A White Woman Told Me She Doesn’t ‘Think Of’ Me As Black. Here’s How I Reacted.

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2021-10-22 13:55Z by Steven

A White Woman Told Me She Doesn’t ‘Think Of’ Me As Black. Here’s How I Reacted.

The Huffington Post
2021-10-16

Laura Cathcart Robbins, Guest Writer


Photo courtesy of Laura Cathcart Robbins

“Irrespective of the neighborhood in which I live, regardless of how articulate I might seem, all I am and all I ever will be to some people is Black.”

Once, as I was putting the final touches on the live auction program for my sons’ school, one of the committee moms expressed surprise when I told her that I wanted to get more Black parents involved the following year.

“It’s funny,” she said. “I don’t really ever think of you as Black. I’ve always just seen you as one of us.”

One of us…

Read the entire article here.

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‘People Assume I’m White. This is The Racism I See’

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-10-15 00:14Z by Steven

‘People Assume I’m White. This is The Racism I See’

Newsweek
2021-10-14

Nikki Barthelmess

Nikki Barthelmess’ parents were Mexican American and Jewish, but people often assume she is white, not Mexican American. Nikki Barthelmess

A few months ago, I answered a knock at my door. My neighbor, James*, launched into a complaint. “That silver Honda is parked in front, and we have a friend coming over who wants to park there,” he said. He was referencing the car belonging to Ana*, a family friend who I hired days before to help with childcare for my toddler.

Ana appeared behind me to see what was going on. James looked at Ana and then at me, and despite Ana being only a few feet away, he nodded at Ana and spoke as if she wasn’t there. “Cleaning crew?” he asked me. My head snapped back in shock.

My eyes darted to Ana to see if she’d heard, and somehow it seemed she hadn’t. I stammered, unsure of what to say. She was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. She wasn’t holding a mop or dusting rag or anything that would indicate she was cleaning. After a moment of gaping, I closed the distance between Ana and me and put my arm around her. “James,” I said, looking at Ana, rather than at him, “this is Ana. She just started coming to the house to babysit Hadley while I write.” I squeezed Ana’s shoulder. “Ana is a long time family friend. She used to be my husband’s grandparents’ caregiver years ago before they died, and we’ve stayed in touch,” I said.

Read the entire article here.

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Sidesplitter: How to be from Two Worlds at Once

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2021-10-11 18:21Z by Steven

Sidesplitter: How to be from Two Worlds at Once

Hodder & Stoughton
2021-09-16
304 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781529350272
eBook ISBN-13: 9781529350296
Audiobook ISBN-13: 9781529350302

Phil Wang

One of the UK’s brightest and best comedians takes an incisive look at race and belonging.

‘But where are you really from?’

Phil Wang has been asked this question so many times he’s finally written a book about it.

In this mix of comic memoir and observational essay, one of the UK’s most exciting stand-up comedians reflects on his experiences as a Eurasian man in the West and in the East. Phil was born in Stoke-on-Trent, raised in Malaysia, and then came of age in Bath – ‘a spa town for people who find Cheltenham too ethnic’.

Phil takes an incisive look at what it means to be mixed race, as he explores the contrasts between cultures and delves into Britain and Malaysia’s shared histories, bringing his trademark cynicism and wit to topics ranging from family, food, and comedy to race, empire, and colonialism.

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High Yella: A Modern Family Memoir

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Family/Parenting, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2021-10-11 18:20Z by Steven

High Yella: A Modern Family Memoir

University of Georgia Press
2021-10-01
280 pages
Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in
Hardcover ISBN: 9-780-8203-6031-7

Steve Majors

They called him “pale faced or mixed race.” They called him “light, bright, almost white.” But most of the time his family called him “high yella.” Steve Majors was the white passing, youngest son growing up in an all-Black family that struggled with poverty, abuse, and generational trauma. High Yella is the poignant account of how he tried to leave his troubled childhood and family behind to create a new identity, only to discover he ultimately needed to return home to truly find himself. And after he and his husband adopt two Black daughters, he must set them on their own path to finding their place in the world by understanding the importance of where they come from.

In his remarkable and moving memoir, Majors gathers the shards of a broken past to piece together a portrait of a man on an extraordinary journey toward Blackness, queerness, and parenthood. High Yella delivers its hard-won lessons on love, life, and family with exceptional grace.

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Single Race

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2021-10-11 18:18Z by Steven

Single Race

Scary Mixed: Because Being Mixed Isn’t Scary Enough A Dafina Moore Site
2020-09-17

Dafina Moore

Single race privilege is not understanding I am not a single race.

Single race privilege is trying to make me pick one of those races and not understanding why that is difficult.

Single race privilege is trying to explain that picking one race over the other is like asking you to pick a favorite child or parent and you thinking it’s not the same thing…

Read the entire article here.

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Film Screening with Director in Attendance: “Becoming Black”(2019)

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Europe, Forthcoming Media, Videos on 2021-10-08 21:42Z by Steven

Film Screening with Director in Attendance: “Becoming Black”(2019)

Black German Heritage & Research Association
Online Event
Wednesday, 2021-11-17, 17:30-19:30Z (12:30-14:30 EST)

As the next segment of our ongoing All Black Lives Matter event series, and in cooperation with the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, The University of Toronto, and Africana Studies at Rutgers University-Camden, the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) is pleased to invite you to a film screening of Ines Johnson-Spain’s autobiographical documentary “Becoming Black“(2019).

SYNOPSIS: Becoming Black (dir. Ines Johnson-Spain, 2019, 91 min.):

In the 1960s, the East German Sigrid falls in love with Lucien from Togo, one of several African students studying at a trade school on the outskirts of East Berlin. She becomes pregnant, but is already married to Armin. Sigrid and Armin raise their daughter as their own, withholding from her knowledge of her African paternal heritage. That child grows up to become the filmmaker Ines Johnson-Spain. In filmed encounters with her aging stepfather Armin and others from her youth, Johnson-Spain tracks the strategies of denial developed by her parents and the surrounding community. Her intimate but also critical exploration comprising both painful and confusing childhood memories and matter-of-fact accounts testifies to a culture of repression. When blended with movingly warm encounters with her Togolese family, Becoming Black becomes a thought-provoking reflection on identity, social norms and family ties.

The link to view the film will be posted on Eventbrite for registrants to stream from November 15-18, 2021.

For more information and to register, click here.

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De Waal’s ‘extraordinary’ memoir goes to Tinder Press

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2021-10-01 18:52Z by Steven

De Waal’s ‘extraordinary’ memoir goes to Tinder Press

The Bookseller: At the Heart of Publishing since 1858
2021-09-28

Heloise Wood, Deputy News Editor

Tinder Press has landed Kit de Waal’s memoir about growing up in Birmingham in the Sixties and Seventies, Without Warning and Only Sometimes, which she described as “the story I always wanted to tell”.

Publisher Mary-Anne Harrington acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Jo Unwin at JULA. Without Warning and Only Sometimes will be published on 18th August 2022.

The memoir charts de Waal’s unpredictable childhood, growing up mixed race in Moseley, Birmingham.

Harrington said: “I have been desperate to work with Kit for years and knew she had the most wonderful story to tell, so it’s both an enormous thrill and an honour to be working with her on Without Warning and Only Sometimes. Kit takes us into the mind and heart of a girl raised to believe the world was going to end in 1975, who was never allowed to celebrate Christmas, and whose father squirreled away every penny he had to build a house in St Kitts that his wife and children were never to see.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Bernardine Evaristo on a childhood shaped by racism: ‘I was never going to give up’

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2021-09-28 01:40Z by Steven

Bernardine Evaristo on a childhood shaped by racism: ‘I was never going to give up’

The Guardian
2021-09-25

Bernardine Evaristo


Bernardine Evaristo: ‘I liked the same music as my little white pals, ate the same food, had the same feelings – human ones.’ Photograph: Suki Dhanda/The Observer

My creativity can be traced back to my heritage, to the skin colour that defined how I was perceived. But, like my ancestors, I wouldn’t accept defeat

When I won the Booker prize in 2019 for my novel Girl, Woman, Other, I became an “overnight success”, after 40 years working professionally in the arts. My career hadn’t been without its achievements and recognition, but I wasn’t widely known. The novel received the kind of attention I had long desired for my work. In countless interviews, I found myself discussing my route to reaching this high point after so long. I reflected that my creativity could be traced back to my early years, cultural background and the influences that have shaped my life. Not least, my heritage and childhood

Through my father, a Nigerian immigrant who had sailed into the Motherland on the “Good Ship Empire” in 1949, I inherited a skin colour that defined how I was perceived in the country into which I was born, that is, as a foreigner, outsider, alien. I was born in 1959 in Eltham and raised in Woolwich, both in south London. Back then, it was still legal to discriminate against people based on the colour of their skin, and it would be many years before the Race Relations Acts (1965 and 1968) enshrined the full scope of anti-racist doctrine into British law.

My English mother met my father at a Commonwealth dance in central London in 1954. She was studying to be a teacher at a Catholic teacher-training college run by nuns in Kensington; he was training to be a welder. They married and had eight children in 10 years. Growing up, I was labelled “half-caste”, the term for biracial people at that time…

Read the entire article here.

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We Are Owed.

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Poetry, Texas, United States on 2021-09-22 17:56Z by Steven

We Are Owed.

Grieveland
2021-07-29
98 pages
6 x 0.21 x 9 inches
ISBN: 978-1-7353527-6-3

Ariana Brown

We Are Owed. is the debut poetry collection of Ariana Brown, exploring Black relationality in Mexican and Mexican American spaces. Through poems about the author’s childhood in Texas and a trip to Mexico as an adult, Brown interrogates the accepted origin stories of Mexican identity. We Are Owed asks the reader to develop a Black consciousness by rejecting U.S., Chicano, and Mexican nationalism and confronting anti-Black erasure and empire-building. As Brown searches for other Black kin in the same spaces through which she moves, her experiences of Blackness are placed in conversation with the histories of formerly enslaved Africans in Texas and Mexico. Esteban Dorantes, Gaspar Yanga, and the author’s Black family members and friends populate the book as a protective and guiding force, building the “we” evoked in the title and linking Brown to all other African-descended peoples living in what Saidiya Hartman calls “the afterlife of slavery.”

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Choosing Blackness

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2021-09-20 15:18Z by Steven

Choosing Blackness

The Philadelphia Inquirer
2021-09-15

Elizabeth Wellington, Staff Columnist


Columnist Elizabeth Wellington poses for a photograph with her mother Margaret outside of the family home in New York. MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer

Black identity is usually wrapped up in not having choice. My family used their light-skinned privilege to flip that choice and turned Blackness into a celebration of pride and identity and love.

I thought my mother was a white woman until I was about five years old.

So I will never forget the day she told me she was Black. The conversation started simple enough: I described someone on television as white, like she was.

If um, hell to the no was a person, she would have been Margaret Wellington in that moment.

My mother is so fair that whether she styled her hair in a Pam Grier-esque, mega Afro or a blonde-streaked press and curl, she was sometimes mistaken for a white woman. I’m sure she wasn’t surprised by my question given my milk chocolate hue. But she wasn’t angry. She settled into her rocking chair and motioned for me to sit next to her. We were wearing matching green cardigans. I may have been darker, but to her, I was still her toddler-sized replica. She took my chubby little hand into her slender one, and looking me in the eye said, “Beth, I’m Black.”

Clearly I looked confused. Because she said it again. This time with more soul. “I AM BLACK. I do not have the same pretty brown skin that you have. But I AM BLACK. And I am YOUR MOTHER.”

My 5-year-old self was relieved….

Read the entire article here.

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