That’s What She Said: Red-face

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2015-08-31 17:17Z by Steven

That’s What She Said: Red-face

Eagle Feather News
Saskatchewan, Canada

Dawn Dumont

Rachel Dolezal is a white woman who decided one day that she was African-American. This crazy white lady braided in some fake hair, darkened her skin with tanning sessions and then became the leader of Spokane’s NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People).

I had no idea that we could switch races whenever we felt like it. I’ve stupidly been Cree just because I emerged from a Cree v-jay-jay. So, for the rest of the month, I’m choosing to be Tibetan. Since this morning, I’ve already sherpa’d six people up Diefenbaker Hill. (I really should have chosen a less hardy race.)

When I look in the mirror, I see a round-cheeked First Nation female looking back at me, but the world begs to disagree. I’ve been mistaken for Vietnamese, Spanish, Hawaiian, and Mexican-Japanese (which seemed oddly specific.) But I don’t have any identity issues. Probably because I lived on a reserve for the first 18 years of my life where I consumed enough deer meat, bologna steak and KFC family meals to keep me real for a lifetime.

It wasn’t until I got to university that I discovered people struggling with their identity. In my first year, friends would point out First Nations people in the hallways who were passing as white. They would casually say: “That’s Jason, he’s from Kawacatoose but he’s white now,” as if he had just switched banks…

Read the entire article here.

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Race in the US: What if your identity was a lie?

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2015-08-24 18:50Z by Steven

Race in the US: What if your identity was a lie?

Al Jazeera Magazine

John Metta

“There are no qualifiers to my blackness, and I will never again be Not Black Enough. I am a black man, and I am angry.”

My father’s anger was a storm.

Like many other boys, I was carefree and careless with a thoughtlessness that bordered on stupidity. The world revolved around my desire to laugh and run in a bubble of fun and I rarely noticed the wake of catastrophe that cast out behind me. But I was always aware of my father watching me, and I was aware of the storm.

He was a giant of a man, with a voice like thunder in the distance. I was a butterfly, small and frightened, observing the horizon of his brow, watching to see if the storm clouds were coming near, waiting for the winds to blow in my direction.

Surprisingly, despite my raucous behaviour, they very rarely did.

There was a deep anger in my father, but that storm ravaged other lands. Most often, my delicate wings felt only his whisper. But the whisper of my father was still a very powerful thing.

Each of my siblings have their stories about these whispers, about the times my father sat them down to have A Talk – a proper noun that is capitalised in our childhood memories the way A Beating is for some children. A Talk was a gruelling ordeal of mental torture where your mind felt like a balloon filled with too much water.

I, the only son of his six children (and his least intelligent child by far), was often caught off guard by A Talk…

Read the entire article here.

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Stop Denying Me My Blackness: A Latina Speaks About Race

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2015-08-08 19:26Z by Steven

Stop Denying Me My Blackness: A Latina Speaks About Race

The Huffington Post

Vanessa Mártir

I’d been in Wellesley for all of a few weeks when it first happened. It was the fall of 1989, my first year in boarding school. I was walking with another ABC (A Better Chance) student back to our dorm on the outskirts of the Wellesley College campus. We were the “scholarship kids”– her a St. Lucian girl from Flatbush, me a BoricuaHondureña from Bushwick. We were walking along Washington Avenue, the main street that runs through the town, past the Town Hall that looks like a castle, and the duck pond. I don’t remember what we were talking about or if we were even talking, but I remember his face, bloated and red and angry. He stuck that face out of the truck that slowed down as it passed, then he threw a lit cigarette at us, two teenage girls, her 16, me 13, and said, “Go home, niggers.” We jumped away to avoid getting burnt and stared at the truck as it sped off. She started crying, a quiet, blubbering cry that shook her shoulders. I stayed quiet the rest of the walk home.

The following year, a black girl who was all of a shade darker than me told me I didn’t know prejudice, “because you’re not black.” She pursed her lips and shook her head. I thought back to that lit cigarette and that bloated red face.

In the summer of 1985, my mother took us to Honduras for the first time. One morning, my brother Carlos and I were picking naranjas off the tree whose branch extended out into our family’s patio. We were just kids—I was nine, Carlos was thirteen. We just wanted some oranges. Suddenly the neighbor came running out of her house screaming. She called us malditos prietos, thieves and criminals for picking fruit off her tree. She said she’d rather they rot than have us eat them. My brother pulled open an orange with his fingers, put it to his mouth and sucked on it while he stared at that woman. She sneered and called him, “un prieto sucio.” My brother laughed, juice dripping down his chin, grabbed my hand and walked off. I gave her the universal fuck you sign—the middle finger…

…I’ve been thinking a lot about race, as a Boricua-Hondureña who identifies as BOTH black and indígena, because I am both and neither is mutually exclusive. Here’s the thing, I’m all for conversations about blackness. They are necessary. But to have a complete conversation, we need to talk about how some people, African American and even my own Latino people, have denied me my blackness because “you don’t look black,” they’ve said. The issue is that people like me do not fit into their construct of what race is…

Read the entire article here.

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Pocahontas’ tribe, the Pamunkey of Virginia, finally recognized by U.S.

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Virginia on 2015-08-03 00:47Z by Steven

Pocahontas’ tribe, the Pamunkey of Virginia, finally recognized by U.S.

The Los Angeles Times

Noah Bierman

Mikayla Deacy, 4, swims with her dog Dakota in the Pamunkey River. As a member of the tribe, Mikayla will be eligible for scholarships and other benefits now that the Pamunkey have received federal recognition. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The tidal river that surrounds this spit of scrubby land has long functioned like a moat that rises and falls through the day..

A single road connects the reservation’s sycamore, poplars and modest houses with miles of cornfields that separate the tribe from large retail stores and suburban office parks of eastern Virginia.

The Pamunkey have lived on and around these 1,200 acres for centuries, since before their most famous ancestor, Pocahontas, made contact with English colonists in 1607.

“We call this downtown Pamunkey,” said Kim Cook, the 50-year-old granddaughter of Chief Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook.

She smiled. The only noise came from birds chirping among the pines by the old fishing shanties. The only action came when a cousin stopped by to relieve Cook’s 8-year-old son, River Ottigney Cook, of his boredom by taking him on a boat ride…

…Despite that, the tribe long had laws discouraging intermarriage. Marrying anyone who was not white or Indian was forbidden. Women who married whites could not live on the reservation, though men who had white wives could.

It was not until 2012 that tribal leaders fully reversed those laws and allowed women to vote and serve on the tribal council for the first time. (There had been female chiefs into the 18th century.)

The issue threatened the tribe’s federal acknowledgment, drawing opposition from members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Tribal leaders said the laws pertaining to African Americans were a reflection of Virginia’s racist past that included a ban on interracial marriages — context also noted in the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ acknowledgment report — and were in part a defense against losing their status as a state tribe and being stripped of their land amid racial purity laws

Read the entire article here.

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I Am a Native American Woman With White Privilege

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2015-07-26 22:37Z by Steven

I Am a Native American Woman With White Privilege

YES, I SAID; YES, I WILL, YES. writing by Misty Ellingburg

Misty Ellingburg

First off, I think it’s important to say that I do not, and have not ever primarily identified as white. On my mother’s side, I’m Native American, enrolled in ghostmy Tribe, and, to a large extent, raised in my culture. I was born on the reservation and lived on or near reservations for much of my life. Indigenous cultural signifiers are important to me – I love Coastal designs and canoes. I love to eat Salmon, attend gatherings, and socialize at potlatches or powwows. However, due to genetics (while both my grandparents on my mother’s side are Indigenous, my grandmother is light-skinned, and my grandfather, of mixed ancestry) it so happens that I am light. Like, really light. Light as a ghost, let-me-put-my-arm-next-to-yours-and-compare-whiteness light. Some people call me glow-worm because they think I’ll be florescent under blacklights.

There are a lot of ways in which it sucks to be a light or white-presenting Native American. I’m often not recognizable, even to people of my own nationality. Sometimes, I even have to perform to be seen by myself, as if by wearing turquoise and beadwork, I won’t get so lost in the Western world. Of course, it’s so much deeper than that, but it can help to have outward reflections of an inner truth. If I’m not performing for myself, it can feel as if I’m performing to others. At times, (though very rarely) others with mixed-Native heritage have compared themselves to me, as if I were on the bottom of the scale for Native-presenting-ness. “Oh, I look mixed, but I look more Native than Mistylynn, right?” This desperately begs the question, What does a Native person look like? As I’ve posed it at other times on this blog, I’ll leave that question for others to chew on. Suffice to say, the need to be visible, and to have a voice as an Indigenous woman, is important to me. Native issues are my issues, are the issues of my people. I identify as an American Indian woman.

And I have white privilege…

Read the entire article here

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The Global African – Mexican Afro-descendants

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Videos on 2015-07-17 15:03Z by Steven

The Global African – Mexican Afro-descendants

The Global African

Bill Fletcher, Host

Randal Archibold, Bureau Chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
The New York Times (Author of the article “Negro? Prieto? Moreno? A Question of Identity for Black Mexicans”)

William Loren Katz
Author of: Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage

Each week on “The Global African” host Bill Fletcher, Jr. addresses issues facing Africa and the African Diasporas.

Mexico’s Afro-descendant population for years has been virtually invisible; now, for the first time ever, the next national census will include the category of Afro-Mexican. Fletcher interviews NY Times Bureau Chief for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Randal Archibold about Mexico’s Afro-descendant population. The next segment of the program deals with a fascinating yet virtually unknown chapter of US history, the biological and cultural bonds established between African slaves and Native Americans. Professor William Loren Katz, author of Black Indians-A Hidden Heritage and 40 other books on African-Americans and Native Americans, describes his research on relations between Africans and Afro-descendants and Native Americans.

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Respecting and Celebrating Black Writing and Storytelling presented by Dr Anita Heiss

Posted in Literary/Artistic Criticism, Live Events, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Oceania on 2015-07-08 19:35Z by Steven

Respecting and Celebrating Black Writing and Storytelling presented by Dr Anita Heiss

Flinders University
182 Victoria Square
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
2015-07-09, 18:00-19:00 ACDT (Local Time)

Anita Heiss

A NAIDOC Week event co-hosted by Yunggorendi First Nations Centre with the School of Humanities and Creative Arts

Anita will address staff, students and members of the community for NAIDOC Week around this year’s theme: We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate.

This seminar will discuss the ways in which Aboriginal authors across genres write about concepts of space, respect for place and connection to country, and why we should be celebrating this new Australian literature…

For more information, click here.

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Illicit Love: Interracial Sex and Marriage in the United States and Australia

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Oceania, United States on 2015-07-08 02:41Z by Steven

Illicit Love: Interracial Sex and Marriage in the United States and Australia

University of Nebraska Press
616 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8032-3825-1

Ann McGrath, Professor of History, Director of the Australian Centre for Indigenous History
Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Illicit Love is a history of love, sex, and marriage between Indigenous peoples and settler citizens at the heart of two settler colonial nations, the United States and Australia. Award-winning historian Ann McGrath illuminates interracial relationships from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century through stories of romance, courtship, and marriage between Indigenous peoples and colonizers in times of nation formation.

The romantic relationships of well-known and ordinary interracial couples provide the backdrop against which McGrath discloses the “marital middle ground” that emerged as a primary threat to European colonial and racial supremacy in the Atlantic and Pacific Worlds from the Age of Revolution to the Progressive Era. These relationships include the controversial courtship between white, Connecticut-born Harriett Gold and southern Cherokee Elias Boudinot; the Australian missionary Ernest Gribble and his efforts to socially segregate the settler and aboriginal population, only to be overcome by his romantic impulses for an aboriginal woman, Jeannie; the irony of Cherokee leader John Ross’s marriage to a white woman, Mary Brian Stapler, despite his opposition to interracial marriages in the Cherokee Nation; and the efforts among ordinary people in the imperial borderlands of both the United States and Australia to circumvent laws barring interracial love, sex, and marriage.

Illicit Love reveals how marriage itself was used by disparate parties for both empowerment and disempowerment and came to embody the contradictions of imperialism. A tour de force of settler colonial history, McGrath’s study demonstrates vividly how interracial relationships between Indigenous and colonizing peoples were more frequent and threatening to nation-states in the Atlantic and Pacific worlds than historians have previously acknowledged.

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Brown Theology, Critical Race Theory, and the Laws of Burgos

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion on 2015-07-04 01:25Z by Steven

Brown Theology, Critical Race Theory, and the Laws of Burgos

Jesus for Revolutionaries

Robert Chao Romero, Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies and Asian American Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

The fervent cries of Montesino soon reached the ears of King Ferdinand.   On March 20, 1512, the king ordered Governor Diego Columbus to silence Montesinos under penalty of repatriation to Spain (Hanke, 18).   On March 23, 1512, the Dominican Superior in Spain followed suit and likewise rebuked Montesinos and the rebellious monks for their irksome teaching.  Undeterred, Montesinos held his ground.  To break the impasse, both the colonists and Dominicans sent representatives to Spain to argue their positions before the royal court.  The colonists appointed a Franciscan monk, Alonso del Espinal; the Dominicans selected Montesinos.  (Hanke, 22, 23).  Bewildered by the long list of abuses perpetrated against the natives, King Ferdinand convened a group of theologians and royal officials to examine the situation and to create laws which addressed the purported injustices.

In support of the colonist’s position, Friar Bernardo de Mesa asserted that the Indians should be subject to servitude because of their laziness.  By forcing them to labor for Spaniards, de Mesa reasoned, it would “curb their inclinations and compel them to industry” (Hanke, 23).   Drawing from Aristotle, a second court preacher, Licentiate Gregorio argued that forced labor was justified because the Indians were “natural slaves.”

According to Aristotle in Book 1 of the Politics, some human beings are born “natural slaves” (Smith, 110; 1254a21-24).  Natural slaves lack reason and have an aptitude for manual labor (Smith, 110; Politics, 1260a12; 3.1280a33-34).  Moreover, Aristotle asserts, a slave may be properly regarded as part of his master’s own body.  (Smith, 110; Politics, 1254b20-23).   In drawing from Aristotle’s natural slavery argument, Gregorio initiated a line of twisted theological reasoning which would later be used to justify conquest and colonization of all of the Americas, as well the enslavement of millions of African slaves.   Because the diverse indigenous populations of North and South America were “natural slaves” some would argue, it was morally acceptable to conquer their lands and force them to labor for enlightened Europeans.  As “natural slaves,” moreover, West Africans were less than human and therefore could be captured, shipped, and sold to Spanish, Portuguese, and English settlers.

After meeting more than 20 times, the royal junta came to several seemingly contradictory conclusions:  1. The Indians were free political subjects; 2. They were entitled to humane treatment;  3.  Nonetheless, they could be subject to compulsory labor for Spaniards; and, 4. The Indians should be forced to live in close proximity to the Europeans in order to allow for more effective religious inculcation and instruction.  (Hanke, 23).   These principles became codified in the first racially discriminatory laws in the history of the Americas called the Laws of Burgos (Hanke, 24)

Read the entire article here.

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How a long-dead white supremacist still threatens the future of Virginia’s Indian tribes

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States, Virginia on 2015-07-01 14:45Z by Steven

How a long-dead white supremacist still threatens the future of Virginia’s Indian tribes

The Washington Post

Joe Heim, Staff Writer

Walter A. Plecker’s goal as Virginia’s registrar of vital statistics was to ban race-mixing. He declared there were no true Indians left because of marriages with blacks. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia’s Indian tribes have faced numerous obstacles in their decades-old quest for federal recognition. But one person has long stood in their way — and he’s been dead for 68 years.

Walter Plecker — a physician, eugenicist and avowed white supremacist — ran Virginia’s Bureau of Vital Statistics with single-minded resolve over 34 years in the first half of the 20th century.

Though he died in 1947, Plecker’s shadow still lingers over the state, a vestige of a vicious era when racist practices were an integral part of government policy and Virginia officials ruthlessly enforced laws created to protect what they considered a master white race.

For Virginia’s Indians, the policies championed by Plecker threatened their very existence, nearly wiping out the tribes who greeted the country’s first English settlers and who claim Pocahontas as an ancestor. This month, the legacy of those laws could again help sabotage an effort by the Pamunkey people to become the state’s first federally recognized tribe.

Obsessed with the idea of white superiority, Plecker championed legislation that would codify the idea that people with one drop of “Negro” blood could not be classified as white. His efforts led the Virginia legislature to pass the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, a law that criminalized interracial marriage and also required that every birth in the state be recorded by race with the only options being “White” and “Colored.”

Plecker was proud of the law and his role in creating it. It was, he said, “the most perfect expression of the white ideal, and the most important eugenical effort that has been made in 4,000 years.

The act didn’t just make blacks in Virginia second-class citizens — it also erased any acknowledgment of Indians, whom Plecker claimed no longer truly existed in the commonwealth. With a stroke of a pen, Virginia was on a path to eliminating the identity of the Pamunkey, the Mattaponi, the Chickahominy, the Monacan, the Rappahannock, the Nansemond and the rest of Virginia’s tribes…

Read the entire article here.

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