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

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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One-Woman Multimedia Show ONE DROP OF LOVE Comes to The Fox Theatre, 9/21

Posted in Arts, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2014-09-19 14:19Z by Steven

One-Woman Multimedia Show ONE DROP OF LOVE Comes to The Fox Theatre, 9/21 Atlanta

The Fox Theatre is presenting One Drop of Love on Sunday, September 21 at 3 PM and 7 PM in the Fox Theatre’s Egyptian Ballroom. The show is a multimedia solo performance exploring family, race, love, pain and a path towards reconciliation. Monica Pearson, an active community leader and influencer, will moderate the discussion following both shows. Tickets are $25 and are available for purchase now at, by calling 855-285-8499 or at The Fox Theatre Ticket Office.

LIMITED OFFER: ½ price tickets available on Goldstar!

One Drop of Love is a multimedia one woman show written and performed by the show’s writer/performer Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni and is produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. It incorporates film, photographs and animation to examine how “race” has been constructed in the United States and how it can influence our most intimate relationships. The show will take you on a journey from the 1700s to the present spanning locations through the world as 16 characters facilitate reconciliation between a daughter and her father. Immediately following each performance, Fanshen facilitates a Q&A segment.

“Amazing performance, staging, autobiography, artistry and an amazing meditation on race and examination of America,” stated Ben Affleck, show producer and 2013 Academy Award winning actor. “I am in awe.” For more information on One Drop of Love, visit

About Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni: Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni has been featured in the New York Times and on NPR as a spokesperson on using the arts to explore racial identity. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, West Africa, and has designed curricula for and taught English as a Second Language to students from all over the world. She has been honored with the Peace Corps’ Franklin H. Williams Award, and with Peace Corps Fellows and Hollywood Foreign Press Association scholarships. She holds a BA in Spanish and Education, an MA in TESOL, and an MFA in Acting and Performance in Film, TV and Theater. Fanshen is also a proud member of Ensemble Studio Theater/LA Playwrights Unit, and a co-curator of

For more information, click here. Purchase tickets here ($5.00 discount with promotional access code “LOVE”).

What Audiences Are Saying:

Fanshen Cox’s “One Drop of Love” interweaves the intimacy of personal experience with the larger social and political changes redefining race, gender and the kinship in America. As  important as the performance itself is Fanshen’s sincere interest in, and ability to, connect with her audiences, to link her extremely personal story to other people’s experiences, to be open to their voices even as she is telling her own story. Fanshen offers an insightful, smart, informed, clear-eyed investigation into the complexity of being “mixed” that makes her private journey of keen interest to anyone who crosses cultural or racial boundaries.

- Michele Elam, professor of English, Stanford University

Fanshen’s story is quite incredible, but it is her retelling of it that captures an audience.  I have rarely seen a group of teenagers so rapt with attention to hear the next word.  Her ability to use the personal to build a story about race, family and bridging painful rifts among loved ones and strangers was so potent for these young men and women who grapple with these issues daily.  She is the kind of performer who will inspire people to embrace what makes them different and see it as a strength.

- Randall Arney, Artistic Director, Geffen Playhouse

Wow. “One Drop of Love” is fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing your story and opening up so much thoughtful reflection and discussion about mixed heritage and race — my mind is still buzzing and the audience was so energized.

- Sady Sullivan, Director of Oral History, Brooklyn Historical Society

“One Drop of Love” is beautiful and brave. Cox DiGiovanni’s honesty, insight, dedication, and love are an inspiration. She takes us into the intimate places where family, race, love, and pain intertwine. In this sometimes searing, sometimes funny, and always smart play she shows us both the terrible things we do to those we love and a way forward to a better future.

- Paul Spickard, professor of history at University of California, Santa Barbara

The performance was hands-down the best Choate performance I have ever seen. I’ve seen a lot of white struggle stories, and a lot of black struggle stories, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mixed struggle story.

- Zemia Edmondson, student at Choate Rosemary Hall

“One Drop of Love” is an hour of pure magic. Cox DiGiovanni is able to shift through time and space and different characters to explain the racial paradigm in America, and the relationship between her and her father in ways that anyone can understand. I highly recommend this show.

- Steven F. Riley, Owner/Curator

Wow. Hollywood spends millions on movies and they couldn’t bring me from folded over laughter to tears as easily as Fanshen did. She’s engaging with the audience and honest. One Drop conquers racial issues with honesty and an open heart. Anyone who has ever felt out of place…or had a really crazy (but loving) family will really enjoy this.

- Angela Nissel, co-producer Scrubs; author: Broke DiariesMixed; writer on The Boondocks

In “One Drop of Love,” Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni offers a thought-provoking, informative, and moving exploration of race, racism, and what it means to identify as “culturally mixed.”  Her authenticity and humor, as she recounts her complex relationships with her parents and the evolution of her thinking, are deeply engaging. This piece not only educates and prompts discussion about important issues, but also inspires audience members to examine and honor their own struggles with identity.

- Jennifer Zakkai, Education Projects Leader, Geffen Playhouse

One Drop of Love is funny, entertaining and moving.

- Kim Wayans, Actress: PariahIn Living Color; Writer/Performer: A Handsome Woman Retreats

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Making Race Count in the Census

Posted in Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-09-17 17:29Z by Steven

Making Race Count in the Census

New York University
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
53 Washington Square South
New York, New York 10012
Wednesday, 2014-09-17, 18:30-21:00 EDT (Local Time)

Are Hispanics becoming white? Are Latin@s a race? How can we account for race and ethnicity in ways that best represent our interests? Can a Census form really capture our social realities?

Join a distinguished panel of experts for a dialogue on race, Latin@s, and the U.S. Census.

  • Angelo Falcón is president of the National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP) and editor of its Network on Latino Issues.
  • Zaire Zenit Dinzey-Flores is associate professor of sociology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
  • Nicholas Jones is the Director of Race & Ethnic Research and Outreach of the Population Division at the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Nancy López is associate professor of sociology and director and co-founder of the Institute for the Study of “Race” and Social Justice at the University of New Mexico.
  • Edward E. Telles teaches courses in race, ethnicity and immigration, with a special emphasis on Latin America and Latinos, at Princeton University.

“Making Race Count in the Census,” is part of the public programming leading up to our second transnational conference Afro-Latin@s Now: Race Counts! to be held in New York City on October 23-25, 2014.

To RSVP, click here.

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What Are You, Anyway?

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2014-09-13 22:16Z by Steven

What Are You, Anyway?

Brown Alumni Magazine
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
September/October 2014

Amy DuBois Barnett ’91

It was a muggy day in September 1987. Thanks to the dense New England humidity of a stubborn Indian summer, most of us pre-freshmen had hung our crisp new college outfits in the narrow dorm closets and had retreated into the baggy shorts and long tank tops that all high school students wore that year.

Brown shoulders abounded as we gathered nervously for our first group event of the Third World Transition Program, or TWTP, as it was commonly known. All non-white members of the incoming freshman class were invited for a four-day orientation that was meant to acclimate us to our Ivy League surroundings. We were supposed to commune together and develop bonds so that we would feel comfortable and at home when the “snowstorm” (our term for the arrival of the Caucasian students) hit.

Upon arriving at TWTP, my first question had been: What is up with the name? I’m from New York, not a third world country. Apparently, the program had been created to appease the mostly African American students who famously organized a walkout in 1968 to protest their lack of representation among the classes and faculty. Therefore, even though the majority of students who gathered under its banner had graduated at the top of their classes from some of the best high schools in the Western Hemisphere, the nomenclature was not to be trifled with.

Chastened by the explanation of TWTP’s genesis and shamed by my lack of knowledge about what it took to make the program a reality, I took my seat in Andrews Dining Hall next to a cool Indian girl in an all-black outfit, wearing one enormous earring. In typical teen girl fashion, we became fast friends in about fifteen minutes, but we were quickly parted when the program organizers announced that we would be gathering in ethnicity-based groups. She trotted off to join the Asian students, and I was left alone to face a difficult choice: Did I join the large fun-looking group of black students at the far end of the room who were already laughing, high-fiving, and forming cliques? Or should I join the small, sad group of biracial kids whose only unifying characteristic was parents of two different races?

Technically, I belonged with the biracial kids because my mother is African American, while my father is white and Jewish. But that characterization did not feel like home to me at all. I had been raised black, felt black, and had never once called my racial identity into question. There was no confusion or conflict in my home, either. My dad had always told me, “It’s simple. I am white and you are black.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Between two worlds

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2014-09-07 21:36Z by Steven

Between two worlds

The Guardian/The Observer

Geraldine Bedell

Britain has one of the fastest-growing mixed-race populations – but many people are still hostile towards interracial couples. We asked some of them how their lives have been affected

During the 1991 Gulf war, Richard Littlejohn wrote in the Sun that British women married to Iraqis ‘should be left to rot in their adopted country, with their hideous husbands and their unattractive children’.

Even making allowances for jingoism, this was vicious stuff – and typical of attitudes to interracial relationships for centuries. Today, the UK has one of the fastest-growing mixed-race populations in the world. According to a Policy Studies Institute report in 1997, half of all black men born here who are currently in a relationship have a white partner, and a third of black women (and one fifth of Asian men and 10 per cent of Asian women). One in 20 pre-school children in the country is thought to be mixed-race.

From Diana, Princess of Wales to Trevor McDonald, Michael Caine to Zeinab Badawi, countless celebrities have, or have had, lovers from different racial backgrounds. People of mixed race, from Zadie Smith to Halle Berry, Hanif Kureishi to Paul Boateng, are increasingly in the public eye; and in parts of our big cities, interracial relationships are so common that even to notice them is bad manners. When we set out to find couples for this article, some people thought that even taking an interest in the subject was racist.

Which it might be, if the relationships were untouched by other people’s assumptions. You don’t have to look far on the internet before you come across sites with quite vicious connotations: ‘A note to Asian (and white) men: who’s sleeping with your women?’ Then there are the offers of Thai brides and hot black chicks for people who like their flesh a particular, and preferably exotic, colour. (Since the eighteenth century, black people have been an icon for rampant, probably deviant sexuality).

Randall Kennedy, a professor of law at Yale University and author of a new book, Interracial Intimacies, (Pantheon) notes that African Americans take one of three views of such relationships: they see them as a positive good, decreasing segregation; they are agnostic, considering relationships a private matter – thus fending off the common assumption that successful black people want nothing more than a white partner; or they repudiate mixed relationships on politicised black-is-beautiful grounds.

The situation in Britain is less fervid than in the US, partly because of our different histories of slavery, partly because of the greater degree of residential integration here. Even so, the past couple of decades have seen a militant pro-black position that has led to mixed-race children being labelled black willy-nilly, especially for the purposes of adoption. Jill Olumide, interviewed below, has met white single mothers who have been told that they may not be suitable to raise their own children since they are unable to socialise them into ‘their’ ‘black culture’. As Paul Gilroy, the British-born Harvard academic has said, racism and this kind of anti-racism share precisely the same essentialist assumptions about totality, identity and exclusion.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown makes a powerful case in a recent book, Mixed Feelings, for awareness and acknowledgement of a new kind of Briton. People of mixed race are now 11 per cent of the ethnic-minority population, which implicates a lot of people if you include their parents and grandparents. Alibhai-Brown is wryly aware of the ‘unreal and unhelpful’ tendency of people like herself, in interracial marriages, to become ‘warriors for a cause’. It is possible, she reflects, that Britain is ‘good at’ certain types of diversity, such as food and sex; that doesn’t mean we’ve stamped out racism.

Even so, the final impression left by her analysis is pretty positive. Identity undoubtedly derives from being part of social groupings. But we also find and reinforce ourselves through our individual interactions. Interracial relationships have shown, time and time again, that no amount of social construct can kill human attractions…

Read the entire article and interview here.

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The complicity cost of racial inclusion

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-08-30 20:50Z by Steven

The complicity cost of racial inclusion

Al Jazeera America

Julia Carrie Wong
Oakland, California

When Brook Soso, a new Asian-American character in the second season of “Orange Is the New Black,” arrives at the federal prison in Litchfield, New York, a fellow inmate named Lorna Morello provides her with a toothbrush and bar of soap. Morello, who is white, is an enforcer of the strict racial divisions (black, Latina, white and other) that define the show’s social landscape — “it’s tribal, not racist,” she explained in the first season — but here she makes an exception. “I don’t normally bend the rules like this,” she says, “but you don’t look full … Asian.”

Morello turns out to be right — Soso is half Scottish — but Soso’s arms-length adoption by white prisoners such as Morello is in many ways still evocative of the shifting position Asian-Americans hold in the United States today. Being Asian and being white are becoming less and less mutually exclusive and the boundary between them (particularly in arenas such as work and education) increasingly porous. But the induction of Asian-Americans into whiteness doesn’t alter the meaning of whiteness; rather, it’s a reminder that whiteness has never been defined by a person’s country of origin or genetic makeup. It’s simply a tool, one that can continue to operate even with the inclusion of certain minority groups…

…It may be disconcerting for some people to recognize that the boundaries of whiteness can shift. The ubiquitous boxes we check on applications and census materials might lead us to believe that race is determinate. But race is a social construct, not a scientific fact: American whiteness was an ideological creation to rationalize the enslavement of Africans and the extermination of native peoples. As David Roediger argued in “The Wages of Whiteness,” racial antagonisms helped solidify 19th century American class structure. In subsequent generations, whiteness was expanded to meet the needs of our changing population and the U.S.’s imperial interests abroad. Throughout our country’s history, special privileges (such as voting and land ownership) have been reserved for those who were considered white…

Read the entire article here.

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Race statistics: how to get from where we are to where we should be: a rejoinder

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-28 00:59Z by Steven

Race statistics: how to get from where we are to where we should be: a rejoinder

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 37, Issue 10, 2014
Special Issue: Ethnic and Racial Studies Review
pages 1852-1856
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2014.932413

Kenneth Prewitt, Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs
Columbia University

America’s race statistics are inadequate to the policy challenges of the twenty-first century, especially for social justice and immigrant incorporation policy. But inertial forces – technical and political – complicate change. Overcome technical barriers by taking advantage of an experiment fielded in 2010. To miss that opportunity would be a huge failure. Political barriers are more difficult. Start with what is familiar – more emphasis on national origin – and add flexibility and granularity, both are politically desirable. Introduce change without disrupting the existing policy practices. Phase in improvements gradually, taking advantage of generational turnover. One generation changes the statistical basis for policy. The next generation, which has grown up with the new statistics, implements the policy changes. An example of how this works is found in the multiple-race option introduced in the 2000 census but probably not put to policy use until after the 2030 census.

Read the entire rejoinder here.

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Utopian visions of racial admixture

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-27 21:19Z by Steven

Utopian visions of racial admixture

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 37, Issue 10, 2014
Special Issue: Ethnic and Racial Studies Review
pages 1847-1851
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2014.932409

C. Matthew Snipp, Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Sociology
Stanford University, Palo Alto, California

In a world unbounded by racial divisions, the choice of a lover, a spouse and the children that come from that union should transcend the schemes devised by others to oppress and exploit. Racial admixtures, to the extent that they blur and obscure entrenched ideas from the past, are things to be celebrated and embraced. Both of these books, as different as they are, embrace the essential value of racial admixture but from very different perspectives, for very different reasons, and with very different emphases.

The United States of the United Races traces the history of interracial relationships in this country. Carter begins his narrative with a close reading of the French author Hector St John de Crèvecoeur. Crèvecoeur penned a very popular work titled Letters from an American Farmer that was intended to describe everyday life in the new nation. Carter’s discussion makes it clear that Crèvecoeur was an opponent of slavery and portrayed it in the vilest possible terms. However, Carter takes Crèvecoeur’s opposition to slavery and tries to make something more of it. Carter writes:

Crèvecoeur’s most important legacy… suggested that true Americans cast off the old ways of their ancestors and consented to a new way of life based on equality. In this, mixture was a positive. The American was new and mixed, just as the society was new and mixed and the way of life was new and mixed. (26, emphasis added)

Carter’s insistence that Crèvecoeur’s abolitionist leanings represent an early endorsement of racial amalgamation is a logical leap for which he provides no justification.

Taking a benign view of this logical lapse, a reader could conjecture that important links in this argument fell victim to an editor’s delete key. However, I dwell on this point because it is the first instance of something that happens in other parts of the book. That is, Carter wishes to convince us that the proponents of racial amalgamation, the formation of intimate personal relationships across racial lines have been a thriving social movement throughout the nation’s history. In places, Carter’s ebullient embrace of this theme causes him to stretch a point that sorely tests a reader’s credulity.

In a similar though subtler fashion, Carter situates the movement for racial amalgamation within the larger movement to abolish slavery. Chapter 2 is titled ‘Wendell Phillips, Unapologetic Abolitionist, Unreformed Amalgamationist’ and focuses on the life of a single abolitionist to assert the centrality of interracial marriage within the movement, invoking the affairs of Frederick Douglass with white women as additional evidence. Carter is careful to point out that ‘racial amalgamation’ was a controversial position and one that could incite violence. This chapter vacillates between making interracial marriage a focal point of the movement to abolish slavery and acknowledging that this was an extremely unpopular position. Nonetheless, the narrative of this chapter too often seeks to make us believe that the freedom to form interracial intimate relationships was one of the core objectives of the abolitionist movement. To be sure, there were abolitionists who subscribed to this view. Carter delivers evidence that at least one existed, but the argument in chapter 2 does little to dispel the view that this was little more than the lunatic fringe of the abolition movement…

What is Your Race? takes on a problem in US public policy that seems poised to only grow more serious over time. Namely, the USA has a set of public policies anchored to a racial classification system with categories that are increasingly out of step with a twenty-first-century experience and understanding of the American racial order. Prewitt has written a policy brief that consists of three parts: (1) it begins by laying out the origins of the existing system; (2) it then turns to the growing problems connected with the status quo; and (3) it concludes with recommendations for modifying the existing system along with a strategy for deploying these recommendations. The book contains eleven chapters and it would not be unfair to say that the first nine chapters are a prologue and justification for chapters 10 and 11. However, before turning to the final and most important chapters of this book, the first nine chapters deserve notice.

The official racial classification used by the federal government does not emanate from the Census Bureau. It is instead, a product of the Office of Management and Budget and articulated in a document known as Directive No. 15 (revised October 1997). Prewitt is well aware of this fact and, indeed, discusses this document at length. However, the focus of this book is on the way that the US Census Bureau collects information about race, and the recommendations that he makes are most applicable to the Census Bureau. This is not surprising partly because Prewitt is a former Census Bureau director. He writes with an insider’s deep knowledge about the workings of this complex organization. More significantly, the Census Bureau is arguably the single largest producer of data about race in the nation. Much if not most of what Americans know about race in their nation originates at the Census Bureau.

Prewitt begins by presenting a concept that he calls ‘statistical races’. Statistical races were first created by the Constitutional mandate that a census be taken every ten years. Constitutional language embedded whites and African American slaves, and excluded American Indians in the first census taken in 1790. In every census since, race has been a prominent feature. Prewitt acknowledges that racism and prejudice are indeed social realities that frame the everyday lives of Americans. However, statistical races, he argues, are classificatory artifacts manipulated to serve public policy interests…

Read the review of both books here.

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The collection of race-based data in the USA: a call for radical change

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-08-27 20:27Z by Steven

The collection of race-based data in the USA: a call for radical change

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 37, Issue 10, 2014
Special Issue: Ethnic and Racial Studies Review
pages 1839-1846
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2014.932407

Peter Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Population Health
University of Kent, United Kingdom

Two important new books by Greg Carter and Kenneth Prewitt provide detailed historical perspectives on how understandings of race and race categories have evolved since the founding of the republic. Prewitt focuses on an analysis of racial classification in the US census – the so-called ‘statistical races’ –and its changing role in US policy, culminating in recommendations for radical change. Carter takes as his theme population mixing across the races, offering a positive, even celebratory, but little known account of the moments and movements that have praised mixing. As pressures mount on the ‘statistical races’ in the late twentieth century, Prewitt uses the political space opened up by these debates to offer fundamental changes to US methods of ethno-racial data collection, including the removal of these questions from the census. The jury is in recess for further deliberations.

Read the review of both books here.

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How Ferguson could be America’s future

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-08-26 02:12Z by Steven

How Ferguson could be America’s future

Cable News Network (CNN)

John Blake

(CNN) — The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have been described as a mirror into contemporary America, but they are also something else: A crystal ball.

Look past the headlines — the debates over race and police militarization that have surfaced after the killing of an unarmed black youth by a white police officer — and one can glimpse America’s future, some historians and political scientists say.

No one is talking about an impending race war or a police state, but something more subtle. Unless Americans re-examine some assumptions they’ve made about themselves, they argue, Ferguson could be the future.

Assumption No. 1: Tiger Woods is going to save us

It’s called the “browning of America.” Google the phrase and you’ll get 18 million hits. By 2050, most of the nation’s citizens are expected to be people of color, according to the Pew Research Center.

Dig beneath the Google links and one can detect an emerging assumption: Racial flashpoints like Ferguson will fade in the future because no single race will be dominant. You could call it the Tiger Woods effect. The New American will claim multiple racial origins like Woods, the pro golfer. Demographic change will accomplish what a thousand national conversations on race could never do: lessen the sting of racial conflict.

A dramatic increase in interracial marriages will change the racial landscape as more people cross racial and ethnic lines to marry. But that change won’t be a cure-all, says Rory Kramer, a sociology and criminology professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

He says racial progress is not inevitable with the browning of America.

“I don’t want to deny the optimism,” Kramer says. “I deny the assumption that it will happen without effort.”…

Read the entire article here.

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