10 Thoughts on Anna Holmes’ New York Times Op-Ed ‘Black With (Some) White Privilege’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2018-02-13 20:38Z by Steven

10 Thoughts on Anna Holmes’ New York Times Op-Ed ‘Black With (Some) White Privilege’

Very Smart Brothas
The Root

Panama Jackson, Senior Editor

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Anna Holmes, the founder of Jezebel and editorial director at Topic.com, recently wrote an op-ed for the New York Times titled, “Black With (Some) White Privilege.” Full disclosure: I’m part of a currently running, very interesting and insightful documentary series she executive-produced called The Loving Generation, which explores the lives and identities of kids born of one black and one white parent after the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision in 1967 that struck down state laws banning interracial marriage.

Holmes calls the children of interracial marriage born between 1960 and 1985 “the Loving Generation,” though where I’m from, we just call us mixed. Or black. Mostly black. Or “You know you black, right?”

Anyway, I have quite a few qualms about the piece, especially as a mixed person who identifies as black whose picture is included in the actual op-ed—which, petty or not, makes me feel as if I co-signed the opinions and perspective. I did not. All of us who are pictured in the op-ed are also part of a supplement to the documentary series. I can’t speak for anybody else involved, but I took issue with much of the op-ed because our experiences as mixed people are varied in a way that the piece mutes…

Read the entire article here.

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Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2018-02-11 06:25Z by Steven

The Loving Generation: A Topic Original Documentary Series

February 2018

Directed and Produced by Lacey Schwartz and Mehret Mandefro
Executive Produced by Ezra Edelman and Anna Holmes

4 films | 10 min

In 1967, the Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia overturned all laws outlawing interracial marriage. The Loving Generation tells the story of a generation of Americans born to one black parent and one white parent. Their narratives provide a fascinating and unique window into the borderland between “blackness” and “whiteness”, and, in some cases, explode fixed ideas about race and identity.

View the films here.

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Black With (Some) White Privilege

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2018-02-11 06:08Z by Steven

Black With (Some) White Privilege

Sunday Review
The New York Times

Anna Holmes, Editorial Director

Credit Illustration by Anthony Gerace; Photographs by SensorSpot, via Getty Images

When I was in my early 30s, I started making a list of every child I could think of who had a black parent and a white parent and was born between 1960 and the mid- to late 1980s. It was a collection of people like me, who grew up and came of age after the Supreme Court decision in 1967 that overturned the laws in more than a dozen states that outlawed interracial marriage.

I was thinking of people I knew or had heard of, so of course the list included actors like Tracee Ellis Ross (born 1972) and Rashida Jones (1976); athletes like Derek Jeter (1974) and Jason Kidd (1973); singers like Mariah Carey (1969) and Alicia Keys (1981); and, eventually, politicians and public servants like Adrian Fenty (1970) and Ben Jealous (1973).

It occurred to me, looking at the names I’d gathered, that what I was making was not just a snapshot of a particular generation but an accounting of some of the most notable, successful, widely recognized black people in American public life — cultural, political, intellectual, academic, athletic.

It made sense: The people I could think of were the people who were the most publicly visible. But what did it mean about race and opportunity in the United States that many of the most celebrated black people in American cultural life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries happened to have been born to one white parent? What if my and my cohort’s achievements as African-Americans, especially in fields to which we historically had little access, were more about how we benefited from having one white parent in a racist society than our hard work?…

…Of course, to be a black American is to be, by definition, mixed: According to a study released in 2014, 24 percent of the genetic makeup of self-identified African-Americans is of European origin. Colorism, which places black people in an uncodified but nevertheless very real hierarchy, with the lighter-skinned among us at the top, was a fact of American life long before Loving v. Virginia. Light-skinned black Americans, even those with two black parents, have, for centuries, been considered to be closer to white people, closer to white ideals about, well, most everything…

Read the entire article here.

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These experiences led me to suspect that the breathless “post­racial” commentary that attached itself to our current president had as much to do with the fact that he is biracial as with the fact that he is black.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-07-01 21:05Z by Steven

My choice, if you can call it that, to identify as black is much different from that of, say, my father or even my own sister, whose skin is at least three shades darker than mine. The eagerness with which people gravitate toward me is not shown to many of the other black people I know. These experiences led me to suspect that the breathless “post­racial” commentary that attached itself to our current president had as much to do with the fact that he is biracial as with the fact that he is black. His blood relationship to whiteness and its attendant privileges serve as a chaser to the difficult-­to-­swallow prospect that a black man might achieve ownership of the Oval Office.

Anna Holmes, “America’s ‘Postracial’ Fantasy,” The New York Times Magazine, June 30, 2015. page MM13. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/magazine/americas-postracial-fantasy.html.

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America’s ‘Postracial’ Fantasy

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-06-30 16:51Z by Steven

America’s ‘Postracial’ Fantasy

The New York Times Magazine

Anna Holmes

Illustration by Javier Jaén

For millions of mixed-race people, identity fits more than one box, but we still see one another in black and white.

On Father’s Day, my dad and I had brunch with some close friends of mine. The conversation soon turned to their two sons: their likes, their dislikes, their habit of disrupting classmates during nap time at nursery school. At one point, as I ran my hand through one of the boys’ silky brown hair, I asked whether they consider their kids biracial. (The father is white; the mother is South Asian.) Before they could respond, the children’s paternal grandmother, in town for a visit, replied as if the answer were the most obvious thing in the world: “They’re white.”

I was taken aback, but I also realized she had a point: The two boys, who have big brown eyes and just a blush of olive in their skin, are already — and will probably continue to be — regarded as white first, South Asian a distant second. Nothing in their appearance would suggest otherwise, and who’s to say whether, once they realize that people see them as white, they will feel the need to set the record straight? Most people prefer the straightforward to the complex — especially when it when it comes to conversations about race.

A Pew Research Center study released in June, “Multiracial in America,” reports that “biracial adults who are white and Asian say they have more in common with whites than they do with Asians” and “are more likely to say they feel accepted by whites than by Asians.” While 76 percent of all mixed-­race Americans claim that their backgrounds have made “no difference” in their lives, the data and anecdotes included in the study nevertheless underscore how, for a fair number of us, words like “multiracial” and “biracial” are awkward and inadequate, denoting identities that are fluid for some and fixed for others…

…My interactions with the world also underscored that biracial children are not in any way created equal — others’ interpretations of us are informed by assumptions based on appearance. Few black-white biracial Americans, compared with multiracial Asian-­whites, have the privilege of easily “passing“: Our blackness defines us and marks us in a way that mixed-­race parentage in others does not. As the Pew survey explains, children of Native American-­white parents make up over half of the country’s multiracial population and, like Asian-­white children, are usually thought of as white. The survey also reports that although the number of black-white biracial Americans more than doubled from 2000 to 2010, 69 percent of them say that most others see them solely as black; “for multiracial adults with a black background,” Pew notes, “experiences with discrimination closely mirror those of single-­race blacks.”..

Read the entire article here.

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