The woman defending Black lives on the border, including her own

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Passing, Social Justice, United States on 2021-12-28 02:20Z by Steven

The woman defending Black lives on the border, including her own

The Los Angeles Times

Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Houston Bureau Chief
Photography by Gina Ferazzi

Black border activist Felicia Rangel-Samponaro walks along a line of migrants at a border camp clinic Dec. 6 in Reynosa, Mexico. The nonprofit Sidewalk School she founded three years ago provides education and other services. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

REYNOSA, Mexico — So much of her is hyphenated, not just her name: Felicia Rangel-Samponaro. With caramel skin and curly brown hair that’s often tied back, she can pass as Latina.

But she identifies as Black.

On the Texas-Mexico border, she’s emerged as a vigorous defender of immigrants, and that work often forces her to reckon with how race and ethnicity — real and perceived — shape lives on the border, including her own.

“There’s a lot of oppression, discrimination and racism that goes on, on both sides of the border,” she said…

Read the entire article here.

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I thought I was White until I learned my mother’s secret. The census helped me tell my family story.

Posted in Articles, Biography, Census/Demographics, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-12-27 21:52Z by Steven

I thought I was White until I learned my mother’s secret. The census helped me tell my family story.

The Washington Post

Gail Lukasik

Gail Lukasik’s mother, Alvera Frederic Kalina, in New Orleans circa 1942. Kalina was born into a Black family in New Orleans but spent her life passing as White. (Family photo)

The first time I was grilled about my racial identity, I’d just given a talk to an all-White audience at a suburban Chicago library.

“What are you, anyway?” a woman asked. Her blunt tone put me on edge.

I’d just related my mother’s story of racial passing. How she and her New Orleans family were designated as “Negro” during the Jim Crow era, how she moved north to Ohio, married my White, bigoted father, and hid her mixed race from him and eventually us. Looking back, there were small clues, like she always wore face makeup, even to bed.

I’d told the audience about my journey of finding my mother’s birth certificate and discovering her racial secret when I was 49, confronting her — and her swearing me to secrecy until her death. Then 18 years later, I found my mother’s lost family, thanks to my appearance on PBS’sGenealogy Roadshow.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Oral history interview with Lawrence Dennis, 1967

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-12-23 20:08Z by Steven

Oral history interview with Lawrence Dennis, 1967

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections
Columbia Center for Oral History
Columbia University, New York, New York
Digitized 2010 (Originally recorded in 1967)
DOI: 10.7916/d8-cpb1-1692

Lawrence Dennis (1893-1977) interviewed by William R. Keylor (1944-).

Listen to the interview here.

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“My Uncle’s Cousin’s Great-Grandma Were a Cherokee” and I am Descended from an Ashanti King: The American Blood Idiom in the Simple Stories

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2021-12-23 17:10Z by Steven

“My Uncle’s Cousin’s Great-Grandma Were a Cherokee” and I am Descended from an Ashanti King: The American Blood Idiom in the Simple Stories

The Langston Hughes Review
Volume 27, No. 1, SPECIAL ISSUE: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” at 100: Part One Shane Graham and Chiyuma Elliott (2021)
pages 29-56
DOI: 10.5325/langhughrevi.27.1.0029

DeLisa D. Hawkes, Assistant Professor of English
University of Texas, El Paso

Langston Hughes satirizes America’s obsession with so-called “racial purity” in his stories featuring Jesse B. Semple to shed light upon internalized racism and white American attempts to erase US histories that complicate the standardized black-white color line. In his poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” (1920), the speaker challenges a singular view of the many Black histories that exist through the metaphor of rivers. In his Simple stories, Hughes’s character Jesse B. Semple reflects on American Blackness and blood stereotypes that impact racial identity formation and community building. By invoking the “Indian grandmother” and royal African ancestor tropes, Hughes complicates those compartmentalized identities and US histories implied via the American blood idiom to denote associations with enslavement that bolster notions of intraracial difference and white supremacist ideology. Hughes’s Simple stories culminate his trajectory in establishing African American pride in African ancestry and an anticolonial rejection of racial purity as a legal and social principle that contributes to monolithic conceptions of American Blackness.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Seeking Black, Multiracial Women for Research Study

Posted in Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers, Women on 2021-12-23 16:39Z by Steven

Seeking Black, Multiracial Women for Research Study


Shwana Gann, Ph.D. Candidate
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Are you a Black, multiracial woman aspiring to be a senior leader? Has your employer recently implemented diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in response to the race-based social unrest of 2020?

You may be the person I am looking for!

I am searching for volunteers to participate in a recorded, confidential, hour-long 1:1 virtual Zoom interview as part of research to understand how Black, multiracial women describe the level of organizational fairness they experience in their workplace.

Your participation will be a contribution to current research about racial equity in the workplace. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone else that you think would be interested in participating. Eligible participants will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win $50 (USD) as a thank you for their contribution.

Eligible participants:

  • are Multiracial women 18+ years of age
  • have at least one biological parent that racially identifies as Black
  • are full-time employees (working at least 30 hours/week) in a mid-level position
  • aspire to be a senior leader
  • have worked in their current organization for at least 2 years
  • work in an organization with new or renewed diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in response to the racially charged social unrest following events in the spring and summer of 2020

Some examples of DEI initiatives include but are not limited to:

  • establishing or restructuring a Diversity Council or task force
  • establishing or restructuring Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or Affinity Groups
  • hiring a dedicated DEI professional
  • publishing public statements condemning police brutality, racism, and discrimination
  • implementing DEI training
  • conducting pay and policy audits
  • conducting DEI climate assessments/employee surveys

If you would like to volunteer, follow the link here to complete the online eligibility form. For more information, contact Shawna Gann at

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How the mixed-race mestizo myth warped science in Latin America

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2021-12-21 03:40Z by Steven

How the mixed-race mestizo myth warped science in Latin America

Number 600 (2021-12-13)
pages 374-378
DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-03622-z

Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, Science Journalist
Mexico City, Mexico

Genetic studies have found a striking amount of diversity among people in Mexico. Credit: Stephania Corpi Arnaud for Nature

Researchers are trying to dismantle the flawed concept of homogeneous racial mixing that has fostered discrimination in Mexico, Brazil and other countries.

Nicéa Quintino Amauro always knew who she was.

She was born in Campinas, the last city in Brazil to prohibit slavery in 1888. She grew up in a Black neighbourhood, with a Black family. And a lot of her childhood was spent in endless meetings organized by the Unified Black Movement, the most notable Black civil-rights organization in Brazil, which her parents helped to found to fight against centuries-old racism in the country. She knew she was Black.

But in the late 1980s, when Amauro was around 13 years old, she was told at school that Brazilians were not Black. They were not white, either. Nor any other race. They were considered to be mestiços, or pardos, terms rooted in colonial caste distinctions that signify a tapestry of European, African and Indigenous backgrounds. And as one single mixed people, they were all equal to each other.

The idea felt odd. Wrong, even. “To me, it seemed quite strange,” says Amauro, now a chemist at the Federal University of Ubêrlandia in Minas Gerais and a member of the Brazilian Association of Black Researchers. “How can everyone be equal if racism exists? It doesn’t make sense.”

Amauro’s concerns echo across Latin America, where generations of people have been taught that they are the result of a long history of mixture between different ancestors who all came, or were forced, to live in the region…

Read the entire article here.

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A Point of View: Mixed Race Experience is Hard to Categorize. Stop Trying.

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2021-12-21 03:14Z by Steven

A Point of View: Mixed Race Experience is Hard to Categorize. Stop Trying.

The Inclusion Solution

Rochelle Younan-Montgomery, Founder & Facilitator at Holistic Workplace Inclusion LLC

I am mixed Egyptian and white, and I love being biracial. I can navigate differing cultural contexts with relative ease, I enjoy connecting with a wide variety of folx in a multitude of settings, and I take pleasure in deepening my non-Western cultural background. My racial identity has also been the source of an immense amount of pain. My white mother struggled with how to care for my unruly curly hair and would aggressively brush through it when it was dry (a major no-no for tight, thick curls), to the point of bringing me to tears. She now jokes that when I was 5 years old, she had my hair cut short for her birthday, to make things easier on herself. As a mother, I understand how hard parenting can be. However, the choice to “eliminate the hair problem” felt as though my natural hair was a burden for her, rather than something to be curious about, to celebrate, to work with, rather than work against. I am not alone in this; so many mixed children experience the pain of othering by their own families…

Read the entire article here.

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One and Half of You

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Poetry on 2021-12-21 03:05Z by Steven

One and Half of You

Talon Books
88 pages
6 W × 9 H × .237 D inches
Paperback ISBN: 9781772012866

Leanne Dunic

From the talented multidisciplinary artist, musician, and writer Leanne Dunic comes the lyric memoir One and Half of You. In sinuous language, with candour, openness, and surprising humour, Dunic explores sibling and romantic love and the complexities of being a biracial person looking for completion in another.

Including links to three songs written and performed for the book by tidepools.

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Thinking in Colour: A BBC Radio Collection of Documentaries on Race, Society and Black History

Posted in Audio, Barack Obama, Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Justice, United Kingdom, United States on 2021-12-16 17:53Z by Steven

Thinking in Colour: A BBC Radio Collection of Documentaries on Race, Society and Black History

BBC Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781529143560

Gary Younge, Professor of Sociology
University of Manchester

Gary Younge Gary Younge (Read by) Robin Miles (Read by) Amaka Okafor (Read by) Full Cast (Read by) Ricky Fearon (Read by)

Gary Younge explores race, society and Black history in these five fascinating documentaries

Author, broadcaster and sociology professor Gary Younge has won several awards for his books and journalism covering topics such as the civil rights movement, inequality and immigration. In this documentary collection, the former Guardian US correspondent turns his attention to current American political and social issues, including populist conservatism, and African-American identity.

In Thinking in Colour, he examines racial ‘passing’: light-skinned African-Americans who decided to live their lives as white people. Looking at the topic through the prism of Nella Larsen’s 1929 novella Passing, Gary hears three astonishing personal stories, and probes the distinction between race and colour.

Recorded shortly after the historic 2008 election, The Documentary: Opposing Obama follows Gary as he travels through Arkansas and Kentucky, talking to people who see Barack Obama’s presidency as nothing but bad news, and hearing their hopes and fears for the future.

In The Wales Window of Alabama, Gary recounts how the people of Wales helped rebuild an Alabama church, where bombers killed four girls in 1963. Hearing of the atrocity, sculptor John Petts rallied his local community to raise money, and subsequently created a new stained glass window that has become a focus for worship and a symbol of hope.

In Ebony: Black on White on Black, we hear the history of Ebony, the magazine that has charted and redefined African-American life since its launch in 1945. But what is its place in the world today, and does it still speak to contemporary African-Americans?

And in Analysis: Tea Party Politics, Gary assesses the Tea Party movement, a US right-wing protest group that objects to big government and high taxes. He finds out what sparked this grass-roots insurgency, who its supporters are, and analyses its impact.

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Mixed-race Brazilians increasingly embrace blackness

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2021-12-14 03:04Z by Steven

Mixed-race Brazilians increasingly embrace blackness

France 24

Brazilian philosopher and writer Djamila Ribeiro holds her book “Small Anti-Racist Manual” during an interview with AFP in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 8, 2021 NELSON ALMEIDA AFP

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – When Bianca Santana was little, her grandmother used to put her forearm alongside her mother’s and her own, proudly showing how the family’s skin had lightened across the generations.

Now 37, Santana, a Brazilian writer and activist, sees the long-loaded issue of race in her country through a different lens: she is proud to call herself black.

“When a child was born with lighter skin, that was cause for celebration,” says Santana, recalling the messages she received about race growing up.

She remembers how her black grandmother used to make her pull her hair into a tight bun, so she wouldn’t look like “‘those little blackies.'”

“She liked to talk about how my mother’s father had Italian blood, how his mother had blue eyes,” she says.

Today, Santana, author of the book “How I Discovered I Was Black,” proudly wears her hair in an afro, a style she only embraced at age 30.

Her shifting sense of identity is increasingly common in Brazil, the country with the largest black population outside Africa.

Brazil, which will celebrate Black Consciousness Day Saturday, struggles with structural racism and the legacy of slavery, which it only abolished in 1888 — the last country in the Americas to do so.

But for the large mixed-race population in this sprawling country of 213 million people, the stigma long attached to blackness is fading.

“Mixed-race people in Brazil increasingly identify as black,” Santana says.

“They’re straightening their hair less, they’re embracing black identity more and more.”…

Read the entire article here.

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