: it’s not who you think

Yale Alumni Magazine

Carole Bass ’83, ’97MSL
Mark Alden Branch ’86

In 1874, Edward Bouchet became the first African American to graduate from Yale College. Or so the university’s histories tell us—and we’ve reported it ourselves more than once.

Yet that very year, a Quaker publication from Philadelphia recognized an earlier pioneer:

“The first colored graduate of the Academical Department of Yale,” it says, “was Richard Henry Green, in 1857.” At least two other newspapers published similar items around the same time in 1874.

Green, a New Haven native who died in 1877 at age 43, seems to have been lost from Yale history. Now he has been found again, thanks to research by an archivist at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City.

“It’s a fascinating story,” the archivist, Rick Stattler, says in a phone interview. “I sort of stumbled across it by accident” while researching Green family papers that will be auctioned in April.

When he discovered that Richard Henry Green “may have been a pioneer African American student at Yale, I was a little skeptical,” Stattler says. “But it turned out to be true.”

A “Mulatto” Clerk

How Green’s race was viewed at Yale—by the college, by his classmates, and by Green himself—is unknown. Yale records don’t mention his race, and no images or physical descriptions of him have been found, says Judith Schiff, the university’s chief research archivist and author of the Yale Alumni Magazine‘s “Old Yale” column.

But the 1850 US census lists Richard Henry Green as a 17-year-old “mulatto” clerk, living in New Haven with other “mulatto” family members. The 1860 census records Green’s race as “black.”

And in 1874, while Green was still alive and with Edward Bouchet seemingly making history, somebody at the Society of Friends in Philadelphia knew that Green was actually “the first colored graduate” of Yale College…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Discovery Leads Yale to Revise a Chapter of Its Black History

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, United States on 2014-03-18 03:01Z by Steven

Discovery Leads Yale to Revise a Chapter of Its Black History

The New York Times

Ariel Kaminer

On the campus of Yale University, Edward Bouchet has long been a venerated name. Hailed as the first African-American to graduate from Yale College, in 1874, he went on to be the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. (and only the sixth person nationwide to earn one in physics).

In recognition of the path he forged, Yale has convened seminars and lecture series in his name, bestowed the Bouchet Leadership Awards in Minority Graduate Education and hung an oil painting of him — a young man in formal attire, looking off with an expression of dignified purpose — in a prominent spot at the main library.

Mr. Bouchet’s accomplishments still inspire many young students. But it seems one of his distinctions actually belongs to someone else.

Newly uncovered records suggest that Yale awarded a bachelor’s degree to another African-American man almost two decades before Mr. Bouchet received his diploma.

That man, according to an article being published on Saturday by the Yale Alumni Magazine, was Richard Henry Green. Born in 1833 to a local bootmaker who helped found St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in New Haven, he sat for the entrance examination and was admitted in 1853. Undergraduates did not have majors in those days, so Mr. Green, along with his 100 or so classmates (in what was at the time America’s largest college), read history, philosophy, literature and the like. He lived at his family’s home but he appears to have been active in campus life, joining the literary society Brothers in Unity as well as the fraternity Sigma Delta…

…Edward Bouchet, who graduated summa cum laude and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, was celebrated in his day as a pioneer. According to Judith Schiff, Yale’s chief research archivist, “a campus periodical at the time talks about him coming as the first — isn’t it wonderful that he’s here and we hope he can make a good record for his race.”

Far less, if anything, is known about how Mr. Green was viewed, or even how he viewed himself. “He certainly didn’t stand out as a landmark person,” Ms. Schiff said.

His school records make no note of his race. In the 1850 census, he is listed as “mulatto”; 10 years later, the census recorded him as black. His wife’s family was white, and that is how the 1870 census categorized him and his daughter…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

New Contenders Emerge in Quest to Identify Yale’s First African-American Graduate

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-03-18 02:48Z by Steven

New Contenders Emerge in Quest to Identify Yale’s First African-American Graduate

The New York Times

Ariel Kaminer

For Richard Henry Green, recently declared to have been Yale College’s first known African-American graduate, fame, or at least the certainty of his claim on history, was fleeting.

Just last month, an Americana specialist at the Swann Auction Galleries made public the discovery that Mr. Green, the son of a New Haven bootmaker, had attended Yale 17 years before Edward Bouchet, an 1874 graduate previously thought to have broken its color barrier. But while Mr. Bouchet spent a century and a half on that pedestal, his accomplishments praised with every honor, from academic symposiums to undergraduate fellowships to a portrait in Yale’s main library, the scant weeks since Mr. Green unseated him have brought nothing but new challengers.

According to an article in the journal Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, a man named Moses Simons may in fact have been the first undergraduate to break Yale’s color barrier. This possibility is remarkable not just because Mr. Simons graduated long before either of the two previous contenders — all the way back in 1809, when Thomas Jefferson was president — but because Mr. Simons is already celebrated for breaking an entirely different sort of barrier…

…The record of Mr. Simons’s trial includes references to him as “coloured,” and to the discomfort that he aroused in some “Southern gentlemen.” And the author of that trial record ended his account with a rant about keeping America free of “the African tinge.”

What’s more, a number of men in the Jewish, slave-owning Simons family of Charleston, S.C., were known to have fathered children of mixed race.

But as strongly as the trial record implies African ancestry, Dale Rosengarten, founding director of the Jewish Heritage Collection at the College of Charleston, cautioned that “unless you can actually know who the parents were, you don’t actually know.” She added: “If this man did have a dark complexion, darker than the average Caucasian, it’s possible that he had other admixtures.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Mixed Madness Month 2014

Posted in Campus Life, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States on 2014-03-11 18:48Z by Steven

Mixed Madness Month 2014

University of Maryland
Adele H. Stamp Student Union
March 2014

________ Looks Like Me

Mixed Madness Month takes place every March. It is the annual heritage and advocacy month for those that consider themselves multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic, and/or a supporter of the mixing of cultures. This year’s theme is:

The “__________ Looks Like Me” theme is part of a larger campaign visual project designed to shatter stereotypes about what individuals of certain categories or groups (race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, occupation, ability, gender, etc.) look like and/or are capable of.

For more information, click here.


Why isn’t College for Learning About Mixed-Race Identities?

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2014-03-10 18:51Z by Steven

Why isn’t College for Learning About Mixed-Race Identities?

Racism Review: scholarship and activism toward racial justice

Sharon Chang

There are some incredible opportunities out there right now to get certificates, higher ed and even advanced degrees specializing in the experience of Americans of color. Want a degree in Asian American Studies? Sure. How about African American, Native or American Indian, Latin American, Mexican American or Chicano studies? Absolutely. Google [Search] all of these and you’ll find brilliant choices to be credentialed in these heritage experiences at very fine colleges and universities.

But what if you ID as mixed-race multicultural across any of these racial lines? Is there a degree for that?

Not that I’m aware of,” writes Steven F. Riley of (46), “The vast majority of courses on mixed-race studies are within the disciplines of Sociology, Psychology, History and Literature, etc.” Despite the fact that the crop of students moving through college today is the largest group of self-identified mixed-race people ever to come of age in the U.S., “In traditional Ethnic Studies,” writes University of California, Berkeley: Center for Race and Gender, “Mixed race scholarship has often been marginalized, misappropriated, tokenized or simply left out.”

Indeed it has only been in recent history that an arena for multi-race discourse has even forcibly begun construction mostly due to multiracials themselves. In the US this is because we have (a) not only a history of denying mixed race which persists but (b) a habit of continuing to operate under the assumption that race can be easily identified and filed away. Anyone who can’t be instantly categorized by visual scanning either gets shoved into something that kinda sorta fits, shows up as a mere blip on the cognitive-radar screen or flies under it completely. Case in point, whether by choice or lack of choice, some of the more visible mixed-race Asian scholars/authors right now are embedded in other departments at their campuses: Laura Kina (Art, Media, & Design, DePaul University), Leilani Nishime (Dept of Communication, University of Washington), Stephen Shigematsu-Murphy (Asian American Studies, Stanford University), Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain (Sociology, University of Ireland)…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

MiC Drop: Let’s talk about race

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2014-02-21 22:34Z by Steven

MiC Drop: Let’s talk about race

The Michigan Daily
The Campus Newspaper of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Rima Fadlallah, Michigan in Color Editor
Jerusaliem Gebreziabher, Michigan in Color Editor
Kayla Upadhyaya, Michigan in Color Editor

MiC check 1, 2. 1, 2. Can you hear us? Because we’re here.

We are Michigan in Color, the Daily’s first opinion section designated as a space for and by students of color at the University of Michigan. Welcome! MiC is a place for people of color to voice their opinions and share experiences that are overshadowed by dominant narratives — or the history, stories and perspectives that privilege conformity and make it into the mainstream, marginalizing all other narratives in the process. We hope MiC will elevate conversations on race, identity, liberation and social justice while engaging specifically with communities of color on campus.

Race is a topic that can elicit several different emotions; from shame, pride, anger, confusion, love, discomfort, or all of the above, this space is here to explore it all. We want to unearth “taboos.” We want the topics that feel a bit too coarse to talk about in a crowded coffee shop to roll right off your tongue in this safe space. We want to challenge the historical whiteness of The Michigan Daily by creating this long-needed space that will hopefully lead to a more inclusive newsroom and a better informed campus.

To kick off this exciting new project, we will start at the roots of MiC: What exactly does “person of color” mean?…

…As the founding editors of Michigan in Color, this project means a lot to us. We’re excited; we’re ready.

I’m Jerusaliem Gebreziabher, and I’m here because as a victim of internalized racism (sometimes self-inflicted) I needed this space four years ago. As a first generation American with parents hailing from Ethiopia and heavy strains of Italian blood in my veins, I struggled to identify with anyone and was afraid of being stigmatized if I did.

Although I know myself to be more than my race (ironically I’m often mistaken for being everything but Black), I found it hard to find my place on this campus for fear of being lumped into another category. Throughout my life, I’ve felt waves of shame and pride for who I am, where I’ve come from, or the undeniable evidence my physical features reveal about my identity. MiC is a space where I hope to reconcile some of this conflict and connect to those with shared experiences.

I’m Kayla Upadhyaya, and I’m here because I can still recall the overwhelming sense of affirmation and safety I felt the first time I found myself in a room of only other people of color here at the University. With a father who immigrated from India and a white mother, racial identity is oftentimes a source of confusion for me. But over time, my mixed racial background has become as important to who I am and my writing as is my identity as a feminist, and MiC is a space where I can not only explore those parts of my identity but also connect with other PoCs and write about the issues that truly matter to me…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Meaning of mixed race

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-02-12 08:30Z by Steven

Meaning of mixed race

Macalester College News
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Americans are increasingly thinking about their racial identities, says American studies professor Jane Rhodes, with the whole question of mixed race identities getting more attention. “Academia is just starting to catch up with that conversation,” she says, which is one reason why her department is devoting its 15th annual conference to the topic February 27 and 28.

Macalester senior Hannah Johnson (Olympia, Wash.) is equally fascinated by the subject, which led her to write her sociology capstone paper about mixed race and multiracial identities. “We talk a lot at Mac about how we construct gender,” says Johnson, “but I wanted to explore how we construct race. Nobody really knows what mixed race is right now. It’s a great place to be in American history.”

Johnson interviewed 11 people in depth on the topic, and found that her fellow students and others “really want to talk about the issue—I’m still hearing from people excited to talk about mixed race,” she says.

She found that mixed race people have two distinct ways of thinking about their identity: as a combination of two or more racial groups (such as half Chinese, half African American) or as its own separate category. Many interviewees also reported that college was the first time they had really thought of themselves as mixed race…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Black History Month celebrates both race and ethnicity

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2014-02-11 04:45Z by Steven

Black History Month celebrates both race and ethnicity

The Red & Black
University Georgia Student Newspaper
Athens, Georgia

Mariya Lewter, Sphomore
Decatur, Georgia

As a person of “mixed” race, I’ve always found it difficult to truly racially identify myself. Not because I don’t know who I am, but because others refused to accept my definition of who I am.

Growing up, I attended predominantly black schools. There were few kids who looked like me, and I can probably count on one hand how many students were not African-American.

My peers had a hard time guessing my race because I have a light skin complexion, but black facial features and curly hair. So I often got asked the question, “What are you?”…

…I know how I look, but I also know how I feel and how I was raised. I was raised with black culture in a black community with a black family. My blood is only one-fourth Caucasian, but according to everyone around me, because I’m fair-skinned, there was no way I could be black.

This mindset needs to change…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories

Posted in Anthologies, Autobiography, Books, Campus Life, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-02-06 13:51Z by Steven

Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories

Cornell University Press
208 pages
6 x 9 in.
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8014-5251-2
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8014-7914-4

Edited by:

Andrew Garrod, Professor Emeritus of Education
Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

Christina Gómez, Professor of Sociology and Latino & Latin American Studies
Northeastern Illinois University

Robert Kilkenny, Executive Director; Clinical Associate
Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention
School of Social Work
Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts

Mixed presents engaging and incisive first-person experiences of what it is like to be multiracial in what is supposedly a postracial world. Bringing together twelve essays by college students who identify themselves as multiracial, this book considers what this identity means in a reality that occasionally resembles the post-racial dream of some and at other times recalls a familiar world of racial and ethnic prejudice.

Exploring a wide range of concerns and anxieties, aspirations and ambitions, these young writers, who all attended Dartmouth College, come from a variety of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Unlike individuals who define themselves as having one racial identity, these students have lived the complexity of their identity from a very young age. In Mixed, a book that will benefit educators, students, and their families, they eloquently and often passionately reveal how they experience their multiracial identity, how their parents’ race or ethnicity shaped their childhoods, and how perceptions of their race have affected their relationships.


  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Part I. Who Am I?
    • 1. Good Hair / Ana Sofia De Brito
    • 2. So, What Are You? / Chris Collado
    • 3. In My World 1+1 = 3 / Yuki Kondo-Shah
    • 4. A Sort of Hybrid / Allison Bates
  • Part II. In-Betweenness
    • 5. Seeking to Be Whole / Shannon Joyce Prince
    • 6. The Development of a Happa / Thomas Lane
    • 7. A Little Plot of No-Man’s-Land / Ki Mae Ponniah Heussner
    • 8. Finding Blackness / Samiir Bolsten
  • Part III. A Different Perspective
    • 9. Chow Mein Kampf / Taica Hsu
    • 10. A Work in Progress / Anise Vance
    • 11. We Aren’t That Different / Dean O’Brien
    • 12. Finding Zion / Lola Shannon
  • About the Editors
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,