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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‘I Am Latino, I Am Also White’: Why A Latino Of Mixed Ancestry Struggles Each Time He Fills Out A Form

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, United States on 2023-03-19 03:08Z by Steven

‘I Am Latino, I Am Also White’: Why A Latino Of Mixed Ancestry Struggles Each Time He Fills Out A Form

LAist
2020-12-06

Thomas Lopez

At a Rose Parade float display, Thomas Lopez compares profiles with our first president. (Courtesy of Thomas Lopez)

“Mr. Lopez, we need you to turn in the form declaring your son’s race,” said the administrator from my son’s school.

In second grade, we transferred him to LAUSD from his parochial school and filed the necessary stack of paperwork, save one form. That was the statement of racial identity.

It wasn’t intentional, just an honest mistake. But it wasn’t one the school would easily overlook. They called my wife and me individually to obtain the form.

Completing this form was not easy. My son is multiracial — Black, white and Native American. I too am multiracial white and Latino. My wife and I are Mexican American…

Read the entire article here.

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That Time I Clapped Back at Langston Hughes

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2023-03-13 03:34Z by Steven

That Time I Clapped Back at Langston Hughes

Mixed Auntie Confidential
2023-03-05

TaRessa Stovall


Me at age 3

Even as a child, I balked at the stereotype of the Tragic Mulatto.

It didn’t make sense to me.

And I straight-up resented its implication: that my existence was tragic and my whole life worthless because I was “this close to” but not completely white.

Neither I nor any of the Mixed folks I grew up with seemed the least bit miserable about our ancestry or identities.

I was a young “bookworm”—today I’d be called an avid reader—regularly devouring the works of many fine poets and authors including Langston Hughes, who was one of my favorites…

Read the entire article here.

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Colin Kaepernick calls out adoptive parents’ racism as he promotes new graphic novel

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography on 2023-03-13 03:07Z by Steven

Colin Kaepernick calls out adoptive parents’ racism as he promotes new graphic novel

CNN
2023-03-10

Matt Foster

Colin Kaepernick’s graphic novel memoir details his high school years before he entered professional sports, according to the publisher. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick accused his White adoptive parents of perpetuating racism in their household in an interview with CBS’ Adriana Diaz on Thursday.

“I know my parents loved me, but there were still very problematic things that I went through,” the 35-year-old said.

“I think it was important to show that, no, this can happen in your home, and how you move forward collectively while addressing the racism that is being perpetuated.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game, A Graphic Novel

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Novels, Social Justice, United States on 2023-03-13 02:48Z by Steven

Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game, A Graphic Novel

Scholastic Graphix
2023-03-07
Paperback ISBN: 978-1338789652
6 x 0.5 x 9 inches

Written by Colin Kaepernick and Eve L. Ewing
Illustrated by Orlando Caicedo

Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game is an inspiring high school graphic novel memoir for readers 12 and up from celebrated athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick. A high school senior at a crossroads in life and heavily scouted by colleges and Major League Baseball (MLB), Colin has a bright future ahead of him as a highly touted prospect. Everyone, from his parents to his teachers and coaches, is in agreement on his future. Everyone but him.

Colin isn’t excited about baseball. In the words of five-time all-star MLB player Adam Jones, “Baseball is a white man’s sport.” He looks up to athletes like Allen Iverson: talented, hyper-competitive, unapologetically Black, and dominating their sports while staying true to themselves. College football looks a lot more fun than sleeping on hotel room floors in the minor leagues of baseball. But Colin doesn’t have a single offer to play football. Yet. This touching YA graphic novel memoir explores the story of how a young change-maker learned to find himself, make his own way, and never compromise.

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Announcing The First Be Your Mixed-Ass Self® Anthology

Posted in Autobiography, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2023-03-03 03:32Z by Steven

Announcing The First Be Your Mixed-Ass Self® Anthology

2023-02-20
Militantly Mixed

Mixed-race writers invited to share contribute to groundbreaking celebration of Mixed identity.

Militantly Mixed and Mixed Auntie Confidential announce an exciting new anthology celebrating a fresh dimension of Mixed-race identity journeys for writers at all experience levels.

The premiere issue of the Be Your Mixed Ass Self® Anthology Volume 1 welcomes original, unpublished essays and poetry by Mixed-race adults of all genders, and mixes.

“Be Your Mixed Ass Self®” is the motto of the Militantly Mixed podcast, created and hosted by Sharmane “Sir Auntie Mane” Fury. “This anthology takes that affirmation to the next level to uplift public unapologetic mixedness in ways that empower us all.”

This groundbreaking anthology will be a fundraiser for the award-winning Militantly Mixed podcast which is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2023. The anthology submission deadline is March 15, 2023.

“We’re looking for writing that shares the experience of becoming your Mixed ass self,” says TaRessa Stovall, author and blogger at Mixed Auntie Confidential, who is co-editing the anthology with Sharmane. “Contributors don’t have to be professional or published writers. We welcome new and experienced writers to add their voices to the mix.”

“It’s the authenticity of the writing for us,” said Sharmane…

For more information, click here.

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The Racism of People Who Love You: Essays on Mixed Race Belonging

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2023-01-22 18:12Z by Steven

The Racism of People Who Love You: Essays on Mixed Race Belonging

Beacon Press
2023-01-10
200 pages
Size: 5.5 x 8.5 Inches
Cloth ISBN: 978-080702636-6
Audio ISBN: 978-080700776-1

Samira K. Mehta, Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies and Jewish Studies
University of Colorado, Boulder

An unflinching look at the challenges and misunderstandings mixed-race people face in family spaces and intimate relationships across their varying cultural backgrounds

In this emotionally powerful and intellectually provocative blend of memoir, cultural criticism, and theory, scholar and essayist Samira Mehta reflects on many facets of being multiracial.

Born to a white American and a South Asian immigrant, Mehta grew up feeling more comfortable with her mother’s family than her father’s—they never carried on conversations in languages she couldn’t understand or blamed her for finding the food was too spicy. In adulthood, she realized that some of her Indian family’s assumptions about the world had become an indelible part of her—and that her well-intentioned parents had not known how to prepare her for a world that would see her as a person of color.

Popular belief assumes that mixedness gives you the ability to feel at home in more than one culture, but the flipside shows you can feel just as alienated in those spaces. In 7 essays that dissect her own experiences with a frankness tempered by generosity, Mehta confronts questions about:

  • authenticity and belonging;
  • conscious and unconscious cultural inheritance;
  • appropriate mentorship;
  • the racism of people who love you.

The Racism of People Who Love You invites people of mixed race into the conversation on race in America and the melding of found and inherited cultures of hybrid identity.

Table of Contents

  • Author’s Note
  • Introduction
  • ONE: Where Are You Really From? A Triptych
  • TWO: Meat Is Murder
  • THREE: Failing the Authenticity Test
  • FOUR: American Racism
  • FIVE: Appropriation
  • SIX: Mentoring
  • SEVEN: The Racism of People Who Love You
  • Acknowledgments
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The Wind at My Back: Resilience, Grace, and Other Gifts from My Mentor, Raven Wilkinson

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Books, Monographs on 2023-01-22 17:54Z by Steven

The Wind at My Back: Resilience, Grace, and Other Gifts from My Mentor, Raven Wilkinson

Grand Central Publishing (an imprint of Hachette Book Group)
2022-11-15
240 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781538753859
Ebook ISBN-13: 9781538753866
Audiobook ISBN-13: 9781549160080

Misty Copland with Susan Fales-Hill

From celebrated ballerina and New York Times bestselling author Misty Copeland, a heartfelt memoir about her friendship with trailblazer Raven Wilkinson which captures the importance of mentorship, shared history, and honoring the past to ensure a stronger future.

Misty Copeland made history as the first African-American principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre. Her talent, passion, and perseverance enabled her to make strides no one had accomplished before. But as she will tell you, achievement never happens in a void. Behind her, supporting her rise was her mentor Raven Wilkinson. Raven had been virtually alone in her quest to breach the all-white ballet world when she fought to be taken seriously as a Black ballerina in the 1950s and 60s. A trailblazer in the world of ballet decades before Misty’s time, Raven faced overt and casual racism, hostile crowds, and death threats for having the audacity to dance ballet.

The Wind at My Back tells the story of two unapologetically Black ballerinas, their friendship, and how they changed each other—and the dance world—forever. Misty Copeland shares her own struggles with racism and exclusion in her pursuit of this dream career and honors the women like Raven who paved the way for her but whose contributions have gone unheralded. She celebrates the connection she made with her mentor, the only teacher who could truly understand the obstacles she faced, beyond the technical or artistic demands.

A beautiful and wise memoir of intergenerational friendship and the impressive journeys of two remarkable women, The Wind at My Back captures the importance of mentorship, of shared history, and of respecting the past to ensure a stronger future.

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MIXED VOICES / VOCES MIXTAS

Posted in Autobiography, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Videos on 2023-01-01 02:52Z by Steven

MIXED VOICES / VOCES MIXTAS

INMIX-UAB
2022-12-19

Synopsis: This topical short documentary features interviews with multiethnic and multiracial youth living in Catalonia, Spain, who talk about their mixed heritage and its meaning for them, their identity and sense of belonging, and their experiences of discrimination and agency. Through these narratives, MIXED VOICES reveals that the positive, empowering experiences of mixedness—a growing reality in Spain as well as across the globe—can coexist with negative stereotypes and prejudices and the continued stigmatization and discrimination of racialized groups, who are more constrained in their identity options. In this way, the documentary highlights the socially transformative aspects of mixedness while alerting us to persistent social divisions that hinder social inclusion and cohesion.

MIXED VOICES was produced as part of the MIXED-YOUTH Research Project (“Social Relations and Identity Processes of Children of Mixed Unions: Mixedness—Between Inclusion and Social Constraints,” CSO2015-63962-R), for which a total of 152 Spanish-born individuals from very diverse ancestries were interviewed. More information about the results of this project can be found in the following publications:

  • Rodríguez-García, Dan. (2022) “The Persistence of Racial Constructs in Spain: Bringing Race and Colorblindness into the Debate on Interculturalism.” Social Sciences 11: 13. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11010013.
  • Rodríguez-García, Dan, Miguel Solana, Anna Ortiz, and Beatriz Ballestín. (2021) “Blurring of Colour Lines? Ethnoracially Mixed Youth in Spain Navigating Identity.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 47(4): 838–60. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2019.1654157.
  • Rodríguez-García, Dan, and Cristina Rodríguez-Reche. (2022) “Daughters of Maghrebian Muslim and Native Non-Muslim Couples in Spain: Identity Choices and Constraints.” Social Compass 69(3): 423–39. https://doi.org/10.1177/00377686221091045.
  • Rodríguez-García, Dan, Miguel Solana-Solana, Anna Ortiz-Guitart, and Joanna L. Freedman. (2018) “Linguistic Cultural Capital among Descendants of Mixed Couples in Catalonia, Spain.” Journal of Intercultural Studies 39(4): 429–50. https://doi.org/10.1080/07256868.2018.1487388.
  • Rodríguez-García, Dan. (2016) “Advances in the Study of Mixedness: Evaluating the Relationship Between Mixed Unions and Social Integration.” Revista UAB Divulga: Barcelona Investigación e Innovación, 11/04/2016. https://www.uab.cat/web/news-detail-1345680342044.html?noticiaid=1345700449240.

The material for this documentary was recorded in 2020 in Catalonia, Spain, in the midst of a full lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each participant self-recorded their video, which may have affected the sound and image quality in some cases. All participants have given their consent to use their recordings for the purposes of this documentary.

ORIGINAL IDEA, DIRECTION, AND PRODUCTION DESIGN:
Dan Rodríguez-García

EDITOR:
Victor Navarro-Izquierdo

PARTICIPANTS:
Carina Camacho-Semlani, Esteban Delgado-Arias, Jordi Strutt-Jaguin, Lukas Caggese-Ostergaard, Mireia Pereira-Molina, Nadya Jaziri-Arjona, Núria Ishii-Balagueró, Sonia Meynand-Giménez, Sora Ndiaye-Grau, Teresa Habimana-Jordana, Theo Bikoko-Pineda, Zeynabú Said-Xixons

PRODUCTION TEAM:
INMIX-UAB Research Group on Immigration, Mixedness, and Social Cohesion: Dan Rodríguez-García, Anna Ortiz-Guitart, Cristina Rodríguez-Reche, Teresa Habimana-Jordana, Miguel Solana-Solana, Beatriz Ballestín-González, Víctor Navarro-Izquierdo, Joanna Freedman

SUBTITLES:
Joanna Freedman & Dan Rodríguez-García

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Oachkatzlschwoaf: The word that’s ‘impossible’ to say

Posted in Anthropology, Autobiography, Europe, United Kingdom, Videos on 2022-11-26 21:46Z by Steven

Oachkatzlschwoaf: The word that’s ‘impossible’ to say

BBC Reel
2022-11-24

Words are loaded with meaning. Certain ones conjure joyful memories and others remind us of less happy times.

For Nenda Neururer, the word ‘oachkatzlschwoaf‘ invokes a range of emotions. The German word is very hard to pronounce and is synonymous with the Austrian state of Tyrol where locals tease outsiders by asking them to pronounce it.

Despite growing up in Tyrol, Nenda Neururer often felt like an outsider when confronted with this word. But when she moved to London she grew nostalgic for it and it became her little secret.

Found in Translation is a series made as part of the In The Mix project, in partnership with BBC Studios TalentWorks, Black Creators Matter and the Barbican.

Video by Nenda Neururer
Executive Producer: Paul I. Harris

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