Episode 32: How Race Was Made (Seeing White, Part 2)

Posted in Anthropology, Audio, History, Media Archive on 2017-06-13 18:35Z by Steven

Episode 32: How Race Was Made (Seeing White, Part 2)

Scene on Radio
2017-03-01

John Biewen, Host and Audio Program Director/Instructor
Center for Documentary Studies
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Chenjerai Kumanyika, Assistant Professor of Popular Culture
Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina


Photo: The Monument to the Discoveries, Lisbon, Portugal. The highlighted figure in the center is an effigy of Gomes Eanes de Zurara. The figure at the top right is Prince Henry the Navigator. Photo by Harvey Barrison.

For much of human history, people viewed themselves as members of tribes or nations but had no notion of “race.” Today, science deems race biologically meaningless. Who invented race as we know it, and why? By John Biewen, with guest Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Listen to the podcast (00:28:50) here. Download the podcast here.

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Mildred and Richard’s Sacrifice is Our Obligation

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States, Virginia on 2017-06-13 17:11Z by Steven

Mildred and Richard’s Sacrifice is Our Obligation

The Multiracial Activist
June 13, 2017

James Landrith, Founder and Publisher

50 years ago yesterday, Mildred Loving decided that the Commonwealth of Virginia was wrong to keep her and her husband away from their home and family. She decided that it was unacceptable for Judge Leon Bazile’s racist conservative Christian defense of the law to have the last word. She wanted to live with her husband in the community where they both grew up. What she wanted was far from unreasonable, unless of course, you were a white racist cop or judge in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Then, you had a magical divine sanction to ruin other people’s lives via the abhorrent Racial Integrity Act of 1924.

In his January 22, 1965 refusal to vacate the 1959 felony conviction of Mildred and Richard, Judge Bazile wrote,:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his [arrangement] there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

Take a moment to clean up the vomit from your chin…

Read the entire article here.

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Was Loving v. Virginia Really About Love?

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-13 15:13Z by Steven

Was Loving v. Virginia Really About Love?

The Atlantic
2017-06-12

Osagie K. Obasogie, Haas Distinguished Chair and Professor of Bioethics
University of California, Berkeley


J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws banning interracial marriage, but the issues involved in the case extended beyond its current popular understanding as a tribute to romance.

Interracial marriage is at a historic high. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, couples with different racial backgrounds made up one in six new marriages in 2015—a stark change from previous eras when even looking at someone across the color line with a hint of romance could be a matter of life or death. This radical shift is largely attributed to the Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia, which marks its 50th anniversary on June 12. In Loving, the Court struck down state laws banning interracial marriage, holding that such restrictions are unconstitutional.

Loving is widely praised as a case about law ceding to the power of love in the face of astonishing harassment and bigotry endured by interracial couples. The redemptive trope coming out of the Loving decision that love conquers all has also influenced other social movements, such as those leading to Obergefell v. Hodges—the 2015 Supreme Court decision recognizing same-sex marriage.

The 1967 Loving decision therefore is often celebrated as an affirmation of love that made America a better and more progressive society. There’s just one problem.

Love is not what the case was really about…

Read the entire article here.

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Interracial Marriage Before And After The Historic Loving Decision

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-13 14:18Z by Steven

Interracial Marriage Before And After The Historic Loving Decision

WGBH News
WGBH 89.7 FM
Boston, Massachusetts
2017-06-13

Sally Jacobs


The family in the yard of their Scituate home from left to right: Pamela McCoy, Rayna’s mother, Harris, Rayna, London, Miles and Dominic. Credit: Courtesy of the Mackay family.

This story is part two of a special three-part series on interracial marriage. It was produced in collaboration with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.

Winston Cox and Trudy Kofford were married late on a February afternoon in 1966. She was 22-years-old, a green-eyed dreamer fresh from the hills of Oregon. He was 29, an ambitious doctoral candidate from Jamaica, with a wiry build.

Trudy, who is white, wore a wool dress with a rounded straw hat in honor of her mother, one of a tiny number of family members present for the couple that day. Her father had vowed to disown her if she married Cox, a black man. Minutes before the ceremony began, Trudy’s mother leaned over and whispered in Winston’s ear.

“The mother, she said, ‘Listen, if her daddy ever sees you he’ll kill you,’” Winston recalled. “She was very angry when she met me.”

Such opposition to interracial marriage was not uncommon back when Winston and Trudy took the bold step of marrying across racial lines, one year before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision — Loving v. Virginia — that struck down state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Fifty years later, some things have decidedly changed while others have definitely not…


Winston Cox and Trudy Kofford on their wedding day, Feb. 4, 1966, in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Photo Credit: Courtesy

…Although Trudy has some Native-American blood, she had never met a black person growing up in Joseph, Oregon. In a way, Winston was just as naïve. He had grown up in Jamaica at a time of political upheaval, but had little racial awareness. There just weren’t many white people around during his childhood.

Still, though, they got married in 1966, one year before the Loving court decision would strike down laws nationwide prohibiting marriage between races. The ceremony was held in a mission in San Luis Obispo, California, where Winston had attended college. (California legalized interracial marriage in 1948.) Although they had many differences stemming from their upbringing, they shared a passion for social justice.

“We were Communists together,” said Trudy. “We were political. We studied Mao, and the Chinese Revolution.”

So much so, that when they had their second child in 1970 they called her Fanshen. It’s a Chinese word that means turning over. But it didn’t take long for race to come between them. By the time Fanshen was born, Winston had been kicked out of restaurants, barred from bathrooms and humiliated. As the politics of the decade grew more extreme, he grew an Afro and turned to the Black Panthers

Read the entire article here. Listen to the story here.

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‘We Are Not Unusual Anymore’: 50 Years of Mixed-Race Marriage in U.S.

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-12 20:57Z by Steven

‘We Are Not Unusual Anymore’: 50 Years of Mixed-Race Marriage in U.S.

The New York Times
2017-06-11

Jennifer Medina, National Correspondent
Los Angeles, California


Rosina and Leon Watson last week in St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Oakland, Calif. They were married in the church in 1950, 17 years before Loving v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court case allowing interracial marriage.
Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

OAKLAND, Calif. — For their first date, in 1949, Leon Watson and Rosina Rodriquez headed to the movie theater. But each entered separately. First went Ms. Rodriquez, a fair-skinned woman who traces her roots to Mexico. Mr. Watson, who is black, waited several minutes before going in and sitting next to her.

“We always did it,” Mr. Watson said one recent afternoon. “They looked at you like you were in a zoo. We just held our heads high and kept going. If we knew there would be a problem, we stayed away from it.”

When they married in Oakland in 1950, mixed-race marriage had just become legal in California, the result of a lawsuit that reached the State Supreme Court. They are among the oldest living interracial couples legally married in the United States. It would be nearly two decades before all couples like them across the country were allowed to marry.

On Monday, they will mark the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court case that overturned antimiscegenation laws nationwide. Mildred and Richard Loving, a black woman and a white man, had been sentenced to a year in a Virginia prison for marrying each other. The case would serve as a basis for the Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriage

Read the entire article here.

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Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2017-06-12 19:59Z by Steven

Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833

University of North Carolina Press
January 2018
Approx. 448 pages
24 halftones, notes, index
6.125 x 9.25
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3443-2

Daniel Livesay, Assistant Professor of History
Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California

Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia

By tracing the largely forgotten eighteenth-century migration of elite mixed-race individuals from Jamaica to Great Britain, Children of Uncertain Fortune reinterprets the evolution of British racial ideologies as a matter of negotiating family membership. Using wills, legal petitions, family correspondences, and inheritance lawsuits, Daniel Livesay is the first scholar to follow the hundreds of children born to white planters and Caribbean women of color who crossed the ocean for educational opportunities, professional apprenticeships, marriage prospects, or refuge from colonial prejudices.

The presence of these elite children of color in Britain pushed popular opinion in the British Atlantic world toward narrower conceptions of race and kinship. Members of Parliament, colonial assemblymen, merchant kings, and cultural arbiters–the very people who decided Britain’s colonial policies, debated abolition, passed marital laws, and arbitrated inheritance disputes–rubbed shoulders with these mixed-race Caribbean migrants in parlors and sitting rooms. Upper-class Britons also resented colonial transplants and coveted their inheritances; family intimacy gave way to racial exclusion. By the early nineteenth century, relatives had become strangers.

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Loving, 50 Years Later

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-12 16:10Z by Steven

Loving, 50 Years Later

The New York Times
2017-06-12


Barb and Matt Roose
Married: Medina, Ohio, July 18, 1992

This week marks the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark Supreme Court decision that invalidated state laws restricting interracial marriage. Recently, we asked readers to share their experiences about being in a mixed-race relationship. We received more than 2,000 stories in just a few days.

Many people expressed profound ambivalence about the categories that drove antimiscegenation rules, while they described how their racial identity — or how others identified them — continued to shape their relationships and their social interactions. Some wrote about the resistance they faced from family and society, while others celebrated the particular richness of their lives. Here are some of those stories…

Read the entire article here.

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Loving v. Virginia: Exploring biracial identity and reality in America 50 years after a landmark civil rights milestone

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-09 01:32Z by Steven

Loving v. Virginia: Exploring biracial identity and reality in America 50 years after a landmark civil rights milestone

The Conversation
2017-06-07

Caty Borum Chattoo , Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact,
American University School of Communication
American University, Washington, D.C.


Mildred and Richard Loving in 1965. AP Photo

Fifty years ago, on June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down one of the most important civil rights decisions in American history, Loving v. Virginia. The landmark case ended the last of the country’s state laws banning interracial marriage – prohibitions described in the case’s oral arguments as “the most odious of the segregation laws and the slavery laws.”

This wasn’t simply the dramatic end to longstanding policy justified with biblical assertions about the separation of the races. In the most intimate human terms, the court’s decision marked the end of a difficult journey for Mildred and Richard Loving, the interracial couple at the heart of the case. In the years leading up to the Supreme Court decision, for the crime of being married as a woman of color and a white man, the Lovings faced harassment, a police invasion of their home and even jail time.

The Loving decision has both political and personal meaning to me, the mother of two biracial children and a documentary filmmaker and scholar whose work is grounded in social justice…

Read the entire article here.

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Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2017-06-08 00:54Z by Steven

Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy

Beacon Press
2017-06-06
232 pages
6 x 9 Inches
Cloth ISBN-13: 978-0807058275

Sheryll Cashin, Professor of Law
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

How interracial love and marriage changed history, and may soon alter the landscape of American politics.

Loving beyond boundaries is a radical act that is changing America. When Mildred and Richard Loving wed in 1958, they were ripped from their shared bed and taken to court. Their crime: miscegenation, punished by exile from their home state of Virginia. The resulting landmark decision of Loving v. Virginia ended bans on interracial marriage and remains a signature case—the first to use the words “White Supremacy” to describe such racism.

Drawing from the earliest chapters in U.S. history, legal scholar Sheryll Cashin reveals the enduring legacy of America’s original sin, tracing how we transformed from a country without an entrenched construction of race to a nation where one drop of non-white blood merited exclusion from full citizenship. In vivid detail, she illustrates how the idea of whiteness was created by the planter class of yesterday, and is reinforced by today’s power-hungry dog-whistlers to divide struggling whites and people of color, ensuring plutocracy and undermining the common good.

Cashin argues that over the course of the last four centuries there have always been “ardent integrators” who are now contributing to the emergence of a class of “culturally dexterous” Americans. In the fifty years since the Lovings won their case, approval for interracial marriage rose from 4% to 87%. Cashin speculates that rising rates of interracial intimacy—including cross-racial adoption, romance and friendship—combined with immigration, demographic and generational change will create an ascendant coalition of culturally dexterous whites and people of color.

Loving is both a history of white supremacy and a hopeful treatise on the future of race relations in America, challenging the notion that trickle-down progressive politics is our only hope for a more inclusive society. Accessible and sharp, Cashin reanimates the possibility of a future where interracial understanding serves as a catalyst of a social revolution ending not in artificial color blindness, but a culture where acceptance and difference are celebrated.

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Longtown Descendants Breathe New Life Into Historic Mixed-Race Community

Posted in Articles, Audio, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2017-06-05 00:32Z by Steven

Longtown Descendants Breathe New Life Into Historic Mixed-Race Community

WOSU Public Media
WOSU Radio
Columbus, Ohio
2017-05-31

Jerry Kenney


Kaiser family reunion at Longtown. Kaiser Family

In southwest Ohio, about a mile from the Indiana state line, a long-forgotten town with a special place in African American history is struggling to be reborn.

Longtown was established nearly 200 years ago in what is now Greenville. The settlement grew into a thriving mixed-race community and a major stop on the Underground Railroad.

Now, descendants of those pioneering settlers are working to bring Longtown back to life for others to experience.

Longtown’s Founding

In 1818, James Clemens, a freed slave from Rockingham County, Virginia, settled in Darke County, Ohio, with his wife Sophia Sellers and their five children, and began to farm.

“They were the sons and daughters of slave masters,” says historian and Longtown descendant Roane Smothers.

Smothers says some slave owners not only acknowledged the children they bore with slaves but also provided them with financial support. Such was the case with James and Sophia, who purchased land in Ohio with the help of Sellers’ father, he says…

Read the entire article here. Listen to the story (00:05:45) here.

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