One woman’s quest to uncover her heritage

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Videos on 2015-08-29 02:23Z by Steven

One woman’s quest to uncover her heritage

The Today Show
2007-11-12

Bliss Broyard writes about her journey to discover her hidden black roots

Bliss Broyard grew up a “Wasp” in Connecticut with her mother, father and brother. For 23 years she was white, but it wasn’t until her father was on his deathbed that she found out he was “part-black.” After her father died, Broyard began a quest to learn more about her hidden heritage and adopt it in her life. She wrote about it in “One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life.” Here’s an excerpt:..

Read the excerpt here.

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The White Girl

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States on 2015-08-29 02:10Z by Steven

The White Girl

Grosset & Dunlap
1929
305 pages

Vera Caspary

An African-American woman who moves north to Chicago where she passes as white.

Read the entire book here.

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“These narratives of racial passing have risen from the dead”

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-08-29 01:46Z by Steven

“These narratives of racial passing have risen from the dead”

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
May 2015
275 pages
DOI: 10.7282/T38G8NJG

Donavan L. Ramon

Ph.D. Dissertation

Instead of concurring with most critics that racial passing literature reached its apex during the Harlem Renaissance, this project highlights its persistence, as evidenced in the texts examined from 1900 to 2014. Using psychoanalysis, this dissertation recovers non-canonical and white-authored narratives that critics overlook, thus reconceptualizing the genre of passing literature to forge a new genealogy for this tradition. This new genealogy includes novels, life writings, and short stories. In arguing for the genre’s continued relevance and production, this project offers a rejoinder to critics who contend that racial passing literature is obsolete. Part one of this dissertation complicates the notion that characters pass only in response to witnessing a lynching or to improve their socioeconomic status, by asserting that racial passing begins in the classroom for male characters and at home for their female counterparts. It thus precedes the threat of violence or middle class aspirations. Whereas the first half of this project is preoccupied with the gendered beginnings of racial passing, the second half examines its effects, on both writing and death. This project explores racial passing in Charles Chesnutt’s The House Behind the Cedars (1900), James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912), Jessie Fauset’s Plum Bun (1929), Vera Caspary’s The White Girl (1929), Alice Dunbar-Nelson’s The Stones of the Village (1988), Danzy Senna’s Caucasia (1999), Philip Roth’s The Human Stain (2000), Bliss Broyard’s One Drop (2003) and Anita Reynolds’ American Cocktail (2014).

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Times Fluid, Mobile and Ambivalent: Constructing Racial & Personal Identity in James McBride’s The Color of Water

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2015-08-29 01:18Z by Steven

Times Fluid, Mobile and Ambivalent: Constructing Racial & Personal Identity in James McBride’s The Color of Water

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature
Volume 4, Number 5 (2015)
pages 63-71
DOI: 10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.4n.5p.63

Yuan-Chin Chang
Department of Applied English Studies
China University of Technology, Wunshan District, Taipei City 116, Taiwan

James McBride’s memoir The Color of Water provides a rich and nuanced history of the author – a Black American man – and his white mother. Using the theories of Bhabha regarding hybridity, ambivalence and a Third Space between different cultures or individuals, it is demonstrated that racial and personal identities are constructed, and historically reconstructed, as flexible and mobile entities in this memoir. The linking of narratives and voices across different decades demonstrates the Third Space in the relationship between McBride and his mother, and each individual’s relationship to and understanding of themselves in a broader multiracial culture. Lacan’s theories regarding rhetoric and signification are also used to underpin an exploration of the ways in which McBride portrays his own changing understanding of biracial identity in America.

Read the entire article here.

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Priming Race: Does the Mind Inhibit Categorization by Race at Encoding or Recall?

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-08-29 00:51Z by Steven

Priming Race: Does the Mind Inhibit Categorization by Race at Encoding or Recall?

Social Psychological and Personality Science
Published online before print: 2015-08-27
DOI: 10.1177/1948550615602934

David Pietraszewski
Center for Adaptive Rationality
Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany

Recent research shows that racial categorization can be reduced by contexts in which race does not predict how people interact and get along—a manipulation with little to no effect on sex and age. This suggests that our minds attend to race as an implicit cue to how people are likely to get along. However, the underlying mechanism of how these contexts reduce race is not yet known. Is race not encoded? Or, is race encoded, but then inhibited? The present study arbitrates between these possibilities. Results demonstrate that the reduction in racial categorization is happening at recall. Participants are still encoding targets’ race, but this information is locked away or inhibited. This clarifies how the mind switches away from previously relevant, but now irrelevant, social cues: it does not immediately abandon them, rather, it encodes them but inhibits their use.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Hispanic Or Latino? A Guide For The U.S. Presidential Campaign

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-08-28 16:42Z by Steven

Hispanic Or Latino? A Guide For The U.S. Presidential Campaign

National Public Radio
2015-08-27

Lulu Garcia-Navarro, South America Correspondent

My parents are Cuban and Panamanian. I grew up in Miami. I travel broadly in Latin America but reside in Brazil, which speaks Portuguese, not Spanish.

So what am I?

This may seem an irrelevant question to many, but as the American presidential season kicks into high gear there’s been a lot of confusion about how to refer to people alternately called Hispanics or Latinos.

Donald Trump, who’s made immigration central to his campaign, has sometimes used the catchall phrase “the Mexicans.” And his verbal confrontation this week with Spanish-language broadcaster Jorge Ramos — a Mexican-American — lit up social media.

I feel the need to jump into the fray because it will save me from writing lengthy corrections to others on my Facebook feed. Now, I’ll just be able to post this link. There are a lot of misconceptions out there.

Latino And Hispanic Don’t Refer To Race Or Color: As in the U.S., there are many races in Latin America owing to the history of the region. The indigenous peoples of the region were conquered and colonized by white Europeans, who then forcibly imported millions of black Africans and enslaved them. In Brazil, you also have a huge Japanese community, and there are many Chinese descendants in Peru. One of Peru’s former presidents was of Japanese descent…

Read the entire article here.

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Many Psychology Findings Not as Strong as Claimed, Study Says

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2015-08-27 20:48Z by Steven

Many Psychology Findings Not as Strong as Claimed, Study Says

The New York Times
2015-08-27

Benedict Carey, Science Reporter

The past several years have been bruising ones for the credibility of the social sciences. A star social psychologist was caught fabricating data, leading to more than 50 retracted papers. A top journal published a study supporting the existence of ESP. The journal Science pulled a political science paper on the effect of gay canvassers on voters’ behavior – also because of concerns about fake data.

A University of Virginia psychologist decided in 2011 to find out whether such suspect science was a widespread problem. He and his team recruited more than 250 researchers, identified 100 studies that had each been published in one of three leading journals in 2008, and rigorously redid the experiments in close collaboration with the original authors.

The results are now in: More than 60 of the studies did not hold up. They include findings that were circulated at the time — that a strong skepticism of free will increases the likelihood of cheating; that physical distances could subconsciously influence people’s sense of personal closeness; that attached women are more attracted to single men when highly fertile than when less so.

The new analysis, called the Reproducibility Project and posted Thursday by Science, found no evidence of fraud or that any original study was definitively false. Rather, it concluded that the evidence for most published findings was not nearly as strong as originally claimed…

Read the entire article here.

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Podcast #75: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith on Race, Writing, and Relationships

Posted in Articles, Audio, Interviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2015-08-27 00:55Z by Steven

Podcast #75: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith on Race, Writing, and Relationships

The NYPL Podcast
The New York Public Library
New York, New York
2015-08-25

Tracy O’Neill, Social Media Curator

There are few authors as smart, powerful, and visionary as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith. Adichie’s Americanah won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award with its delicious satire, while Smith took the Orange Prize for her moving transatlantic novel On Beauty. This week, we’re proud to present Adichie and Smith discussing clear writing, race, and relationships on the New York Public Library Podcast.

For more details, click here.

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Writer Jesmyn Ward reflects on survival since Katrina

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, Mississippi, United States, Videos on 2015-08-27 00:43Z by Steven

Writer Jesmyn Ward reflects on survival since Katrina

PBS NewsHour
2015-08-24

Gwen Ifill, Co-Anchor & Managing Editor

Jesmyn Ward, Associate Professor of English
Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana

After writer and Tulane University professor Jesmyn Ward survived Hurricane Katrina while staying at her grandmother’s house, she wrote “Salvage the Bones,” an award-winning novel about a Mississippi family in the days leading up to the devastating storm. She joins Gwen Ifill to discuss how the storm affected the rural poor who could not escape, and now, who may not be able to return.

Read the transcript here.

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Study investigates whether blind people characterize others by race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-08-26 23:49Z by Steven

Study investigates whether blind people characterize others by race

EurekAlert! The Global Source for Science News
American Association for the Advancement of Science
2015-08-25

American Sociological Association

CHICAGO — Most people who meet a new acquaintance, or merely pass someone on the street, need only a glance to categorize that person as a particular race. But, sociologist Asia Friedman wondered, what can we learn about that automatic visual processing from people who are unable to see?

Friedman, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Delaware, set out to explore that question by interviewing 25 individuals who are blind. She will present her findings in a study at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

“The visual process of assigning race is instantaneous, and it’s an example of automatic thinking — it happens below the level of awareness,” Friedman said. “With blind people, the process is much slower as they piece together information about a person over time. Their thinking is deliberative rather than automatic, and even after they’ve categorized someone by race, they’re often not certain that they’re correct.”

In fact, she said, blind people categorize many fewer people by race than do sighted people, who assign a race to virtually everyone they see. For those who are blind, the slower process of assigning race generally takes place only when they have extensive interactions with a person, not with passersby or during casual encounters…

Read the entire press release here.

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