Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science on 2014-07-14 06:29Z by Steven

Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality

University of British Columbia Press
September 2014
288 pages
6 x 9″
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-7748-2772-0
Library E-Book: ISBN: 978-0-7748-2774-4

Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Geography and the Program in Journalism
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Racially mixed people in the global north are often portrayed as the embodiment of an optimistic, post-racial future. In Mixed Race Amnesia, Minelle Mahtani makes the case that this romanticized view of multiraciality governs both public perceptions and personal accounts of the mixed-race experience. Drawing on a series of interviews, she explores how, in order to adopt the view that being mixed race is progressive, a strategic forgetting takes place–one that obliterates complex diasporic histories. She argues that a new anti-colonial approach to multiraciality is needed, one that emphasizes how colonialism shapes the experiences of mixed-race people today.

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Race and the Obama Phenomenon: The Vision of a More Perfect Multiracial Union

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Forthcoming Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-07-11 06:53Z by Steven

Race and the Obama Phenomenon: The Vision of a More Perfect Multiracial Union

University Press of Mississippi
2014-07-17
432 pages (approx.)
6 X 9 inches
3 B&W photographs
Hardcover ISBN: 9781628460216

Edited by:

G. Reginald Daniel, Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Hettie V. Williams, Lecturer of African American History
Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Essays that explore how the first black president connects to the past and reimagines national racial and political horizons

The concept of a more perfect union remains a constant theme in the political rhetoric of Barack Obama. From his now historic race speech to his second victory speech delivered on November 7, 2012, that striving is evident. “Tonight, more than two hundred years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward,” stated the forty-fourth president of the United States upon securing a second term in office after a hard fought political contest. Obama borrows this rhetoric from the founding documents of the United States set forth in the U.S. Constitution and in Abraham Lincoln’sGettysburg Address.”

How naive or realistic is Obama’s vision of a more perfect American union that brings together people across racial, class, and political lines? How can this vision of a more inclusive America be realized in a society that remains racist at its core? These essays seek answers to these complicated questions by examining the 2008 and 2012 elections as well as the events of President Obama’s first term. Written by preeminent race scholars from multiple disciplines, the volume brings together competing perspectives on race, gender, and the historic significance of Obama’s election and reelection. The president heralded in his November, 2012, acceptance speech, “The idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like . . . . whether you’re black or white, Hispanic or Asian or Native American.” These essayists argue the truth of that statement and assess whether America has made any progress toward that vision.

Contributions by Lisa Anderson-Levy, Heidi Ardizzone, Karanja Keita Carroll, Greg Carter, Frank Rudy Cooper, Marhsa J. Tyson Darling, Tessa Ditonto, David Frank, Amy L. Heyse, David A. Hollinger, George Lipsitz, Mark McPhail, Tavia Nyong’o, David Roediger, Paul Spickard, Janet Mendoza Stickman, Paul Street, Ebony Utley, Ronald Waters

Contents

  • Preface / Hettie V. Williams and G. Reginald Daniel
  • Foreword: Race Will Survive the Obama Phenomenon / David Roediger
  • Introduction: Understanding Obama and Ourselves / George Lipsitz
  • Part I: Race, Obama, and Multiraciality
    • 1. Race and Multiraciality: From Barack Obama to Trayvon Martin / G. Reginald Daniel
    • 2. By Casta, Color Wheel, and Computer Graphics: Visual Representations of Racially Mixed People / Greg Carter
    • 3. Barack Obama: Embracing Multiplicity—Being a Catalyst for Change / Janet Mendoza Stickmon
    • 4. In Pursuit of Self: The Identity of an American President and Cosmopolitanism / Hettie V. Williams
  • Part II: Obama, Blackness, and the “Post-Racial Idea”
    • 5. Barack Hussein Obama, or, the Name of the Father / Tavia Nyong’o
    • 6. The End(s) of Difference? Towards an Understanding of the “Post” in Post-Racial / Lisa Anderson-Levy
    • 7. On the Impossibilities of a Post-Racist America in the Obama Era / Karanja Keita Carroll
    • 8. Obama, the Instability of Color Lines, and the Promise of a Postethnic Future / David A. Hollinger
  • Part III: Race, Gender, and the Obama Phenomenon
    • 9. From Chattel to First Lady: Black Women Moving from the Margins / Marsha J. Tyson Darling
    • 10. The “Outsider” and the Presidency: Mediated Representations of Race and Gender in the 2008 Presidential Primaries / Tessa Ditonto
    • 11. Obama’s “Unisex” Campaign: Critical Race Theory Meets Masculinities Studies / Frank Rudy Cooper
    • 12. “Everything His Father Was Not”: Fatherhood and Father Figures in Barack Obama’s First Term / Heidi Ardizzone
  • Part IV: Race, Politics, and the Obama Phenomenon
    • 13. Barack Obama’s Address to the 2004 Democratic Convention: Trauma, Compromise, Consilience and the (Im)Possibility of Racial Reconciliation / David Frank and Mark Lawrence McPhail
    • 14. Barack Obama and the Politics of Blackness / Ronald W. Walters
    • 15. Barack Obama’s White Appeal and the Perverse Racial Politics of the Post-Civil Rights Era / Paul Street
    • 16. Barack Obama’s (Im)Perfect Union: An Analysis of the Strategic Successes and Failures in His Speech on Race / Ebony Utley and Amy L. Heyse
  • Epilogue: Obama, Race, and the 2012 Presidential Election / Paul Spickard
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The racist face of Brazil’s miscegenation

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-07-10 16:33Z by Steven

The racist face of Brazil’s miscegenation

Black Women of Brazil: The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent
2013-05-22

Jarid Arraes
Cariri, Ceará, Brasil

The issue of miscegenation in Brazil is often oversimplified and romanticized. It is not uncommon to hear that Brazil is a mestiço (mixed race) and plural country and, consequently, all its inhabitants had their ethnicity inevitably mixed at some point in their ancestry. But under the axiom of a mixed country hides a violent and racist reality: the generalization of whiteness in a predominantly black country.

If all Brazilians are mixed and have black and Indian blood in their veins, why are many people reluctant to recognize their own ancestry?…

Read the entire article here.

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Colour-blind love is the mark of a healthy and dynamic society

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2014-07-06 16:47Z by Steven

Colour-blind love is the mark of a healthy and dynamic society

The Guardian/The Observer
2014-07-05

Anushka Asthana, Political Correspondent
Sky News

In Britain, there are ever more ‘mixed’ marriages such as mine. And society is enriched by this trend

A friend tells me her mother is “fully Chinese”, while her father is slightly Spanish, a little Iraqi and “a lot” Jewish. “I tick ‘mixed other’,” she adds, laughing. Throw “white British” into the mix and you have her daughter, whom she and her husband lovingly describe as “the mongrel”.

As ethnicity winds its way down the generations, it creates a complicated yet wonderfully interesting web. Data from the Office for National Statistics suggests we can expect many more of these melting-pot families. Almost one in 10 Britons now lives with a spouse or partner from a different ethnic group.

When you dig deep into this fresh haul of figures, you happen across lovely details that pose fascinating questions about the psychology and sociology of love. Why is it that Chinese women are twice as likely as their male counterparts to be in inter-ethnic relationships (39% to 20%)? Or why is it Arab men – more than women – who will look a little further for love (43% to 26%)?

Overall, there are vast differences between ethnic groups when it comes to the ease with which they will cross cultural boundaries in search of romance. The most conservative are the “white British”, “Bangladeshi” and “Pakistani” (4%, 7% and 9% respectively). Yet more than one in five “Africans” are falling for partners from different backgrounds, rising to more than four in 10 for “Caribbeans” and six in 10 for “other Black”.

As for my friend – frankly, she would probably struggle to find anyone other than her sister with the exact same cultural mix. Still, it’s interesting that the single most outward looking group is that of “mixed-race” people themselves, with 84% crossing an ethnic divide to form a long-term relationship. So other than giving us all a warm glow inside, why does any of this matter?…

Read the entire article here.

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To Measure More Diverse America, Solution May Be in Census Questions

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-07-02 01:21Z by Steven

To Measure More Diverse America, Solution May Be in Census Questions

The New York Times
2014-07-01

Tanzina Vega

When Alexa Aviles received her census form in 2010, she was frustrated by the choices. Like all Hispanics, Ms. Aviles, a Puerto Rican who lives in Brooklyn, was first asked to identify her ethnicity and then to answer a question about her race. Ms. Aviles, 41, who works for a nonprofit, thought, “I’m all of these!” In annoyance, she checked Hispanic, and then identified herself as white, black and “some other race.”

Mustafa Asmar, a Palestinian-American waiter in Paterson, N.J., does not like his options either. Arab-Americans are broadly classified as white in the census. “When you fill out white or other, it doesn’t really represent the Middle Eastern population,” said Mr. Asmar, 25. “I don’t feel like I’m white. I don’t know what else to put.”

As the United States becomes more diverse, the Census Bureau is grappling with how to accurately classify race and ethnicity in its next decennial count in 2020. It is an issue that plays out in divergent ways for different groups. Many Hispanics, like Ms. Aviles, are frustrated that they are prompted to select from racial categories that they believe do not represent their identity.

Many Arabs have the opposite concern: They are not asked a separate ethnicity question and are typically categorized as white, a label that many feel does not apply…

Read the entire article here.

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Neymar and the Disappearing Donkey

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-06-30 21:48Z by Steven

Neymar and the Disappearing Donkey

Africa is a Country
2014-06-17

Achal Prabhala
Bangalore, India

By the time you read this, it’s possible that every single person on the planet will know who Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is…

…You could come to any number of conclusions from Neymar’s remarkable transformation. For instance, you could conclude that race doesn’t exist in Brazil, which is the favourite line of a specific tribe of Brazilians – impeccable liberals all, who just happen to be upper-class, white and at the top of the heap.

Or you could conclude that everyone in Brazil is indeed mixed – which is, incidentally, the second-favourite line of the selfsame tribe.

Or you could wonder what happened to this boy.

***

It’s too easy to condemn Neymar for pretending to be white: judging by the images, he is partly white. It’s silly to accuse him of denying his mixed-race ancestry, because the simplest search throws up hundreds of images of him as a child, none of which he seems to be ashamed of. There is this: when asked if he had ever been a victim of racism, he said, “Never. Neither inside nor outside the field. Because I’m not black right?”

Actually, the word he used was preto, which is significant, since, in Brazil, when used as a colour ascribed to people – rather than things, like rice or beans – it is the equivalent of the n-word; negro and negra being the acceptable ways of describing someone who is truly black. (And moreno or morena being standard descriptors for someone dark-skinned, as well as, occasionally, euphemisms for blackness). Technically speaking, however, his logic was faultless – and even kind of interestingly honest: the Neymar who made that statement was an unworldly eighteen-year-old who had never lived outside Brazil. And in Brazil, Neymar is not black…

Read the entire article here.

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Infectious Fear: Politics, Disease, and the Health Effects of Segregation

Posted in Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2014-06-30 21:06Z by Steven

Infectious Fear: Politics, Disease, and the Health Effects of Segregation

University of North Carolina Press
May 2009
328 pages
36 illus., 5 tables, notes, bibl., index
6.125 x 9.25
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8078-5934-6

Samuel Kelton Roberts Jr., Associate Professor of History; Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences
Columbia University, New York

For most of the first half of the twentieth century, tuberculosis ranked among the top three causes of mortality among urban African Americans. Often afflicting an entire family or large segments of a neighborhood, the plague of TB was as mysterious as it was fatal. Samuel Kelton Roberts Jr. examines how individuals and institutions—black and white, public and private—responded to the challenges of tuberculosis in a segregated society.

Reactionary white politicians and health officials promoted “racial hygiene” and sought to control TB through Jim Crow quarantines, Roberts explains. African Americans, in turn, protested the segregated, overcrowded housing that was the true root of the tuberculosis problem. Moderate white and black political leadership reconfigured definitions of health and citizenship, extending some rights while constraining others. Meanwhile, those who suffered with the disease—as its victims or as family and neighbors—made the daily adjustments required by the devastating effects of the “white plague.”

Exploring the politics of race, reform, and public health, Infectious Fear uses the tuberculosis crisis to illuminate the limits of racialized medicine and the roots of modern health disparities. Ultimately, it reveals a disturbing picture of the United States’ health history while offering a vision of a more democratic future.

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‘Stunning Portraits of Mixed Race Families’?: Slate’s Human Zoo of Race Mongrelization

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-06-29 19:15Z by Steven

‘Stunning Portraits of Mixed Race Families’?: Slate’s Human Zoo of Race Mongrelization

We Are Respectable Negroes: Happy Non-Threatening Coloured Folks, Even in the Age of Obama
Wednesday, 2014-06-25

Chauncey DeVega, Editor and Founder

Am I the only person who found Slate.com’s photo essay “Stunning Portraits of Mixed Race Families” to be very problematic?

To my eyes, it contains and channels the echoes of race science and eugenics wrapped in a veneer of praise and curiosity for “unusual” and “fascinating” bodies.

Questions of race and representation were and remain central to the dynamics of the global color line. The ways in which certain types of people and bodies are visually represented through film, photographs, paintings, and other mediums reflect the dynamics of power.

Whose eyes are “we” seeing through? What assumptions are driving the Gaze? How are the bodies and people in visual images posed and positioned relative to one another? Who is included? What types of people and bodies are excluded?…

…The contemporary American fascination with “mixed race” and “biracial” identity is a reflection of changing demographics and globalization; it is also a surrender to and performance of a shallow type of faux cosmopolitanism.

Ironically, the race scientists of Nazi Germany and the United States, as well as the photographer Cyjo (whose work was featured in Slate’s essay) who fetishize and find something “stunning” or “interesting” about “mixed race” and/or “biracial” people (what are fictive identities, social constructs, as there is only one race, the human race) share some common assumptions.

One, that those types of “racial” identities are somehow new or novel. In fact, human history is a story of “miscegenation” and “interracial” intimacy. Two, that those types of bodies and individuals merit study and analysis because there is some connection, either implied or explicitly stated, between genes, color, culture, destiny, and personal, as well as national “character”…

Read the entire article here.

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Latinos and Whiteness: On Being Sold An Empty White Privilege Knapsack

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-06-19 18:17Z by Steven

Latinos and Whiteness: On Being Sold An Empty White Privilege Knapsack

Race-work, Race-love
2014-06-13

Blanca E. Vega (@BlancaVNYC), writer, educator, and race-worker

Sophia (@sophiagurule) on May 30th replied to my tweet about White Supremacy and Latinidad:

“‪@BlancaVNYC : and yep ‪#nuncamas. this [choosing White on the Census] has haunted/shaped my life, and used against me, and I’m just done with it.”

To read more of the conversation, click here.

For many Latinos in the U.S., race is still an elusive and misunderstood concept. This is due to many reasons but primarily for this one: Latinos have been taught that we are not a race, that instead, we are an ethnicity, and therefore have the ability/privilege to dodge the race question altogether.

The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line – W.E.B. Du Bois

For Latinos, the race question on a Census is confused for the color question. For the 2000 Census, even Latinos who were unmistakably White, Black, Native, or Asian, could pick “Other”. In 2010, “Other” was no longer available for Latinos, thus, forcing them to choose (what many confuse) “Color” for “Race” – and there is a difference, one that is often never unpacked for Latinos.

So, if the problem is the color line, then where do Latinos, who are taught “they have no race” fit in this now 21st century problem?…

…Latinos should remember that while some of us have privileges associated with Whiteness, this is not White Privilege. However, the only way we can understand our own racialization is to identify those areas in which some of us benefit from White Supremacy and where we don’t – a category Eduardo Bonilla Silva calls “honorary white” – and attack those areas if we are truly in the business of killing White Supremacy. This provides a more nuanced understanding of Latinidad, Latinization of race, and the racialization of Latinos, more so than the frames we inherited….

Read the entire article here.

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Seoul International Seminar on Racism/Mixed Race in Korea and Japan

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-06-18 20:36Z by Steven

Seoul International Seminar on Racism/Mixed Race in Korea and Japan

Yonsei University, South Korea
2014-06-21 through 2014-06-22
Co-organized & Sponsored by Department of Cultural Anthropology & Institute of Korean Studies, Yonsei University

…1:30-3:30 pm Mixed race/blood in modern Japan

(Chair: Lee Sang Kook, Yonsei University)

  1. A.K.M. Skarpelis (NYU Sociology and Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo) , “Eugenic Ironies: Assimilating Colonial Korea into the Japanese Empire”
  2. Johanna O. Zulueta (Soka University), “Multiculturalism and Mixed Race in Okinawa: Politics of Inclusion/Exclusion in the Post-Cold War Years”
  3. Sachiko Horiguchi (Temple University Japan Campus) & Yuki Imoto (Keio University), “From Konketsu to Hafu: The politics of mixed-race categories in modern Japan”

Discussant: Han Geon Soo (Kangwon National University), Park Kyung Min (Michigan State University)

Coffee Break

4:00-6:00pm Cultural politics of mixed race celebrities in East Asia

Chair: Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash University)

  1. Ji-Hyun Ahn (University of Washington Tacoma), “Questioning the cultural currency of whiteness: White mixed-race celebrities and (contemporary) Korean popular culture”
  2. Jeehyun Lim (Denison University), “Black and Korean in Neoliberal Multiculturalism in South Korea”
  3. Kaori Mori-Want (Shibaura Institute of Technology), “Japan We are Haafu, So What?: A Different Perspective in Mixed Race Studies in the Voices of Japanese Haafu Comedians”

Discussant: Jung Hyesil (Hanyang University), Sachiko Horiguchi (Temple University Japan Campus)

6:00- 8:00 pm Reception…

For more information click here.

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