Dr. Bonnie Duran on Race, Racism, & the Dharma

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Philosophy, Religion, United States on 2015-05-05 18:35Z by Steven

Dr. Bonnie Duran on Race, Racism, & the Dharma

The Whole U
The University of Washington
2015-04-30

Bonnie Duran, Associate Professor of Social Work

The Dharma is the most important source of insight and inspiration to me as I heal from racism and discrimination and as I work towards social justice. The Dharma has taught me important truths about being a “minority” and the powerlessness, discrimination, and prejudice that often come with that status.

Growing up, I strongly identified by and with my racial identities and unconsciously believed the negative stereotypes. As a Native American (Opelousas/Coushatta) mixed race child growing up in a culturally diverse neighborhood in San Francisco, my white friends were often discouraged from playing or spending time with me. Although I scored well on standardized tests, the nuns who were my teachers tracked me into secretarial training and out of college preparatory courses. Girls from the Catholic school I attended would go to the predominantly white Catholic boys schools for monthly dances. I was rarely asked to dance. I unconsciously internalized these messges that I was worth less than others and was fearful, shamed, and obsequious towards authority. Although hurtful and limiting, experiences like these seem minor next to those of my parents, who passed down intergenerational fear, shame, and rage from much more serious, life threatening experiences

When I entered college and began to understand that I was the victim of racism, I was at first enraged by blatant prejudice and was hopeless about my life chances. I engaged in political work, and participated in the burgeoning Native cultural revitalization movement that was sweeping urban areas all over the U.S. and in other communities of color. As an undergraduate in the 1970s, I was very involved with the American Indian student rights, people of color movement at San Francisco State University. After years of political, cultural, and social work, I came to be disenchanted, particularly with the anger, separation, and other afflictive emotions that unmindful political community work and youthful party life can cultivate. As a mixed race person, I often felt that I had no solid cultural ground anywhere…

Read the entire article here.

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Sorry Music Journalists, Drake is Black.

Posted in Articles, Arts, Canada, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Religion on 2015-05-01 20:33Z by Steven

Sorry Music Journalists, Drake is Black.

Canadaland
2015-04-30

Kyrell Grant

Writers need to stop policing his blackness

It feels ridiculous to have to say this: Drake is black.

Drake, born Aubrey Graham in a city where almost one in ten people are black, is black. Toronto’s greatest civic triumphalist since Jane Jacobs is black.

He is a black man as much as any other black man. And yet Drake’s own identity – his nationality, his mixed race background that includes Jewish heritage and upbringing, the neighbourhood he once lived in, the schools he went to – is often taken to mean that his black experience is somehow inauthentic. While certainly not the first artist to have this kind of analysis imposed on him, Drake’s profile means that his art in particular has been prominently used to deny his black experience when it doesn’t conform to someone else’s narrow vision of race…

Read the entire article here.

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Brian Bantum on Redeeming Mulatto

Posted in Articles, Audio, Interviews, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2015-04-29 17:05Z by Steven

Brian Bantum on Redeeming Mulatto

Homebrewed Christianity
2014-08-17

Bo Sanders

Brian Bantum teaches theology at Seattle Pacific University out in the mighty Northwest. This spring when he and Callid were both at the Christian Leadership Forum of FTE they sat down to talk about Brian’s book Redeeming Mulatto: A Theology of Race and Christian Hybridity. Because they are in a hotel lobby there a bit of background noise, but it is such a terrific interview that you’ll want to listen all the way through anyway If you want to followup on this conversation another great resource is this video of Brian giving a talk called “The Church Cannot be About Multiculturalism” at Quest Church‘s annual day conference on Faith & Race. Bantum is on twitter as well…

Listen to the interview here.

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The Life of William Apess, Pequot

Posted in Biography, Books, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion, United States on 2015-04-16 22:53Z by Steven

The Life of William Apess, Pequot

University of North Carolina Press
March 2015
216 pages
1 halftone, notes, bibl., index
6.125 x 9.25
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4696-1998-9

Philip F. Gura, William S. Newman Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

The Pequot Indian intellectual, author, and itinerant preacher William Apess (1798–1839) was one the most important voices of the nineteenth century. Here, Philip F. Gura offers the first book-length chronicle of Apess’s fascinating and consequential life. After an impoverished childhood marked by abuse, Apess soldiered with American troops during the War of 1812, converted to Methodism, and rose to fame as a lecturer who lifted a powerful voice of protest against the plight of Native Americans in New England and beyond. His 1829 autobiography, A Son of the Forest, stands as the first published by a Native American writer. Placing Apess’s activism on behalf of Native American people in the context of the era’s rising tide of abolitionism, Gura argues that this founding figure of Native intellectual history deserves greater recognition in the pantheon of antebellum reformers. Following Apess from his early life through the development of his political radicalism to his tragic early death and enduring legacy, this much-needed biography showcases the accomplishments of an extraordinary Native American.

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Being Black at Seattle Pacific University: 3 Things I Learned

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2015-04-16 14:35Z by Steven

Being Black at Seattle Pacific University: 3 Things I Learned

Christena Cleveland: social psychology + faith + reconciliation
2013-08-30

Nikkita Oliver

NOTE: This is the fourth part in our 8-part Black to School series which highlights African-American voices and experiences at Christian colleges. Please read Part 1 for context.

Today’s post comes from Nikkita Oliver who graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 2008. A former chaplain and service provider at the King County Youth Detention Center, she’s currently working on a J.D. at the University of Washington Law School — on a full scholarship, no less. (Way to go, Nikkita!)

I’m so encouraged that Nikkita’s exploration into the depths of her experience at SPU has resulted in grace, hope and a greater commitment to reconciliation.

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As a child I was acutely aware of the massive racial divide in the church. My father is Black American and my mother is White American. I would go to an all black Baptist church with my father one Sunday and to an all white Free Methodist church with my mother the next. There were so many differences between the two churches, but two things remained the same: we read the same scriptures and worshiped the same Lord and Savior.

When I arrived at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) in the fall of 2004, I did not realize that I would be the one black kid in all of my classes. I did not realize that racism existed among Jesus believers, despite being aware of the racial divide in the Church. I did not realize that I was angry with white people, and in particular, angry with white Christians. I also did not know that 5 years after graduating that I would be so thankful for every minute I spent at SPU…

Read the entire article here.

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The Family Secret in the Mirror

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2015-04-16 14:01Z by Steven

The Family Secret in the Mirror

The Brian Lehrer Show
WNYC 93.9 FM
New York, New York
Monday, 2015-03-23

Brian Lehrer, Host


Lacey Schwartz wins the documentary section prize for her documentary work-in-progress, ‘Outside The Box’ at the TAA Awards during the 5th Annual Tribeca Film Festival. (Mat Szwajkos/Getty)

Raised as a white Jewish kid in Woodstock, New York, filmmaker Lacey Schwartz tells the story of her discovery that she is in fact bi-racial and doesn’t just take after her father’s Sicilian ancestor. In her documentary “Little White Lie,” she discusses the effect of the lies and the truth about her family and identity.

Download the episode here.

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Lacey Schwartz Unearths Family Secrets in ‘Little White Lie’

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2015-04-14 16:52Z by Steven

Lacey Schwartz Unearths Family Secrets in ‘Little White Lie’

KCRW 89.9 MHz FM
Santa Monica, California
2015-04-13

Kim Masters, Host

Kaitlin Parker, Producer

Lacey Schwartz grew up thinking she was white. When her college labeled her a black student based on a photograph, she knew she had to get some explanations from her family. Those conversations formed the foundation of her new PBS documentary Little White Lie. She shares how she convinced her parents to talk about tough topics on camera and why documentaries like hers are in danger of being pushed out of primetime on some PBS stations.

Listen to the episode (00:29:07) here. Download the episode here.

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Black Blood Brothers: Confraternities and Social Mobility for Afro-Mexicans

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Religion on 2015-04-12 01:30Z by Steven

Black Blood Brothers: Confraternities and Social Mobility for Afro-Mexicans

University Press of Florida
2006-05-30
304 pages
6 x 9
Hardback ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-2942-9

Nicole von Germeten, Associate Professor of History
Oregon State University

Celebrating the African contribution to Mexican culture, this book shows how religious brotherhoods in New Spain both preserved a distinctive African identity and helped facilitate Afro-Mexican integration into colonial society. Called confraternities, these groups provided social connections, charity, and status for Africans and their descendants for over two centuries.

Often organized by African women and dedicated to popular European and African saints, the confraternities enjoyed prestige in the Baroque religious milieu of 17th-century New Spain. One group, founded by Africans called Zapes, preserved their ethnic identity for decades even after they were enslaved and brought to the Americas. Despite ongoing legal divisions and racial hierarchies, by the end of the colonial era many descendants from African slaves had achieved a degree of status that enabled them to move up the social ladder in Hispanic society. Von Germeten reveals details of the organization and practices of more than 60 Afro-Mexican brotherhoods and examines changes in the social, family, and religious lives of their members. She presents the stories of individual Africans and their descendants—including many African women and the famous Baroque artist Juan Correa—almost entirely from evidence they themselves generated. Moving the historical focus away from negative stereotypes that have persisted for almost 500 years, this study is the first in English to deal with Afro-Mexican religious organizations.

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Little White Lie

Posted in Autobiography, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States, Videos on 2015-04-02 01:20Z by Steven

Little White Lie

Apple iTunes
2015-03-31
USA
01:06:00

Lacey Schwartz

Also available via Amazon.

Filmmaker Lacey Schwartz grew up in a typical upper middle class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her identity, despite occasional remarks from those around her who wondered how a white girl could have such dark skin. As a child she always believed her family’s explanation — that her appearance was inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather — but as a teenager, after her parents abruptly split, her gut begins to tell her something else. Lacey’s suspicions intensify when she attends a more diverse high school, where she suddenly doesn’t quite fit any racial profile, and her classmates are vocal about noting it. At the urging of her boyfriend, who is of mixed race, she begins to question her true identity and the validity of her parents’ explanation. At 18, Lacey finally confronts her mother and learns the truth about her biological father. As Little White Lie shows, both the bonds and the lies told between family members can run deep. Lacey strives to reconcile her newfound African American heritage with her Jewish upbringing, and discovers that in order to define herself, she must first come to terms with her parents’ choices and how much she is willing to let their past affect her future. Piecing together her family history and the story of her dual identity using home videos, archival footage, interviews, and episodes from her own life, Lacey discovers that answering those questions means understanding her parents’ stories as well as her own.

For more information, click here.

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Race In The Jewish Community: A Mischling’s Perspective

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Religion, United Kingdom on 2015-03-30 20:23Z by Steven

Race In The Jewish Community: A Mischling’s Perspective

The Jerusalem Post
2015-03-30

Ella Bennett

Introduction

As a person of mixed-race black and maternal Jewish heritage, I am a mischling and feel highly motivated to stand equally against racism and anti-Semitism.  When I go out and about in the Jewish community people naturally see my colour first, and depending on whether I’m wearing my hair as an afro or in the way Anne Frank wore her hair, some people in the Jewish community do not automatically assume that I’m Jewish.  Although some say I look Israeli, I’ve learned that there’s a belief in small sections of the community that you can’t be Jewish if you’re black, a subject I wrote about in an earlier blog called “How Can I Be Jewish When I Am Black?”  There is also a belief that the presence of Ethiopian Jews in Israel is incontrovertible proof that there is no racism in the Jewish community, either towards mischlinges and black Jews or anyone else of colour.

The concern I express in this blog is that when I want to talk to some of my favourite Jewish friends and associates about my life, my experiences of racism and my efforts to tackle it, I find myself isolated, slightly ostracised, and sadly in two extreme cases, cut off completely.  By reading between the lines I have learned that racism in the community or at large is neither admitted nor discussed openly as to do so is perceived as negative and liable to attract anti-Semitism…

Read the entire article here.

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