Passing as white would make it easier to work in Mexico, she said. White migrant advocates seem to automatically command respect from locals in Reynosa. But instead of passing, Rangel-Samponaro has tried to leverage being biracial.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2022-01-11 18:51Z by Steven

Passing as white would make it easier to work in Mexico, she said. White migrant advocates seem to automatically command respect from locals in Reynosa. But instead of passing, [Felicia] Rangel-Samponaro has tried to leverage being biracial.

When she tells Mexican officials about her father, they smile and give her high fives. When she tells them she’s Black, they’re surprised.

“In their minds, Black people don’t cross into Mexico to help others,” she said.

Black migrants usually assume she’s Latina. So she makes a point of saying that she identifies as Black and that, “We are going through the same struggles.”

Molly Hennessy-Fiske, “The woman defending Black lives on the border, including her own,” The Los Angeles Times, December 27, 2021. https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-12-27/the-woman-defending-black-lives-on-the-border.

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When it comes to measuring race, the Census Bureau has repeatedly contorted its definitions and contradicted itself to uphold a specific image of whiteness.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2022-01-05 17:05Z by Steven

When it comes to measuring race, the [United States] Census Bureau has repeatedly contorted its definitions and contradicted itself to uphold a specific image of whiteness. For instance, in 1890, “quadroon” and “octoroon” were added to the census to justify the discrimination of Black Americans, only for both to be removed in the following census and never used again. Similarly, in 1930, the census added a “Mexican” racial category, which was then eliminated in the next census, after the Mexican government lobbied to have those immigrants classified as white, therefore reinstating their eligibility for citizenship.

Jasmine Mithani and Alex Samuels, “Who The Census Misses,” FiveThirtyEight, December 13, 2021. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/who-the-census-misses/.

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“Historically, these ideas serve to deny the presence of Indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants. To say that they no longer exist, that they have been absorbed by the process of mestizaje,”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2022-01-05 16:54Z by Steven

“Historically, these ideas serve to deny the presence of Indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants. To say that they no longer exist, that they have been absorbed by the process of mestizaje,” says [Juliet] Hooker, who experienced this as a girl when her family moved from the Afro-Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, where she grew up, to its mostly mestizo capital. The people there rarely identified as Black, even the ones who looked like her, and repeatedly asked why she identified that way. In 2017, Hooker explored the origins and history of the mestizo myth in her book Theorizing Race in the Americas.

Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, “How the mixed-race mestizo myth warped science in Latin America,” Nature, December 13, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-03622-z.

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As is by now clear, I have my misgivings about Hall’s recent film, but, above all, I’m very glad that she made it. If nothing else, it is a sign of Larsen’s growing stature, a growth evident to any scholar who has been watching the ballooning scholarly interest in her work in the last decade.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-12-06 23:50Z by Steven

To be sure, there are other dimensions of this adaptation that deserve discussion—for example, the downplaying of Clare’s abusive childhood, which renders her passing a little more mercenary than it is in the novel—but I’ve already gone on too long. As is by now clear, I have my misgivings about [Rebecca] Hall’s recent film, but, above all, I’m very glad that she made it. If nothing else, it is a sign of [Nella] Larsen’s growing stature, a growth evident to any scholar who has been watching the ballooning scholarly interest in her work in the last decade. Having her novel adapted for the big screen constitutes a new stage in this evolution, for it makes her only the second novelist of the Harlem Renaissance to have her work adapted for film in a major way (Zora Neale Hurston was first, with Darnell Martin’s 2005 adaptation of Their Eyes Were Watching God).

Rafael Walker, “Passing into Film: Rebecca Hall’s Adaptation of Nella Larsen,” Modernism/modernity, Volume 6, Cycle 2 (11/10/2021). https://modernismmodernity.org/forums/posts/walker-passing-film-hall-adaptation-larsen.

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As mentioned above, Columbia’s refusal to admit black students into the University created the conditions that encouraged black students to pass as white, and James Parker Barnett may be a case of just that. However, the only reason we know about James Parker Barnett was because he was CAUGHT.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-12-04 01:30Z by Steven

The extent to which elite universities like Columbia worked to keep black students outside their walls makes the accomplishments of Columbia’s hailed “first” black graduates even more impressive, as these students existed within institutions that found identity through racialized exclusivity. That being said, James Parker Barnett’s story highlights a problem with these narratives of “firsts”, not only within Columbia University, but at historically white institutions across the United States. As mentioned above, Columbia’s refusal to admit black students into the University created the conditions that encouraged black students to pass as white, and James Parker Barnett may be a case of just that. However, the only reason we know about James Parker Barnett was because he was caught. There were high levels of racial mixing occurring in the United States through the 1850s when Barnett was expelled from P&S [School of Physicians and Scientists], and estimates about the frequency of racial passing are contentious. Walter White, a famous fair-skinned black man who passed as white while doing investigative work for the NAACP, estimated that “approximately 12,000 white-skinned Negroes disappear” into white society every year”.52 Roi Ottley, a famous African-American journalist in the early 1900s, claimed that there were approximately five million white-passing black people with forty to fifty thousand passing into whiteness every year.53 While these men lived in the early to mid-1900’s, well past Barnett’s time, their research proves that racial passing had become increasingly common as African descendants continued to mix with those of white ancestry. I argue that this information lends itself to the idea that it was highly unlikely that Barnett, if indeed passing, was the first nor the last black individual to pass as white at Columbia University before it officially began accepting black students. How then, can the university endeavor to honor the “first black” students at Columbia if it has no way of knowing the identities of black passers who, by racial standards of the time, were the first graduating students of African “blood”?

Ciara Keane, “Blurring the Lines: James Parker Barnett, Racial Passing, and Invisible Early Black Students at Columbia University,” Columbia University and Slavery, 2018. https://columbiaandslavery.columbia.edu/content/blurring-lines-james-parker-barnett-racial-passing-and-invisible-early-black-students.

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In 2002, the fifth-generation Afro-Argentine was kept from leaving the country by a customs officer who insisted there are no Black Argentines and asserted her passport was fake.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-12-02 20:32Z by Steven

This year’s November celebration of African culture in Argentina is dedicated to the memory of Maria Magdalena Lamadrid — “La Pocha” — an Afro-Argentine activist who died in September. In 2002, the fifth-generation Afro-Argentine was kept from leaving the country by a customs officer who insisted there are no Black Argentines and asserted her passport was fake.

Christiana Sciaudone, “Argentine movement tries to make Black heritage more visible,” The Associated Press, November 26, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/immigration-entertainment-discrimination-migration-race-and-ethnicity-0d18920b22e0eab19f28202c591ef0ea.

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Understand the different experiences your child will have due to their intersectional identity. Their experiences will not mirror those of EITHER parent.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-12-02 20:04Z by Steven

I urge anyone who has a mixed-race family member to check in on them. If you are a parent to a mixed-race child, please acknowledge the responsibility you have. Understand the different experiences your child will have due to their intersectional identity. Their experiences will not mirror those of either parent. Just as it is your responsibility to keep them fed, clothed and healthy, it is your responsibility to educate yourselves on how the issues of race embed themselves deep within the history of the either parents’ lives, experiences, and mentalities. If you are the white parent, you must first learn to acknowledge your white privilege and know your child will never have the same experiences as you. Learn to recognise the racist language and beliefs within your own family, and most importantly yourself, because they do exist. It’s not about people uttering racial slurs, it is the misconceptions you and the people around you have about what it means to be black as well as recognising the flaws in the system which disadvantage those who are not white.

Daniella Brookes, “We Need To Stop Leaving Mixed-Race People Out Of The Race Conversation,” Words of Integrity: Celebrating positivity and embracing the peaks and falls of life. November 25, 2021. https://wordsofintegrity.com/2021/11/25/we-need-to-stop-leaving-mixed-race-people-out-of-the-race-conversation/.

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“Race is a social construct; it is not a biological determinant of health or disease,” he said.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-11-29 02:30Z by Steven

The initial move across the country to change the formula was initially sparked about five years ago by medical students who raised questions about using race in medical tests and the influence it can have on a patient’s treatment.

Paul Palevsky, president of the National Kidney Foundation, said the inclusion of race sends a “wrong message.”

“Race is a social construct; it is not a biological determinant of health or disease,” he said.

Ovetta Wiggins, “University of Maryland Medical System drops race-based algorithm officials say harms Black patients,” The Washington Post, November 17, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/maryland-hospital-black-diagnostic-test-kidneys/2021/11/17/e69edcfc-4711-11ec-b05d-3cb9d96eb495_story.html.

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Like all social constructs, race is real because we have made it so, and it seems immutable because we wish it to be. It’s no less powerful because humans invented it as a means of control. In fact, that may make it even more powerful.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-11-13 22:47Z by Steven

Like all social constructs, race is real because we have made it so, and it seems immutable because we wish it to be. It’s no less powerful because humans invented it as a means of control. In fact, that may make it even more powerful. In the name of this deeply silly idea, my people have been plundered and enslaved and tortured, raped, incarcerated, shot, and starved. This deeply silly idea is, in fact, the only reason that my people are my people or why I exist in the first place. Race, although it may be a delusion, is one that has entranced the entire world and changed the course of human history forever.

Nylah Burton, “The Passing Trailer Highlights That Race Is A Delusion,” Refinery29, September 24, 2021. https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/09/10686104/passing-trailer-reaction-ruth-negga-tessa-thompson-race.

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“I find it offensive. It’s a way for people to separate themselves from African-Americans…a way of saying ‘I’m better than that.’ I’m black because that’s the way the world sees me.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-11-13 21:09Z by Steven

Paula [Patton] knows what it’s like to be misunderstood. Growing up in L.A., the daughter of a white teacher and an African-American defense attorney, it wasn’t easy to fit in. “People judged me because I was light-skinned. [They’d assume] I didn’t want to be part of the black race,” she says. In fact, Paula, who has been referred to as biracial, says it’s a word she doesn’t care for. “I find it offensive. It’s a way for people to separate themselves from African-Americans…a way of saying ‘I’m better than that.’ I’m black because that’s the way the world sees me. People aren’t calling Barack Obama biracial. Most people think there’s a black president.”

Rory Evans, “Paula Patton’s Precious Moments,” Women’s Health, January 27, 2010. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19985167/precious-movie/.

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