Books in Brief: Nonfiction

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-09-13 20:22Z by Steven

Books in Brief: Nonfiction

The New York Times

Douglas A. Sylva

The New Colored People: The Mixed-Race Movement in America.
By Jon Michael Spencer.
New York University, $24.95.

Many members of minority groups have long argued that society must recognize and accept an individual’s racial identity for that individual to enjoy feelings of self-esteem. Ironically, however, the very success of this message threatens the black community, since many people traditionally considered black now think of themselves as multiracial or of mixed race. Some even demand the right to define themselves this way on government documents. In ”The New Colored People,” Jon Michael Spencer takes on the difficult task of explaining, from a civil-rights perspective, why government should refuse to recognize such a category. Spencer, who teaches American studies and music at the University of Richmond, worries that new classifications will sap the black community of skill and vigor. He also fears that Federal relief funds for blacks will dwindle if their officially registered population declines. Whether or not he is correct, this type of argument entails a plea to put aside the desire for recognition and self-esteem for the greater good of the community…

Read the entire review here.

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All Mixed Up: What Do We Call People Of Multiple Backgrounds?

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Census/Demographics, Communications/Media Studies, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, Social Science, United States on 2016-09-01 01:38Z by Steven

All Mixed Up: What Do We Call People Of Multiple Backgrounds?

Code Switch: Race And Identity, Remixed
National Public Radio

Leah Donnella

In a country where the share of multiracial children has multiplied tenfold in the past 50 years, it’s a good time to take stock of our shared vocabulary when it comes to describing Americans like me.
Jeannie Phan for NPR

It’s the summer of 1998 and I’m at the mall with my mom and my sister Anna, who has just turned 5. I’m 7. Anna and I are cranky from being too hot, then too cold, then too bored. We keep touching things we are not supposed to touch, and by the time Mom drags us to the register, the cashier seems a little on edge.

“They’re mixed, aren’t they?” she says. “I can tell by the hair.”

Mom doesn’t smile, and Mom always smiles. “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about,” she says.

Later, in the kitchen, there is a conversation…

‘Multiracial’ or ‘mixed’?

In light of Hall’s paper, “multiracial” was adopted by several advocacy groups springing up around the country, some of which felt the term neutralized the uncomfortable connotations of a competing term in use at that point: “mixed.”

In English, people have been using the word “mixed” to describe racial identity for at least 200 years, like this 1864 British study claiming that “no mixed races can subsist in humanity,” or this 1812 “Monthly Retrospect of Politics” that tallies the number of slaves — “either Africans or of a mixed race” — in a particular neighborhood.

Steven Riley, the curator of a multiracial research website, cites the year 1661 as the first “mixed-race milestone” in North America, when the Maryland colony forbade “racial admixture” between English women and Negro slaves.

But while “mixed” had an established pedigree by the mid-20th century, it wasn’t uncontroversial. To many, “mixed” invited associations like “mixed up,” “mixed company” and “mixed signals,” all of which reinforced existing stereotypes of “mixed” people as confused, untrustworthy or defective. It also had ties to animal breeding — “mixed” dogs and horses were the foil to pure-breeds and thoroughbreds.

Mixed “evokes identity crisis” to some, says Teresa Willams-León, author of The Sum of Our Parts: Mixed Heritage Asian Americans and a professor of Asian American Studies at California State University. “It becomes the antithesis to pure.”…

Read the entire article here.

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‘Blind Spots’ and Other Problems in Globally Blended Families

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-31 21:20Z by Steven

‘Blind Spots’ and Other Problems in Globally Blended Families

The Wall Street Journal

Tracy Slater

When the parents are in the majority and the kids are in the minority

Perhaps your child, like my two-year-old, and many other children in globally blended families, belongs to the world’s growing mixed-ethnicity population. The World Factbook finds a percentage of mixed-ethnicity people in almost a quarter of its 236 countries and territories. Among western nations, the U.K.’s and the U.S.’s mixed-race populations are increasing faster than any other minority group.

Mixed-ethnicity children often face very different experiences to their parents, a point stressed by many studies tracking this population’s growth, but within multinational families, there is another dimension: My daughter may be mixed, but she has two biological parents without much clue about what it feels like to be a minority as a kid. I’m a Jewish-American, raised with all the cultural privileges afforded to whites in the U.S., her father is native Japanese, and we live in Japan.

As a woman in a multicultural, multinational, and multiracial couple, I’ve sensed how some people assume I must be uniquely open to cultural differences, and thus uniquely equipped to raise a mixed child. But this assumption betrays a flawed logic. Globe-trotting parents in mixed marriages who grew up in the majority may be aware of racism and may even have faced it themselves, but most still lack a deeper understanding of racism during a child’s formative years…

Read the entire article here.

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MTV Decoded Answers The Question ‘Are Hispanic People White?’

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2016-08-26 00:00Z by Steven

MTV Decoded Answers The Question ‘Are Hispanic People White?’

Latino Voices
The Huffington Post

Carolina Moreno, Editor

It’s complicated.

When it comes to matters of race and ethnicity, things can get very complicated. Thankfully, Franchesa Ramsey is always ready to decode everything.

In a new episode of MTV News, the host of “Decoded” tackled the question “Are Hispanics white?” The answer is, unsurprisingly, complex.

As an ethnicity, there’s a limitless amount of racial identities that can live within the Latino community. That means Latinos can be asian, black, mixed race and, yes, even white.

“If you ever hear anyone say, ‘This is America and 77 percent of it is white.’ Whether they know it or not, they’re including a very large number of people who identify as Hispanic or Latino,” Ramsay says in the video as she breaks down “Hispanic” isn’t a racial category in the census.

Ramsey also enlisted the help of YouTube vlogger Kat Lazo to help further break down the difference between Hispanic and Latino (or the gender neutral term Latinx), plus explain the differences between race and ethnicity…

Read the entire article here.

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The changing faces of Singapore: Mixed race families

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2016-08-23 20:17Z by Steven

The changing faces of Singapore: Mixed race families

Karen Tee

This little red dot may be tiny, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in diversity. As a society traditionally made up of people of different cultures and backgrounds, coexistence and intermixing is a common theme in our daily experience – be it in the food we eat, or even how we speak.

And according to the numbers, this is also a growing trend in our marriages and families. Around 20 per cent of marriages in Singapore in 2014 were inter-ethnic, in other words, between individuals of different races. This is up from 13 per cent a decade ago.

Experts say this trend is unsurprising, given Singapore’s increasingly well-travelled population and changing social norms.

“The world is a smaller place. And what would have been totally unusual two generations ago is far more acceptable in this day and age,” Anita Fam, a Families for Life council member, told TODAY.

Meet three mixed race Singaporean families, and hear their stories of when different cultures and traditions meet, and how they celebrate their diverse backgrounds….

Read the entire article here.

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The face of change: Census racial categories aren’t so black and white

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-21 21:22Z by Steven

The face of change: Census racial categories aren’t so black and white

The Dallas Morning News

Jill Cowan, Staff Writer

Gloria Fortner, 13, says she values all of the influences of her parentage. Her father, Bruce Fortner, is a black pastor, and her mother, Florencia Velasco Fortner, is a Mexican immigrant who heads a nonprofit. (Ting Shen/The Dallas Morning News)

When Gloria Fortner was a little girl, a classmate of black and white parentage claimed to be a “better mix” than her. It was a jarring experience — one that has stayed lodged in her mind over the years.

But now, Gloria, the daughter of a black pastor and a Mexican immigrant who heads a nonprofit, said she’s forgiven if not forgotten.

“It’s OK,” the lanky violinist said on a recent afternoon. “We follow each other on Instagram now, so it’s fine.”

Gloria is 13…

Read the entire article here.

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Celebrating Japan’s multicultural Olympians

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2016-08-20 01:40Z by Steven

Celebrating Japan’s multicultural Olympians

The Japan Times

Naomi Schanen, Staff Writer

Meet the athletes flying the flag and challenging traditional views of what it is to be Japanese

Japan and Brazil’s ties go back to the early 20th century, when the first Japanese immigrants arrived as farmers in the South American country. Brazil is home to the largest Japanese community outside Japan — 1.5 million of the country’s 205 million people identify themselves as Japanese-Brazilian, including a handful of members of the Brazilian Olympic team.

But although the host countries of the current and next Summer Olympics share cultural bonds, compared to Brazil, where nearly half of people consider themselves mixed-race, multiculturalism remains elusive in Japan, where ethnic homogeneity is often held up as something to be proud of.

Though Japan is home to the second-largest Brazilian community outside of Brazil, only 2 percent of the country’s population was born overseas. Compared to most other developed countries, immigration to Japan is negligible. However, despite having to deal with an aging, shrinking population, the majority of Japanese seem to prefer it this way. In a recent Yomiuri Shimbun poll, only 37 percent said they felt that more non-Japanese should be accepted to fill the gaps in the country’s labor market…

Read the entire article here.

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Seattle’s multiracial identity evolves along with census

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-19 00:44Z by Steven

Seattle’s multiracial identity evolves along with census

The Seattle Times

Gene Balk

Now that Americans can select more than one racial category, we rank high nationally in terms of multiracial population and percentage.

TODAY — WHEN NEARLY 10 million Americans identify as multiracial — it’s strange to think that just a few decades ago, this community was practically invisible.

That’s because it wasn’t until 2000 that the Census Bureau allowed Americans to choose more than one racial category to describe themselves. Before that, you could pick only one, and people with mixed backgrounds often struggled over the decision about which box to check.

When the Census Bureau made that change, it had an especially profound impact in Seattle. That’s because even though Seattle ranks only 15th in size among U.S. metropolitan areas, our population of multiracial people — about 233,000 — is the fourth-largest. New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are the top three, in order…

Read the entire article here.

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One Drop of Love is Headed to Broadway!

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, United States on 2016-08-16 00:59Z by Steven

One Drop of Love is Headed to Broadway!

Theater Row
410 West 42nd Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues)
New York, New York 10036
Thursday, 2016-10-13, 19:30 EDT (Local Time)

How does our belief in ‘race’ affect our most intimate relationships? One Drop of Love travels near and far, in the past and present to explore family, race, love and pain – and a path towards reconciliation. It is produced by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

One Drop of Love is headed to Broadway as part of the 7th Annual United Solo Theatre Festival on Thursday, October 13th. Show starts promptly at 7:30 pm. No late seating. General admission $23.25.

When purchasing tickets from the Telecharge website, be certain you’ve chosen Thursday, October 13th at 7:30PM. See you there – bring friends!

Ticketholders are invited to a celebration and discussion with Fanshen at nearby Chez Josephine following the performance.

Purchase tickets here.

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Indian, African-Guyanese numbers continue to decline, census finds

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2016-07-19 20:22Z by Steven

Indian, African-Guyanese numbers continue to decline, census finds

Stabroek News
Georgetown, Guyana

Staff Writer

– mixed race, Amerindian populations still growing

Although the country’s two largest ethnic groups, East Indian and African-Guyanese, continued to decline in their numbers between 2002 and 2012, the drop was offset by continued growth in the mixed race and Amerindian populations, according to the last census.

However, the 2012 National Population and Housing Census also found that despite the shifts, which include the decline in the East Indian-Guyanese population from 326,277 or 43.4% to 297,493 or 39.8%—a drop of 28,784 or 3.6%—the overall ethnic distribution pattern remained unchanged from the 1980s.

The Bureau of Statistics yesterday announced the release of two Compendiums that further detail the findings of the four-year-old census, including the ethnic composition of the population…

Read the entire article here.

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