SC senator’s ‘reply all’ disrupts unveiling of Black Reconstruction lawmaker’s portrait

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-10-21 15:07Z by Steven

SC senator’s ‘reply all’ disrupts unveiling of Black Reconstruction lawmaker’s portrait

The State
Columbia, South Carolina
2021-10-16

Caitlin Byrd

This image shows the portrait of Stephen Swails, which now hangs in the state Senate chambers. This image was attached to the email sent to state lawmakers on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2021.

CHARLESTON, S.C.—In South Carolina, a state with a painful legacy of racism, a white lawmaker on Thursday fired off an email that casually challenged the complexion of a Black Reconstruction-era lawmaker, whose portrait now hangs in a place of honor inside the State House.

And, thanks to the modern-day perils of the reply-all email, now all 46 of South Carolina’s state senators, their staff and the senate clerk, know what Charleston Republican Sandy Senn thought when she saw the portrait of Stephen Atkins Swails.

“That sure is the whitest looking black guy I’ve ever seen,” the senator from Charleston wrote in a message that included an emoji symbol [🤷‍♂️] of a person shrugging…

…Swails was born in Pennsylvania to a Black father and a white mother in 1832, and made his way to South Carolina first as a military man.

He stormed Fort Wagner on Morris Island as a member of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, one of the nation’s first Black fighting units whose story would later be immortalized in the film “Glory.”

In 1865, he became the first commissioned African American officer in the Union Army. After his military service, Swails stayed in the Palmetto State, where he worked for the Freedmen’s Bureau to help newly freed slaves in the South

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Confronting Anti-Blackness in “Colorblind” Cuba

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2021-10-11 17:55Z by Steven

Confronting Anti-Blackness in “Colorblind” Cuba

Sapiens
2021-09-02

Elizabeth Obregón, Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology
University of Illinois, Chicago

A man holds his grandson inside the doorway of a fruit and vegetable shop in Havana, Cuba. Artur Widak/NurPhoto/Getty Images

In the 1960s, Fidel Castro’s revolutionary Communist government claimed to have eradicated racism in Cuba. An anthropologist explores how racial hierarchies persist despite these official narratives, shaping family dynamics and significantly limiting opportunities for Afro-Cubans.

I sat waiting for Yudell* to finish his shift at the paladar, or small-scale private restaurant, in the central Vedado neighborhood in Havana. I’d already interviewed a few of the workers there. As I bided my time at a corner table on the outdoor patio, two of the waiters began to tease Yudell, yelling across to me, “Don’t believe what he says! He will probably tell you that he is Negro because he is a racist!”

Yudell timidly looked at me across the patio and chuckled. Growing up Cuban American, I had been to Cuba on past occasions to visit family, but this time I was there to conduct ethnographic interviews on processes of racialization for my dissertation in anthropology. I knew from experience that I had to tread carefully when entering conversations about race in Cuba.

In Cuba, a place where the revolutionary Communist government has claimed to have eliminated racial inequality, directly speaking of race is more than taboo; it is counterrevolutionary.

When we sat down for our interview a little later, Yudell proudly described himself exactly as his co-workers had said he would: “I am Negro” (a Black man). We talked about the persistence of colorism in Cuba, a system of discrimination based on skin color. Yudell chose not to self-identify as a Mulato (a mixed-race person) or a Moro (a dark-skinned person with a thin nose and “good hair”), since he saw such taken-for-granted racialized categories as a way for individuals to distance themselves from Blackness…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

The Myth of Asian American Identity

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-10-10 23:16Z by Steven

The Myth of Asian American Identity

The New York Times Magazine
2021-10-05

Jay Caspian Kang

Artwork by Kensuke Koike. Photograph by Tommy Kha for The New York Times.

We’re the fastest-growing demographic group in the U.S. But when it comes to the nation’s racial and ethnic divisions, where do we fit in?

During the first days of the Trump administration, when my attention was split between the endless scroll of news on my phone and my infant daughter, who was born five days before the inauguration, I often found myself staring at her eyes, still puffy and swollen from her birth. My wife is half Brooklyn Jew, half Newport WASP, and throughout her pregnancy, I assumed that our child would look more like her than like me. When our daughter was born with a full head of dark hair and almond-shaped eyes, the nurses all commented on how much she looked like her father, which, I admit, felt a bit unsettling, not because of any racial shame but because it has always been difficult for me to see myself in anyone or anything other than myself. But now, while my wife slept at night, I would stand over our daughter’s bassinet, compare her face at one week with photos of myself at that delicate, lumpen age and worry about what it might mean to have an Asian-looking baby in this America rather than one who could either pass or, at the very least, walk around with the confidence of some of the half-Asian kids I had met — tall, beautiful, with strange names and a hard edge to their intelligence.

These pitiful thoughts quickly passed — for better or worse, my talent for cultivating creeping doubts is only surpassed by an even greater talent for chopping them right above the root. The worries were replaced by the normalizing chores of young fatherhood. But sometimes during her naps, I would play the “Goldberg Variations” on our living-room speakers and try to imagine the contours of her life to come…

My daughter spent her first two years in a prewar apartment building with dusty sconces and cracked marble steps in the lobby. The hallways had terrible light because the windows had been painted over with what in a less enlightened time might have been called a “flesh tone” color. Such cosmetic problems will improve with the arrival of more people like us — the shared spaces will begin to look like the building’s gut-renovated apartments, with their soapstone countertops, recessed light fixtures, the Sub-Zero refrigerators bought as an investment for the inevitable sale four to six years down the road.

At the time, it seemed like the other markers of her upper-middle-class life — grape leaves from the Middle Eastern grocery Sahadi’s, the Japanese bridges of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, weekends at her grandparents’ home in Newport — would keep pace with the changes in the building. If she enrolled at St. Ann’s or Dalton or P.S. 321, in nearby Park Slope, she would join other half-Asian and half-white children at New York City’s wealthiest schools…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

After Denying Care to Black Natives, Indian Health Service Reverses Policy

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-10-08 22:55Z by Steven

After Denying Care to Black Natives, Indian Health Service Reverses Policy

The New York Times
2021-10-08

Mark Walker and Chris Cameron

LeEtta Osborne-Sampson
LeEtta Osborne-Sampson said a nurse at an Indian Health Service clinic denied her a vaccine because her tribal identification card said she was a Freedmen, a Black Native American in the Seminole Nation. Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The shift comes as the Biden administration pressures Native tribes in Oklahoma to desegregate their constitutions to comply with treaty obligations.

The Indian Health Service announced this week that Black Native Americans in the Seminole Nation, known as the Freedmen, will now be eligible for health care through the federal agency, which previously denied them coronavirus vaccinations and other care.

The shift in policy comes as the Biden administration and members of Congress are pressuring the Seminole and other Native tribes in Oklahoma to desegregate their constitutions and include the Freedmen, many of whom are descendants of Black people who had been held as slaves by the tribes, as full and equal citizens of their tribes under post-Civil War treaty obligations.

“The I.H.S.-operated Wewoka Indian Health Clinic provides services to members of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and personnel at the clinic and other I.H.S. facilities in Oklahoma have been informed that they should provide services to Seminole Freedmen who present at their clinics and hospitals,” the Indian Health Service said in a statement.

The Seminole Nation did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the announcement.

Chuck Hoskin Jr., the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, announced on Friday that his tribe would also start allowing Seminole Freedmen to visit their tribally operated I.H.S. hospital, near Wewoka

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The last humanist: how Paul Gilroy became the most vital guide to our age of crisis

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2021-09-22 02:07Z by Steven

The last humanist: how Paul Gilroy became the most vital guide to our age of crisis

The Guardian
2021-08-05

Yohann Koshy, Assistant Opinion Editor


Prof Paul Gilroy near his home in north London. Photograph: Eddie Otchere/The Guardian

One of Britain’s most influential scholars has spent a lifetime trying to convince people to take race and racism seriously. Are we finally ready to listen?

In 2000, the race equality thinktank the Runnymede Trust published a report about the “future of multi-ethnic Britain”. Launched by the Labour home secretary Jack Straw, it proposed ways to counter racial discrimination and rethink British identity. The report was nuanced and scholarly, the result of two years’ deliberation. It was honest about Britain’s racial inequalities and the legacy of empire, but also offered hope. It made the case for formally declaring the UK a multicultural society.

The newspapers tore it to pieces. The Daily Telegraph ran a front-page article: “Straw wants to rewrite our history: ‘British’ is a racist word, says report.” The Sun and the Daily Mail joined in. The line was clear – a clique of leftwing academics, in cahoots with the government, wanted to make ordinary people feel ashamed of their country. In the Telegraph, Boris Johnson, then editor of the Spectator magazine, wrote that the report represented “a war over culture, which our side could lose”. Spooked by the intensity of the reaction, Straw distanced himself from any further debate about Britishness, recommending in his speech at the report’s launch that the left swallow some patriotic tonic.

The Parekh report, as it was known – its chair was the political theorist Lord Bhikhu Parekh – was not a radical document. It was studiously considerate. Contrary to the Telegraph front page, it didn’t claim “British” was a racist word. It said that “Britishness, as much as Englishness, has … largely unspoken, racial connotations”. This was the sentence that launched a thousand tirades, but where did this idea come from? Follow the footnote in the offending paragraph and you arrive at the work of an academic called Paul Gilroy

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Pauli Murray Should Be a Household Name. A New Film Shows Why.

Posted in Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Gay & Lesbian, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States, Women on 2021-09-20 16:49Z by Steven

Pauli Murray Should Be a Household Name. A New Film Shows Why.

The New York Times
2021-09-15

Melena Ryzik


A scene from “My Name Is Pauli Murray.” The documentarian Betsy West, who made the film with Julie Cohen, said, “We just thought, why didn’t anybody teach us about this person?” Amazon Studios

The lawyer, activist and minister made prescient arguments on gender, race and equality that influenced Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

When the lawyer, activist, author and educator Pauli Murray died in 1985 at the age of 75, no obituary or commemoration could contain all of her pathbreaking accomplishments. A radical and brilliant legal strategist, Murray was named a deputy attorney general in California — the first Black person in that office — in 1946, just a year after passing the bar there. Murray was an organizer of sit-ins and participated in bus protests as far back as the 1940s, and co-founded the National Organization for Women. Murray was also the first Black woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest. In 2012, she was sainted.

Murray has been saluted in legal, academic and gender-studies circles, and in the L.G.B.T.Q. community. But her overarching impact on American life in the 20th and now 21st centuries has not been broadly acknowledged: the thinking and writing that paved the way for Brown v. Board of Education; the consideration of intersectionality (she helped popularize the term “Jane Crow”); the enviable social circle, as she was a buddy of Langston Hughes and a pen pal of Eleanor Roosevelt, and worked on her first memoir alongside James Baldwin at the MacDowell Colony in the first year it allowed Black artists.

Murray was devoted to feminism and the rights of women even as, it turned out, she privately battled lifelong gender identity issues. She should be a household name on par with Gloria Steinem or Ruth Bader Ginsburg, both of whom cited her work often. Instead Murray is an insider’s civil rights icon.

Now a documentary, “My Name Is Pauli Murray,” aims to introduce Murray to the masses. Made by the same Academy Award-nominated filmmakers behind the surprise hit “RBG,” it uses Murray’s own voice and words as narration, drawn from interviews, oral histories and the prolific writing — books, poems and a collection of argumentative, impassioned and romantic letters — that Murray meticulously filed away with an eye toward her legacy. And the film arrives at a moment when the tenacious activism of people of color, especially women, is being re-contextualized and newly acknowledged, at the same time that many of the battles they fought are still raging…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Biracial Britain: A Different Way of Looking at Race

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom on 2021-09-20 15:04Z by Steven

Biracial Britain: A Different Way of Looking at Race

Constable
2021-01-28
352 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781472133458
Ebook ISBN: 9781472133434
Paperback ISBN: 9781472133441

Remi Adekoya, Associate Lecturer of Politics
University of York

Mixed-race is the fastest-growing minority group in Britain. By the end of the century roughly one in three of the population will be mixed-race, with this figure rising to 75 per cent by 2150. Mixed-race is, quite literally, the future.

Paradoxically, however, this unprecedented interracial mixing is happening in a world that is becoming more and more racially polarized. Race continues to be discussed in a binary fashion: black or white, we and they, us and them. Mixed-race is not treated as a unique identity, but rather as an offshoot of other more familiar identities – remnants of the twentieth century ‘one-drop’ rule (‘if you’re not white, you’re black’) alarmingly prevail. Therefore, where does a mixed-race person fit? Stuck in the middle of these conflicts are individuals trying to survive and thrive. It is high time we developed a new understanding of mixed-race identity better suited to our century.

Remi Adekoya (the son of a Nigerian father and a Polish mother, now living in Britain) has come to the conclusion that while academic theories can tell us a lot about how identities are socially constructed, they are woeful at explaining how identities are felt. He has spoken to mixed-race Britons of all ages and racial configurations to present a thoughtful and nuanced picture of what it truly means to be mixed-race in Britain today.

A valuable new addition to discussions on race, Biracial Britain is a search for identity, a story about life that makes sense to us. An identity is a story. These are our stories.

Tags: ,

U.S. Approval of Interracial Marriage at New High of 94%

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2021-09-14 20:26Z by Steven

U.S. Approval of Interracial Marriage at New High of 94%

Gallup
2021-09-10

Justin McCarthy

Story Highlights

  • Approval was at just 4% in 1958, when Gallup first polled on the question
  • The racial gap in approval of interracial marriage has nearly closed
  • Age and regional gaps in approval have also shrunk

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ninety-four percent of U.S. adults now approve of marriages between Black people and White people, up from 87% in the prior reading from 2013. The current figure marks a new high in Gallup’s trend, which spans more than six decades. Just 4% approved when Gallup first asked the question in 1958.

The latest figure is from a Gallup poll conducted July 6-21. Shifts in the 63-year-old trend represent one of the largest transformations in public opinion in Gallup’s history — beginning at a time when interracial marriage was nearly universally opposed and continuing to its nearly universal approval today.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage nationwide in the 1967 Loving v. Virginia case. A year after that decision, Gallup found support for the practice increasing, but still only a small minority of 20% approved.

Approval of interracial marriage continued to grow in the U.S. in periodic readings Gallup took over the following decades, finally reaching majority level in 1997, when support jumped from 48% to 64%. Support has increased in subsequent measures, surpassing 70% in 2003, 80% in 2011 and 90% in the current reading…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,

Black Identity and the Power of Self-Naming

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2021-09-13 02:16Z by Steven

Black Identity and the Power of Self-Naming

Black Perspectives
2021-09-10

M. Keith Claybrook, Jr., Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
California State University, Long Beach


Kill the Bill IV Protest in London, England, UK on May 29, 2021 (Loredana Sangiuliano, Shutterstock)

Black identity is the most political social identity used to identify people of African descent in the United States. The 1960s constitute a linchpin moment that recreated what it meant to be Black in the United States, tethering pre-1960s derogatory perceptions of blackness as an adjective and post-1960s use of Black to denote peoplehood, pride, and power. Black activists in the 1960s and 70s redefined and recreated what it meant to be Black in the United States. Their efforts demanded dignity and human respect for people of African descent. Being Black was about the right to be self-naming, self-defining, self-determining, and exercising individual and collective agency. This is consistent with current uses of Black in organizations such as in Black Lives Matter, Black Youth Project 100, Afrikan Black Coalition, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and Institute of the Black World 21st Century to name a few. And yet, many still use a lowercase “b” when referring to Black people.

Being Black is more than a descriptor which is denoted with the lowercase “b.” A Black identity is a self and collectively conscious effort for people of African descent to be self-naming and self-defining in route to increasing the human respect and dignity of African people and their descendants. The racialized identifier has its origins in the scientific racism of the 18th and 19th centuries, but the ever-changing socio-historical and political context of the 60s redefined and recreated what it meant to be Black in America. Ultimately, when referring to people of African descent as a collective racialized cultural group, like other proper nouns, give them their respect and dignity by capitalizing the “B”…

…Contemporary scholars and writers have continued to engage the question of identity and terminology. Yaba Blay’s, (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, continues this discourse when she states that, “capitalization is a matter of reality and respect – respect not only for other people but for myself.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

White supremacy, with a tan

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2021-09-06 01:42Z by Steven

White supremacy, with a tan

CNN (Cable News Network)
2021-09-04

John Blake, Enterprise writer/producer

(CNN) Cutting taxes for the rich helps the poor. There is no such thing as a Republican or a Democratic judge. Climate change is a hoax.

Some political myths refuse to die despite all evidence the contrary. Here’s another:

When White people are no longer a majority, racism will fade and the USwill never be a White country again.”

This myth was reinforced recently when the US Census’ 2020 report revealed that people who identify as White alone declined for the first time since the Census began in 1790. The majority of Americans under 18 are now people of color, and people who identity as multiracial increased by 276% over the last decade.

These Census figures seemed to validate a common assumption: The US is barreling toward becoming a rainbow nation around 2045, when White people are projected to become a minority.

That year has been depicted as “a countdown to the White apocalypse,” and “dreadful” news for White supremacists.” Two commentators even predicted the US “White majority will soon disappear forever.” It’s now taken as a given that the “Browning of America” will lead to the erosion of White supremacy.

I used to believe those predictions. Now I have a different conclusion:

Don’t ever underestimate White supremacy’s ability to adapt.

The assumption that more racial diversity equals more racial equality is a dangerous myth. Racial diversity can function as a cloaking device, concealing the most powerful forms of White supremacy while giving the appearance of racial progress.

Racism will likely be just as entrenched in a browner America as it is now. It will still be White supremacy, with a tan…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,