“A Chosen Exile” by History Professor Allyson Hobbs, has won two prizes from the Organization of American Historians

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-04-28 01:54Z by Steven

“A Chosen Exile” by History Professor Allyson Hobbs, has won two prizes from the Organization of American Historians

Stanford University Department of History
Palo Alto, California

2015-04-20

A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life” by History Professor Allyson Hobbs has won two prizes from the Organization of American Historians: the Frederick Jackson Turner Award for best first book in American history and the Lawrence Levine Award for best book in American cultural history.

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Will Police Killings of Blacks be the Defining Crisis of the Obama Presidency?

Posted in Barack Obama, Interviews, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2015-04-28 01:40Z by Steven

Will Police Killings of Blacks be the Defining Crisis of the Obama Presidency?

NewBlackMan (in Exile)
2015-04-24

Mark Anthony Neal, Host and Professor of African & African American Studies
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Duke University University Sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of the classic Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America (now in its 4th edition) and Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal discuss #BlackLivesMatters and the Obama Presidency.

Watch the interview (00:06:45) here.

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Embracing otherness, embracing myself

Posted in Autobiography, Media Archive, Videos on 2015-04-27 22:54Z by Steven

Embracing otherness, embracing myself

TedGlobal
July 2011
00:13:55

Thandie Newton

Actor Thandie Newton tells the story of finding her “otherness” — first, as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and then as an actor playing with many different selves. A warm, wise talk, fresh from stage at TEDGlobal 2011.

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Trevor Noah’s World

Posted in Africa, Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, South Africa on 2015-04-27 22:17Z by Steven

Trevor Noah’s World

The Atlantic
2015-04-05

Douglas Foster, Associate Professor of Journalism
Medill School of Journalism
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

What makes The Daily Show’s new host unique—according to South African comics

CAPE TOWN, South Africa—When word circulated on Monday that standup comic Trevor Noah had been chosen to succeed Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, South Africans hailed Noah in hyper-caffeinated terms as the country’s “next great export” after Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Charlize Theron. On that day, I happened to be in Johannesburg shepherding students through the newsroom of The Star, where the lineup of stories at the morning editorial conference included a series of firefights between gangsters and police on public highways, allegations of corruption at every level of government, and the teetering condition of the state-run utility company, which regularly plunges the country into rolling blackouts. It was no wonder that news of a major U.S. television show hiring a 31-year-old mixed-race South African phenom as anchor had proven so welcome.

By now, the basics about Trevor Noah are well-known. He’s the young, super-cool comedian with the cherubic face and itchy Twitter finger who, beginning in 2012, achieved global recognition by way of Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Jon Stewart. In a series of solo performances around the world over the last three years, he has blown up in ways that cultural figures from South Africa haven’t since the 1960s and 1970s, when musicians like Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba packed music halls during the height of racial oppression back home…

…What makes Noah’s comedy unique? “He’s slick as fuck!” Evans replied. “But also super charming,” added the young comic sitting next to him. He was a slight, Afrikaans-speaking man named Schalk Bezuidenhout, who sometimes opens for Noah when he’s performing in town. Only 22 years old—the same age as Noah when he jump-started his career as a comedian—Bezuidenhout had just come off stage after a set about the hazards of dating a flight attendant (“a non-smoking fuck”) and the unintended consequences of imposing a non-racial ideal on young people from South Africa’s 11 different language groups (“There’s nothing more messed up than a bunch of Afrikaans kids singing an African song”).

Both men said Noah distinguished himself from other comics by resisting labels and “genre-based comedy.” Bezuidenhout noted that Noah always identified himself as a mixed-race South African raised in straitened circumstances in Soweto without “using it as a crutch.” Contemporaries who have shared the stage with him say he’s unusually attuned to the audience, shifting direction based on the feel in the room, and Bezuidenhout has seen Noah drop chunks of material based on the city he’s performing in. This was a quality that a number of immigrants in South Africa had already mentioned to me. Omega Chembhere, a waiter, told me that when he had arrived from Zimbabwe 10 years earlier, much of South African pop culture had seemed inaccessible. “Trevor’s different, so good at it,” he said. “His strength is that everything springs from his experience in life, but you understand his reality because he makes an effort to explain.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Ticking the box: Finding a place for mixed race

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2015-04-27 21:44Z by Steven

Ticking the box: Finding a place for mixed race

The Cambridge Student
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
2015-04-25

Chase Caldwell Smith

In my life, I have been told many things – that I “look like a bit of a foreigner” or that “I couldn’t tell you were part-Asian before – I can definitely see it now.” I’ve been informed, jokingly, that I’m basically “the blackest person” in the room, or told, imaginatively, that “all Asians look alike” anyway. Or my personal favourite, that because my mother is Asian and my father white, that I “live in one of those kinds of families.”

There’s much talk about race in Cambridge, with the establishment of FLY two years ago igniting a much-needed debate on how we should discuss racial discrimination in a university as multicultural as our own. I know for a fact that other students have been forced to confront much more discrimination than the little I have faced. But I still can’t help feeling that sometimes, much of the debate over race seems to pitch a cut-and-dry privileged majority, usually white, against a generalized group of underprivileged minorities, usually non-white. The issues dividing these groups are painfully real: I am not in any way refuting this.

However, I am concerned that this debate between a clearly delineated majority and minority has the unintended consequence of leaving out the voices of the students in-between – people like me who are neither all-white nor all-Asian, for example. It is sometimes difficult to take part because we don’t fit into the existing scheme of privilege and oppression: we are constantly uncertain of which ‘category’ we fit into, and perhaps, should fit into…

Read the entire article here.

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Genes Don’t Cause Racial-Health Disparities, Society Does

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2015-04-27 19:24Z by Steven

Genes Don’t Cause Racial-Health Disparities, Society Does

The Atlantic
2015-04-13

Jason Silverstein, Teaching Fellow in Anthropology
Harvard University

Researchers are looking in the wrong place: White people live longer not because of their DNA but because of inequality.

On April 24, 2003, shortly after the completion of the human genome project, its director Francis Collins and his team posed 15 grand challenges to the scientific community. They dared researchers to harness the genome to crack puzzles of biology, health, and society. In particular, they called for genome-based tools to close health disparities. Since then, the United States has pumped more than $1 billion a year into genomics research. What do we have to show for it?

“What we found in the literature published from 2007 to 2013 was basically nothing,” said Jay Kaufman, the lead author of the first study to examine available genetic data for evidence that explains a major racial-health disparity. For many years, researchers speculated that what they couldn’t explain about disparities must be the fingerprint of some mysterious genetic component. But since they are now able to scan the entire genome, this speculation appears both lazy and wrong. When it comes to why many black people die earlier than white people in the U.S., Kaufman and his colleagues show we’ve been looking for answers in the wrong places: We shouldn’t be looking in the twists of the double helix, but the grinding inequality of the environment.

It is no secret that a longer life is a white privilege in the U.S. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that white men lived more than four years longer than black men, and white women lived more than three years longer than black women. The main reason for the racial mortality gap is heart disease. “There’s a huge number of years of life lost because some people have the black life expectancy and not the white life expectancy,” Kaufman said. “It’s killing people prematurely on the basis of race.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Bigots beware – you have fewer places to hide in mixed-heritage Britain

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom on 2015-04-27 19:14Z by Steven

Bigots beware – you have fewer places to hide in mixed-heritage Britain

The Guardian
2015-04-26

Hugh Muir

The makeup of Britain is changing. Anyone who thinks they can get away with casual racism is making a big mistake

The Runnymede Trust’s report on Race and Elections tells us that one of the groups least likely to register to vote is those of mixed heritage. They are relatively young; they move around – not least to study; and of all the things they have to do, registering to vote isn’t a massive priority. Undoubtedly, that will change.

Still, the growing number of mixed-heritage Brits – 1.2 million now, the biggest single increase of any group in the 2011 census – will give rise to all sorts of recalculations. Nigel Farage might reconsider his terminology. Last week, he boasted of a member who was “half-black”

Read the entire article here.

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On Slave Ownership, Privilege and One Drop

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2015-04-25 23:09Z by Steven

On Slave Ownership, Privilege and One Drop

One Drop of Love: A Daughter’s Search for Her Father’s Racial Approval
2015-04-21

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Writer, Performer and co-Producer

For just a little over two years I have traveled across the United States performing the one-woman show I wrote and produce, One Drop of Love. One Drop is about history and family, race, class, gender, privilege. One of the central themes – which I express decisively in the closing monologue – is the importance of having the courage to confront painful pasts in order to heal, and to help make real change in the present.

One of the reasons I’m invited to perform across the country – besides that One Drop resonates with a large cross-section of people – is that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are also producers. I met both when we were young (Matt in elementary school and Ben in high school), and we became fast friends because we shared a strong interest in theater. We spent many hours after school and on summer vacations in rehearsals and performing together. They have supported me – and many people from our community and others – in pursuing dreams, and sharing our interests and skills with others.

My heart sank when I learned of the leaked Sony e-mail revealing Ben’s actions upon learning of his family’s history of slave ownership…

Read the entire article here.

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Being Maori-Chinese: Mixed Identities

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania on 2015-04-24 20:23Z by Steven

Being Maori-Chinese: Mixed Identities

Auckland University Press
January 2008
238 pages
Illustrations
210 x 148 mm
Paperback ISBN: 9781869403997

Manying Ip, Professor of Asian Studies
University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Being Maori-Chinese uses extensive interviews with seven different families to explore historical and contemporary relations between Māori and Chinese, a subject which has never been given serious study before. A full chapter is given to each family which is explored in depth often in the voices of the protagonists themselves.

This detailed and personal approach shows how in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Māori and Chinese, both relegated to the fringes of society, often had warm and congenial bonds, with intermarriage and large Māori-Chinese families. However in recent times the relationship between these two rapidly growing groups has shown tension as Māori have gained confidence in their identity and as increased Asian immigration has become a political issue. Being Maori-Chinese provides a unique and fascinating insight into cross-cultural alliances between Asian and indigenous peoples, revealing a resilience which has endured persecution, ridicule and neglect and offering a picture of New Zealand society which challenges the usual Pākehā-dominated perspective.

Today’s Māori-Chinese, especially younger members, are increasingly reaffirming their multiple roots and, with a growing confidence in the cultural advantages they possess, are playing important roles in New Zealand society.

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My body is not an apology: Race, Representation & Beauty by Emma Dabiri

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2015-04-24 20:05Z by Steven

My body is not an apology: Race, Representation & Beauty by Emma Dabiri

Thandie Kay
2015-04-19

Emma Dabiri, Teaching Fellow
Africa Department, School of African and Oriental Studies, London
Visual Sociology Ph.D. Researcher, Goldsmiths University of London


Emma Dabiri

Emma Dabiri is an Irish-Nigerian PhD researcher in Goldsmiths, and teaching fellow in the Africa Department at The School of Oriental African Studies. She also works as a commercial model. Thandie encountered her when she read an article Emma wrote for The New Statesman earlier this year. They struck up a Twitter chat, and the rest is history – as written by @TheDiasporaDiva. Welcome to her 21st century world.

I recently got caught up in an online debate about a black celebrity who has completely transformed her face, arguably to make it look more European. While the jury was out as to whether or not she should have had plastic surgery, the conversation was largely framed around whether or not the surgery was successful. Ultimately this was judged by whether or not she had achieved that elusive, subjective, and most coveted of assets, “beauty”.

I was struck by the sensation that something was very wrong with the whole picture. Why do we continue to allow our options to be constrained within such a tyrannical framework, whereby a woman’s worth is calculated by the way she looks? Why don’t we push for a redefinition of what is important?

Regardless of the outcome of the surgery, I think it is unlikely this celeb will be satisfied. Insecurities are rarely vanquished by indulging the processes responsible for creating them; If anything they are multiplied…

…In my early teens I was very much the awkward black girl. I was always overlooked for my white, skinny, mousey brown-haired friends. Nobody asked me to dance at discos. When playing spin the bottle I willed the bottle never to land on me. I couldn’t bear the shame I felt for the poor misfortunate who might be dared to kiss a creature as monstrous as me.

In addition to the usual pressures on a teenage girl, mine were compounded by race. My hair – goodness my hair

…So it was complex. I wanted to be seen as pretty, I craved the validation (an empty and shallow place to barter for your humanity, but how many of us succumb to it?) yet at the same time I was incredibly uncomfortable with the attention I got. I was always made to feel conspicuous; under scrutiny, an object to be examined. In his famous train passage, Fanon explores the psychological effects of subjection to the white gaze, upon the black subject-

“Look, a Negro…Look at the nigger!…Mama, a Negro!”(1986:112).

I remember, vividly, a flood of grateful relief upon first encountering these words. As an isolated, ‘mixed-race’ or black individual, in a predominantly white environment, you become a cipher, a representation of a coming anarchy. The barbarians have breached the gates, and you are the manifestation of all the images, fantasies, fears and desires that have been absorbed by a population fed a steady diet of racist discourse. You are constantly under surveillance. You become achingly aware of your every gesture; your movements, your very posture, are at all times under analysis. Mundane details, the minutiae of your daily routine, are a performance for public consumption. While, I could not articulate this at the time, I experienced the suffocating weight of such an existence deeply…

Read the entire article here.

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