On the use of “Slave Mistress”

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2015-08-23 01:39Z by Steven

On the use of “Slave Mistress”

AAIHS: African American Intellectual History Society

Emily Owens

The passing of the great civil-rights leader Julian Bond earlier this week ignited a firestorm of activity on Twitter. Historians of African American women’s history noticed and commented on something suspect in Bond’s obituary, a brief line embedded within: in the obituary, Julian Bond’s great grandmother, Jane Bond, was described as “the slave mistress of a Kentucky farmer.”

The conversation that followed this revelation offers a glimpse into some of the most challenging questions within the history of African Americans. The history of sex and slavery remains both difficult to approach and critical to our understanding of the full, complex, and violent lives of enslaved African American women. And around the phrase “slave mistress” converges some of the key issues that make that history difficult to tell.

What is particularly exciting about this confluence of historians of African American women’s history collectively riffing on the problematic of “slave mistress” is the extent to which their public conversation maps the contours of the historiographic debate on sex and slavery. (It is also a mark of the power of this conversation that the New York Times issued a statement of regret about their language yesterday). Rather than rehearse their conversation here, I have reproduced it in Storify form, and will spend the duration of these comments pulling out what I see as key moments that cite the wider debate…

Read the entire article here.

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Desiring biracial whites: cultural consumption of white mixed-race celebrities in South Korean popular media

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2015-08-18 20:05Z by Steven

Desiring biracial whites: cultural consumption of white mixed-race celebrities in South Korean popular media

Media Culture & Society
Volume 37, Number 6 (September 2015)
pages 937-947
DOI: 10.1177/0163443715593050

Ji-Hyun Ahn, Assistant Professor of Communication
University of Washington

Contextualizing the rise in white mixed-race celebrities and foreign entertainers from the perspective of the globalization of Korean popular culture, this article aims to look at how Korean media appropriates whiteness as a marker of global Koreanness. Specifically, the article utilizes Daniel Henney, a white mixed-race actor and celebrity who was born to a Korean adoptee mother and an Irish-American father, as an anchoring text. Analyzing how Henney’s image as upper-class, intelligent, and cosmopolitan constructs what whiteness means to Koreans, the study asserts that Henney’s (cosmopolitan) whiteness is not a mere marker of race, but a neoliberal articulation of a particular mode of Koreanness. This study not only participates in a dialog with the current scholarship of mixed-race studies in media/communication but also links the recent racial politics in contemporary Korean media to the larger ideological implications of racial globalization.

Read or purchase article here.

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‘Key & Peele’ Ends While Nation Could Still Use a Laugh

Posted in Articles, Arts, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-08-16 21:36Z by Steven

‘Key & Peele’ Ends While Nation Could Still Use a Laugh

The New York Times

Dave Itzkoff, Culture Reporter

Jordan Peele, left, and Keegan-Michael Key in a scene from the final season of “Key & Peele.” Credit Comedy Central

The scene is a hauntingly familiar one: A white police officer stalks an unarmed black man in a dark alley and slams the man’s head into the open door of his patrol car.

But then, rather than being taken into police custody, the man is led through a magical door to the sunlit, upbeat streets of a utopia called Negrotown, whose black populace serenades the visitor about its city, where “you can walk the street without getting stopped, harassed or beat” and “you can wear your hoodie and not get shot.”

This comic sketch is one of many that have made “Key & Peele,” the Comedy Central series created by and starring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, a television program that is uniquely calibrated to the current American moment, when real-life examples of racial polarization and conflict are ubiquitous, but opportunities in pop culture to process these divisions are rare.

It will be a bittersweet moment when this sketch comedy series concludes its final season on Sept. 9, after three years of fixing its satirical lens on stereotypes and social injustices. In its absence, there may be no alternative that so frankly addresses these enduring prejudices and disparities, especially at a moment when America’s racial divide has taken center stage in the national discourse…

…Mr. Key, 44, and Mr. Peele, 36, who are biracial, say they are ending the show by mutual agreement for the least complicated of reasons: They want to pursue other projects…

…“When Obama was elected, there was this mythology that, O.K., we’re over the racist thing — this is a postracial world,” Mr. Peele said. “And now, obviously, we’ve uncovered why that’s not true.”…

Read the entire article here.

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One-sided Biracial TV Families– Why Are So Many Asian Moms MIA?

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-08-08 00:06Z by Steven

One-sided Biracial TV Families– Why Are So Many Asian Moms MIA?


Laylita Day

I started to notice a disturbing trend among certain TV shows. Each one featured a biracial character, specifically a woman who had an Asian mom and White dad. The disturbing part of this was the fact that none of the Asian moms are actually in the shows with one slight exception. This caught my attention mainly because I too have a White dad and Asian mom. My mother and I are fairly close, so seeing show after show where the biracial daughter has no contact or knowledge of her mother made me feel uneasy. I began to ask myself why there were so many M.I.A. Asian moms in biracial TV families…

Read the entire article here.

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What It Was Like Being Mixed-Race Photographed By National Geographic

Posted in Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, Communications/Media Studies, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-31 19:59Z by Steven

What It Was Like Being Mixed-Race Photographed By National Geographic

Multiracial Asian Families: thinking about race, families, children, and the intersection of mixed ID/Asian

Sharon H Chang

Remember these pictures? They were part of National Geographic’s mixed race photo campaign “Changing Faces” published in October 2013. “We’re becoming a country,” stated the magazine, “Where race is no longer so black and white.” The images were shot by famous German portrait photographer Martin Schoeller who said he liked “building catalogs of faces that invite people to compare them.” I think it’s safe to say that happened. The gallery was widely viewed (it being National Geographic after all) and more or less greatly admired (it being Martin Schoeller after all). But there was some criticism, including my own, which I wrote about for Racism Review in “Mixed or Not, Why Are We Still Taking Pictures of “Race”?” One of the larger questions I raised was around the idea that we use images of mixed race people to debate race, without including those mixed folk in the debate themselves. I concluded that essay with a proclamation:

While modern race-photography believes itself to be celebrating the dismantling of race, it may actually be fooling us (and itself) with a fantastically complicated show of smoke and mirrors…We need to make much, MUCH more space for something ultimately pretty simple — the stories of actual people themselves which in the end, will paint the real picture.

But here’s a truth I want to share with you. I also felt at the time that me making this proclamation wasn’t enough. That I had to do more than just say it. I needed to live it; make a commitment to the practice I was preaching. So. As an old friend used to say, “Where attention goes, energy flows.” Soon after making this personal resolve I had the amazing good fortune of running into Alejandro T. Acierto, a mixed race identifying person who was photographed for National Geographic’s campaign. He graciously agreed share with me/us what “Changing Faces” was like for him through his own experience, his own words, and his own lens…

Read the entire interview here.

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Here’s what I did when racists complained about an interracial family in my magazine

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Texas, United States on 2015-07-28 02:32Z by Steven

Here’s what I did when racists complained about an interracial family in my magazine

The Washington Post

Scott Vogel, Editor-in-Chief
Houstonia, a city magazine based in Houston, Texas

Offended by this image? Houstonia magazine doesn’t want your business. (Photo by Chris Skiles/Houstonia)

Don’t compare me to business owners who refuse to serve LGBT customers

As editor in chief of a lifestyle magazine, my job has been to balance two competing concerns of the journalism business: publishing stories that make a difference and selling ads that make money. This month, I discovered a third, hitherto unknown concern: ads that make a difference.

The full-page ad on the first page of Houstonia magazine’s June issue seemed innocuous. It showed a family of five in cozy domesticity, enjoying the warmly capacious living room they ostensibly found through the upscale real estate agency that created the ad. Mom stood barefoot in the living room, an arm around her 5-year-old daughter. Dad sat on an overstuffed sofa, struggling to keep the couple’s squirmy 2-year-old from leaving his lap. And at their feet was an unbearably cute baby boy perched atop an embroidered pillow on the family’s rug. Carefully composed and brightly lit, the scene, it seemed, could be described with just one word: adorable. But as it turned out, there was another word for it: disgusting.

That’s how a suburban Houston doctor described the image in an email to Ashton Martini Group, the real estate company responsible for the ad. “I will not put this magazine in my reception area!” he wrote. The source of his disgust? The mother in the ad was white; the father, black; and the couple’s three children, biracial. A second complaint reached me a week later, from a subscriber who confessed that, although he liked our magazine, “I just can’t go for racial mixing.” And so, lest his children “get it into their heads that this is okay,” he had taken our June issue straight from the mailbox to the trashcan.

I followed the two men’s impulsive actions with one of my own…

Read the entire article here.

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New UW center to encourage race, diversity dialogue

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-26 04:00Z by Steven

New UW center to encourage race, diversity dialogue

The Seattle Times

Katherine Long, Seattle Times higher education reporter

Ralina Joseph is the new director of the University of Washington’s Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)

A new center at the University of Washington aims to help people figure out how to better communicate about race, equity and diversity.

University of Washington professor Ralina Joseph thinks what we’re seeing in the nation today could be the start of a new civil-rights movement. And at times, college students are leading the charge.

“It feels like a moment at the UW — a potential moment of change,” Joseph said. “Students are more radicalized now, talking to faculty, than people have seen since the ’60s and early ’70s.”

Into this moment steps the university’s new Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity, which opened its doors on the Seattle campus at the end of May and is headed by Joseph. Housed in the Department of Communication, it knits together 40 faculty members from a variety of departments, from American ethnic studies to history and sociology…

…She knows some critics may see the mission as another example of political correctness, and that naysayers may argue the country has moved beyond these issues — given that the nation elected a black president, Seattle elected a gay mayor, the Supreme Court affirmed same-sex marriages.

Yet Joseph says the data show a person’s race, class, gender and sexual orientation “dictate how your life is going to be lived.” Those factors still influence whether you’ll be able to get a mortgage, or be approved for an apartment rental, to name just a few of the implications, she said…

Read the entire article here.

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In The Writer’s Room, One Woman Quietly Makes Late Night History

Posted in Articles, Audio, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-17 16:16Z by Steven

In The Writer’s Room, One Woman Quietly Makes Late Night History

Code Switch: Frontiers of Race, Culture and Ethnicity
National Public Radio

Eric Deggans, TV Critic

How do you write jokes for a TV comedy about race and culture when there are riots over how police treat black suspects, and a gunman just shot down nine people in a black church?

If you’re Robin Thede, head writer for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, you think carefully about where you focus the joke.

“The thing about tragedy, is that it causes people to react in a myriad of ways … [and] some of them are very hilarious,” Thede says, laughing. “You don’t make fun of the actual tragedy. You make fun of the ridiculous ways people react to it.”

Her example: The way some news outlets focused on the involvement of the gang Black Guerilla Family when rioting broke out in Baltimore last April.

“You’ve got people on the news saying ‘Black Guerilla Family’ 4,000 times because they get a kick out of saying ‘gorilla’ when connected to black people,” she says…

…That voice first emerged in January, when Wilmore’s Nightly Show debuted in the timeslot originally held by Stephen Colbert’s Colbert Report.

Wilmore made a bit of history then as the only black man hosting a major late night talk show.

And Thede also made history: She’s the first black woman to serve as head writer for such a show. But she’s quick to counter the notion that The Nightly Show is just a parody of Meet the Press centered on jokes about race…

Read the entire article here. Listen to the story (00:04:09) here. Download the story here. Read the transcript here.

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Why Media Representation Matters To Biracial And Multiracial People

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-06-09 00:57Z by Steven

Why Media Representation Matters To Biracial And Multiracial People

Blue Nation Review

John Paul Brammer, Identity Editor

“So, you’re sort of nothing then.”

I’ve only heard this once. Someone asked me what my race was because they were curious. I explained to them that I was mixed, that I had both indigenous and European blood, and after mulling it over for a second, that was their response.

They meant no malice by it. If anything, they were trying to be playful. But it still reminded me that when it comes to the dominant narratives on how we perceive race and culture in this country, I don’t quite fit the story.

I am reminded of this again with the debate over Emma Stone’s multiracial character in Cameron Crowe’s certified stinker Aloha. Stone, a white woman, was cast to portray a half-white, quarter-Chinese, quarter-Native Hawaiian character by the name of Allison Ng.

Crowe has come forward and apologized for his decision. But casting Stone in the first place has opened a very necessary dialogue on multiracial characters in the media.

In the context of the media diversity debate, multiracial people exist in a precarious place. On the one hand, they seem to be left out for the sake of a more direct approach to criticism of media representation of minorities

Read the entire article here.

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Crowe’s ‘whitewashing’ sparks criticism from advocates

Posted in Articles, Arts, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Oceania, United States on 2015-06-07 20:07Z by Steven

Crowe’s ‘whitewashing’ sparks criticism from advocates

BBC News

Elena Boffetta, BBC Washington

Hollywood’s reliance on bankable – and often white – actors has led to another round of sharp criticism of filmmakers for “whitewashing” roles where race and ethnicity play a part.

In Aloha, Cameron Crowe’s latest film, Emma Stone, a American actress with blonde hair and green eyes, was cast as Allison Ng – a junior fighter pilot who was part-Chinese, part-Hawaiian and part-Swedish.

Soon after the release, there was an uproar of criticism from social media against Crowe’s casting choice.

Both Asians and non-Asians asked why they didn’t pick an Asian actress to play a character who is part-Asian.

One advocacy group called Aloha “a whitewashed film” that failed to portray the ethnical diversity of Hawaii.

The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) noted 60% of Hawaii’s population is Asian-American Pacific Islanders and 30% Caucasian, a fact not reflected in the film.

Crowe apologised on his website but said he based the Ng character on a real-life redheaded Hawaiian who felt compelled to constantly over-explain her unlikely ethnicity.

“I can understand what Crowe said about his intention that he based his character on someone that didn’t look Asian but identified with the culture but you could have casted someone who was part Hawaiian,” Guy Aoki, the founding president of MANAA, said.

“Whitewashing” casting differs from “colour-blind casting,” where a role is cast when factors of race or ethnicity are irrelevant to the character or plot…

Hollywood has been accused of whitewashing Asians for decades…

Read the entire article here.

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