White Dads and Biracial Black Kids: Concerns and Challenges

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2023-06-19 01:05Z by Steven

White Dads and Biracial Black Kids: Concerns and Challenges

Chinyere Osuji, PhD, Author, Professor, Speaker
2023-06-08

Chinyere Osuji, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rutgers University, Camden

There are some stories that live in your head rent-free years after hearing them.

For my first book Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Love (2019, NYU Press), I conducted over 100 interviews in Brazil and the United [States] with people in interracial marriages or longterm cohabiting marital unions. There was a smorgasborg of themes that emerged in this cross-national comparison, so only the biggest or most striking ones made it into the book. Yet there are some stories that still gnaw at me.

Around 2010, I interviewed a Black woman, Felice, who married a White man, named Bob. I came to their quiet suburban home and they were kind enough to let me interview them separately AND together! When I spoke to Felice, she said that right before she met Bob, she had dated a different White man before him. His name was– let’s call him Aaron. They were native Angelinos, had grown up together, and had many friends in common. (Note for the haters: she had also dated Black men, she didn’t discriminate.) However, Bob rushed in out of nowhere, winning her heart and sealing the deal…

Read the entire article here.

Birding While Indian, A Mixed-Blood Memoir

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2023-06-09 17:24Z by Steven

Birding While Indian, A Mixed-Blood Memoir

Mad Creek Books (an imprint Ohio State University Press)
June 2023
246 pages
5.5 x 8.5 inches
6 Illustrations
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8142-5872-9
eBook (PDF): ISBN: 978-0-8142-8289-2

Thomas C. Gannon, Associate Professor of English and Ethnic Studies
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Thomas C. Gannon’s Birding While Indian spans more than fifty years of childhood walks and adult road trips to deliver, via a compendium of birds recorded and revered, the author’s life as a part-Lakota inhabitant of the Great Plains. Great Horned Owl, Sandhill Crane, Dickcissel: such species form a kind of rosary, a corrective to the rosaries that evoke Gannon’s traumatic time in an Indian boarding school in South Dakota, his mother’s tears when coworkers called her “squaw,” and the violent erasure colonialism demanded of the Indigenous humans, animals, and land of the United States.

Birding has always been Gannon’s escape and solace. He later found similar solace in literature, particularly by Native authors. He draws on both throughout this expansive, hilarious, and humane memoir. An acerbic observer—of birds, of the aftershocks of history, and of human nature—Gannon navigates his obsession with the ostensibly objective avocation of birding and his own mixed-blood subjectivity, searching for that elusive Snowy Owl and his own identity. The result is a rich reflection not only on one man’s life but on the transformative power of building a deeper relationship with the natural world.

Table of Contents

  • PREFACE: The Lifelook
  • March 1965, Piss Hill: Great Horned Owl
  • July 1967, Piss Hill: Lewis’s Woodpecker
  • January 1968, Rapid Creek: Common Goldeneye
  • June 1969, I-90: Western Meadowlark
  • April 1970, Fort Pierre/Missouri River: Sandhill Crane
  • June 1970, a Fort Pierre slough: Wood Duck
  • August 1971, Saskatchewan: Western Grebe
  • May 1977, a Rapid City marsh: Red-winged Blackbird
  • June 1978, Spearfish Canyon: American Dipper
  • June 1979, a Pennington County dirt road: Common Nighthawk
  • August 1981, Old Faithful: Common Raven
  • June 1983, a Pennington County dirt road: Long-billed Curlew
  • June 1985, Skyline Drive: Field Sparrow
  • June 1985, Fort Morgan, CO: House Finch
  • September 1987, northern Black Hills: Mourning Dove
  • December 1987, Belle Fourche, SD: [Species Unknown]
  • January 1989, Rapid City, SD: European Starling
  • January 1991, Gavins Point Dam: Long-tailed Duck
  • April 2001, U of Iowa English-Philosophy Building: Common Grackle
  • February 2003, Kirk Funeral Home: Prairie Falcon
  • April 2003, U of Iowa English-Philosophy Building: Northern Cardinal
  • May 2003, Clay County Park: Bald Eagle
  • June 2004, Ardmore, OK: Northern Mockingbird
  • June 2005, Folsom Children’s Zoo: White Stork
  • June 2006, Crazy Horse Memorial: Turkey Vulture
  • July 2008, Kountze Lake: Snowy Egret
  • August 2008, Fontenelle Forest: House Wren
  • May 2009, the lake beside Lakeside, NE: Black-necked Stilt
  • May 2009, Devils Tower: American Goldfinch
  • May 2009, Little Bighorn Battlefield: Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • May 2009, Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge: Marbled Godwit
  • July 2009, Pioneers Park: Brown-headed Cowbird
  • June 2010, Idyllwild, CA: Steller’s Jay
  • June 2010, Spirit Mound: Dickcissel
  • May 2011, Wilderness Park: Veery
  • December 2011, Highway 385: Ferruginous Hawk
  • May 2012, Indian Cave State Park: Chuck-Will’s-Widow
  • June 2012, Custer State Park: Canyon Wren
  • June 2012, Millwood State Park: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
  • July 2012, Newton Hills State Park: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • July 2012, Morrison Park: Lesser Goldfinch
  • May 2013, Pawnee Lake State Recreation Area: Bonaparte’s Gull
  • May 2014, El Segundo Beach: Brown Pelican
  • March 2015, Pawnee Lake State Recreation Area: American Robin
  • July 2016, Medicine Bow National Forest—Vedauwoo: Dusky Flycatcher
  • November 2017, Lewis and Clark Lake: Snowy Owl
  • March 2018, West Platte River Drive: Whooping Crane
  • May 2018, Little Bighorn Battlefield: Red-tailed Hawk
  • CODA: Birding While Indian
  • Works Cited and Sources Consulted
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I Would Meet You Anywhere, A Memoir

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, United States on 2023-06-09 17:04Z by Steven

I Would Meet You Anywhere, A Memoir

Mad Creek Books (an imprint of Ohio State University Press)
2023-11-04
248 pages
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8142-5883-5

Susan Kiyo Ito

Growing up with adoptive nisei parents, Susan Kiyo Ito knew only that her birth mother was Japanese American and her father white. But finding and meeting her birth mother in her early twenties was only the beginning of her search for answers, history, and identity. Though the two share a physical likeness, an affinity for ice cream, and a relationship that sometimes even feels familial, there is an ever-present tension between them, as a decades-long tug-of-war pits her birth mother’s desire for anonymity against Ito’s need to know her origins, to see and be seen. Along the way, Ito grapples with her own reproductive choices, the legacy of the Japanese American incarceration experience during World War II, and the true meaning of family. An account of love, what it’s like to feel neither here nor there, and one writer’s quest for the missing pieces that might make her feel whole, I Would Meet You Anywhere is the stirring culmination of Ito’s decision to embrace her right to know and tell her own story.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Part 1
    • I Would Meet You Anywhere
    • Go for Broke
    • The Place I Came From
    • Not a Japanese Girl
    • Searching
    • One of These Things Is Not Like the Other
    • What Do You Need?
    • A Small Crime
    • What I Did Over Spring Break
    • I Would Meet You at the Holiday Inn
  • Part 2
    • Your Mother Is Very Nice
    • The Mouse Room
    • Totaled
    • Lucky
    • I Would Meet You in a Hospital
    • Long-Lost Daughter
    • Just a Bee Sting
    • Dairy Queen
    • I Would Meet You at a Wedding
    • Origami
    • Undertow
    • Guest Room
    • Separation
    • Like a Heartbeat
  • Part 3
    • A Small Hole
    • Spit
    • I Would Meet You at the Ferry Building
    • I Had an Aunt
    • Got OBC?
    • Look at the Baby
    • The Most Japanese Person in the Family
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments
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Almost Brown, A Memoir

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Canada, Monographs, United Kingdom, United States on 2023-06-09 02:16Z by Steven

Almost Brown, A Memoir

Crown (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2023-06-06
240 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780593443019
Ebook ISBN: 9780593443026
Audiobook ISBN: 9780593740880

Charlotte Gill

An award-winning writer retraces her dysfunctional, biracial, globe-trotting family’s journey as she reckons with ethnicity and belonging, diversity and race, and the complexities of life within a multicultural household.

Charlotte Gill’s father is Indian. Her mother is English. They meet in 1960s London when the world is not quite ready for interracial love. Their union results in a total meltdown of familial relations, a lot of immigration paperwork, and three children, all in varying shades of tan. Together they set off on a journey from the United Kingdom to Canada to the United States in an elusive pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness—a dream that eventually tears them apart.

Almost Brown is an exploration of diasporic intermingling involving two eccentric parents from worlds apart and their half-brown children as they experience the paradoxes and conundrums of life as it’s lived between race checkboxes. Their intercultural experiment features turbans and tube socks, chana masala and Cherry Coke. Over time, Gill’s parents drift apart because they just aren’t compatible. But as she too finds herself distancing from her father—Why is she embarrassed to walk down the street with him and not her mom?—she doesn’t know if it’s because of his personality or his race. Is this her own unconscious bias favoring one parent over the other in the racial tug-of-war that plagues our society? Almost Brown looks for answers to questions shared by many mixed-race people: What am I? What does it mean to be a person of color when the concept is a societal invention and really only applies halfway if you are half white? Eventually, after years of silence, Gill and her father reclaim a space for forgiveness and love.

In a funny, turbulent, and ultimately heartwarming story, Gill examines the brilliant messiness of ancestry, “diversity,” and the idea of “race,” a historical concept that still informs our beliefs about ethnicity today.

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Belonging: A Daughter’s Search for Identity Through Loss and Love

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Latino Studies, Monographs on 2023-05-24 14:20Z by Steven

Belonging: A Daughter’s Search for Identity Through Loss and Love

HarperCollins
2023-03-14
320 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780063220430

Michelle Miller

The award-winning journalist and co-host of CBS Saturday Morning tells the candid, and deeply personal story of her mother’s abandonment and how the search for answers forced her to reckon with her own identity and the secrets that shaped her family for five decades.

Though Michelle Miller was an award-winning broadcast journalist for CBS News, few people in her life knew the painful secret she carried: her mother had abandoned her at birth. Los Angeles in 1967 was deeply segregated, and her mother—a Chicana hospital administrator who presented as white, had kept her affair with Michelle’s father, Dr. Ross Miller, a married trauma surgeon and Compton’s first Black city councilman—hidden, along with the unplanned pregnancy. Raised largely by her father and her paternal grandmother, Michelle had no knowledge of the woman whose genes she shared. Then, fate intervened when Michelle was twenty-two. As her father lay stricken with cancer, he told her, “Go and find your mother.”

Belonging is the chronicle of Michelle’s decades-long quest to connect with the woman who gave her life, to confront her past, and ultimately, to find her voice as a journalist, a wife, and a mother. Michelle traces the years spent trying to make sense of her mixed-race heritage and her place in white-dominated world. From the wealthy white schools where she was bussed to integrate, to the newsrooms filled with white, largely male faces, she revisits the emotional turmoil of her formative years and how the enigma of her mother and her rejection shaped Michelle’s understanding of herself and her own Blackness.

As she charts her personal journey, Michelle looks back on her decades on the ground reporting painful events, from the beating of Rodney King to the death of George Floyd, revealing how her struggle to understand her racial identity coincides with the nation’s own ongoing and imperfect racial reckoning. What emerges is an intimate family story about secrets—secrets we keep, secrets we share, and the secrets that make us who we are.

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More Than I Imagined: What a Black Man Discovered About the White Mother He Never Knew

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2023-05-24 14:15Z by Steven

More Than I Imagined: What a Black Man Discovered About the White Mother He Never Knew

Convergent Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2023-05-02
240 Pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9780593443040

John Blake, Award-Winning CNN Journalist

An award-winning journalist tells the story of his quest to reconcile with his white mother and the family he’d never met—and how faith brought them all together.

John Blake grew up in a notorious Black neighborhood in inner-city Baltimore that became the setting for the HBO series The Wire. There he became a self-described “closeted biracial person,” hostile toward white people while hiding the truth of his mother’s race. The son of a Black man and a white woman who met when interracial marriage was still illegal, Blake knew this much about his mother: She vanished from his life not long after his birth, and her family rejected him because of his race.

But at the age of seventeen, Blake had a surprise encounter that uncovered a disturbing family secret. This launched him on a quest to reconcile with his white family. His search centered on two questions: “Where is my mother?” and “Where do I belong?” More Than I Imagined is Blake’s propulsive true story about how he answered those questions with the help of an interracial church, a loving caregiver’s sacrifice, and an inexplicable childhood encounter that taught him the importance of forgiveness.

Blake covered some of the biggest stories about race in America for twenty-five years before realizing that “facts don’t change people, relationships do.” He owes this discovery to “radical integration,” which was the only way forward for him and his family—and is the only way forward for America as a multiracial democracy. More Than I Imagined is a hopeful story for our difficult times.

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Not White But Not (Entirely) Black: On the Complex History of “Passing” in America

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2023-05-04 01:20Z by Steven

Not White But Not (Entirely) Black: On the Complex History of “Passing” in America

Literary Hub
2023-05-03

Herb Harris

Herb Harris Explores How His Grandparents’ Defied Racial Categorization

Via New England Review

Read the entire article here.

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ARE YOU MIXED-RACE? Are you Biracial, Multiracial, or have biological parents of two or more races?

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2023-03-29 21:49Z by Steven

ARE YOU MIXED-RACE? Are you Biracial, Multiracial, or have biological parents of two or more races?

Tessa Nalven, M.A., Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate
University of Rhode Island

2023-03-29

This is a research study about the experiences of young adults in the United States, whose biological parents are two or more races (Multiracial). It is being conducted by Tessa Nalven and Dr. Nichea Spillane at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and is IRB-approved. The following questions will help us determine if you are eligible to be in the study and should take 3-5 minutes to complete.

For more information, click here.

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Topsy-Turvy

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2023-03-28 16:37Z by Steven

Topsy-Turvy

New England Review
Volume 44, Number 1 (2023)

Herb Harris

“It’s funny about ‘passing.’ We disapprove of it and at the same time condone it. It excites our contempt and yet we rather admire it. We shy away from it with an odd kind of revulsion, but we protect it.”
Nella Larsen, Passing

I started with a group of boxes that looked like the oldest ones in the attic. The packing tape easily lifted away, no longer sticking to the cardboard, and wine glasses and dishes emerged from pages of the Washington Post from the 1970s. Several heavy boxes contained papers and photographs belonging to my grandparents, but there was one surprisingly light box. I opened it to find a collection of hand-sewn dolls and animal puppets, just a dozen or so of the thousands I knew my grandmother had made when she was a volunteer at Children’s Hospital over the years.

Among the clowns, frogs, and bunnies was one doll that had clearly been sewn with greater care and detail than the others. I recognized it as Grandma’s work, but it had a design I’d never seen before. It was a girl with light pink skin, blue eyes, and blond hair, wearing a long floral dress with a lace collar and a pink bow. I flipped it over to reveal another girl, this one with very dark brown skin, black hair, and brown eyes. The two figures were joined at the torso, and the exaggerated contrast between their features gave the second doll a blackface quality. I remembered that toys like these were called Topsy-Turvy dolls and vaguely associated them with offensive Jim Crow cartoons and minstrel shows. Why would my grandmother, a Black woman, make such a thing? Grandma had died more than twenty years before, and, holding this strange doll in my hands, I had the sense that this was her last word on race.

A little research reveals that Topsy-Turvy dolls originated during the time of slavery. No one can ascribe a single meaning or purpose to them, but their dual identity suggests a connection to the mixed-race children who were a part of the plantation world. These children were enslaved people who could be bought or sold by law. They were also relatives of their owners: cousins, half-siblings, sons, and daughters. These relationships were usually denied, but they were often open secrets. The children might be symbols of the master’s potency or shameful reminders of his transgressions, or they might be objects of love or victims of abuse, but their existence was always charged with hidden meanings and deep conflicts. They could only be talked about with code words filled with ambiguity, like the language my grandparents used when they talked about race. Topsy-Turvy dolls were part of this language. They embodied many things that could never be said…

Read the entire article here.

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Georgia Louise Harris Brown (June 12, 1918 – September 21, 1999)

Posted in Articles, Biography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2023-03-27 16:07Z by Steven

Georgia Louise Harris Brown (June 12, 1918 – September 21, 1999)

Pioneering Women of American Architecture
October 2017

Anat Falbel
University of Campinas, Brazil

Roberta Washington, Principal
Roberta Washington Architects, New York, New York

Georgia Louise Harris Brown (1918–1999), a pioneering African American architect practicing in Chicago and Brazil from the 1940s to the 1990s, is recognized as the second African American woman licensed as an architect in the United States.1 She forged an impressive career in industrial architecture in Brazil, where she may have immigrated in the hope of escaping racial prejudice, though she was rarely credited as the designer in publications about these works. (Generally, it was the engineering firms that received the credit.)

EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Georgia Louise Harris Brown was born in Topeka, Kansas, on June 12, 1918, only six years after the extension of equal voting rights to women in the state.2 Her family’s genealogy of strong women of mixed ancestry included former enslaved African Americans who arrived from the South to the Union’s slavery-free state after 1861, Native Americans, and German settlers…

Read the entire article here.

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