An Artist Discovers His Black Heritage Through Photography

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2022-01-05 17:18Z by Steven

An Artist Discovers His Black Heritage Through Photography

VICE
2016-02-11

Beckett Mufson, Staff Writer

ZUN LEE, FATHER FIGURE. IMAGES COURTESY BAS BERKHOUT

German-born photographer Zun Lee documents the special non-special moments of black family life.

In his late thirties, Zun Lee discovered that he was not the son of two Korean immigrants to Frankfurt, Germany, as he had believed for most of his life. He was the son of one Korean immigrant—his mother—and a black man he’s never met. He’s been struggling with this shift in identity ever since, most recently in the form of three documentary projects, Father Figure, Black Love Matters, and Fade Resistance. Each series examines an underrepresented facet of black culture, often actively fighting harmful stereotypes that Lee has encountered…

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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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Sarawak’s mixed-race children struggle over ‘native’ identity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, Oceania on 2022-01-05 16:38Z by Steven

Sarawak’s mixed-race children struggle over ‘native’ identity

Free Malaysia Today
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2022-01-05

Wong Pek Mei

Alena Murang and her father Ose and her mother Valerie Mashman.

PETALING JAYA: Alena Murang, who has mixed parentage, discovered only as an adult that she was not legally “native” in her homeland, Sarawak.

Alena, 32, a musician, songwriter and visual artist, said she and many others were oblivious to the issue. Her birth certificate said she was a Kelabit.

Her father Ose Murang, 67, is a Dayak Kelabit community leader and her mother is European.

“Only when I was an adult did I come to understand that in Sarawak, mixed children like myself are not legally native…

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Performing Racial Uplift: E. Azalia Hackley and African American Activism in the Postbellum to Pre-Harlem Era

Posted in Arts, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2022-01-05 03:18Z by Steven

Performing Racial Uplift: E. Azalia Hackley and African American Activism in the Postbellum to Pre-Harlem Era

University Press of Mississippi
2022-01-17
224 pages
13 b&w illustrations and 13 musical examples
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496836687
Paperback ISBN: 9781496836793

Juanita Karpf, Lecturer of Music
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

A groundbreaking rediscovery of a classically trained innovator and powerful teacher who set milestones for African American singers and musicians

In Performing Racial Uplift: E. Azalia Hackley and African American Activism in the Postbellum to Pre-Harlem Era, Juanita Karpf rediscovers the career of Black activist E. Azalia Hackley (1867–1922), a concert artist, nationally famous music teacher, and charismatic lecturer. Growing up in Black Detroit, she began touring as a pianist and soprano soloist while only in her teens. By the late 1910s, she had toured coast-to-coast, earning glowing reviews. Her concert repertoire consisted of an innovative blend of spirituals, popular ballads, virtuosic showstoppers, and classical pieces. She also taught music while on tour and visited several hundred Black schools, churches, and communities during her career. She traveled overseas and, in London and Paris, studied singing with William Shakespeare and Jean de Reszke—two of the classical music world’s most renowned teachers.

Her acceptance into these famous studios confirmed her extraordinary musicianship, a “first” for an African American singer. She founded the Normal Vocal Institute in Chicago, the first music school founded by a Black performer to offer teacher training to aspiring African American musicians.

Hackley’s activist philosophy was unique. Unlike most activists of her era, she did not align herself unequivocally with either Booker T. Washington or W. E. B. Du Bois. Instead, she created her own mediatory philosophical approach. To carry out her agenda, she harnessed such strategies as giving music lessons to large audiences and delivering lectures on the ecumenical religious movement known as New Thought. In this book, Karpf reclaims Hackley’s legacy and details the talent, energy, determination, and unprecedented worldview she brought to the cause of racial uplift.

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Mirror Girls

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Novels, Passing, United States, Women on 2022-01-05 03:17Z by Steven

Mirror Girls

Little, Brown Young Readers
2022-02-08
304 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9780759553859
eBook ISBN-13: 9780759553859
Audiobook ISBN-13: 9781549165962

Kelly McWilliams

A thrilling gothic horror novel about biracial twin sisters separated at birth, perfect for fans of Lovecraft Country and The Vanishing Half

As infants, twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood were secretly separated after the brutal lynching of their parents, who died for loving across the color line. Now, at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, Charlie is a young Black organizer in Harlem, while white-passing Magnolia is the heiress to a cotton plantation in rural Georgia.

Magnolia knows nothing of her racial heritage, but secrets are hard to keep in a town haunted by the ghosts of its slave-holding past. When Magnolia finally learns the truth, her reflection mysteriously disappears from mirrors—the sign of a terrible curse. Meanwhile, in Harlem, Charlie’s beloved grandmother falls ill. Her final wish is to be buried back home in Georgia—and, unbeknownst to Charlie, to see her long-lost granddaughter, Magnolia Heathwood, one last time. So Charlie travels into the Deep South, confronting the land of her worst nightmares—and Jim Crow segregation.

The sisters reunite as teenagers in the deeply haunted town of Eureka, Georgia, where ghosts linger centuries after their time and dangers lurk behind every mirror. They couldn’t be more different, but they will need each other to put the hauntings of the past to rest, to break the mirrors’ deadly curse—and to discover the meaning of sisterhood in a racially divided land.

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Their interracial romance ended painfully after college. They reunited 42 years later — and now live together.

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2022-01-05 03:16Z by Steven

Their interracial romance ended painfully after college. They reunited 42 years later — and now live together.

The Washington Post
2021-10-04

Sydney Page, Freelance Reporter

Steve Watts and Jeanne Gustavson, while they were dating in secret in the 1970s. The couple met in college at a German Club meeting, when Gustavson was a freshman and Watts was a senior. They dated for eight years. (Courtesy of Jeanne Gustavson)

When Jeanne Gustavson spontaneously booked a trip to Chicago last summer, she had no idea what to expect. She was going to visit her first love — whom she had not seen in 42 years.

The last time Gustavson, now 68, spoke to Steve Watts was in the spring of 1979. They were young and in love, but there was one persistent issue: Watts was Black, and Gustavson’s family forbade her to see him.

“They had this mentality that Blacks and Whites don’t belong together,” said Gustavson, who was raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago, and now lives in Portland, Ore. “In my heart, I knew it wasn’t right.”

So, she flouted her family’s strict rule and dated Watts in secret.

Although she did not like disobeying her parents, “I couldn’t let him go,” Gustavson said…

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