Diversity in ads not reflected in real life

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2009-11-19 19:36Z by Steven

Diversity in ads not reflected in real life

St. Petersburg Times
St. Petersburg, Florida

Associated Press

Advertisers are filling commercials with a mix of races and ethnicities, but critics contend such utopian situations rarely exist.

Somewhere there’s an America that’s full of neighborhoods where black and white kids play softball together, where biracial families e-mail photos online and where Asians and blacks dance in the same nightclub.

And that America is on your television…

…But critics say such ads gloss over persistent and complicated racial realities. Though the proportion of ethnic minorities in America is growing, experts say, more than superficial interaction between groups is relatively unusual.  Most Americans live and mingle with people from their own racial background.

Advertising, meanwhile, is creating a “carefully manufactured racial utopia, a narrative of colorblindness” says Charles Gallagher, a sociologist at Georgia State University in Atlanta [2004-2008; now at La Salle University].

Only about 7 percent of marriages are interracial, according to Census data. About 80 percent of whites live in neighborhoods in which more than 95 percent of their neighbors are white, and data show most Americans have few close friends of another race, Gallagher said.

“The lens through which people learn about other races is absolutely through TV, not through human interaction and contact,” he said. “Here, we’re getting a lens of racial interaction that is far afield from reality.” Ads make it seem that race doesn’t matter, when real life would tell you something different, he added…

Read the entire article here.

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Dilution Anxiety and the Black Phallus

Posted in Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2009-11-19 18:43Z by Steven

Dilution Anxiety and the Black Phallus

Ohio State University Press
July 2008
224 pages
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8142-5168-3
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8142-1091-8
CD ISBN: 978-0-8142-9171-9

Margo Natalie Crawford, Associate Professor of English
Cornell University

After the “Black is Beautiful” movement of the 1960s, black body politics have been overdetermined by both the familiar fetishism of light skin as well as the counter-fetishism of dark skin. Moving beyond the longstanding focus on the tragic mulatta and making room for the study of the fetishism of both light-skinned and dark-skinned blackness, Margo Natalie Crawford analyzes depictions of colorism in the work of Gertrude Stein, Wallace Thurman, William Faulkner, Black Arts poets, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and John Edgar Wideman. In Dilution Anxiety and the Black Phallus, Crawford adds images of skin color dilution as a type of castration to the field of race and psychoanalysis. An undercurrent of light-skinned blackness as a type of castration emerges within an ongoing story about the feminizing of light skin and the masculinizing of dark skin. Crawford confronts the web of beautified and eroticized brands and scars, created by colorism, crisscrossing race, gender, and sexuality. The depiction of the horror of these aestheticized brands and scars begins in the white-authored and black-authored modernist literature examined in the first chapters. A call for the end of the ongoing branding emerges with sheer force in the post–Black movement novels examined in the final chapters.

Read excerpts from the book here.

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Family Values in the Old South

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Economics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2009-11-19 04:33Z by Steven

Family Values in the Old South

University Press of Florida
264 pages
6 x 9
ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-3418-8
ISBN 10: 0-8130-3418-3

Edited by

Craig Thompson Friend, Associate Professor of History
North Carolina State University

Anya Jabour, Professor of History
University of Montana

This collection of essays on family life in the nineteenth-century American South reevaluates the concept of family by looking at mourning practices, farming practices, tavern life, houses divided by politics, and interracial marriages. Individual essays examine cross-plantation marriages among slaves, white orphanages, childhood mortality, miscegenation and inheritance, domestic activities such as sewing, and same-sex relationships.

Editors Craig Thompson Friend and Anya Jabour have collected work from a range of diverse and innovative historians. The volume uncovers more about Southern family life and values than we have previously known and raises new questions about how Southerners conceptualized family–from demographic structures, power relations, and gender roles to the relationship of family to society. In three sections, these ten essays explore the definition of family in the nineteenth-century South, examine the economics of family life, both rural and urban, and ultimately answer the question “what did family mean in the Old South?”


“A View of a Will: Miscegenation, Inheritance, and Family in Civil War-Era Charleston” by Kevin Noble Maillard.

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We Were Always Free: The Maddens of Culpeper County, Virginia, A 200-Year Family History

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Virginia on 2009-11-19 02:39Z by Steven

We Were Always Free: The Maddens of Culpeper County, Virginia, A 200-Year Family History

University of Virginia Press
304 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4
52 b&w illustrations
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8139-2371-0

T. O. Madden, Jr. (1903-2000)


Ann L. Miller, Historian
Virginia Transportation Research Council

Foreword by Nell Irvin Painter

In August of 1758, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, a poor Irish immigrant named Mary Madden bore a child, Sarah Madden, whose father was said to be a slave and the property of Colonel James Madison, father of the future president of the United States. This daughter, though born to a free mulatto, became indentured to the Madisons. There she worked as a seamstress to pay off the fine of her birth until she was thirty-one years old.

Sarah Madden bore ten children; when the term of her indenture was over, she and her youngest son, Willis, struck out for themselves—Sarah as a seamstress, laundress, and later, with Willis, a dairy farmer and tavern keeper.

Spanning two hundred years of American history, We Were Always Free tells its story with remarkable completeness. we can thank Sarah Madden and her descendants for keeping their family narrative alive—and for saving hundreds of important documents detailing their freedom, hardship, and daily work.

These documents came to light in 1949 when T. O. Madden Jr. discovered a hidebound trunk originally belonging to his great-grandfather Willis. Stored in the trunk were papers dating back to the mid-eighteenth century, freedom papers, papers of indenture, deeds of land, Sarah Madden’s laundry and seamstress record books, letters, traveling passes. The trunk even held a full set of business records from the nineteenth century when Madden’s Tavern flourished as a center of activity in Orange County and as a rest stop on the road to Fredericksburg.

From that day forward, T. O. Madden deeply researched his family, using census reports, other official sources, family, and friends. All have led to his ably reconstructed family history, and to his own remarkable story.

We Were Always Free is a unique and very American family saga.

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Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson: History, Memory, and Civic Culture

Posted in Anthologies, Books, History, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Science, United States, Virginia on 2009-11-19 02:19Z by Steven

Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson: History, Memory, and Civic Culture

University of Virginia Press
325 pages
6 x 9
ISBN: 0-8139-1919-3

Edited by

Jan Ellen Lewis
Rutgers University

Peter S. Onuf
University of Virginia

The publication of DNA test results showing that Thomas Jefferson was probably the father of one of his slave Sally Hemings‘s children has sparked a broad but often superficial debate. The editors of this volume have assembled some of the most distinguished American historians, including three Pulitzer Prize winners, and other experts on Jefferson, his times, race, and slavery. Their essays reflect the deeper questions the relationship between Hemings and Jefferson has raised about American history and national culture.

The DNA tests would not have been conducted had there not already been strong historical evidence for the possibility of a relationship. As historians from Winthrop D. Jordan to Annette Gordon-Reed have argued, much more is at stake in this liaison than the mere question of paternity: historians must ask themselves if they are prepared to accept the full implications of our complicated racial history, a history powerfully shaped by the institution of slavery and by sex across the color line.

How, for example, does it change our understanding of American history to place Thomas Jefferson in his social context as a plantation owner who fathered white and black families both? What happens when we shift our focus from Jefferson and his white family to Sally Hemings and her children? How do we understand interracial sexual relationships in the early republic and in our own time? Can a renewed exploration of the contradiction between Jefferson’s life as a slaveholder and his libertarian views yield a clearer understanding of the great political principles he articulated so eloquently and that Americans cherish? Are there moral or political lessons to be learned from the lives of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings and the way that historians and the public have attempted to explain their liaison?

Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson: History, Memory, and Civic Culture promises an open-ended discussion on the living legacy of slavery and race relations in our national culture.


Annette Gordon-Reed, New York Law School
Rhys Isaac, College of William and Mary
Winthrop D. Jordan, University of Mississippi
Jan Ellen Lewis, Rutgers University, Newark
Philip D. Morgan, Institute of Early American History and Culture
Peter S. Onuf, University of Virginia
Jack N. Rakove, Stanford University
Joshua Rothman, University of Virginia
Werner Sollors, Harvard University
Lucia Stanton, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation
Dianne Swann-Wright, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation
Clarence Walker, University of California at Davis
Gordon S. Wood, Brown University

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Mongrel Nation: The America Begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2009-11-19 02:02Z by Steven

Mongrel Nation: The America Begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

University of Virginia Press
January 2009
144 pages
5 1/2x 81/4
Cloth ISBN 0-8139-2777-0

Clarence E. Walker, Professor of History
University of California, Davis

The debate over the affair between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings rarely rises above the question of “Did they or didn’t they?” But lost in the argument over the existence of such a relationship are equally urgent questions about a history that is more complex, both sexually and culturally, than most of us realize. Mongrel Nation seeks to uncover this complexity, as well as the reasons it is so often obscured.

Clarence Walker contends that the relationship between Jefferson and Hemings must be seen not in isolation but in the broader context of interracial affairs within the plantation complex. Viewed from this perspective, the relationship was not unusual or aberrant but was fairly typical. For many, this is a disturbing realization, because it forces us to abandon the idea of American exceptionalism and reexamine slavery in America as part of a long, global history of slaveholders frequently crossing the color line.

More than many other societies—and despite our obvious mixed-race population—our nation has displayed particular reluctance to acknowledge this dynamic. In a country where, as early as 1662, interracial sex was already punishable by law, an understanding of the Hemings-Jefferson relationship has consistently met with resistance. From Jefferson’s time to our own, the general public denied—or remained oblivious to—the possibility of the affair. Historians, too, dismissed the idea, even when confronted with compelling arguments by fellow scholars. It took the DNA findings of 1998 to persuade many (although, to this day, doubters remain).

The refusal to admit the likelihood of this union between master and slave stems, of course, from Jefferson’s symbolic significance as a Founding Father. The president’s apologists, both before and after the DNA findings, have constructed an iconic Jefferson that tells us more about their own beliefs—and the often alarming demands of those beliefs—than it does about the interaction between slave owners and slaves. Much more than a search for the facts about two individuals, the debate over Jefferson and Hemings is emblematic of tensions in our society between competing conceptions both of race and of our nation.

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The Politics of Bisexual/Biracial Identity: A study of Bisexual and Mixed Race Women of Asian/Pacific Islander Descent

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, Women on 2009-11-19 00:27Z by Steven

The Politics of Bisexual/Biracial Identity: A study of Bisexual and Mixed Race Women of Asian/Pacific Islander Descent

San Diego State University
First Published: 1999
Reprint: 2006
120 pages
ISBN 1-23456-789-0

Beverly Yuen Thompson, Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies
Texas Woman’s College

The construction of certain behaviors and physical characteristics into an acceptable and recognized “identity” is a phenomenon that is meaningful to the specific location and historical moment. “Identities” may not travel well across certain places and historical epochs because of the intricate cultural meanings associated with them. The United States in the late twentieth century is one location in which certain identities are constructed and understood in relation to national history and to political and social issues of the historical era that created such locations. “Identities” in the U.S. have largely been based on membership in groups and classes in which people experience oppression or are denied opportunity because of that membership. For an identity to be understood as such, two factors are typically present: (1) the identity is forced upon the group in a manner which often reduces the group to stereotype and homogeneity for certain reasons such as to justify their (marginal) position in society; (2) the group members more or less accept the identity or label as significant to their self-understanding (and their position in society), although they may or may not accept the meanings that come along with the identity. Identities, therefore, are understood by both group members and non-group members as a legitimate self-label, though the ways in which either view the identity may diverge. Identities based on hegemonic cultural membership, such as white, male, heterosexual, or middle class, are often not employed as self descriptive terms unless one is differentiating one’s self from members of oppressed groups. Identities have largely been constructed in American society based on membership in recognized oppressed groups….

..Biracial identity challenges the construction of mutually exclusive racial categorizations by incorporating an understanding of miscegenation and racial mixing that produces individuals who have a diverse background of racial and ethnic characteristics. This racial mixing may stem from parents or grandparents from different racial and/or ethnic groups or from a cultural history in which racial intermixing was a common occurrence, such as the Caribbean or Hawaii. Biracial identity implies that individuals have an understanding of their diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and believe that this is an important aspect of their identity and use this concept to describe their racial makeup.

Bisexuality and biraciality as occurrences and concepts involve more than our current construction and indeed it has been argued that they have been present throughout human history (e.g., Stonequist; Haeberle & Gindorf). However, our understanding of bisexuality and multiraciality is relatively recent and the construction of them as identities is arguably quite unique. In order to understand bisexual and biracial identities in their present construction, it is crucial to review briefly the historical, legal, political, economic and social processes that influenced their treatment and embodiment. Therefore in the remainder of this introduction I will review the historical construction of Asian American experiences within the U.S. I will also give an overview of the treatment of bisexuality and homosexuality in relation to the socio-political context of placing bisexuality and homosexuality together based on the premise that it was under “homosexuality” that bisexuals were persecuted. I will then compare and contrast the historical process in the creation of biracial and bisexual identities and the issues that arise when both these identities reside in the same subject…

Read the entire thesis here.