Mixed-race children are not ambassadors for anti-racism

Posted in Africa, Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, South Africa on 2016-01-23 16:32Z by Steven

Mixed-race children are not ambassadors for anti-racism

Parent24 (News24)
South Africa
2016-01-21

Aneshree Naidoo

Why it’s unfair to lay the responsibility to prove that “love conquers all” on their little shoulders.

The events of the past few weeks have spurred a shift in South Africa, from tight smiles and blank faces at work and dinner tables, to voices now being raised very loudly against racism, and – as is inevitable and still somehow shocking – for it.

One particular act of anti-racism has me quite concerned though.

I have in the past few weeks seen pictures of interracial couples and their mixed-race children, or white families and adopted black children, circulated as ‘proof’ that love conquers all. That some sort of interracial utopia exists when we love and have sex across the colour line and birth biracial children.

It’s a dangerously naive sentiment, and places responsibility on tiny shoulders that do not ask for such, nor need it thrust it upon them…

Read the entire article here.

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A note on race and racism

Posted in Africa, Articles, History, Media Archive, Social Science, South Africa on 2016-01-10 22:09Z by Steven

A note on race and racism

Medium
2016-01-08

T.O. Molefe

This week in South Africa has made it clear there are many people who have a limited understanding of race and racism — two very different things. Either that or they are working with different definitions (and moral theories) and don’t know it, or lack the diligence and honesty to reconcile their definition with those of others.

This note outlines a few points on race and racism that guide my thinking and writing. I’m committing it to the internet in the hopes it might help others think through the issues and let readers of my work understand some of its underpinnings.

  1. Race is meaningless. The categories (race groups) of human it creates are based on characteristics that are largely superficial and often not exclusive to that group. If the borders of the categories are porous and the categories don’t tell you anything essential to the being of what is categorised, then the categories are meaningless.
  2. Race was conjured into existence from virtually nothing, and backed with military might and untruthful intellectual projects, to perpetuate slavery, justify European imperialism and colonialism, and defend white supremacy — ideologies all founded in a belief in the individual’s right to property to the denial of others. Without the individual’s right to property, no person could own another. No person could land upon a shore and lay claim to it as theirs alone. No law could be enacted and enforced denying people this right…

Read the entire article here.

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Krotoa-Eva’s Suite: A performance by poet Toni Stuart

Posted in Africa, Arts, History, Live Events, Media Archive, South Africa, Women on 2015-12-02 01:56Z by Steven

Krotoa-Eva’s Suite: A performance by poet Toni Stuart

Goldsmiths University of London
New Cross
London, United Kingdom
Caribbean Studies Centre
Top Floor, Education Building
2015-12-03, 18:30-20:30Z

Join the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies and the Centre for Feminist Research for a performance by poet Toni Stuart and a ‘Stories are Medicine’ discussion circle.

Toni Stuart (@nomadpoet) is a poet, performer, festival organiser and educator from Cape Town, South Africa.

She’ll be performing poems from her collection in progress, Krotoa-Eva’s Suite – a cape jazz poem in three movements. This is the re-imagined story of Krotoa-Eva, a Khoi woman who played a pivotal role in South African history in the 17th Century, when the first European settlers arrived at Cape Town, as it is known today. The poems give voice to Krotoa-Eva’s “interior” life, and aim to offer a counter-narrative to the male, colonial perspectives through which her story has previously been told.

The performance will be followed by an informal discussion circle around the role of self-care and healing in our work as feminists. And, it will explore how stories and the creative arts might facilitate and support this practice.

For more information, click here.

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‘We have a right to determine how our histories are told’: An interview with poet Toni Stuart

Posted in Africa, Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, South Africa, United Kingdom on 2015-12-01 16:08Z by Steven

‘We have a right to determine how our histories are told’: An interview with poet Toni Stuart

Goldsmiths University of London
News
2015-11-25

Sarah Cox

On Thursday 3 December the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies (CCDS) and Centre for Feminist Research host a spoken word performance by Toni Stuart: poet, festival organiser and educator, recently named on the South African Mail & Guardian’s list of inspiring young South Africans. Toni is also a Goldsmiths graduate, completing her MA Writer/Teacher with us this year as a 2014/2015 Chevening Scholar. We caught up with her to find out more about her work and Goldsmiths experience.

Toni was first introduced to Goldsmiths by friend and fellow poet Raymond Antrobus while he was studying for his MA Writer/Teacher here. Raymond was also taking part in our Spoken Word Educators Programme (SWEP), working with school children to develop their confidence, self expression, oral communication and literary skills.

Invited in to teach for the day at the school where Raymond was based, Toni got a taste for what being poet-in-residence was like and also learnt more about our MA – a course taught by the Departments of Educational Studies and English and Comparative Literature.

“It sounded like exactly what I wanted,” she says. “A course that allowed me to develop my creative writing and teaching practices simultaneously, with a specific focus on developing my own pedagogy and ‘poetry syllabus’. I don’t know of any other course like it in the world. And, the SWEP – started by Peter Kahn and now with Jacob Sam-La Rose as director – is the only one of its kind in the world as well.”

After her performance at Goldsmiths this December, Toni and her audience will be taking part in a discussion circle exploring the use of stories as medicine. As a 32-year old mixed heritage South African woman poet, she believes her work – and that of her generation – is to heal the wounds that they have inherited from their parents’ generation and from the past.

“Sometimes these wounds are apparent and we’re able to address them directly, other times they are unconsciously passed down through many generations,” she says. “My experience of working in the NGO sector in the past, and in the arts sector now, is that self-care is fundamental if we hope for our work to have a meaningful impact in our communities, and, that in order for our work to be sustainable we need to ensure we are taking care of ourselves first…

Read the entire interview here.

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Whither ‘non-racialism’: the ‘new’ South Africa turns twenty-one

Posted in Africa, Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, South Africa on 2015-10-05 18:29Z by Steven

Whither ‘non-racialism’: the ‘new’ South Africa turns twenty-one

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 38, Issue 13, 2015
pages 2167-2174
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2015.1058511

Deborah Posel, Professor of Sociology
Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA)
University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

This brief essay reflects on the meaning and significance of ‘non-racialism’ in South Africa’s recent past and present. I consider the version of non-racialism that shaped the transition from apartheid to a constitutional democracy as having had dual dimensions, ethical and strategic. Ethically, non-racialism has signified a principle of human recognition that exceeds the mere tolerance of difference. Strategically, non-racialism has afforded ways of managing and disciplining the historical realities of racial differences. The politicization of race in recent years has rendered the project of non-racialism more precarious: both its ethical and strategic dimensions merit further scrutiny, if the project is to be revitalized.

Read the entire article here.

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The history of interracial sex: It’s much more than just rape or romance.

Posted in Africa, Articles, History, Media Archive, South Africa, United States on 2015-09-28 18:41Z by Steven

The history of interracial sex: It’s much more than just rape or romance.

The Los Angeles Times
2015-09-28

Carina Ray, Associate Professor of African and Afro- American Studies
Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Carina Ray is associate professor of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University and the author of “Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana.”

When South African comedian Trevor Noah takes over as host of “The Daily Show” on Monday night, he’ll probably introduce his new audience to his family biography. Born in Johannesburg to a black South African mother and a white Swiss German father in 1984, when apartheid was still firmly in place and interracial marriage was illegal, Noah made his parents’ struggles the subject of his widely acclaimed stand-up routine “Born a Crime.”.

Their story represents an exception to one of apartheid’s harshest realities: White men sexually violated black women with impunity. But neither is it a romantic tale of racial transcendence. Noah has been frank about how his Xhosa mother paid the greater price for her relationship with a white man. Not only did she face social stigma and arrest, she was also left to raise Noah alone when his father exercised his white male privilege and left South Africa.

In my academic research, I grapple with stories like the one Noah tells, of interracial sexual relations that resist neat labels. They’re not uncommon. Yet when power dynamics are so profoundly unequal, there’s a strong incentive to deny the possibility of complexity or murkiness by falling back on binaries like rape or romance…

Read the entire article here.

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Trevor Noah Brings ‘A Different Perspective’ as Daily Show Host

Posted in Africa, Arts, Media Archive, South Africa, United States, Videos on 2015-09-24 15:28Z by Steven

Trevor Noah Brings ‘A Different Perspective’ as Daily Show Host

NBC News
2015-09-23

Amber Payne, Managing Editor of @NBCBLK

Trevor Noah is poised to take The Daily Show throne next week and the South African comedian says his biracial and cultural background will impact and inform his perspective as host.

“It just gives me a different perspective. I feel everyone has their perspective because of where they’ve come from,” Noah told NBCBLK. “I’ve never been ashamed to say, nor do I shy away from that fact that I am black. I’ve grown up black, black is the only existence I’ve ever known. But it’s strange when you live in a world where people go ‘OK but biracial—then which piece of this, which piece of that?'”

Noah grew up under Apartheid in South Africa to a white Swiss father and a black South African mother. While his comedy is often unapologetically about race and racism, he is careful not to equate the racial tensions in the United States to the divisions and tensions in South Africa…

Read the entire article here.

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Race: An Introduction

Posted in Africa, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States on 2015-09-21 20:56Z by Steven

Race: An Introduction

Cambridge University Press
August 2015
272 pages
13 b/w illus. 4 tables
245 x 190 x 12 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781107034112
Paperback ISBN: 9781107652286

Peter Wade, Professor of Social Anthropology
University of Manchester

Taking a comparative approach, this textbook is a concise introduction to race. Illustrated with detailed examples from around the world, it is organised into two parts. Part One explores the historical changes in ideas about race from the ancient world to the present day, in different corners of the globe. Part Two outlines ways in which racial difference and inequality are perceived and enacted in selected regions of the world. Examining how humans have used ideas of physical appearance, heredity and behaviour as criteria for categorising others, the text guides students through provocative questions such as: what is race? Does studying race reinforce racism? Does a colour-blind approach dismantle, or merely mask, racism? How does biology feed into concepts of race? Numerous case studies, photos, figures and tables help students to appreciate the different meanings of race in varied contexts, and end-of-chapter research tasks provide further support for student learning.

  • Combines a broad historical overview (from the ancient world to the present day) with wide geographical and comparative coverage to show that race means different things in different contexts
  • Detailed historical and ethnographic material in textboxes, figures, photos and tables demonstrates the operation of race in everyday life
  • Offers an up-to-date, critical overview of a fast-changing field

Contents

  • List of figures
  • List of tables
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1 Knowing ‘race’
    • 1.1 Chronology of race
    • 1.2 Is race defined by appearance, biology and nature?
    • 1.3 Culture, appearance and biology revisited
    • 1.4 Race, comparatively and historically
    • 1.5 Comparisons
    • 1.6 Race in the history of Western modernity
    • Conclusion: so what is race?
    • Further research
  • Part I race in time
    • 2 Early approaches to understanding human variation
      • 2.1 Nature and culture
      • 2.2 Ancient Greece and Rome
      • 2.3 Medieval and early modern Europe
      • 2.4 New World colonisation
      • Conclusion
      • Further research
    • 3 From Enlightenment to eugenics
      • 3.1 Transitions
      • 3.2 Changing racial theories
      • 3.3 The spread of racial theory: nation, class, gender and religion
      • 3.4 Nature, culture and race
      • 3.5 Black reaction
      • Conclusion
      • Further research
    • 4 Biology, culture and genomics
      • 4.1 Darwin (again), genetics and the concept of population
      • 4.2 Boas and the separation of biology and culture
      • 4.3 Nazism, World War II and decolonisation
      • 4.4 UNESCO and after
      • 4.5 The persistence of race in science
      • 4.6 Race and IQ
      • 4.7 Race and sport
      • 4.8 Race, genomics and medicine: does race have a genetic basis?
      • 4.9 Race, genomics and medicine: racialising populations
      • Conclusion
      • Further activities
    • 5 Race in the era of cultural racism: politics and the everyday
      • 5.1 Introduction
      • 5.2 The institutional presence of race
      • 5.3 Race, nature and biology in the everyday world of culture
      • Conclusion
      • Further research
  • Part II Race in practice
    • 6 Latin America: mixture and racism
      • 6.1 Introduction
      • 6.2 Latin America and mestizaje
      • 6.3 Colombia: racial discrimination and social movements
      • 6.4 Structural disadvantage, region and mestizaje: lessons from Colombia
      • 6.5 Brazil: variations on a theme
      • 6.6 Guatemala: racial ambivalence
      • 6.7 Performing and embodying race in the Andes
      • Conclusion
      • Further research
    • 7 The United States and South Africa: segregation and desegregation
      • 7.1 Changing US demographics
      • 7.2 Caste and class in segregated Southern towns
      • 7.3 Black reaction and ‘desegregation’
      • 7.4 Segregation in practice: ‘the ghetto’
      • 7.5 Latinos and brownness
      • 7.6 South Africa
      • Conclusion
      • Further activities
    • 8 Race in Europe: immigration and nation
      • 8.1 European histories of race
      • 8.2 Issues in post-colonial migration in Europe
      • 8.3 White Britons in Leicestershire
      • 8.4 Asian Leicester
      • 8.5 The Asian gang in London
      • 8.6 Geographies of race in black Liverpool
      • 8.7 Algerians in France
      • Conclusion
      • Further activities
    • 9 Conclusion
      • 9.1 Theorising race
      • 9.2 Globalising race
      • 9.3 The future of race
    • References
    • Index
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The “Coming White Minority”: Brazilianization or South-Africanization of U.S.?

Posted in Africa, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, South Africa, United States on 2015-09-07 02:07Z by Steven

The “Coming White Minority”: Brazilianization or South-Africanization of U.S.?

Racism Review: scholarship and activism towards racial justice
2015-08-31

Joe Feagin, Ella C. McFadden and Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Texas A&M University

To understand the so-called “browning of America” and “coming white minority,” we should accent the larger societal context, the big-picture context including systemic racism. “Browning of America” issues have become important in the West mainly because whites are very worried about this demographic trend. Black-British scholar, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, has noted that whites are fearful

because for such a long time the world has been their own. . . . There is an underlying assumption that says white is right. . . . There is a white panic every time one part of their world seems to be passing over to anyone else. . . . There was this extraordinary assumption that white people could go and destroy peoples and it would have no consequence.

Let us consider a few reasonable, albeit speculative, extrapolations of current social science data to social changes from now to the 2050s:

(1) Dramatic demographic changes are coming: According to US Census projections this country will become much less white, with the greatest relative growth in the Latino, Asian, and multiracial populations. By 2050 it will be about 439 million people, with a majority of people of color (53 percent), the largest group being Latino (30 percent). Long before, a majority of students and younger workers will be of color. Over coming decades immigrant workers of color and their descendants will keep more cities from economic decline. Census data for 2050 indicate the oldest population cohort will be disproportionately white and younger cohorts will be disproportionately people of color–thereby overlaying a racial divide with a generational divide, probably generating racial-generational conflicts (See William Frey, The Diversity Explosion)…

A Panoramic View: Brazilianization or South-Africanization?

In recent years numerous scholars and media analysts have suggested the idea of significantly greater racial intermediation coming as the U.S. becomes much less white. Taking a panoramic view, they suggest a future that involves a “Brazilianization” or “Latinization’ of the United States.

Brazil’s racialization process has distinguished large mixed-race, mostly lighter-skinned groups and placed them in a middling status between Brazilians of mostly African ancestry and those of heavily European ancestry. Middle groups are relatively more affluent, politically powerful, and acceptable to dominant white Brazilians, who still mostly rule powerfully at the top of the economy and politics. About half the population, darker-skinned Afro-Brazilians and indigenous Brazilians, remains very powerless economically and politically. Possibly, in the U.S. case by 2050, a developed tripartite Brazilian pattern—with increasing and large but white-positioned intermediate racial groups, such as lighter-skinned middle class groups among Asian Americans and Latinos, moving up with greater economic and socio-political power and providing a racial buffer between powerful “whites” and powerless “blacks” and other darker-skinned people of color. Even then, it seems likely that many in U.S. middle groups will find their white-framed immigration, citizenship positions, or other inferiorized status still negatively affecting additional mobility opportunities…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Race Stereotypes in South African and American Literature by Diana Adesola Mafe (review)

Posted in Africa, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, South Africa, United States on 2015-05-26 01:30Z by Steven

Mixed Race Stereotypes in South African and American Literature by Diana Adesola Mafe (review)

Research in African Literatures
Volume 46, Number 2, Summer 2015
pages 166-168

Tru Leverette, Associate Professor of English
University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida

Mafe, Diana Adesola, Mixed Race Stereotypes in South African and American Literature: Coloring Outside the (Black and White) Lines (New York, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

In her recently published study, Diana Adesola Mafe explores the literary trope of the tragic mulatto through a comparative analysis of American and South African novels. Her work is both useful and timely, filling a gap in the literary study of colouredness and the transnational study of mixed race literature. Through this transnational lens, Mafe argues that the advent of the “age of Obama” and the renewed celebration of race mixture in the United States coincide with South Africa’s post-apartheid efforts to imagine itself as a Rainbow Nation. This celebration in both nations, however, overlooks important historical realities that are often explored through the literary figure of the tragic mulatto. Acknowledging that mulattos have often been “called upon to embody historic national moments” (1), Mafe asserts “a reading of South African fictions alongside American counterparts reveals the ongoing relevance of the tragic mulatto, which functions not only as a dated cliché and cautionary tale but also as a radical embodiment of possibility and a vehicle for social critique” (2). Indeed, Mafe illustrates through her analysis that the tragic mulatto has long functioned as a trope through which American and South African writers have critiqued race, identity, national belonging, and state-sanctioned racism.

Mafe begins her study with the introduction “Tainted Blood: The ‘Tragic Mulatto’ Tradition,” wherein she introduces the celebration of mixture within the contemporary sociopolitical contexts of the United States and South Africa. She also begins to address the tragic mulatto as a historical type. Acknowledging that, in the United States, the tragic mulatto trope developed as an abolitionist tool, Mafe briefly explores its origins in antebellum and postbellum literature. Additionally, she presents a justification for her comparative study, arguing “the tragic mulatto is a provocative keystone for analyzing these American and South African texts, which might otherwise have little else in common. When read alongside each other, these fictions expose mutual histories of stigmatization and marginalization for the mulatto figure” (14).

In chapter one, “God’s Stepchildren: The ‘Tragedy of Being a Halfbreed’ in South African Literature,” Mafe offers a history of miscegenation in South Africa and the United States, allowing her to trace the origins of the coloured and mulatto populations, respectively, in each nation. Having delineated this history, Mafe then turns her attention to the use of colouredness in South African fiction, which, she asserts, was not offered in-depth characterization until the twentieth century: “This development is inextricable from the emergence of colouredness as a ‘new’ social identity, mounting national interest in race categorization, and a literary shift from exploring Anglo-Boer relations to exploring black-white relations” (34). Through analyses of Sarah Gertrude Millin’s eugenicist novel God’s Step-Children and Peter Abrahams’s The Path of Thunder, Mafe establishes the literary origins and original uses of the tragic mulatto trope in South African literature. Throughout, she draws parallels with and highlights divergences from the use of the trope in American literature, in particular Nella Larsen’s Quicksand and Passing and James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.

In her next chapter, “‘An Unlovely Woman’: Bessie Head’s Mulatta (Re) Vision,” Mafe turns her analysis to the life and work of South African writer Bessie Head, specifically her novel A Question of Power, arguing “this text is a startling conceptualization of the mulatta that parallels but also challenges the efforts of earlier American writers” (59). Mafe explores the stereotype of the beautiful tragic mulatta and Head’s inversion of it through the presentation of an ugly protagonist, simultaneously exploring the novel’s ironic use of madness and its presentation of female sexuality. Since depictions of the tragic mulatta typically position her between the demands of white female respectability and the stereotype of black female passion, Head’s protagonist “destabilizes the exotic and erotic iconography of the mulatta, which is remarkably consistent in the American tradition” (63).

Turning from the tragic mulatta, in chapter three Mafe analyzes presentations of the mulatto man’s sexuality, again torn between “‘white’ propriety and ‘black’ passion” (86) and his filial relationship to his white father. In “‘A Little Yellow Bastard Boy’: Arthur Nortje’s Mulatto Manhood,” Mafe reads the father-son dynamic in…

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