The Importance of Being Turbaned

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2022-05-21 22:25Z by Steven

The Importance of Being Turbaned

The Antioch Review
Volume 69, Number 2, Spring 2011
pages 208-221

Paul A. Kramer, Associate Professor of History
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

This narrative piece, selected by The Best American Essays 2012 as a “notable essay,” tells the story of Rev. Jesse Routté, an African American Lutheran minister in New York who, in response to racist abuse during a 1943 trip to Mobile, Alabama, returned four years later disguised as a turbaned, Swedish-accented “foreigner.” When he reported positive treatment, it flaunted contradictions in Jim Crow’s racial definitions.

Read the entire article here.

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A Fable of Agency

Posted in Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Virginia, Women on 2022-05-21 21:45Z by Steven

A Fable of Agency

The New York Review of Books
2022-05-26

Brenda Wineapple

Special Collections, University of Virginia Library

Lumpkin’s Jail; engraving from A History of the Richmond Theological Seminary, 1895

The Devil’s Half Acre: The Untold Story of How One Woman Liberated the South’s Most Notorious Slave Jail by Kristen Green. Seal, 332 pp., $30.00

Kristen Green’s The Devil’s Half Acre recounts the story of a fugitive slave jail, and the enslaved woman, Mary Lumpkin, who came to own it.

In The Allure of the Archives (1989), a gem of a book, the French historian Arlette Farge talks about unearthing, insofar as it’s possible, a past that’s not quite past—particularly in relation to the lives of women, whose histories have often been hidden, forgotten, or written over, women spoken about but whom we seldom hear speaking. Combing through the judicial archives at the Préfecture of Paris, Farge reads the sullen or angry answers that ordinary eighteenth-century Parisian women, some of the city’s poorest and most vulnerable, give to the police who have arrested them. And she knows that to understand what they say, or don’t say, we need to care and not to care: to distance ourselves with empathy while we set aside expectations and assumptions. Deciphering what’s left in the archives, Farge writes, “entails a roaming voyage through the words of others, and a search for a language that can rescue their relevance.”

Piecing together stories about women who managed the uncertainties and privations of their situations is even more difficult when the women in question have been enslaved and thus forbidden even the basic rights that an eighteenth-century Parisian laundress enjoyed. That is Kristen Green’s task in her impassioned The Devil’s Half Acre, which she calls “the untold story of how one woman liberated the South’s most notorious slave jail.”

Green is a journalist and also the author of Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County (2015), a personal account of how that Virginia county defied Brown v. Board of Education and shut down its schools for almost five years rather than integrate them. In The Devil’s Half Acre, she recovers the life of Mary Lumpkin, an enslaved woman of mixed race born in 1832 who, likely by 1840, was held in bondage at Lumpkin’s Jail, a chamber of horrors located between Franklin and Broad Streets in Shockoe Bottom, the central slave-trading quarter in Richmond, Virginia

Read the entire review here.

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“I am a White woman who married a Black man and had a Black baby,” said Amanda Lewis, a sociologist who runs the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2022-05-20 21:29Z by Steven

For some people, identifying themselves as more than one race matters little if Americans tend to put people in either the “Black” or “White” categories. Former President Barack Obama, who has a White mother though he identifies as Black, has described being mistaken for a waiter or parking valet before he was famous.

“I am a White woman who married a Black man and had a Black baby,” said Amanda Lewis, a sociologist who runs the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“That’s the way others see her. That’s the way we think of her,” Lewis said of her daughter. “The opposite doesn’t happen. Instead of trying to make White people more comfortable, we need to embrace the multiracial democracy we’ve become.”

Tim Henderson, “Multiracial Residents Are Changing the Face of the US,” Stateline, May 13, 2022. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2022/05/13/multiracial-residents-are-changing-the-face-of-the-us.

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Interracial couple representation in pop culture isn’t as progressive as we think

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2022-05-20 19:48Z by Steven

Interracial couple representation in pop culture isn’t as progressive as we think

Andscape
2021-05-21

Rebecca Theodore-Vachon

Chuck Anderson

The optics, while a sign of change, don’t point to any change in the status quo

In June 2013, Cheerios aired its usual family-friendly commercial where a cherub-faced little girl approaches her mother in the kitchen and asks, “Dad says Cheerios is good for your heart. Is that true?” What should have been a heartwarming ad about an everyday American family quickly attracted a firestorm of controversy. Why? This commercial depicted an interracial family consisting of a Black father, white mother and a mixed-race child.

Over the last five years, these portrayals of interracial relationships are so common that they often go unmarked. Yet, even though there is more diversity of different kinds of pairings – multiethnic, non-monogamous, queer – the optics are just one part of the story. Are depictions of interracial unions and by extension, mixed-race and biracial children, a sign of racial progress?

The answer isn’t as clear-cut as one might think. Hollywood has been wrestling with how to best reflect the representation and nuances of Black-white interracial unions with varying results. The critiques and conversations surrounding Black-white interracial relationships have evolved beyond just the visual representation to how filmmakers and TV showrunners choose to depict these unions. Are interracial couples rather than strictly monoracial, Black ones being presented because they’re more palatable to mainstream audiences? Do biracial, particularly light-skinned children, reinforce colorism? These are some of the concerns as the proliferation of interracial couplings continues to spread across media…

Read the entire article here.

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The Privilege of Racial Identity

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2022-05-20 15:53Z by Steven

The Privilege of Racial Identity

The Spectator: The University of Wisconsin-Eau-Claire’s Student Newspaper Since 1923
2022-04-28

Kiara Jackson

I can’t, nor will I ever speak for all mixed-race people, because every story is different. Every story has its own challenges. But, I can try to speak for myself.

Mixed people do not owe anyone an explanation for their Blackness.

No one gets to decide their race. But most people get the privilege to say “I’m Black,” or “I’m Native Hawaiian.” They get the privilege of knowing exactly where they come from, exactly what to tell people when asked and exactly what bubble to fill in on standardized tests.

They get the privilege of racial identity.

Being mixed, you don’t get this same privilege. I can’t, nor will I ever speak for all mixed-race people, because every story is different. Every story has its own challenges. But, I can try to speak for myself…

Read the entire article here.

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Why Not Pass?

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2022-05-20 15:21Z by Steven

Why Not Pass?

Yes!
2022-05-18

Gila K. Berryman

Illustration by Fran Murphy/YES! Media

The Vanishing Half” deals with the theme of racial “passing” in the 1950s. Passing is different today, but still presents a choice between safety and authenticity

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett was one of the most popular novels of the last few years—a bestseller on multiple “best book” lists. The story begins in 1954, when identical twins Stella and Desiree, aged 16, run away from home and their Southern town of light-skinned Black folks. In a year, the twins will go their separate ways, “their lives splitting as evenly as their shared egg,” when Stella crosses over to pass as White—she disappears, marries her White employer, and doesn’t look back.

American Whiteness exacts a high price in exchange for its safety and privilege. In order to pass, Stella severs every connection to her previous life so she can hide her true identity, even from her husband. As a result, she can never completely let her guard down around White people, and she refuses to have anything to do with Black people for fear that they might recognize some vestige of her Blackness…

Read the entire article here.

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Multiracial Residents Are Changing the Face of the US

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2022-05-19 20:16Z by Steven

Multiracial Residents Are Changing the Face of the US

Stateline
Pew Charitable Trusts
2022-05-13

Tim Henderson, Staff Writer

A woman in Yellow Springs, Ohio, shows a portrait of her multiracial family. The number of people identifying as more than one race nearly doubled between 2010 and 2020 as stigmas fade and more people learn about multiracial backgrounds.

John Minchillo / The Associated Press

The number of Americans who identified as more than one race nearly doubled to 13.5 million people between 2010 and 2020, and did double or more in 34 states and the District of Columbia, a Stateline analysis of census figures shows.

To some observers, the increase in the number of Americans identifying as more than one race shows that barriers are breaking down. But the increase also may reflect changes to census questions designed to tease out the heritage of multiracial people.

The increases contributed to a first-ever decline in the population identifying solely as non-Hispanic White. The number of people identifying as White who also identified as Hispanic or another race did grow, however.

“It’s not unreasonable to imagine that if people keep intermarrying, if they define themselves as White and they are accepted as White, the definition of White in 2052 could be much different than it is in 2022,” said Ellis Monk, an associate sociology professor at Harvard University who has studied the way official racial categories can be misleading.

But Monk emphasized that he and other people with dark skin or other distinctive racial features continue to face discrimination and reduced opportunities, even if they identify as more than one race. Monk is Black, and like most African Americans he has White forebears, but he doesn’t consider himself to be biracial…

Read the entire article here.

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Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2022-05-17 01:25Z by Steven

Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood

Tinder Press (an imprint of Headline Publishing Group)
2022-08-18
304 pages
222 x 138 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781472284839

Kit de Waal

From the award-winning author of My Name is Leon, The Trick to Time and Supporting Cast comes a childhood memoir set to become a classic: stinging, warm-hearted, and true.

Kit de Waal grew up in a household of opposites and extremes. Her haphazard mother rarely cooked, forbade Christmas and birthdays, worked as a cleaner, nurse and childminder sometimes all at once and believed the world would end in 1975. Meanwhile, her father stuffed barrels full of goodies for his relatives in the Caribbean, cooked elaborate meals on a whim and splurged money they didn’t have on cars, suits and shoes fit for a prince. Both of her parents were waiting for paradise. It never came.

Caught between three worlds, Irish, Caribbean and British in 1960s Birmingham, Kit and her brothers and sisters knew all the words to the best songs, caught sticklebacks in jam jars and braved hunger and hellfire until they could all escape.

Without Warning and Only Sometimes is a story of an extraordinary childhood and how a girl who grew up in house where the Bible was the only book on offer went on to discover a love of reading that inspires her to this day.

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Racial Innocence: Unmasking Latino Anti-Black Bias and the Struggle for Equality

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Latino Studies, Law, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2022-05-17 01:23Z by Steven

Racial Innocence: Unmasking Latino Anti-Black Bias and the Struggle for Equality

Beacon Press
2022-08-23
208 pages
5.5 x 8.5 Inches
Hardcover ISBN: ISBN: 978-080702013-5

Tanya Katerí Hernández, Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law
Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York

The first comprehensive book about anti-Black bias in the Latino community that unpacks the misconception that Latinos are “exempt” from racism due to their ethnicity and multicultural background.

Racial Innocence will challenge what you thought about racism and bias, and demonstrate that it’s possible for a historically marginalized group to experience discrimination and also be discriminatory. Racism is deeply complex, and law professor and comparative race relations expert Tanya Katerí Hernández exposes “the Latino racial innocence cloak” that often veils Latino complicity in racism. As Latinos are the second largest ethnic group in the US, this revelation is critical to dismantling systemic racism. Based on interviews, discrimination case files, and civil rights law, Hernández reveals Latino anti-Black bias in the workplace, the housing market, schools, places of recreation, criminal justice, and in Latino families.

By focusing on racism perpetrated by communities outside those of White non-Latino people, Racial Innocence brings to light the many Afro-Latino and African American victims of anti-Blackness at the hands of other people of color. Through exploring the interwoven fabric of discrimination and examining the cause of these issues, we can begin to move toward a more egalitarian society.

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Black success—in the skillful work of passing itself as well as in endeavors passers pursue once they access opportunities they had been denied—disrupts the ideological backbone of racial injustice, enacting a reductio of white superiority and revealing whites to be easily fooled. Successful acts of fugitivity achieved by passing also serve to undermine the hegemony of oppression, disrupting its ideological functioning as a natural or inescapable condition.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2022-05-17 01:05Z by Steven

Conversely, it is essential to recognize that [racial] passing can take on an ethical and political significance by exposing the internal contradictions and contingency of seemingly totalizing systems of oppression, revealing gaps and openings for liberation and working to create and exploit them. Black success—in the skillful work of passing itself as well as in endeavors passers pursue once they access opportunities they had been denied—disrupts the ideological backbone of racial injustice, enacting a reductio of white superiority and revealing whites to be easily fooled. Successful acts of fugitivity achieved by passing also serve to undermine the hegemony of oppression, disrupting its ideological functioning as a natural or inescapable condition.

Meena Krishnamurthy, “The Burdened Virtue of Racial Passing,” The Boston Review, May 13, 2022. https://bostonreview.net/articles/the-burdened-virtue-of-racial-passing/.

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