The Talk: After Ferguson, a Shaded Conversation About Race

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2014-12-14 22:08Z by Steven

The Talk: After Ferguson, a Shaded Conversation About Race

The New York Times

Dana Canedy, Senior Editor

LIKE so many African-American parents, I had rehearsed “the talk,” that nausea-inducing discussion I needed to have with my son about how to conduct himself in the presence of the police. I was prepared for his questions, except for one.

“Can I just pretend I’m white?”

Jordan was born to African-American parents, but recessive genes being what they are, he has very fair skin and pale blue eyes. I am caramel brown, and since his birth eight years ago people have mistaken me for his nanny.

When I asked why he would want to “pass” for white, I struggled with how to respond to his answer.

“Because it’s safer,” Jordan replied. “They won’t hurt me.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Explaining Ferguson to interracial children

Posted in Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2014-11-28 04:07Z by Steven

Explaining Ferguson to interracial children

St. Louis, Missouri

Christina Coleman, Anchor-Reporter

Family Counselor Michael Herold strongly recommends having plenty of discussions about the different cultural traditions experiences that make up the child’s racial background on both sides of their family.

View the video here.

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Is Parental Love Colorblind? Human Capital Accumulation within Mixed Families

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Economics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-11-19 17:32Z by Steven

Is Parental Love Colorblind? Human Capital Accumulation within Mixed Families

The Review of Black Political Economy
DOI: 10.1007/s12114-014-9190-1

Marcos A. Rangel, Assistant Professor
Sanford School of Public Policy
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Studies have shown that differences in wage-determinant skills between blacks and whites emerge during a child’s infancy, highlighting the roles of parental characteristics and investment decisions. Exploring the genetics of skin-color and models of intrahousehold allocations, I present evidence that, controlling for observed and unobserved parental characteristics, light-skinned children are more likely to receive investments in formal education than their dark-skinned siblings. Conscious parental decisions regarding human capital acquisition for their children seem to contribute for the persistence of earnings differentials and socio-economic stratification in Brazil.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Gillian Wearing redefines Birmingham for the 21st century

Posted in Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2014-11-15 12:49Z by Steven

Gillian Wearing redefines Birmingham for the 21st century

The Telegraph
London, United Kingdom

Bernadette McNulty, Music Editor and Arts Writer

Gillian Wearing’s A Real Birmingham Family Photo: Courtesy of Birmingham City Council, Arts Council England and Ikon

With her statue of a mixed-race, single-parent family, Gillian Wearing has transformed Birmingham’s city centre, says Bernadette McNulty

Birmingham has had an uneasy relationship with public sculpture over the last few decades. In 1991, the council unveiled a work by the city-born artist Raymond Mason in the newly created Centenary Square. Called Forward, it depicted a throng of the city’s great and good at key moments in the area’s history – including Joseph Chamberlain and Josiah Mason. Made out of butter-coloured polyester resin, the monument was comically dubbed the Lurpak statue by locals and in 2003 destroyed by arsonists.

In nearby Victoria Square, Antony Gormley’s ominous Iron Man looms over a corner, while Dhruva Mistry’s 1994 River Goddess – known as the Floozie in the Jacuzzi – is currently trussed up in a neon pink bikini for a breast cancer campaign. To her left, a towering column props up a magisterial Queen Victoria, who looks away disapprovingly.

But the latest statue in Centenary Square, while no less controversial than Mason’s, stands a better chance of connecting with the feelings of the city’s residents. Gillian Wearing’s A Real Birmingham Family was unveiled on Thursday outside the new Library of Birmingham. This flagship building, thronged with people, has transformed the square, now unrecognisable from its Mason days. Before it was revealed to a small, excited crowd (including local dignitaries and the artist), the piece looked dwarfed by the monumental proportions of the library behind it…

…It wasn’t until plans for the new library were finalised in 2010, with a site in front of it designated for a statue, that the project was set in motion. The Ikon set about a painstaking two-year search for entries of what people nominated as their “real” family, including groups of friends or even single people. In the end a committee whittled down hundreds of entrants to the two mixed-race, single parent Jones sisters: “They were passionate about knowing their identity as a family and the bond between them. They also spoke of how proud they were to be from Birmingham and how Birmingham was such an accepting place, and how they can be a family here more than anywhere else.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed race in the UK: am I the future face of this country?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2014-11-09 18:34Z by Steven

Mixed race in the UK: am I the future face of this country?

The Telegraph
London, United Kingdom

Laura Smith

With ‘mixed race’ now the fastest-growing ethnic minority in the country, prejudice should be a thing of the past – but as one writer reveals, we’ve still got a long way to go

Where I grew up, a mixed-race family was something of an anomaly. Families, according to our neighbours – and the pictures on cereal boxes, board games and holiday brochures – meant a white mother and a white father and two children, preferably a boy and a girl, ideally blonde. The father went to work in a suit; the mother stayed home and sang along to Radio 1 while doing the housework.

My family wasn’t like that. My mother was from Guyana and wore her hair in a short Afro. She liked jumpsuits and jewellery and, shockingly, worked full-time. My father was from Scotland and wore embarrassing checked jackets from the 1960s (he was in his forties when my brother and I were born). Neither had heard of Radio 1.

My childhood memories of growing up in a mainly white, expensively heeled north London suburb include the following…

…Reaction to this social change has been contradictory, and peppered with hyperbole. On the one hand, the rise of “beige Britain” is eulogised as evidence of an open, tolerant country that’s moved beyond outdated notions of race and racism. It has become fashionable to shrug and say, “Well, we’ll all be brown soon.” On the other, it is not unusual to see alarmist articles about white people becoming the minority (two recent stories predicting that so-called “indigenous white children” would be “outnumbered” in state schools by 2037 were illustrated with images of mixed children), while in the black press there are reports about the disappearance of the Caribbean presence as increasing numbers “marry out”…

…Negative ideas around racial mixing have a long history. In Britain, concern about interracial unions reached a peak in the first half of the 20th century, when mixed neighbourhoods such as Toxteth and Tiger Bay were portrayed as immoral and dangerous, mixed children as tragic outcasts. Marie Stopes, then a prominent eugenicist, called for all “half-castes” to be “sterilised at birth”. Caballero says this notion of mixed people as divided and confused – the “marginal man” of early social science – remains. “When I started in this area I got sick of reading about how we were all psychologically traumatised and about all these broken relationships when my own parents have been together for 30 years,” she says…

Read the entire article here.

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My Children and the Limits of White Privilege

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-05 23:22Z by Steven

My Children and the Limits of White Privilege

Nursing Clio: Because the Personal is Historical

Danielle J. Swiontek, Assistant Professor of History
Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, California

Nursing Clio is honored to have Danielle J. Swiontek as our guest author today. Danielle is an Assistant Professor of History at Santa Barbara City College. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation, entitled “With Ballots and Pocketbooks: Women, Labor, and Reform in Progressive California” examines California women’s campaign for, and subsequent use of, the vote in the 1910s and 1920s.

The community in which I live held a march in memory of Trayvon Martin two weeks ago. It seemed so dated, in a way. In this 24-hour news cycle that we live in, it feels like forever ago since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed on February 26, 2012. It seems like ages since the jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of his death this past July. Yet the killing of Trayvon Martin continues to haunt me, as it probably does the people who joined the march. The news cycle has moved on, but the issues that Trayvon Martin’s death brought to the forefront have not. When I first heard about Trayvon Martin’s death, it made me fear for my son. That fear has not gone away in the last two months. It will probably never go away.

In a very specific, concrete way, I worry that my almost three-year-old boy will someday be shot by an overly zealous neighborhood watcher, by a police officer, or by someone who simply feels threatened by him, because of his size and the color of his skin. This is not a fear I would have if my son were white. I know this in my bones.

When President Obama offered his thoughts on Trayvon Martin and the experience of race in the U.S., I was not surprised by the experiences that others have found so striking. He talked about how he had been followed in department stores, how people locked their car doors when he walked down the street, how women were visibly nervous when he got on the elevator with them.

I am a middle-class white woman, but I believe I have some understanding of what those experiences feel like. I come to this conversation about race from a position of racial and class privilege. I was raised in a white, middle-class neighborhood by parents who lived out an archetypical American narrative of rising from working-class roots to a comfortable upper-middle class life…

Read the entire article here.

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Interracial Couples, Intimacy, and Therapy: Crossing Racial Borders

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Work on 2014-11-03 17:55Z by Steven

Interracial Couples, Intimacy, and Therapy: Crossing Racial Borders

Columbia University Press
October 2013
280 pages
6 B&W Photos
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-231-13294-7
Paper ISBN: 978-0-231-13295-4

Kyle D. Killian, Couple and Family Therapist; Associate Professor and Research Associate
Centre for Refugee Studies
York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Grounded in the personal narratives of twenty interracial couples with multiracial children, this volume uniquely explores interracial couples’ encounters with racism and discrimination, partner difference, family identity, and counseling and therapy. It intimately portrays how race, class, and gender shape relationship dynamics and a partner’s sense of belonging. Assessment tools and intervention techniques help professionals and scholars work effectively with multiracial families as they negotiate difference, resist familial and societal disapproval, and strive for increased intimacy. The book concludes with a discussion of interracial couples in cinema and literature, the sensationalization of multiracial relations in mass media, and how to further liberalize partner selection across racial borders.

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Call for Submissions: “Black and White: Parenting on the Colorline,” an anthology edited by Caroline Berz, Jessie Scanlon and Kim Dacosta

Posted in Family/Parenting, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2014-10-28 17:51Z by Steven

Call for Submissions: “Black and White: Parenting on the Colorline,” an anthology edited by Caroline Berz, Jessie Scanlon and Kim DaCosta

When General Mills aired a Cheerios commercial featuring a family with a white mother, a black father and a biracial child, many viewers reacted positively, but the ad’s YouTube page was filled with so much vitriol that the company disabled comments. A white woman calling in to the black comedian D.L. Hughley’s radio show summed up the disgust: “Cereal is white. That has no place at the breakfast table. It’s offensive.” The Cheerios marketing team doubled down, spending $4 million to run a second ad with the family during the Super Bowl, yet many people are still uncomfortable with the very idea of a black/white family. As Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen put it, “people with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a black woman with two biracial children.” These are the stories of mixed race families that gain national attention. The anger, suspicion, and ignorance they reflect can also be felt in our most mundane daily interactions. Last year, a white man shopping at Walmart with his biracial children was suspected of kidnapping. Black fathers of lighter-skinned children often draw questioning stares, while darker-skinned mothers are often mistaken for “the nanny.”

As a nation we are increasingly multiracial, but mixed race individuals and families are still perceived as an anomaly. For those of us living—and parenting—on the colorline, events like the Cheerios controversy are urgent reminders that the society we are raising our children in is far from “post-racial,” regardless of the election of the first African American/white president. Indeed, since Barack Obama moved into the White House, we’ve seen an increase in violence targeting those of African descent.

How do these issues affect the day-to-day lives of our families? How do they inform the many ways we parent our children, our hopes and dreams—and fears—for them? How do we go about the daily tasks of building and supporting our families, loving our partners, and growing into our own identities as parents when racism continues to be a defining issue in our schools, on our streets, in our government’s policies and sometimes in our own homes?

The essays anthologized in Black and White: Parenting on the Colorline will explore the multiple and complex experiences of parenting children of African and European heritage, and of families formed by transracial adoption. The collection will pay close attention to the ways in which the mixed race identities of children and parents alike are informed by gender, class, sexuality, language and citizenship. The writing will be humorous and lyrical, insightful and critical, and most of all personal, reflecting the joys and challenges of mixed-race parenting.

Topics can include (but are not limited to): pregnancy and birth; adoption; LGBTQ families; interfaith and interracial families; divorce; single-parenting; grandparenting mixed children; racial implications of different parenting philosophies; specifics of parenting mixed girls and boys; gender-nonconforming children and families; special rights children and families; experiences at playgrounds and in mothers’/parents’ groups; schools and education; notions of beauty; bullying; policing; questions of multiculturalism and diversity; individual and family identities that push the boundaries of the black/white binary.

Please send the editors a brief description of your proposed essay (250-300 words), a bio (200-250 words), and a list of previous publications. The essays can range in length and tone, though all should be accessible to a broad audience. Pieces are due on January 15 [2015], and acceptance will depend upon the strength and fit of the completed essay.

Editor Bios:

Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Caroline Berz has been engaged in active dialogue around issues of “race” and identity for as long as she can remember. She has worked closely with Facing History and Ourselves for over fifteen years first as an intern, then as a full-time staff member and most recently as a member of the National Teacher Advisory Board and adjunct online facilitator. She has piloted new material on the American eugenics movement, South Africa and Rwanda. She spent a decade as a high school history teacher in Boston area public schools teaching a variety of courses ranging from Modern European History to Modern World History to her personal favorite, a junior/senior elective on Race and Membership. In 2008, she transitioned from being in the classroom full-time to curriculum writing, film education and outreach. Helping schools and communities to become “fluent” in multiculturalism is one of her passions so she enjoys leading diversity workshops in schools for teachers, students and parents. She has a BA in US History from Tufts University and a Masters in Education from Harvard University and is mom to two young children, ages 2 and 6.

Jessie Scanlon has worked as a writer, editor, and journalist for 20 years. After graduating with honors from Brown University, she earned an internship at Wired magazine and worked her way up the masthead to become a senior editor. Along the way she co-authored Wired Style: Principles of English Usage in the Digital Age. After ten years on staff, she became a contributing writer for the magazine. In addition to her pieces for Wired, she has written for national magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, Slate, Popular Science, ID, Dwell, Men’s Journal, and After four years on staff at BusinessWeek, where she spearheaded its online coverage of innovation and design, she shifted to working primarily in books. Most recently, she helped write Leading the Life You Want, a Wall Street Journal best seller. Jessie lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband and two children.

Kim DaCosta, a sociologist, is especially interested in the contemporary production of racial boundaries. Born in Boston and raised in two of its suburbs—both largely white and blue collar—she is the fourth of her Irish mother and Black father’s six children. The experience of growing up in metropolitan Boston of the 1970s and 80s, a time and place uncomfortable with when not outright hostile to interracial families, first sparked her academic interests. Kim’s book, Making Multiracials: State, Family, and Market in the Redrawing of the Color Line (Stanford 2007), explores the cultural and social underpinnings of the movement to create multiracial collective identity in the United States. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and holds a PhD in sociology from Berkeley. Kim is currently a professor and dean at New York University and is the mother of three children.

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Are Biracial Children Damaged?

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-27 15:15Z by Steven

Are Biracial Children Damaged?

HERS Magazine
November/December 2014
page 36

Cherrye S. Vasquez

Approximately seven years ago, I was engaged in what I thought was a friendly conversation with a group of ladies at my work. As mothers, we often talked about our daily activities our children were engaged in. Our conversations were personal, easy stress relievers, and generally ended with much laughter among the group.

When I ended my “story of the day” on the subject of my daughter’s latest activity, one of the ladies turned and said, “Well she’s going to have psychological problems anyway.”

I looked at her, startled, and asked what she meant by that. “Well, she’s biracial,” she continued, “and all biracial children end up with psychological problems.”

This woman was the first person who’d ever made such an asinine statement to me, but unfortunately not the last. What she claimed never crossed my mind. Why would it?

Read the entire article here.

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Snap! Space presents Zun Lee

Posted in Arts, Family/Parenting, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-22 19:10Z by Steven

Snap! Space presents Zun Lee

Snap! Orlando
1013 E. Colonial Drive
Orlando, Florida 32803
Saturday, October 25, 2014 14:00-16:00 EDT (Local Time)

Join us for an afternoon artist talk and book signing with photographer Zun Lee.

Zun will be joining us from Toronto and discuss his series ‘Father Figure’ and sign copies of his newly released book Father Figure – Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood (September 19, 2014.) Zun’s book release party at the Bronx Documentary Center was so highly anticipated that crowds lined the street surrounding the building around the block to get in. This afternoon at Snap! Space is not to be missed.

Over the course of three years photographer Zun Lee has masterfully attempted to change the perception of the African American father through the lens of his camera. This collection of photographs in the new book is an immersive approach to his remarkable photo documentary project. “Scenes that can stand on their own and humanize the black experience without demanding perfection or respectability,” says Lee were filmed with so much care—vivid images of loving parental relationships that are able to engross any spectator into a family story that is tough to believe. An added revelation: the photographer himself grew up feeling a sense of loss due to his own father’s choice to abandon his family.

Lee, a Toronto-based physician and now self-described street photographer, was born in Germany to what he thought was both a Korean mother and father. As a boy he learned the truth: his black father left his mother upon learning she was pregnant. Lee’s search for compassion led him to families in urban areas of Chicago, New York City, and home to Toronto. Says Lee: “There’s been considerable backlash and confusion regarding why black fatherhood stereotypes are a problem at all, why the special focus on only black fathers, and people who simply refuse to believe that black men can be capable, affectionate loving fathers, period. I appreciate both sides of the collective commentary, because it exemplifies why these images and a broader conversation are needed.

For more information, click here.

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