Q&A with Daniel Livesay, author of Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Slavery, United Kingdom on 2018-04-20 20:40Z by Steven

Q&A with Daniel Livesay, author of Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833

The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History
2018-04-20

Christopher Jones, Visiting Assistant Professor of History
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah


Daniel Livesay

Daniel Livesay is Associate Professor of History at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA. His research focuses on questions of race, slavery, and family in the colonial Atlantic World. His first book, Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833 was published in January 2018 by the University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute. Casey Schmitt reviewed it yesterday here at The Junto. Daniel’s research has been supported by an NEH postdoctoral fellowship at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, the Fulbright Foundation, the Institute of Historical Research, and the North American Conference on British Studies, as well as number of short-term fellowships. He is currently working on a book manuscript about enslaved individuals of advanced age in Virginia and Jamaica from 1776-1865 entitled, Endless Bondage: Old Age in New World Slavery. He graciously agreed to sit down and answer a few questions about his research.

JUNTO: Congratulations on the publication of your book, and thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about it for readers of The Junto. Let’s start with a broad question: Where did the idea for this book begin?

DANIEL LIVESAY: First off, thanks for inviting me to The Junto. I really enjoy the site, and I’m very excited to be part of it.

The idea for the book effectively landed at my feet. When I started graduate school at the University of Michigan in 2003, the Clements Library—which, as many readers know, is a stellar manuscripts archive at the University—had just purchased the papers of John Tailyour, who was a slave trader in Jamaica at the end of the eighteenth century. The library needed someone to do an initial catalog of the collection, and since I was interested in the history of slavery, I spent several months working through the papers. The collection is really a jewel of economic history because Tailyour took up so much space writing about slave trading in Kingston. But the thing I became obsessed with were his letters back to family in Britain. In particular, he was asking if his relatives could find boarding schools in England for his four mixed-race children whom he had with an enslaved woman named Polly Graham. I had certainly heard of white men manumitting their children, but I had never heard of those same men sending their offspring of color to expensive institutions in Britain. It seemed like a strange level of parental responsibility from a man who also sold thousands of Africans without the slightest hesitation. I felt that I had to know more about the motivations behind this, what the experiences of these migrants were, and what all of it meant for conceptions of race in the Atlantic World. So, I decided to write a graduate seminar paper on the Tailyour family. I went to Britain for a couple of months, found a few stray references to other migrants of color, but ultimately grew worried that it would be almost impossible to find more families who undertook the journey. I finished the seminar paper, and then put it all away thinking that I would need to find another project for my dissertation…

Read the entire interview here.

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Black people already have a highly mixed genetic heritage because of the history of involuntary migrations across the world imposed by slavery and colonialism.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-04-20 03:14Z by Steven

As scientists have repeatedly pointed out, the concept of race is fundamentally cultural, not biological. Nevertheless, because some realities of population genetics are unfortunately caught up in the false rhetoric of race, we might have to rely on the construct and acknowledge the biological differences in HLAs in order to save lives.

Black people already have a highly mixed genetic heritage because of the history of involuntary migrations across the world imposed by slavery and colonialism. “As those mixes take place it creates a more complicated HLA type,” much rarer than that of somebody who comes from a single ethnic heritage, says Galen Switzer, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine professor. Such diversity in HLA types makes it more difficult even for any two black people to match.

Cici Zhang, “When Your Medical Treatment Depends On Your Race,” The Establishment, April 11, 2018. https://theestablishment.co/when-your-medical-treatment-depends-on-your-race-ef2c24691b78.

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All Mixed Up: Our Changing Racial Identities Film Screening

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Live Events, United States, Videos on 2018-04-20 02:56Z by Steven

All Mixed Up: Our Changing Racial Identities Film Screening
Sie FilmCenter
2510 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80206
Wednesday, 2018-05-09, 19:00-21:30 MDT (Local Time)
Rebekah E. Henderson, Creator

World Premiere of the film project All Mixed Up: Our Changing Racial Identities. AMU is a short film that examines the experience of multiracial Americans and their families through a series of interviews. This project is intended to be the start of many more conversations about how we think about race. Following the film there will be a Q&A session with the project creators and some of the participants. This screening will be in honor of the late Dr. Gregory Diggs who provided the creative spark that launched this project last spring.


For more information, click here. To purchase tickets, click here.

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Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, Law, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2018-04-20 02:56Z by Steven

Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination

New York University Press
2018-08-03
224 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781479830329

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

Narratives of mixed-race people bringing claims of racial discrimination in court, illuminating traditional understandings of civil rights law

As the mixed-race population in the United States grows, public fascination with multiracial identity has promoted the belief that racial mixture will destroy racism. However, multiracial people still face discrimination. Many legal scholars hold that this is distinct from the discrimination faced by people of other races, and traditional civil rights laws built on a strict black/white binary need to be reformed to account for cases of discrimination against those identifying as mixed-race.

In Multiracials and Civil Rights, Tanya Katerí Hernández debunks this idea, and draws on a plethora of court cases to demonstrate that multiracials face the same types of discrimination as other racial groups. Hernández argues that multiracial people are primarily targeted for discrimination due to their non-whiteness, and shows how the cases highlight the need to support the existing legal structures instead of a new understanding of civil rights law.

Coming at a time when explicit racism is resurfacing, Hernández’s look at multiracial discrimination cases is essential for fortifying the focus of civil rights law on racial privilege and the lingering legacy of bias against non-whites, and has much to teach us about how to move towards a more egalitarian society.

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Transnational Perspectives on Black Germany

Posted in Canada, Europe, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Women on 2018-04-20 02:55Z by Steven

Transnational Perspectives on Black Germany

University of Toronto
Innis Town Hall
2 Sussex Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1J5 Canada
2018-05-23 through 2018-05-25

Sponsors: Germanic Languages & Literatures, Cinema Studies Institute, Gender & Women’s Studies Institute, Centre for Transnational & Diaspora Studies, Comparative Literature, SSHRC, Centre for the United States, TIFF, DAAD, and Heinrich Böll Stiftung

The Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) is collaborating with the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures and the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto in hosting the 3-day SSHRC-funded conference, “Transnational Perspectives on Black Germany” in Toronto, Ontario, on May 23-25, 2018. The event will feature keynote addresses by Fatima El-Tayeb and Noah Sow, a screening of “On Second Glance” (dir. Sheri Hagen, 2012) at TIFF’s Bell Lightbox with filmmaker in attendance, and a dance-music-word tribute to Afro-German poet and activist May Ayim by guest artists Layla Zami and Oxana Chi.

REGISTRATION OPEN UNTIL 4/21/2018

For more information, click here.

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When Your Medical Treatment Depends On Your Race

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-20 02:54Z by Steven

When Your Medical Treatment Depends On Your Race

The Establishment
2018-04-11

Cici Zhang


Human red bone marrow Jill Doughtie

Why do minority patients have a much harder time finding a match for bone marrow transplants?

It’s not easy to look for a specific boy among hundreds of first graders, especially when they swarm into lines for cupcakes and cotton candy. On this fall bake-sale day, the cafeteria of Public School 106 in the Parkchester section of the Bronx is buzzing with energy and children’s happy shrieks. A few teachers shout across the hall to keep things from spinning out of control. And when I finally spot 6-year-old Asaya Bullock, he seems to be well in hand.

“Ready for your green soup?” Charline, his mother, takes out a thermos with a Spider-Man design on the side.

The green soup is one of the only three things Asaya has ever been able to eat. He drinks it for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner; he drank it for the whole trip that his family took to the Caribbean to visit his mom’s relatives. Luckily, with broccoli, kale, green beans, and some minced meat, Asaya’s soup is at least healthy — and better than the small bowl of potato chips used as comfort food after his bi-weekly belly infusion. The recurring medical procedure helps keep him alive…

Read the entire article here.

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Mizuko

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Media Archive on 2018-04-20 02:24Z by Steven

Mizuko

Hapa Japan
2018-04-13

Fredrick Cloyd


Featured Image by Edward M. Haugh

During the years of gathering research and thoughts, memory and conversations into some sort of cohesive unit for a book–which would eventually become the forthcoming (Spring 2018 by 2Leaf Press) entitled: Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, I had not thought of a title, or a way to fit all the pieces together for the vast amount of links and connections I wanted to make in relation to world historical archive and a definite anti-colonial stance. Yet another story of a unique person in the world was not my goal, although it would also be taken that way. I wanted to reach those who were concerned with looking at the historical present.

In focusing on my mother and myself, it came one day in a dream. Just as the opening scene in my book presents, I am suddenly woken up in the middle of the night to write: みずこ 水子 ミズコ (mizuko) on a notepad I pull out from the bedside drawer. It puzzled me because, at least consciously, I did not know what this word meant or what it was. Then, the next day, I looked it up on the internet. The term mizuko, was the postwar euphemism for aborted fetus, or dead fetus. An entire religious ceremonial ritual grew out of this when the U.S. Occupation lifted its ban on religious ceremonies in Japan. Many women flooded to the countless shrines and statues to pray for those babies gone. Some were so ashamed, they did it in secret. But most women, even after given “permission,” could now do prayers in the forest and write their babies names or burn their incense in the name of that baby they let go from their bodies…

Read the entire article here.

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Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs on 2018-04-20 02:10Z by Steven

Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

2Leaf Press
June 2018
appx. 500 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-28-5
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-29-2

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd

Introduction by Gerald Horne
Foreword by Velina Hasu Houston
Edited by Karen Chau

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd’s debut, Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, is a lyrical and compelling memoir about a son of an African American father and a Japanese mother who has spent a lifetime being looked upon with curiosity and suspicion by both sides of his ancestry and the rest of society. Cloyd begins his story in present-day San Francisco, reflecting back on a war-torn identity from Japan, U.S. military bases, and migration to the United States, uncovering links to hidden histories.

Dream of the Water Children tells two main stories: Cloyd’s mother and his own. It was not until the author began writing his memoir that his mother finally addressed her experiences with racism and sexism in Occupied Japan. This helped Cloyd make better sense of, and reckon with, his dislocated inheritances. Tautly written in spare, clear poetic prose, Dream of the Water Children delivers a compelling and surprising account of racial and gender interactions. It tackles larger social histories, helping to dispel some of the great narrative myths of race and culture embedded in various identities of the Pacific and its diaspora.

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Review: Atlantic Families, Race, and Empire

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United Kingdom on 2018-04-20 00:53Z by Steven

Review: Atlantic Families, Race, and Empire

The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History
2018-04-19

Casey Schmitt, Ph.D. Candidate in early American history
College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

Daniel Livesay, Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2018).

A central thread running through Daniel Livesay’s Children of Uncertain Fortune is deceptively simple: Atlantic families structured the development of ideologies surrounding race in the British empire during the long eighteenth century.1 Woven through the book, however, is a richly nuanced exploration of what terms like Atlantic, family, race, and empire meant and how understandings of those terms changed over a pivotal hundred-year period starting in the 1730s. Through institutional records and family papers produced on both sides of the Atlantic, Livesay identifies 360 mixed-race people from Jamaica and traces the lived experiences of a handful of them as they navigated their social and economic position within transatlantic kin networks. Those individual narratives reveal how Britons experienced empire through family ties in ways that shaped their perceptions of race, colonialism, and belonging…

Read the entire review here.

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Multi-award nominated playwright Natasha Marshall talks about the return of her hit show, Half Breed!

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2018-04-20 00:40Z by Steven

Multi-award nominated playwright Natasha Marshall talks about the return of her hit show, Half Breed!

Theater Full Stop
2018-03-29

Lucy Basaba, Founder & Editor

Debuting at last year’s Edinburgh Festival, Natasha Marshall’s Half Breed has sparked conversation about what it means to be of mixed heritage in Britain today and how this is viewed within society. A part autobiographical work, Marshall’s vital one woman show has received critical acclaim, picking up multiple award nominations in the process. Marshall credits the show’s success to the influential Talawa Theatre Company and Soho Writer’s Lab for allowing the show to reach its full potential.

Both companies are renowned for their support and championing of new writing, contributing to our contemporary canon of new voices. Read on to find out more about Marshall’s response towards the show’s success, what she’d like for audiences to take away from the show and what it was like performing the show to audiences in India!

You’ll be performing your critically acclaimed show Half Breed at Soho Theatre in April before embarking on a UK tour. How are you feeling ahead of the tour?

I’m nervous but mainly so excited to take this story to the places that need it the most. Schools/ rural areas… it’s going to be a journey. Feels very surreal to be doing this because I never imagined it would go this far, but very grateful it has.

Half Breed places focus on identity; growing up as the only mixed raced resident within a rural part of the UK. What drew you to write a piece on this particular subject?

It’s my experience on what it means to be black and I never saw that portrayed anywhere, so I decided to do it myself. Just wanted to see more variety onstage for people of colour, I was tired of seeing/performing the same old stereotypes…

Read the entire interview here.

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