J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian had two identities. It took two authors to tell her story.

Posted in Articles, Biography, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-07-20 02:20Z by Steven

J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian had two identities. It took two authors to tell her story.

The Washington Post
2021-06-28

Natachi Onwuamaegbu


“The Personal Librarian” co-authors Heather Terrell, writing as Marie Benedict, and Victoria Christopher Murray. (Phil Atkins)

Historical fiction writer Heather Terrell (who also writes under the name Marie Benedict) was introduced to Belle da Costa Greene between bookshelves at New York’s Morgan Library over 20 years ago. The docent — whom she has tried to find since — told her about a Black woman who passed as White and worked as J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian in the early 1900s. Terrell wasn’t yet writing historical fiction about women — she was a lawyer — but the story lingered in the back of her head.

Once she read Black author Victoria Christopher Murray’s work two years ago, she knew she found the partner she was waiting for to tackle da Costa Greene’s story. To write about a Black woman who passed as non-Black with an author she had never met was a process, especially when the editing coincided with the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and a pandemic.

The Washington Post talked to Terrell and Murray about what it was like to work on “The Personal Librarian” when so much of the world was falling apart…

Read the entire interview here.

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Elizabeth Miki Brina: “The historical and the personal are intertwined.”

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2021-07-17 00:10Z by Steven

Elizabeth Miki Brina: “The historical and the personal are intertwined.”

Guernica
2021-05-10

Elizabeth Lothian, Digital Director


Photo credit: Thad Lee

The author of Speak, Okinawa talks about learning her family history, writing from guilt, and questioning her father’s values.

Elizabeth Miki Brina’s debut memoir Speak, Okinawa is a nuanced investigation of self, lineage, and inheritance. Born in the 1980s to an Okinawan mother and a white, American, ex-military father, Brina struggled with the duality of her identity. She connected more with her father—the dominant force in her family triad—often in an attempt to fit in with the 99 percent white suburb in which she grew up, and this made her feel distant from her already isolated mother.

It is only years later, after moving out of her parents’ enveloping orbit, that Brina comes to question why she feels so disconnected from her mother and Okinawan ancestry. She then sets out to explore her heritage—half that of the colonized and half that of the colonizer. We take this journey with her as she recounts the history of Okinawa. These chapters, voiced brilliantly in the first person plural “we,” tells the reader of Okinawa’s conquest by China and Japan, the horrors it faced in World War II—nearly a third of its population was killed in one battle alone—and the subsequent US military occupation of the island, which continues to this day.

As Brina learns the history of her maternal lineage, she comes to better understand not just her mother but herself. She is then forced to reckon with the role her father played in dictating her worldview and to try and unknot how America, as both a political entity and a cluster of ideals, has marginalized other ways of being…

Read the entire article here.

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Eartha Kitt’s daughter reveals what her mother taught her about race

Posted in Africa, Biography, Interviews, Media Archive, South Africa, United States on 2021-07-09 01:08Z by Steven

Eartha Kitt’s daughter reveals what her mother taught her about race

TODAY
2021-04-23

Kitt Shapiro, daughter of the iconic actress and singer Eartha Kitt, discusses her mother’s experience with racism, recounting watching her being turned away at a “whites only” amusement park in South Africa. Shapiro says that as she’s gotten older, she has more understanding of her mother’s suffering and strength.

Watch the interview here.

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After a Career of Challenging Racial Myths, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Isn’t Slowing Down

Posted in Articles, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2021-07-08 21:37Z by Steven

After a Career of Challenging Racial Myths, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Isn’t Slowing Down

Duke Today
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
2021-07-07

Eric Ferreri, Senior Writer
Telephone: 919.681.8055


Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s body of work has shaped academic and popular discussion of race and inequality.

In 2003, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva published what would prove his seminal work of academic scholarship: Racism Without Racists. In it, the sociologist – then at Texas A&M University – challenged the notion that the United States existed as a color-blind society.

The book made a splash within academia and beyond, setting the table for countless conversations about race, systemic racism and many of the divisions that continue to plague society in the US and elsewhere.

Bonilla-Silva came to Duke in 2005 and since has continued to hammer away at structural racism. Among his most recent publications, a 2020 article – just a few months into COVID-19 – that examined how the pandemic broadened inequities for people in marginalized communities.

A giant in his field, Bonilla-Silva will be honored later this summer with the W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association.

“While many agree, and some may disagree, with his work, the truth is that his racism theory has become canon – often required on preliminary/area exams and used as the theoretical scaffolding on countless research papers,” said David Embrick, a professor of sociology and Africana Studies at the University of Connecticut who nominated Bonilla-Silva for the award. “Part of the reason is that Bonilla-Silva doesn’t want people to just cite his research, but also to engage with it critically in ways that allow for new racism theories to emerge, to think deeply about any shortcomings and address them, and to take his theories to the next level. So, he’s always encouraging scholars to do more, think bigger and go beyond.”

Bonilla-Silva will receive the award in August. He recently talked with Duke Today about his career and research. Here are excerpts:…

Read the entire interview here.

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Rediscovered Ancestry: a Family Learns the Story of Their Remarkable Ancestor, Senator Lawrence Cain

Posted in Audio, Biography, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2021-06-22 21:21Z by Steven

Rediscovered Ancestry: a Family Learns the Story of Their Remarkable Ancestor, Senator Lawrence Cain

Walter Edgar’s Journal
South Carolina Public Radio
2021-04-12

Walter Edgar, Host


“Radical members of the first legislature after the war, South Carolina” – Photomontage of members of the first South Carolina legislature following the Civil War, mounted on card with each member identified. (Lawrence Cain, center, third from left)

In his book, The Virtue of Cain: From Slave to Senator (2021, Rocky Pond Press), Kevin Cherry focuses on the short but extraordinary life of Reconstruction era Senator Lawrence Cain of Edgefield, South Carolina. Cherry, Cain’s great great-grandson, also tells the contemporaty story of a family with Southern roots, long identified as having some American indian ancestry, re-discovering their true heritage.

Kevin Cherry’s book, The Virtue of Cain: From Slave to Senator (2021, Rocky Pond Press) focuses on the short but extraordinary life of Reconstruction era Senator Lawrence Cain of Edgefield, South Carolina. He was considered an honorable and virtuous man and helped shape South Carolina politics between 1865 and 1877 as one of the leaders of the Radical Republican movement. He rose above numerous obstacles to go from slave to state senator

The facts of his life had been forgotten by his descendants, like much of African American history during Reconstruction. But they were re-discovered Lawrence Cain’s great great-grandson, Kevin M. Cherry, with the help of family, genealogy research, archived papers and genetic DNA results. Cherry is joined in conversation with Walter Edgar and Dr. Vernon Burton, professor emeritus of history at Clemson University, recounting Lawrence Cain’s remarkable life and the social and political upheaval of Reconstruction in South Carolina.

Listen to the story (00:51:59) here.

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One Drop featuring Dr. Yaba Blay and the Mixed Aunties

Posted in Audio, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2021-06-09 18:18Z by Steven

One Drop featuring Dr. Yaba Blay and the Mixed Aunties

Militantly Mixed Podcast
2021-04-27

This is a very special episode of Militantly Mixed. I, along with TaRessa Stovall and Sonia Smith-Kang aka “the Mixed Aunties” sat down to speak with Dr. Yaba Blay, author of One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race about her work on the book and the term “One Drop” as it pertains to Mixed-Black identified people.

Listen to the podcast (01:05:02) here.

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As a ‘white-passing’ Asian American, I feel grief, shame and confusion right now

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-06-04 15:24Z by Steven

As a ‘white-passing’ Asian American, I feel grief, shame and confusion right now

TODAY
2021-04-02

Maura Hohman, Weekend Editor and Reporter


Melea McCreary and Maura Hohman, a broadcast producer and digital editor for TODAY, share their experiences growing up with Filipino mothers but passing as non-Asian. As Asian Americans across the country are targeted for their appearance, they share their identity crisis. Courtesy Maura Hohman/Melea McCreary/ Fabio Briganti

Schoolmates never pulled their eyes sideways at me, but one did ask if my mom was my nanny and tried to convince me I was adopted.

During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, TODAY is sharing the community’s history, pain, joy and what’s next for the AAPI movement. We will be publishing personal essays, stories, videos and specials throughout the entire month of May.

I’ll never know exactly how much privilege my face has afforded me, though I’ve often wondered about the magnitude. No stranger has ever yelled a racial slur at me, but at a previous job a client spoke poorly of Filipinos not knowing half my family is from there. Schoolmates never pulled their eyes sideways at me, but one did ask if my mom was my nanny and tried to convince me I was adopted. In the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings that left eight people dead, including six Asian American women, a few friends have texted to see how I’m doing. But over the years, so many friends have said they don’t consider me Asian...

Read the entire interview 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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Mixed Messages Episode Two – Erika.

Posted in Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2021-05-05 02:43Z by Steven

Mixed Messages Episode Two – Erika.

Mixed Messages
2021-04-21

Sarah Doneghy, Host

Erika discusses being Mixed Race within her family, her jobs, and the places she’s lived. Erika shares her thoughts and personal experiences when it comes to code switching and light privilege.

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“I See Me with Rebecca Carroll”

Posted in Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Videos, Women on 2021-04-22 23:08Z by Steven

“I See Me with Rebecca Carroll”

Black America
CUNY TV, New York, New York
2021-02-08

Carol Jenkins, Hosts

Rebecca Carroll talks with us about her latest book, “Surviving the White Gaze: A Memoir” that walks us through her struggle with race and identity as she navigates life in a white world.

Black America is an in-depth conversation that explores what it means to be Black in America. The show profiles Black activists, academics, business leaders, sports figures, elected officials, artists and writers to gauge this experience in a time of both turbulence and breakthroughs.

Black America is hosted by Carol Jenkins, Emmy award winning New York City journalist, and founding president of The Women’s Media Center.

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