Changing from Visibility to Invisibility—An Intersectional Perspective on Mixedness in Switzerland and Morocco

Posted in Africa, Articles, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Religion, Social Science on 2022-04-20 20:37Z by Steven

Changing from Visibility to Invisibility—An Intersectional Perspective on Mixedness in Switzerland and Morocco

Volume 6, Issue 2 (2022) (Special Issue: Beyond the Frontiers of Mixedness: New Approaches to Intermarriage, Multiethnicity, and Multiracialism)
DOI: 10.3390/genealogy6020030
17 pages

Gwendolyn Gilliéron, Associate Research Fellow
University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, Grand Est, France

In the context of intermarriage, mixedness can take different forms. Most often, it refers to a mix of class, religion, nationality, ethnicity or race in a couple. In this article, I go beyond a separate analysis of categories, analyzing the interrelation of these factors. The article discusses how and under which circumstances mixed children become visible in Switzerland and Morocco using a comparative and intersectional approach to mixedness. Based on 23 biographical narrative interviews, I analyze three situations of stigmatization: racialization, language practices and othering due to religious affiliation. Stigmatization processes due to mixedness, it is argued, are a relational phenomenon depending not only on markers such as ‘race’, ethnicity and religion but also on their interplay with gender, class, language and biographical experiences. The results suggest that mixed individuals have found creative ways to navigate their visibility: they normalize their binational origin, look for alternative spaces of belonging, emphasize their ‘Swiss-ness’ or ‘Moroccan-ness’, use languages to influence their social positioning or acquire knowledge about their binational origin in order to confront stigmatizations. The study reveals further that processes of othering due to mixedness are not only an issue in ‘Western’ societies that look back on a long history of immigration and have pronounced migration discourses. Even in Morocco, a country where immigration has so far been a marginal phenomenon, the importance of social hierarchies for the positioning of people of binational origin is evident.

Read the entire article in HTML or PDF format.

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Special Issue “Multiracial Identities and Experiences in/under White Supremacy”

Posted in Africa, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States on 2022-04-05 01:42Z by Steven

Special Issue “Multiracial Identities and Experiences in/under White Supremacy”

Social Sciences
Volume 11, Number 2, Special Issue “Multiracial Identities and Experiences in/under White Supremacy”
Published 2022-02-21

Guest Editors:

David L. Brunsma, Professor of Sociology
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

Jennifer Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Alabama, Huntsville

Dear Colleagues,

Social scientific scholarship on Multiracial experiences and processes of identity development have been the subject of social scientific scholarship for over three decades. During this time, scholars from a wide variety disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, geography, history, political science, and the humanities, along with the critical interdisciplinary work of women’s and gender studies, queer studies, Black studies, and others, have contributed to the present state of knowledge.

We now know that multiracial identities are dynamic and intersectional. We also know that mixed-race experiences are embedded within social institutions, social structures, political movements, histories, and stories. Processes like racialization and microaggressions, family and peer dynamics, and other important social, cultural, economic, historical, collective, and political realities are known to manifest in unique ways for mixed-race populations. Far from heralding an end to race and racism, we know that multiraciality is woven within structures of white supremacy across a broad range of social, political, and national contexts…

Read all of the nine (9) papers here.

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Who’s Black and Why? A Hidden Chapter from the Eighteenth-Century Invention of Race

Posted in Africa, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery on 2022-03-22 15:11Z by Steven

Who’s Black and Why? A Hidden Chapter from the Eighteenth-Century Invention of Race

Harvard University Press
320 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
21 photos, 1 table
Hardcover ISBN: 9780674244269

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alfonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor; Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Andrew S. Curran, William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities
Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut

The first translation and publication of sixteen submissions to the notorious eighteenth-century Bordeaux essay contest on the cause of “black” skin—an indispensable chronicle of the rise of scientifically based, anti-Black racism.

In 1739 Bordeaux’s Royal Academy of Sciences announced a contest for the best essay on the sources of “blackness.” What is the physical cause of blackness and African hair, and what is the cause of Black degeneration, the contest announcement asked. Sixteen essays, written in French and Latin, were ultimately dispatched from all over Europe. The authors ranged from naturalists to physicians, theologians to amateur savants. Documented on each page are European ideas about who is Black and why.

Looming behind these essays is the fact that some four million Africans had been kidnapped and shipped across the Atlantic by the time the contest was announced. The essays themselves represent a broad range of opinions. Some affirm that Africans had fallen from God’s grace; others that blackness had resulted from a brutal climate; still others emphasized the anatomical specificity of Africans. All the submissions nonetheless circulate around a common theme: the search for a scientific understanding of the new concept of race. More important, they provide an indispensable record of the Enlightenment-era thinking that normalized the sale and enslavement of Black human beings.

These never previously published documents survived the centuries tucked away in Bordeaux’s municipal library. Translated into English and accompanied by a detailed introduction and headnotes written by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Andrew Curran, each essay included in this volume lays bare the origins of anti-Black racism and colorism in the West.

Table of Contents

  • Preface: Who’s Black and Why?
  • Note on the Translations
  • I
    • Introduction: The 1741 Contest on the “Degeneration” of Black Skin and Hair
    • 1. Blackness through the Power of God
    • 2. Blackness through the Soul of the Father
    • 3. Blackness through the Maternal Imagination
    • 4. Blackness as a Moral Defect
    • 5. Blackness as a Result of the Torrid Zone
    • 6. Blackness as a Result of Divine Providence
    • 7. Blackness as a Result of Heat and Humidity
    • 8. Blackness as a Reversible Accident
    • 9. Blackness as a Result of Hot Air and Darkened Blood
    • 10. Blackness as a Result of a Darkened Humor
    • 11. Blackness as a Result of Blood Flow
    • 12. Blackness as an Extension of Optical Theory
    • 13. Blackness as a Result of an Original Sickness
    • 14. Blackness Degenerated
    • 15. Blackness Classified
    • 16. Blackness Dissected
  • II
    • Introduction: The 1772 Contest on “Preserving” Negroes
    • 1. A Slave Ship Surgeon on the Crossing
    • 2. A Parisian Humanitarian on the Slave Trade
    • 3. Louis Alphonse, Bordeaux Apothecary, on the Crossing
  • Select Chronology of the Representation of Africans and Race
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Credits
  • Index
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Belonging is Everything: Talking with Georgina Lawton

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2022-03-08 16:02Z by Steven

Belonging is Everything: Talking with Georgina Lawton

The Rumpus

Donna Hemans

“My teacher’s methods were most definitely trash, but that day she taught me a valuable lesson about race,” Georgina Lawton writes in her memoir Raceless: In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth about Where I Belong. “She let me know that whiteness is a wholly exclusive racial category based around notions of racial purity, and as such would never allow admittance to anyone like me.” While Lawton’s teacher had drawn boundaries around whiteness that excluded Lawton, her white, Anglo-Irish parents stubbornly insisted that their darker-skinned daughter was white like they were.

In her memoir, out now from Harper Perennial, Lawton describes her family’s silence around her racial identity, their refusal to acknowledge her difference, her own experience with racial reckoning, and the detrimental effects of growing up in a color-blind household. “As a child I spent a very long time trying to work everything out for myself before eventually becoming invested in upholding the story my parents told me: I was theirs and that’s all that mattered,” Lawton writes.

As her father is dying of cancer, Lawton and he briefly speak for the first time about the potential that their DNA is different. After her father’s death in her early twenties, Lawton embarks on a journey of self-discovery, traveling to and living in predominantly Black communities in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa, in a bid to understand and claim her own identity. The memoir, though, is not solely about Lawton’s childhood and journey. She talks to sociologists, psychologists, and others who, like her, had a part of their identities obscured, to understand how identity is formed and its relationship with race.

I spoke to Lawton recently about the challenges of writing a memoir about a story her family would rather not confront, the necessity and value of family stories, and the lasting impact of silences…

Read the entire interview here.

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Joseph Jenkins Roberts: A Love for Liberia

Posted in Africa, Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2022-02-25 18:51Z by Steven

Joseph Jenkins Roberts: A Love for Liberia

StMU Research Scholars: Featuring Scholarly Research, Writing, and Media at St. Mary’s University
St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas

Antonio Holverstott

Portrait of Joseph Jenkins Roberts taken by Augustus McCarthy circa 1840-1860 | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In 1846, the governor of the African colony of Liberia, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, called for a referendum to determine Liberia’s path towards independence. Eager colonists in the settlements of Monrovia, Bassa, Greenville, and Maryland affirmed their desire to have an independent Liberia.1 However, the legislature was designated as the final judge to determine the fate of the colony’s future. During this historic moment, Roberts was seeing his vision of independence take shape in reality. The story of Joseph Jenkins Roberts and Liberia’s autonomy was unique among stories of national independence, similar to the United States’ exit from the British Empire in the middle of the 1770s and similar to the Haitian Revolution where slaves revolted against the unfair treatment of the French government.

The story of Roberts’ stride towards obtaining independence for Liberia began when he became the colonial sheriff in 1833.2 One year after he took office, the colony’s main financial supporter and sponsor, the American Colonization Society (ACS), started to experience financial insolvency due to their failure of not being able to secure sufficient funds from the United States federal government and state legislatures. The questionable origins of the ACS and prejudiced motives of a percentage of its members made the organization look unappealing in the eyes of the government. In 1816, the ACS was founded as a product of a growing post-Revolutionary War movement advocating for the emigration of African Americans back to Africa.3 The end result of this emigration was the formation of a new sovereign state.4

Read the entire article here.

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Killing Karoline

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, South Africa on 2022-02-25 17:04Z by Steven

Killing Karoline

Jacana Media
208 pages
6.25 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-1920601959

Sara-Jayne King

What happens when the baby they buried comes back?

Born Karoline King in 1980 in Johannesburg South Africa, Sara-Jayne (as she will later be called by her adoptive parents) is the result of an affair, illegal under apartheid’s Immorality Act, between a white British woman and a black South African man. Her story reveals the shocking lie created to cover up the forbidden relationship and the hurried overseas adoption of the illegitimate baby, born during one of history’s most inhumane and destructive regimes. Killing Karoline follows the journey of the baby girl who is raised in a leafy, middle-class corner of the South of England by a white couple. Plagued by questions surrounding her own identity and unable to ‘fit in’ Sara-Jayne begins to turn on herself. She eventually returns to South Africa, after 26 years, to face her demons. There she is forced to face issues of identity, race, rejection and belonging beyond that which she could ever have imagined. She must also face her birth family, who in turn must confront what happens when the baby you kill off at a mere six weeks old returns from the dead.

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What We Lose

Posted in Africa, Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Novels, South Africa, United States on 2022-02-25 16:24Z by Steven

What We Lose

4th Estate
224 pages
5 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0735221710
Paperback ISBN: 978-0735221734

Zinzi Clemmons

A short, intense and profoundly moving debut novel about race, identity, sex and death – from one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35

Thandi is a black woman, but often mistaken for Hispanic or Asian.

She is American, but doesn’t feel as American as some of her friends.

She is South African, but doesn’t belong in South Africa either.

Her mother is dying.

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Nadia Owusu Examines Her Ghanaian-Armenian Identity In ‘Aftershocks’

Posted in Africa, Articles, Audio, Autobiography, Europe, Interviews, Media Archive on 2022-02-02 22:39Z by Steven

Nadia Owusu Examines Her Ghanaian-Armenian Identity In ‘Aftershocks’

Weekend Edition Saturday
National Public Radio

NPR’s Scott Simon speaks to Nadia Owusu about her memoir, Aftershocks.

Listen to the interview (00:07:02) and/or read the transcript here.

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The German Crocodile: A Literary Memior (Das Deutsche Krokodil)

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Books, Europe, Monographs on 2022-01-19 23:52Z by Steven

The German Crocodile: A Literary Memior (Das Deutsche Krokodil)

DAS Editions
November 2021 (originally published in 2017)
366 pages
Hardcover 978-1838221508
eBook ISBN : 978-1838221515

Ijoma Mangold (Translated into English by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp)

In this compelling memoir of growing up different, Ijoma Mangold, today one of Germany’s best literary critics, remembers his youth in 1970s Heidelberg and the new Federal Republic, and momentous visits in early adulthood to the USA and Nigeria.

His own story is inextricably linked with that of his mother, a German from the eastern province of Silesia, forced to escape as a refugee in the expulsions from 1944, and to start afresh in utter poverty in West Germany. His Nigerian father came to Germany to train in pediatric surgery but returned before Ijoma was old enough to remember him. His reappearance on the scene forces a crash collision with an unknown culture, one he grew up suspicious of, and a new complex family history to come to terms with. Mangold explores many existential questions in this lively narrative; How does a boy cope with an absent father? What was it like to grow up ‘bi-racial’ in the Federal Republic? Was he an opportunist, a master adaptor who had over-assimilated? What is the relationship between race and class? And what is more unusual in Germany: having dark skin or a passion for Thomas Mann and Richard Wagner? Ijoma shares his story with its dramatic twists and turns, not forgetting the surprises he uncovers about himself along the way.

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The Space Between Black and White

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Books, Europe, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2022-01-18 02:55Z by Steven

The Space Between Black and White

Jacaranda Books
Paperback ISBN: 9781913090128

Esuantsiwa Jane Goldsmith

This unique #TwentyIn2020 memoir sheds light on Esuantsiwa Jane Goldsmith’s journey as a feminist and political activist. The book illuminates her inner journey of self-discovery and uncovers truths that could help a growing community of mixed-race people struggling to find their own space in the world.

Illuminating her inner journey growing up mixed-race in Britain, Esua Jane Goldsmith’s unique memoir exposes the isolation and ambiguities that often come with being ‘an only’.

Raised in 1950s South London and Norfolk with a white, working-class family, Esua’s education in racial politics was immediate and personal. From Britain and Scandinavia to Italy and Tanzania, she tackled inequality wherever she saw it, establishing an inspiring legacy in the Women’s lib and Black Power movements.

Plagued by questions of her heritage and the inability to locate all pieces of herself, she embarks on a journey to Ghana to find the father who may have the answers.

A tale of love, comradeship, and identity crises, Esua’s rise to the first Black woman president of Leicester University Students’ Union and Queen Mother of her village, is inspiring, honest, and full of heart.

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