Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons [Twentieth Anniversary Edition]

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2016-03-25 13:59Z by Steven

Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons [Twentieth Anniversary Edition]

Duke University Press
2016
184 pages
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6147-3
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-6166-4

Jane Lazarre

“I am Black,” Jane Lazarre’s son tells her. “I have a Jewish mother, but I am not ‘biracial.’ That term is meaningless to me.” In this moving memoir, Jane Lazarre, the white Jewish mother of now adult Black sons, offers a powerful meditation on motherhood and racism in America as she tells the story of how she came to understand the experiences of her African American husband, their growing sons, and their extended family. Recounting her education, as a wife, mother, and scholar-teacher, into the realities of African American life, Lazarre shows how although racism and white privilege lie at the heart of American history and culture, any of us can comprehend the experience of another through empathy and learning.

This Twentieth Anniversary Edition features a new preface, in which Lazarre’s elegy for Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and so many others, reminds us of the continued resonance of race in American life. As #BlackLivesMatter gains momentum, Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness is more urgent and essential than ever.

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Cachita’s Streets: The Virgin of Charity, Race, and Revolution in Cuba

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion on 2015-11-06 21:40Z by Steven

Cachita’s Streets: The Virgin of Charity, Race, and Revolution in Cuba

Duke University Press
2015
376 pages
27 illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5918-0
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-5937-1

Jalane D. Schmidt, Associate Professor of Religious Studies
University of Virginia

Cuba’s patron saint, the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, also called Cachita, is a potent symbol of Cuban national identity. Jalane D. Schmidt shows how groups as diverse as Indians and African slaves, Spanish colonial officials, Cuban independence soldiers, Catholic authorities and laypeople, intellectuals, journalists and artists, practitioners of spiritism and Santería, activists, politicians, and revolutionaries each have constructed and disputed the meanings of the Virgin. Schmidt examines the occasions from 1936 to 2012 when the Virgin’s beloved, original brown-skinned effigy was removed from her national shrine in the majority black- and mixed-race mountaintop village of El Cobre and brought into Cuba’s cities. There, devotees venerated and followed Cachita’s image through urban streets, amassing at large-scale public ceremonies in her honor that promoted competing claims about Cuban religion, race, and political ideology. Schmidt compares these religious rituals to other contemporaneous Cuban street events, including carnival, protests, and revolutionary rallies, where organizers stage performances of contested definitions of Cubanness. Schmidt provides a comprehensive treatment of Cuban religions, history, and culture, interpreted through the prism of Cachita.

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Remixing Reggaetón: The Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2015-09-16 21:13Z by Steven

Remixing Reggaetón: The Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico

Duke University Press
2015
240 pages
11 illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5945-6
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-5945-6

Petra R. Rivera-Rideau, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Puerto Rico is often depicted as a “racial democracy” in which a history of race mixture has produced a racially harmonious society. In Remixing Reggaetón, Petra R. Rivera-Rideau shows how reggaetón musicians critique racial democracy’s privileging of whiteness and concealment of racism by expressing identities that center blackness and African diasporic belonging. Stars such as as Tego Calderón criticize the Puerto Rican mainstream’s tendency to praise black culture but neglecting and marginalizing the island’s black population, while Ivy Queen, the genre’s most visible woman, disrupts the associations between whiteness and respectability that support official discourses of racial democracy. From censorship campaigns on the island that sought to devalue reggaetón, to its subsequent mass marketing to U.S. Latino listeners, Rivera-Rideau traces reggaetón’s origins and its transformation from the music of San Juan’s slums into a global pop phenomenon. Reggaetón, she demonstrates, provides a language to speak about the black presence in Puerto Rico and a way to build links between the island and the African diaspora.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction. Reggaetón Takes Its Place
  • 1. Iron Fist against Rap
  • 2. The Perils of Perreo
  • 3. Loíza
  • 4. Fingernails con Feeling
  • 5. Enter the Hurbans
  • Conclusion. Reggaetón’s Limits, Possibilities, and Futures
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Mestizo Genomics: Race Mixture, Nation, and Science in Latin America

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Mexico on 2014-11-09 17:49Z by Steven

Mestizo Genomics: Race Mixture, Nation, and Science in Latin America

Duke University Press
April 2014
320 pages
4 photos, 2 tables, 6 figures
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5648-6
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-5659-2

Edited by:

Peter Wade, Professor of Social Anthropology
University of Manchester

Carlos López Beltrán, Researcher
Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, Coyoacán, México, D.F.

Eduardo Restrepo
Universidad Javeriana, Estudios Culturales

Ricardo Ventura Santos
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

In genetics laboratories in Latin America, scientists have been mapping the genomes of local populations, seeking to locate the genetic basis of complex diseases and to trace population histories. As part of their work, geneticists often calculate the European, African, and Amerindian genetic ancestry of populations. Some researchers explicitly connect their findings to questions of national identity and racial and ethnic difference, bringing their research to bear on issues of politics and identity.

Based on ethnographic research in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, the contributors to Mestizo Genomics explore how the concepts of race, ethnicity, nation, and gender enter into and are affected by genomic research. In Latin America, national identities are often based on ideas about mestizaje (race mixture), rather than racial division. Since mestizaje is said to involve relations between European men and indigenous or African women, gender is a key factor in Latin American genomics and the analyses in this book. Also important are links between contemporary genomics and recent moves toward official multiculturalism in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. One of the first studies of its kind, Mestizo Genomics sheds new light on the interrelations between “race,” identity, and genomics in Latin America.

Contributors: Adriana Díaz del Castillo H., Roosbelinda Cárdenas, Vivette García Deister, Verlan Valle Gaspar Neto, Michael Kent, Carlos López Beltrán, María Fernanda Olarte Sierra, Eduardo Restrepo, Mariana Rios Sandoval, Ernesto Schwartz-Marín, Ricardo Ventura Santos, Peter Wade

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The Disappearing Mestizo: Configuring Difference in the Colonial New Kingdom of Granada

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2014-10-20 15:18Z by Steven

The Disappearing Mestizo: Configuring Difference in the Colonial New Kingdom of Granada

Duke University Press
2014
368 pages
6 illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5629-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-5636-3

Joanne Rappaport, Professor of Anthropology, and Spanish and Portuguese
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Much of the scholarship on difference in colonial Spanish America has been based on the “racial” categorizations of indigeneity, Africanness, and the eighteenth-century Mexican castas system. Adopting an alternative approach to the question of difference, Joanne Rappaport examines what it meant to be mestizo (of mixed parentage) in the early colonial era. She draws on lively vignettes culled from the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century archives of the New Kingdom of Granada (modern-day Colombia) to show that individuals classified as “mixed” were not members of coherent sociological groups. Rather, they slipped in and out of the mestizo category. Sometimes they were identified as mestizos, sometimes as Indians or Spaniards. In other instances, they identified themselves by attributes such as their status, the language that they spoke, or the place where they lived. The Disappearing Mestizo suggests that processes of identification in early colonial Spanish America were fluid and rooted in an epistemology entirely distinct from modern racial discourses.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Author’s Note on Transcriptions, Translations, Archives, and Spanish Naming Practices
  • Introduction
  • 1. Mischievous Lovers, Hidden Moors, and Cross-Dressers: Defining Race in the Colonial Era
  • 2. Mestizo Networks: Did “Mestizo” Constitute a Group?
  • 3. Hiding in Plain Sight: Gendering Mestizos
  • 4. Good Blood and Spanish Habits: The Making of a Mestizo Cacique
  • 5. “Asi lo Paresçe por su Aspeto”: Physiognomy and the Construction of Difference in Colonial Santafé
  • 6. The Problem of Caste Conclusion
  • Appendix: Cast of Characters
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
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Child of the Fire: Mary Edmonia Lewis and the Problem of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject

Posted in Biography, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Women on 2014-04-04 18:10Z by Steven

Child of the Fire: Mary Edmonia Lewis and the Problem of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject

Duke University Press
2010
344 pages
51 illustrations, incl. 18 in color
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4247-2
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-4266-3

Kirsten Pai Buick, Associate Professor of Art History
University of New Mexico

Child of the Fire is the first book-length examination of the career of the nineteenth-century artist Mary Edmonia Lewis, best known for her sculptures inspired by historical and biblical themes. Throughout this richly illustrated study, Kirsten Pai Buick investigates how Lewis and her work were perceived, and their meanings manipulated, by others and the sculptor herself. She argues against the racialist art discourse that has long cast Lewis’s sculptures as reflections of her identity as an African American and Native American woman who lived most of her life abroad. Instead, by seeking to reveal Lewis’s intentions through analyses of her career and artwork, Buick illuminates Lewis’s fraught but active participation in the creation of a distinct “American” national art, one dominated by themes of indigeneity, sentimentality, gender, and race. In so doing, she shows that the sculptor variously complicated and facilitated the dominant ideologies of the vanishing American (the notion that Native Americans were a dying race), sentimentality, and true womanhood.

Buick considers the institutions and people that supported Lewis’s career—including Oberlin College, abolitionists in Boston, and American expatriates in Italy—and she explores how their agendas affected the way they perceived and described the artist. Analyzing four of Lewis’s most popular sculptures, each created between 1866 and 1876, Buick discusses interpretations of Hiawatha in terms of the cultural impact of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha; Forever Free and Hagar in the Wilderness in light of art historians’ assumptions that artworks created by African American artists necessarily reflect African American themes; and The Death of Cleopatra in relation to broader problems of reading art as a reflection of identity.

Table of Contents

  • Illustrations
  • Preface. Framing the Problem: American Africanisms, American Indianisms, and the Processes of Art History
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Inventing the Artist: Locating the Black and Catholic Subject
  • 2. The “Problem” of Art History’s Black Subject
  • 3. Longfellow, Lewis, and the Cultural Work of Hiawatha
  • 4. Identity, Tautology, and The Death of Cleopatra
  • Conclusion. Separate and Unequal: Toward a More Responsive and Responsible Art History
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Tuning Out Blackness: Race and Nation in the History of Puerto Rican Television

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs on 2014-02-14 01:33Z by Steven

Tuning Out Blackness: Race and Nation in the History of Puerto Rican Television

Duke University Press
2005
280 pages
24 b&w photos
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-3543-6
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3531-3

Yeidy M. Rivero, Associate Professor in the Department of Screen Arts and Culture and the Program in American Culture
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Tuning Out Blackness fills a glaring omission in U.S. and Latin American television studies by looking at the history of Puerto Rican television. In exploring the political and cultural dynamics that have shaped racial representations in Puerto Rico’s commercial media from the late 1940s to the 1990s, Yeidy M. Rivero advances critical discussions about race, ethnicity, and the media. She shows that televisual representations of race have belied the racial egalitarianism that allegedly pervades Puerto Rico’s national culture. White performers in blackface have often portrayed “blackness” in local television productions, while black actors have been largely excluded.

Drawing on interviews, participant observation, archival research, and textual analysis, Rivero considers representations of race in Puerto Rico, taking into account how they are intertwined with the island’s status as a U.S. commonwealth, its national culture, its relationship with Cuba before the Cuban Revolution in 1959, and the massive influx of Cuban migrants after 1960. She focuses on locally produced radio and television shows, particular television events, and characters that became popular media icons—from the performer Ramón Rivero’s use of blackface and “black” voice in the 1940s and 1950s, to the battle between black actors and television industry officials over racism in the 1970s, to the creation, in the 1990s, of the first Puerto Rican situation comedy featuring a black family. As the twentieth century drew to a close, multinational corporations had purchased all Puerto Rican stations and threatened to wipe out locally produced programs. Tuning Out Blackness brings to the forefront the marginalization of nonwhite citizens in Puerto Rico’s media culture and raises important questions about the significance of local sites of television production.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Translating Televisual Blackness
  • 1. Caribbean Negritos: Ramon Rivero, Blackface, and Black Voice in Puerto Rico
  • 2. Bringing the Soul: Afros, Black Empowerment, and the Resurgent Popularity of Blackface
  • 3. The CubaRican Space Revisited
  • 4. Mi familia: A Black Puerto Rican Televisual Family
  • 5. Translating and Representing Blackness
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Legal Fictions: Constituting Race, Composing Literature

Posted in Books, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2013-12-17 22:41Z by Steven

Legal Fictions: Constituting Race, Composing Literature

Duke University Press
January 2014
176 pages
3 photographs
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-5595-3
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5581-6

Karla FC Holloway, James B. Duke Professor of English; Professor of Law; Professor of Women’s Studies
Duke University

In Legal Fictions, Karla FC Holloway both argues that U.S. racial identity is the creation of U.S. law and demonstrates how black authors of literary fiction have engaged with the law’s constructions of race since the era of slavery. Exploring the resonance between U.S. literature and U.S. jurisprudence, Holloway reveals Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage as stories about personhood and property, David Bradley’s The Chaneysville Incident and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man as structured by evidence law, and Nella Larsen’s Passing as intimately related to contract law. Holloway engages the intentional, contradictory, and capricious constructions of race embedded in the law with the same energy that she brings to her masterful interpretations of fiction by U.S. writers. Her readings shed new light on the many ways that black U.S. authors have reframed fundamental questions about racial identity, personhood, and the law from the nineteenth into the twenty-first centuries. Legal Fictions is a bold declaration that the black body is thoroughly bound by law and an unflinching look at the implications of that claim.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction: Bound by Law
    • Intimate Intersectionalities—Scalar Reflections
    • Public Fictions, Private Facts
    • Simile as Precedent
    • Property, Contract, and Evidentiary Values
  • 1. The Claims of Property: On Being and Belonging
    • The Capital in Question
    • Imagined Liberalism
    • Mapping Racial Reason
    • Being in Place: Landscape, Never Inscape
  • 2. Bodies as Evidence (of Things Not Seen)
    • Secondhand Tales and Hearsay
    • Black Legibility—Can I Get a Witness?
    • Trying to Read Me
  • 3. Composing Contract
    • “A novel-like tenor”
    • Passing and Protection
    • A Secluded Colored Neighborhood
  • Epilogue. When and Where “All the Dark-Glass Boys” Enter
  • A Contagion of Madness
  • Notes
  • References
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
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Image Matters: Archive, Photography, and the African Diaspora in Europe

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Europe, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2013-08-12 20:33Z by Steven

Image Matters: Archive, Photography, and the African Diaspora in Europe

Duke University Press
2012
256 pages
118 photographs, 10 illustrations
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-5074-3
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5056-9

Tina M. Campt, Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Director of the Africana Studies Program
Barnard College

In Image Matters, Tina M. Campt traces the emergence of a black European subject by examining how specific black European communities used family photography to create forms of identification and community. At the heart of Campt’s study are two photographic archives, one composed primarily of snapshots of black German families taken between 1900 and 1945, and the other assembled from studio portraits of West Indian migrants to Birmingham, England, taken between 1948 and 1960. Campt shows how these photographs conveyed profound aspirations to forms of national and cultural belonging. In the process, she engages a host of contemporary issues, including the recoverability of non-stereotypical life stories of black people, especially in Europe, and their impact on our understanding of difference within diaspora; the relevance and theoretical approachability of domestic, vernacular photography; and the relationship between affect and photography. Campt places special emphasis on the tactile and sonic registers of family photographs, and she uses them to read the complexity of “race” in visual signs and to highlight the inseparability of gender and sexuality from any analysis of race and class. Image Matters is an extraordinary reflection on what vernacular photography enabled black Europeans to say about themselves and their communities.

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A Discontented Diaspora: Japanese Brazilians and the Meanings of Ethnic Militancy, 1960–1980

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2013-05-07 03:13Z by Steven

A Discontented Diaspora: Japanese Brazilians and the Meanings of Ethnic Militancy, 1960–1980

Duke University Press
2007
256 pages
29 illus., 8 tables, 1 map
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-4081-2 
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4060-7

Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

In A Discontented Diaspora, Jeffrey Lesser investigates broad questions of ethnicity, the nature of diasporic identity, and Brazilian culture. He does so by exploring particular experiences of young Japanese Brazilians who came of age in São Paulo during the 1960s and 1970s, an intensely authoritarian period of military rule. The most populous city in Brazil, São Paulo was also the world’s largest “Japanese” city outside of Japan by 1960. Believing that their own regional identity should be the national one, residents of São Paulo constantly discussed the relationship between Brazilianness and Japaneseness. As second-generation Nikkei (Brazilians of Japanese descent) moved from the agricultural countryside of their immigrant parents into various urban professions, they became the “best Brazilians” in terms of their ability to modernize the country and the “worst Brazilians” because they were believed to be the least likely to fulfill the cultural dream of whitening. Lesser analyzes how Nikkei both resisted and conformed to others’ perceptions of their identity as they struggled to define and claim their own ethnicity within São Paulo during the military dictatorship.

Lesser draws on a wide range of sources, including films, oral histories, wanted posters, advertisements, newspapers, photographs, police reports, government records, and diplomatic correspondence. He focuses on two particular cultural arenas—erotic cinema and political militancy—which highlight the ways that Japanese Brazilians imagined themselves to be Brazilian. As he explains, young Nikkei were sure that their participation in these two realms would be recognized for its Brazilianness. They were mistaken. Whether joining banned political movements, training as guerrilla fighters, or acting in erotic films, the subjects of A Discontented Diaspora militantly asserted their Brazilianness only to find that doing so reinforced their minority status.

Table of Contents

  • Illustrations and Tables
  • Preface and Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations
  • Prologue: The Limits of Flexibility
  • Introduction: The Pacific Rim in the Atlantic World
  • 1. Brazil’s Japan: Film and the Space of Ethnicity, 1960-1970
  • 2. Beautiful Bodies and (Dis)Appearing Identities: Contesting Images of Japanese-Brazilian Ethnicity, 1970-1980
  • 3. Machine Guns and Honest Faces: Japanese-Brazilian Ethnicity and Armed Struggle, 1964-1980
  • 4. Two Deaths Remembered
  • 5. How Shizuo Osawa Became Mario the Jap
  • Epilogue: Diaspora and Its Discontents
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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