Impact of the forgotten black Europeans

Posted in Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Europe, History, Media Archive, Religion, Slavery on 2022-05-13 15:39Z by Steven

Impact of the forgotten black Europeans

Islington Tribune
London, United Kingdom
2022-05-12

Angela Cobbinah

The Chevalier de St George

Scholars, poets, writers, composers… a new book focuses on the wide influence of Africa abroad, writes Angela Cobbinah

ALESSANDRO de Medici, Duke of Florence, virtuoso 18th-century French violinist and composer Joseph Bologne and 1922 world light heavyweight boxing champion Battling Siki from France via Senegal are probably people we know little about, if at all.

They are part of a forgotten European past explored by Olivette Otele in her scholarly book, African Europeans, which travels through time to reveal how trade, war, slavery and colonialism resulted in a black presence in Europe from as far back as the third century.

This is where Otele, professor of the history and memory of slavery at Bristol University, kicks off, telling the story of St Maurice, Egyptian leader of a Roman legion who was famously executed for refusing to crush a Christian revolt in Gaul.

Celebrated as a martyr across Germany, he is clearly represented as an African in a statue at Magdeburg Cathedral and other church iconography.

Black saints and Madonnas appeared across Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries, perhaps Otele speculates, to symbolise the transformative power of the Catholic Church in converting those it considered heathen…

Read the entire review here.

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African Europeans: An Untold History

Posted in Biography, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, Slavery on 2022-05-13 14:57Z by Steven

African Europeans: An Untold History

Basic Books
2021-05-04
304 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781541619678
eBook ISBN-13: 9781541619937
Audiobook Downloadable ISBN-13: 9781549136627

Olivette Otele, Professor of History of Slavery and Memory of Enslavement
University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

Conventional wisdom holds that Africans are only a recent presence in Europe. But in African Europeans, renowned historian Olivette Otele debunks this and uncovers a long history of Europeans of African descent. From the third century, when the Egyptian Saint Maurice became the leader of a Roman legion, all the way up to the present, Otele explores encounters between those defined as “Africans” and those called “Europeans.” She gives equal attention to the most prominent figures—like Alessandro de Medici, the first duke of Florence thought to have been born to a free African woman in a Roman village—and the untold stories—like the lives of dual-heritage families in Europe’s coastal trading towns.

African Europeans is a landmark celebration of this integral, vibrantly complex slice of European history, and will redefine the field for years to come.

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‘I know I’m Irish and I don’t have to prove that to anybody’

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, Media Archive on 2022-05-12 21:14Z by Steven

‘I know I’m Irish and I don’t have to prove that to anybody’

The Irish Times
2022-05-07

Sorcha Pollak, Immigration Reporter

Marguerite Penrose has written a memoir called Yeah, But Where are You Really From? Photograph: Alan Betson

Growing up as a black person with a disability in Dublin, Marguerite Penrose sensed her difference

On June 9th 2020, one week after thousands of young Irish people marched through the streets of Dublin calling for an end to racism and inequality, a new post appeared on the recently established Black and Irish Instagram page.

“My name is Marguerite. I was born in Dublin in 1974. I am a PROUD Irish/Zambian, living in Meath now.”

Marguerite Penrose had never spoken or written publicly about her background. She preferred not to dwell on the first three years of her life which she spent in a mother and baby home on the Navan Road, or her battles with scoliosis throughout her life. She didn’t like remembering the racist remarks outside nightclubs or disapproving stares on the bus. She preferred focusing on the positives – her incredible adopted family and her wonderful friends.

But then she decided to speak out about growing up as a black woman with a disability in Dublin…

Read the entire article here.

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Yeah, But Where Are You Really From? A story of overcoming the odds

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Europe, Media Archive, Monographs on 2022-05-12 17:59Z by Steven

Yeah, But Where Are You Really From? A story of overcoming the odds

Sandycove (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2022-05-12
240 pages
234mm x 18mm x 153mm
313g
Paperback ISBN: 9781844885930
eBook ISBN: 9781844885947

Marguerite Penrose

Marguerite Penrose’s is an extraordinary story of making a great life from complicated beginnings. Marguerite was born in a Dublin mother-and-baby home in 1974, the daughter of an Irish mother and a Zambian father. Severe scoliosis indicated a future of difficult medical procedures. She was a little girl who needed a break. And she got it at three when she was fostered – and later adopted – by a young couple, Mick and Noeline, and acquired a mam, dad, sister, Ciara, and loving extended family.

Growing up, Marguerite’s appearance was occasionally remarked on by strangers, but it wasn’t until her teens that she understood that her skin colour was a provocation for some. The progressive city that she knew was revealed to have an unpleasant undercurrent. So, she became an expert in shaping her life around anything that marked her out as ‘different’.

Marguerite’s story is one of facing some big questions – Who am I? How do I live in world made for people with bodies different to mine? Why does anyone care about my skin colour? – with intelligence, humour, courage and common-sense. She writes about coming to terms with the circumstances of her birth and, like so many in her position, looking for answers. About navigating the world as an active woman with a disability. About what it means to be both Irish and Black, particularly at a moment when the conversation is becoming mainstream in Ireland and she is thinking about it in new ways herself. Mostly, she writes about embracing life in a spirit of openness and positivity.

Yeah, But Where Are You Really From? is a captivating, wise and inspiring memoir by a truly remarkable woman.

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Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples: Ethnic Mixing in Soviet Central Asia

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2022-05-09 03:30Z by Steven

Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples: Ethnic Mixing in Soviet Central Asia

Cornell University Press
2022-05-15
300 pages
6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN13: 9781501762949
Hardcover ISBN10: 150176294X

Adrienne Edgar, Professor of History
University of California, Santa Barbara

Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples examines the racialization of identities and its impact on mixed couples and families in Soviet Central Asia. In marked contrast to its Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union celebrated mixed marriages among its diverse ethnic groups as a sign of the unbreakable friendship of peoples and the imminent emergence of a single “Soviet people.” Yet the official Soviet view of ethnic nationality became increasingly primordial and even racialized in the USSR’s final decades. In this context, Adrienne Edgar argues, mixed families and individuals found it impossible to transcend ethnicity, fully embrace their complex identities, and become simply “Soviet.”

Looking back on their lives in the Soviet Union, ethnically mixed people often reported that the “official” nationality in their identity documents did not match their subjective feelings of identity, that they were unable to speak “their own” native language, and that their ambiguous physical appearance prevented them from claiming the nationality with which they most identified. In all these ways, mixed couples and families were acutely and painfully affected by the growth of ethnic primordialism and by the tensions between the national and supranational projects in the Soviet Union.

Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples is based on more than eighty in-depth oral history interviews with members of mixed families in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, along with published and unpublished Soviet documents, scholarly and popular articles from the Soviet press, memoirs and films, and interviews with Soviet-era sociologists and ethnographers.

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Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Europe, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs on 2022-05-05 01:36Z by Steven

Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country

University of Minnesota Press
August 2022
304 pages
5½ x 8½
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-5179-1230-7
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-5179-1231-4

Ryan Thomas Skinner, Associate Professor of Music and African American and African Studies
Ohio State University

Foreword by Jason Timbuktu Diakité

A compelling examination of Sweden’s African and Black diaspora

Contemporary Sweden is a country with a worldwide progressive reputation, despite an undeniable tradition of racism within its borders. In the face of this contradiction of culture and history, Afro-Swedes have emerged as a vibrant demographic presence, from generations of diasporic movement, migration, and homemaking. In Afro-Sweden, Ryan Thomas Skinner uses oral histories, archival research, ethnography, and textual analysis to explore the history and culture of this diverse and growing Afro-European community.

Skinner employs the conceptual themes of “remembering” and “renaissance” to illuminate the history and culture of the Afro-Swedish community, drawing on the rich theoretical traditions of the African and Black diaspora. Remembering fosters a sustained meditation on Afro-Swedish social history, while Renaissance indexes a thriving Afro-Swedish public culture. Together, these concepts illuminate significant existential modes of Afro-Swedish being and becoming, invested in and contributing to the work of global Black studies.

The first scholarly monograph in English to focus specifically on the African and Black diaspora in Sweden, Afro-Sweden emphasizes the voices, experiences, practices, knowledge, and ideas of these communities. Its rigorously interdisciplinary approach to understanding diasporic communities is essential to contemporary conversations around such issues as the status and identity of racialized populations in Europe and the international impact of Black Lives Matter.

Contents

  • Foreword
  • Jason Timbuktu Diakité
  • A Note on Orthography
  • Introduction: Race, Culture, and Diaspora in Afro-Sweden
  • Part I. Remembering
    • 1. Invisible People
    • 2. A Colder Congo
    • 3. Walking While Black
  • Part II. Renaissance
    • 4. Articulating Afro-Sweden
    • 5. The Politics of Race and Diaspora
    • 6. The Art of Renaissance
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Changing from Visibility to Invisibility—An Intersectional Perspective on Mixedness in Switzerland and Morocco

Posted in Africa, Articles, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Religion, Social Science on 2022-04-20 20:37Z by Steven

Changing from Visibility to Invisibility—An Intersectional Perspective on Mixedness in Switzerland and Morocco

Genealogy
Volume 6, Issue 2 (2022) (Special Issue: Beyond the Frontiers of Mixedness: New Approaches to Intermarriage, Multiethnicity, and Multiracialism)
DOI: 10.3390/genealogy6020030
17 pages

Gwendolyn Gilliéron, Associate Research Fellow
University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, Grand Est, France

In the context of intermarriage, mixedness can take different forms. Most often, it refers to a mix of class, religion, nationality, ethnicity or race in a couple. In this article, I go beyond a separate analysis of categories, analyzing the interrelation of these factors. The article discusses how and under which circumstances mixed children become visible in Switzerland and Morocco using a comparative and intersectional approach to mixedness. Based on 23 biographical narrative interviews, I analyze three situations of stigmatization: racialization, language practices and othering due to religious affiliation. Stigmatization processes due to mixedness, it is argued, are a relational phenomenon depending not only on markers such as ‘race’, ethnicity and religion but also on their interplay with gender, class, language and biographical experiences. The results suggest that mixed individuals have found creative ways to navigate their visibility: they normalize their binational origin, look for alternative spaces of belonging, emphasize their ‘Swiss-ness’ or ‘Moroccan-ness’, use languages to influence their social positioning or acquire knowledge about their binational origin in order to confront stigmatizations. The study reveals further that processes of othering due to mixedness are not only an issue in ‘Western’ societies that look back on a long history of immigration and have pronounced migration discourses. Even in Morocco, a country where immigration has so far been a marginal phenomenon, the importance of social hierarchies for the positioning of people of binational origin is evident.

Read the entire article in HTML or PDF format.

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Racism in Ireland: “I grew up feeling like I was born with some awful condition”

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2022-03-29 01:39Z by Steven

Racism in Ireland: “I grew up feeling like I was born with some awful condition”

Her
2020

Taryn de Vere

From online abuse to comments in the Dáil, racism has come to the forefront of the national conversation in recent months. But who is suffering and just how prevalent is it? In a new series, Her asks women living in Ireland to tell us about their real life experiences…

“No one should want to bleach their hair or hide their skin because they’ve been told the way they were born looks ‘ghetto'”

Vanessa Ifediora says that growing up black in Northern Ireland was difficult. “Bullying was rife, mostly instigated by the parents who sent their kids into school with a script of what to say to me,” says the Belfast woman. “Children that young only parrot what their parents teach them.

“When I was 16, the manager at my part-time job showed me a picture of some blonde haired baby whose mother was mixed race, and told me: ‘Keep your chin up, when you marry a white guy nobody will even know your children are black.'”

Moving away from her home city as an adult didn’t put an end to these experiences. Vanessa was also subjected to blatant racism while living in Cork.”It was only seven years ago – I don’t know what it’s like now – but, then,  in Cork people would openly walk right up to me and insult me…

Read the entire article here.

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Understanding Race in Sweden: The Racialisation and Deracialisation of Multiethnic and Multiracial Swedes

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Social Science on 2022-03-22 16:39Z by Steven

Understanding Race in Sweden: The Racialisation and Deracialisation of Multiethnic and Multiracial Swedes

Nordic Journal of Social Research
2022-02-23
pages 51-66
DOI: 10.18261/njsr.13.1.5

Sayaka Osanami Törngren, Associate Professor in International Migration and Ethnic Relations; Senior Researcher at Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare
Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden

Mixed populations are becoming increasingly visible in Swedish society, although they are not always recognised as such. In a colour-blind Swedish society, mixed Swedes fall into the dichotomised binary of ‘Swedes’ and ‘immigrants’. The experiences of twenty-one interviewees with multiethnic and multiracial Swedes can be broadly categorised into three types: those who feel that they are not discriminated against or racialised, those who feel that they are not discriminated against but are racialised, and those who feel that they are both discriminated against and racialised. The analysis illustrates interviewed mixed Swedes’ unique position in the racial hierarchy in Sweden and how fluid their racial experiences are. Their different experiences also show how understandings of white and non-white racial groups are formed through the processes of racialisation and deracialisation in Sweden.

Read the entire article in HTML or PDF format.

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Who’s Black and Why? A Hidden Chapter from the Eighteenth-Century Invention of Race

Posted in Africa, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery on 2022-03-22 15:11Z by Steven

Who’s Black and Why? A Hidden Chapter from the Eighteenth-Century Invention of Race

Harvard University Press
2022-03-22
320 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
21 photos, 1 table
Hardcover ISBN: 9780674244269

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alfonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor; Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Andrew S. Curran, William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities
Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut

The first translation and publication of sixteen submissions to the notorious eighteenth-century Bordeaux essay contest on the cause of “black” skin—an indispensable chronicle of the rise of scientifically based, anti-Black racism.

In 1739 Bordeaux’s Royal Academy of Sciences announced a contest for the best essay on the sources of “blackness.” What is the physical cause of blackness and African hair, and what is the cause of Black degeneration, the contest announcement asked. Sixteen essays, written in French and Latin, were ultimately dispatched from all over Europe. The authors ranged from naturalists to physicians, theologians to amateur savants. Documented on each page are European ideas about who is Black and why.

Looming behind these essays is the fact that some four million Africans had been kidnapped and shipped across the Atlantic by the time the contest was announced. The essays themselves represent a broad range of opinions. Some affirm that Africans had fallen from God’s grace; others that blackness had resulted from a brutal climate; still others emphasized the anatomical specificity of Africans. All the submissions nonetheless circulate around a common theme: the search for a scientific understanding of the new concept of race. More important, they provide an indispensable record of the Enlightenment-era thinking that normalized the sale and enslavement of Black human beings.

These never previously published documents survived the centuries tucked away in Bordeaux’s municipal library. Translated into English and accompanied by a detailed introduction and headnotes written by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Andrew Curran, each essay included in this volume lays bare the origins of anti-Black racism and colorism in the West.

Table of Contents

  • Preface: Who’s Black and Why?
  • Note on the Translations
  • I
    • Introduction: The 1741 Contest on the “Degeneration” of Black Skin and Hair
    • 1. Blackness through the Power of God
    • 2. Blackness through the Soul of the Father
    • 3. Blackness through the Maternal Imagination
    • 4. Blackness as a Moral Defect
    • 5. Blackness as a Result of the Torrid Zone
    • 6. Blackness as a Result of Divine Providence
    • 7. Blackness as a Result of Heat and Humidity
    • 8. Blackness as a Reversible Accident
    • 9. Blackness as a Result of Hot Air and Darkened Blood
    • 10. Blackness as a Result of a Darkened Humor
    • 11. Blackness as a Result of Blood Flow
    • 12. Blackness as an Extension of Optical Theory
    • 13. Blackness as a Result of an Original Sickness
    • 14. Blackness Degenerated
    • 15. Blackness Classified
    • 16. Blackness Dissected
  • II
    • Introduction: The 1772 Contest on “Preserving” Negroes
    • 1. A Slave Ship Surgeon on the Crossing
    • 2. A Parisian Humanitarian on the Slave Trade
    • 3. Louis Alphonse, Bordeaux Apothecary, on the Crossing
  • Select Chronology of the Representation of Africans and Race
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Credits
  • Index
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