Little White Lie [Philadelphia Premiere]

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Religion, United States, Videos on 2014-07-24 07:51Z by Steven

Little White Lie [Philadelphia Premiere]

Blackstar Film Festival
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2014-31-07 through 2014-08-03

International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Telephone: 215-387-5125
2014-08-02, 15:10 EDT (Local Time)

Lacey Schwartz, Producer/Director

Mehret Mandefro, Producer

Followed by Q&A with Lacey Schwartz and Mehret Mandefro moderated by:

Yaba Blay, Assistant Teaching Professor of Africana Studies
Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Co-presented by Leeway Foundation

Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity—that is, until she discovers that her biological father is actually a black man with whom her mother had an affair. This personal documentary raises the questions of what defines our identity, our family of origin and the family that raises us. While exploring her parents’ stories, and her own, Schwartz discovers a legacy of family secrets, denial, and, ultimately, redemption.

For more information, click here.

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Little White Lie

Posted in Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-07-23 23:41Z by Steven

Little White Lie

OTB Productions LLC
2013
66 minutes

Lacey Schwartz, Producer/Director

Mehret Mandefro, Producer

James Adolphus, Co-Director

What defines our identity, our family of origin or the family that raises us? How do we come to terms with the sins and mistakes of our parents? Lacey discovers that answering those questions means understanding her parents’ own stories as well as her own. She pieces together her family history and the story of her dual identity using home videos, archival footage, interviews, and episodes from her own life. Little White Lie is a personal documentary about the legacy of family secrets, denial, and redemption.

Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical upper-middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity — despite the open questions from those around her about how a white girl could have such dark skin. She believes her family’s explanation that her looks were inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather. But when her parents abruptly split, her gut starts to tell her something different.

At age of 18, she finally confronts her mother and learns the truth: her biological father was not the man who raised her, but a black man named Rodney with whom her mother had had an affair. Afraid of losing her relationship with her parents, Lacey doesn’t openly acknowledge her newly discovered black identity with her white family. When her biological father dies shortly before Lacey’s 30th birthday, the family secret can stay hidden no longer. Following the funeral, Lacey begins a quest to reconcile the hidden pieces of her life and heal her relationship with the only father she ever knew.

Little White Lie, formerly called Outside the Box, is a feature documentary produced by Truth Aid in association with ITVS. The film will enter the festival circuit in 2014 and be broadcast on Independent Lens on PBS in 2015.

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Search through own heritage leads evangelist to story about enslaved mixed-race pastor

Posted in Articles, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2014-06-18 19:50Z by Steven

Search through own heritage leads evangelist to story about enslaved mixed-race pastor

The Advocate
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2014-06-16

Mark H. Hunter, Special to The Advocate

If local school district officials knew then what Sammy Tippit knows now, he might not have been allowed to attend Istrouma High School.

Tippit, 66, is a world-renowned evangelist who grew up in Baton Rouge and now lives in San Antonio. He was a prominent Istrouma High student government leader and proudly represented the Indians at statewide high school meetings and debates.

“I truly am an Istrouma Indian,” Tippit said with a big smile and a twinkle in his blue eyes. And he means that in more ways than one.

As a youthful “Jesus freak” in the late 1960s, he boldly preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ in dangerous nightclubs on the west side of the Mississippi River. He was arrested and deported from Communist Romania and risked arrest in the Soviet Union for preaching in underground churches in the 1970s and ’80s.

Just a few months ago, Tippit said, he preached in Pakistan where a large portion of the 10,000-member audience — many of them Muslim men, — prayed for salvation in Jesus Christ. A suicide bomber, perhaps on his way to the service, exploded a few blocks away.

But one of Tippit’s most unnerving experiences came 10 years ago when a man in Portugal, researching his own family roots, told him they were related by Native American blood going back to Revolutionary War times.

“All of a sudden I didn’t know who I was,” Tippit said during an interview at a local coffee shop. “I have fair skin and blue eyes, but my bloodline is a mixture of English, Native American and African.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Marrying Out: Jewish Men, Intermarriage, and Fatherhood

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2014-06-14 00:33Z by Steven

Marrying Out: Jewish Men, Intermarriage, and Fatherhood

Indiana University Press
2014-08-01
286 pages
31 b&w illus.
6 x 9
Paper ISBN: 978-0-253-01319-4

Keren R. McGinity, Author-Educator
Love & Tradition: intermarriage insights for a Jewish future

When American Jewish men intermarry, goes the common assumption, they and their families are “lost” to the Jewish religion. In this provocative book, Keren R. McGinity shows that it is not necessarily so. She looks at intermarriage and parenthood through the eyes of a post-World War II cohort of Jewish men and discovers what intermarriage has meant to them and their families. She finds that these husbands strive to bring up their children as Jewish without losing their heritage. Marrying Out argues that the “gendered ethnicity” of intermarried Jewish men, growing out of their religious and cultural background, enables them to raise Jewish children. McGinity’s book is a major breakthrough in understanding Jewish men’s experiences as husbands and fathers, how Christian women navigate their roles and identities while married to them, and what needs to change for American Jewry to flourish. Marrying Out is a must read for Jewish men and all the women who love them.

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Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, United States, Women on 2014-06-13 21:29Z by Steven

Still Jewish: A History of Women and Intermarriage in America

New York University Press
February 2009
325 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780814757307
Paper ISBN: 9780814764343

Keren R. McGinity, Author-Educator
Love & Tradition: intermarriage insights for a Jewish future

Over the last century, American Jews married outside their religion at increasing rates. By closely examining the intersection of intermarriage and gender across the twentieth century, Keren R. McGinity describes the lives of Jewish women who intermarried while placing their decisions in historical context. The first comprehensive history of these intermarried women, Still Jewish is a multigenerational study combining in-depth personal interviews and an astute analysis of how interfaith relationships and intermarriage were portrayed in the mass media, advice manuals, and religious community-generated literature.

Still Jewish dismantles assumptions that once a Jew intermarries, she becomes fully assimilated into the majority Christian population, religion, and culture. Rather than becoming “lost” to the Jewish community, women who intermarried later in the century were more likely to raise their children with strong ties to Judaism than women who intermarried earlier in the century. Bringing perennially controversial questions of Jewish identity, continuity, and survival to the forefront of the discussion, Still Jewish addresses topics of great resonance in a diverse America.

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Geraldo Rivera: On Being Jew-Rican, A Rare Mixed Breed

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-05-27 14:05Z by Steven

Geraldo Rivera: On Being Jew-Rican, A Rare Mixed Breed

Fox News Latino
2014-05-16

Geraldo Rivero, Senior Correspondent
Fox News

(From my speech May 14, 2014 at The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey’s Women’s Philanthropy luncheon)

I’d like to talk about being Jewish in a Puerto Rican family by telling you the story of my Bar Mitzvah. First, some interesting background. Lily Friedman, my mom, now 94 and the pride of Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida met my late dad Cruz Rivera of Bayamon, Puerto Rico in 1939 at Child’s Cafeteria on the corner of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue [in New York City]. He had just emigrated from the island, literally arriving on the weekly banana boat; she was from Newark and was working as a waitress. He was in charge of the restaurant’s Latino dishwashers.

It was love at first sight. They married in Manhattan. Her family sat Shiva (went into mourning) in Newark. We lived on the Lower East Side. My dad was a sergeant in the Army during WWII. When he got out, we moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where my sister Irene and I attended PS 19, the local public school. Then we moved to West Babylon, Long Island where mom and dad bought a house for $10,000 under the GI Bill.

In West Babylon, we were not just the only Puerto Rican family, but also the only Jewish family. There was no Temple in West Babylon, so our tiny congregation held its services and my Bar Mitzvah in the local Volunteer Fire Department hall in North Lindenhurst, right near the tracks of the Long Island Railroad

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Feelings

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-05-26 06:04Z by Steven

Mixed Feelings

North by Northwestern
Northwestern University’s leading independent online publication
Evanston, Illinois
2014-05-22

Sarah Turbin, Class 0f 2016
Medill School of Journalism

There’s no question quite like it. “What are you?” has trailed behind me my whole life, tapping me on the shoulder with a different lilt to its tone each time: curious, doubtful, complimentary, surprised, sympathetic.

I used to respond with what I thought was simplest. “I’m half-Japanese and half-white.” Still no good – that, too, is typically met with more curious inquiries about the nature of my whiteness (eastern European, mostly) and questions about which parent is the Asian one (hold on, I’m getting to it).

My class, the class of 2016, is listed on Northwestern’s Office of Undergraduate Admission website as 8 percent African-American, 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native, 20 percent Asian, 9 percent Hispanic, 7 percent international students and 55 percent white. This adds up to 100. Here, on one of the first pages that parents and high school students might look at when dancing with the idea of applying to our school, I am incorrectly listed. There’s not even a meager “other” category to be found.

Samantha Yi, a Weinberg junior, isn’t bothered by the question. “All growing up, people would ask me,” Yi says.

Yi’s father is Korean, and her mother is Jewish, of Russian and Polish descent. She identifies as Jewish Asian-American. “I think, recently, I’ve been thinking about [the question], because it’s been in the Northwestern discourse – ‘Is that a microaggression?’”

But Yi attributes the question as an attempt to understand. “I think it’s linked to a curiosity about who I am … it just makes me realize that, oh, a lot of people didn’t grow up like me, with mixed-race families,” she says.

When I do answer to that curiosity, I stick to the barest of bones by describing my parents, though they weren’t even in the question to begin with. It’s almost down to a science. “My mom is Japanese, and my dad is a Jewish guy from Illinois.” Yes, good. All of the bases are covered.

For some, the question feels constraining. Weinberg senior Amrit Trewn identifies “generally speaking, as just black.” His mother is African-American, and his father is Indian. Strangers, peers and professors alike have asked him the question, and Trewn does not always oblige by giving an answer…

Nitasha Sharma, a professor of African-American Studies and Asian American Studies at Northwestern, has done research on mixed-race studies. She taught “Hapa Issues,” a course that was previously offered at Northwestern and focused on the experience of people who are hapa – “hapa” being a Hawaiian term meaning “half” that has evolved into denoting a person who is partially of Asian or Pacific Islander descent.

Sharma notes that the spectrum of reactions to the “What are you?” question is telling. “Like black, Asian, white, middle-class, college student – like any category, you’re going to have a huge diversity of views … and part of it is that people change how they feel about that question over the course of their lives.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Passing for White, Passing for Jewish: Mixed Race Identity in Danzy Senna and Rebecca Walker

Posted in Articles, Passing, Religion on 2014-05-23 17:15Z by Steven

Passing for White, Passing for Jewish: Mixed Race Identity in Danzy Senna and Rebecca Walker

MELUS
Volume 30, Number 1, Indeterminate Identities (Spring, 2005)
pages 19-48
DOI: 10.1093/melus/30.1.19

Lori Harrison-Kahan, Associate Professor of the Practice of English
Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Imitation of Life, one of the classic narratives of racial passing, originated as a 1933 novel by Jewish writer Fannie Hurst, but it is perhaps best known as the 1959 melodrama directed by Douglas Sirk inducing finale of the Sirk film, the prodigal black daughter, who has crossed the color line and passed for white, returns home for her mother’s funeral, collapsing in tears on the coffin as she blames herself for her mother’s death. Despite the progress of racial politics between the publication of Hurst’s novel and the release of Sirk’s film, whiteness continues to be positioned as the privileged identity, a positioning that the 1959 adaptation successfully critiques. In the film, the light-skinned daughter, Sarah Jane Johnson, reviles her blackness as an object of self-hatred from a young age. Given a black doll by her white playmate, Susie, Sarah Jane throws the gift to the floor, crying, “I don’t want the black one.” The camera seizes upon the image of the rejected doll, foreshadowing the inevitable events to come: Sarah Jane’s forsaking of her dark-skinned mother in order to reinvent herself as a white woman. With her story’s heartbreaking ending, Sarah Jane becomes yet another tragic mulatta, joining the ranks of mixed race women in American literature and culture who typically meet bitter fates for their transgressions of the color line.

Almost forty years later, however, the narrative of passing does, finally, experience a significant shift. In contrast to most literary and cultural representations of passing, Danzy Senna’s 1998 novel,…

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Black & Jewish in New Orleans

Posted in Articles, Louisiana, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-04-04 02:16Z by Steven

Black & Jewish in New Orleans

BrassyBrown.com: where women of color are first in line
2014-04-01

Marian Moore, Guest Blogger

December of 2013 found me in San Diego, California this year, attending the fiftieth Biennial of the Women of Reform Judaism. Although, this was the organization’s centennial, WRJ actually began at my synagogue in 1900 as “the Sisterhood”, the name still used by most members. When I look at our official history, I find that the Sisterhood began as a ladies auxiliary. In 1900, they took on the task of selecting the furnishings for the synagogue and maintaining the new synagogue building. In later years, they did everything from comforting the sick, funding the purchase of an organ, preparing holiday synagogue meals, and sponsoring scholarships at the rabbinical college in Cincinnati. WRJ, The Sisterhood, is still the critical heart of the synagogue. They ensure that things get done. The President of each synagogue chapter is responsible for representing the chapter on the synagogue board and responsible for defining what tasks the chapter will accept.

This was my third biennial but my first as the President of my synagogue chapter. Each time that I’ve attended these national gatherings, there are more jews of color (JOC) participants than the prior time. I attended many small panel discussions where I was the only non-white woman in the room, but when I attended the group discussions with more than one hundred attendees that was never the case. Many of our blended identities were present, from Jewish and African-American, Jewish and Asian-American, Jewish and Latina, et. al. While I was there to find out how to increase membership in my own synagogue Sisterhood, I was interested to listen as the hierarchy of both the women’s organization and the Reform movement wrestled with the recognition of the diversity of Reform Judaism and jewish life in general. I see evidence of that struggle in my life in New Orleans…

Read the entire article here.

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Before Green and Bouchet, another African American Yale College grad. Maybe.

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-03-25 21:41Z by Steven

Before Green and Bouchet, another African American Yale College grad. Maybe.

Yale Alumni Magazine
2014-03-07

Mark Alden Branch ’86

Just last Friday, we told you that the first African American to graduate from Yale College was not Edward Bouchet in 1874, but Richard Henry Green in 1857. Since then, though, we’ve been reminded of two other nineteenth-century alumni whose histories complicate—or problematize, as they like to say in the academy—our attempt to name the first African American graduate.

The most fascinating case surrounds Moses Simons, Class of 1809, who is, oddly enough, considered to be Yale’s first Jewish graduate. (Dan Oren ’79, ’84MD, makes that case for Simons in his book Joining the Club: A History of Jews at Yale.) But two scholars, relying almost exclusively on an account of an 1818 criminal assault trial in New York, have advanced the claim that Simons was African American—most likely, they say, the son of a Jewish man, also named Moses Simons, and of an African American mother…

Read the entire article here.

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