One Drop featuring Dr. Yaba Blay and the Mixed Aunties

Posted in Audio, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2021-06-09 18:18Z by Steven

One Drop featuring Dr. Yaba Blay and the Mixed Aunties

Militantly Mixed Podcast
2021-04-27

This is a very special episode of Militantly Mixed. I, along with TaRessa Stovall and Sonia Smith-Kang aka “the Mixed Aunties” sat down to speak with Dr. Yaba Blay, author of One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race about her work on the book and the term “One Drop” as it pertains to Mixed-Black identified people.

Listen to the podcast (01:05:02) here.

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Royally Racist: The Fear Behind the One-Drop Rule to Preserve Whiteness

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2021-03-13 00:14Z by Steven

Royally Racist: The Fear Behind the One-Drop Rule to Preserve Whiteness

Beacon Broadside: A Project of Beacon Press
2021-03-11

Yaba Blay


Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are so done with the way the royal family has treated them. We wish the couple and their children all the happiness in the world. Photo credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The ripple effects from the truth bomb of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will take a while to settle. During their two-hour talk, the royal couple revealed the royal family’s concern with how dark the skin of their child, Archie, would be when he was born. Also, Archie will not be granted a title or protection. Put two and two together, and the reason is clear. Racism is a hell of a drug, isn’t it? Not even Markle’s perceived proximity to whiteness, granted to her as a biracial woman, can protect her son. We may live in the woke times of the twenty-first century, but the royal family’s “concern” is a fear is as old as the slave trade their ancestors took part in. As Yaba Blay writes in One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, it’s a historical fear, steeped in colonialism, over preserving the purity of whiteness and the superiority ascribed to it.

The US Census reveals much about the country’s perspective on race. It counts people according to how the nation defines people, and historically, those people counted as Black have been those people with any known Black ancestry. Blacks are defined by the one-drop rule. No other racial or ethnic group is defined in this way, nor does any other nation rely upon this formula; the one-drop rule is definitively Black and characteristically American. It should make sense then that the origins of the rule are directly linked to the history of Black people in the United States, and as such, our discussion of the one-drop rule begins during the period of colonial enslavement…

Read the entire article here.

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Yaba Blay | One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race

Posted in History, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Videos on 2021-03-12 15:26Z by Steven

Yaba Blay | One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race

Author Events
2021-03-04

Host:

Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies; Faculty Associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies
Princeton University

Referred to by Michael Eric Dyson as “one of the most brilliant and committed critics and advocates writing and thinking and working on behalf of Black people today,” Dr. Yaba Blay is a scholar, activist, and cultural consultant. Focusing on Black women and girls through topics like personal identity and body image, she has launched a number of viral media campaigns, produced the CNN documentary Who is Black in America?, and is an internationally renowned public speaker. Her work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Essence, and EBONY, and she has appeared on CNN, BET, and NPR, among other media outlets. In One Drop, Blay questions conventional perceptions of Blackness in order to create and understand a more diverse worldwide community.

Watch the interview here.

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ONE DROP: Shifting the Lens on Race

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2021-02-27 04:26Z by Steven

ONE DROP: Shifting the Lens on Race

Beacon Press
2021-02-16
288 pages
9 x 9 Inches
ISBN: 978-080707336-0

Yaba Blay

Challenges narrow perceptions of Blackness as both an identity and lived reality to understand the diversity of what it means to be Black in the US and around the world

  • What exactly is Blackness and what does it mean to be Black?
  • Is Blackness a matter of biology or consciousness?
  • Who determines who is Black and who is not?
  • Who’s Black, who’s not, and who cares?

In the United States, a Black person has come to be defined as any person with any known Black ancestry. Statutorily referred to as “the rule of hypodescent,” this definition of Blackness is more popularly known as the “one-drop rule,” meaning that a person with any trace of Black ancestry, however small or (in)visible, cannot be considered White. A method of social order that began almost immediately after the arrival of enslaved Africans in America, by 1910 it was the law in almost all southern states. At a time when the one-drop rule functioned to protect and preserve White racial purity, Blackness was both a matter of biology and the law. One was either Black or White. Period. Has the social and political landscape changed one hundred years later?

One Drop explores the extent to which historical definitions of race continue to shape contemporary racial identities and lived experiences of racial difference. Featuring the perspectives of 60 contributors representing 25 countries and combining candid narratives with striking portraiture, this book provides living testimony to the diversity of Blackness. Although contributors use varying terms to self-identify, they all see themselves as part of the larger racial, cultural, and social group generally referred to as Black. They have all had their identity called into question simply because they do not fit neatly into the stereotypical “Black box”—dark skin, “kinky” hair, broad nose, full lips, etc. Most have been asked “What are you?” or the more politically correct “Where are you from?” throughout their lives. It is through contributors’ lived experiences with and lived imaginings of Black identity that we can visualize multiple possibilities for Blackness.

Table of Contents

  • Author’s Note
  • Intro
  • Introspection
  • Mixed Black
  • American Black
  • Diaspora Black
  • Outro
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgements
  • About
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Skin Color and Politics Focus of Dan T. Blue Symposium

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Communications/Media Studies, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-04-10 01:16Z by Steven

Skin Color and Politics Focus of Dan T. Blue Symposium

North Carolina Central University
Durham, North Carolina
2017-04-03


Yaba Blay

North Carolina Central University (NCCU)’s 2017 Dan T. Blue Symposium in Political Science will take place April 10-13 with a focus on “The Politics of Skin Color.”

The conference is hosted by Yaba Blay, Ph.D., holder of the Dan T. Blue Endowed Chair at NCCU. Blay is a nationally recognized researcher and ethnographer who uses personal and social narratives to explore issues of race, class and culture. All events during the symposium are free and open to the public.

“Light skin versus dark skin: Which is more socially advantageous? Regarded as more beautiful? Considered more Black? Treated more favorably by the law?” Blay asks. “These are not as much questions of personal opinion as they are issues of power and politics.”

The symposium keynote event brings Blay on stage with CNN contributor and activist Michaela Angela Davis and Patrice Grell Yursik, whose online persona Afrobella is considered the godmother of brown beauty blogging, for a public conversation about colorism beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, at the A.E. Student Union.

Blay defines colorism as a discriminatory system of value based on skin tone that encourages people of color to opt for separation in place of unity. Photography from her 2013 book “(1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race,” will be on display April 10-13 in a pop-up exhibit at the NCCU Museum of Art, with an opening reception Tuesday, April 11, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Blay will present a lecture on her work immediately following the reception in the Hubbard-Totten Building Auditorium…

Read the entire article here.

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The Complexities of Skin Color

Posted in Interviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2016-07-20 19:25Z by Steven

The Complexities of Skin Color

Black Issues Forum
UNC-TV
Raleigh, North Carolina
2016-05-01
Running Time: 00:26:46

Deborah Holt Noel, Host

Inspired by the casting of Latina actress Zoe Saldana to play Nina Simone, the performer and activist known for her pride in her dark skin, Deborah chats with professor Dr. Yaba Blay, filmmaker Eric Barstow, and undergraduate student Ayana Thompson to delve into why so many people still knowingly and unknowingly participate in colorism – the assertion that light is better.

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Beauty and the Bleach: This Issue is More than Skin Deep

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2016-06-20 21:30Z by Steven

Beauty and the Bleach: This Issue is More than Skin Deep

Ebony
2016-06-20

Yaba Blay, Dan Blue Endowed Chair in Political Science
North Carolina Central University

Skin bleaching is a billion-dollar industry. Considering its global reach, Dr. Yaba Blay says we have to stop treating bleaching as just a matter of self-hate.

Over the past few years, social media has been abuzz with discussions of skin bleaching. In recent weeks, we’ve lamented Lil Kim’s ghostly shadow of her former self, ridiculed Ghanaian boxer Bukom Banku for denouncing his black skin, and dragged Azaelia Banks for becoming a virtual spokesmodel for Whitenicious by Dencia. While we talk amongst ourselves, a segment of a 2012 video investigating “unusual beauty trends” in Jamaica has resurfaced on Facebook. Viewed over two million times in less than one week, in that segment we see a soft-spoken blonde-haired European reporter “in the trenches” as she talks to a number of Jamaicans about their bleaching and offers requisite warnings about the dangers of the practice.

Whether from the perspectives of Black folks or from those of Whites, our communal voyeurism into skin bleaching tends to focus almost solely on the individuals who bleach their skin, and not the global institutions that make skin bleaching a viable option. And it’s a problem…

Read the entire article here.

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Meet Yaba Blay

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2016-03-09 01:33Z by Steven

Meet Yaba Blay

WUNC 91.5 North Carolina Public Radio
2016-03-07

Charlie Shelton, Digital News Producer

Frank Stasio, Host
“The State of Things”


Yaba Blay is the Dan Blue Endowed Chair in Political Science at N.C. Central University
Sabriya Simon

Growing up in New Orleans, Yaba Blay saw firsthand the different roles one navigates as an African-American. At home, she had to adjust to the Ghanaian culture of her parents, but outside the house, her dark skin set her apart from New Orleans’ light-skinned Creole community.

As Blay grew older, she began to explore how the ways in which she presented herself as a black woman defined her sense of self. Her work as a scholar, producer and publisher includes projects analyzing skin color in the U.S. and Ghana and hair care in black communities.

She is the author of the book “(1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race” (BLACKprint Press/2013), and she served as consulting producer for the CNN television documentary “Who Is Black in America?” She now serves as the Dan Blue endowed chair in political science at N.C. Central University in Durham.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Blay about growing up in New Orleans and her multimedia work.

Listen to the interview (00:48:10) here. Download the interview here.

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On Creoles, Colorism and Confronting our Triggers

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2016-03-01 01:27Z by Steven

On Creoles, Colorism and Confronting our Triggers

Black and Blewish
2016-02-13

TaRessa Stovall

By now everyone with media access knows of (and likely has an opinion about) Beyoncé’s new “Formation” video and Super Bowl halftime performance. She dropped the video on an otherwise slow news Saturday, February 6, and on the very next day, she symbolically won the Super Bowl by eclipsing headline halftime performers Coldplay and adjunct Bruno Mars, generating more headlines and conversation than the actual game.

The first wave of responses was a fairly unanimous rave by Black women for the I Love My Black Self, Family and Culture symbolism that season “Formation.” The second, post-Super Bowl, was dissecting Bey & Company’s performance nods to the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, which shares a 50th anniversary year with the Super Bowl and took root in the Bay Area, near the Super Bowl’s stadium in Santa Clara, California on the day when Trayvon Martin would have turned 21 and the weekend when Sandra Bland would have turned 29 had they not been victims of brutally racist murders…

…Beyond all the pro-vs.-anti Bey brouhaha, what got my attention was when Dr. Yaba Blay, a well-known expert on Black racial identity and colorism, shared her own responses to “Formation,” in Colorlines, and outed a truth with which many of us wrestle: how to balance our awareness of blatant Black-on-Black colorism when it’s embodied in otherwise enjoyable African American and (at least somewhat) affirming popular culture.

While we all know intellectually that colorism is global and in no way specific to African Americans, it doesn’t lessen the pain felt by those on the receiving end. My own admitted obsession with colorism moves me to call it out and confront it more often than is popular. I feel a strong kinship with Dr. Yaba, a respected leader in this realm, and others who believe the only way we can move past this internalized oppression and dimension of racism is to confront, wrestle with and move through it…

Read the entire article here.

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On ‘Jackson Five Nostrils,’ Creole vs. ‘Negro’ and Beefing Over Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-12 19:22Z by Steven

On ‘Jackson Five Nostrils,’ Creole vs. ‘Negro’ and Beefing Over Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’

ColorLines
2016-02-08

Yaba Blay, Dan Blue Endowed Chair & Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science
North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina

As you know, the video for Beyoncé Knowles’ “Formation” does the most, from invoking police violence, to flashing back to Hurricane Katrina, to celebrating Blue Ivy’s adorable afro. Here, Yaba Blay, a dark-skinned, New Orleans-bred scholar who researches skin color and identity politics, gets into a topic we’ve been avoiding: the message Beyoncé is sending about complexion and worth.

I was born and raised in New Awlins and never miss the opportunity to remind folks of that. So when Beyoncé’s video for “Formation” dropped on Saturday, I, like the majority of my homegirls, was hype.

I wasn’t excited because I’m a certified Beyoncé stan, because the video is visually stunning, or because this seemed to be the Blackest iteration of Beyoncé yet. I was hype because she seemed to be reppin’ New Awlins hard, and not in a tepid “I heart N.O.” kind of way, but more in line with our playfully defiant brand of Blackness. That she unleashed the video during Mardi Gras weekend? It just couldn’t get any better!

Until it got worse…

…I cheer Bey on as she sings, “I like my Negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.” But I cringe when I hear her chant, “You mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bamma about her Alabama-born dad and her mom from Louisiana. This is the same reason I cringed at the L’Oreal ad that identified Beyonce as African-American, Native American and French and why I don’t appreciate her largely unknown song “Creole.”

Having grown up black-Black (read: dark-skinned) in colorstruck New Awlins, hearing someone, particularly a woman, make a distinction between Creole and “Negro” is deeply triggering. This isn’t just for me but for many New Orleanians.

For generations, Creoles—people descended from a cultural/racial mixture of African, French, Spanish and/or Native American people—have distinguished themselves racially from “regular Negroes.” In New Orleans, phenotype—namely “pretty color and good hair”—translates to (relative) power…

Read the entire article here.

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