Necessarily Black: Cape Verdean Youth, Hip-Hop Culture, and a Critique of Identity

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2016-06-09 20:37Z by Steven

Necessarily Black: Cape Verdean Youth, Hip-Hop Culture, and a Critique of Identity

Michigan State University Press
August 2015
134 pages
6 in x 9 in
Paperback ISBN: 9781611861686

P. Khalil Saucier, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Sociology
Rhode Island College

Necessarily Black is an ethnographic account of second-generation Cape Verdean youth identity in the United States and a theoretical attempt to broaden and complicate current discussions about race and racial identity in the twenty-first century. P. Khalil Saucier grapples with the performance, embodiment, and nuances of racialized identities (blackened bodies) in empirical contexts. He looks into the durability and (in)flexibility of race and racial discourse through an imbricated and multidimensional understanding of racial identity and racial positioning. In doing so, Saucier examines how Cape Verdean youth negotiate their identity within the popular fabrication of “multiracial America.” He also explores the ways in which racial blackness has come to be lived by Cape Verdean youth in everyday life and how racialization feeds back into the experience of these youth classified as black through a matrix of social and material settings. Saucier examines how ascriptions of blackness and forms of black popular culture inform subjectivities. The author also examines hip-hop culture to see how it is used as a site where new (and old) identities of being, becoming, and belonging are fashioned and reworked. Necessarily Black explores race and how Cape Verdean youth think and feel their identities into existence, while keeping in mind the dynamics and politics of racialization, mixed-race identities, and anti-blackness.

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The Chican@ Hip Hop Nation: Politics of a New Millennial Mestizaje

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2013-09-14 18:03Z by Steven

The Chican@ Hip Hop Nation: Politics of a New Millennial Mestizaje

Michigan State University Press
310 pages
6 in x 9 in
Paperback ISBN: 9781611860863
eBook ISBN: 9781609173753

Pancho McFarland, Associate Professor of Sociology
Chicago State University

The population of Mexican-origin peoples in the United States is a diverse one, as reflected by age, class, gender, sexuality, and religion. Far from antiquated concepts of mestizaje, recent scholarship has shown that Mexican@/Chican@ culture is a mixture of indigenous, African, and Spanish and other European peoples and cultures. No one reflects this rich blend of cultures better than Chican@ rappers, whose lyrics and iconography can help to deepen our understanding of what it means to be Chican@ or Mexican@ today. While some identify as Mexican mestizos, others identify as indigenous people or base their identities on their class and racial/ethnic makeup. No less significant is the intimate level of contact between Chican@s and black Americans. Via a firm theoretical foundation and a collection of vibrant essays, Pancho McFarland explores the language and ethos of Chican@/Mexican@ hip hop and sheds new light on three distinct identities reflected in the music: indigenous/Mexica, Mexican nationalist/immigrant, and street hopper. With particular attention to the intersection of black and Chicano cultures, the author places exciting recent developments in music forms within the context of progressive social change, social justice, identity, and a new transnational, polycultural America.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Ruben O. Martinez
    • Chapter 1. Quién es más macho? Quién es más Mexicano?: Chican@ and Mexicans Identities in Rap
    • Chapter 2. Barrio Logos: Tlie Sacred and Profane Word of Chicano Emcees
    • Chapter 3. Sonido Indígena: Mexica Hip-Hop and Masculine Identity
    • Chapter 4. Paísas, Compas, Inmigrantes: Mexicanidad in Hip-Hop
    • Chapter 5. Barrio Locos: Street Hop and Amerikan Identity
    • Chapter 6. Multiracial Macho: Kemo the Blaxican’s Hip-Hop Masculinity
    • Chapter 7. The Rap on Chicano/Mexicano and Black Masculinity: Gender and Cross-Cultural Exchange
    • Chapter 8. “Soy la Kalle”: Radio, Reggaetón, and Latin@ Identity
    • Chapter 9. Teaching Hip-Hop: A Pedagogy for Social Justice
    • Afterword. Hip-Hop and Freedom-Dreaming in the Mexican Diaspora
  • Appendix. Music Sources
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Afro-Descendants, Identity, and the Struggle for Development in the Americas

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2012-03-31 03:34Z by Steven

Afro-Descendants, Identity, and the Struggle for Development in the Americas

Michigan State University Press
April 2012
344 pages
6 x 9, notes, references
ISBN: 978-1-61186-040-5

Edited by:

Bernd Reiter, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics
University of South Florida

Kimberly Eison Simmons, Associate Professor of Anthropology and African American Studies; Director of the Latin American Studies Program
University of South Carolina

A detailed analysis of issues facing African descendants in Latin America

Indigenous people and African descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean have long been affected by a social hierarchy established by elites, through which some groups were racialized and others were normalized. Far from being “racial paradises” populated by an amalgamated “cosmic race” of mulattos and mestizos, Latin America and the Caribbean have long been sites of shifting exploitative strategies and ideologies, ranging from scientific racism and eugenics to the more sophisticated official denial of racism and ethnic difference. This book, among the first to focus on African descendants in the region, brings together diverse reflections from scholars, activists, and funding agency representatives working to end racism and promote human rights in the Americas. By focusing on the ways racism inhibits agency among African descendants and the ways African-descendant groups position themselves in order to overcome obstacles, this interdisciplinary book provides a multi- faceted analysis of one of the gravest contemporary problems in the Americas.

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Interpreting the Census: The Elasticity of Whiteness and the Depoliticization of Race

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Census/Demographics, Chapter, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-12-28 02:31Z by Steven

Interpreting the Census: The Elasticity of Whiteness and the Depoliticization of Race 

pages 155-170 

Katya Gibel Mevorach, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Grinnell College 

From the anthology: 

Racial Liberalism and the Politics of Urban America
Michigan State University Press
280 pages
6 ” x 9 ”
ISBN: 0-87013-669-0, 978-0-87013-669-6 

Edited by: 

Curtis Stokes, Professor of Political Philosophy and African American Thought
James Madison College of Public Affairs
Michigan State University 

Theresa A. Melendez, Associate Professor of Chicano/Chicana Literature
Michigan State University 

I begin with a brief review of how whiteness was established as a norm and context for considering initial media reports of U.S. Census data on race released in March 2001.  This is followed by reflections on the politically conservative ramifications of multiracialism and multiculturalism, which have had an exaggerated impact on popular interpretations of the census.  As a preface, it should be noted that although we are, collectively, caught in the trap of using race as a noun, race should be understood as a verb—a predicate that requires action.  People do not belong to a race but the are raced; in this context, race operates as a social fact with concrete material consequences for the manner in which experiences shape individual lives and their meaning. 

Let us take note of an overlooked but rather obvious observation: inequality is not distributed equally.  Therefore Americans of all colors and national origins need a constant reminder that Africans brought to the English colonies in the 1600s were strategically and explicitly excluded, by law and social custom, from the privileges and rights accorded English men.  This is a critical factor in how U.S. history has been shaped.  Emphasizing the unequal distribution of inequality underlines the continuities and clarifies the linkages between the past and the present.  Beginning in the colonial period, being white was perceived and defined as having certain privileges and rights, including right to citizenship,  to vote, to serve in the militia and bear arms, and to be a member of a jury.  Most important of all was the right of self-possession—in other words, he right to be identified as a free person and to act on that right.  Children of enslaved African females were legally designated as slaves and property of their masters, who often where their biological fathers.  As blackness quickly came to be associated with slave status, the law set the parameters within which, conceptually, people with African ancestors would be legally and socially identified as Negroes (Fields 1990)… 

…In sum, the multiracial movement has successfully blurred the lines between two very different forms of identifying: public self-identification and personal or private plural identities. From Elk magazine to Seventeen and ABC to MTV, the notion of mixed-race and multiracial identities is given positive visibility as a celebration of how much America is changing. Curiously, this multimedia arena has neglected a discussion of the limitations of a notion of multiracialism that refers only to children whose parents are raced differently. In fact, the campaign for a multiracial category completely obscures the fact that black or African American is already a multiracial category. Patricia Williams skillfully interprets this phenomenon when she writes, “what troubles me is the degree to which few people in the world, and most particularly in the United States, are anything but multiracial, to say nothing of biracial. The use of the term seems to privilege the offspring of mixed marriages as those ‘between’ races without doing much to enhance the social status of us mixed-up products of the illegitimacies of the not so distanct past” (1997, 53)…

Read the entire chapter here.

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The Myth of the Human Races

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2010-01-11 22:33Z by Steven

The Myth of the Human Races

Michigan State University Press
December 1997
210 pages
6.00″ x 9.00″
Notes, bibliography, index
Cloth ISBN 10: 0-87013-439-6; ISBN 13: 978-0-87013-439-5

Alain F. Corcos, Professor Emeritus of Botany
Michigan State University

The idea that human races exist is a socially constructed myth that has no grounding in science. Regardless of skin, hair, or eye color, stature or physiognomy, we are all of one species. Nonetheless, scientists, social scientists, and pseudo-scientists have, for three centuries, tried vainly to prove that distinctive and separate “races” of humanity exist. These protagonists of race theory have based their flawed research on one or more of five specious assumptions:

  • humanity can be classified into groups using identifiable physical characteristics
  • human characteristics are transmitted “through the blood,”
  • distinct human physical characteristics are inherited together,
  • physical features can be linked to human behavior,
  • human groups or “races” are by their very nature unequal and, therefore, they can be ranked in order of intellectual, moral, and cultural superiority.

The Myth of Human Races systematically dispels these fallacies and unravels the web of flawed research that has been woven to demonstrate the superiority of one group of people over another.

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