A Single Migration From Africa Populated the World, Studies Find

Posted in Africa, Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive on 2016-09-25 14:38Z by Steven

A Single Migration From Africa Populated the World, Studies Find

The New York Times
2016-09-21

Carl Zimmer


The KhoiSan, hunter-gatherers living today in southern Africa, above, are among hundreds of indigenous people whose genetic makeup has provided new clues to human prehistory.
Credit: Eric Laforgue/Gamma-Rapho, via Getty Images

Modern humans evolved in Africa roughly 200,000 years ago. But how did our species go on to populate the rest of the globe?

The question, one of the biggest in studies of human evolution, has intrigued scientists for decades. In a series of extraordinary genetic analyses published on Wednesday, researchers believe they have found an answer.

In the journal Nature, three separate teams of geneticists survey DNA collected from cultures around the globe, many for the first time, and conclude that all non-Africans today trace their ancestry to a single population emerging from Africa between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago.

“I think all three studies are basically saying the same thing,” said Joshua M. Akey of the University of Washington, who wrote a commentary accompanying the new work. “We know there were multiple dispersals out of Africa, but we can trace our ancestry back to a single one.”…

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The Ambiguous and the Mundane: Racial Performance and Asian Americans

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-25 02:23Z by Steven

The Ambiguous and the Mundane: Racial Performance and Asian Americans

Contemporary Literature
Volume 57, Number 2, Summer 2016
pages 292-300

Josephine D. Lee, Professor of English and Asian American
University of Minnesota

Jennifer Ann Ho, Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture. New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Rutgers University Press, 2015. xi + 215 pp. $90.00 cloth; $31.95 paper.

Ju Yon Kim, The Racial Mundane: Asian American Performance and the Embodied Everyday. New York: New York University Press, 2015. x + 286 pp. $90.00 cloth; $28.00 paper.

Asian American studies scholars such as Karen Shimakawa (National Abjection: The Asian American Body Onstage), Leslie Bow (Betrayal and Other Acts of Subversion: Feminism, Sexual Politics, Asian American Women’s Literature), Tina Chen (Double Agency: Acts of Impersonation in Asian American Literature and Culture), Joshua Chambers-Letson (A Race So Different: Performance and Law in Asian America), and myself have drawn attention to the theatrical nature of Asian American racialization—the assumed incompatibility between Asian bodies and American loyalties that undergirds racial stereotypes such as the perpetual foreigner or the wartime enemy. The Asian American is imagined as a potential traitor or an economic threat whose essential nature is inherently at odds with American identity and whose apparently successful cultural assimilation is inherently untrustworthy. Throughout their long history, Asian Americans have been subject to the material and psychological consequences of this endgame, whether in the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans or in outlandish expectations for the “model minority.”

Two recent books—Ju Yon Kim’s The Racial Mundane: Asian American Performance and the Embodied Everyday and Jennifer Ann Ho’s Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture—also envision Asian American racialization as a shifting and dynamic social performance, unpacking what “Asian American” does, rather than just assuming what it is. Both directly challenge fixed notions of racial epistemology as well as provide insightful, original commentary on historical and contemporary Asian American literature and culture.

Grounded in the theories of theatrical phenomenology and Asian American studies, Kim’s Racial Mundane specifically looks at the juxtaposition of Asian American culture (especially Asian American theater) and “everyday” life. Theater is often considered the realm of imaginative pretense as contrasted with the authentic world offstage. But as Kim points out, both theater and life are mainly constituted by repetitive habits and behaviors that define self and action. What Kim calls “the mundane” is the “fusion of the corporeal and the quotidian,” or as she eloquently puts it, “the slice of the everyday carried—and carried out—by the body” (3). For Asian Americans, these ordinary bodily practices are charged with racial significance. Asian exclusion and marginalization was founded on the premise that Asian immigrants and their descendants would never fully assimilate. Kim takes up different instances of this perceived gap between Asian body and American behavior; for instance, she reads the myth of the “model minority” in Justin Lin’s 2002 film Better Luck Tomorrow and Lauren Yee’s biting 2014 satire Ching Chong Chinaman as demonstrative of this racial slippage, whereby Asian American achievement is interpreted both as proof of a successful transition into Americanness and as accentuating a racial difference that belies assimilation.

Though Kim’s examples are largely contemporary, she opens with an analysis of a play that premiered in 1912. Now mostly forgotten, Harry Benrimo and George C. Hazelton Jr.’s The Yellow Jacket was praised in touring productions as well as Broadway revivals, drawing attention for its novel adaptation of the stage devices of Chinese opera as well as Chinese settings and characters. Kim juxtaposes the success of this play’s version of Chineseness with the uncertainty and suspicion with which Chinese immigrants were treated. If the “heathen Chinee” (as Bret Harte called the Chinese immigrant in his popular 1870 poem) was so reviled in early twentieth-century America, how do we explain the popularity of the Chinese characters (played by white actors) in The Yellow Jacket? Key to this contradiction was Benrimo and Hazelton’s inclusion of a “Property Man,” a character who manages the stage set and props while doing ordinary things such as eating, smoking, and reading a newspaper. This novel stage device may well have influenced Thornton Wilder’s creation of the Stage Manager for his…

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Obama: African-American museum helps tell fuller story of America

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Barack Obama, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-09-24 23:17Z by Steven

Obama: African-American museum helps tell fuller story of America

Cable News Network (CNN)
2016-09-24

Eugene Scott, Politics Reporter

Suzanne Malveaux, National correspondent

Kevin Bohn, Supervising Producer

Washington (CNN) President Barack Obama said Saturday that the new Smithsonian museum devoted to African-American history elevates the often-overlooked impact of black Americans and will help others better understand the breadth of the American story.

“This national museum helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are,” Obama, the first African-American president, said at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

“By knowing this other story we better understand ourselves and each other. It binds us together. It reaffirms that all of us are America, that African-American history is not somehow separate from our larger American story,” he added. “It is central to the American story.”

Saturday’s opening ceremony for the museum also was attended by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and Chief Justice John Roberts. Thousands are expected to have descended on the National Mall this weekend to celebrate the museum’s opening…

Read the entire article here.

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The untold stories of Japanese war brides

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-09-23 19:59Z by Steven

The untold stories of Japanese war brides

The Washington Post
2016-09-22

Kathryn Tolbert, Deputy Editor


Hiroko and Bill with Kathy, left, Sam and Susan. The video is the trailer to a short documentary film, “Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides,” which features Hiroko and two other war brides.

They married the enemy, then created uniquely American lives

I thought she was beautiful, although I never understood why she plucked her eyebrows off and penciled them on every morning an inch higher. She had been captain of her high school basketball team in Japan, and she ran circles around us kids on a dirt court in our small town in Upstate New York. I can still see this Japanese woman dribbling madly about, yelling “Kyash! Kyash!” That’s how she said Kath, or Kathy.

She married my American GI father barely knowing him. She moved from Tokyo to a small poultry farm just outside Elmira, N.Y., and from there she delivered eggs all over the county and into Pennsylvania. My sister describes her as having a “core of steel.” She raised us as determinedly as any mother could, and yet, looking back, I barely knew her.

Some people think the film I co-directed, “Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides,” is a paean to loving Japanese mothers. When one interviewer suggested as much to me and fellow director Karen Kasmauski, we exchanged a look that said, “Shall we tell him the truth?” The film, titled after a Japanese proverb, is about strong women, for sure. Warm and loving mothers? No.

So who are these women and what do we, their children, know about them?…

Read the entire article here.

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Lessons to my child

Posted in Dissertations, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-21 21:14Z by Steven

Lessons to my child

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
May 2012
98 pages
DOI: 10.7282/T3GB221X

Ayanna S. Boyd

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, interracial marriages have continued to increase with 8.4 million people in mixed marriages in 2005. With the increasing number of interracial marriages, there has been a surge of multiracial children who do not fit neatly into our society’s longstanding classification system. As research has consistently validated the realm of racial choices that are now available to biracial children, the parent’s role becomes more important to consider (Rockquemore & Brunsma, 2002). This exploratory study was designed to understand how Black/White interracial parents perceive their children’s identity and how they negotiate identity with their children. Furthermore, the goal of this study is to uncover some of the strategies and lessons they transmit to their biracial children in order to shape their racial identity. This study involved 8 White/Black interracial couples raising biracial children. The children’s ages ranges from 4 to 24. Each couple was interviewed using an audio recorder, and their information was analyzed qualitatively using the grounded theory approach (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). This study revealed major themes connected to interracial couples and their racial perceptions and strategies for their biracial children. These themes included 1) the importance of humanity over race, 2) supportive families, 3) purposeful and deliberate racial strategies (both proactive and reactive) including open dialogue, dolls, books, events and experiences, 4) society’s Hispanic view of their children, and 5) hair issues with biracial girls. Limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Read the entire dissertation here.

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A comparative study of familial racial socialization and its impact on black/white biracial siblings

Posted in Dissertations, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-09-21 20:35Z by Steven

A comparative study of familial racial socialization and its impact on black/white biracial siblings

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
May 2014
134 pages
DOI: 10.7282/T33N21PQ

Monique Anne Porow

A Dissertation submitted to the Graduate School-New Brunswick Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Graduate Program in Sociology

This dissertation examines the nature of racial socialization within the families of biracial people. Unlike previous studies of racial socialization of children with one Black and one White parent, this project broadens the scope of influential agents of racial socialization. Utilizing an inclusive approach, I examine the role that parents, extended family members, and siblings play in the process of shaping the racial identity development of biracial people. Through the use of a grounded theory approach, I draw upon data from 22 qualitative, semi-structured interviews with people who have one Black and one White parent. I utilize their responses to questions regarding the nature of their relationship with various family members, and the impact of those experiences.

The 22 respondents included in this study composed 10 sibling sets: 8 dyads and 2 triads. This comparative sibling design provides a context ripe with information about the family inaccessible through other study designs. Employing this sibling study, I elucidate the nature of messages conveyed regarding race, from various members of the family, and I theorize these complex and overlooked processes of racial socialization. I outline agent-specific mechanisms of racial socialization within the family illustrating that parents are not the only influential agents as extant literature would suggest. I argue that all members of the family can be influential agents when engaging agent-specific mechanisms of racial socialization. Those mechanisms include: parents acting as direct and strategic agents of racial socialization, extended family members acting as indirect cultivators of group-belonging or exclusion, and sibling ancillary support to biracial people negotiating and developing their racial identities.

There is an interconnectedness of influence that results from these various approaches to racial socialization. I conceptualize these complex and agent-specific mechanisms, through a figure called the Family Nexus of Racial Socialization. This concept enhances our present understanding of how various family members engage in racial socialization, and the interconnectedness of their influence.

Read the entire dissertation here.

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On the color line: the social consequences of White/Black biracial self-categorization

Posted in Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-21 20:08Z by Steven

On the color line: the social consequences of White/Black biracial self-categorization

Rutgers University, New Brunswick
October 2011
71 pages
DOI: 10.7282/T3V9874P

Leigh Solano Wilton

A thesis submitted to the Graduate School-New Brunswick Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science Graduate Program in Psychology

Black/White biracial individuals are marginal group members at the periphery of both Black (i.e., low status) and White (i.e., high status) groups. However, scant research has investigated the consequences of self-categorization for how multiracial people are perceived. The proposed research investigated the extent to which perceptions of White/Black biracial targets depend on their self-categorization (i.e., as Black or biracial). Drawing from social identity theory, I also examined whether perceivers’ race and racial identification moderated responses to biracial targets’ self-categorization, as well as the mechanisms that may account for differential responses to biracial targets (e.g., perceptions of loyalty) that guide perceiver’s evaluations of these targets. Consistent with expectations, Black perceivers saw the biracial target as higher in social status. However, only Black (and not White) perceivers positively evaluated the Black self-categorizing target as more competent than the biracial self-categorizing target. The hypothesis that perceivers higher in racial identification would show more favorability towards the Black self-categorizing target than the biracial self-categorizing target was not supported for either Black or White participants. Moreover, the predicted significant three-way interaction of racial identification with race and condition on disloyalty was not found. Thus, racial identification did not moderate these effects.

Read the entire thesis here.

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The canary in the post-racial coal mine

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-21 19:47Z by Steven

The canary in the post-racial coal mine

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
2013
35 pages
DOI: 10.7282/T30Z71WG

Roxanne Huertas

A Capstone Project submitted to the Graduate School-Camden Rutgers-The State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

The American mulatto has been employed by writers over time to provide commentary on American race relations. We can look to antebellum writers like Lydia Maria Child or William Wells Brown as an example of the state of the black-white dynamic prior to or just following the Civil War. Examining Nella Larsen’s Passing can give insight into the status of race relations during the Harlem Renaissance. But as America has evolved into a so-called post-racial society, does the mulatto still serve as a vehicle for commentary on American race relations? Through a brief examination of earlier examples of literature with these biracial characters coupled with an in depth analysis of two contemporary novels, Danzy Senna’s Caucasia and Heidi Durrow’s The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, this paper will show several of the ways in which the mulatto does provide a model in which to gauge American race relations, for better or for worse.

Read the entire project here.

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Reflections on Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom on 2016-09-21 01:47Z by Steven

Reflections on Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

International Slavery Museum
Dr Martin Luther King Jr building, Albert Dock
Liverpool, United Kingdom
2016-09-21, 13:00-16:00 BST (Local Time)

Dr Mark Christian, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies
Lehman College, City University of New York

Black Liverpool and grassroots education in L8

There remains a burning need in today’s society for Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s message, and his hope of a Beloved Community to prevail:

  • where all people share equally in the wealth of the earth,
  • where poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it;
  • where racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood;
  • where international disputes are resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of by military power;
  • for love and trust to triumph over fear and hatred,
  • and for peace with justice to prove more powerful than war and military conflict.

The city of Liverpool’s history of fighting racism and discrimination goes back centuries. At this free talk, Dr Mark Christian, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at Lehman College, City University of New York, himself a product of grassroots education in Liverpool (Charles Wootton Centre/College and L8 Access to Higher Education), will reflect on Dr King’s ideas from the perspective of Black Liverpool.

Following Mark’s talk, there will be a panel discussion and the opportunity for the audience to consider the role of education and the empowerment of marginalised groups in Liverpool.

For more information, click here.

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Becoming Creole, Becoming Black: Migration, Diasporic Self-Making, and the Many Lives of Madame Maymie Leona Turpeau de Mena

Posted in Articles, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Women on 2016-09-21 01:43Z by Steven

Becoming Creole, Becoming Black: Migration, Diasporic Self-Making, and the Many Lives of Madame Maymie Leona Turpeau de Mena

Women, Gender, and Families of Color
Volume 4, Number 2 (Fall 2016)
pages 171-195
DOI: 10.5406/womgenfamcol.4.2.0171

Courtney Desiree Morris, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Pennsylvania State University

This article examines the complex life of one of the Universal Negro Improvement Association’s most charismatic but undertheorized figures, Madame Maymie Leona Turpeau de Mena. Relegated to the footnotes of UNIA history, the existing version of de Mena’s biography identifies her as an Afro-Nicaraguan immigrant who rose to the upper echelons of the UNIA. After years of serving as assistant international organizer and electrifying audiences throughout the hemisphere, she eventually assumed control of all the North American chapters of the UNIA, the editorship of the Negro World, and acted as Marcus Garvey’s representative in the United States and globally. Recently uncovered archival materials reveal that de Mena was actually born in St. Martinville, Louisiana, in 1879. How could such a prominent UNIA figure vanish from the historical record only to reappear and be so misunderstood? Part of the dilemma lies in the fact that de Mena appears to have intentionally altered the key elements of her biography to reflect her changing personal life and political commitments. This article maps de Mena’s shifting racial and political subjectivities as a transnational proto-feminist, moving through the landscapes of the U.S. Gulf South, Caribbean Central America, the U.S. Northeast, and preindependence Jamaica. It provides a critical corrective to de Mena’s existing biography and examines how black women moved through transnational political and cultural movements of the early twentieth century, authoring themselves into existence through intimate and public acts of diasporic self-making.

Read the entire article here.

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