An Octoroon: Education Guide

Posted in Arts, History, Media Archive, Passing, Reports, Teaching Resources, United States on 2017-02-09 20:36Z by Steven

An Octoroon: Education Guide

The Wilma Theater
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
27 pages

Anne Holmes, Education Director
Lizzy Pecora, Education Assistant

BY Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
DIRECTED BY Joanna Settle
March 16 – April 10, 2016



Thank you for choosing to bring your students to the Wilma’s production of An Octoroon, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. I applaud your willingness to take a risk on this one. While on some level we all understand that the most extraordinary learning opportunities emerge when we venture outside our comfort zone, most of us still gravitate toward what’s familiar and safe. An Octoroon promises to be a powerful catalyst for discussions around race, identity and stereotypes; if there’s a more urgent conversation we should be having with young people at this moment, I don’t know what that is. Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins has written a smart, intricately layered text to propel these discussions. Director Joanna Settle adds a live seven-piece band, with an original score composed in the rehearsal room alongside the actors, and dynamic step infused choreography to create a theatrical event big enough to encompass such a play. This is a risk worth taking.

If the Wilma were producing Dion Boucicault’s The Octoroon, the original 1859 melodrama upon which Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ play is based, I would have a much tougher time arguing for its value in a high school classroom today. While Boucicault is still considered one of the great writers of the 19th century melodrama, there are so many cringe worthy moments throughout the play that it can feel like a minefield of political incorrectness. Similar questions have been raised about the value of reading Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 2016. I believe those concerns have validity and ignoring them would be irresponsible. What is it then about Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon that makes it different, particularly given that the playwright has preserved so much of Boucicault’s original text? The crucial difference is that Jacobs-Jenkins provides a meta-theatrical lens through which to view the play, forcing us to consider a contemporary critical perspective on what we are seeing and hearing. Beyond that, he never tells us what to think or feel, leaving us to navigate our own way through this unsettling play. At times it feels like an irreverent romp, delighting in its own theatricality and celebrating the craftsmanship of the great 19th century melodramas. There are moments when we can’t help but laugh and yet we’re not sure if laughing is really okay. In many ways, An Octoroon is so suited to the classroom because it repeatedly eschews easy answers, all the way up through the final moments of the play’s deliberate non-ending.

In this education guide we tried to focus on providing key historical background on Boucicault and his original melodrama, as well as introducing you to this astounding, two-time Obie Award Winning Playwright (Best New American Play for An Octoroon and Appropriate) Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. BJJ’s character breakdown page as well as Boucicault’s plot breakdown page should help with getting clarity on the basics. With this play in particular, Lizzy Pecora and I both found ourselves repeatedly drawn back to the written, video and podcast interviews with Branden Jacobs-Jenkins because we really wanted to hear from the playwright himself as much as possible. We’ve included most of our favorite links to those interviews in the appendix, but I would leave these for after your students have already seen or read the play, so as not to clutter their experience of it with too much imposed meaning. The In the Classroom section includes our suggestions for introducing the play with interactive lessons designed to engage students in discussion and get them making their own predictions about its content and themes.

Thanks again for agreeing to go on this ride with us. Your students are going to love you for it!…

Read the entire guide here.

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Obama Leaves Office on High Note, But Public Has Mixed Views of Accomplishments

Posted in Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Reports, United States on 2016-12-16 15:38Z by Steven

Obama Leaves Office on High Note, But Public Has Mixed Views of Accomplishments

Pew Research Center

72% have favorable opinion of Michelle Obama

With just a few weeks left in Barack Obama’s presidency, Americans’ early judgments of his place in history are more positive than negative. Obama is poised to leave office on a high note: Current assessments of both the president and the first lady are among the most favorable since they arrived in the White House.

At the same time, many express skepticism about whether Obama has been able to make progress on the major problems facing the nation, and whether his accomplishments will outweigh his failures. Democrats and Republicans have distinctly different views on Obama’s legacy, and these partisan divides are greater today than they have been for other recent presidents.

And when asked in an open-ended question what Obama will be most remembered for, more cite the Affordable Care Act – which faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled Congress – than anything else…

…In the public’s view, Obama will be remembered more for the Affordable Care Act than other aspects of his presidency — including his election as the nation’s first black president. When asked what Obama will be most remembered for, 35% volunteer the 2010 health care law (or mention health care more generally) while 17% say it will be Obama’s election as the first black president.

Notably, mentions of Obama’s domestic policies, including health care and the economy, account for nearly half (49%) of all responses. By comparison, only 9% point to foreign policy, including just 2% who specifically mention the killing of Osama bin Laden and just 1% who cite U.S. military action against ISIS

Read the entire report in PDF or HTML format.

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Exploring Racial Bias Among Biracial and Single-Race Adults: The IAT

Posted in Politics/Public Policy, Reports, Social Science, United States on 2015-08-20 14:15Z by Steven

Exploring Racial Bias Among Biracial and Single-Race Adults: The IAT

Pew Research Center

Rich Morin, Senior Editor

This report summarizes the results of an online experiment that utilized an Implicit Association Test (IAT) to measure racial bias in single-race whites, blacks, Asians and biracial adults with a white and black or a white and Asian racial background. The study sought to measure subconscious racial bias in the five racial groups and to see if biracial adults unconsciously view one of their racial backgrounds more favorably than the other. Pew Research Center worked with professors Shanto Iyengar of Stanford University and Sean Westwood of Dartmouth College to design and implement the IAT used in this experiment.

The report is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of the following individuals. Rich Morin, senior editor, analyzed the data and wrote the report. Kim Parker, director of social trends research; Scott Keeter, director of research; and Claudia Deane, vice president of research, provided editorial guidance. Survey Methodologist Andrew Mercer provided statistical and editorial guidance. Juliana Menasce Horowitz, associate director of research, edited the report. Number-checking was done by Research Assistant Renee Stepler. The report was copy edited by Molly Rohal. Michael Suh provided web support. Find related reports online at

Read the entire report here.

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Multiracial in America

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Reports, United States on 2015-06-11 22:47Z by Steven

Multiracial in America

Pew Research Center
Washington, D.C.
155 pages

Principal Researchers

Kim Parker, Director of Social Trends Research
Rich Morin, Senior Editor
Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Associate Director, Research
Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of Hispanic Research

Research Team

Anna Brown, Research Assistant
D’Vera Cohn, Senior Writer
Richard Fry, Senior Researcher
Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, Research Associate
Sara Goo, Senior Digital Editor
Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research
Jens Manuel Krogstad, Writer/Editor
Gretchen Livingston, Senion Researcher
Kyley McGeeney, Research Methodologist
Andrew Mercer, Research Methodologist
Eileen Patten, Research Analyst
Renee Stepler, Research Assistant
Wendy Wang, Senior Researcher

Proud, Diverse and Growing in Numbers

Multiracial Americans are at the cutting edge of social and demographic change in the U.S.—young, proud, tolerant and growing at a rate three times as fast as the population as a whole.

As America becomes more racially diverse and social taboos against interracial marriage fade, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that majorities of multiracial adults are proud of their mixed-race background (60%) and feel their racial heritage has made them more open to other cultures (59%).

At the same time, a majority (55%) say they have been subjected to racial slurs or jokes, and about one-in-four (24%) have felt annoyed because people have made assumptions about their racial background. Still, few see their multiracial background as a liability. In fact, only 4% say having a mixed racial background has been a disadvantage in their life. About one-in-five (19%) say it has been an advantage, and 76% say it has made no difference…

Read the entire report here.

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Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population

Posted in Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Reports, Social Work, Teaching Resources, United States on 2015-06-08 02:00Z by Steven

Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population

Multi-Racial/Ethnic Counseling Concerns (MRECC) Interest Network of the American Counseling Association Taskforce
American Counseling Association
51 pages


Kelley R. Kenney

Mark E. Kenney

Taskforce Members/Authors:

Susan B. Alvarado

Amanda L. Baden

Leah Brew

Stuart Chen-Hayes

Cheryl L. Crippen,

Hank L. Harris

Richard C. Henriksen, Jr.

Krista M. Malott

Derrick A. Paladino

Mark L. Pope

Carmen F. Salazar

Anneliese A. Singh

In memory of Dr. Bea Wehrly for her tireless work and advocacy. The publication of her book, Counseling Interracial Individuals and Families, by the American Counseling Association in 1996 was a major part of this journey.

Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population: Couples, Families, and Individuals; and Transracial Adoptees and Families (Endorsed and adopted by the ACA Governing Council, March 2015)

The Multiracial/Ethnic Counseling Concerns (MRECC) Interest Network of the American Counseling Association has developed the following competencies in order to promote the development of sound professional counseling practices to competently and effectively attend to the diverse needs of the multiple heritage population.

Section I: Overview

This document is intended to provide counseling competencies for working with and advocating for members of the multiracial population including interracial couples, multiracial families, and multiracial individuals, and transracial adoptees and families. The document is intended for use by counselors and other helping professionals; individuals who educate, train, and/or supervise current and future counseling and other helping professionals; as well as individuals who may conduct research and/or other professional activities with members of the multiracial population. To this end, the goal is for these competencies to serve as a resource and provide a framework for how counseling and other helping professionals can competently and effectively work with and advocate for members of the multiracial population…

Read the entire report here.

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Projections of the Size and Composition of the U.S. Population: 2014 to 2060: Population Estimates and Projections

Posted in Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Reports, United States on 2015-03-03 20:04Z by Steven

Projections of the Size and Composition of the U.S. Population: 2014 to 2060: Population Estimates and Projections

United States Census Bureau
March 2015
13 pages

Sandra L. Colby and Jennifer M. Ortman


Between 2014 and 2060, the U.S. population is projected to increase from 319 million to 417 million, reaching 400 million in 2051. The U.S. population is projected to grow more slowly in future decades than in the recent past, as these projections assume that fertility rates will continue to decline and that there will be a modest decline in the overall rate of net international migration. By 2030, one in five Americans is projected to be 65 and over; by 2044, more than half of all Americans are projected to belong to a minority group (any group other than non-Hispanic White alone); and by 2060, nearly one in five of the nation’s total population is projected to be foreign born.

This report summarizes results from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 National Projections, with a focus on changes in the age structure and shifts in the racial and ethnic composition of the population—both the total population as well as the native and foreign born…

…The Two or More Races population is projected to be the fastest growing over the next 46 years (see Table 2), with its population expected to triple in size (an increase of 226 percent). This group is projected to increase from 8 million to 26 million between 2014 and 2060. Its share of the total population is projected to increase from 2.5 percent…

Read the entire report here.

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Race and Ethnicity in the 2020 Census: Improving Data to Capture a Multiethnic America

Posted in Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Reports, United States on 2014-12-09 15:40Z by Steven

Race and Ethnicity in the 2020 Census: Improving Data to Capture a Multiethnic America

The Leadership Conference Education Fund
Washington, D.C.
November 2014
36 pages

“Race and Ethnicity in the 2020 Census” is the culmination of The Leadership Conference Education Fund’s year-long project to examine the Census Bureau’s research and testing program from the perspective of civil rights stakeholders and to ensure that any revisions to the 2020 census race and ethnicity questions continue to yield data that support the advancement of fairness and equity in all facets of American life. The report – co-branded with Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) and the NALEO Educational Fund – includes a set of recommendations for the Census Bureau and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter I: Collecting Race and Ethnicity Data in the Census
  • Chapter II: The Essential Role of Race and Ethnicity Statistics in the Quest for Civil Rights
  • Chapter III: Revising the Census Race and Ethnicity Questions: The Civil Rights Perspective
  • Chapter IV: Recommendations
  • Endnotes
  • Appendix I

…Stakeholders emphasize, however, that census data and school enrollment data are not always comparable with respect to the categories used and the level and range of detail collected, making it more difficult to evaluate trends in education outcomes and their relationship to broader community conditions, such as poverty, unemployment, and access to health care, that can influence performance in school. The Department of Education requires educational institutions to collect race and ethnicity data on students and staff, but individuals are not required to provide those data (resulting in a category of “Race and Ethnicity unknown”). The department only updated its data collection guidelines in 2007—10 years after OMB finalized the new standards for race and ethnicity data—for implementation in the 2010-11 school year. The updated Education Department categories do not ask Hispanics to report a race; they also collapse multiple race responses into one, unspecific category of “Two or more races,” instead of assigning multiracial individuals to their respective race choices.65 The latter practice is especially worrisome to civil rights data users, given the growth in the multiracial and multiethnic populations. The percentage of the population reporting multiple races grew by nearly a third (32 percent) between 2000 and 2010, compared to an overall 10 percent growth in the U.S. population. Failure to capture multiple race responses as part of specific race groups can adversely affect the ability of educational institutions to meet minority student enrollment thresholds under various education programs…

…Other observations about current census race and ethnicity data, for civil rights purposes, include concerns about the accuracy of data on multiracial and multiethnic populations, especially Afro-Latinos; the need for more detailed and accurate data on Americans of South Asian origin and Native Hawaiians; and the need for expanded data sets on industry, occupation, and employment status, by race and ethnicity, including for American Indian tribes, to assist in the enforcement of equal employment opportunity laws. Employment experts generally believe that a combined race and Hispanic origin question would produce data of acceptable (if not higher) quality and enhanced granularity for all race groups to support their efforts. They emphasized the importance of detailed, subgroup data to promote diversity and prevent discrimination in the labor market, since many people of color, and especially immigrants, are concentrated in “ethnic enclaves.”…

Read the entire report here.

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Use of Race and Ethnicity in Public Health Surveillance: Summary of the CDC/ATSDR Workshop

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Reports, United States on 2014-11-05 22:58Z by Steven

Use of Race and Ethnicity in Public Health Surveillance: Summary of the CDC/ATSDR Workshop

United States Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Volume 42, 1993-06-25, Number RR-10
28 pages


This edition of MMWR Recommendations and Reports summarizes a workshop that addresses the role of race and ethnicity in public health surveillance. The importance of public health surveillance efforts in assuring the nation’s health objectives cannot be overstated. However, because of a lack of consensus when defining and measuring race and ethnicity, public health surveillance systems have been limited. If the Year 2000 Health Objectives are to be met, recognizing and addressing these limitations are essential.

The issues addressed in this report highlight concepts, measures, and uses of race and ethnicity in public health surveillance. Representing the private sector, government and other public agencies, workshop participants assisted CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in describing, assessing, and improving the use of race and ethnicity in public health surveillance. The involvement of health professional organizations and minority health advocates ensured that relevant “real life” health concerns of racial and ethnic groups were addressed. This report includes summaries of plenary presentations by invited experts. The summaries do not necessarily represent the views or positions of CDC.

The workshop focused on the limitations of the current use of race and ethnicity in public health surveillance, and the problems that persist because of these limitations. Although conceptual alternatives and practical strategies for improvement were recommended, further refinement is necessary. For example, while race may have some biological basis, its significance is mainly derived from social arrangements. Thus, race should be viewed within public health surveillance as a sociological phenomenon. Race and ethnicity are not risk factors — they are markers used to better understand risk factors. For instance, homicide disproportionately impacts African American communities; however, when income status is considered, the impact of homicide in African American communities is similiar to that in white communities. Finally, there should be further exploration of the full utility of the concept of ethnicity. This term generally has been limited to definers such as surname or language, while ignoring, for example, the importance of historical and sociological experiences.

The recommendations generated from the workshop were developed for CDC/ATSDR and some of them may be used to improve surveillance systems at CDC/ATSDR and in other parts of the Public Health Service. In addition, some of these recommendations may be used to update the 1985 Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health, as well as in measuring progress in reaching theYear 2000 Health Objectives. These recommendations have been submitted to the Director of CDC for consideration. They are being published in this format to stimulate further discussion. Some of these recommendations may exceed the missions of CDC and ATSDR, may be in conflict with other recommendations, or may be in various stages of implementation. Any comments regarding these recommendations may be sent to me at: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of the Associate Director for Minority Health, 1600 Clifton Road, MS-D39, Atlanta, GA 30333.

Rueben C. Warren, D.D.S., M.P.H., Dr.P.H.
Associate Director for Minority Health…

Read the entire report here.

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A Portrait of Modern Britain

Posted in Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Reports, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2014-05-14 00:26Z by Steven

A Portrait of Modern Britain

Policy Exchange
London, England
100 pages
ISBN: 978-1-907689-76-5

Rishi Sunak, Head of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Research Unit

Saratha Rajeswaran, Deputy Head of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Research Unit

People from ethnic minority backgrounds will make up nearly a third of the UK’s population by 2050.

A Portrait of Modern Britain reveals that the five largest distinct Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities could potentially double from 8 million people or 14% of the population to between 20-30% by the middle of the century. Over the past decade, the UK’s White population has remained roughly the same while the minority population has almost doubled. Black Africans and Bangladeshis are the fastest growing minority communities with ethnic minorities representing 25% of people aged under the age of five.

The handbook draws on an extensive set of survey, census, academic and polling data to build up a detailed picture of the five largest minority groups in the UK – Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Black Africans and Black Caribbeans. The paper outlines the demographics, geography, life experiences, attitudes and socioeconomic status of each of these major ethnic groups. The purpose of the research is to show that there are clear and meaningful differences between each of these communities, which need to be fully understood by policymakers and politicians.

The study also reveals that while the face of Britain has changed and is continuing to become even more multi-racial, people from ethnic minority backgrounds have a far stronger association with being British than the White population. In the 2011 Census, only 14% of Whites identified themselves as being purely British, with 64% seeing themselves as purely English. All other ethnic minority communities were over four times more likely to associate themselves with being British. 71% of Bangladeshis and 63% of Pakistanis considered themselves purely British. A quarter of the Black Caribbean community see themselves as purely English, while just over half (55%) see themselves as just British…


The face of Britain has changed. Among the heroes of Britain’s 2012 Olympic triumph were a Somali immigrant and a mixed-race girl from Yorkshire. Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis captured the spirit of the nation and came to represent Britain’s incredible diversity. Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people now make up a significant and fast-growing part of the population. However, understanding of these communities has not kept up with their rising importance.

From a political perspective, few attempts have been made to properly understand Britain’s minority communities and there is a tendency in the media to assume that all BME communities can be treated as a single political entity – as if all ethnic minorities held similar views and lived similar lives.

But clearly there is no single ‘BME community’. Over 100 different languages are spoken on London’s playgrounds alone. Families that came to the UK decades ago from the Caribbean will be quite different to recent arrivals from Somalia, or indeed Indian immigrants from East Africa. And single ethnic identities are themselves becoming more complex due to the growth of the Mixed population and generational change.

This report starts to answer the question: ‘Who are Britain’s BME communities?’ It draws on an extensive set of survey, census, academic and polling data to build up a detailed portrait of the five largest minority communities in the UK. The report outlines the demographics, geography, life experiences, attitudes and socioeconomic status of each of these major ethnic groups. These research findings are brought to life through ‘pen portraits’ from contributors spanning the worlds of politics, medicine, media, social action and religion.

The report’s conclusions are clear. BME communities will continue to become an ever more significant part of Britain. There are clear and striking differences between communities. These differences should be understood by policymakers and politicians. A Portrait of Modern Britain serves as a rich, authoritative and accessible reference guide to furthering that understanding…

Read the entire summary here. Read the entire report here.

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Mapping Interracial/Interethnic Married-Couple Households in the United States: 2010

Posted in Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, Reports, United States on 2014-03-04 21:53Z by Steven

Mapping Interracial/Interethnic Married-Couple Households in the United States: 2010

United States Census Bureau
Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America
New Orleans, Louisiana
2013-04-11 through 2013-04-13

Tallese D. Johnson, Population Division
U.S. Census Bureau

Rose M. Kreider, Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division
U.S. Census Bureau


This poster examines the geographic distribution of interracial and interethnic married couples in the United States. The analysis focuses on county level distributions that map the prevalence of specific combinations of interracial/interethnic married couples, such as Whites married to Asians. The county maps illustrate the diversity of interracial/interethnic couple combinations around the country. Much of the literature on interracial or interethnic married couples shows all such couples together. However, particular intermarried combinations have distinct histories and distributions across the United States.

Given distinct paths of entry into the United States, internal migration patterns, and residential segregation, we would expect that White/Black couples may tend to live in different areas than White/Asian couples, for example. Couples with a relatively longer history of intermarriage, such as Hispanic/non-Hispanic couples or White/American Indian and Alaska Native couples may have distinct patterns of residence. This poster provides basic information about where particular intermarried couples live, by county, across the United States…

View the poster and maps here.

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