Q&A “Blaxicans of L.A.”: capturing two cultures in one

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-23 02:34Z by Steven

Q&A “Blaxicans of L.A.”: capturing two cultures in one

The Los Angeles Times
2015-07-21

Ebony Bailey

When race in this country is often discussed in black and white, where do those who don’t quite fit the dime fall?.

Walter Thompson-Hernandez, a researcher with the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at USC, is attempting to answer that question with the help of his full-frame Nikon camera.

Two years ago, he began a research project on “Blaxican” identity, interviewing individuals of African American and Mexican descent like himself. He thought it was important to share his research with audiences outside academia, so he started a project on Instagram called Blaxicans of L.A., capturing portraits of Blaxicans and their families…

Read the entire article here.

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Early Afro-Mexican Settlers in California

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, United States, Videos on 2015-07-13 18:05Z by Steven

Early Afro-Mexican Settlers in California

C-SPAN: Created by Cable
2015-05-20

Host: California Historical Society

Professor Carlos Manuel Salomon, author of Pio Pico: The Last Governor of Mexican California, talked about Mexicans of African descent who were some of the first non-Indian settlers in California. Many came from Sinaloa and Sonora, Mexico, with the Anza Expedition in 1775, and helped to shape the character of California, building and establishing pueblos and ranches that grew into towns such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Monterey, and San Jose. Several became wealthy landowners and politicians, including Pio Pico, the last governor of Mexican California.

Watch the video (01:21:44) here.

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Loren Miller: Civil Rights Attorney and Journalist

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Law, Monographs, United States on 2015-07-13 17:45Z by Steven

Loren Miller: Civil Rights Attorney and Journalist

University of Oklahoma Press
September 2015
304 pages
6.125″ x 9.25″
Hardcover ISBN: 9780806149165

Amina Hassan, Consultant & Researcher
The Azara Group, New York, New York

Loren Miller was one of the nation’s most prominent civil rights attorneys from the 1940s through the early 1960s, particularly in the fields of housing and education. With co-counsel Thurgood Marshall, he argued two landmark civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, whose decisions effectively abolished racially restrictive housing covenants. One of these cases, Shelley v. Kraemer (1948), is taught in nearly every American law school today. Loren Miller: Civil Rights Attorney and Journalist recovers this remarkable figure from the margins of history and for the first time fully reveals his life for what it was: an extraordinary American story and a critical chapter in the annals of racial justice.

Born the son of a former slave and a white midwesterner in 1903, Loren Miller lived the quintessential American success story, both by rising from rural poverty to a position of power and influence and by blazing his own path. Author Amina Hassan reveals Miller as a fearless critic of the powerful and an ardent debater whose acid wit was known to burn “holes in the toughest skin and eat right through double-talk, hypocrisy, and posturing.”

As a freshly minted member of the bar who preferred political activism and writing to the law, Miller set out for Los Angeles from Kansas in 1929. Hassan describes his early career as a fiery radical journalist, as well as his ownership of the California Eagle, one of the longest-running African American newspapers in the West. In his work with the California branch of the ACLU, Miller sought to halt the internment of West Coast Japanese citizens, helped integrate the U.S. military and the L.A. Fire Department, and defended Black Muslims arrested in a deadly street battle with the LAPD. Hassan charts Miller’s ceaseless commitment to improving the lives of Americans regardless of their race or ethnicity. In 1964, Governor Edmund G. Brown appointed Miller as a Municipal Court justice for Los Angeles County.

The story told here in full for the first time is of a true American original who defied societal limitations to reshape the racial and political landscape of twentieth-century America.

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It’s official: Latinos now outnumber whites in California

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2015-07-09 02:03Z by Steven

It’s official: Latinos now outnumber whites in California

The Los Angeles Times
2015-07-08

Javier Panzar


Source: The Los Angeles Times

The demographers agreed: At some point in 2014, Latinos would pass whites as the largest ethnic group in California.

Determining when exactly that milestone would occur was more of a tricky question. Counting people isn’t like counting movie ticket receipts.

The official confirmation had to wait until new population figures were released by the Census Bureau this summer. The new tally, released in late June, shows that as of July 1, 2014, about 14.99 million Latinos live in California, edging out the 14.92 million whites in the state.

The shift shouldn’t come as a surprise. State demographers had previously expected the change to occur sometime in 2013, but slow population growth pushed back projections. In January 2014, the state Department of Finance estimated the shift would take place at some point in March.

Either way, the moment has officially arrived…

Read the entire article here.

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The Gains and Losses of Passing for White – Ernest Torregano

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-06-04 19:59Z by Steven

The Gains and Losses of Passing for White – Ernest Torregano

Creolegen
2015-05-31

Jari Honora, Founder and Consultant

In 1912, Ernest Joseph Torregano, a thirty-year old New Orleans native, was a porter on the Southern Pacific Railroad. For about three years, Torregano had worked the run from New Orleans to San Francisco. After each successful run, he would return home to his wife, Viola Perrett Torregano, and his only child, Gladys Marguerite, who had been born on 7 February 1904. Like so many other Southerners of color, Ernest Torregano found moving to California to be a golden opportunity to better himself. In his case however, it came at a drastic cost – the loss of his wife and child. He was able to use what was undoubtedly his God-given intelligence and aptitude, but to do so, he passed for white. In his early adult years, Ernest had worked as a singer and handyman for a traveling minstrel troupe. It was while with the troupe, that he met one of it’s pretty stars, a guitar-playing young lady named Viola Perrett. They were married and soon had their daughter Gladys, after which they quit the show so that he could sign-on with the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Concurrent with his employment on the railroad, Ernest completed his high school studies and through independent study courses and classes at the Saint Ignatius College of Law, he was able to pass the California bar examination on 7 April 1913. During all of this time, he maintained a foot in both worlds – telling friends and relatives in New Orleans that he was working as a warehouseman in San Francisco, even having relatives to visit, while all the way he kept up a separate white identity for the sake of his schooling and his intended profession. He regularly went back to New Orleans, spending time with his wife and daughter who lived in the home of his mother, Mrs. Louise Johnson Torregano…

Read the entire article here.

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UCLA researchers say Japanese-Americans’ healthier golden years could be a model for other seniors

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2015-05-05 17:42Z by Steven

UCLA researchers say Japanese-Americans’ healthier golden years could be a model for other seniors

UCLA Newsroom
University of California, Los Angeles
2015-04-29

Venetia Lai

Nearly 1 in 4 Japanese-Americans are 65 and older — nearly twice the proportion of seniors in the overall U.S. population. The facts that they are likelier to live longer than other Americans and are healthier when they age make Japanese-Americans an important subject of research by health policy experts — and could provide clues about how all Americans can age, according to a new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Using California Health Interview Survey data from 2003 to 2012, the study found that elderly Japanese-Americans had lower risks for nine of 15 health indicators than other Asian and other racial and ethnic groups in California. Older Japanese-Americans, however, did have higher rates of arthritis and hypertension than seniors in other racial and ethnic groups.

“Japanese-Americans provide a window into our future,” said Ying-Ying Meng, lead author of the study and co-director of the center’s Chronic Disease Program. “They show us one vision of how our nation can age and can help us prepare for the enormous generational shift ahead.”

The report, which was funded by Keiro Senior HealthCare, examines three categories of Japanese in California: Those who identify as being “only” Japanese — typically with parents who both were Japanese; those who identify as being mixed-race; and those who identified as being Japanese in some way…

Read the entire article here.

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Blaxicans (Black Mexicans) of California

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-04-10 19:34Z by Steven

Blaxicans (Black Mexicans) of California

African American – Latino World
2015-04-07

Bill Smith

This post is not about the black Mexicans who were historically born and raised in Mexico, but those born and raised in Los Angeles, California’s metropolitan area to Mexican and African-American parents.

According to the University of Southern California researcher Walter Thompson-Hernández, 80% of the Latinos in Los Angeles are of Mexican ancestry and either live in adjoining communities to African Americans or live alongside African Americans. Thus, there are more Blaxicans in the Los Angeles area than any other area…

Read the entire article here.

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Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General, Leaps to Forefront of Senate Race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-03-30 17:52Z by Steven

Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General, Leaps to Forefront of Senate Race

The New York Times
2015-03-27

Adam Nagourney, Los Angeles Bureau Chief

CASTAIC, Calif. — When Kamala D. Harris, a Democrat, was the newly elected district attorney of San Francisco in 2004, she walked into a firestorm after deciding not to pursue the death penalty for a man accused in the killing of a police officer — drawing attacks from law enforcement leaders and even Senator Dianne Feinstein, one of the most respected Democrats in the state.

Six years later, when Ms. Harris ran for state attorney general, national Republicans poured more than $1 million into the race, trying to defeat her with charged advertisements invoking the death penalty case. Ms. Harris barely defeated her Republican opponent, the district attorney of Los Angeles.

But now, at age 50 and after winning a second term, Ms. Harris has suddenly established herself as the dominant candidate in the race to replace Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat who announced in January that she would retire next year. With a speed and efficiency that startled many in her party, Ms. Harris has appeared, at least for now, to dispatch what most people had expected would be a sprawling generational battle with powerful ethnic overtones, given that Latinos now make up nearly 40 percent of California’s population…

She herself would be a pioneering figure, if elected — simultaneously the first black and the first South Asian senator from California

Read the entire article here.

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John Rollin Ridge’s Joaquín Murieta: Sensation, Hispanicism, and Cosmopolitanism

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-19 02:01Z by Steven

John Rollin Ridge’s Joaquín Murieta: Sensation, Hispanicism, and Cosmopolitanism

Western American Literature
Volume 49, Number 4, Winter 2015
pages 321-349
DOI: 10.1353/wal.2015.0008

John C. Havard, Assistant Professor
Department of English and Philosophy
Auburn University, Montgomery, Alabama

The mixed-race Cherokee poet, journalist, and novelist John Rollin Ridge’s The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta, the Celebrated California Bandit (1854) is a sensation novel about racial upheaval in 1850s California. The work has become prominent in the study of US ethnic literatures largely because it is the first novel authored by a Native American. Many thus read it as a commentary on Indian Removal politics, with Ridge allegorizing his experience as a Cherokee through Joaquín’s sufferings. Several factors support this reading. The byline features Ridge’s tribal name, Yellow Bird, instead of his Anglicized name. Moreover, the publisher’s preface emphasizes Ridge’s ancestry and the Cherokee Nation’s plight in the years following the Trail of Tears. These framing moves played upon the marketable curiosity of a Cherokee novelist. They also prompted readers to draw a parallel between Cherokee Removal and the novel’s more ostensible concern for the dispossession of Mexicans in California. Moreover, Ridge’s characterization of Murieta as dashing, romantic, and vengeful reflects Ridge’s own reputation and self-image. Finally, the Westernized Murieta embodies the Cherokee adoption of Western social and political structures, a process that Ridge followed his family in promoting.

Readings elaborating these connections reflect Indian literary identity politics, nationalism, and indigenism. According to the often-overlapping nationalist and indigenist positions, Native authors ought to view literature as a valuable medium through which to speak with subtlety and nuance for the concerns of particular Indian nations and for the general human dignity of Indigenous peoples. Critics, likewise, are exhorted to explicate the specifically national, Indigenous aspects of Indian literature. As advocate for this movement Simon J. Ortiz explains,

Too much is at stake for easy, convenient images to adequately and appropriately represent Indigenous people, much less to bring attention to conditions and circumstances that need to be brought to light. Indigenous writers and poets such as myself can undertake this task to the best of our abilities by creating and composing literature.

What is at stake here, of course, is Native America’s need to protect its cultural and legal sovereignty against the legacies of European colonialism. As Ortiz claims, that struggle “has given substance to what is authentic” in Native literatures, animating the Indigenous, national consciousness of the surge in Native literary production since the 1970s (“Towards” 9, 11–12). Although Louis Owens is known for a hybridist account of Indian identity that is frequently contrasted to nationalist perspectives, he echoes a basic element of Ortiz’s premise in claiming that “for the contemporary Indian novelist . . . [the question of tensions between US American and Native American] identit[ies] is the central issue and theme” (5). For many critics, including Owens, Ridge’s novel prefigures contemporary Indian fiction in its pursuit of this theme.

I offer a non–mutually exclusive alternative interpretation that elaborates the novel’s cosmopolitanism. This cosmopolitanism, I argue in my first subsection, takes shape in Joaquín Murieta’s form. Often considered inchoate, the novel is, in fact, purposefully organized. This becomes apparent if we read it as a sensation novel. That Ridge put sensation to cosmopolitan purposes may seem surprising. Sensation is often associated with racist cliché, particularly in contrast to late-nineteenth-century social realism, which was commonly used to combat racial prejudice. However, in Ridge’s formulation, whereas social realism tends to imagine the nation in terms of the particularity of typical national actors, the sensation novel imagines the commonality of the peoples who meet in a narrative. If much sensation relies on racialist conventions, Ridge cleverly manipulates such conventions to propound his cosmopolitanism to his readers. This cosmopolitanism informs a critique of what can be termed Hispanicism, the discourse by which US imperialists bound the United States to liberalism by contrasting Americans with illiberal Hispanophone peoples. Through this strategy US imperialists rejected Hispanic claims to national sovereignty on the basis of a supposed Hispanic aversion to social and economic progress, an aversion exhibited in a rejection of liberal, democratic self-government. As I formulate this point in my second subsection, Ridge contests Hispanicism’s discursive violence by characterizing Murieta as a good liberal in contrast to…

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Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta: Celebrated California Bandit

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2015-02-20 20:03Z by Steven

Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta: Celebrated California Bandit

University of Oklahoma Press
1977 (Originally published in 1854 by W. R. Cooke and Company)
210 pages
5″ x 7.5″
Paperback ISBN: 9780806114293

John Rollin Ridge (1827-1867)

In 1854, a Cherokee Indian called Yellow Bird (better known as John Rollin Ridge) launched in this book the myth of Joaquín Murieta, based on the California criminal career of a 19th century Mexican bandit. Today this folk hero has been written into state histories, sensationalized in books, poems, and articles throughout America, Spain, France, Chile, and Mexico, and made into a motion picture.

The Ridge account is here reproduced from the only known copy of the first edition, owned by Thomas W. Streeter, of Morristown, New Jersey. According to it, the passionate, wronged Murieta organized an outlaw company numbering over 2,000 men, who for two years terrorized gold-rush Californians by kidnapping, bank robberies, cattle thefts, and murders. So bloodthirsty as to be considered five men, Joaquin was aided by several hardy subordinates, including the sadistic cutthroat, “Three-Fingered Jack.” Finally, the state legislature authorized organization of the Mounted Rangers to capture the outlaws. The drama is fittingly climaxed by the ensuing chase, “good, gory” battle, and the shocking fate of the badmen.

Read the entire book (Courtesy of Three Rocks Researchhere.

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