The Racial Middle On-line Survey

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, New Media, Social Science, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2013-04-16 03:27Z by Steven

The Racial Middle On-line Survey

On behalf of Dr. Reanne Frank and Dr. Jennifer Jones of The Ohio State University, we invite you to take part in our research study, which concerns the development of racial identity among multiracials. There are no foreseeable significant direct benefits to you by participating in this research. However, we do hope that this research will provide you with the opportunity to engage in meaningful reflection about your identity. Furthermore, it is our hope that this research will benefit society in general by advancing our awareness and understanding of the experience of race in contemporary society.
If you agree to participate in our research, we ask that you complete an informational survey and family history to the best of your ability. Completing the survey and family history will take approximately 20 minutes. You must be at least 18 years of age to participate in this study.

If you would like to complete this research study, please click the link below to participate.
As a reward to participating in the survey, we offer you the opportunity to participate in a raffle to win an Amazon gift certificate for $50.
If you are asked and agree to participate in a follow-up interview, we will provide you with an additional small honorarium of $20.00 in exchange for your participation.
For more information about this research study, please contact Dr. Jennifer Jones at For questions about your rights as a participant in this study or to discuss other study-related concerns or complaints with someone who is not part of the research team, you may contact Ms. Sandra Meadows in the Office of Responsible Research Practices at 1-800-678-6251.

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SNAPSHOT: “a true story of love interrupted by invasion”

Posted in Arts, Live Events, New Media, Women on 2013-04-15 00:26Z by Steven

SNAPSHOT: “a true story of love interrupted by invasion”

Greenway Court Theatre
544. N. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, California
2013-04-04 through 2013-04-21

Mitzi Sinnott

A daughter’s journey through a landscape of years, memories and realities, initiated by her questioning, “what do I know about war?”  The answers are lying in an album of faded photos of her absent father, who left for the Vietnam War before she was born.  Fusing words, dance, music and film this story chronicles the quest of a mixed-race daughter from Southern Appalachia who eventually finds her homeless Veteran father suffering in Hawaii.

Her growing insights reveal how the forces of history, race and war affected herself and her family, and the torn fragments of her life begin to re-connect. SNAPSHOT honors her father and other Vietnam Veterans who have been lost under the avalanche of history. This play is a daring look at the truth of our past and an inspiring example of the need for us to reconcile our history—one life at time.

For more information, click here.

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‘Mixed Kids Are the Cutest’ Isn’t Cute?

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2013-04-09 02:46Z by Steven

‘Mixed Kids Are the Cutest’ Isn’t Cute?

The Root

Jenée Desmond-Harris, Staff Writer

“I’m a Caucasian woman with a biracial child (her father is black). I live in a predominantly white community. Why is it that whenever people discover that I have a ‘mixed’ child, they always say things like, ‘Oh, he/she must be so cute/gorgeous/adorable, those kids are always the best looking. You are so lucky.’

I know they mean well, but it seems off to me, and maybe racist. Do they mean compared to ‘real’ black children? When a German and Italian or an Asian and Jewish person have a child, black people don’t say, ‘Mixed children like yours are always the best looking.’ (Plus, it’s not true—not all black-white biracial kids are the ‘best looking.’)

Am I being overly sensitive by feeling there’s something off about these comments? If not, what’s the best way to respond?”

I chose this question for the first installment of Race Manners, The Root’s new advice column on racial etiquette and ethics, because it hits close to home. Like your daughter, I’m biracial. Like you, my white mother has developed an acute sensitivity to the subtle ways prejudice and bigotry pop up in daily life. I should know. She calls me to file what I’ve deemed her “racism reports.”

And let’s be clear. Americans of all races say bizarre things to and about mixed people, who can inspire some of the most revealing remarks about our black-white baggage. Just think of the public debates about how MSNBC’s Karen Finney, and even President Obama, should be allowed to identify…

…As Marcia Dawkins, the author of Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity, told me, “The myth that mixed-race offspring are somehow better than nonmixed offspring is an example of ‘hybrid vigor,’ an evolutionary theory which states that the progeny of diverse varieties within a species tend to exhibit better physical and psychological characteristics than either one or both of the parents.”

And just take a wild guess how this idea has popped up for black people. You got it: In order to demean and oppress African Americans, thought leaders throughout history, including the likes of Thomas Jefferson, have said that black-white mixed offspring are better, more attractive, smarter, etc., than “real” blacks and not as good or attractive or smart as “real” whites, Dawkins explains….

Read the entire article here.

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Performing ‘Race’ and Challenging Racism

Posted in Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2013-04-08 15:33Z by Steven

Performing ‘Race’ and Challenging Racism

One Drop of Love: A Daughter’s Search for her Father’s Racial Approval
Blog Updates

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Playwright, Producer, Actress, Educator

It is an exciting time to be an actor, when the notion of ‘performance’ is taking on new meanings and has the potential to change the way we view the art form. Traditional definitions of ‘performance’ include the act of staging or presenting a play; a rendering of a dramatic role. Now scholar/activists like Judith Butler are exploring a new definition of performance, or ‘performativity’—looking at how we use language and behavior to construct identity.

In my solo show, One Drop of Love, I get to meld these two understandings of performance. I am an actor who portrays several different characters: my Jamaican/Pan-Africanist father, my BlackfeetCherokee-Danish mother, candy and fruit vendors from East and West Africa, Census Workers from the 1790s to the present, racist cops from Cambridge, MA and many others. At the same time, in taking on these roles, I explore the construction of  ‘racial’ identity, and how these identities are created through speech and acts—and not through biology…

Read the entire article here.

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Poetic Justice: Drake and East African Girls

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, New Media, United States on 2013-04-03 17:19Z by Steven

Poetic Justice: Drake and East African Girls

The Feminist Wire

Safy-Hallan Farah, Guest Contributor

I am an East African Girl. A couple years ago, one of my friends told me that being an East African meant I’m not really black. A visibly mixed-race girl with a “high yellow” complexion and sandy brown hair telling me I’m not black didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to tell the girl, in the words of CB4, I’m black y’all. I’m black like the back of Forrest Whitaker’s neck. I’m black like Snoop Dogg’s lungs. I’m black like some Helvetica font against a white backdrop trying to sell you stuff.

I’m a black woman. But my nose, my loosely coiled curls and my fivehead make me black in a way that extends the colorism debate, creating this hierarchy of aesthetic value where I’m not just black, I’m also acceptably black.

Back in the day, white people went to East Africa to find Iman, their acceptable black girl. When white people did this, former Essence Editor-in-Chief Marcia Gillespie called East African model Iman Abdulmajid “a white woman dipped in chocolate,”  highlighting Iman’s acceptable blackness while also lamenting the fact that black women’s beauty is often measured in their proximity to whiteness…

…In “Poetic Justice” by Kendrick Lamar ft. Drake, Drake does it again: “I was trying to put you on game, put you on a plane/Take you and your mama to the motherland/I could do it, maybe one day/When you figure out you’re gonna need someone/When you figure out it’s all right here in the city/And you don’t run from where we come from.” But couched between another lazy description of a faceless, nameless East African Girl, and Drake’s assertion that that East African Girl is busy ignoring him for another man, is a story of afrodiasporic identity, which is what sets Drake apart, narratively, from other rappers.

While Drake’s definition of black beauty may seem limited, his definition of black identity is what Touré would call “post-black,” and Michelle Wright would call “postwar diasporic black.” Drake’s flow in “Poetic Justice” facilitates a broader discussion of black identity and black authenticity, a discussion that implicitly critiques Marcia Gillespie’s “white woman dipped in chocolate” statement, positing that East African Girls “come from” the same city Drake does, Toronto. The underlying message is that Drake considers us black like him. Drake, as a black Jewish man whose Degrassi character Jimmy Brooks dated a fake East African Girl, occupies a similarly hybrid space like East African Girls. For many East African Girls, that feels like poetic justice because the definition of ‘authentically black’— descendants of Africans brought here as slaves— is a limited definition that doesn’t even include Barack Obama, much less East African Girls…

…East African girls are generally not mixed race, yet this idea that we are is deeply embedded in the minds of white racialists, leading some to believe we’re an entirely different, special, exotic breed of people. This goes back to the pseudoscience of Carleton S. Coon’s “The Races of Europe.” Anthropologists and white racialists, which are often one in the same, have been claiming we are of majority Arab or white or “Afro-Asiatic” descent for years. And while that isn’t the sentiment of Drake or Nas’s lyrics, our alleged mixedness underpins their lyrics by virtue of the sheer selectiveness of the East African Girls shouted out in hip-hop lyrics. When Drake or Nas reference East African Girls, it can be easily inferred that they mean Cushites representing the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia). “Cushite,” a term derived from “Cush” of the Hebrew Bible and Quran, is in reference to our shared “Afro-Asiatic” language classification, which is often mistakenly typified as a shared racial identity. This little mistake triggers a big mistake: the conflation of biology and genetics with race and ethnicity as a social fact, which reifies the racial categories…

Read the entire article here.

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Identity for mixed-race kids? ‘Eurasian’ already exists

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, New Media, Social Science on 2013-03-30 18:41Z by Steven

Identity for mixed-race kids? ‘Eurasian’ already exists

The Straits Times
Forum Letters

Michael Ang York Poon

I am baffled by Mr Peter Wadeley’s letter (“S’porean identity must include mixed-race kids“; March 16).

What he is calling for already exists – that is, Eurasians, who are one of Singapore’s four main racial groups.

In the first four decades of Singapore’s independence, immigration was not as common as it is now, and the number of migrants relatively insignificant. Hence, it would have been absurd to even wonder if Eurasian youngsters were non-native…

Read the entire letter here.

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The cradle to the grave: Reflections on race thinking

Posted in Africa, Articles, New Media, Philosophy, Social Science, South Africa on 2013-03-25 18:32Z by Steven

The cradle to the grave: Reflections on race thinking

thesis eleven: critical theory and historical sociology
Volume 115, Number 1 (April 2013)
pages 43-57
DOI: 10.1177/0725513612470533

Gerhard Maré, Professor of Sociology
University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Despite a constitutional and oft-stated political commitment to an undefined notion of non-racialism, South Africans continue to operate in formal and informal ways with ‘race’ as the common-sense organizing principle of legal systems, ways of thinking, social identities, constructing arguments or closing debate, organizational and mobilizing strategies, policy development and execution, and interaction in daily life. This state of affairs is regrettable and dangerous, often questioned and rejected, but objections are waged and alternatives suggested against the tide of societal trends. What the organizing principle of race thinking does is to close the mind to alternative possibilities – of thought, social practice and ways of living. Here I explore an overview of racialism as it permeates and shapes the life cycles of citizens from birth to death. I make an argument for a way of thinking that is necessarily utopian, as one of few options of escaping a social world made in the image of apartheid.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Indigo: Shelly Jyoti and Laura Kina

Posted in Arts, New Media, United States on 2013-03-23 22:38Z by Steven

Indigo: Shelly Jyoti and Laura Kina

Curated by Greg Lunceford and Lanny Silverman
2013-01-26 through 2013-04-27

Opening Reception: Friday, 2013-01-25, 17:30-19:30 CST (Local Time)
Chicago Cultural Center
The Chicago Rooms
78 E. Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois 60638

Shelly Jyoti, Visual Artist, Fashion Designer, Poet, Researcher and Independent Curator

Laura Kina, Associate Professor Art, Media and Design
DePaul University

Employing fair trade artisans from women’s collectives in India and executing their works in indigo blue, Indian artist Shelly Jyoti and US artist Laura Kina’s works draw upon India’s history, narratives of immigration and transnational economic interchanges.

Artist talk with Shelly Jyoti, Laura Kina, and Pushipika Frietas, President of MarketPlace: Handwork of India
The Chicago Rooms
Thursday, 2013-01-31 12:15 CST (Local Time)

  • View the exhibition catalog online.
  • Download a PDF of the brochure Indigo: Shelly Jyoti and Laura Kina Chicago Cultural Center.
  • Watch the 2010 video on youtube Indigo: New works by Shelly Jyoti and Laura Kina.
  • View opening night and installation photographs.
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DNA unlocks family secrets of the Chinese juggler, the enigmatic sea-captain and more

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Canada, History, Identity Development/Psychology, New Media on 2013-03-23 19:12Z by Steven

DNA unlocks family secrets of the Chinese juggler, the enigmatic sea-captain and more

The Globe and Mail
Toronto, Canada

Carolyn Abraham, Special to The Globe and Mail

The birth of my first child made me see the past through a new lens: how it’s never lost, not completely; we carry it with us, in us, and we look for it in our parents and in our children, to give us our bearings and ground us in the continuity of life. And the past accommodates. It shows off in dazzling, unpredictable ways – a familiar gait, a gesture, the timbre of a voice, a blot of colour along the tailbone. The body has a long memory indeed.

The mysteries of the past lure many to the maw of genealogy – hours, years and small fortunes devoured tracing the branches of family trees. I had never been one of those people, but now a tempting shortcut had appeared: genetic tests that promised to reveal histories never told or recorded anywhere else.

Written in the quirky tongue of DNA and wound into the nucleus of nearly every human cell are biological mementos of the family who came before us.

And science is finding ways to dig them out, rummaging through our genetic code as if it were a trunk in the attic.

When questions of identity had been with me for so long; when my children might grow up with the same questions; and my parents, with everything they know and all the secrets hiding in their living cells, could vanish in a breath – why would I wait? I imagined the cool blade of science cutting to the truth of us, after more than a century of speculation and denial.

I started asking questions about my family in the late 1970s, after people started asking them of me. I had just turned 7 and we had moved from the Toronto area to the Southern Ontario town of St. Catharines.

Our tidy subdivision must have sprung up in the space age of the 1960s: There was a Star Circle and Venus and Saturn Courts, and in our roundabout of mostly German families, we were the aliens at 43 Neptune Dr. Before we moved in, the Pontellos had been the most exotic clan.

The kids my age would pretend to be detectives investigating versions of crimes we’d seen on Charlie’s Angels. All the girls wanted to play the blond, bodacious Farrah Fawcett character, and when arguments broke out over whether my dark looks should exclude me from eligibility, an interrogation usually followed.

“So where you from, anyway?” one of the kids would ask.

Mississauga,” I’d say.

“No, really, where are you from?”

“Well, I was born in England – ”

“No, I mean, like, what are you?”

Kids can be mean, but my friends weren’t. Most of them were just curious about a brown girl with a Jewish last name who went to the Catholic school. I was curious too. I wanted to say Italian, like the Pontellos. I wanted freckles and hair that swung like Dorothy Hamill’s. But more than that, I wanted an answer.

“Just tell them you’re English,” Mum would say. “You were born in England.”

“But I don’t look English.”

“Tell them you’re Eurasian,” my father would offer.

“Where’s Eurasia?”…

Read the entire article here.

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New Latin American pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio not a person of color?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, New Media, Religion on 2013-03-21 19:47Z by Steven

New Latin American pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio not a person of color?

New York Amsterdam News
New York, New York

Courtenay Brown, Special to the AmNews

The installation of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I on March 13 caused a stir of questions regarding his race. Yes, he was the first pope from Latin America, but should he be considered the first pope of color?

By definition, a “person of color” is an all-encompassing, typically American term that categorizes non-whites, which include Asians, Indians, Native Americans, Blacks and Latinos.

This classification may work in the U.S., but it does not function so well in Latin America. According to a study by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, 31.4 percent of immigrants to Argentina came from Spain, while 44.9 percent came from Italy from 1857 to 1940. This helps quantify just how many immigrants came from these specific countries as opposed to other places in Europe.

Pope Francis’ own parents were immigrants to Argentina. Since the children of two Italian citizens are legally regarded as Italian no matter where they are born, according to Italian legal tradition, Pope Francis is technically regarded as Italian.

According to Argentina native Martin Pereyra, a law student at the University of Buenos Aires, many Argentines would not identify as people of color because of the great deal of European influence in the country. The country is often even nicknamed the “Paris of South America.”

“I don’t think we have just one ‘color,’” Pereyra said. “But at the same time, we are considered Latinos.”…

…So while prescribing to a single “race” is far from a universal concept for the Latino community, Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, professor in the Chávez Department of Chicano/a Studies at the University of Central Los Angeles (UCLA), believes that Bergoglio should be considered Latino and thus a person of color—despite the pope’s Italian roots. According to Hinojosa-Ojeda, using lineage to determine who is Latino would “eliminate a large part of Latin America and a lot of Latinos,” he told LA Weekly last week.

“More important is the experience, not the genetic background,” he continued…

Read the entire article here.

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