Genealogy & Racial Passing; Author Mary Doria Russell

Posted in Audio, Biography, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-11-12 20:47Z by Steven

Genealogy & Racial Passing; Author Mary Doria Russell

The Sound of Ideas
ideastream
Cleveland, Ohio
2019-11-11

Rachel Rood, Producer


Credit: MeganBrady/shutterstock

Parma native and award winning author, Gail Lukasik discovered in 1995 that her mother had kept a deep family secret from her. Her mother was half-black, but was passing as a white woman, and begged Gail not to reveal her true identity. Lukasik will be speaking about her family’s story, which she turned into a book in 2017, this week in Lakewood, and we’ll discuss the complicated waters of genealogy and race, on The Sound of Ideas. Later, Lyndhurst author, Mary Doria Russell, talks about her new historical novel: The Women of the Copper Country.

Listen to the episode (00:49:56) here.

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Rosie Perez Says It’s ‘Dangerous’ For Afro-Latinos To Separate Themselves Within Latin Community

Posted in Articles, Arts, Latino Studies, Media Archive on 2019-11-12 20:26Z by Steven

Rosie Perez Says It’s ‘Dangerous’ For Afro-Latinos To Separate Themselves Within Latin Community

ESSENCE
2019-10-25

Lapacazo Sandoval

Rosie Perez Says It’s ‘Dangerous’ For Afro-Latinos To Separate Themselves Within Latin Community
Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images

“The Latinos that are not dark-skinned don’t call themselves White Latinos or Caucasian Latinos. I know that might sound controversial,” she admitted.

Puerto Rican-American actress Rosie Perez burst onto the Hollywood scene thanks to Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing at a time when Tinsel Town wasn’t necessarily rich with opportunities for people of color. And some decades later, Perez, who identifies as Afro-Latino, still isn’t shy when it comes to voicing her concern about the pervasive racism in Hollywood.

“I think it’s very dangerous—the separation of color within the Latin community,” Perez told ESSENCE last Saturday while receiving Hispanicize’s Latinavator Award at The InterContinental in Los Angeles. “ People who are dark skin have to pronounce themselves as Afro-Latinos. The Latinos that are not dark-skinned don’t call themselves White Latinos or Caucasian Latinos. I know that might sound controversial, [but] I think it’s important that we unify.”

“That said: there is a disparity in regards to seeing brown, dark brown and Black-skinned colored Latinas, Latinos, LatinX—whatever—it hasn’t changed that much,” she added…

Read the entire article here.

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She was being raised as a white child in Texas while her Haitian father was fighting racism in Montreal

Posted in Articles, Audio, Canada, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Texas, United States on 2019-11-12 19:54Z by Steven

She was being raised as a white child in Texas while her Haitian father was fighting racism in Montreal

The Doc Project
CBC Radio
2019-10-28

Shari Okeke, Producer


Rhonda Fils-Aimé and her father, Philippe, at a family gathering this year in Braunfels, Texas. (Submitted by Rhonda Fils-Aimé)

Rhonda Fils-Aimé was adopted by a white family as a baby, and her biological father, Philippe, had no idea

Until she was 49 years old, the only information Rhonda Lux had about her family background was that she was German, French and Indian. That’s what her adoptive mother had told her, and for most of her life, Rhonda didn’t question it.

Rhonda was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1968 and was left in a children’s shelter.

“I was adopted by a white family and raised in a white community,” she said.

Only recently, in 2017, did Rhonda discover the truth about her racial heritage and manage to find her father, Philippe — who she learned had been part of an historic protest against racism in Montreal

Read the article and listen to the story (00:28:31) here.

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How Mixed-ish opens up the conversation on mixed-race identity

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2019-11-12 19:24Z by Steven

How Mixed-ish opens up the conversation on mixed-race identity

Digital Spy
2019-10-22

Hannah Lovejoy, Multimedia Journalist
London, United Kingdom

Mixed-ish

Mixed-ish is the second spin-off to come from the Black-ish franchise and it looks at the upbringing of the young Rainbow Johnson in the 1980s.

While a lot of progress has been made since then, the way that society perceives mixed-race people still needs to be explored. Mixed-ish goes back to basics and uses comedy as a tool to discuss it…

Read the entire article here.

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Color Blind

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Passing, Philosophy on 2019-11-12 19:02Z by Steven

Color Blind

The Nation
2019-11-11

Ismail Muhammad, Reviews Editor
The Believer


Charts for testing color blindness. (Wellcome Collection)

Thomas Chatterton Williams’s argument against race.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race (New York: W. W. Norton, 2019)

Early in Nella Larsen’s 1929 novella Passing, Clare Kendry speaks nervously of her daughter Margery’s birth. “I nearly died of terror the whole nine months before Margery was born,” she confesses. She is, for all intents and purposes, a white woman married to a wealthy white man. Yet she finds herself fearing that her child’s birth will reveal her for what she is: a black woman who passes for white. If a child of Clare’s came out dark, it would be evidence of her passing. Luckily, Margery was born fair skinned. “Thank goodness, she turned out all right.”

A similar scene unfolds at the beginning of Thomas Chatterton Williams’s new memoir, Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race. In 2013, Williams—the son of a white woman and a black man—and his white French wife are living in Paris when she gives birth to their daughter, Marlow. Like Margery, Marlow arrives with fair skin. But this is not a comfort to Williams; instead, it comes as a shock. “It took my sluggish mind a moment to register and sort the sounds; and then it hit me that [the doctor] was looking at my daughter’s head and reporting back that it was blond,” he recalls.

Unlike Clare’s child, Williams’s blond baby is not the cause of relief but of psychic agitation. For Williams, she’s a portal into a new conception of his own racial identity. “I was aware…however vaguely, that whatever personal identity I had previously inhabited, I had now crossed into something new and different,” he writes. While Williams had long considered himself black, Marlow’s arrival unsettled his assumptions about how real race is to begin with. “The sight of this blond-haired, blue-eyed, impossibly fair-skinned child shocked me—along with the knowledge that she was indubitably mine,” he writes. How can the world consider this child black, and what does it say about his racial identity that he has fathered her? Even more important, his daughter’s birth raises a set of deeper existential and political questions. What does it say about race that some of the key assumptions that buttress Western conceptions of racial identity—that one’s skin color can tell us one’s race, for instance—dissolve in the face of reality’s manifold intricacies?…

Read the entire review here.

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Noel Ignatiev, scholar who called for abolishing whiteness, dies at 78

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-11-12 16:35Z by Steven

Noel Ignatiev, scholar who called for abolishing whiteness, dies at 78

The Los Angeles Times
2019-11-11

Sewell Chan, Deputy Managing Editor, News

Noel Ignatiev
Noel Ignatiev’s 1995 book “How the Irish Became White” was influential and controversial, touching off a firestorm of debate.

Noel Ignatiev, a former steelworker who became a historian known for his work on race and class and his call to abolish “whiteness,” died at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson on Saturday. He was 78. The cause was an intestinal infarction, according to Kingsley Clarke, a longtime friend.

Ignatiev’s best-known book, “How the Irish Became White,” was immediately influential and controversial upon its publication in 1995. It touched off a firestorm of debate at the time at academic conferences and in the pages of newspapers. In time his view that whiteness is a social and political construction — and not a phenomenon with a biological basis — has become mainstream. The resurgence of white identity politics and white nationalism in recent years made Ignatiev’s arguments relevant to a new generation of readers who argued the notion that race is more about power and privilege rather than about ancestry, or even identity.

The book detailed how the Irish, who had first come to North America as indentured servants and were reviled by the more settled populations of English and Dutch Americans, became, by the mid-19th century, accepted as white. Sadly, Ignatiev argued, the Irish became incorporated into whiteness just before the Civil War, through support for slavery and violence against free African Americans. To become white, Ignatiev wrote, did not mean to be middle class, much less rich, but rather to be accepted as equal citizens and to have access to the same neighborhoods, schools and jobs as others…

Read the entire obituary here.

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‘When I Was White’: At 27, Sarah Valentine found out her biological father was black. A chat about her new memoir.

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-11-11 21:27Z by Steven

‘When I Was White’: At 27, Sarah Valentine found out her biological father was black. A chat about her new memoir.

The Chicago Tribune
2019-10-29

Alexis Burling, Writer. Book Critic. Editor.

Sarah Valentine, author of "When I Was White," was unaware until she was 27 that her biological father was African American. She discusses how this affected her life.
Sarah Valentine, author of “When I Was White,” was unaware until she was 27 that her biological father was African American. She discusses how this affected her life. (Marcello Rostagni / HANDOUT)

When Sarah Valentine was growing up in the mostly white, middle-class suburbs of Pittsburgh during the 1980s, she assumed her experience was just like that of her peers. She embraced the traditions of her Irish and Italian heritage, did well in sports and school, and hung out with her white friends at the mall. “I didn’t know much about race,” she writes of a childhood friendship with a girl who looked like her, “but I knew it existed; I thought some people were black, but most people were normal.”

But as Valentine came of age and became more conscious of her place in the world, something seemed a little off. For one, her skin was a darker shade than that of her family members. Her classmates called her “Slash,” the nickname of the mixed-race Guns N’ Roses guitarist. Her high school guidance counselor suggested she consider minority scholarships when applying for college.

Finally, when she was 27, after years of grappling with deep-rooted insecurities about feeling like an “other,” Valentine confronted her mother about her suspicions. What she found out was disturbing. According to her mother, Valentine was the product of a rape by an unknown black man. The revelation, she writes, meant that her entire upbringing had been “an insidious lie.”…

Q: In the United States, we’re still learning how to talk about identities that fall outside of our traditional understandings of race. In your memoir, “When I Was White,” you describe yourself as mixed-race African American. Why that, specifically?

A: For me, mixed-race experience is part of black experience in this country. Race is often seen as binary, but mixed-race people fall between categories and can encompass multiple identities. Growing up, my family denied my being black and mixed race, so it’s important for me to reclaim those identities…

Read the entire interview here.

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Beyond being either-or: identification of multiracial and multiethnic Japanese

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2019-11-11 02:40Z by Steven

Beyond being either-or: identification of multiracial and multiethnic Japanese

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Published online: 2019-10-30
DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2019.1654155

Sayaka Osanami Törngren
Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare
Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden

Yuna Sato
Graduate School of Human Relations
Keio University, Tokyo, Japan

Publication Cover

Although the number of multiracial and multiethnic Japanese who are socially recognised and identified as haafu (mixed) has increased due to a rise in intermarriages, the identities and experiences of mixed persons in Japan are seldom critically analysed. Based on interviews with 29 multiracial and multiethnic individuals residing in Japan, this article explores not only how multiracial and multiethnic Japanese identify themselves but also how they feel they are identified by others in society. The analysis shows that multiracial and multiethnic persons self-identify in a way that goes beyond either-or categories and the binary notions of Japanese/foreigner. It also reveals how both multiracial and multiethnic persons face a gap between self-identity and ascribed identity and that they negotiate this gap in various ways. However, the gap and the negotiation process that multiracial persons face differ to those of multiethnic persons. Multiracial persons whose mixedness is phenotypically visible experience more constraints in their ethnic options and have more difficulty in passing as Japanese, whereas multiethnic persons whose mixedness is invisible can pass as Japanese more easily but face constraints in their ethnic option to be identified as mixed and in claiming their multiethnic background.

Read the entire article in HTML or PDF format.

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Elevating Social Status by Racial Passing and White Assimilation: in George Schuyler’s Black No More

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-11-11 02:15Z by Steven

Elevating Social Status by Racial Passing and White Assimilation: in George Schuyler’s Black No More

Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies
Volume 3, Number 4, October 2019
pages 24-35
DOI: 10.24093/awejtls/vol3no4.3

Menia Mohammad Almenia
Department of English Language and Translation
College of Arabic Language and Social Sciences
Qassim University, Buraidah, Saudi Arabia

This paper examines the legacy of the 1932 novel Black No More by George Schuyler with its message promoting assimilation. Racial divisions within the United States have a complex history, either insisting on separation or promoting unity, but advocates of assimilation have traditionally been viewed negatively. This paper aims to reconcile the assimilationist views of Schuyler against his larger purpose of empowerment through change. Schuyler focuses on issues of education, economy, and social status to demonstrate his thesis: meaningful change is possible if action is taken. Numerous theorists such as Jane Kuenz (1997), Hee-Jung Serenity Joo (2008), Jason Haslam (2002), and Ann Rayson (1978) have considered that Schuyler as an assimilationist. Schuyler’s novel builds a case for assimilation of individuals into the dominant culture as the practical course for improvement on both a personal and social scale.

Read the entire article here.

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Racial Passing in America

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-11-10 03:59Z by Steven

Racial Passing in America

Yale University Press Blog
2019-11-04

Adele Logan Alexander, Emeritus Professor of History
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Over the years, the practice of “passing” for white has variously been considered wicked, cowardly, deceptive, essential, all or none of the above by much of the African American community. Certainly, it was and is controversial.

In years, decades, and centuries past, a number of light-skinned African Americans “passed,” either briefly, permanently, or situationally. Their stories are legion. This certainly has been the case for several members of my own family…

…But there are alternative stories too. In the Jim Crow South, my light-skinned grandmother sometimes wore a raceless mask to attend “all-white” suffrage conferences in the pre-Nineteenth Amendment years. Then she brought the information she gleaned back to share with her African American friends and peers who hoped to acquire the vote for women. On occasion, she also manipulated the racial apartheid system to acquire the best possible medical care for herself and her children. Would anyone argue with her choices in those instances?…

Read the entire article here.

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