By The Cut of Their Cloth

Posted in History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Videos on 2022-08-08 20:18Z by Steven

By The Cut of Their Cloth

The Mixed Museum
London, United Kingdom
2022-03-21

BTCOTC’s creative director, Warren Reilly, and the Director of The Mixed Museum, Dr Chamion Caballero, discuss the inspiration behind their exploration into Brent’s mixed race and multicultural history as well as the project’s activities.

BTCOTC is part of the Being Brent Heritage 2021 Well Being fund. To learn more about the project, visit: https://mixedmuseum.org.uk/btcotcproject.

Film directed and edited by Justine Nassef Magdy.

The archival photographs featured in the video are from the Petersen Collection at Glamorgan Archives, and Butetown History and Arts Centre (material now hosted at The Heritage & Cultural Exchange Archive).

For more information, click here.

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Woman, Eating: A Literary Vampire Novel

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels, United Kingdom on 2022-04-14 22:10Z by Steven

Woman, Eating: A Literary Vampire Novel

HarperVia (an imprint of HarperCollins)
2022-04-12
240 pages
5.5 x 0.85 x 8.25 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780063140882
E-book ISBN: 9780063140905
Digital Audio, MP3 ISBN: 9780063140912

Claire Kohda

A young, mixed-race vampire must find a way to balance her deep-seated desire to live amongst humans with her incessant hunger in this stunning debut novel from a writer-to-watch.

Lydia is hungry. She’s always wanted to try Japanese food. Sashimi, ramen, onigiri with sour plum stuffed inside – the food her Japanese father liked to eat. And then there is bubble tea and iced-coffee, ice cream and cake, and foraged herbs and plants, and the vegetables grown by the other young artists at the London studio space she is secretly squatting in. But, Lydia can’t eat any of these things. Her body doesn’t work like those of other people. The only thing she can digest is blood, and it turns out that sourcing fresh pigs’ blood in London – where she is living away from her vampire mother for the first time – is much more difficult than she’d anticipated.

Then there are the humans – the other artists at the studio space, the people at the gallery she interns at, the strange men that follow her after dark, and Ben, a boyish, goofy-grinned artist she is developing feelings for. Lydia knows that they are her natural prey, but she can’t bring herself to feed on them. In her windowless studio, where she paints and studies the work of other artists, binge-watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and videos of people eating food on YouTube and Instagram, Lydia considers her place in the world. She has many of the things humans wish for – perpetual youth, near-invulnerability, immortality – but she is miserable; she is lonely; and she is hungry – always hungry.

As Lydia develops as a woman and an artist, she will learn that she must reconcile the conflicts within her – between her demon and human sides, her mixed ethnic heritage, and her relationship with food, and, in turn, humans – if she is to find a way to exist in the world. Before any of this, however, she must eat.

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Manifesto: On Never Giving Up

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2022-02-15 21:30Z by Steven

Manifesto: On Never Giving Up

Grove Atlantic
2022-01-18
240 pages
5.5″ x 8.25″
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-8021-5890-1
eBook ISBN-13: 978-0-8021-5891-8

Bernardine Evaristo

From the bestselling and Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo’s memoir of her own life and writing, and her manifesto on unstoppability, creativity, and activism

Bernardine Evaristo’s 2019 Booker Prize win was an historic and revolutionary occasion. The first Black woman and first Black British person ever to win the prize, Evaristo’s breathtaking Girl, Woman, Other was dubbed “godlike in its scope and insight” by the Washington Post, named a favorite book by President Obama, Roxane Gay, and countless other readers, and translated into thirty-five languages.

Evaristo’s nonfiction debut, Manifesto, is an intimate and inspirational account of Evaristo’s life and career as she rebelled against the mainstream to fight to bring her creative work into the world. She recalls her childhood and teenaged years as a young actor and playwright in London, details her early political awakenings and activism, and recounts her determination to tell stories that were absent in the literary world around her. In her over three decades of centering the stories and histories of Black Britons, Evaristo refused to let any barriers stand in her way. In Manifesto, she charts her theory of unstoppability, and explains how she broke with convention to achieve fulfillment both artistic and personal. Drawing deeply on her own varied experiences and the people who have inspired her, Evaristo offers a vital contribution to conversations around race, class, feminism, sexuality, and aging.

Manifesto is a unique inspiration to us all to persist in doing work that we believe in, even when we might feel overlooked or discounted, following in Evaristo’s footsteps, from first vision, to continued perseverance, to eventual triumph.

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Book Talk-Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multi-Racial Jewish Family

Posted in Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Judaism, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, Slavery, United Kingdom, United States, Videos on 2021-10-25 17:39Z by Steven

Book Talk-Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multi-Racial Jewish Family

American Jewish Historical Society
2021-08-04

Author Laura Arnold Leibman discusses her new book with Gender and Jewish Studies Professor, Samira K. Mehta. Hear how family heirlooms were used to unlock the mystery of the Moses’s Family ancestors in, Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multiracial Jewish Family.

Tracing an extraordinary journey throughout the Atlantic World, Leibman examines artifacts left behind in Barbados, Suriname, London, Philadelphia, and New York, to show how Sarah and Isaac Moses were able to transform themselves and their lives, becoming free, wealthy, Jewish, and—at times—white. While their affluence made them unusual, their story mirrors that of the largely forgotten population of mixed African and Jewish ancestry that constituted as much as ten percent of the Jewish communities in which the siblings lived.

Watch the video (00:56:47) here.

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Immigration, Passing, and the Racial Other in Neo-Victorian Imperialist Fiction: The Case of Carnival Row (2019–)

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom on 2021-10-21 14:20Z by Steven

Immigration, Passing, and the Racial Other in Neo-Victorian Imperialist Fiction: The Case of Carnival Row (2019–)

Adaptation
Published 2021-10-07
DOI: 10.1093/adaptation/apab018

Dina Pedro, Ph.D. candidate
Department of English and German, School of Philology, Translation and Communication
Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain

In this article, I provide a close reading of Season 1 of the neo-Victorian TV series Carnival Row as both an ambivalent postcolonial and neo-passing narrative. I first draw on previous criticism on postcolonial neo-Victorianism and turn-of-the-century American passing novels in order to analyze Carnival Row’s contradictory revision of imperial London through its re-imagining in a fictional city named The Burgue. I then explore the conflicting ways in which the series tackles (neo-)imperialism and colonialization, as it simultaneously criticizes and reproduces imperial ideologies and stereotypes of the racial Other. Finally, I argue that Carnival Row seems to offer a new take on American passing novels by allowing Philo, the mixed-race male protagonist, to embrace his biracial nature without meeting a tragic fate at the end of Season 1. Nonetheless, by choosing a White actor (Orlando Bloom) to play the role of the passer, the series culturally appropriates a form of Black oppression for the entertainment of a White audience. Thus, despite the series’ well-intentioned attempts to criticize (neo-)imperial, racist, and xenophobic practices, it ultimately perpetuates—rather than subverts—those very same ideologies.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multi-Racial Jewish Family

Posted in Biography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Judaism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2021-10-07 15:45Z by Steven

Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multi-Racial Jewish Family

Oxford University Press
2021-08-30
320 Pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780197530474

Laura Arnold Leibman, Professor of English and Humanities
Reed College, Portland, Oregon

Highlights

  • Provides a rare historical portrait of life as a Jewish American of color
  • Examines the history of racial “passing” in an international context
  • Uses an intersectional lens to untangle a family history

An obsessive genealogist and descendent of one of the most prominent Jewish families since the American Revolution, Blanche Moses firmly believed her maternal ancestors were Sephardic grandees. Yet she found herself at a dead end when it came to her grandmother’s maternal line. Using family heirlooms to unlock the mystery of Moses’s ancestors, Once We Were Slaves overturns the reclusive heiress’s assumptions about her family history to reveal that her grandmother and great-uncle, Sarah and Isaac Brandon, actually began their lives as poor Christian slaves in Barbados. Tracing the siblings’ extraordinary journey throughout the Atlantic World, Leibman examines artifacts they left behind in Barbados, Suriname, London, Philadelphia, and, finally, New York, to show how Sarah and Isaac were able to transform themselves and their lives, becoming free, wealthy, Jewish, and–at times–white. While their affluence made them unusual, their story mirrors that of the largely forgotten population of mixed African and Jewish ancestry that constituted as much as ten percent of the Jewish communities in which the siblings lived, and sheds new light on the fluidity of race–as well as on the role of religion in racial shift–in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Table of Contents

  • Illustrations
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Origins (Bridgetown, 1793-1798)
  • Chapter 2: From Slave to Free (Bridgetown, 1801)
  • Chapter 3: From Christian to Jew (Suriname, 1811-12)
  • Chapter 4: The Tumultuous Island (Bridgetown, 1812-1817)
  • Chapter 5: Synagogue Seats (New York & Philadelphia, 1793-1818)
  • Chapter 6: The Material of Race (London, 1815-17)
  • Chapter 7: Voices of Rebellion (Bridgetown, 1818-24)
  • Chapter 8: A Woman Valor (New York, 1817-19)
  • Chapter 9: This Liberal City (Philadelphia, 1818-33)
  • Chapter 10: Feverish Love (New York, 1819-1830)
  • Chapter 11: When I am Gone (New York, Barbados, London, 1830-1847)
  • Chapter 12: Legacies (New York and Beyond, 1841-1860)
  • Epilogue
  • Appendix: Family Trees
  • Abbreviations
  • Bibliography
  • Notes
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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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‘The Other Windrush’: the hidden history of Afro-Chinese families in 1950s London

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2021-07-09 02:19Z by Steven

‘The Other Windrush’: the hidden history of Afro-Chinese families in 1950s London

gal-dem
2021-06-30

Tao Leigh Goffe, Assistant Professor of Literary Theory and Cultural History
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York


image credit: Tao Leigh Goffe/Canva

In this extract from ‘The Other Windrush‘, writer Tao Leigh Goffe explores the history of relative Hyacinth Lee, who migrated to the UK from Jamaica.

Family history is colonial history. How, then, to understand the vernacular photographic record and what is missing about the Windrush era, itself already an omission from British history? Since the inception of the technology of photography in the 1840s, the family photo album as an heirloom to be passed down, vertically, has formed the flesh of blood relation. The family album is also a literary surface inscribed with multiple meanings about race, gender, sexuality, class and who does not belong in the family tree. The visuality of collected images forms the fleshy proof of a seemingly biological argument for bourgeois belonging and familial intimacy. Blood is proof of kinship; the family portrait is flesh, and often colonial belonging.

Because family history is inevitably colonial history, I am invested in what and who is left out of the family album and outside of colonial history. Of particular (and selfish) interest to me is the impossibility of subjects of African and Chinese heritage. Photographs of Afro-Chinese families pose a challenge to the British colonial Trinidad experiment that wished to introduce Chinese labour to the Caribbean plantation to replace Africans in the early nineteenth century.

The ‘experiment’ documented in a secret Parliamentary Papers memorandum predicted the races would not mix. African and Asian people did, of course, ‘mix’; and many subsequent channels of migration were formed from Africa meeting Asia (both China and India) in the Caribbean. Where do we see these descendants present in the routes of the Windrush generation?…

Read the entire article here.

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‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom, Women on 2020-11-01 01:35Z by Steven

‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way

The New York Times
2020-10-30

Megan Specia


Alexandra Wilson at her offices in London. “My ability is underestimated, quite a lot,” she said. Amara Eno for The New York Times

Alexandra Wilson is working to change England’s legal establishment, and perceptions about who belongs in it, from the inside.

LONDON — It was looking like a typical day at the office for Alexandra Wilson as she arrived at a London courthouse ready to defend someone accused of theft.

She tied her hair into a neat knot, shrugged on her black robe and pulled on a white horsehair wig — the official garb of Britain’s barristers, the lawyers who argue most cases in court.

But once she was in the courtroom, things went off script. In a patronizing exchange that was rude at best and hostile at worst, the prosecutor, an older white man, scoffed at Ms. Wilson, chided her for speaking with her client and tutted at her requests for details on court documents.

Unfortunately, it was an all too typical day for Ms. Wilson in a profession where, as a young Black woman, she often finds herself fighting for recognition and respect…

…As the 25-year-old daughter of a Black Caribbean father and white British mother from working-class roots, she is still a rarity in the cavernous halls of England’s courts.

Her unabashed observations about race and class have drawn a following of thousands on Twitter, inspired a book about her experiences and driven her to found a community for Black women in the legal professions. Just over a year into her career, she’s only getting started…

Read the entire article here.

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‘My mum calls me the N-word’ – the reality of growing up mixed race with a racist parent

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2020-09-11 01:19Z by Steven

‘My mum calls me the N-word’ – the reality of growing up mixed race with a racist parent

gal-dem
2020-09-05

Emma

Being a person of colour with a white parent who holds racist views is more common than you might think. Emma explores the emotional trauma of being brought up in a racist home.

A few days after the tragic death of George Floyd, when Americans took to the streets in righteous anger, my dad condemned the protests, remarking that Black people should be less afraid of the police and more so of “blacks with guns in inner cities”. Unsurprisingly, this unsavoury conversation escalated. My dad, as you might guess, is white, but I am not. Not for the first time, I was left wondering how, as a mixed race Black woman with a socially conservative white father, I reconcile with the fact that my dad might be racist?

The current racial climate has led to many people having difficult conversations about race with their families, often for the first time. Social media has been awash with handy tips and tricks for instigating conversations with uninformed family members. Instagram swipe-through posts with titles like “How to tell someone you love that they’re being racist” and “Nine counter-arguments to use against your conservative parents” ad infinitum have proliferated.

This is all well and good for white people. But what happens when the white parent in question has a Black child? Mixed race families are sometimes heralded as the ultimate antidote to racism, and a signifier of racial progress – but the reality is often far more complex. Family setups like mine are often difficult to navigate and can produce emotionally challenging situations. While the sense of urgency and pressure to educate friends and family generated by the Black Lives Matter movement is incredibly important, it can put mixed race people in an uncomfortable position. How do you balance the obligation to educate a white parent who holds racist views while protecting your own mental health?…

Read the entire article here.

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