Are multiracial millennials leading the way towards an inclusive society?

Posted in Audio, Census/Demographics, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-09-02 01:25Z by Steven

Are multiracial millennials leading the way towards an inclusive society?

MPR News with Kerri Miller
Minnesota Public Radio
Tuesday, 2015-08-25, 14:00Z (09:00 CDT, 10:00 EDT)

Kerri Miller, Host

Jose Santos, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minnesota

Rainier Spencer, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Associate Vice President for Diversity Initiatives; Chief Diversity Officer
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

“Demographically, multiracial Americans are younger—and strikingly so—than the country as a whole. According to Pew Research Center analysis of the 2013 American Community Survey, the median age of all multiracial Americans is 19, compared with 38 for single-race Americans,” —Pew Research Center.

While the nation’s multiracial population is growing – does that make our culture more understanding of issues of diversity?

MPR News host Kerri Miller hosts an engaging discussion on this question with her guests, callers and online commenters.

Listen to the interview (00:41:36) here. Download the interview here.

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Hispanic Or Latino? A Guide For The U.S. Presidential Campaign

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-08-28 16:42Z by Steven

Hispanic Or Latino? A Guide For The U.S. Presidential Campaign

National Public Radio
2015-08-27

Lulu Garcia-Navarro, South America Correspondent

My parents are Cuban and Panamanian. I grew up in Miami. I travel broadly in Latin America but reside in Brazil, which speaks Portuguese, not Spanish.

So what am I?

This may seem an irrelevant question to many, but as the American presidential season kicks into high gear there’s been a lot of confusion about how to refer to people alternately called Hispanics or Latinos.

Donald Trump, who’s made immigration central to his campaign, has sometimes used the catchall phrase “the Mexicans.” And his verbal confrontation this week with Spanish-language broadcaster Jorge Ramos — a Mexican-American — lit up social media.

I feel the need to jump into the fray because it will save me from writing lengthy corrections to others on my Facebook feed. Now, I’ll just be able to post this link. There are a lot of misconceptions out there.

Latino And Hispanic Don’t Refer To Race Or Color: As in the U.S., there are many races in Latin America owing to the history of the region. The indigenous peoples of the region were conquered and colonized by white Europeans, who then forcibly imported millions of black Africans and enslaved them. In Brazil, you also have a huge Japanese community, and there are many Chinese descendants in Peru. One of Peru’s former presidents was of Japanese descent…

Read the entire article here.

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I’m a Mizrahi Jew. Do I Count as a Person of Color?

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2015-08-17 01:36Z by Steven

I’m a Mizrahi Jew. Do I Count as a Person of Color?

Forward
2015-08-10

Sigal Samuel, Deputy Digital Media Editor


Eye of the Beholder: Sigal Samuel has been considered white and non-white, depending on who’s looking. (Image: Martyna Starosta)

Am I a person of color?

You’d think there would be a straightforward answer to a question like that. And for a while, I thought there was. I thought the answer was yes.

When I look at my grandparents — four Mizrahim, or Jews from Arab lands — I see people who were born in India and Iraq and Morocco, who grew up speaking Hindi and Arabic. When I stand in Sephora buying makeup, the shade I choose is closer to “ebony” than to “petal.” When I walk down the street, perfect strangers routinely stop me to ask: “Where are you from? Are you Persian? Indian? Arab? Latina?” When I go through airport security, I always — always — get “randomly selected” for additional screening.

I was pretty sure all this made me a person of color.

And then an acquaintance, who is Jewish and African-American, told me in the course of a casual conversation that no, actually, I don’t count…

Read the entire article here.

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Amid sweeping changes in US relations, Cuba’s race problem persists

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-08-16 21:58Z by Steven

Amid sweeping changes in US relations, Cuba’s race problem persists

Al Jazeera America
2015-08-13

Julia Cooke

In 1959, Fidel Castro said he would work to erase racial discrimination, but inequality is still widespread

Official Cuban census figures say black and mixed-heritage people are about 35 percent of the island’s population, but a quick stroll around any Cuban town will provide visual confirmation of just how many Cubans of color deem themselves “white” when the government is asking. That may not be surprising, given that race is not an objective scientific category, but rather an organizing principle of political power — both before and after the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.

The black and mixed-heritage share of Cuba’s population is closer to a two-thirds majority, according to other sources, including the U.S. State Department (which puts the figure at 62 percent), the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (also 62 percent) and Cuban economist and political scientist Esteban Morales Domínguez (who says it may be as high 72 percent). Most of these assessments break down the population into roughly equal blocs of white, black and mixed.

Even the dominant Cuban terminology signals the issue’s knotty intricacy: the decidedly un-PC term mulatto is used tenderly in conversation, defiantly on official documents, and derisively by the concerned neighbor who asks what color skin a robber had.

Now, as the country enters a new era of fast and sweeping change, a long-taboo political conversation about race is on the table as never before in art, music, film, and writing; in both official and dissident narratives; and in diverse circles across the socio-economic strata…

Read the entire article here.

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Dark-Skinned Or Black? How Afro-Brazilians Are Forging A Collective Identity

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Audio, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-08-13 02:19Z by Steven

Dark-Skinned Or Black? How Afro-Brazilians Are Forging A Collective Identity

Code Switch: Frontiers of Race, Culture and Ethnicity
National Public Radio
2015-08-12

Lulu Garcia-Navarro, South America Correspondent


Sisters Francine and Fernanda Gravina have German, Italian, African and indigenous ancestry. (Lourdes Garcia-Navarro/NPR)


If you want to get a sense of how complex racial identity is in Brazil, you should meet sisters Francine and Fernanda Gravina. Both have the same mother and father. Francine, 28, is blond with green eyes and white skin. She wouldn’t look out of place in Iceland. But Fernanda, 23, has milk chocolate skin with coffee colored eyes and hair. Francine describes herself as white, whereas Fernanda says she’s morena, or brown-skinned.

“We’d always get questions like, ‘How can you be so dark skinned and she’s so fair?'” Fernanda says. In fact, the sisters have German, Italian, African and indigenous ancestry. But in Brazil, Fernanda explains, people describe themselves by color, not race, since nearly everyone here is mixed.

All of that is to say, collecting demographic information in Brazil has been really tricky. The latest census, taken in 2010, found for the first time that Brazil has the most people of African descent outside Africa. No, this doesn’t mean that Afro-Brazilian population suddenly, dramatically increased. Rather, the new figures reflect changing attitudes about race and skin color in Brazil…

…”We should see the history of Brazil as a history of racial inequality,” Heringer says — and that’s a fairly new idea. For a long time, Brazilians have believed in what’s been called “the myth of racial democracy,” she explains. Part of that myth-building was a controversial survey that the government conducted the 1970’s. It asked people to describe their skin color, and the answers varied a lot. All together, respondents used at least 134 different terms

Read the article here. Listen to the story (00:05:38) here. Download the story here.

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Black-white mixed race identity rises in the South

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2015-08-12 21:55Z by Steven

Black-white mixed race identity rises in the South

The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
2015-08-12

William H. Frey, Senior Fellow

As shown in my book, “Diversity Explosion,” the growth of black-white marriages in the United States is unmistakable, as are the gains in the population that identifies itself as “white and black,” particularly among the very young. As further evidence that the white-black divide is eroding, it is useful to look at the region most historically resistant to change: the South. Because of past prejudices and customs, the white-black population, as a percentage of all blacks, is still considerably lower in Southern states than in other parts of the country (see map). In a slew of states leading from Maryland to Texas, “white and black” populations represent less than 5 percent of the black-only populations. In Mississippi and Louisiana, “white and black” populations constitute only 1 percent. These figures compare with more than 20 percent of “white and black” persons in a handful of states with sparse black populations in the West, Great Plains, and New England.

Read the entire article here.

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Brazil’s colour bind

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, Slavery, Social Science, Videos on 2015-08-03 01:46Z by Steven

Brazil’s colour bind

The Globe and Mail
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2015-07-31

Stephanie Nolen, Latin America Correspondent

Brazil is combating many kinds of inequality. But one of the world’s most diverse nations is still just beginning to talk about race

When Daniele de Araújo found out six years ago that she was pregnant, she set out from her small house on a dirt lane in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro and climbed a mountain. It is not a big mountain, the green slope that rises near her home, but the area is controlled by drug dealers, so she was anxious, hiking up. But she had something really important to ask of God, and she wanted to be somewhere she felt that the magnitude of her request would be clear.

She told God she wanted a girl, and she wanted her to be healthy, but one thing mattered above all: “The baby has to be white.”

Ms. de Araújo knows about the quixotic outcomes of genetics: She has a white mother and a black father, sisters who can pass for white, and a brother nearly as dark-skinned as she is – “I’m really black,” she says. Her husband, Jonatas dos Praseres, also has one black and one white parent, but he is light-skinned – when he reported for his compulsory military service, an officer wrote “white” as his race on the forms.

And so, when their baby arrived, the sight of her filled Ms. de Araújo with relief: Tiny Sarah Ashley was as pink as the sheets she was wrapped in. Best of all, as she grew, it became clear that she had straight hair, not cabelo ruim – “bad hair” – as tightly curled black hair is universally known in Brazil. These days, Sarah Ashley has tawny curls that tumble to the small of her back; they are her mother’s great joy in life. The little girl’s skin tone falls somewhere between those of her parents – but she was light enough for them to register her as “white,” just as they had hoped. (Many official documents in Brazil ask for “race and/or colour” alongside other basic identifying information.)

Ms. de Araújo and Mr. dos Praseres keep the photos from their 2005 wedding in a red velvet album on the lone shelf in their living room. The glossy pictures show family members of a dozen different skin colours, arm in arm, faces crinkled in stiff grins for the posed portraits. There are albums with similar pictures in living rooms all over this country: A full one-third of marriages in Brazil are interracial, said to be the highest rate in the world. (In Canada, despite hugely diverse cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, the rate is under five per cent.) That statistic is the most obvious evidence of how race and colour in Brazil are lived differently than they are in other parts of the world.

But a range of colours cannot disguise a fundamental truth, says Ms. de Araújo: There is a hierarchy, and white is at the top.

Many things are changing in this country. Ms. de Araújo left school as a teenager to work as a maid – about the only option open to a woman with skin as dark as hers – but now she has a professional job in health care and a house of her own, things she could not have imagined 15 years ago. Still, she says, “This is Brazil.” And there is no point being precious about it. Black is beautiful, but white – white is just easier. Even middle-class life can still be a struggle here. And Sarah Ashley’s parents want her life to be easy.

Brazil’s history of colonialism, slavery and dictatorship, followed by tumultuous social change, has produced a country that is at once culturally homogenous and chromatically wildly diverse. It is a cornerstone of national identity that Brazil is racially mixed – more than any country on Earth, Brazilians say. Much less discussed, but equally visible – in every restaurant full of white patrons and black waiters, in every high rise where the black doorman points a black visitor toward the service elevator – is the pervasive racial inequality…

Read the entire article and watch the video here.

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Multiracial marriages are dispersing across the country

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2015-08-03 00:25Z by Steven

Multiracial marriages are dispersing across the country

The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
2015-06-18

William H. Frey, Senior Fellow

As I discuss in my book, “Diversity Explosion,” the geographic dispersion of minority populations from traditional melting-pot regions to the rest of the country sets the stage for the dispersion of multiracial marriages as well. To be sure the greatest prevalence of multiracial marriages are in melting-pot states such as Hawaii, where three in 10 marriages are multiracial, as well as Alaska and Oklahoma, where the share is nearly two in 10 (see map)…

Read the entire article here.

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What It Was Like Being Mixed-Race Photographed By National Geographic

Posted in Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, Communications/Media Studies, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-31 19:59Z by Steven

What It Was Like Being Mixed-Race Photographed By National Geographic

Multiracial Asian Families: thinking about race, families, children, and the intersection of mixed ID/Asian
2015-07-29

Sharon H Chang

Remember these pictures? They were part of National Geographic’s mixed race photo campaign “Changing Faces” published in October 2013. “We’re becoming a country,” stated the magazine, “Where race is no longer so black and white.” The images were shot by famous German portrait photographer Martin Schoeller who said he liked “building catalogs of faces that invite people to compare them.” I think it’s safe to say that happened. The gallery was widely viewed (it being National Geographic after all) and more or less greatly admired (it being Martin Schoeller after all). But there was some criticism, including my own, which I wrote about for Racism Review in “Mixed or Not, Why Are We Still Taking Pictures of “Race”?” One of the larger questions I raised was around the idea that we use images of mixed race people to debate race, without including those mixed folk in the debate themselves. I concluded that essay with a proclamation:

While modern race-photography believes itself to be celebrating the dismantling of race, it may actually be fooling us (and itself) with a fantastically complicated show of smoke and mirrors…We need to make much, MUCH more space for something ultimately pretty simple — the stories of actual people themselves which in the end, will paint the real picture.

But here’s a truth I want to share with you. I also felt at the time that me making this proclamation wasn’t enough. That I had to do more than just say it. I needed to live it; make a commitment to the practice I was preaching. So. As an old friend used to say, “Where attention goes, energy flows.” Soon after making this personal resolve I had the amazing good fortune of running into Alejandro T. Acierto, a mixed race identifying person who was photographed for National Geographic’s campaign. He graciously agreed share with me/us what “Changing Faces” was like for him through his own experience, his own words, and his own lens…

Read the entire interview here.

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Douglas Todd: Mixed unions applauded by some, but dismissed by others as brownwashing

Posted in Articles, Canada, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-07-25 02:37Z by Steven

Douglas Todd: Mixed unions applauded by some, but dismissed by others as brownwashing

The Vancouver Sun
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2015-07-24

Douglass Todd, Vancouver Sun columnist

Ethnically mixed couples — involving whites, blacks, Japanese, Hispanics, Chinese, South Asians or others — were heralded not long ago as the wave of a tolerant, open, non-racist future.

National Geographic and Time magazine ran cover features with photos of mixed-race people, celebrating The New Face of America. The hero in the Warren Beatty movie, Bulworth, trumpeted inter-marriage as the way to end racial discrimination.

Polls consistently reveal many whites, blacks, Asians and others are attracted more to other ethnicities than their own, particularly for dating. British writer Laura Smith, who has a Guyanese mother and Scottish father, says she’s often told her mixed-race children “look cool.”

In the age of multi-ethnic celebrities such as Paula Abdul, Vin Diesel, Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, Halle Berry and Mariah Carey, Smith, who frequently writes about mixed unions, says white mothers, in particular, confess to her they yearn for mixed offspring; they want a society that’s less white and more “brown.”

But three cultural trends are shaking up this utopian dream, which places inter-ethnic couples at the vanguard of cultural fusion…

…Scholars SanSan Kwan and Kenneth Spiers, editors of Mixing it Up: Multiracial Subjects, also maintain the melting pot ideal, in which people of different ethnicities inevitably join up to make babies together, is a “problematic” form of “brownwashing.”

“To embrace a ‘brown’ or raceless society and to dispense with concepts of race are to deny the beauty there is in difference,” say Kwan and Spiers.

“Brownwashing hopes to erase the ugly patterns of racism and in one grand gesture homogenize us all.”

Roosevelt University Professor Heather Dalmage’s book also questions the vision of a society replete with mixed marriages. In The Politics of Multiracialism: Challenging Racial Thinking, contributors criticize white people who seek a “colour-blind” society, claiming they just want to deny the prevalence of racism.

British researcher Miri Song, of Kent University, also suggests a Western inter-marriage involving a white person can lead to questionable “assimilation,” in which the ethnic minority loses their identity to the so-called “dominant culture.”

Instead of being a sign of cultural success, Song writes, mixed marriages could “engender deep ambivalence” for minority members…

Read the entire article here.

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