Barack Obama, the President of Black America?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-06-26 01:56Z by Steven

Barack Obama, the President of Black America?

The New York Times
2016-06-24

Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

What the haters and the hagiographers get wrong.

It was a crucial speech, high-stakes even for a man used to giving important speeches: The first black president of the United States had to acknowledge, and then bind up, the nation’s racial wounds. A year ago, after the massacre of nine souls at prayer at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, Barack Obama traveled to Charleston, S.C., to eulogize its pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

When Mr. Obama stood in the pulpit, I saw him as thrust into a peculiar position: He nobly assumed a symbolic, though not individual, guilt for the hate that had been visited on Charleston, largely because the white killer appeared to despise black progress, and there was no clearer representation of that progress than President Obama.

The president had a lot to do in that eulogy. He had to give comfort to a grieving family and congregation. He also had to make amends for seven years of public gestures of tough love toward black folks.

To do that, the president brilliantly evoked grace as an antidote to hate and preached in a black style to forge healing and redemption. He ended with a stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace.” As the call and response of the black church came full circle, Mr. Obama was at his best when he was at his blackest. It was a rare display of unapologetic race pride.

We are now approaching the last months of the Obama era. He will be remembered as a great, but flawed, president, and many of those flaws have to do with how he has addressed race — or avoided doing so…

Read the entire article here.

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Confounding Anti-racism: Mixture, Racial Democracy, and Post-racial Politics in Brazil

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science on 2016-06-22 17:48Z by Steven

Confounding Anti-racism: Mixture, Racial Democracy, and Post-racial Politics in Brazil

Critical Sociology
July 2016, Volume 42, Numbers 4-5
pages 495-513
DOI: 10.1177/0896920513508663

Alexandre Emboaba Da Costa, Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Policy Studies
University of Alberta, Canada

In this article, I analyze the particularity of post-racial ideology in Brazil. I examine recent deployments of mixture and racial democracy as re-articulations of historically hegemonic versions of these ideologies that minimize the problem of racism, deny its systemic nature, and deem ethno-racial policies as threats to achieving nonracial belonging and citizenship. Drawing on scholarship on race and racism from the United States, Brazil, and elsewhere in Latin America, I delineate a relational framework for analyzing the post-racial and apply this framework to three examples of post-racial ideology. Through these examples, I illustrate the problematic logics shaping aggressive investments in the post-racial as future promise to the detriment of addressing the unequal effects racial difference presents for inclusion/exclusion today. The article asserts the necessity of mounting transnational and interdisciplinary theoretical, epistemological, and practical strategies to challenge the ways post-racial ideologies rearticulate racial hierarchies, maintain racial subordination, and delimit social change.

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Beauty and the Bleach: This Issue is More than Skin Deep

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2016-06-20 21:30Z by Steven

Beauty and the Bleach: This Issue is More than Skin Deep

Ebony
2016-06-20

Yaba Blay, Dan Blue Endowed Chair in Political Science
North Carolina Central University

Skin bleaching is a billion-dollar industry. Considering its global reach, Dr. Yaba Blay says we have to stop treating bleaching as just a matter of self-hate.

Over the past few years, social media has been abuzz with discussions of skin bleaching. In recent weeks, we’ve lamented Lil Kim’s ghostly shadow of her former self, ridiculed Ghanaian boxer Bukom Banku for denouncing his black skin, and dragged Azaelia Banks for becoming a virtual spokesmodel for Whitenicious by Dencia. While we talk amongst ourselves, a segment of a 2012 video investigating “unusual beauty trends” in Jamaica has resurfaced on Facebook. Viewed over two million times in less than one week, in that segment we see a soft-spoken blonde-haired European reporter “in the trenches” as she talks to a number of Jamaicans about their bleaching and offers requisite warnings about the dangers of the practice.

Whether from the perspectives of Black folks or from those of Whites, our communal voyeurism into skin bleaching tends to focus almost solely on the individuals who bleach their skin, and not the global institutions that make skin bleaching a viable option. And it’s a problem…

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Part-Latinos and Racial Reporting in the Census: An Issue of Question Format?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-06-20 18:20Z by Steven

Part-Latinos and Racial Reporting in the Census: An Issue of Question Format?

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
July 2016, Volume 2, Number 3
pages 289-306
DOI: 10.1177/2332649215613531

Michael Hajime Miyawaki, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas

In this study, the author examines the racial reporting decisions of the offspring of Latino/non-Latino white, black, and Asian intermarriages, focusing on the meanings associated with their racial responses in the 2010 census and their thoughts on the separate race and Hispanic origin question format. Through interviews with 50 part-Latinos from New York, the findings demonstrated that their racial responses were shaped largely by question design, often due to the lack of Hispanic origins in the race question. Many added that their responses did not reflect their racial identity as “mixed” or as “both” Latino and white, black, or Asian. Most preferred “Latino” racial categories, and when given the option in a combined race and Hispanic origin question format, they overwhelmingly marked Latino in combination with white, black, or Asian. Part-Latinos’ preference for “Latino” racial options may stem from the racialization of Latinos as nonwhite and their desire to express all aspects of their mixed heritage identity. Moreover, the contrast in racial reporting in the 2010 census and the Census Bureau’s recently proposed “race or origin” question for the 2020 census could result in different population counts and interpretations of racial statistics.

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Brazil, Mixture Or Massacre? Essays in the Genocide of a Black People

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2016-06-19 23:41Z by Steven

Brazil, Mixture Or Massacre? Essays in the Genocide of a Black People

The Majority Press
1989
214 pages
5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-0912469263

Abdias do Nascimento (1914-2014)

Translated by Elisa Larkin Nascimento

Nascimento explodes the myth of a “racial democracy” in Brazil. The author is a major figure in Afro-Brazilian arts, politics and scholarship. He founded the Black Experimental Theatre in Rio de Janeiro in 1944 and was an elected member of the Brazilian Congress from 1982 to 1986.

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Trans: Gender and Race in an Age of Unsettled Identities

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Monographs, Social Science on 2016-06-19 02:33Z by Steven

Trans: Gender and Race in an Age of Unsettled Identities

Princeton University Press
September 2016
256 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Hardcover ISBN: 9780691172354
eBook ISBN: 9781400883233

Rogers Brubaker, Professor of Sociology
University of California, Los Angeles

In the summer of 2015, shortly after Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender, the NAACP official and political activist Rachel Dolezal was “outed” by her parents as white, touching off a heated debate in the media about the fluidity of gender and race. If Jenner could legitimately identify as a woman, could Dolezal legitimately identify as black?

Taking the controversial pairing of “transgender” and “transracial” as his starting point, Rogers Brubaker shows how gender and race, long understood as stable, inborn, and unambiguous, have in the past few decades opened up—in different ways and to different degrees—to the forces of change and choice. Transgender identities have moved from the margins to the mainstream with dizzying speed, and ethnoracial boundaries have blurred. Paradoxically, while sex has a much deeper biological basis than race, choosing or changing one’s sex or gender is more widely accepted than choosing or changing one’s race. Yet while few accepted Dolezal’s claim to be black, racial identities are becoming more fluid as ancestry—increasingly understood as mixed—loses its authority over identity, and as race and ethnicity, like gender, come to be understood as something we do, not just something we have. By rethinking race and ethnicity through the multifaceted lens of the transgender experience—encompassing not just a movement from one category to another but positions between and beyond existing categories—Brubaker underscores the malleability, contingency, and arbitrariness of racial categories.

At a critical time when gender and race are being reimagined and reconstructed, Trans explores fruitful new paths for thinking about identity.

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Becoming Black Political Subjects: Movements and Ethno-Racial Rights in Colombia and Brazil

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2016-06-19 02:02Z by Steven

Becoming Black Political Subjects: Movements and Ethno-Racial Rights in Colombia and Brazil

Princeton University Press
2016
328 pages
6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 9780691169385
eBook ISBN: 978140088107

Tianna S. Paschel, Assistant Professor of African American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

After decades of denying racism and underplaying cultural diversity, Latin American states began adopting transformative ethno-racial legislation in the late 1980s. In addition to symbolic recognition of indigenous peoples and black populations, governments in the region created a more pluralistic model of citizenship and made significant reforms in the areas of land, health, education, and development policy. Becoming Black Political Subjects explores this shift from color blindness to ethno-racial legislation in two of the most important cases in the region: Colombia and Brazil.

Drawing on archival and ethnographic research, Tianna Paschel shows how, over a short period, black movements and their claims went from being marginalized to become institutionalized into the law, state bureaucracies, and mainstream politics. The strategic actions of a small group of black activists—working in the context of domestic unrest and the international community’s growing interest in ethno-racial issues—successfully brought about change. Paschel also examines the consequences of these reforms, including the institutionalization of certain ideas of blackness, the reconfiguration of black movement organizations, and the unmaking of black rights in the face of reactionary movements.

Becoming Black Political Subjects offers important insights into the changing landscape of race and Latin American politics and provokes readers to adopt a more transnational and flexible understanding of social movements.

Table of Contents

  • List of Organizations
  • 1. Political Field Alignments
  • 2. Making Mestizajes
  • 3. Black Movements in Colorblind Fields
  • 4. The Multicultural Alignment
  • 5. The Racial Equality Alignment
  • 6. Navigating the Ethno-Racial State
  • 7. Unmaking Black Political Subjects
  • 8. Rethinking Race, Rethinking Movements
  • Methodological Appendix
  • Notes
  • References
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
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Dreaming Equality: Color, Race, and Racism in Urban Brazil

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2016-06-18 21:26Z by Steven

Dreaming Equality: Color, Race, and Racism in Urban Brazil

Rutgers University Press
November 2001
278 pages
6 x 9
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8135-3000-0
Web PDF ISBN: 978-0-8135-5602-4

Robin E. Sheriff, Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of New Hampshire

In the 1933 publication The Masters and the Slaves, Brazilian scholar and novelist Gilberto Freyre challenged the racist ideas of his day by defending the “African contribution” to Brazil’s culture. In so doing, he proposed that Brazil was relatively free of most forms of racial prejudice and could best be understood as a “racial democracy.” Over time this view has grown into the popular myth that racism in Brazil is very mild or nonexistent.

This myth contrasts starkly with the realities of a pernicious racial inequality that permeates every aspect of Brazilian life. To study the grip of this myth on African Brazilians’ views of themselves and their nation, Robin E. Sheriff spent twenty months in a primarily black shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, studying the inhabitants’s views of race and racism. How, she asks, do poor African Brazilians experience and interpret racism in a country where its very existence tends to be publicly denied? How is racism talked about privately in the family and publicly in the community—or is it talked about at all?

Sheriff’s analysis is particularly important because most Brazilians live in urban settings, and her examination of their views of race and racism sheds light on common but underarticulated racial attitudes. This book is the first to demonstrate that urban African Brazilians do not subscribe to the racial democracy myth and recognize racism as a central factor shaping their lives.

Table Of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 The Hill
  • Chapter 2 Talk: Discourses on Color and Race
  • Chapter 3 Silence: Racism and Cultural Censorship
  • Chapter 4 Narratives: Racism on the Asphalt
  • Chapter 5 Narratives: Racism at Home
  • Chapter 6 Whiteness: Middle-Class Discourses
  • Chapter 7 Blackness: Militant Discourses
  • Chapter 8 Conclusion: Dreaming
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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The Racism-Race Reification Process: A Mesolevel Political Economic Framework for Understanding Racial Health Disparities

Posted in Articles, Economics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-06-14 00:12Z by Steven

The Racism-Race Reification Process: A Mesolevel Political Economic Framework for Understanding Racial Health Disparities

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
Published online before print 2016-02-08
DOI: 10.1177/2332649215626936

Abigail A. Sewell, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

The author makes the argument that many racial disparities in health are rooted in political economic processes that undergird racial residential segregation at the mesolevel—specifically, the neighborhood. The dual mortgage market is considered a key political economic context whereby racially marginalized people are isolated into degenerative ecological environments. A multilevel root-cause conceptual framework, the racism-race reification process (R3p), is proposed and preliminarily tested to delineate how institutional conditions shape the health of racially marginalized individuals through the reification of race. After reviewing and critiquing the conceptual and theoretical roots of R3p, the key components of the synergistic framework are detailed and applied to clarify extant understandings of the upstream (i.e., macrolevel) factors informing racial health disparities. Using aggregated data from the 1994 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Neighborhood Change Database merged at the mesolevel (i.e., the neighborhood cluster) with microlevel data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, exploratory analysis is presented that links dual mortgage market political economies to ethnoracial residential segregation at the mesolevel and to childhood health inequalities at the microlevel. The author concludes by considering how racial inequality is an artifact of the political economic reality of race and racism manifested from the neighborhood-level down.

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Essential Measures: Ancestry, Race, and Social Difference

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-06-13 23:48Z by Steven

Essential Measures: Ancestry, Race, and Social Difference

American Behavioral Scientist
April 2016, Volume 60, Number 4
pages 498-518
DOI: 10.1177/0002764215613398

Aaron Gullickson, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Oregon

Race and ancestry are both popularly viewed in the United States as different but intertwined reflections on a person’s essentialized identity that answer the question of “who is what?” Despite this loose but well-understood connection between the two concepts and the availability of ancestry data on the U.S. census, researchers have rarely used the two sources of data in combination. In this article, drawing on theories of boundary formation, I compare these two forms of identification to explore the salience and social closure of racial boundaries. Specifically, I analyze race-reporting inconsistency and predict college completion at multiple levels of racial ancestry aggregation using Census data. The results suggest that, while much of the variation in these measures corresponds to popular “big race” conceptions of difference, considerable variation remains among individual ancestries.

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