“When I walk in to teach black studies, some students aren’t sure I’m the professor,” he says. “I get it. It’s about expectations.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-10-29 16:22Z by Steven

Born in Berkeley, California, to a white Jewish father with family in Elmont, Long Island, and a black Episcopalian mother with deep roots in Boston, where the family would settle when Zebulon was 3, Miletsky’s blended heritage and a pale complexion that sometimes gets him mistaken as white has informed each move of his life. That means personally — he’s now married (his wife, Karla, is Latina) with two young sons and lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn — and professionally. The ever-echoing theme: That dividing line between black and white…

…“When I walk in to teach black studies, some students aren’t sure I’m the professor,” he says. “I get it. It’s about expectations.”

Joe Dziemianowicz, “Stony Brook professor’s biracial heritage has lessons for life, classroom,” Newsday, February 26, 2020. https://www.newsday.com/long-island/stony-brook-professor-to-lead-black-history-month-panel-in-brentwood-1.41980672.

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Stony Brook professor’s biracial heritage has lessons for life, classroom

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, United States on 2021-10-29 14:57Z by Steven

Stony Brook professor’s biracial heritage has lessons for life, classroom

Newsday
2020-02-26

Joe Dziemianowicz, Special to Newsday

Stony Brook University Assistant Professor Zebulon Miletsky holds a photo of his parents, Marc and Veronica Miletsky. Miletsky draws on his own biracial past to delve into conversations about race in America. Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

A week and a half ago, Zebulon Vance Miletsky, who will be leading a talk on African Americans and the right to vote on Feb. 27 at the Brentwood Public Library, was zipping through a PowerPoint presentation in his “Themes in the Black Experience” class at Stony Brook University.

He got to a slide with bullet points on the renowned black historian and activist W.E.B. Du Bois. Miletsky, an assistant professor in Africana Studies and History, went off-script. He shared an anecdote with his students about the time a young Du Bois offered a white girl a valentine and she turned him down flat. Because he was black. It left a mark.

Du Bois went on to become the first African American to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard. “Childhood things shape you,” the professor added.

Miletsky, 45, speaks from experience…

Read the entire article here.

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Interracialism: Biracials Learning About African-American Culture (B.L.A.A.C.)

Posted in History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2020-09-12 00:51Z by Steven

Interracialism: Biracials Learning About African-American Culture (B.L.A.A.C.)

YouTube
2020-04-09

Dr. Zebulon Miletsky, Associate Professor of Professor of Africana Studies and History
State University of New York, Stony Brook

‘Interracialism: Biracials Learning About African American Culture (B.L.A.A.C.)’ with Dr. Zebulon Miletsky. February 19th 4:00PM-5:30PM Melville Library, Central Reading Room, Stony Brook University.

A discussion of #interracialism and #interracialmarriage, and the phenomenon of “#antiblackness”—identity and #mixedrace in the 21st century, and the possible stakes for those who identify as multiracial and biracial—in these politically divided times.

Watch the video (01:08:02) here.

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Interracialism: Biracials Learning About African-American Culture (BLAAC) with Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2020-02-18 19:12Z by Steven

Interracialism: Biracials Learning About African-American Culture (BLAAC) with Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky

State University of New York, Stony Brook
Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library
Central Reading Room
100 Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, New York 11794
2020-02-19, 16:00-17:15 EST (Local Time)

Zebulon Vance Miletsky, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and History

A discussion of interracialism and interracial marriage, and the phenomenon of “anti blackness”—identity and mixed race in the 21st century, and the possible stakes for those who identify as multiracial and biracial—in these politically divided times.

For more information, click here.

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Dr. Zebulon Miletsky talks about the mixed race / mixed culture experience to BWTM

Posted in Barack Obama, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States, Videos on 2017-07-19 03:31Z by Steven

Dr. Zebulon Miletsky talks about the mixed race / mixed culture experience to BWTM

Bayloric Worldwide Television & Media
2017-07-18

Ingram Jones, Host

Dr Zebulon Miletsky assistant professor of Africana Studies at Stony University, New York talks to BWTM  about his experiences and shares a wealth of knowledge on the topic of race.

Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky teaches African-American History at Stony Brook University where he is an Assistant Professor in both the Departments of Africana Studies and History. He is the author of numerous articles, essays and most recently a book chapter that appeared in the anthology “Obama and the Biracial Factor: The Battle for a New American Majority” which traces the contested meanings throughout history of terminology for multiracial people and the role that this historical legacy of “naming” plays into how President Obama is read as African American, but still asserts a strategic biracial identity through the use of language, symbols, and interactions with the media. Miletsky who is half-Jewish (white) and African-American/Afro-Caribbean, received his Ph.D. in African-American Studies with a concentration in History at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2008 . There, he was trained as a historian by some of the best thinkers in the field of Black Studies, many of whom are veterans from the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s and 70s. His research interests include: Racial passing; interracial marriage; African-Americans in Boston; Northern freedom movements; and Mixed race history. Miletsky has given a Ted Talk and at Stony Brook University entitled “Tracing Your ‘Routes’” and has have been interviewed on Huffington Post Live, various radio shows including the WBAI NYC 99.5 FM Pacifica radio show “Behind the News-Long Island” and the “Multiracial Family Man” Podcast.

Watch the interview (01:26:47) here. Read the transcript here.

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SBU Libraries Black History Month Lecture 2-13-17 Dr. Zebulon Miletsky: “Obama, Post-Racialism and the New American Dilemma”

Posted in Barack Obama, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States, Videos on 2017-07-10 01:57Z by Steven

SBU Libraries Black History Month Lecture 2-13-17 Dr. Zebulon Miletsky: “Obama, Post-Racialism and the New American Dilemma”

Stony Brook Library Media Services
2017-02-13 (Published 2017-02-15)

Zebulon Vance Miletsky, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

The election of Barack Obama in 2008 as the 44th President of the United States, raised hopes for many that as a country we were entering a post-racial moment, that the twin legacies of oppression and slavery were overcome, not only in the United States, but the world. That same period, however, brought crises of authority caused by neo-liberalism, police violence, and mass incarceration that have consistently set back the very racial progress that Obama’s presidency seemed to inaugurate. Far from being post-racial, the Obama years were a period of constant racial crisis, the repercussions of which were felt daily since the killings of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson in the summer of 2014. It took the election of an African American to the nation’s highest office to uncover a level of racial hatred the likes of which we have not seen since the 1960s, requiring an analysis of the relationship between multiracialism and post-racialism, as well as how whiteness operates in the United States, to fully appreciate what has come to pass. The election of Donald Trump as President has been a clear rejection of the post-racial era ushered in by Obama. Much like our more recent experiment in racial democracy, there are parallels between what happened with the overthrow of Reconstruction, America’s startling experiment in biracial democracy after the Civil War and today. The historical roots of the “whitelash” that fueled Trump’s victory lie in a prior racial backlash to an unprecedented attempt to grant African Americans citizenship during the period of Reconstruction. Based on a book chapter-in-progress for a volume on the Black Intellectual Tradition in America, this presentation discusses how the 21st century could potentially mark a new low in American race relations—or a “new American dilemma”.

Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and a historian specializing in recent African-American History, Civil Rights and Black Power, Urban History, Mixed Race and Biracial identity, and Hip-Hop Studies. His research interests include: African-Americans in Boston; Northern freedom movements outside of the South; Mixed race history in the U.S. and passing; and the Afro-Latin diaspora. He is the author of numerous articles, reviews, essays and book chapters and is currently working on a manuscript on the civil rights movement in Boston. Ph.D.; African-American Studies with a concentration in History, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 2008.

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“Obama, Post-Racialism and the New American Dilemma,” a lecture by Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky

Posted in Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2017-02-11 22:15Z by Steven

“Obama, Post-Racialism and the New American Dilemma,” a lecture by Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky

Frank Melville, Jr. Memorial Library
2nd Floor, E-2340 (Special Collections Seminar Room)
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, New York 11794
2017-02-13, 14:00-15:00 EST (Local Time)

Zebulon Vance Miletsky, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Stony Brook University

The election of Barack Obama in 2008 as the 44th President of the United States, raised hopes for many that as a country we were entering a post-racial moment, that the twin legacies of oppression and slavery were overcome, not only in the United States, but the world. That same period, however, brought crises of authority caused by neo-liberalism, police violence, and mass incarceration that have consistently set back the very racial progress that Obama’s presidency seemed to inaugurate. Far from being post-racial, the Obama years were a period of constant racial crisis, the repercussions of which were felt daily since the killings of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson in the summer of 2014. It took the election of an African American to the nation’s highest office to uncover a level of racial hatred the likes of which we have not seen since the 1960s, requiring an analysis of the relationship between multiracialism and post-racialism, as well as how whiteness operates in the United States, to fully appreciate what has come to pass. The election of Donald Trump as President has been a clear rejection of the post-racial era ushered in by Obama. Much like our more recent experiment in racial democracy, there are parallels between what happened with the overthrow of Reconstruction, America’s startling experiment in biracial democracy after the Civil War and today. The historical roots of the “whitelash” that fueled Trump’s victory lie in a prior racial backlash to an unprecedented attempt to grant African Americans citizenship during the period of Reconstruction. Based on a book chapter-in-progress for a volume on the Black Intellectual Tradition in America, this presentation discusses how the 21st century could potentially mark a new low in American race relations—or a “new American dilemma”.

Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and a historian specializing in recent African-American History, Civil Rights and Black Power, Urban History, Mixed Race and Biracial identity, and Hip-Hop Studies. His research interests include: African-Americans in Boston; Northern freedom movements outside of the South; Mixed race history in the U.S. and passing; and the Afro-Latin diaspora. He is the author of numerous articles, reviews, essays and book chapters and is currently working on a manuscript on the civil rights movement in Boston. Ph.D.; African-American Studies with a concentration in History, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 2008.

For more information, click here.

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“He’s gonna have a hard time proving he’s a brother.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-10-16 16:56Z by Steven

“He’s gonna have a hard time proving he’s a brother.” According to my mother, these are the first words I ever heard in my life. And they were spoken by the pediatrician who delivered me at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California. Dr. Boynton was her name.

“He’s gonna have a hard time proving he’s a brother.” A brother.

This was the [19]70s. And, the doctor who said those words, our pediatrician, couldn’t have realized how right she was. But at the same time, she couldn’t have realized how wrong.

Because while I have spent my life proving in a sense, my black identity—I am of mixed race—I have also succeeded in sense that I have been accepted as an African-American and indeed have become a professor of Africana studies.

Zebulon Miletsky, “Tracing Your “Routes”,”  TEDx Talks: TEDxSBUWomen, Stony Brook University, State University of New York, July 10, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpqUAxh7X74. (00:00:09-00:01:22).

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The Dilemma of Interracial Marriage: The Boston NAACP and the National Equal Rights League, 1912–1927

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-10-14 20:32Z by Steven

The Dilemma of Interracial Marriage: The Boston NAACP and the National Equal Rights League, 1912–1927

Historical Journal of Massachusetts
Volume 44, Number 1, Winter 2016

Zebulon Miletsky, Professor of Africana Studies
Stony Brook University, State University of New York

On a wintry evening on February 1, 1843, a group of Boston’s African American citizens gathered in the vestry of the African Baptist Church nestled in the heart of Boston’s black community on the north slope of Beacon Hill. The measure they were there to discuss was a resolution to repeal the 1705 Massachusetts ban on interracial marriage.  Led largely by white abolitionists, the group cautiously endorsed a campaign to lift the ban. Their somewhat reluctant support for this campaign acknowledged the complexity that the issue of interracial marriage posed to African American communities. In contrast, during the early twentieth century, black Bostonians attended mass meetings at which they vigorously campaigned against the resurgence of antimiscegenation laws led by the Boston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and William Monroe Trotter’s National Equal Rights League (NERL). This change is indicative of both the evolution of thinking about the issue of interracial marriage and the dilemma that it had frequently represented for black Bostonians and their leaders.

Laws against interracial marriage were a national concern. In both 1913 and 1915 the U.S. House of Representatives passed laws to prohibit interracial marriage in Washington DC; however, each died in Senate subcommittees. In 1915 a Georgia Congressman introduced an inflammatory bill to amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit interracial marriage. These efforts in the U.S. Congress to ban interracial marriage reflected widespread movements at the state level.

The 1913 bill (HR 5948) would have prohibited the “intermarriage of whites with negroes or Mongolians” in the District of Columbia and made intermarriage a felony with penalties up to $500 and/or two years in prison. The bill passed “in less than five minutes” with almost no debate, by a vote of 92–12. However, it was referred to a Senate committee and never reported out before the session expired. In 1915 an even more draconian bill was introduced (HR 1710). It increased penalties for intermarriage to $5,000 and/or five years in prison. The bill was first debated on January 11 and passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 238–60. However, it too was referred to a Senate committee and never reported out. African Americans and their allies throughout the nation closely followed the passage of both bills and organized strong opposition, particularly to the 1915 bill. Most likely, their protests were key to the bill’s defeat in the Senate. As several authors have pointed out: Although a symbolic victory [the 1913 and 1915 passage by the U.S. House of Representatives], a federal antimiscegenation policy was not produced. The District of Columbia would continue to be a haven for interracial couples from the South who wished to marry. Indeed, Richard and Mildred Loving, the interracial couple who would be at the center of the Loving v. Virginia (1967) Supreme Court case that struck down state-level anti-miscegenation laws, were married in the District of Columbia in 1958. Although the bill to ban interracial marriage in Washington, DC, was successfully defeated, by 1920 thirty states had anti-miscegenation laws on their books. (The term “miscegenationwas coined in 1863 and was derived from the Latin word miscere, meaning “to mix.”) As late as 1967, when the Supreme Court declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional in the aptly named Loving v. Virginia decision, sixteen states still enforced them.

This article examines the political struggle over the issue of interracial marriage and the dilemma it posed for the Boston branch of the NAACP, as well as the national organization. The NAACP and its Boston chapter constituted the principal opposition to these efforts. The author examines the struggle to defeat similar bills that would have criminalized intermarriage in Massachusetts in 1913 and a second attempt in 1927.

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Tracing Your “Routes”

Posted in Anthropology, Autobiography, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, United States, Videos on 2016-10-14 15:35Z by Steven

Tracing Your “Routes”

TEDx Talks: TEDxSBUWomen
Stony Brook University, State University of New York
2015-07-10

Zebulon Miletsky, Professor of Africana Studies
Stony Brook University, State University of New York

“He’s gonna have a hard time proving he’s a brother.”

Dr. Zebulon Miletsky discusses his journey through the multiple worlds of race and identity as he shares his experiences with researching his own family genealogy, the various “routes” this process led him to and how “tracing your routes” can lead to more than just knowledge about your background–it’s about how we treat one another along those “routes”.

Dr. Zebulon Miletsky teaches African-American History at Stony Brook University where he is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies. He is the author of numerous articles, essays and most recently a book chapter that appeared in the anthology “Obama and the Biracial Factor: The Battle for a New American Majority” which traces the contested meanings throughout history of terminology for multiracial people and the role that this historical legacy of “naming” plays into how President Obama is read as African American, but still asserts a strategic biracial identity through the use of language, symbols, and interactions with the media. Miletsky who is half-Jewish (white) and African-American/Afro-Caribbean, has done a great deal of genealogical research for a book manuscript in progress and is in the process of researching his own family tree. He lives in Brooklyn.

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