Anti-Miscegenation Laws and the Dilemma of Symmetry: The Understanding of Equality in the Civil Rights Act of 1875

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-27 00:03Z by Steven

Anti-Miscegenation Laws and the Dilemma of Symmetry: The Understanding of Equality in the Civil Rights Act of 1875

The University of Chicago Law School Roundtable: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Legal Studies
Volume 2: Issue 1, Article 12 (January 1995)
pages 303-344

Steven A. Bank, Paul Hastings Professor of Business Law
University of California, Los Angeles

The Civil Rights Act of 1875, which was introduced by two Republicans from Massachusetts, Charles Sumner in the Senate and Benjamin Butler in the House, sought to overturn many of the bars to interaction between the races after the end of slavery. In its final form, the Act provided that “all persons … shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition of servitude.” No provision of the Act, however, explicitly addressed state anti-miscegenation statutes, or laws that prohibit “intermarriage and all forms of illicit intercourse between the races.” Proponents of the Act confined their arguments largely to the issue of desegregating public places such as railroad cars, steamships, inns, cemeteries, churches, and public schools. Continued prejudice, distaste for miscegenation among both races, and a declining post-Civil War rate of miscegenation, combined to persuade supporters of the bill not to address these laws in the push to desegregate public institutions.

This decision, albeit a wise one politically, left Republicans open to attack. Republicans argued that symmetrical equality, where blacks are prohibited from doing what whites can do, but whites are equally prohibited from doing what blacks can do, was insufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment. They contended that under the Equal Protection Clause, blacks should have the same right as whites to enter any public place. This argument, however, inescapably included anti-miscegenation statutes within the confines of its logic. While such statutes provided symmetrical equality, since they prohibited both blacks and whites from participation in interracial relationships, they denied blacks the same right to marry whites as whites enjoyed. If segregation of public places was unconstitutional, anti-miscegenation statutes must be as well. Opponents of Reconstruction seized upon this logical extension of the Republican principle of equality to suggest that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 would result in increased miscegenation. The charge became intertwined with the claim that Republicans sought to legislate “social” equality between the races. Thus, Republican treatment of miscegenation was watched closely. Accepting symmetrical equality in anti-miscegenation laws would weaken their argument against segregation. Conversely, arguing that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional might arouse opposition to attempts to protect the civil rights of the freedmen…

Read the entire article here.

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Free State of Jones: The Incredible True Story of Newton Knight and His Private Rebellion Against the Confederacy

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Mississippi, Slavery, United States on 2016-06-26 23:35Z by Steven

Free State of Jones: The Incredible True Story of Newton Knight and His Private Rebellion Against the Confederacy

People Magazine
2016-06-24

Michael Miller

Free State of Jones brings to life one of the Civil War’s most extraordinary and counterintuitive episodes, in which a Confederate deserter overthrew his former commanders and established a free “state” in his native corner of southeast Mississippi.

Newton Knight, played by a ragged, yellow-toothed Matthew McConaughey, was a poor farmer who, incensed by a new law that allowed landowners to swap 20 slaves for their military service, abandoned his company to lead his own rebellion.

“He looked around at all of his yeoman farmer buddies and said, ‘Do you own any slaves?’ They were like, ‘No.’ He goes, ‘Me neither. I’m not fighting this war. It’s a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight. I’m out of here,’ ” McConaughey tells PEOPLE of his character…

Read the entire article here.

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Playing with Race in the Early Republic: Mr. Potter, the Ventriloquist

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-26 22:00Z by Steven

Playing with Race in the Early Republic: Mr. Potter, the Ventriloquist

The New England Quarterly
June 2016, Volume 89, Number 2
pages 257-285
DOI: 10.1162/TNEQ_a_00530

Paul E. Johnson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History
University of South Carolina

The first American-born stage magician and ventriloquist was an African American named Richard Potter. Potter’s stage career (1811–1835) coincided with the transition from an entertainment culture grounded in a metropolitan Atlantic world to an American show business that was nationalist and racist. This essay traces Potter’s strategies and experiences within that transformation.

Read or purchase the article here.

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One Drop of Love preceded by I’ve Just had a Dream

Posted in Arts, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States, Videos on 2016-06-26 20:20Z by Steven

One Drop of Love preceded by I’ve Just had a Dream

The 18th Annual Roxbury International Film Festival
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Barbara and Theodore Alfond Auditorium (Auditorium G36)
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
2016-06-30, 20:00-21:35 EDT (Local Time)


Film still from One Drop of Love

I’ve Just had a Dream by Javi Navarro (USA, 2014, 7 min.). Two girls. Two cultures. Two visions. A dream. They say that dreams are only dreams; the only thing that makes them different is the person who dreams.

One Drop of Love by Carol Banker, written and produced by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni (USA, 2016, 67 min.). One Drop of Love is the feature film of a multimedia solo performance by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni. Produced by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, this extraordinary one-woman show incorporates filmed images, photographs and animation to tell the story of how the notion of ‘race’ came to be in the United States and how it affects our most intimate relationships. A moving memoir, One Drop takes audiences from the 1700s to the present, to cities all over the U.S. and to West and East Africa, where the narrator and her family spent time in search of their ‘racial’ roots. The ultimate goal of the show is to encourage everyone to discuss ‘race’ and racism openly and critically.

Followed by a discussion with the filmmakers.

For more information, click here.

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A New Movie About Bob Kaufman, a Jewish African-American Street Poet Shrouded in Myth

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-26 19:51Z by Steven

A New Movie About Bob Kaufman, a Jewish African-American Street Poet Shrouded in Myth

Tablet
2016-06-24

Jake Marmer

And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead does little to dispel the mystery surrounding the artist, which is why it works.

Bob Kaufman Alley, in San Francisco’s neighborhood of North Beach, is tiny—narrow and hardly a block in length. Only a smattering of locals and dedicated poetry aficionados around the world remember whom it is named after—the eccentric street poet-prophet, whose personal history remains a mystery to this day. Kaufman’s improvised street performances, his 30 (or more) arrests, Jewish and Caribbean roots, involuntary shock treatment, and decade-long vow of silence are touched on in Billy Woodberry’s And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead, a new documentary that honors the poet’s work and life.

Though cleaned up, these streets still bear witness to the pulse of hipness and desperation that inspired Kaufman’s “Heavy Water Blues:”

Consolidated Edison is threatening to cut off my brain,
The postman keeps putting sex in my mailbox,
My mirror died, and & can’t tell if I still reflect,
I put my eyes on a diet, my tears are gaining too much weight

Here, a classic blues-styled litany of troubles meets urban imagery, surrealism, wit, playfulness, and puns. Though self-“reflection” is one of poetry’s trademark functions, this poet is no longer so sure he’s capable of reflecting, and in any case, his mirror stares back with Picasso-like enmeshment of the body and polis, violence, humor, and sorrow…

Read the entire article here. Watch the trailer here.

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Kafka’s Blues: Figurations of Racial Blackness in the Construction of an Aesthetic

Posted in Books, Europe, Forthcoming Media, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2016-06-26 19:30Z by Steven

Kafka’s Blues: Figurations of Racial Blackness in the Construction of an Aesthetic

Northwestern University Press
June 2016
184 pages
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8101-3286-3
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8101-3285-6
E-book ISBN: 978-0-8101-3287-0

Mark Christian Thompson, Associate Professor of English
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Kafka’s Blues proves the startling thesis that many of Kafka’s major works engage in a coherent, sustained meditation on racial transformation from white European into what Kafka refers to as the “Negro” (a term he used in English). Indeed, this book demonstrates that cultural assimilation and bodily transformation in Kafka’s work are impossible without passage through a state of being “Negro.” Kafka represents this passage in various ways—from reflections on New World slavery and black music to evolutionary theory, biblical allusion, and aesthetic primitivism—each grounded in a concept of writing that is linked to the perceived congenital musicality of the “Negro,” and which is bound to his wider conception of aesthetic production. Mark Christian Thompson offers new close readings of canonical texts and undervalued letters and diary entries set in the context of the afterlife of New World slavery and in Czech and German popular culture.

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He has been torn between America’s noble ideals of democracy and its cruel realities of race…

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-06-26 19:24Z by Steven

President Obama is an extraordinary figure who has done some good things in bad times, and some great things under impossible circumstances. As the first black president he has faced enormous difficulties and has had to weather a steady downpour of bad faith from the right wing and racist resistance from bigoted quarters of the country. He has been torn between America’s noble ideals of democracy and its cruel realities of race — a tension he rode into office, and one that occasionally defeated his desire to reconcile the best and worst halves of the nation he governs.

Michael Eric Dyson, “Barack Obama, the President of Black America?,” The New York Times, June 24, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/opinion/sunday/barack-obama-the-president-of-black-america.html.

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Mixed-race in Oregon

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-26 19:18Z by Steven

Mixed-race in Oregon

The Asian Reporter
Portland, Oregon
Volume 26, Number 12 (2016-06-20)
ISSN: 1094-9453
page 6, columns 2-3

Dmae Roberts, Writer, Producer, Media and Theatre Artist

I received some exciting news this month. I was selected as one of the speakers for the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project, a program that brings people together to talk about current issues and ideas.

Participating in the program wasn’t something I was eager to do at first, since I’ve always seen myself as a bit shy. Although as an actor I’ve performed Shakespeare on Portland stages, typically I’m more of a wallflower. As I’ve gotten older, however, I found it wasn’t that I didn’t like talking to people. Instead, I realized I only enjoy talking when there’s an intriguing subject.

During the past decade, I’ve gravitated toward discussing the meaning of my mixed-race identity. While growing up in rural Oregon, there were few people of color. In my small school in the 1970s, I suspected I had mixed-race classmates, but it was a taboo subject, so it was not talked about. Students who could not pass as white, like my younger brother, endured racism. I, on the other hand, who appeared white to others, felt like a secret Asian girl. In my 40-plus years of adulthood, I’ve experienced shifts in the understanding of and attitude around multiracial identity and also witnessed the transformation in terminology for race and ethnicity from derogatory slurs to an expanding list of proud names…

Read the entire article here.

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These 2 Ads Might Say Everything About How Global Racism Really Is

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2016-06-26 18:13Z by Steven

These 2 Ads Might Say Everything About How Global Racism Really Is

Multiracial Asian Families: thinking about race, families, children, and the intersection of mixed ID/Asian
2016-06-26

Sharon H. Chang

sigh.

SIGH.

Siiiiiiiiigh.

Alright that’s done. I want (pause) — well I don’t want, but feel like I need to show you two TV ads recently posted to YouTube literally within days of each other. Both are out of east Asia, Japan and China respectively. The first is a Toyota commercial out of Japan. It portrays a shiny techno-future funneled through the nostalgic eyes of a white father and happy memories of his mixed race Japanese family/children:

Not super hard to read the messaging here right? Japan is changing. Got it. Changing for the better. Got it. Symbolized by this mixed race family. Got it. And importantly, symbolized by this mixed race family with a white father. Got it. Now let me pause and give nod to something super important here. It is rare to see mixed families portrayed at all in Japan, a nation with an impressive history of racial-ethnic purity rhetoric, xenophobia, violent discrimination and practice. So yes I completely get that this Toyota commercial is a step forward.

At the same time it isn’t.

Now, check out this second commercial for Qiaobi laundry detergent out of China which has been airing at least since April…

Read the entire article here.

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Matthew McConaughey Can’t Stop Being a Badass White Savior in The Free State of Jones

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Mississippi, Slavery, United States on 2016-06-26 17:48Z by Steven

Matthew McConaughey Can’t Stop Being a Badass White Savior in The Free State of Jones

The Stranger
2016-06-22

Ijeoma Oluo


Watch the magical negroes heal Matthew McConaughey from his wounds that he received while badassing his way into exile.

Ever since the end of the first season of True Detective I’ve really been wanting more Matthew McConaughey in my life. That charming half-smile. That creepy, hyper-intense stare. That unmistakable yet unplaceable southern drawl. I don’t care if it’s laid-back, bongo drumming alright-alright-alright McConaughey, or if it’s riddle-speaking, indecipherable, slightly creepy, brooding McConaughey. I need more Matthew McConaughey.

You know what else I need? Black pain and suffering. I need another movie focused on the brutalization of black bodies filtered through a Hollywood lens. I need the only faces on the screen that look like mine to be crying, screaming, or slack from the noose.

It used to be that I’d have to separate these much-needed experiences of McConaughey and black pain. Dazed and Confused on Monday, The Help on Tuesday. Ghosts of Girlfriend’s Past on Wednesday, 12 Years a Slave on Thursday.

But what if you could have it all? What if you could have slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, black pain, black murder, black suffering – and more Matthew McConaughey than you ever thought imaginable?

Dreams can come true. And they have come true in this 139 minute masterpiece of McConaughey-ness: The Free State of Jones

Read the entire review here.

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