A Blaxican’s Journey through Fresno’s Racial Landscape

Posted in Articles, Biography, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2017-01-15 00:49Z by Steven

A Blaxican’s Journey through Fresno’s Racial Landscape

Tropics Of Meta: historiography for the masses
2017-01-13

Raymond A. Rey

In the summer of 1973, DJ Kool Herc tried something new on the turntables: by extending the beat, breaking and scratching the record, he allowed people to dance longer and entertained them with his rhymes as an MC. After that moment, everything changed. The sound that emerged out of the South Bronx in New York City led to a cultural movement that changed the lives of generations around the world. For Phillip Walker, a mixed race kid from Fresno, California, hip-hop not only served as the soundtrack of his youth, but provided a way to understand his neighborhood and build a multiethnic community.

Phillip Ernest Walker Jr. was born on January 28, 1976 in Fresno, California. He is the son of a Black father from Camden, Tennessee and a Mexican mother from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. While coming from different countries, both families had backgrounds in agriculture and both found their way to the Central San Joaquin Valley and eventually Fresno’s west side. The Walkers from Tennessee migrated to California slowly after uncle James Walker completed his service in the United States Navy. He was stationed for a time at Naval Air Station in Lemoore and upon completing his service in 1967, he convinced his brother Phillip Walker Sr. to join him in the Central Valley. There, the two black men found a lifestyle not too different from what they had experienced in Tennessee: wide open spaces, vast acres of farmland, and a slow pace.  The sons of a skilled mechanic, they set down roots in Fresno.

Meanwhile, the Magdalenos crossed a border and multiple state lines before settling in the Valley. Milagros, Phillip’s mother, was the daughter of Gregoria and Genaro Magdaleno. Genaro was also a mechanic and moved his family across the Southwest in search of work on farm labor camps. The tragic loss of Genaro’s beloved wife led the family to the Central Valley. They arrived in Delano, where Genaro’s brother and sister helped raise his children, and then they moved to Fresno. For a time the Magdalenos settled in the “golden west side,” a place that the Walkers from Tennessee already called home…

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An Artist Reinvents Herself to Mine the Fictions of America

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-01-10 02:24Z by Steven

An Artist Reinvents Herself to Mine the Fictions of America

Hyperallergic
2017-01-09

Alicia Eler

Genevieve Gaignard makes the personal political while also creating new American mythologies.

LOS ANGELES — In the lead-up to a Trump presidency, the worst possible outcome for an America that has come so far in the past 100 years in terms of social progress and civil rights, it’s not insane to think that conservatives could take us back to a pre–Roe v. Wade era, to a time when all race-based hate crimes were labeled as basically normal. Not to mention that the environment and the economy will go to hell. This is not our country, and this is not the new normal — this is a time for refusal, a time to resist rather than to hallucinate into some sort of feeble complacency.

The election was certainly on my mind when I saw LA artist Genevieve Gaignard’s exhibition Smell the Roses at the California African American Museum. The characterizations that she creates in her work mine the intersections of race, class, and gender, portraying some of the vulnerable Americans who will be most affected by the next four years (or fewer, if Trump gets impeached like Michael Moore is predicting!).

This is Gaignard’s first solo museum show, which follows her solo exhibition Us Only last year at Shulamit Nazarin Gallery in Venice, California. Here, Gaignard continues her exploration of the space between performance and the reality of race, class, and gender through different personas or avatars, domestic spaces, and collections of Americana kitsch and knickknacks, toeing the line between high and low culture, between fiction and personal history. As the fair-skinned daughter of a black father and a white mother, her work speaks to being mixed race, discussing issues of visibility and invisibility. She mixes highbrow and lowbrow aesthetics — a major influence is John Waters, who similarly indulges in camp and kitsch. Gaignard’s arrangements of objects ranging from books and records to family photographs mix the familial and the political in a way that’s reminiscent of Rashid Johnson’s post-minimalist, cold domestic “shelves.” The difference is that in Gaignard’s work, every object emanates warmth. It’s fitting that her exhibition deals heavily with the emotional experience of loss on both a personal and political level…

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Kamala Harris sworn in as first Indian American senator and California’s first black senator

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-01-03 20:57Z by Steven

Kamala Harris sworn in as first Indian American senator and California’s first black senator

The Los Angeles Times
2017-01-03

Sara D. Wire, Congressional Delegation Reporter

Before friends and family in a packed chamber, Kamala Harris was sworn in as California’s newest U.S. senator Tuesday morning. She became the first black woman the Golden State has sent to the Senate and the first Indian American to ever serve in the body.

Harris, 52, a Democrat from Los Angeles, was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden shortly after 9 a.m. PT as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and her new Senate colleagues looked on. Harris’ husband, Los Angeles attorney Doug Emhoff, her stepchildren, brother-in-law Tony West, sister Maya Harris, extended family as well as several state officials from across the country who traveled to celebrate with the now former state attorney general watched from the gallery.

“Whatever advice she wants, all she has to do is ask,” Feinstein said. “I have said to her that I would like to have a close relationship.”

Feinstein and Harris met repeatedly in the weeks since the election, with Feinstein sharing advice on how to set up the largest Senate office in the country, including how to deal with the up to 100,000 emails, letters and phone calls that can come into a California senator’s office in a given week.

Harris, one of seven new senators, replaces Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who retired after 24 years in the Senate…

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The Life and Times of Pío Pico, Last Governor of Mexican California

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, United States on 2016-10-30 16:42Z by Steven

The Life and Times of Pío Pico, Last Governor of Mexican California

Lost LA
KCET
Burbank, California
2016-10-27

William D. Estrada, Curator of California and American History and Chair of the History Department
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County


Pío de Jesus Pico and his wife, María Ignacia Alvarado Pico, in 1852, with two of their nieces, María Anita Alvarado (far left) and Trinidad Ortega (far right). Courtesy of the Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Pío Pico was the last governor of California under Mexican rule, serving from 1845-46, just before the U.S. military occupation. Today, the name Pico is a familiar place name. Driving or walking throughout Southern California one will encounter busy Pico Boulevard; the City of Pico Rivera; two Pío Pico elementary schools; the Pico-Union district near downtown L.A.; Pico Park; the Pío Pico Koreatown Library; the three-story Pico House building; natural landmarks such as Pico Canyon north of Los Angeles and Pico Creek near Oceanside; and Pío Pico State Historic Park in the City of Whittier, just to name a few. His name has been commercialized in several businesses from corner grocery stores, shopping malls and fast food restaurants. And yet, despite the veneration in the popular mind, much of what we know about Pío Pico remains clouded in myth. His significance as an historical figure, as well as his connection to the contemporary Latino and African-American communities, is worth remembering…

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What Colin Kaepernick’s Protest Looks Like to a Black 49ers Fan

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-01 19:14Z by Steven

What Colin Kaepernick’s Protest Looks Like to a Black 49ers Fan

The New York Times
2016-08-31

Gerald Harris, President and Managing Director
The Quantum Planning Group, San Francisco, California


Colin Kaepernick Credit Ben Margot/Associated Press

San Francisco — Why are we, as sports fans, continually surprised when one of our heroes turns out to be a real person, with real feelings who is living in the same world we also live in? And when that athlete is black, why does white America respond with anger, as if the hero has broken some kind of sacred rule or understood deal? That deal seems to be, “You just go out and win games, collect your check, and if we really like you, you can retire and sell us stuff in TV commercials.”

Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for San Francisco, the city I love and pay a lot to live in, is the latest in a long line of black athletes who have decided to be real people with real concerns about the black community. This tends to happen when issues become so pressing that they break the heart of the athlete and pierce a wall they might choose to stay behind.

It was the Vietnam War for Muhammad Ali, the civil rights movement for countless others. For Kaepernick, it is the way black and brown people, just like him, are treated in the United States. He felt he could no longer stand for the national anthem at the beginning of 49ers games. In an interview published Saturday, he said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”…

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Multiraciality Enters the University: Mixed Race Identity and Knowledge Production in Higher Education

Posted in Campus Life, Dissertations, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-11 17:07Z by Steven

Multiraciality Enters the University: Mixed Race Identity and Knowledge Production in Higher Education

University of Maryland
2016
DOI: 10.13016/M2QB78

Aaron Allen

“Multiraciality Enters the University: Mixed Race Identity and Knowledge Production in Higher Education,” explores how the category of “mixed race” has underpinned university politics in California, through student organizing, admissions debates, and the development of a new field of study. By treating the concept of privatization as central to both multiraciality and the neoliberal university, this project asks how and in what capacity has the discourses of multiracialism and the growing recognition of mixed race student populations shaped administrative, social, and academic debates at the state’s flagship universities—the University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles. This project argues that the mixed race population symbolizing so-called “post-racial societies” is fundamentally attached to the concept of self-authorship, which can work to challenge the rights and resources for college students of color. Through a close reading of texts, including archival materials, policy and media debates, and interviews, I assert that the contemporary deployment of mixed race within the US academy represents a particularly post-civil rights development, undergirded by a genealogy of U.S. liberal individualism. This project ultimately reveals the pressing need to rethink ways to disrupt institutionalized racism in the new millennium.

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Coin given to US’s oldest park ranger by Barack Obama stolen in home invasion

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-07-03 17:37Z by Steven

Coin given to US’s oldest park ranger by Barack Obama stolen in home invasion

The Guardian
2016-06-30

Sam Levin


Ranger Betty Soskin holds a photo of herself has a young woman.
Photograph: Alamy

The White House is sending a replacement coin to 94-year-old Betty Soskin, who says she hopes she can recover the original from violent home intruder

The oldest park ranger in the US suffered a violent home invasion in which the suspect stole a commemorative coin Barack Obama gave to the 94-year-old woman, according to California police.

Park officials said on Thursday that the White House is sending a replacement coin to Betty Soskin, who works at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front national historic park in northern California. But the ranger said she hopes she can recover the original.

Around midnight on Monday, an intruder broke into Soskin’s bedroom in Richmond, just north of San Francisco, according to police…

…Soskin received national attention in December when she introduced Obama at a tree-lighting ceremony in Washington DC. There, the president gave her the coin.

“If I can get that coin back I think I can forgive anything,” Soskin told local news station KTVU on Wednesday.

Soskin is well-known locally and within the park service for her talks and tours at the Rosie the Riveter park where she often tells personal stories about her life as a young black woman working at the Richmond shipyards during the second world war.

Meeting the president and receiving the coin was a powerful experience for Soskin, Leatherman said. At the time, she brought with her a picture of her grandmother, who was born into slavery…

Read the entire entire article here.

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National Women’s History Museum presents Chinese American Women: A History of Resilience and Resistance

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-06-10 15:14Z by Steven

National Women’s History Museum presents Chinese American Women: A History of Resilience and Resistance

National Women’s History Museum
2016-06-08


Joseph, Emily, Mamie, Frank, and Mary Tape.

Tape v. Hurley

Mary Tape was a biracial Chinese American woman who believed that her daughter, Mamie, should have the same access to education as white children in San Francisco. In particular, Mary Tape wanted her daughter to be able to attend public school. When the local school principal, Jennie Hurley, stood in the schoolhouse door to bar Mamie’s entrance on the sole grounds that she was Chinese, Mary Tape took Jennie Hurley to court.

In 1885, almost seventy years before the famous Supreme Court Decision Brown v. Board of Education desegregated American public schools, Mary Tape sued the San Francisco School District to offer public education to all Chinese children. Tape v. Hurley was one of the most important civil rights decisions in American history. In this ground breaking case, Superior Court Judge James Maguire ruled that Chinese children must have access to public education: “To deny a child, born of Chinese parents in this state, entrance to the public schools would be a violation of the law of the state and the Constitution of the United States.”…

Read the entire article here.

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#myLovingDay: How the Lovings’ trials paved the way for today’s multiracial families

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-04 19:28Z by Steven

#myLovingDay: How the Lovings’ trials paved the way for today’s multiracial families

The Los Angeles Times
2016-06-03

Michelle Maltais


Mildred and Richard Loving, convicted in Virginia of marrying while interracial. (Associated Press)

I like to say that I am because of Loving. Mildred and Richard Loving.

In the early 1970s when my parents met, the only laws that really mattered in their relationship were the laws of attraction. But in 1958 when Mildred and Richard married, interracial marriage wasn’t just complicated, it was illegal. Since they couldn’t get married in their home state of Virginia (or 24 other states), they went to the District of Columbia and were wed on June 2, 1958…

…My own “Loving” story started in the early ’70s in Palm Desert, Calif. At that time, no one else in my neighborhood  —  or in my school —  looked like me. No one’s family looked like mine.

Was California in the early 1970s anything like the South of the ‘50s and ‘60s? Not at all…

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Indian Blood: HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community

Posted in Books, Gay & Lesbian, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-06-03 02:16Z by Steven

Indian Blood: HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community

University of Washington Press
June 2016
176 pages
1 bandw illus, 2 tables
6 x 9 in
Paperback ISBN: 9780295998503
Hardcover ISBN: 9780295998077

Andrew J. Jolivette, Professor and chair of American Indian studies
San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California

The first book to examine the correlation between mixed-race identity and HIV/AIDS among Native American gay men and transgendered people, Indian Blood provides an analysis of the emerging and often contested LGBTQtwo-spirit” identification as it relates to public health and mixed-race identity.

Prior to contact with European settlers, most Native American tribes held their two-spirit members in high esteem, even considering them spiritually advanced. However, after contact – and religious conversion – attitudes changed and social and cultural support networks were ruptured. This discrimination led to a breakdown in traditional values, beliefs, and practices, which in turn pushed many two-spirit members to participate in high-risk behaviors. The result is a disproportionate number of two-spirit members who currently test positive for HIV.

Using surveys, focus groups, and community discussions to examine the experiences of HIV-positive members of San Francisco’s two-spirit community, Indian Blood provides an innovative approach to understanding how colonization continues to affect American Indian communities and opens a series of crucial dialogues in the fields of Native American studies, public health, queer studies, and critical mixed-race studies.

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