Movie about Va.’s now-defunct ban on interracial marriage to be shot in state

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2015-05-14 19:42Z by Steven

Movie about Va.’s now-defunct ban on interracial marriage to be shot in state

The Washington Post
2014-05-14

Laura Vozzella, Richmond Bureau Reporter

RICHMONDVirginia has landed a movie project about Richard and Mildred Loving, the real-life Virginia couple arrested in 1958 for violating the state’s interracial marriage ban.

The Lovings filed a lawsuit that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 struck down bans on interracial marriage. The case is often invoked today amid legal challenges to bans on same-sex marriage.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced on Thursday that makers of the movie had chosen to shoot the project in the state. A statement from his office noted that the court case at the center of the story was “a landmark civil rights case in defense of marriage equality that is still relevant today.”

Loving is a significant American story that should be told, and I am happy to announce it will be filmed in Virginia,” said McAuliffe, who supports same-sex marriage. “Attracting these projects to the Commonwealth helps build the new Virginia economy by generating new revenues, creating good-paying jobs for our citizens and continuing to highlight Virginia’s historical significance.”

The film will star Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, and will be directed by acclaimed film director Jeff Nichols. It was inspired by “The Loving Story,” a documentary produced and directed by Nancy Buirski that aired on HBO, the governor’s office said…

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Legacies of war

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, United States on 2015-04-18 18:09Z by Steven

Legacies of war

The Washington Post
2015-04-17

Annie Gowen, Bureau chief — New Delhi

Linda Davidson, Photography

Forty years after the fall of Saigon, soldiers’ children are still left behind

Vo Huu Nhan was in his vegetable boat in the floating markets of the Mekong Delta when his phone rang. The caller from the United States had stunning news — a DNA database had linked him with a Vietnam vet believed to be his father.

Nhan, 46, had known his father was an American soldier named Bob, but little else.

“I was crying,” Nhan recalled recently. “I had lost my father for 40 years, and now I finally had gotten together with him.”

But the journey toward their reconciliation has not been easy. News of the DNA match set in motion a chain of events involving two families 8,700 miles apart that is still unfolding and has been complicated by the illness of the veteran, Robert Thedford Jr., a retired deputy sheriff in Texas.

When the last American military personnel fled Saigon on April 29 and 30, 1975, they left behind a country scarred by war, a people uncertain about their future and thousands of their own children. These children — some half-black, some half-white — came from liaisons with bar girls, “hooch” maids, laundry workers and the laborers who filled sandbags that protected American bases.

They are approaching middle age with stories as complicated as the two countries that gave them life. Growing up with the face of the enemy, they were spat on, ridiculed, beaten. They were abandoned, given away to relatives or sold as cheap labor. The families that kept them often had to hide them or shear off their telltale blond or curly locks. Some were sent to reeducation or work camps, or ended up homeless and living on the streets.

They were called “bui doi,” which means “the dust of life.”

Forty years later, hundreds remain in Vietnam, too poor or without proof to qualify for the program created by the Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1987 that resettles the children of American soldiers in the United States.

Now, an Amerasian group has launched a last-chance effort to reunite fathers and children with a new DNA database on a family heritage Web site. Those left behind have scant information about their GI dads — papers and photographs were burned as the communist regime took hold, and memories faded. So DNA matches are their only hope…

Read the entire photo-essay here.

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Yes, the new ‘Daily Show’ host is black. And he’s spent his career making fun of African Americans.

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2015-04-01 18:05Z by Steven

Yes, the new ‘Daily Show’ host is black. And he’s spent his career making fun of African Americans.

The Washington Post
2015-03-31

Wendy Todd, Social Media Coordinator
St. Louis Public Radio, St. Louis, Missouri

So much for that “fresh perspective” on race.

News that Trevor Noah would replace Jon Stewart as the new host of “The Daily Show” brought a collective round of applause for the South African comedian and his “fresh” perspective and “fresh takes on race.” Critics have long lamented the lack of color among late-night TV hosts, and now a black man has gotten one of the plum hosting gigs.

Noah might look like an enlightened choice, but his routines show he isn’t — his jokes often hinge on insulting African Americans.

Back in 2012, Noah made his first American appearance, on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” The bulk of his routine was composed of jokes about black Americans. The United States, he said, was not “the America he was promised,” and “America has the credit of a black man.”…

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Wisconsin chief treading carefully after fatal shooting

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-10 01:10Z by Steven

Wisconsin chief treading carefully after fatal shooting

The Washington Post
2015-03-08

The Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — Within hours of a white officer shooting an unarmed black man, the police chief of Wisconsin’s capital city was praying with the man’s grandmother, hoping to strike a conciliatory tone and avoid the riots that last year rocked Ferguson, Missouri.

Chief Mike Koval said he knows Madison is being watched across the nation since 19-year-old Tony Robinson’s death Friday evening, and he has gone out of his way to avoid what he once called Ferguson’s “missteps.”

“Folks are angry, resentful, mistrustful, disappointed, shocked, chagrined. I get that,” Koval said Saturday. “People need to tell me squarely how upset they are with the Madison Police Department.”

The contrasts with Ferguson are many…

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Md. Gov. Larry Hogan and his Korean-born wife, Yumi, are a historic first couple

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-01-24 19:45Z by Steven

Md. Gov. Larry Hogan and his Korean-born wife, Yumi, are a historic first couple

The Washington Post
2015-01-23

Michael S. Rosenwald, Staff Writer

She was a painter displaying her abstract landscapes, a single mother of three daughters who’d grown up on a chicken farm in South Korea. He was a wealthy bachelor with more interest in politics than art who had stopped by the show in suburban Maryland on a whim.

His eyes didn’t gravitate to the paintings.

“I was more interested in the artist than the art,” he said.

He gave her his phone number, but she never called. Still, he didn’t give up. They eventually met again, fell in love and married several years later, in 2004.

They made history this week, moving into the Maryland governor’s mansion as a mixed-race couple in an increasingly diverse state — and as novices in wielding political power. Larry Hogan, a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, had never held elected office before he won a stunning upset in November…

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Where are all the interracial children’s books?

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2015-01-21 21:15Z by Steven

Where are all the interracial children’s books?

The Washington Post
2015-01-20

Nevin Martell

Browsing the shelves of the children’s section at bookstores can be a depressing experience for the parent of an interracial youngster. I’m a mutt mixture Caucasian with roots going back to Western Europe and beyond, while my wife is from Ghana. We are constantly on the lookout for stories featuring characters with whom our interracial son can visually identify. It would just be nice for him to pick up a book and think to himself, “Hey, that little guy looks like me.” Sadly, he doesn’t get to do that very often.

Though there is a growing number of racially diverse characters popping up on picture book pages – and the passionate social media campaign #WeNeedDiverseBooks hopes to inspire even more of them – there is a depressing dearth of interracial ones. This is somewhat surprising given how many families are interracial these days. According to the United States Census Bureau, “interracial or interethnic opposite-sex married couple households grew by 28 percent over the decade from 7 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2010.” Additionally, there were 275,500 interracial marriages in 2010 out of a total of 2,096,000. Heck, there’s even a TV show about an interracial family and it’s on a major network – ABC’s “The Fosters.”

This isn’t to say that there aren’t any children’s books starring interracial characters. There are some wonderful options, including “Black, White, Just Right!” by Marguerite W. Davol and illustrated by Irene Trivas, “Black is Brown is Tan” by Arnold Adoff with illustrations by Emily Arnold McCully and Phil Mandelbaum’s “You Be Me, I’ll Be You.” A current favorite is “The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage,” which chronicles the 1967 Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, in which a biracial couple successfully challenged the state’s law against interracial marriage…

Read the entire article here.

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Woman rides in Rose Bowl parade almost 60 years after being snubbed because of her race

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2015-01-02 02:06Z by Steven

Woman rides in Rose Bowl parade almost 60 years after being snubbed because of her race

The Washington Post
2015-01-01

Diana Reese
Overland Park, Kansas

Racism “was a fact of life,” Joan Williams says about 1958, the year she was supposed to ride on a city-sponsored float in the Rose Parade of Pasadena. The 27-year-old account clerk had been named “Miss Crown City,” with all the attendant duties of ribbon-cuttings and appearances at official functions. The city even paid for Williams’ portrait to be painted while she was wearing a tiara, gown and corsage.

“It wasn’t anything I sought,” Williams told me Wednesday. “My name was submitted unbeknownst to me by someone I worked with.”

She was chosen by the judges to represent the city employees. For someone who’d grown up watching the world-famous parade, it was “a joyous occasion.” But she was so light-skinned no one suspected her African-American heritage until a reporter met her dark-skinned husband and children. That was a game-changer in the late 1950s.

As Jet magazine reported, “Mrs. Williams did not ride on a float, because the City of Pasadena neglected to include one in its own parade. Too many others were already entered, explained an official.”

“Once they learned I was African American, I wasn’t the person they wanted representing the city,” Williams said. “I sure didn’t dwell on it because I had a life to live. That was their problem, not my problem.”…

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Outspoken about Ferguson, Jesse Williams may be this generation’s Harry Belafonte

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-12-28 03:01Z by Steven

Outspoken about Ferguson, Jesse Williams may be this generation’s Harry Belafonte

The Washington Post
2014-08-20

Soraya Nadia McDonald


Harry Belafonte, left. (NBC via AP) Jesse Williams, right. (Christian Alminana/AP)

There are many ways to get celebrity activism wrong when it comes to a situation like the one that has emerged in Ferguson, Mo.

Appearing to be uninformed is a huge no-no, as is calling for a plan when you don’t have one — sorry Nelly. But if one can offer fiery rhetoric absent sanctimony and full of razor-sharp opinions, well, people take notice.

Enter Jesse Williams, the actor who plays the hunky Dr. Jackson Avery on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Williams appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. Clad in a hoodie, he may have looked like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, but once he opened his mouth, he sounded like Harry Belafonte.

Yes, radical, Occupy Wall Street protester-supporting, Fidel Castro-befriending, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice-shunning Harry Belafonte.

“Police have been beating the hell out of black people for a very, very, very long time, before the advent of the video camera,” said Williams, who also spoke out after the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. “And despite the advent of the video camera, there’s still an incredible trend of police brutality and killing in the street.”

So far, Williams, 33, seems best suited to continue the legacy of black Hollywood activism associated with Belafonte. In his memoir, “My Song,” Belafonte wrote, “I wasn’t an artist who’d become an activist. I was an activist who’d become an artist.”…

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How America will look in 2060, in 7 graphs

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-17 16:22Z by Steven

How America will look in 2060, in 7 graphs

The Washington Post
2014-12-16

Philip Bump

The Census Bureau recently released its 2014 population projections, gaming out the next 45 years of population growth and changes in the United States. For those of us who pay particular attention to the composition of the population (because we are single-mindedly obsessed with the composition of the electorate that results), this is a bonanza of things to pore over. So let’s pore.

Or, actually, let’s first detour. The data collected by the Bureau has changed substantially over time, at first documenting only the white and slave populations of the newly united states. In 1820, the government started collecting data on resident foreigners as immigration increased. By 1870, the Bureau counted whites, blacks, Chinese, Indian (Native American), and people of mixed black and white descent. In 1890, it broke out mixed-race Americans into more categories; in 1930, there were 10 different options.

Today there are five categories of race, per a 1997 directive: “American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White.” There’s an additional delineation of ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino, and not.

That background is useful because the Bureau’s projections through 2060 includes a look at foreign-born-versus-native-born residents and Hispanic-versus-non-Hispanic residents, which are not the same thing. But we get ahead of ourselves. Back to poring…

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In Japan’s Okinawa, saving indigenous languages is about more than words

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive on 2014-12-01 20:53Z by Steven

In Japan’s Okinawa, saving indigenous languages is about more than words

The Washington Post
2014-11-29

Anna Fifield, Tokyo Bureau Chief

NISHIHARA, Japan — Rising in turn at their wooden desks, the students giggled, squirmed or shuffled as they introduced themselves, some practically in a whisper.

“Waa naamee ya — yaibiin . . . (My name is . . . ).” One by one, the classmates at Okinawa Christian University managed to get out their names, a few confidently, but most of them sheepishly.

Teacher Byron Fija waved his arms around, laughed and tried to encourage the class, which looked like a college group anywhere — some in hoodies, others in baseball caps and one guy with green hair.

But it was clear that the language — Okinawan — didn’t come naturally to most of them.

It’s the biggest of the six main indigenous languages spoken in this subtropical Japanese island chain, once the independent Ryukyu kingdom but now best known for hosting most of the American military bases in Japan…

…Fija is almost evangelical in his promotion of Okinawan, poetically called “uchi-naa-guchi” here.

In addition to teaching, Fija, 45, plays the sanshin, a three-stringed Okinawan banjo, and sings. For five years he hosted a radio show in Okinawan.

He sees the language as intrinsic to his identity. A product of the military occupation, he is the son of an Okinawan mother and an American father, a man he has never heard from.

Fija cites two experiences that motivated him to embrace the local language and culture.

First, he learned to play the sanshin.

“Someone told me that my playing was fine but my Okinawan sounded American, even though I don’t speak any English. Maybe it was because I don’t look Japanese or Okinawan,” Fija said after class, wearing a traditional Japanese outfit with an Okinawan pattern. His Okinawan pronunciation, he said, was the equivalent of a Japanese person singing in English “I rub you” instead of “I love you.”.

Then, in the 1990s, he spent a year or so in Los Angeles, hoping to make it as a rock star. But as he discovered how hard that was, he had an epiphany. Because of his Caucasian looks, he said, he had never really been accepted as Japanese. But with no knowledge of his father and little proficiency in English, he clearly wasn’t American, either…

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