To be mixed and a woman meant my appearance was of the foremost importance to everyone around me…

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-05-30 02:47Z by Steven

To be mixed and a woman meant my appearance was of the foremost importance to everyone around me ― my mother’s friends would revel in things like how big my eyes were, how petite my lips were or how fit my body looked, but rarely mention my academic accomplishments or opinions except for within the context of my American identity. “Her Chinese scores were higher than Chinese kids! Isn’t it a marvel!” one friend exclaimed, as if I didn’t receive the same education or similar upbringing as her monoracial Chinese child. Other aunties would tell my mom that my academic talent came not from hard work, but from my Jewish ancestry. “Youtairen (Jewish people in Mandarin) are just smart,” they would say. I had no idea what Judaism even was.

Gen Slosberg, “How I Finally Learned To Accept Both My Chinese And Jewish Identities,” The Huffington Post, May 23, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/im-chinese-and-jewish-and-always-wanted-to-claim-one-identity_us_5b044e95e4b0740c25e5e2af.

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How I Finally Learned To Accept Both My Chinese And Jewish Identities

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2018-05-28 23:07Z by Steven

How I Finally Learned To Accept Both My Chinese And Jewish Identities

The Huffington Post
2018-05-22

Gen Slosberg
Guest Writer

To be mixed and a woman meant my appearance was of the foremost importance to everyone around me.
Gen Slosberg
To be mixed and a woman meant my appearance was of the foremost importance to everyone around me.

Growing up in China, I never quite understood why I didn’t fit in.

I ate Chinese food, went to Chinese school, had Chinese friends and did Chinese things. I memorized poems and Confucius passages at school and learned how to play the zither. At night, my grandma would sit next to my bed, fan away mosquitoes with her bamboo fan and sing nursery rhymes about the summer rain in Cantonese. On weekends, I would wake up early to watch my neighbor roll dumpling dough and my mom cut green onions into small pieces for the filling.

What little exposure I had to American culture was when my Jewish-American father would come home after monthslong business trips and read me Dr. Seuss. Until I was 15, my understanding of America consisted of vague memories of The Boy and The Apple Tree, summer trips to my dad’s hometown Portland, Maine, where his white relatives would look at me in wonder and express concern for my broken English.

I was, as far as I understood, Chinese. But as far as everyone else in China was concerned, I was only white, Jewish and American because of my father. For reasons incomprehensible to me at the time, I was “different” in the eyes of those in a society so emphatic about its homogeneity…

Read the entire article here.

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Searching For A Motherland As A Black Latina

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-02 02:36Z by Steven

Searching For A Motherland As A Black Latina

The Huffington Post
2018-03-30

Maria V. Luna, Associate Lecturer
Goldsmiths University of London


Author Maria V. Luna in the Dominican Republic on her way to celebrate carnival in 2011.
Maria V. Luna

For Black Latinx in the U.S., bicultural, bilingual ― if they are lucky ― and born to immigrant parents, there is no motherland.

Though 25 percent of U.S. Latinos self-identify as Afro-Latino, we are not always made to feel at home in our own country. To be Latinx in the U.S. is to encounter xenophobic rhetoric from the top of our nation’s political leadership down to its base. To be black Latinx is to discover that xenophobia layered with anti-black rhetoric brews even among our own ethnic group.

Scholars Miriam Jiménez Román and the late Juan Flores consider W.E.B. Du Bois when describing the experience of the Afro-Latino in the U.S. as a triple consciousness — an awareness of being black, Latino and American. It is an elastic awareness, a way of moving in the world that has been woefully underexplored in America and in Spanish-language media and entertainment.

As an Afro-Latina, I often wondered: Where are my people? Where are those who crave mangú for breakfast, a Cuban sandwich for lunch and tres leches dessert? Where are those who love the “One Day at a Time” reboot with a Latin cast but winced when Lydia, played by Rita Moreno, repeats with conviction, “Cubans are white!” Didn’t abuela dance to Celia Cruz every morning as she made breakfast?

As soon as I could, I journeyed far from New Jersey to find my people. I looked for my kindred in the Dominican Republic, in Brazil, in Spain and in the maternal monolith I once imagined Africa to be.

I was looking for that mythical interstitial place where my blackness and Latinidad could peacefully coexist. This is what I found…

Read the entire article here.

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I’m Raising A Biracial Daughter In Japan, Where She’s Surrounded By Blackface

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive on 2018-03-17 23:56Z by Steven

I’m Raising A Biracial Daughter In Japan, Where She’s Surrounded By Blackface

The Huffington Post
2018-03-05

Tracy Jones, Guest Writer


Tracy Jones
Me, my wife, Haruki, and daughter, Kantra.

I live in Tokyo, in a homogenous society where 98.5 percent of the population is Japanese. My wife Haruki is Japanese, and my 4-year-old daughter Kantra is the only black girl in her preschool class. I remember when the Japanese delivery nurse called her Halle Berry immediately after my wife gave birth to her.

They were the first words my daughter ever heard. When the nurse sensed my confusion, she tried to improve her comment: “Naomi Campbell?”

Kantra was born in the summer of 2013. As a stay-at-home dad, I used online compilations of Sesame Street to teach her the alphabet, colors, shapes and numbers in English. I thought about getting a TV, but my wife explained to me that Japanese television programs regularly use blackface. Minus watching Japanese TV when visiting my in-laws, I never paid it much attention.

I moved to Japan in 2011 and for the first two years, I couldn’t figure out if I was insane or if Japan was like America where, as a black person, I was accustomed to sensing white fear and the possible danger of it harming my body…

Read the entire article here.

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The Day My Daughter Rejected My Blackness

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2017-09-06 04:04Z by Steven

The Day My Daughter Rejected My Blackness

The Huffington Post
2017-05-04

Theresa Sutton, Contributor

To be a black woman in 2017 is a lot of things. And none of them are easy.

“Mommy, I don’t want to be black like you.”

It came so unexpectedly, in the bath and beauty department of Target, while I was precariously perched on one foot attempting to get the last Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie from the shelf overhead.

Almost instantly, I could feel the eyes of strangers upon me. It was as though a spotlight had suddenly appeared overhead, and dozens of shoppers spontaneously generated behind me, all eager to see how I would screw up this moment…

Read then entire article here.

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One possible antidote to the misappropriation of multiracial identity is for Loving Day celebrations to focus upon what was the ultimate civil rights objective of the Loving v. Virginia decision – the impermissible pursuit of what the Supreme Court there termed “White Supremacy.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-06-27 15:27Z by Steven

One possible antidote to the misappropriation of multiracial identity is for Loving Day celebrations to focus upon what was the ultimate civil rights objective of the Loving v. Virginia decision – the impermissible pursuit of what the Supreme Court there termed “White Supremacy.” This is because interracial bans only prohibited interracial marriage involving white persons. Fifty years later, after the Loving v. Virginia decision, interracial marriage bans no longer exist, but White Supremacist violence and rhetoric still flourish. Whether or not Loving Day ever becomes an official federal holiday, it is to be hoped that its celebrations will specifically commemorate the decision’s fundamental civil rights concern with racial hierarchy.

Tanya K. Hernández, “What the“Loving Day” 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the Loving v. Virginia Court Decision Really Need – A Challenge to Ongoing White Supremacy,” The Huffington Post, June 11, 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/593b4961e4b094fa859f1878.

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What the “Loving Day” 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the Loving v. Virginia Court Decision Really Need – A Challenge to Ongoing White Supremacy

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Law, Social Justice, United States on 2017-06-26 20:32Z by Steven

What the “Loving Day” 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the Loving v. Virginia Court Decision Really Need – A Challenge to Ongoing White Supremacy

The Huffington Post
2017-06-11

Tanya K. Hernández, Professor of Law
Fordham University School of Law

Monday, June 12, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court decision which invalidated interracial marriage bans in the United States. Recently, the Pew Research Center reported that since the 1967 Loving decision the rate of intermarriage has increased more than five fold, from 3% of newlyweds who were intermarried to 17% in 2015. In recognition of this increase, “Loving Dayannual events celebrate the court decision. Primarily organized by multiracial persons as social events, communities across the nation gather on Loving Day to celebrate the existence of multiracial families. The celebrations are part of a larger campaign to have the federal government create an official Loving Day federal holiday.

No other Supreme Court case, let alone a civil rights case, has its own designated federal holiday. However entire multiracial community websites are dedicated to lobbying the government for a Loving Day holiday. This is because much more is at stake for these activists than commemorating a legal case. Validating mixed-race families and in particular multiracial persons, is the fundamental aim of the Loving Day federal holiday campaign. However, the rhetoric of mixed-race racial distinctiveness used by the campaign has begun to be drawn into judicial questioning of racial integration policies in ways that counter Loving Day celebrations of diversity…

Read the entire article here.

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Iconic Fine Arts Sculptor Edmonia Lewis Honored In Google Doodle

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-02-03 01:01Z by Steven

Iconic Fine Arts Sculptor Edmonia Lewis Honored In Google Doodle

The Huffington Post
2017-02-01

Zahara Hill, Black Voices Editorial Fellow


Sophie Diao
The artist’s dedication to portraying her African-American and Native-American ancestry separated her from other sculptors. 

Black History Month began with the art of this lesser-known black icon.

In honor of the start of Black History Month on Wednesday, Google Doodle paid tribute to Edmonia Lewis, who is considered to be the first woman of African-American and Native American descent to earn global recognition as a fine arts sculptor.

Lewis, who was born in Greenbush, New York in 1844, is particularly known for sculpting on “The Death of Cleopatra,” which is a graphic but highly praised depiction of the death of the former Egyptian Queen. Google Doodler Sophie Diao told HuffPost she drew the illustration on Google’s homepage in homage to Lewis because she has always been inspired by her work…

Read the entire article here.

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Soccer Led Me To Embrace Every Part Of My Multiracial Heritage

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Canada, Media Archive on 2017-01-10 21:23Z by Steven

Soccer Led Me To Embrace Every Part Of My Multiracial Heritage

The Huffington Post
2017-01-06

Geneva Abdul, Publicist & Writer
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Born from the marrying of British and Trinidadian cultures, I defined my cultural identity through soccer when I decided to play for Trinidad and Tobago at the age of 14.

Growing up, my parents had never imposed their cultures on me — my cultural identity had always felt like a decision between Canadian, Trinidadian and British. It wasn’t until I had recently retired my soccer cleats when I’d realized I had never had to make the choice, that I could be all three.

As a woman I oscillate between essence and existence. As a woman of colour I participate in a more complex rigmarole of types. The quotidian experience of being asked “what’s your background” or being told “you’re pretty for a brown girl” and “I didn’t know brown girls were athletic” served as a set of ongoing reminders that constantly interpolated my cultural identity…

Read the entire article here.

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Elizabeth Anionwu’s Memoir: Mixed Blessings From A Cambridge Union Exceeds All Superlatives

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-12-29 01:57Z by Steven

Elizabeth Anionwu’s Memoir: Mixed Blessings From A Cambridge Union Exceeds All Superlatives

The Huffington Post
2016-12-28

Claudia Tomlinson, Author, campaigner, entrepreneur
London, England


Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Anionwu: Photograph by Barney Newman

Elizabeth Anionwu is a diminutive woman of colossal talent in everything she has turned her hand to, and to top off a high achieving career, her memoir has now outed her as a wonderful author.

She was born in 1947, from the relationship between her father, a Nigerian student, and her mother Mary, a Classics student whose family came from County Wexford and County Down, in Ireland, to settle in Liverpool.

Their romance blossomed at Cambridge University, at a time of discrimination against both black and Irish people in England.

Born into a strong Catholic family on her mother’s side, Elizabeth’s arrival, to unmarried parents, was a shock to her mother’s family threatening to bring great shame to the family…

Read the entire review here.

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