Rutgers Takes a Yearlong Look at Race, Place and Space in the Americas

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-26 02:23Z by Steven

Rutgers Takes a Yearlong Look at Race, Place and Space in the Americas

Rutgers Today
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Carrie Stetler

History professors Ann Fabian, left, and Mia Bay have been awarded a $175,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to explore how place has impacted the role of race in the Americas.

Mia Bay’s mother always thought it was odd that on a plane trip in the 1950s, she just happened to be seated next to the only other black person on the flight.

Bay, director of the Rutgers Center for Race and Ethnicity, didn’t think much of her mother’s story, until she began researching her upcoming book about segregated transportation in the United States.

“No one ever talks about segregation on planes, but I found there was a secret code used to make sure that all black people sat in the same row,” she says.

For Bay, the little known history of airline segregation illustrates the ways in which  definitions of race, and the experiences of racial minorities, have differed from place to place—whether it’s a city block, a railroad car, or an airplane.

“America’s racial maps have always been complex and contradictory, subject to changing laws and shifting borders.” —Ann Fabian

“Who is black and who is white is decided by different calculations, in different places; as is who is Indian and who is not,” says Bay, a professor of history in the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS)  “The racial classification of many ethnic groups changes over time; and some societies adopt multiracial categories, while others do not.”…

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Rutgers Student, a German ‘Brown Baby,’ Helps Others Search for their Identities and Creates Community

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2013-04-02 02:43Z by Steven

Rutgers Student, a German ‘Brown Baby,’ Helps Others Search for their Identities and Creates Community

Focus: News for and about Rutgers faculty, students, and staff
Rutgers University

Carrie Stetler

She grew up in Willingboro, New Jersey, as Wanda Lynn Haymon, the only child of an African-American mother and father who made her feel special and loved.
But when relatives whispered at family gatherings, she knew they were talking about her. One day she asked her parents if she was adopted.
 “Do you feel adopted?’’ they answered.
She did, but had no proof until 1994 when Wanda Lynn discovered that she was born Rosemarie Larey in Viernheim, Germany, the daughter of a black soldier and German mother. Although she was born in 1956, just 11 years earlier, Nazis, who regarded blacks as racially inferior, sent some of the estimated 25,000 Afro-Germans to concentration camps. Many were subject to medical experiments or were forcibly sterilized. Others simply disappeared.
After the war, the stigma of bearing a bi-racial child was so great that many mothers brought their children to orphanages, which often placed them with African-American families in the United States.
Today, Rosemarie Pena  (her married name) is completing her master’s degree at the Rutgers-Camden, in the Department of Childhood Studies, researching the history of “brown babies,’’ as they were known at the time of their birth, as well as people who identify as Afro-German around the world.
Pena also heads the Black German Cultural Society of New Jersey, an academic organization that connects Afro-Germans internationally. Its mission is to document and inform others about black Germans and their history. For post-war adoptees like Pena, the society helps them find closure and connects them with others who share their experience…

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I called myself “Czecha Rican,” she jokes.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2012-09-22 16:24Z by Steven

Although earlier psychological research focused on those who are biracial or multiracial experiencing a “fractured sense of self,” Sanchez believes the stereotype is unfounded. The multiracial people she has studied are comfortable with who they are.  “They seem to be just as well-adjusted as their monoracial peers,” says [Diana] Sanchez, who is half Puerto Rican and half Czechoslovakian (I called myself “Czecha Rican,” she jokes.)

Carrie Stetler, “Rutgers Group Brings Students Together to Explore the Complexities of Being Multiracial,” Rutgers Focus, (September 2012).

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Rutgers Group Brings Students Together to Explore the Complexities of Being Multiracial

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2012-09-22 15:48Z by Steven

Rutgers Group Brings Students Together to Explore the Complexities of Being Multiracial

Rutgers University News
September 2012

Carrie Stetler

By 2050, one in five Americans is likely to be multiracial

It’s a question Joan Gan hears a lot: “What are you?” She instantly knows what it means.

Her father is Chinese and her mother is Greek, so when people meet her for the first time, they often have trouble identifying her ethnicity.

Gan, a Rutgers junior who grew up in Parsippany, understands their curiosity, and the questions don’t really bother her. But other aspects of growing up biracial were harder to negotiate.

“In high school I saw lots of ethnic clubs, and at colleges, too, and I didn’t really know which one to join,” says Gan, an environmental science major. “Even though I’m technically Asian, people don’t consider me one of them and technically I’m white, but people don’t always consider me that, either.”

During her first year at Rutgers, Gan discovered Fusion: Rutgers Union of Mixed People, which gives her and other students an opportunity to come together and explore the challenges and complexities of being multiracial…

…Fusion began seven years ago when Rutgers psychology professor Diana Sanchez, who is now the club’s adviser, started researching biracial and multiracial identity.

“As a way of connection multiracial students and getting participants for my research, I asked a student I knew to start an organization and he did,’’ says Sanchez, an an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, in the School of Arts and Sciences.. “Multiracial people hold a unique view of race; they’ve questioned it in a very different way. If you feel ‘in between’ communities, there is another identity you form that has to do with the merging of both those identities.”

Phillip Handy, who graduated in 2009, was one of the co-founders of Fusion. He is half European and half African American. “Racial conversations at Rutgers … often viewed race in a very categorical way,” says Handy, who grew up in Howell and now lives in California.“I thought the discussions would be enhanced by a multiracial student group.”…

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