Permanent marker: Augusta plaque honors 19th century Black female millionaire

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Women on 2021-05-27 15:00Z by Steven

Permanent marker: Augusta plaque honors 19th century Black female millionaire

The Augusta Chronicle
Augusta, Georgia
2021-05-21

Joe Hotchkiss


Corey Rogers (center), historian at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, and Elyse Butler (second from left), marker manager for the Georgia Historical Society, unveil the marker at 448 Telfair St. in Augusta commemorating the former home of Black millionaire Amanda America Dickson Toomer. At far left is building owner John Hock, who funded and supervised the home’s exterior renovations. Rogers (center), historian at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, and Elyse Butler (second from left), marker manager for the Georgia Historical Society, unveil the marker at 448 Telfair St. in Augusta commemorating the former home of Black millionaire Amanda America Dickson Toomer. At far left is building owner John Hock, who funded and supervised the home’s exterior renovations. JOE HOTCHKISS/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE

Harrell Lawson grew up in Hancock County in the 1960s, listening to tales about the old plantation across the road.

“I used to hear stories about how a Black woman used to own it, but I didn’t know my relation to her at the time,” he said.

More people know now. On Friday, a Georgia historical marker was unveiled in downtown Augusta to mark the home at 448 Telfair St. where Amanda America Dickson Toomer – perhaps the richest Black woman of the 19th century – spent the last seven years of her life.

Lawson, who maintains homes in Stone Mountain and Sparta, joined about a dozen other Toomer descendants at the marker ceremony in front of a renovated exterior that took months for John Hock, the house’s owner, to complete with a team of subcontractors.

While the outside has been repainted, refitted and repaired to match its original appearance, the inside has more modern features and will continue to be used as an attorney’s office.

“This whole project was to commemorate the life of Amanda, and I think we did it,” Hock said…

Who was Amanda America Dickson Toomer?

Dickson was born in 1849 to prominent Hancock County plantation owner David Dickson and a 12-year-old slave. Legally a slave owned by her white grandmother, the biracial child was reared in her father’s household. She learned to read and write, and assumed the social graces of white Southern affluence.

When David Dickson died in 1885, he willed to Amanda 15,000 acres of land and about $500,000, which Amanda’s biographer Dr. Kent Anderson Leslie said equals more than $3 million today. Other modern estimates place the amount even higher.

Scores of Dickson’s white relatives emerged to contest the will, outraged at the prospect of a biracial, legally illegitimate woman inheriting such immense wealth in the post-Civil War South. But Leslie said at the ceremony Friday that the young heiress had a plan…

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The Racism of the Great Outdoors

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2021-05-25 02:20Z by Steven

The Racism of the Great Outdoors

The Washington Post Magazine
2021-05-19

By Ikya Kandula
Photos by Bill O’Leary


Gabrielle Dickerson, a member of Brown Girls Climb, along the Northwest Branch Trail in Silver Spring.

Hikers and climbers of color face a host of obstacles, from bigoted route names to Confederate flags. This D.C.-based group is trying to change that.

Five years ago, Gabrielle Dickerson, then a sophomore at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, lay awake in her sleeping bag on her first overnight climbing trip, enveloped by the woods of the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve near Fayetteville, W.Va. Like many rock climbers in the D.C. area, she’d been drawn to the New, as outdoor enthusiasts call it — a five-hour road trip from Washington — because it offers 1,400 of the best climbing routes in the United States.

The rest of her group had swiftly fallen asleep after a day of projecting — the process of strategizing about, and eventually completing, a climb with no breaks — but apprehension took hold of Dickerson. “I was very aware of how uncomfortable I was in the backcountry of West Virginia,” Dickerson recalls. “Not only because I was a Black woman, but also because of the relationship and trauma my ancestors had with the woods.” Her grandfather had been born on a North Carolina cotton farm in 1930 and picked cotton until he escaped from the owner in his teens. On his way to Philadelphia and a new life, he witnessed his best friend get lynched in the woods…

Brown Girls Climb was launched in 2016 by Bethany Lebewitz, a biracial climber living in Austin. A year later, when Lebewitz moved to D.C., she met outdoor instructor Brittany Leavitt, and together with Monserrat Alvarez Matehuala, Laura Edmondson, Sasha McGhee, and Jael Berger, they built an infrastructure of meetups for Black and Brown women in climbing gyms and at outdoor spots in the Washington region. “I was just floored by the fact that there was this large group of people of color climbing,” Dickerson says of her first Brown Girls Climb meetup, “because that wasn’t like what I had seen when I went to my climbing sessions at the gym, and definitely not when I was climbing outside.”…

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Genetic ancestry test results shape race self-identification, Stanford researchers find

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2021-05-25 01:49Z by Steven

Genetic ancestry test results shape race self-identification, Stanford researchers find

Stanford News
Stanford University, Stanford, California
2021-05-17

Sandra Feder, Public Relations Communications Officer


A new Stanford study examines how genetic information learned from ancestry tests changes how people self-identify their race on surveys and the implications this may have for how racial discrimination is monitored. (Image credit: Getty Images)

People who have taken a genetic ancestry test are more likely to report multiple races when self-identifying on surveys, according to Stanford sociologists.

A genetic ancestry test (GAT) can not only unearth deep family secrets, it also can change how people self-identify their race on surveys. A new study by Stanford sociologists delves into how such changes could affect data that demographers use to measure population shifts and monitor racial inequalities.

Aliya Saperstein, associate professor of sociology, and sociology doctoral candidate Sasha Shen Johfre explored how people who have taken a GAT use their newfound ancestry information to answer questions about race on demographic surveys. In a paper recently published online in the journal Demography, the researchers found that GAT takers were significantly overrepresented among people who self-identified with multiple races.

“Theoretically, race and ancestry are distinct constructs,” said lead author Johfre. “Race is more than just family history; it is a reflection of how society interprets a person’s ancestry.”…

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Why You Should Read “Swirl Girl, The Coming Of Race In The USA”, By TaRessa Stovall

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2021-05-25 01:31Z by Steven

Why You Should Read “Swirl Girl, The Coming Of Race In The USA”, By TaRessa Stovall

Girl Talk HQ: The Global Headquarters of Female Empowerment Stories & Voices
2020-06-16

Nancy Burke

Swirl Girl, the Coming of Race in the USA” by TaRessa Stovall is your first step in learning what it is like to walk through the world as a child, teen and woman whose ethnic identity is not immediately discernible; to live with the relentless scrutiny of your skin, hair and features by just about anyone you meet; and to be continuously subjected to the question, What are you?

Stovall’s father was a Black man. Her mother, a Jewish woman. In Stovall’s memoir, “Swirl Girl,” she describes the different perspectives each of her parents had regarding how their mixed-race children should navigate the wider world. Stovall and her brother internalize the two views they learned from their parents, and as life goes on, each embraces what works for them and sheds those attitudes that do not serve. Stovall’s loving but conflicted response to each parent’s belief about who she should be and which sides of herself she should put front and center are beautifully rendered with the inherent complexity involved in her coming of age…

Read the entire book review here.

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Measuring Race and Ancestry in the Age of Genetic Testing

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2021-05-24 21:27Z by Steven

Measuring Race and Ancestry in the Age of Genetic Testing

Demography
2021-04-12
26 pages
DOI: 10.1215/00703370-9142013

Sasha Shen Johfre, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Sociology
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Aliya Saperstein, Associate Professor of Sociology; Benjamin Scott Crocker Professor in Human Biology
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Jill A. Hollenbach, Associate Professor of Neurology
Weill Institute for Neurosciences
University of California, San Francisco, California

Will the rise of genetic ancestry tests (GATs) change how Americans respond to questions about race and ancestry on censuses and surveys? To provide an answer, we draw on a unique study of more than 100,000 U.S. adults that inquired about respondents’ race, ancestry, and genealogical knowledge. We find that people in our sample who have taken a GAT, compared with those who have not, are more likely to self-identify as multiracial and are particularly likely to select three or more races. This difference in multiple-race reporting stems from three factors: (1) people who identify as multiracial are more likely to take GATs; (2) GAT takers are more likely to report multiple regions of ancestral origin; and (3) GAT takers more frequently translate reported ancestral diversity into multiracial self-identification. Our results imply that Americans will select three or more races at higher rates in future demographic data collection, with marked increases in multiple-race reporting among middle-aged adults. We also present experimental evidence that asking questions about ancestry before racial identification moderates some of these GAT-linked reporting differences. Demographers should consider how the meaning of U.S. race data may be changing as more Americans are exposed to information from GATs.

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Growing up Ethiopian and German

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Europe, Media Archive, United States on 2021-05-24 21:00Z by Steven

Growing up Ethiopian and German

Ethiopian Observer
2021-05-20

Tigist Selam

Born to an Ethiopian mother and a German father, Tigist Selam enjoyed the diverse experience of growing up in Nigeria, Argentina, and foremost Germany. In an article featured in the book “One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race“, Tigist explores the complexities of racial classifications, and the different ways that people live and experience Blackness.

I personally identify as Black racially, Ethiopian, and German/ American culturally. I never say that I’m Black except in a political context because I don’t even know what that means. Like being Black. What is Black culture? Is it African culture? Is it the Caribbean? To me, culture is very specific and I’m multicultural. So, when I identify as Black, I’m making a political statement; I am not trying to simplify my own cultural complexity.

My father was born in 1945. That’s the end of World War II. He still had the swastika in his passport and on his birth certificate. And my mom, she survived Haile Selassie and Mussolini. Both of my parents are very proud to be German, very proud to be Ethiopian, respectively. Very, very strong people identity-wise. But they’re not very sensitive when it comes to race. To them, everybody else is an idiot. And that was really helpful growing up because my mom never backed down. When she didn’t get seated, she would say something or not pay for the meal. My dad took me voting when i was 11. I was forced to watch international news every day. So me and my brother got politicised at a very early age. But it was also the experience of living everywhere-Nigeria for two years, Argentina for three years, Germany ten years, and now America off and on for 10 years…

Read the entire article here.

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Author Brit Bennett Based Her Hit Novel The Vanishing Half On A Town Near Her Mother’s Home: “Everyone was Obsessed with Color”

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-05-15 23:14Z by Steven

Author Brit Bennett Based Her Hit Novel The Vanishing Half On A Town Near Her Mother’s Home: “Everyone was Obsessed with Color”

PEOPLE
2021-05-10

HBO plans to produce a limited series adaptation of the novel for the screen.

Mothers know best — and sometimes, they know the idea to a best selling novel.

Brit Bennett author of the hit book The Vanishing Half spoke with PEOPLE Every Day host Janine Rubenstein about the inspiration behind the story book clubs can’t stop talking about.

The Vanishing Half tells the story of two twin sisters who grow up to “live their lives off the color line“, one living as a White woman and one as a Black woman. Bennett’s mother, who is originally from Louisiana, once told her a story from her childhood about a nearby town where people were “obsessed with color”, in regards to the color of their skin.

“And, that immediately struck me as, ‘Oh, this is the setting for a novel’,” said Bennett…

Read the entire interview here.

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Majority-Minority Myths

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2021-05-15 23:01Z by Steven

Majority-Minority Myths

Dissent
Spring 2021

Jake Rosenfeld, Professor of Sociology
Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri


Outside a Latinos for Trump campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, in October 2020 (Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It’s time to let go of the belief that changing demographics will bring about a progressive America.

The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream
by Richard Alba
Princeton University Press, 2020, 336 pp.

Dangerously Divided: How Race and Class Shape Winning and Losing in American Politics
by Zoltan L. Hajnal
Cambridge University Press, 2020, 362 pp.

The Case for Identity Politics: Polarization, Demographic Change, and Racial Appeals
by Christopher T. Stout
University of Virginia Press, 2020, 268 pp.

In a commencement address at the University of California, San Diego in 1997, President Bill Clinton spoke of a time when white people would no longer constitute a majority in the United States. In the decades since, the idea that growing diversity will bring about a “majority-minority” America in the near future has become a widespread belief across the ideological spectrum, propelled by periodic Census updates, like a report that 2013 marked the first year that more nonwhite babies had been born in the United States than white ones.

There are three major problems with this now-clichéd belief. First, it scares many white people, pushing their political stances toward the right. Numerous studies confirm that merely mentioning the demographic shift is enough to change their political views. As Ezra Klein has written, “The simplest way to activate someone’s identity is to threaten it.” Many white people interpret stories about the imminent reordering of the country’s racial and ethnic hierarchy as a threat.

Second, it leads Democrats astray. Divvying up the nation between whites and nonwhites implies a neat, fixed, and immutable ordering of a complex set of shifting racial and ethnic identities. The corollary—that a shared political identity should bind minorities to a leftist, emancipatory project against white oppression—induces complacency in Democratic Party organizing and policymaking realms, and ignores the varied ethnic and class backgrounds of those who comprise this broad, diverse population.

The 2020 election shook the premise that nonwhite voters shared a liberal political identity, with growing evidence of an across-the-board shift toward the GOP among Latinos and, to a smaller degree, African Americans. But evidence that the “browning of America” may not lead to progressive nirvana predated the election. Bush’s 2004 re-election bid was buoyed by his record performance among Latinos. Since then, between a quarter and a third of Latinos have voted for Republican presidential candidates despite the restrictionist turn in the party’s immigration policies.

Which brings us to the third problem with the majority-minority claim: it’s empirically wrong…

Read the entire article here.

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“I wish I didn’t look so White”: examining contested racial identities in second-generation Black–White Multiracials

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2021-05-06 14:36Z by Steven

“I wish I didn’t look so White”: examining contested racial identities in second-generation Black–White Multiracials

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online: 2020-11-05
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2020.1841256

Haley Pilgrim
Department of Sociology
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Multiracials are one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. However, we are still learning how the children of Multiracial individuals understand their racial identity. I interviewed 30 “second-generation” Black–White Multiracials, who have one Black–White parent and one White parent, on the meanings they assign to racial categories, phenotypes, and their racial identity. Many cite reflected appraisals as non-Black for why they do not identify as Black, but orientation toward Blackness differs from those who identify as Multiracial. Between these two groups of Multiracials, I find distinctive responses to racial contestation consistent with differing stigmatization of racial groups, salience of racial identity, and identification as a person of colour. These findings indicate differing responses to similarly reflected appraisals and highlight the need to investigate Multiracials of multiple generational statuses to understand the varying meanings of a Multiracial identity to Multiracials.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Bubba Wallace Welcomes Fans Into His Garage With New Netflix Docuseries

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2021-05-05 02:32Z by Steven

Bubba Wallace Welcomes Fans Into His Garage With New Netflix Docuseries

The Root
2021-04-23

Jay Connor


Photo: Chris Graythen (Getty Images)

Being the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top racing series comes with more than its fair share of trials and tribulations.

In the last year alone, we’ve seen Bubba Wallace succeed in his quest to get Confederate flags banned from the sport and face subsequent backlash, endure the infamous noose saga, and have his own mother detail the racism he continually faces. But while the lows were low, he also had his fair share of triumphs.

Wallace was named the 2020 Comcast Community Champion of the Year for his work “to lift up individuals seeking a means to fulfill their potential, no matter their race, gender, disabilities or socio-economical situation,” and joined Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin’s 23XI Racing, with Jordan serving as the first Black principal owner of a full-time Cup team in nearly 50 years.

Again, it’s been a hell of a year, and thankfully, it’s about to get a lot better…

Read the entire article here.

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