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

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-02-06 20:46Z 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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Viewing Los Angeles Through a Creole Lens

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-21 21:20Z by Steven

Viewing Los Angeles Through a Creole Lens

The New York Times
2016-01-21

Farai Chideya

The pulse of the train on the tracks sets a rhythm as its passenger cars seem to skim over Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. These six miles of nothing but sky above and water below are the gateway into the city by rail. Next come the cemeteries at the edge of New Orleans, and all of a sudden, a day and a half of travel ends at the Amtrak terminal in the business district. I had just completed the first leg of my cross-country journey by sleeper train, starting in New York, and was beginning the second: a foray into the cultural ties between the Crescent City and California.

This trip had been inspired partly by the travel writer and blogger Greg Gross, who grew up in New Orleans and California. “I had a great-uncle who ran away at 15 to become a Pullman porter,” he said. These black men served a predominately white customer base as sleeping-car porters, often simply called “George” by their customers. Their union became a powerful force during the civil rights movement. Mr. Gross’s great-uncle Ellis Pearson worked on the Sunset Limited train from New Orleans to Los Angeles.

He was something like an usher for Mr. Gross’s family, which is full of cross-country transplants, including his parents and a deceased uncle who played jazz trumpet. When black New Orleans families like his moved to California, “They brought their food with them, their music,” he said. “They brought an energy, an attitude with them. ‘We survived there; we can make it here.’ They brought it to their churches and their neighbors.” It’s a refrain I hear many times as I speak to members of this diaspora.

The Grosses weren’t the only ones. The migration of black and Creole families moving to California from Louisiana began as a trickle in 1927, in the wake of that year’s great flood, and grew to a mass migration from the 1930s to 1960, years that encompassed the Depression, World War II and the growth of employment opportunities for blacks, and Jim Crow. While many families went from the South to the North, the train lines led many in New Orleans to the West instead. The better part of a century after its start, some migrants resettled in California after Hurricane Katrina. I wanted to follow the path that others had, to trace a thread of our cultural lineage, however faint. I wanted to see both cities through a black Bayou and Creole lens, to see if they’d drifted apart or were overlapping, remixing culture in the same way that Creoles originally had…

…Once in Los Angeles, I headed to the venerable Creole restaurant Harold and Belle’s on Jefferson Boulevard to meet up with Roger Guenveur Smith, an actor, writer and producer, and the actor and musician Mark Broyard. The dining room — scheduled to reopen next month after a renovation — was filled with locals wearing fleur-de-lis T-shirts or other symbols of their fealty to Louisiana. Mr. Broyard and Mr. Smith have known each other since childhood, and collaborated on a play called “Inside the Creole Mafia,” staged several times over the course of two decades. I got a taste of their razor-sharp banter over my gumbo.

Mr. Broyard explained how his family left Louisiana during the Jim Crow years because, “as my mother said many times,” he said, “she was not going to fight the civil rights movement with her children. We, the Creole kids, the light-skinned kids, we had been integrating schools for a lot longer because we weren’t dark. So we had been in and out of all these white institutions for years, with a tacit understanding that these people were colored, but it was O.K. that they were here because maybe they had half of one drop or something.”…

Read the entire article here.

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The Forgotten Era of Punjabi-Mexicans

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-15 19:20Z by Steven

The Forgotten Era of Punjabi-Mexicans

OZY
2016-01-13

Nick Fouriezos, Reporter/Researcher

Like a good comedian, Mary Singh Rai picked from her three identities to best suit her listener. “When I’m with Americans, I like to think of myself as one,” the native of Yuba City, California, said in a 2012 interview. But in some ways, the then-89-year-old with the light brown skin and wrinkled cheeks epitomized the American dream more than many others.

A daughter of immigrants, Rai was the result of an unlikely coupling of a Mexican mother and Punjabi father in the Golden State — and decades later, her dual ethnicities were still reflected in her distinctly Hispanic last name and Indian maiden name.

In the early 1900s, a generation of working men from Punjab — a region between the Indian and Pakistani border — laid down their rifles, headed West and picked up farming tools. Many had served in the British Royal Army or its police forces but decided to search for a better life a hemisphere away, in the fertile lands of Southern California’s Imperial Valley. Forming migrant-worker gangs, the Punjabi men were often called “Hindu crews,” but they were really an eclectic mix of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims who toiled in hopes of earning enough to pay for their wives and children to join them in the land of opportunity. Instead, they found themselves stranded in a country that soon passed a wave of immigration legislation, effectively closing its borders to foreigners…

Read the entire article here.

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When a master class with ballerina Misty Copeland becomes a San Pedro homecoming

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2015-12-27 23:34Z by Steven

When a master class with ballerina Misty Copeland becomes a San Pedro homecoming

The Los Angeles Times
2015-12-23

Deborah Vankin, Contact Reporter


Ascendant ballerina Misty Copeland leads a master class during Monday’s celebration in San Pedro. (Christina House/For The Times)

The crowd of about 200 huddled in the parking lot of San Pedro City Ballet, ensconced in fog and drizzle. Restless and excited, they might have been awaiting the arrival of a rock legend. Some rubbed their palms together to keep warm on the chilly Monday afternoon; others stretched their necks, peering down Pacific Avenue in anticipation. Neighbors crouched on the roof of a small bungalow next door to get a glimpse of the action.

When at last a gray SUV rolled up, smartphones and tablets shot into the air and the chanting began: “Misty, Misty, Misty.”

San Pedro’s ballet prodigy was home.

A populist ballerina if ever there was one, Misty Copeland has become a pioneering hero not just to dance hopefuls but to a generation of young women looking for inspiring, boundary-breaking athletic and artistic role models. Earlier this year, the American Ballet Theatre soloist was promoted to principal dancer; she is the New York company’s first African American woman to hold that title. And she was the first African American woman to dance the lead in an ABT “Swan Lake” production. It’s partly why Copeland landed on the cover of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” issue this spring…

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, Forthcoming Media, Poetry on 2015-12-21 01:14Z by Steven

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

Northwestern University Press
2016-04-15
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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Blaxican: The Revolutionary Identity of Black Mexicans

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-29 22:08Z by Steven

Blaxican: The Revolutionary Identity of Black Mexicans

teleSUR
2015-07-29


“The Afro-Latino term felt like home. There was finally a term that described what all of this was. It was a group of people who felt like I was feeling. I was finally able to identify with a group of people and it was a relief.”

Walter Thompson-Hernandez shares with teleSUR English the often-forgotten faces and stories of Black Mexicans, or Blaxicans, in the United States.

Walter Thompson-Hernandez often sees a reflection of himself in the stories his camera captures. Boldly staring into the lens of his camera, Black Mexican, or Blaxican, men and women slowly unveil a bit of themselves to him.

“I ethnically identify as Afro-Mexican. Racially, I embrace my Blackness as here in LA that is typically how I am read and what my experience is,” reads one of the photo stories now available on Instagram gallery known as “Blaxicans of Los Angeles.”

“The identity of Afro-Mexican acknowledges my African roots as well as the land we live on, though claimed by America, belongs historically to indigenous Mexican peoples.”

As the child of an African-American father and a non-black Mexican mother, the stories resonate with Thompson-Hernandez who started the Instagram page as an academic research project for the University of South Carolina, but found himself personally drawn to the project to understand the complexities of race and ethnicity in a country that often sees both as one and the same thing…

Read the entire article here.

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Loren Miller: Civil Rights Attorney and Journalist

Posted in Biography, Books, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2015-10-09 15:18Z 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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These are the beautiful, complex Blaxicans of Los Angeles

Posted in Articles, Arts, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-01 02:23Z by Steven

These are the beautiful, complex Blaxicans of Los Angeles

Fusion
2015-09-24

Jorge Rivas, National Affairs Correspondent

Back when Walter Thompson-Hernandez was in graduate school, his friends and family would give him blank stares as he explained what he was studying.

Finally, in an effort to make his work more accessible, he started an Instagram account dedicated to his research: @BlaxicansOfLA.

Thompson-Hernandez, who grew up in Los Angeles, identifies as Blaxican—his mother is Mexican, and his father is black.

“The term Blaxican is really is an example of the reinvention of language that exist in the U.S,” said Thompson-Hernandez, now a researcher at the University of Southern California who studies the impacts of interracial mixing between African Americans and Latinos in South Los Angeles

Read the entire article here.

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Love Across the Color Line: Remembering Alan Kaplan

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-11 19:02Z by Steven

Love Across the Color Line: Remembering Alan Kaplan

KCET TV
Burbank, California
2015-09-10

Erin Aubry Kaplan

Fourteen years ago I wrote an article for Salon.com published for Valentine’s Day about how I met my husband, Alan Kaplan. I ended the article on a cautionary note: our hugely improbable, racially romantic story did not mean that we’d solved the problems of the color line. Far from it. Strip away the circumstances that I was a reporter and he was the reluctant subject of an interview for a story I was writing at the time, and we were merely a black woman and a Jewish man from different parts of L.A. who shared the same politics and bottomless outrage about the historic effects of that color line. He taught about it–for 33 years at Hamilton High School’s humanities magnet– I wrote about it. That was the most obvious thing we shared in common, but there were other things too, ordinary couple things like a complicated love of the Dodgers, eating out (neither of one us cooked), movies, sifting through stories in the latest issue of the New Yorker or the Atlantic Monthly. A few years into the marriage we discovered that we both loved dogs, and rescuing dogs; we adopted one post-Hurricane Katrina and eventually accumulated a whole houseful.

And yet matters of the color line suffused all the small and wonderful–and not so wonderful–things that make a relationship. I don’t mean it smothered our marriage or tempered the joy. I mean that race was always present, like any other condition you might marry into. I know people prefer to think that intimacy is colorblind by definition; they assume that to be racially conscious of someone you love, especially your own spouse, must be the very antithesis of happiness. But that view is based on an ancient American fear of difference, not on reality. Alan and I knew that…

Read the entire article here.

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Characterizing Race/Ethnicity and Genetic Ancestry for 100,000 Subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) Cohort

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-09 19:35Z by Steven

Characterizing Race/Ethnicity and Genetic Ancestry for 100,000 Subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) Cohort

Genetics
August 1, 2015, Volume 200, Number 4
pages 1285-1295
DOI: 10.1534/genetics.115.178616

Yambazi Banda
Mark N. Kvale
Thomas J. Hoffmann
Stephanie E. Hesselson
Dilrini Ranatunga
Hua Tang
Chiara Sabatti
Lisa A. Croen
Brad P. Dispensa
Mary Henderson
Carlos Iribarren
Eric Jorgenson
Lawrence H. Kushi
Dana Ludwig
Diane Olberg
Charles P. Quesenberry Jr.
Sarah Rowell
Marianne Sadler
Lori C. Sakoda
Stanley Sciortino
Ling Shen
David Smethurst
Carol P. Somkin
Stephen K. Van Den Eeden
Lawrence Walter
Rachel A. Whitmer
Pui-Yan Kwok
Catherine Schaefer
Neil Risch

Using genome-wide genotypes, we characterized the genetic structure of 103,006 participants in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California multi-ethnic Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging Cohort and analyzed the relationship to self-reported race/ethnicity. Participants endorsed any of 23 race/ethnicity/nationality categories, which were collapsed into seven major race/ethnicity groups. By self-report the cohort is 80.8% white and 19.2% minority; 93.8% endorsed a single race/ethnicity group, while 6.2% endorsed two or more. Principal component (PC) and admixture analyses were generally consistent with prior studies. Approximately 17% of subjects had genetic ancestry from more than one continent, and 12% were genetically admixed, considering only nonadjacent geographical origins. Self-reported whites were spread on a continuum along the first two PCs, indicating extensive mixing among European nationalities. Self-identified East Asian nationalities correlated with genetic clustering, consistent with extensive endogamy. Individuals of mixed East Asian–European genetic ancestry were easily identified; we also observed a modest amount of European genetic ancestry in individuals self-identified as Filipinos. Self-reported African Americans and Latinos showed extensive European and African genetic ancestry, and Native American genetic ancestry for the latter. Among 3741 genetically identified parent–child pairs, 93% were concordant for self-reported race/ethnicity; among 2018 genetically identified full-sib pairs, 96% were concordant; the lower rate for parent–child pairs was largely due to intermarriage. The parent–child pairs revealed a trend toward increasing exogamy over time; the presence in the cohort of individuals endorsing multiple race/ethnicity categories creates interesting challenges and future opportunities for genetic epidemiologic studies.

Read or purchase the article here.

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