‘An American riddle’: the black music trailblazer who died a white man

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-07-15 15:14Z by Steven

‘An American riddle’: the black music trailblazer who died a white man

The Guardian
2021-07-14

Ammar Kalia


Harry Pace, lawyer and cultural entrepreneur, thought by his family to have been Italian. Photograph: Courtesy of Peter Pace

A fascinating new podcast delves into the life of Harry Pace, forgotten founder of the first black-owned major record label in the US – and unlocks a shocking and prescient story about race

There are, according to the academic Emmett Price, “six degrees of Harry Pace”. He is referring to the man born in 1884 who founded America’s first black-owned major record label; desegregated part of Chicago; mentored the founder of Ebony and Jet magazines and spearheaded the career of blues singer Ethel Waters. Pace is a figure who is seemingly everywhere at once, yet his name has been suspiciously absent from the history books.

“This story encapsulates how progress comes about in America – and it is never in a straight line,” says Jad Abumrad. “It is often a cycle – one that contains hope and despair, smashed together.”

Best known for their work on Radiolab and its hit spin-off, Dolly Parton’s America, Abumrad and his co-producer Shima Oliaee are speaking from New York about their latest podcast, The Vanishing of Harry Pace. The six-part series examines the life and legacy of its titular character – the founder of Black Swan records, who had a hand in coining the term “rock ‘n’ roll”. Pace was also a civil rights lawyer, a collaborator of WEB Du Bois, and, you might think, a pioneering black American erased from history because of his race…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Passing, Identity and Race

Posted in Audio, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-04-18 00:32Z by Steven

Passing, Identity and Race

WYNC
New York, New York

WNYC Newsroom

When Anita Florence Hemmings applied to attend Vassar College in upstate New York in 1893, she did not disclose her racial identity to the school. She passed as a white student for years before eventually being outed as a black woman shortly before graduation, after her white roommate’s family hired a private detective to investigate her background.

“Even though Vassar allows her to graduate after she’s been outed to the (college) president, she becomes the subject of a national scandal,” Vassar film professor Mia Mask told WNYC’s Jami Floyd. “And she’s worried that she will be unemployable after her time at Vassar.”

Now, Hemmings’s story is helping to launch a deeper conversation at the college. The conference, Quiet As It’s Kept; Passing Subjects, Contested Identities, runs from Friday Apr. 5 through Sunday Apr. 7.

For the professors coordinating the event, the topic spins off related discussions.

“Part of what happens when we start talking about passing and how we perform our identities is that we also get into a conversation about authenticity,” said English professor Hiram Perez. “It also brings us into this complex conversation about the different ways that we police one another.”

The conference is slated to include presentations about many forms of passing pertaining to race, sexuality, gender, ability, religion, and class.

Listen to the story (00:07:56) here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Ijeoma Oluo and Rebecca Carroll on Race and Representation in Journalism

Posted in Audio, Communications/Media Studies, Interviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Justice on 2018-05-18 19:26Z by Steven

Ijeoma Oluo and Rebecca Carroll on Race and Representation in Journalism

Midday on WNYC
WNYC
New York, New York
2018-05-03

Duarte Geraldino, Guest Host

Ijeoma Oluo and Rebecca Carroll discuss the ethics of representation in Sally Kohn’s book, The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity. Oluo and Aminatou Sow take issue with how they were quoted in Kohn’s book, which sets up what they say is an inaccurate dichotomy between their positions. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair about the controversy, Oluo said the real focus should be that “we need to talk about the work that people of privilege should be doing, not how many more ways we can harm ourselves so that our humanity will be seen.”


(L to R) Call Your Girlfriend’s Aminatou Sow, WNYC’s Rebecca Carroll, Nancy’s Kathy Tu, and Ear Hustle’s Nigel Poor speaking at the 2017 Werk It Festival.
(Gina Clyne Photography )

Listen to the discussion here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

For Some Adopted Kids, There’s a Danger in Erasing Racial Lines

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-18 20:16Z by Steven

For Some Adopted Kids, There’s a Danger in Erasing Racial Lines

The Takeaway
WNYC Radio
New York, New York
2017-07-10

Todd Zwillich, Host


Rebecca Carroll (upper left) with her siblings, circa 1974. (Courtesy of Guest)

The Takeaway has been presenting conversations about race and identity through our original series, “Uncomfortable Truths: Confronting Racism in America.”

Last week, we featured a conversation with Takeaway listener Rechelle Schimke and her brother, Gerritt. Rechelle is white; Gerritt, who was adopted, is black.

Rebecca Carroll, editor of special projects at WNYC Radio, heard echoes of her own story in that conversation. Rebecca, like Gerritt, is black, and was also adopted by a white family.

But while Gerritt’s experience resulted in a seeming erasure of racial lines, Rebecca insists on the importance of recognizing the different identities that have shaped the history of race in America.

Listen to the interview (00:08:00) here.

Tags: , , , ,

A Family Comes Out of the (Racial) Closet

Posted in Audio, Family/Parenting, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-06-27 00:27Z by Steven

A Family Comes Out of the (Racial) Closet

The Takeaway
WNYC
2017-06-13


Alison Fornés with her daughter Amiya Fornés-Sicam (left) and mother Julia Fornés (right). (Alison Fornes)

Alison Fornés, an education consultant based in Salem, Massachusetts, wrote to us wanting to speak with her mother, Julia, as part our “Uncomfortable Truths” series.

Talking to your mom about identity may not seem like a conversation most people would classify as “uncomfortable,” but Julia largely kept the story of her upbringing from her daughter. In 1956, at just six years old, Julia was sent from Puerto Rico to an orphanage in Connecticut. Because of racial tensions in the area in 1956, Julia was discouraged from carrying on her traditions from back home in order to be viewed as a more desirable adoptee for a family. She spent much of her life trying to pass as anything but Puerto Rican.

As Alison got older, she started to wonder why she didn’t know more about her mother’s childhood traditions back in the Caribbean. So she sat down to ask Julia about why she felt compelled to hide her Puerto Rican identity, and how she eventually came to embrace it.

Listen to the story here.

Tags: , , ,

Oreo: A Comeback Story

Posted in Audio, Judaism, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2015-07-25 01:55Z by Steven

Oreo: A Comeback Story

On The Media
WNYC FM
New York, New York
Friday, 2015-07-17

Mythili Rao, Host and Producer

Guests: Mat Johnson, Harryette Mullen, Mark Anthony Neal and Danzy Senna

In 1974, Fran Ross published her first and only novel, “Oreo.” The satirical tale of a biracial teenager’s Theseus-style quest to find her father was almost completely overlooked in its era. Now, more than 4 decades later, its re-issue is being met with critical praise. Producer Mythili Rao explores why Ross’s take on racial identity was so ahead of its time.

Listen to the interview (00:10:58) here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Family Secret in the Mirror

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Judaism, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2015-04-16 14:01Z by Steven

The Family Secret in the Mirror

The Brian Lehrer Show
WNYC 93.9 FM
New York, New York
Monday, 2015-03-23

Brian Lehrer, Host


Lacey Schwartz wins the documentary section prize for her documentary work-in-progress, ‘Outside The Box’ at the TAA Awards during the 5th Annual Tribeca Film Festival. (Mat Szwajkos/Getty)

Raised as a white Jewish kid in Woodstock, New York, filmmaker Lacey Schwartz tells the story of her discovery that she is in fact bi-racial and doesn’t just take after her father’s Sicilian ancestor. In her documentary “Little White Lie,” she discusses the effect of the lies and the truth about her family and identity.

Download the episode here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Richard Pryor’s Daughter on Growing Up Biracial

Posted in Articles, Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2013-04-12 20:00Z by Steven

Richard Pryor’s Daughter on Growing Up Biracial

WNYC Radio
New York, New York
WNYC News
2013-04-07

Soterios Johnson

April 7, 2013 – Richard Pryor, one of the most influential comedians of all-time, gained pop star status in the 1970’s with his incisive storytelling about issues including race.  Now, his daughter Rain is sharing her take on growing up biracial in ’70s and ’80s Los Angeles, the child of the African-American comic genius and a Jewish go-go dancer.

In her one-woman show, “Fried Chicken and Latkes,” Pryor brings to life the family members, societal pressures and personal experiences that forged her identity at a time when attitudes about race in the U.S. were rapidly changing.

“I really wanted to tell a story about me, so people would get to know who I am,” Pryor said.  “But at the same time really talk about things that were important to me.  And, race was always such a big issue for me, and still is, especially in our country.”…

Read the entire article here. Download the interview here.

Tags: , , , ,

Bengali Harlem

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Audio, History, Media Archive, United States on 2013-01-13 16:33Z by Steven

Bengali Harlem

The Brian Lehrer Show
WNYC 93.9 FM/ 820 AM
2013-01-11

Brian Lehrer, Host

Vivek Bald, Assistant Professor of Writing and Digital Media
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Vivek Bald, documentary director and assistant professor of writing and digital media at MIT and the author of Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America, reveals the little known history of early South Asian immigrants, from Tremé to Harlem.

→explore the Bengali Harlem website, including an excerpt from Aladdin Ullah’s one-man show here.

Download the interview here. Stream m3u here. (00:14:12).

Tags: , ,

Fatal Invention: Race and Science

Posted in Audio, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2011-09-13 21:28Z by Steven

Fatal Invention: Race and Science

The Brian Lehrer Show
WNYC
Monday, 2011-08-15

Brian Lehrer, Host

Dorothy Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

Dorothy Roberts, Kirkland & Ellis professor and faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, and author of Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics and Big Business Re-create Race In the Twenty-First Century, discusses how the findings of the Human Genome Project a decade ago stands in contrast to racial definitions in medicine and technology.

Download the audio here (00:13:04).

Tags: , , ,