UT students, staff reflect on experiences with racial passing

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Passing, Texas, United States on 2021-12-06 03:23Z by Steven

UT students, staff reflect on experiences with racial passing

The Daily Texan: Serving the University of Texas at Austin Community Since 1900
2021-12-05

Sofia Treviño, Life & Arts Senior Reporter


Julius Shieh/The Daily Texan

Disliking her paler skin compared to other darker-complected Hispanics growing up, Rachel González-Martin spent hours lying under the sun willing herself to tan. Only burning and turning red, she grew frustrated. González-Martin wanted others to easily recognize her as Hispanic.

“There’s who we know we are and how we tell our own story, but we can never escape from what people see in us or read from our appearance,” the associate professor of Mexican American and Latina/o studies said.

Racial passing — a term used to describe those perceived as a member of another racial group than their own — can affect how closely people connect to and feel a part of their communities. For UT students and staff, the process of navigating different cultural stereotypes and learning to embrace their identities regardless of their appearance remains a lifelong project.

Growing up in Oakland, California, with very few fellow Hispanics, González-Martin felt she needed to physically show her identity. However, as she’s grown older, she said she’s learned to accept her own meaning of belonging to a community aside from outside biases…

Read the entire article here.

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We trust artists like Michelle Latimer to avoid harming Indigenous people

Posted in Articles, Arts, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-12-06 01:46Z by Steven

We trust artists like Michelle Latimer to avoid harming Indigenous people

NOW Toronto
2020-12-21

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Trickster and Inconvenient Indian director Michelle Latimer poses on top of a condo rooftop in Toronto.
Samuel Engelking

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers explains the particular kind of pain revelations about Michelle Latimer have caused within the Indigenous film community

We were gathered for a filmmaking workshop at the Urban Native Youth Association in East Vancouver. I was co-facilitating with filmmaker Jessica Hallenbeck. One participant was that particular kind of shy brown-skinned Indigenous teenage boy who didn’t yet know his worth in this world. He wore sweatpants, a hoodie and sneakers, and had a head of thick black hair. He was afraid to smile, much less make eye contact with the other teens in the room.

I’d asked the young people to introduce themselves – to give us their names, where they come from and what they found most exciting about film. When his turn came, he kept his gaze steady on one spot on the floor as he quietly shared his name and that he was from Vancouver. I interjected. “And, what nation are you from?” He paused, and then whispered, “I don’t know.”

My heart sank to untold depths. I had just inadvertently implied that an Indigenous youth who grew up in foster care didn’t belong. Belonging is everything in Indigenous communities, but at that moment I made him feel so small. I still carry the shame from that interaction, knowing I could not undo that harm.

People wonder how former Trickster director Michelle Latimer, whose identity has recently come under scrutiny, could claim to be Indigenous for so long without skepticism. She was trusted because the Indigenous film community is protective. We want to avoid doing harm to those who have experienced the trauma of displacement…

Read the entire article here.

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The Recovered Life of Isaac Anderson

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2021-12-06 01:25Z by Steven

The Recovered Life of Isaac Anderson

University Press of Mississippi
2021-12-15
256 pages
16 b&w illustrations
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496835147
Paperback ISBN: 9781496835130

Alicia K. Jackson, Associate Professor of History
Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, Georgia

The story of an enslaved man who became a Georgia state senator, helped found a church, and led his people to promise and hope

Owned by his father, Isaac Harold Anderson (1835–1906) was born a slave but went on to become a wealthy businessman, grocer, politician, publisher, and religious leader in the African American community in the state of Georgia. Elected to the state senate, Anderson replaced his white father there, and later shepherded his people as a founding member and leader of the Colored Methodist Episcopal church. He helped support the establishment of Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, where he subsequently served as vice president.

Anderson was instrumental in helping freed people leave Georgia for the security of progressive safe havens with significantly large Black communities in northern Mississippi and Arkansas. Eventually under threat to his life, Anderson made his own exodus to Arkansas, and then later still, to Holly Springs, Mississippi, where a vibrant Black community thrived.

Much of Anderson’s unique story has been lost to history—until now. In The Recovered Life of Isaac Anderson, author Alicia K. Jackson presents a biography of Anderson and in it a microhistory of Black religious life and politics after emancipation. A work of recovery, the volume captures the life of a shepherd to his journeying people, and of a college pioneer, a CME minister, a politician, and a former slave. Gathering together threads from salvaged details of his life, Jackson sheds light on the varied perspectives and strategies adopted by Black leaders dealing with a society that was antithetical to them and to their success.

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The Colors of Love: Multiracial People in Interracial Relationships

Posted in Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2021-12-06 01:24Z by Steven

The Colors of Love: Multiracial People in Interracial Relationships

New York University Press
December 2021
312 Pages
24 b/w illustrations
6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in
Paperback ISBN: 9781479802418
Hardcover ISBN: 9781479802401
eBook ISBN: 9781479802425

Melinda A. Mills, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology; Coordinator of Women’s and Gender Studies
Castleton University, Castleton, Vermont

How multiracial people navigate the complexities of race and love

In the United States, more than seven million people claim to be multiracial, or have racially mixed heritage, parentage, or ancestry. In The Colors of Love, Melinda A. Mills explores how multiracial people navigate their complex—and often misunderstood—identities in romantic relationships.

Drawing on sixty interviews with multiracial people in interracial relationships, Mills explores how people define and assert their racial identities both on their own and with their partners. She shows us how similarities and differences in identity, skin color, and racial composition shape how multiracial people choose, experience, and navigate love.

Mills highlights the unexpected ways in which multiracial individuals choose to both support and subvert the borders of race as individuals and as romantic partners. The Colors of Love broadens our understanding about race and love in the twenty-first century.

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How disgraced health expert Carrie Bourassa passed as indigenous for years

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-12-06 01:23Z by Steven

How disgraced health expert Carrie Bourassa passed as indigenous for years

The New York Post
2021-12-01

Isabel Vincent, Investigative reporter

Carrie Bourassa’s Instagram page describes her as an “Indigenous feminist” and “proud Metis” with an addiction to lattes.

Only her penchant for caffeine was true.

A statement from Carrie Bourassa’s team said “she has not falsely identified as Indigenous nor taken space away from Indigenous peoples.”

Bourassa, a professor in the department of community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan and a leading expert on indigenous issues, has been exposed as a fraud. A family tree prepared by a group of academics who were suspicious of her ancestral claims shows that Bourassa is of Swiss, Hungarian, Polish and Czechoslovakian origins and has not one ounce of indigenous blood…

Read the entire article here.

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Rebecca Hall Says ‘Passing’ Liberated Her Family – Contenders New York

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Biography, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Videos, Women on 2021-12-06 00:57Z by Steven

Rebecca Hall Says ‘Passing’ Liberated Her Family – Contenders New York

Deadline Hollywood
2021-12-04

Fred Topel

(L-R) André Holland, Ruth Negga, Rebecca Hall and moderator Dominic Patten talk “Passing
Michael Loccisano/For Deadline

Rebecca Hall said Saturday that her mother [Maria Ewing] told her Hall’s directorial debut, Passing, liberated her family, as Hall’s grandfather was a Black man who decided to pass for White in Detroit.

Hall and stars Ruth Negga and André Holland spoke during the panel for the Netflix drama at Deadline’s Contenders Film: New York awards-season showcase.

“She called me up in tears when she first saw it and she just said, ‘You’ve liberated us,’” Hall said. “I grew up observing my mother and thinking about the psychological impact of being brought up in an environment where you weren’t allowed to talk about something. To me, she always looked like a Black woman. I was saying to her, ‘Tell me about this. What are we? Tell me the story.’ She didn’t know. It’s not that she wouldn’t. She couldn’t. She was respecting her father’s wishes.”…

Read the entire article and watch the video discussion here.

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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 2021-12-05 22:29Z 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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Walking the Color Line in 1909

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, Law, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-12-05 22:11Z by Steven

Walking the Color Line in 1909

Bygone Brookland
2020-05-21

Robert Malesky

Isabel Wall. Photo from Wall family album, courtesy of Larissa Clayton

Little 7-year-old Isabel Wall, blonde and blue-eyed, bounced along beside her mother as they walked the two blocks from their home at 1019 Kearny Street to the Brookland School at 10th and Monroe. Isabel was to be enrolled in the first grade.

The principal, Mary Little, asked some basic questions and then filled out the form to admit the child and let her begin classes. It wasn’t to last. Ten days later, she withdrew the admission, due to “information subsequently obtained.” The information? School officials had heard that Isabel’s father, Stephen, though he was light-skinned and had a white wife, was in reality a black man. The Brookland School was for whites only…

Note from Steven F. Riley: see the book The Invisible Line: A Secret History of Race in America by Daniel J. Sharfstein.

Read the entire article here.

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As mentioned above, Columbia’s refusal to admit black students into the University created the conditions that encouraged black students to pass as white, and James Parker Barnett may be a case of just that. However, the only reason we know about James Parker Barnett was because he was CAUGHT.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-12-04 01:30Z by Steven

The extent to which elite universities like Columbia worked to keep black students outside their walls makes the accomplishments of Columbia’s hailed “first” black graduates even more impressive, as these students existed within institutions that found identity through racialized exclusivity. That being said, James Parker Barnett’s story highlights a problem with these narratives of “firsts”, not only within Columbia University, but at historically white institutions across the United States. As mentioned above, Columbia’s refusal to admit black students into the University created the conditions that encouraged black students to pass as white, and James Parker Barnett may be a case of just that. However, the only reason we know about James Parker Barnett was because he was caught. There were high levels of racial mixing occurring in the United States through the 1850s when Barnett was expelled from P&S [School of Physicians and Scientists], and estimates about the frequency of racial passing are contentious. Walter White, a famous fair-skinned black man who passed as white while doing investigative work for the NAACP, estimated that “approximately 12,000 white-skinned Negroes disappear” into white society every year”.52 Roi Ottley, a famous African-American journalist in the early 1900s, claimed that there were approximately five million white-passing black people with forty to fifty thousand passing into whiteness every year.53 While these men lived in the early to mid-1900’s, well past Barnett’s time, their research proves that racial passing had become increasingly common as African descendants continued to mix with those of white ancestry. I argue that this information lends itself to the idea that it was highly unlikely that Barnett, if indeed passing, was the first nor the last black individual to pass as white at Columbia University before it officially began accepting black students. How then, can the university endeavor to honor the “first black” students at Columbia if it has no way of knowing the identities of black passers who, by racial standards of the time, were the first graduating students of African “blood”?

Ciara Keane, “Blurring the Lines: James Parker Barnett, Racial Passing, and Invisible Early Black Students at Columbia University,” Columbia University and Slavery, 2018. https://columbiaandslavery.columbia.edu/content/blurring-lines-james-parker-barnett-racial-passing-and-invisible-early-black-students.

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These NYC kids have written the history of an overlooked Black female composer

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Campus Life, Media Archive on 2021-12-03 20:11Z by Steven

These NYC kids have written the history of an overlooked Black female composer

National Public Radio
2021-12-02

Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR Arts Desk

Three of the student authors of Who Is Florence Price? (left to right: Sebastián Núñez, Hazel Peebles and Sophia Shao), joined by their English teacher, Shannon Potts.
Courtesy of Special Music School

For decades, it was almost impossible to hear a piece of music written by Florence Price. Price was a Black, female composer who died in 1953. But a group of New York City middle school students had the opportunity to quite literally write Florence Price’s history. Their book, titled Who Is Florence Price?, is now out and available in stores.

The kids attend Special Music School, a K-12 public school in Manhattan that teaches high-level music instruction alongside academics. Shannon Potts is an English teacher there.

“Our children are musicians, so whether or not we intentionally draw it together, they bring music into the classroom every day in the most delightful ways,” Potts says. “So if you’re talking about themes and poetry, immediately a child will qualify it with the way that a theme repeats in music.”

Potts assigned her sixth, seventh and eighth grade students to study Florence Price — a composer born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1887. She was the first Black woman to have her music played by a major American orchestra: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed her Symphony No. 1 in 1933 and her Piano Concerto in One Movement the next year. In 1939, at her famed Lincoln Memorial concert, the contralto Marian Anderson included Price’s arrangement of the spiritual “My Soul Is Anchored in the Lord.”…

Read the entire article here.

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