Excerpts from The Space Between by Herb Harris

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Identity Development/Psychology, United States on 2024-06-07 21:23Z by Steven

Excerpts from The Space Between by Herb Harris

CRAFT: Exploring the Art of Prose
2024-06-07

These excerpts from Herb Harris’s memoir, The Space Between, form one of two pieces picked as an editors’ choice selection for the 2023 CRAFT Memoir Excerpt & Essay Contest. Our editors chose work that demonstrates the unlimited vibrancy and scope of creative nonfiction.

Mirrors and reflections appear throughout these outstanding memoir excerpts from Herb Harris. In a setting as innocuous as a local barbershop, Harris strikes out on a journey not only to assess his own identity, but also to examine how he is perceived by the world around him—no matter how disorienting that quest might prove. Harris opens the piece: “I must begin by telling you that I am Black.” He makes this declaration in the space between pride and confession. By focusing on hair and optical illusions, he affirms that identity is not a singular concept; it is many selves—mirrored individuals and slightly altered reflections—that compose a person and make them who they are and who they will become.

Recognizing simplicity as a tool to dissect multigenerational issues is one of the many strengths Harris displays in his writing. Innocent details such as ear wiggling, hair clippings scattered on the floor, and “bottles containing mysterious liquids and powders” open the essay to larger themes of racial identity, belonging, and the bleak injustices foundational to a country built upon slavery. A simple haircut or catching your own image in a mirror might be infinitely more complex than expected. Herb Harris discovers that a reflection takes many forms, including a tool to prosecute the long chronicle of cultural erasure pervasive in the United States. —CRAFT

Prologue

I must begin by telling you that I am Black. This is a very strange thing to have to say out loud. It is usually something self-evident that goes without saying. But my light skin and blur of African and European features are rarely recognized as Black.

This racial ambiguity reflects many generations of mixed heritage that go back to the beginning of the slave trade. My ancestors were both the enslaved and the enslavers who sexually exploited them. I have many white ancestors, but their identities are almost entirely unknown. These perpetrators and their victims still live inside me, where their violent entanglement continues. I am an outlier among people who identify as Black, but most of Black America has some degree of white ancestry. This painful heritage is an aspect of slavery that is seldom discussed, but the white man is among the foremost absent fathers of history.

My family has lived on the edge of the color line for more than three centuries. This dangerous neighborhood has always been my home. In my childhood, the color line was like a concrete wall topped with barbed wire and brutally policed on both sides. Still inviolable, it is now drawn in the shifting sands of culture, fashion, and opinion. The wind blows, and I cross it without moving. I am constantly guilty of these motionless transgressions.

How do I know who I am? Almost everything we know about ourselves comes to us through the eyes of others. Throughout our lives, other people are the psychological mirrors that inform us as we work to figure out who we are. Our identities are manifested in the gazes of others. We are revealed in their attitudes and actions. Unfortunately, what they show us is always distorted and fragmented. We must build a collage of ourselves from the reflections we see in our families and communities. Too soon, we enter a society afflicted by the pathology of race. We are no longer seen as individuals but as racist projections, delusions, and hallucinations. We become objects in the white gaze and begin a lifelong battle to defend our identities from its withering effects.

I had to search for clues about who I am among looks of confusion, perplexity, and skepticism. I learned to read the most subtle signs to know how others identified me. My racial camouflage often makes me invisible, but race keeps finding new ways to blindside me with contradictory messages. My first consciousness of race began in a Black preschool in the early 1960s. My best friend, David, compared my light brown skin to his dark brown skin and proudly announced that he was Black and I was white. Suddenly, I felt like an outsider, different from all my classmates. Living in a segregated community, I had never seen a white child before, and I had no idea what David meant. But later, in a predominantly white elementary school, a classmate called me a nigger. I don’t know how I knew the meaning of this word, but it triggered an anger I had never felt before.

W. E. B. Du Bois called it “double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others.” Who do I see reflected in the warped and broken mirrors of our race-obsessed culture? What do I mean when I say that I am Black?…

Read the entire excerpt here.

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Are You a Mixed Race Poet?

Posted in Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2024-05-30 02:26Z by Steven

Are You a Mixed Race Poet?

Namalee Bolle
2024-05-28

I’m writing a book called The Mixed + Multiracial Guide to Wellbeing: Navigating Family + Identity + Healing and I’m looking for unpublished poems about mixed race identity to showcase in the book. Poets will also have the opportunity to be interviewed and talk about their work.

If this is of interest or if you would like more information, please contact Namalee at namaleebolle@gmail.com.

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Populations, individuals, and biological race

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Philosophy on 2024-04-29 02:01Z by Steven

Populations, individuals, and biological race

Biology and Philosophy
Volume 39, article number 10, (2024)
24 pages
DOI: 10.1007/s10539-024-09946-0

M.A. Diamond-Hunter, Teaching Associate
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Research Associate, Sidney Sussex College
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

In this paper, I plan to show that the use of a specific population concept—Millstein’s Causal Interactionist Population Concept (CIPC)—has interesting and counter-intuitive ramifications for discussions of the reality of biological race in human beings. These peculiar ramifications apply to human beings writ large and to individuals. While this in and of itself may not be problematic, I plan to show that the ramifications that follow from applying Millstein’s CIPC to human beings complicates specific biological racial realist accounts—naïve or otherwise. I conclude with the notion that even if biological races do exist—by fulfilling all of the criteria needed for Millstein’s population concept (which, given particular worries raised by Gannett (Synthese 177:363–385, 2010), and Winther and Kaplan (Theoria 60:54–80, 2013) may not)—the lower-bound limit for the scope of biological racial realism is at the level of populations, and as such they cannot say anything about whether or not individual organisms themselves have races.

Read the entire article here.

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2024 Critical Mixed Race Studies Association Conference

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2024-03-22 02:17Z by Steven

2024 Critical Mixed Race Studies Association Conference

OSU Union
Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
2024-06-13 through 2024-06-15

Welcome to the 7th biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, taking place both virtually and in person at The Ohio State University (OSU) in the OSU Union. We are hosting the conference during the week of Loving Day, the anniversary of the June 12, 1967 Loving v. Virginia U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down remaining laws banning interracial marriage. The conference will also concurrently take place during Columbus, Ohio’s Pride weekend. In this spirit, we can mobilize love as an act of radical resistance against white supremacy and forms of intersectional oppression. Within the structure of white supremacy, people identified or identifying as multiracial or mixed have often been placed in “liminal spaces,” or forced to navigate between two or more worlds, identities, and places that are at times conflicting. It is for this reason that we center the idea of liminality or “betwixt and between,” as a productive space from which to form solidarities and foster a “beloved community.”

Within Critical Mixed Race Studies, “betwixt and between” holds meaning as the title of the longest running college course on multiracial identity, taught by the late G. Reginald Daniel (aka “Reg”), Professor of Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara. The idea of multiracial people living “betwixt and between” was also debated in his groundbreaking text, More Than Black? Multiracial Identity and the New Racial Order. While we wish to elevate and honor Reg’s life and scholarship by centering liminality, the framing can also be limiting. Therefore, we invite expansive thinking around questions of “betwixt and between” toward liberating our emerging field of study. We suggest this liberation could happen through solidarity and in or through beloved community. Borrowing from the late bell hooks in Killing Rage: Ending Racism, the “transformative power of love” can be wielded to cultivate cross-racial solidarities amongst ourselves as “beloved community [which] is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world. To form beloved community we do not surrender ties to precious origins. We deepen those bondings by connecting them with an anti-racist struggle.”

For more information and to register, click here.

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Building a Mixed Race Community: The People, Building, and Sites of the Winton Triangle

Posted in Arts, History, Media Archive, United States on 2024-03-17 21:59Z by Steven

Building a Mixed Race Community: The People, Building, and Sites of the Winton Triangle

Photoworks at Glen Echo Park
2024-02-09 through 2024-03-31
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, Maryland

Photoworks is delighted to host the work of acclaimed photojournalist and historian, Marvin Tupper Jones, in the exhibition, Building a Mixed Race Community. The show will be on display from February 9th – March 31st.

The history covered in this exhibit spans from 1851 to 1973 and takes the viewer from the antebellum time through the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the modern Civil Rights eras. It tells stories about over 30 people along with photographs and text. Four women are featured, as well as business people, farmers, carpenters, educators, church leaders, soldiers (Civil War and WWII), Civil Rights activists and organizations.

For more information, click here.

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Virtual Book Chat: Levan Book Chats—Rena Heinrich, Race and Role: The Mixed-Race Asian Experience in American Drama

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Interviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Live Events, United States on 2024-02-04 17:27Z by Steven

Virtual Book Chat: Levan Book Chats—Rena Heinrich, Race and Role: The Mixed-Race Asian Experience in American Drama

Levan Institute of the Humanities
University of Southern California
Wednesday, 2024-02-14, 20:00Z, (12:00 PST, 15:00 EST)

A discussion of Rena Heinrich’s new book, Race and Role: The Mixed-Race Asian Experience in American Drama (Rutgers University Press, 2023). The author will be joined in conversation by SanSan Kwan (UC Berkeley) and Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain (Maynooth University), moderated by Duncan Williams (USC). Coorganized by the USC School of Dramatic Arts and the USC East Asian Studies Center.

To register, click here.

About the Author: Rena Heinrich is an associate professor of theatre practice in critical studies at the USC School of Dramatic Arts and an affiliated professor of East Asian studies in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. She is a contributor to Shape Shifters: Journeys across Terrains of Race and Identity (University of Nebraska Press, 2020) and The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives about Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century (2Leaf Press, 2017). Her next book (co-authored with Francisco Beltrán) examines American immigration mythology and its pervasive circulation through cultural artifacts within the United States.

Open to attendants outside of USC. An excerpt of the book will be made available to registered attendants. Registration before the event is required.

This event is part of the Levan Institute for the Humanities’ “Book Chats” series, conversations about new books published by USC scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

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RESEARCH STUDY: Multiracial Individual’s Perspectives of Genetics Research

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2024-01-11 05:32Z by Steven

RESEARCH STUDY: Multiracial Individual’s Perspectives of Genetics Research

Jennifer L. Young, PhD, MS, MA, Assistant Professor of Medical Social Sciences (Implementation Science)
Center for Genetic Medicine
Department of Medical Social Science; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois

2024-01-10

Eligible individuals are invited to participate in a focus group exploring preferences in engaging with genetics research.

Who is eligible?

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Identify as Multiracial, Mixed Race, or as being more than one race
  • Fluent in English
  • Reside in the United States
  • Access to an internet-connected device with a camera & microphone

What will you be asked to do?

  • Join a 90 minute virtual focus group session
  • Share your experience identifying as Multiracial
  • Briefly learn about the research process and share your opinions

No prior knowledge or experience with research is needed to participate!

Participants will be compensated $40 USD for their time*

Questions?

Contact graduate student, Emilia Chiriboga, at emilia.chiriboga@northwestern.edu.

To participate in the study, click here.

Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling

Study Title: A Qualitative Investigation of Multiracial Individuals’ Involvement in Genetics Research
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Young, PhD, MS, MA
IRB Number: STU00220221

*We anticipate that sessions will take 60-90 minutes; a minimum of 45 minutes is required to receive compensation.

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Are You Mixed-Race? Are Both of Your Biological Parents Also Mixed-Race?

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2024-01-09 02:31Z by Steven

Are You Mixed-Race? Are Both of Your Biological Parents Also Mixed-Race?

Desiree McConn, Clinical Psychology doctoral student
Wright Institute, Berkeley, California

2024-01-04

My name is Desiree McConn and I am a Clinical Psychology doctoral student at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. I am seeking participants for my dissertation research.

The purpose of this study is to better understand the identity development and racial experiences of mixed-race/multiracial people whose parents are both also mixed-race/multiracial.

Participants must be:

  • Ages 18 to 35
  • Mixed-race (multiracial) and have parents who are also both mixed-race, biracial, or multiracial.
  • Fluent in English.
  • Willing to meet for a 60-90-minute interview (via secure Zoom) and be able to discuss experiences of race/ethnicity in childhood, with family, and in adulthood.

ALL PARTICIPANTS WILL RECEIVE A $20 (USD) VISA GIFT CARD!

Participation is confidential and voluntary. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact:

Desiree McConn, M.A.
(510) 629-1437
dmcconn@wi.edu

Dissertation Chair: Sahil Sharma, Psy.D. (ssharma@wi.edu)
This study has been approved by the Wright Institute IRB. (Reference #: 12.20.2023.01)

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An American Puzzle: Fitting Race in a Box

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2023-10-18 01:37Z by Steven

An American Puzzle: Fitting Race in a Box

The New York Times
2023-10-16

K.K. Rebecca Lai and Jennifer Medina

Census categories for race and ethnicity have shaped how the nation sees itself. Here’s how they have changed over the last 230 years.

Since 1790, the decennial census has played a crucial role in creating and reshaping the ever-changing views of racial and ethnic identity in the United States.

Over the centuries, the census has evolved from one that specified broad categories — primarily “free white” people and “slaves” — to one that attempts to encapsulate the country’s increasingly complex demographics. The latest adaptation proposed by the Biden administration in January seeks to allow even more race and ethnicity options for people to describe themselves than the 2020 census did.

If approved, the proposed overhaul would most likely be adopted across all surveys in the country about health, education and the economy. Here’s what the next census could look like…

Read the entire article here.

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New CDG-produced Video tells the history of the Winton Triangle’s Greatest Institution

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2023-10-17 20:28Z by Steven

New CDG-produced Video tells the history of the Winton Triangle’s Greatest Institution

Chowan Discovery Group
2023-10-15

Marvin Tupper Jones

C.S. Brown Auditorium

C.S. Brown School and Auditorium’s story

C.S. Brown Auditorium needs restoration work and a new video production has come to its aid. We hope this effort will help raise the resources needed for the restoration. Please donate.

Titled, “The C.S. Brown Auditorium Story” is a documentary video about C.S. Brown Auditorium in Winton, NC, one of the largest Rosenwald Schools. It can be viewed online and was funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Chowan Discovery Group…

Read the entire article here.

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