Race in a Baby’s Face

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-07-29 16:39Z by Steven

Race in a Baby’s Face

Psychology Today
2014-07-28

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, Ed.D, Psychologist and Co-founder
Stanford University LifeWorks program for Integrative Learning

Crawling the color line

Race is supposedly something objective, even biological, that we’re ascribed at birth and marks us through our whole lives, assigning us to a group that separates us from others. But for many people race is ambiguous, complex, and uncertain. I’ve never understood my race or that of my children. And for the newest babies in my extended family, it’s not clear at all what their race is supposed to be.

When my niece had a baby, a beautiful boy, everyone oohed and aahed when they saw the cute little guy. One of his cousins glowed, “Oh he’s so cute!”  But suddenly a puzzled expression came over him and he looked at the baby’s father, then at the mother, and back at the baby and blurted out: “Wait…..they had a white baby?”…

Read the entire article here.

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Race & Its Categories in Historical Perspective

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-07-27 09:36Z by Steven

Race & Its Categories in Historical Perspective

Crossing Borders, Bridging Generatons
Brooklyn Historical Society
June 2014

Ann Morning, Associate Professor of Sociology
New York University

A native New Yorker, Ann Morning is an associate professor of sociology at New York University and the author of The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference (University of California Press, 2011). In this essay she explores race and its categories in historical perspective.

What Is “Race”? Academics Disagree

“Race” is a familiar, everyday word for Americans, one that we routinely come across when we open a newspaper or fill out a form. Yet there is no scientific consensus about what exactly the term denotes. As I report in The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference, even academics within the same discipline, like biology or anthropology, disagree on how best to define the concept of race.

The scholarly debate hinges on whether races are groupings that we human beings invent, influenced by our subjective cultural prejudices and hierarchies, or whether they are groups of people who objectively share certain physical characteristics, whether visible or invisible (e.g. genetic). Members of the former camp are often referred to as “constructivists” because of their insistence that racial categories are built or put together by human hands, while proponents of the latter perspective are often labelled “essentialists” due to their conviction that racial groupings reflect traits naturally embedded within individuals’ bodies (i.e. “essences”). To illustrate this scientific conflict with a concrete example, take the standard U.S. racial category “black.” To a constructivist, this classification has all the makings of a social construct: Over the nation’s history, there have been changing beliefs about who falls into this category (e.g. anybody with a black mother during colonial times, or anybody with any known African ancestry after the Civil War) and conflicting beliefs by region (e.g. Louisiana versus Virginia). Moreover, if we compare the United States to other countries, it is quickly apparent that someone who is considered “black” here might not be classified the same way in Latin America, Western Europe, the Middle East, or Africa. In other words, racial categorization depends a lot on the society that is doing the categorizing—which is exactly the point that constructivists wish to make. To an essentialist however, the biological sciences demonstrate that there are distinct subgroups—races—within the human species. In the past, biologists thought the telltale markers of racial type lay in such disparate physical features as skull size and shape, blood type, skin color, hair texture, eye shape, and so on. Today however the academic debate about race and biology takes place almost entirely on the terrain of genetics, where scholars argue whether DNA patterns do or do not map onto racial groupings…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Mondays Film Series at the Brooklyn Historical Society

Posted in Canada, Communications/Media Studies, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Live Events, Passing, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States, Videos, Women on 2014-07-27 08:59Z by Steven

Mixed Mondays Film Series at the Brooklyn Historical Society

Crossing Borders, Bridging Generatons
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Mondays, 2014-08-04 through  2014-08-18, 18:30 EDT (Local Time)

Hosted by and post-screening discussion with:

Erica Chito Childs, Professor of Sociology (author of Navigating Interracial Borders and Fade to Black and White: Interracial Images in Popular Culture)
City University of New York

This series is co-sponsored by MixedRaceStudies.org.

August 4: Imitation of Life (1959):

The Mixed Monday film series launches with a 1959 Lana Turner classic—Imitation of Lifewhich explores the story of an African-American woman and her light-skinned, mixed-race daughter who passes for white. Come munch on popcorn, watch the film and discuss the history and cultural context around mixed families, race relations and popular culture.

August 11: My Beautiful Laundrette (1985):

British-born, half-Pakistani playwright and novelist Hanif Kureishi won an Oscar nomination for his 1985 screenplay for My Beautiful Laundrette, a richly layered film about Pakistani immigrant life in Thatcherite London.

Come watch the protagonist, Omar, navigate mixed-income and mixed-race arrangements in his family and develop an unlikely, yet beautiful, queer relationship with Johnny (Daniel Day Lewis). Set against the backdrop of anti-immigrant racism and fascism, the story of Omar’s laundrette presents an electrifying set of possibilities around class, race, sexuality, belonging, and love.

August 18: Toasted Marshmallows (2014)

Come watch the first public screening of the documentary Toasted Marshmallows in the U.S.! Follow filmmakers Marcelitte Failla and Anoushka Ratnarajah on a journey across Canada and the U.S. as they document the experiences of other mixed-race identified women, delve into their own cultural and ethnic histories, and tell stories about color, passing, privilege, ancestry, and belonging. An extended preview of the film will be followed by a dialogue with the filmmakers and Erica Chito-Childs.

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Study: Interracial marriages involving Asian-Americans still can leave racial barriers

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-07-25 08:17Z by Steven

Study: Interracial marriages involving Asian-Americans still can leave racial barriers

University of Kansas News
Lawrence, Kansas
2014-07-15

George Diepenbrock, Contact
KU News Service

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas researcher says the high rate of interracial marriages among Asian-Americans should not simply be interpreted as a litmus test of assimilation for the minority group.

Second-generation Asian-Americans who marry white Americans are not always able to transcend racial barriers without problems, and their biracial children face the same obstacles, said Kelly H. Chong, an associate professor of sociology who authored the study “Relevance of Race: Children and the Shifting Engagement with Racial/Ethnic Identity among Second-Generation Interracially Married Asian Americans,” published recently [June 2013] in The Journal of Asian American Studies.

“With the multicultural environment that has emerged in the last few decades that has made it easier and made it more fashionable to be different, we now celebrate diversity, so that makes a difference,” Chong said. “But even for Asian-Americans who believe in the general multicultural framework, they find that within their actual lives it’s very difficult for them to just blend in through intermarriage and sometimes even for their children who are biracial.”…

Read the entire article here.

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

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-07-25 04:22Z by Steven

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

University Press of Mississippi
2014-07-17
432 pages
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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Are Americans Really in Favor of Interracial Marriage? A Closer Look at When They Are Asked About Black-White Marriage for Their Relatives

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-07-24 07:05Z by Steven

Are Americans Really in Favor of Interracial Marriage? A Closer Look at When They Are Asked About Black-White Marriage for Their Relatives

Journal of Black Studies
Published online before print: 2014-07-10
DOI: 10.1177/0021934714541840

Yanyi K. Djamba, Director, Center for Demographic Research; Professor of Sociology
Auburn University, Montgomery, Alabama

Sitawa R. Kimuna, Associate Professor of Sociology
East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

This study transcends general opinion reports and uses data from the General Social Survey (GSS) to examine responses on attitudinal questions about how Black and White Americans actually feel about their close relative marrying outside their own race. The results show that more than half (54%) of Black Americans are in favor of their close relative marrying a White person compared with nearly one-in-four (26%) White Americans who said they were in favor of their close relative marrying a Black person. Such results suggest that questions about how individuals feel when close relatives engage into Black-White marriage provide better measures of attitude toward racial exogamy. Logistic regression models are analyzed to determine how socio-demographic factors influence Black and White Americans’ views on interracial marriage of their close relatives.

Read or purchase article here.

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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
2014-10-15
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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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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