Forget Policy—Americans Can’t Even Agree on Whether Obama Is Black

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2014-04-15 19:54Z by Steven

Forget Policy—Americans Can’t Even Agree on Whether Obama Is Black

TakePart
2014-04-15

Liz Dwyer, Staff Writer

A Pew Research Center study finds that whites and Latinos identify the commander-in-chief as ‘mixed race.’

If you thought the United States had achieved the significant historic milestone of electing its first African American president, think again. According to Next America, a just-released Pew Research Center report, only a little over one-fourth of Americans believe Obama is black.

Obama self-identifies as black—he checked the “black, negro, African American” box on the 2010 U.S. Census—and has jokingly identified himself as a mutt too. But when asked if Obama is black or mixed race, 27 percent of Americans say that he’s black, and 52 percent say he’s mixed race.

When the data is broken out according to racial groups, whites and Hispanics respond similarly. Of whites, 24 percent say Obama is black, and 53 percent say he is mixed race. As for Hispanics, 23 percent say he’s black, and 61 percent say he’s mixed race. Asians weren’t asked what they thought. (What’s up with that, Pew?)

The question—Is Obama black or mixed race?—is phrased oddly. A person can be both. And where is Pew’s “Is Obama black or mixed race or white” option? But this study is simply the latest example of America’s mass confusion over Obama’s identity…

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, writer and star of One Drop of Love (Ben Affleck, Chay Carter, and Matt Damon are co-producers), a multimedia show that explores how a father and a daughter develop their racial identities, says she finds it “problematic to allow anyone other than self to identify people as a ‘race.’ ”

Now we get boxes on the U.S. Census survey, but, says Cox DiGiovanni, “until 1970 the race question on the Census was answered through observation by the Census taker.” That means if you looked “black,” you were identified by the Census taker as black—or “negro,” as African Americans were called then…

Read the entire article here.

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One Drop of Love [at the Bushnell]

Posted in Arts, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States on 2014-03-26 19:50Z by Steven

One Drop of Love [at the Bushnell]

The Bushnell: Connecticut’s Premier Performing Arts Center
The 224
224 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut
2014-06-13 through 2014-06-14, 20:00 EDT (Local Time)

Daughter’s Search for her Father’s Racial Approval.

How does our belief in ‘race’ affect our most intimate relationships? Who are you…and what’s your story?

One Drop of Love is a multimedia solo performance by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, a writer, actor who has appeared in film (Argo), television (The Mentalist, Angel, Days of Our Lives), and theater (The Vagina Monologues, Guys and Dolls), and an educator. The show explores family, race, love, and pain—and a path towards reconciliation.

One Drop of Love is produced by Ben Affleck, Chay Carter, Matt Damon and the show’s writer/performer, Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni.

The performance will be followed by a talk-back with the performer.

For more information, click here.

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On Mixed Privilege

Posted in Articles, United States on 2014-03-11 19:22Z by Steven

On Mixed Privilege

Mixed Roots Stories
2014-02-13

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Playwright, Producer, Actress, Educator

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whether there is such a thing as ‘mixed privilege’. Today in my ESL class one of my students said he would let his daughter marry anyone… except for a Black person. I’ve shared with my students many times and in a number of ways that I am proud of being Black (& other things too). I also often use the exploration of ‘race as a social construct’ in order to teach English at the more advanced levels (as this class was). So what made this student feel comfortable enough to say this to me? Is it that I have a privilege that makes him feel like this kind of blatantly discriminatory statement is OK to say to me?…

Read the entire essay here.

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“The performance was hands-down the best Choate performance I have ever seen.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2014-01-27 03:00Z by Steven

“The performance was hands-down the best Choate performance I have ever seen. I’ve seen a lot of white struggle stories, and a lot of black struggle stories, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mixed struggle story.” —Zemia Edmondson description of Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni’s one-woman performance, One Drop of Love.

Alexandra Brunjes, “Getting Race-y in the PMAC,” The News: The official student newspaper of Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, Connecticut, January 25, 2014. http://thenews.choate.edu/article/getting-race-y-pmac.

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Getting Race-y in the PMAC

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Media Archive, United States on 2014-01-26 10:11Z by Steven

Getting Race-y in the PMAC

The News: The official student newspaper of Choate Rosemary Hall
Wallingford, Connecticut
Saturday, 2014-01-25

Alexandra Brunjes ’16, News Staff Reporter

“How does our belief in ‘race’ affect our most intimate relationships?” This is the question that Ms. Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni sought to answer during her one-woman performance, One Drop of Love, last Friday night, January 17th, on the Paul Mellon Arts Center [(PMAC)] mainstage, employing her relationship with her father as the primary example.

Using a collection of images and voice recordings and the astonishing ability to seamlessly shift personas in order to represent members of her family, Ms. DiGiovanni told the story of her experience with race. 

Ms. DiGiovanni originally meant for One Drop of Love to be a documentary for her Masters of Fine Arts thesis at California State University. “I always knew I wanted to look at race,” she stated. “I wanted to figure out why race was so important in my family, and why it was getting in the way of my relationship with my dad. It took me a long time to realize that the entire reason for my show was to have that final confrontation with my dad.”

Celebrity Ben Affleck, a childhood friend, attended Ms. DiGiovanni’s first show. He then consulted with co-producers from Argo and friend Matt Damon. They ultimately decided to produce her show. She said about this development, “[The show] gained this new trajectory that I never had imagined.”

“This is the largest crowd I have ever performed for, as well as the youngest,” Ms. DiGiovanni said of her Choate performance. “At the end, the response was beautiful. I’m so glad that it can have an impact on people.”

“The performance was hands-down the best Choate performance I have ever seen. I’ve seen a lot of white struggle stories, and a lot of black struggle stories, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mixed struggle story.” Zemia Edmondson ’16 described…

Read the entire review here.

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Choate Celebrates MLK Day

Posted in Arts, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-01-17 09:48Z by Steven

Choate Celebrates MLK Day

Choate Rosemary Hall
333 Christian Street
Wallingford, Connecticut 06492
(203) 697-2000
Friday, 2014-01-17, 19:30 EST (Local Time)


Photo: Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni

One Drop of Love,” a multimedia solo performance by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, will be presented on Friday, January 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Arts Center. This performance tells the story of how the notion of race came to be in the U.S. and will begin our diversity conversations leading up to MLK Day. On Monday morning, January 20, the Anti-Defamation League will present, “The Truth About Hate,” in the Worthington Johnson Athletic Center.

For more information, click here.

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Professor Mark Christian on Mixed Chicks Chat

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2013-12-19 09:09Z by Steven

Professor Mark Christian on Mixed Chicks Chat

Mixed Chicks Chat (The only live weekly show about being racially and culturally mixed. Also, founders of the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival) Hosted by Fanshen Cox, Heidi W. Durrow and Jennifer Frappier
Website: TalkShoe™ (Keywords: Mixed Chicks)
Episode: #233 – Professor Mark Christian
Wednesday, 2011-11-16, 22:00Z (17:00 EST, 14:00 PST)

Mark Christian, Professor & Chair of African & African American Studies
Lehman College, City University of New York

Note from Steven F. Riley: In my opinion, this was the most engaging episode of Mixed Chicks Chat.

Dr. Christian received his B.A. in Sociology and American Studies from Liverpool Hope University, his M.A. in Black Studies from The Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Sheffield in 1997. He is the author of Multiracial Identity: An International Perspective (Palgrave, 2000) and two other edited volumes, and has been the guest editor of three special issue journals. Currently, he is the book review editor for the Journal of African American Studies.

Selected Bibliography:

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

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United States of the United Races – Great Resource for Storytellers

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, United States on 2013-10-05 05:06Z by Steven

United States of the United Races – Great Resource for Storytellers

Mixed Roots Stories: Strengthening and celebrating diverse Mixed communities through the power of sharing stories
2013-10-02

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Playwright, Producer, Actress, Educator

Greg Carter, The United States of the United Races: A Utopian History of Racial Mixing (New York: New York University Press, 2013)

When discovering the strongest submissions for the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival, one thing always stood out for me: the storyteller (filmmaker, author, performer) had a solid understanding of the historical context behind the story they were telling. Although many of the personal narratives were compelling, it was often clear when the creator of the work hadn’t delved into the historical reasons why they found themselves in a certain time and space. This often made the work feel lacking in some way.

Enter Greg Carter’s United States of the United Races – an antidote to celebrations of the mixed experience that lack the important weight of context. The Introduction examines how President Obama – and many others – have capitalized on his being mixed, “he piggybacked onto positive notions about racially mixed people to improve his symbolic power.” Carter makes his goals for the book clear here: 1) to show that racial mixture has a long history of being touted as a way towards progress and 2) to question the notion that racial mixture automatically equals progress…

Read the entire review here.

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One Drop of Love: A Multimedia Solo Performance on Racial Identity by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni at James R. Fitzgerald Theater

Posted in Arts, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-08-30 16:04Z by Steven

One Drop of Love: A Multimedia Solo Performance on Racial Identity by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni at James R. Fitzgerald Theater

James R. Fitzgerald Theater
Cambridge Rindge & Latin School
459 Broadway
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Friday, 2013-08-30, 19:30 EDT (Local Time)

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Playwright, Producer, Actress, Educator

Jillian Pagan, Director

Produced by: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chay Carter

How does our belief in ‘race’ affect our most intimate relationships?

One Drop of Love: A Daughter’s Search for her Father’s Racial Approval is a multimedia solo show that journeys from the U.S. to East & West Africa and from 1790 to the present as a culturally Mixed woman explores the influence of the “one -drop rule” on her family and society.

For more information, click here.

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A Review of One Drop of Love: A Daughter’s Search for Her Father’s Racial Approval

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2013-08-27 04:50Z by Steven

A Review of One Drop of Love: A Daughter’s Search for Her Father’s Racial Approval

Gino Michael Pellegrini: Education, Race, Multiraciality, Class & Solidarity
2013-05-08

Gino Michael Pellegrini, Adjunct Assistant Professor of English
Pierce College, Woodland Hills, California

Is Fanshen a noun, a verb, or an adjective? Is it a who or a what? What does it have to do with the history of race and racism? Or, as Grandma Cynthia puts it, “De next time you talk to your mommy an’ your daddy, ahsk dem for me – what in God’s name is a Fanshen?…Why dem give you dat name?”

These are some of the central questions that Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni addresses in her brilliant and timely one-woman show, One Drop of Love: A Daughter’s Search for Her Father’s Racial Approval.

I am present for Fanshen’s debut performance on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at the Arena Theater on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles. The Arena is small, intimate, packed, and a few people have traveled across the country to see this debut. I sit in the front row with my good friend Rocco Robinson, and we notice right away that the audience is relaxed, friendly, and excited; the set is simple, arousing, and well thought out.

Fanshen is an educator, a writer, a film maker, and an accomplished actor who recently played a part in Argo, the Academy’s Best Picture for 2012. Fanshen is also well known within the nascent multiracial community for being the co-creator and co-host (with Heidi Durrow) of the award-winning podcast series, Mixed Chicks Chat (2007-2012) and of the Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival (2008-2012). Both projects have been instrumental in making the public more aware of the so-called mixed experience, and of the growing number of critical and creative works about multiracial lives and issues.

Both collaborative projects have also been a means for Fanshen and Heidi to come to a deeper understanding of their own mixed experiences and identities, which, in turn, has facilitated the development of their own creative works. Heidi was the first Mixed Chick to gain national recognition for her bestselling novel, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky (2010). Now it is Fanshen’s turn to deconstruct longstanding racial assumptions, traditions, and allegiances with her own hybrid, experimental work.

One Drop of Love emphasizes the history of the construct of race from the 1700s to the present. More specifically, the interrelated American history of race and the decennial Census constitutes the factual and visual backdrop against which Fanshen performs her own personal history and evolution. Fanshen plays herself at different junctures in her life and, using multiple dialects and gestures, fifteen other characters (including her family) of different ages, genders, nationalities, and ethno-racial-cultural backgrounds. Though the subject matter is difficult, her acting ability helps her engage, entertain, touch, and enthrall her audience. Considered altogether, her multiple character depictions and interactions expose into view how the history of race–in conjunction with a shared belief in static racial categories, values, identities, and traditions–impacts intimate relationships, social opportunities, self-perception, and personal growth…

Read the entire review here.

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