How the mixed-race mestizo myth warped science in Latin America

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2021-12-21 03:40Z by Steven

How the mixed-race mestizo myth warped science in Latin America

Number 600 (2021-12-13)
pages 374-378
DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-03622-z

Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, Science Journalist
Mexico City, Mexico

Genetic studies have found a striking amount of diversity among people in Mexico. Credit: Stephania Corpi Arnaud for Nature

Researchers are trying to dismantle the flawed concept of homogeneous racial mixing that has fostered discrimination in Mexico, Brazil and other countries.

Nicéa Quintino Amauro always knew who she was.

She was born in Campinas, the last city in Brazil to prohibit slavery in 1888. She grew up in a Black neighbourhood, with a Black family. And a lot of her childhood was spent in endless meetings organized by the Unified Black Movement, the most notable Black civil-rights organization in Brazil, which her parents helped to found to fight against centuries-old racism in the country. She knew she was Black.

But in the late 1980s, when Amauro was around 13 years old, she was told at school that Brazilians were not Black. They were not white, either. Nor any other race. They were considered to be mestiços, or pardos, terms rooted in colonial caste distinctions that signify a tapestry of European, African and Indigenous backgrounds. And as one single mixed people, they were all equal to each other.

The idea felt odd. Wrong, even. “To me, it seemed quite strange,” says Amauro, now a chemist at the Federal University of Ubêrlandia in Minas Gerais and a member of the Brazilian Association of Black Researchers. “How can everyone be equal if racism exists? It doesn’t make sense.”

Amauro’s concerns echo across Latin America, where generations of people have been taught that they are the result of a long history of mixture between different ancestors who all came, or were forced, to live in the region…

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A Point of View: Mixed Race Experience is Hard to Categorize. Stop Trying.

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2021-12-21 03:14Z by Steven

A Point of View: Mixed Race Experience is Hard to Categorize. Stop Trying.

The Inclusion Solution

Rochelle Younan-Montgomery, Founder & Facilitator at Holistic Workplace Inclusion LLC

I am mixed Egyptian and white, and I love being biracial. I can navigate differing cultural contexts with relative ease, I enjoy connecting with a wide variety of folx in a multitude of settings, and I take pleasure in deepening my non-Western cultural background. My racial identity has also been the source of an immense amount of pain. My white mother struggled with how to care for my unruly curly hair and would aggressively brush through it when it was dry (a major no-no for tight, thick curls), to the point of bringing me to tears. She now jokes that when I was 5 years old, she had my hair cut short for her birthday, to make things easier on herself. As a mother, I understand how hard parenting can be. However, the choice to “eliminate the hair problem” felt as though my natural hair was a burden for her, rather than something to be curious about, to celebrate, to work with, rather than work against. I am not alone in this; so many mixed children experience the pain of othering by their own families…

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One and Half of You

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Poetry on 2021-12-21 03:05Z by Steven

One and Half of You

Talon Books
88 pages
6 W × 9 H × .237 D inches
Paperback ISBN: 9781772012866

Leanne Dunic

From the talented multidisciplinary artist, musician, and writer Leanne Dunic comes the lyric memoir One and Half of You. In sinuous language, with candour, openness, and surprising humour, Dunic explores sibling and romantic love and the complexities of being a biracial person looking for completion in another.

Including links to three songs written and performed for the book by tidepools.

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