Telling Multiracial Tales: An Autoethnography of Coming Out Home

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Gay & Lesbian, New Media, United States on 2013-12-16 20:29Z by Steven

Telling Multiracial Tales: An Autoethnography of Coming Out Home

Qualitative Inquiry
Volume 20, Number 1 (January 2014)
pages 51-60
DOI: 10.1177/1077800413508532

Benny LeMaster
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

What follows are experimental autoethnographic tales of ambiguous embodiment. The tales weave in and out of the text and work to articulate gender in unsuspecting spaces. Together, we reconsider gender through multiple locations at once. I offer an autoethnography of multiracial tales: a simultaneous telling of embodiment as it manifests in my multiracial body. Rather than privileging one “side” of the family over another, I experiment with a concurrent telling. That is, multivocality in one body. To help anchor the telling, I use the academy as an assemblage of meaning. In the end, I find that my White family resists and rejects my queer masculinity because of my pursuit of higher education while my Asian family embraces my queer masculinity because of the same pursuit. These stories can only be known when told and processed concurrently; never alone, and never separate.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , ,

24,000-Year-Old Body Shows Kinship to Europeans and American Indians

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Europe, Native Americans/First Nation, New Media on 2013-11-21 00:16Z by Steven

24,000-Year-Old Body Shows Kinship to Europeans and American Indians

The New York Times
2013-11-20

Nicholas Wade

The genome of a young boy buried at Mal’ta near Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia some 24,000 years ago has turned out to hold two surprises for anthropologists.

The first is that the boy’s DNA matches that of Western Europeans, showing that during the last Ice Age people from Europe had reached farther east across Eurasia than previously supposed. Though none of the Mal’ta boy’s skin or hair survives, his genes suggest he would have had brown hair, brown eyes and freckled skin.

The second surprise is that his DNA also matches a large proportion — about 25 percent — of the DNA of living Native Americans. The first people to arrive in the Americas have long been assumed to have descended from Siberian populations related to East Asians. It now seems that they may be a mixture between the Western Europeans who had reached Siberia and an East Asian population...

…There they lay for some 50 years until they were examined by a team led by Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen. Dr. Willerslev, an expert in analyzing ancient DNA, was seeking to understand the peopling of the Americas by searching for possible source populations in Siberia. He extracted DNA from bone taken from the child’s upper arm, hoping to find ancestry in the East Asian peoples from whom Native Americans are known to be descended…

…The other surprise from the Mal’ta boy’s genome was that it matched to both Europeans and Native Americans but not to East Asians. Dr. Willerslev’s interpretation was that the ancestors of Native Americans had already separated from the East Asian population when they interbred with the people of the Mal’ta culture, and that this admixed population then crossed over the Beringian land bridge that then lay between Siberia and Alaska to become a founding population of Native Americans.

“We estimate that 14 to 38 percent of Native American ancestry may originate through gene flow from this ancient population,” he and colleagues wrote in an article published Wednesday in the journal Nature

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

‘Hafu’ tells story of Japan’s mixed-race minority and changing attitudes in society

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Interviews, New Media, Social Science on 2013-11-15 02:07Z by Steven

‘Hafu’ tells story of Japan’s mixed-race minority and changing attitudes in society

Japan Today
2013-11-15

Philip Kendall

TOKYO—For such a small word, “half” carries an awful lot of weight here in Japan. Adapted to fit the syllabary, the word is pronounced “hafu” in Japanese, and describes a person who has one Japanese – and of course one non-Japanese – parent. More often than not, the word carries certain connotations, and many Japanese have preconceived, often erroneous, notions that hafu have natural English ability, have spent time abroad, and possess many of the physical characteristics Japanese associate with Westerners. At the same time, the word is immediately indicative of something very un-Japanese, and many hafu – even those who have never set foot outside of Japan and speak no other language – are never truly accepted by society as a result.

The Hafu Project was begun in 2009 as an initiative aiming to promote awareness of racial diversity in Japan and the issues facing those of mixed heritage. It was after becoming involved with the project that two filmmakers, Megumi Nishikura and Lara Perez Takagi, began a collaborative work that would eventually become a full-length feature film titled, simply, “Hafu.”

Three years in the making, “Hafu” was completed in April this year, and has been screened at independent cinemas everywhere from Madrid to Tokyo. After checking out the film for ourselves when it came to Shibuya recently, RocketNews24 talked with Megumi and Lara to learn a little more about the making of the film and how in their opinion attitudes in Japan are evolving.

“Hafu” documents the daily lives and experiences of five hafu who have either lived most of their lives in Japan or are visiting for the first time in an effort to learn more about their Japanese heritage. Shot in the documentary style with the featured hafu providing the voiceover throughout, the film has a quiet poignancy to it that at times brought us close to tears, yet ultimately left us feeling both upbeat and confident that attitudes toward hafu in Japan are changing for the better.

Hugely impressed by this profoundly moving and inspiring film, RocketNews24 got in touch with Megumi and Lara, who kindly answered our questions about themselves, the making of the film, and how they see life for hafu in Japan changing as the number of children born to mixed-race parents increases each year…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Seeing Opportunity In A Question: ‘Where Are You Really From?’

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, New Media, Religion, Social Science, United States on 2013-11-11 20:38Z by Steven

Seeing Opportunity In A Question: ‘Where Are You Really From?’

Morning Edition
National Public Radio
2013-11-11

Renee Montagne, Host

Steve Inskeep, Host

Michele Norris, Host/Special Correspondent

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

“Where are you from?”

“No, really, where are you from?”

Those questions about identity and appearance come up again and again in submissions to The Race Card Project. In some cases, Norris tells Morning Edition‘s Steve Inskeep, people say it feels accusatory — like, ‘Do you really belong?’

It’s also a question that Alex Sugiura, because of his racially ambiguous appearance, can’t seem to escape.

Sugiura, 27, is the child of a first-generation Japanese immigrant father and a Jewish mother of Eastern European descent. Sugiura’s brother Max looks more identifiably Asian, but when people meet Alex, they’re often not satisfied to hear that he’s from Brooklyn

Read the article here. Listen to the story here. Download the audio here. Read the transcript here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

De Blasio Is Elected New York City Mayor

Posted in Articles, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-11-06 04:58Z by Steven

De Blasio Is Elected New York City Mayor

The New York Times
2013-11-05

Michael Barbaro

David W. Chen, City Hall Bureau Chief


Bill de Blasio hugged his son, Dante, at an election night party on Tuesday. Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Bill de Blasio, who transformed himself from a little-known occupant of an obscure office into the fiery voice of New York’s disillusionment with a new gilded age, was elected the city’s 109th mayor on Tuesday..

His overwhelming victory, stretching from the working-class precincts of central Brooklyn to the suburban streets of northwest Queens, amounted to a forceful rejection of the hard-nosed, business-minded style of governance that reigned at City Hall for the past two decades and a sharp leftward turn for the nation’s largest metropolis.

Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat who is the city’s public advocate, defeated his Republican opponent, Joseph J. Lhota, a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

It was the most sweeping victory in a mayor’s race since 1985, when Edward I. Koch won by 68 points, and it gave Mr. de Blasio what he said was an unmistakable mandate to pursue his liberal agenda….

…To an unusual degree, he relied on his own biracial family to connect with an increasingly diverse electorate, electrifying voters with a television commercial featuring his charismatic teenage son, Dante, who has a towering Afro…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Multiracial America Makes Census Boxes Obsolete

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, New Media, United States on 2013-11-04 18:49Z by Steven

Multiracial America Makes Census Boxes Obsolete

The Root
2013-11-04

Keli Goff

As the nation becomes more multiracial, some question whether the survey can accurately reflect the country’s true diversity.

Editor’s note: This is the first of three in a series.

(The Root) — In 30 years, America will look very different than it does now. According to analysis of census data, by 2043 white Americans will no longer be a majority. But an equally significant population milestone will arrive in 2020. That is the year in which the next census takes place, and it will be the first one tasked with successfully chronicling the most racially and culturally mixed population in American history.

Governing the nation at the very time the census is grappling with this issue is the country’s first biracial president. Though President Obama has said he identifies as black on the census, there is a growing population of people who may share a similar background but do not wish to identify as he has chosen to. Helping to ensure that these Americans are adequately and accurately counted through his administration’s efforts to perfect a modern census could end up being a significant part of the Obama legacy.

Multiracial Americans are the fastest growing demographic in the country, yet the U.S. Census Bureau has struggled with how to effectively capture the changing racial makeup of America. In his new book What Is Your Race: The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans, Kenneth Prewitt takes the census to task for its many shortcomings when it comes to painting an accurate portrait of America’s racial and cultural landscape. Prewitt, though, is not just any run-of-the-mill critic. He is a former director of the U.S. Census Bureau, where he served from 1998 to 2001.

In an interview with The Root, Prewitt explained that America is unique in its racial categorization and its reasons for categorizing. “We decided why we wanted racial statistics and the purpose of them, and then designed statistics to accomplish those purposes.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Dr. Yaba Blay on shifting the lens on race

Posted in Audio, Interviews, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2013-10-30 23:29Z by Steven

Dr. Yaba Blay on shifting the lens on race

Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane
WHYY 90.9 FM
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2013-10-30

Who is black? And who is not? “Mixed/Jamerian,” “Black/Latina,” “Appalachian African American” are examples of how some people of color describe themselves. Drexel University Africana Studies professor Dr. Yaba Blay explores the nuances of the politics of racial identity and hair and skin color. Her work sheds light on the legacy of the outdated “one-drop” law – that if a person had a drop of black blood, they would be forever identified as black. Through interviews and research, she shows the diversity of the many ways bi-racial and multi-racial people self-identify. Her new portrait essay book is “(1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race.”

Download the episode here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

the road weeps, the well runs dry

Posted in Arts, History, Live Events, Native Americans/First Nation, New Media, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2013-10-26 02:19Z by Steven

the road weeps, the well runs dry

Los Angeles Theater Center
514 South Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90013
Telephone: 213.489.0994

2013-10-24 through 2013-11-17
Thursday-Saturday: 20:00 PT (Local Time)
Sunday: 15:00 PT (Local Time)

Written by Marcus Gardley
Directed by Shirley Jo Finney

Rolling World Premiere

Surviving centuries of slavery, revolts, and The Trail of Tears, a community of self-proclaimed Freedmen creates the first all-black U.S. town in Wewoka, Oklahoma. The Freedmen (Black Seminoles and people of mixed origins) are rocked when the new religion and the old way come head to head and their former enslavers arrive to return them to the chains of bondage.  Written in gorgeously cadenced language, utilizing elements of African American folklore and daring humor, the road weeps, the well runs dry merges the myth, legends and history of the Seminole people.

Previews: October 24 & 25

For more information, click here.

Tags: , , , ,

School aims to give biracial kids a place to ‘be themselves’

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, New Media on 2013-10-20 22:07Z by Steven

School aims to give biracial kids a place to ‘be themselves’

Japan Times
2013-10-20

Michael Bradley, Special to the Japan Times

NAKAGUSUKU, OKINAWA – Melissa Tomlinson doesn’t have very happy memories of elementary school. As an 8-year-old, she “never had a chance to eat lunch normally — the other kids put something in it, or they mixed the milk and soup and orange together and told me to eat it.”

Like the three or four other mixed-race children in her class, Tomlinson was bullied on a daily basis. Now a 26-year-old high school English teacher, she still recalls how “they told me to go home to America, and they talked bad about my mom.”

Her teachers did little to stop the abuse — indeed, some, wittingly or not, even contributed to it. Every summer, on the anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa — the three-month assault in which around 100,000 Okinawan civilians perished — Tomlinson would become the focus of the class. “The teacher always said, ‘Melissa, can you stand up? So, you are half-American, what do you think about this?’ For me, I was like, ‘I grew up here, I don’t know about American things.’ ” Tomlinson had no memory of her father, a U.S. serviceman who’d split from her mother when she was still a baby.

Tomlinson’s story is far from unique. Since 1946, many children here have been born to U.S. military fathers and Okinawan mothers. Sometimes (and especially when the fathers are deployed elsewhere) the mothers are left to bring up the children by themselves, and, like Tomlinson, those children don’t always have an easy time at school.

When five single mothers set up a school for their own “Amerasian” children in Okinawa 15 years ago, they were not so much worried about bullying as concerned about getting their kids a bilingual education. The only one of the women still involved with the school — the current principal, Midori Thayer — explains: “Our children needed to learn both languages because of their two different heritages. They had to be themselves.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Review of Adult Supervision at Park Theatre Finsbury Park

Posted in Articles, Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, New Media, United Kingdom on 2013-10-20 21:54Z by Steven

Review of Adult Supervision at Park Theatre Finsbury Park

LondonTheater1.com
London
2013-10-20

Alan Franks, Senior Reviewer

Adult supervision, if you remember, is what Barack Obama said Washington needed. This was back in 2006, two years before his election as forty-fourth president of the US, and the first black incumbent of the office. So there could hardly be a more timely moment than now for a play bearing his words as its title, with America once more squeezing through one of its congressional crises which baffle the world with their apparent childishness.

What’s more, Sarah Rutherford’s play is set on that giddy evening five years ago when the votes were counted, the unthinkable happened and a black American family prepared to move into the White House. So the joyful political liberation plays out as a running backdrop to the get-together of the four youngish women on whom we are here to eavesdrop. More a frontdrop actually, since the TV is situated on the fourth wall, which means they gawp and whoop at us as the results of the count come in. It is as if we are making our own fleeting guest appearances at the unfolding drama.

Our hostess is the controlling Natasha, lawyer turned full-time mother who loses no opportunity for trumpeting the moral virtue of her career shift. Her children are a statement in their own right; she is white and they are black, the fruits of an adoption mission to Ethiopia. One of her guests is the angry Mo, whose husband is black; another is Issy, Natasha’s supposed best friend; the third, and only black woman is the heavily pregnant Angela. In Natasha’s patronising, or matronising vision, the four of them are bonded by their commitment to mixed-race progeny…

Read the review here.

Tags: , ,