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

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

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…

Read the entire article here.

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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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LA poets document the city in ‘Coiled Serpent’ anthology

Posted in Articles, Arts, Book/Video Reviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-29 20:18Z by Steven

LA poets document the city in ‘Coiled Serpent’ anthology

Los Angeles Daily News

Richard Guzman, Arts and Entertainment Reporter
Long Beach Press Telegram

As students take part in a guitar workshop inside his Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in Sylmar, Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez grabs a copy of the latest book published by his nonprofit organization.

He walks outside to a small table and sets down his blue Winnie the Pooh coffee cup, exposing a faded forearm tattoo of a long-haired indigenous woman as he flips through the pages of “Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles.”

“I love the beauty of it. The poems really stand out, and I think it’s really reflective of the city. The city is beautiful in so many weird ways,” says the poet and novelist, who is perhaps best known for his memoir “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.

Rodriguez, who was named poet laureate by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014, has long been an advocate for the city, its poetry and the power of words to change lives.

And the new book exemplifies those tenets with a collection of poems that capture the experiences, cultures and even the weirdness that intertwine — and at times collide — to create the fabric of the city.

The anthology includes the voices of more than 160 L.A. poets who are part of the sweeping 371-page tome…

Read the entire article here.

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The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2016-04-22 01:34Z by Steven

The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles

Northwestern University Press
250 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1882688524

Edited by:

Daniel A. Olivas

Neelanjana Banerjee

Ruben J. Rodriguez

This anthology features the vitality and variety of verse in the City of Angels, a city of poets. This is more about range then representation, voice more than volume. Los Angeles has close to 60 percent people of color, 225 languages spoken at home, and some of the richest and poorest persons in the country. With an expansive 502.7 square miles of city (and beyond, including the massive county of 4,752.32 square miles), the poetry draws on imagery, words, stories, and imaginations that are also vast, encompassing, a real “leaves of grass.”

Well-known poets include Holly Prado, Ruben Martinez, traci kato-kiriyama, and Lynne Thompson. Many strong new voices, however, makes this a well-rounded collection for any literary class, program, bookstore, or event.

The image of the coiled serpent appears in various forms in mythologies throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, India, and America. In pre-conquest times, Quetzalcoatl—the Precious Serpent—served as a personification of earth-bound wisdom, the arts and eldership in so-called Meso-America, one of seven “cradles of civilization” that also includes China, Nigeria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, and Peru.

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Mexican-Punjabis relation through dance

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, United States on 2016-04-20 22:12Z by Steven

Mexican-Punjabis relation through dance


Megha Sharma

the performance held on 10th and 11th april credits:

Mexican-Punjabi is a vanishing tribe

The United States had always been an open land to possibilities. It is visited by a huge number of immigrants every year. California which is not only a land of renowned universities, it consists of various fertile farmlands which gave opportunity to numerous Indians who wanted to have a hand in the agricultural field.

It is recorded that through Canada many people from Punjabi communities came here to grow peach and plums. However, restrictive immigration stratagem didn’t allow these outsiders to find a wife in their countries. As a result, what came out were interracial marriages of these refugees and the native Mexican women who used to work in the farms.

This gave rise to cultural amalgamation and this intermixing is now at the end of its league as the generations of this sub-culture are reaching the end of their lives. To overcome such a drastic loss a new dance series “Half and Halves” has been organised…

Read the entire article here.

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Coiled Serpent: Poems that Protect, in New Anthology

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-04-12 02:13Z by Steven

Coiled Serpent: Poems that Protect, in New Anthology

Burbank, California

Mike Sonksen

The coiled serpent serves as a poetic totem to protect the City of Angels. Published by Tia Chucha Press

Over the last five years, a number of books and anthologies have been published to spotlight literary Los Angeles and its rich landscape of poets and writers. The newest anthology is the most extensive yet. Tia Chucha Press has just released, “Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles.” Edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Daniel A. Olivas and Ruben J. Rodriguez, this collection includes 160 poets from well-known seasoned scribes like Wanda Coleman, Kamau Daaood, Michael C. Ford, California State Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, Peter J. Harris, Ruben Martinez, S. Pearl Sharp, Amy Uyematsu and Terry Wolverton to up-and-coming younger bards like Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, F. Douglas Brown, Jessica Ceballos, Chiwan Choi, Francisco Escamilla, William Gonzalez, Douglas Kearney, Traci Kato-Kiriyama, Teka Lark, Karineh Mahdessian, Jeffrey Martin, Luivette Resto and Vickie Vertiz.

The book is dedicated to three great writers who have died in the last few years: Wanda Coleman, John Trudell and Francisco Alarcon. The volume’s four-page “Introduction,” is written by Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez and it goes a long way to describe the collection’s spirit…

Read the entire review here.

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The Coiled Serpent: An Interview with the Poetry Anthology’s Creators

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-03-30 01:49Z by Steven

The Coiled Serpent: An Interview with the Poetry Anthology’s Creators

La Bloga
Monday, 2016-03-28

Daniel A. Olivas

As already discussed here on La Bloga in a lovely review by Olga García Echeverría, Tía Chucha Press will publish this week a landmark poetry anthology, The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles. I am blessed to be one of the editors of this new book along with the very talented Neelanjana Banerjee and Ruben J. Rodriguez. The Coiled Serpent includes a powerful, eloquent introduction by the press’s founder, Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez. Of course, without the vision and poetic reach of Luis, this anthology would not have been born.

Of this anthology, Ohio State Professor Frederick Luis Aldama observes: “The dexterous hands of this high-octane trio of editors pull together in one exquisite volume LA’s finest of polymorphous polyglot poetic voices. The 150-plus poets disparately drop us into the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and touch of our planet’s capital: the megalopolis of LA with its hybrid, polylingual, and interstitial peoples. As we brush up with and enter into the lives of the young and old, workers and artists, border crossers and code-shifters…. Persians, Asians, Latinos, African Americans, and all sorts in between, great seismic quakes of creativity invite us to feel life at its most sand-dirt blasting harshness as well as its most soothing and sweet. With The Coiled Serpent we feel the cyclonic force of poetic talent at the epicenter of change in the making of tomorrow’s planetary republic of letters.”

The Coiled Serpent will have its formal release event on March 30 at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles the week of AWP’s annual conference (more on the conference below).

In honor of The Coiled Serpent’s release, I posed two questions to Neelanjana Banerjee, Ruben J. Rodriguez and Luis J. Rodriguez. Here are their responses:

Which poems particularly touched you and why?

Read the entire interview here.

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An Emerging Entry In America’s Multiracial Vocabulary: ‘Blaxican’

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-03-09 22:50Z by Steven

An Emerging Entry In America’s Multiracial Vocabulary: ‘Blaxican’

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

Adrian Florido

When Melissa Adams and her sister were growing up in Lynwood, near Compton, Calif., their black father and Mexican mother taught them to be proud of all aspects of their identity: They were black, and they were Mexican.

At home, that came easy. Publicly, it was harder. Consider the time Melissa was named valedictorian of her middle school when she was 13. It was the first time anyone could remember a black student winning that honor at her school.

“Everyone was excited,” she said over breakfast at her family’s house recently. “It was the first black valedictorian!” School administrators planned a special ceremony for her, and the dean called Adams into her office to congratulate her.

But when Adams walked in, the dean’s smile melted away…

…Like Adams and Tillman, many have struggled to explain their racial identity to the outside world, and sometimes even to understand it themselves.

Much of this has to do with the fact that biracial identity in the United States has often been understood in terms of black and white. And to the extent that labels are helpful for quickly self-identifying, they don’t always exist for the diversity of racial possibilities that mixed Americans increasingly want to see recognized. When it comes to mixed-race in America, Mexican-American author Richard Rodriguez has written, we rely on an “old vocabulary — black, white,” but, “we are no longer a black-white nation.”

This may be why in LA, many young people who are both black and Mexican are turning to a handy word to describe themselves: “Blaxican.”

It’s not a new term. Walter Thompson-Hernandez, a researcher at the University of Southern California who focuses on immigration and race, has traced references back to the 1980s. But it has gained new prominence in the past few years, since he launched a project called “Blaxicans of L.A.” It’s an Instagram account featuring photos of Blaxicans — with their varied hues, hair textures and facial profiles — accompanied by a quote from each person offering an insight on the Blaxican experience…

Read the entire article here.

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In an increasingly multiracial America, identity is a fluid thing

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-16 18:07Z by Steven

In an increasingly multiracial America, identity is a fluid thing

89.3 KPCC: Southern California Public Radio
Pasadena, California

Leslie Berestein Rojas, Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter

If there’s any part of town that’s solidly Latino, it’s where Walter Thompson Hernandez grew up, in Huntington Park.

The city, on the southeast fringe of Los Angeles, is 97 percent Latino. Thompson-Hernandez was raised there by his mother, an immigrant from Jalisco, in what he describes as a very Mexican household.

“Quinceaneras, Vicente Fernandez, chilaquiles – those were very prominent fixtures in my upbringing,” said Thompson-Hernandez, now a graduate student researcher at the University of Southern California.

But he was different: “I saw myself as Mexican, but I stood out. I was always the tallest kid, had the curliest hair, the darkest skin,” he said.

His father was African-American, born in Oakland. His parents were estranged when he was very young. His mother always told him about his mixed heritage. But it didn’t really hit him until they moved to Palms, on the Westside.

“When we moved to the Westside, most of my friends were African-American,” Thompson-Hernandez said. “In a way, I sort of longed to identify that part of my heritage. So all my friends were black. I would spend countless hours, sleepovers at their house. So I came into this black identity by experiencing blackness with my friends.”

In his early twenties, he reconnected with his father and his side of the family. It was around that time that he first hear the term “Blaxican,” for black and Mexican. It resonated – and he ran with it…

…This evolving dance with race and identity is a familiar theme for Los Angeles actor and playwright Fanshen Cox. She produces a one-woman show called “One Drop of Love,” which she performs around the country. Her father is a Jamaican immigrant. Her mother is Native American and Danish.

Cox remembers how some black relatives and friends in Washington, D.C. identified her as a child: “In D.C., which is where I was born, I was ‘red bone’ and ‘high yellow.’”

These terms labeled her as a light-skinned black person – and set her at a distance, closer to white, as she describes it. Then her family moved to liberal Cambridge, Massachusetts

Read the entire article here.

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