How a work project uncovered my true family roots [NewsWorks]

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-01-25 21:30Z by Steven

How a work project uncovered my true family roots [NewsWorks]

Shannon Wink: Communications, content and digital strategy

Shannon Wink

Back in March, my boss at NewsWorks/WHYY came to me and offered what I then considered to be just a fun opportunity to spread my wings at work.

Months later, I’m still working on the project that’s basically changed the things about my life I’ve always accepted as truth.

Through a grant from WNET and the Henry Louis Gates “Finding Your Roots” initiative, I worked with DNA analysts and genealogical researches to confirm what I’d always been taught about my roots: I’m Native American, but not Irish. Turns out neither is likely true.

The full story is below. It originally ran on NewsWorks as a two-video package.

What do you get when you mix the genes of an Irish guy who was chased away from his family at the barrel of a shotgun with the genes of a gifted jazz musician who spent his life struggling with his own confused racial identity?


Read the entire article here.

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Raising mixed-race kids who feel secure in their identity

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-04-12 22:19Z by Steven

Raising mixed-race kids who feel secure in their identity

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Lori L. Tharps, Assistant Professor of Journalism
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I’m black American. My husband is from Spain. Before we started a family, the race of my future children never gave me cause for concern or worry. I guess I just assumed that since we lived in the United States, they’d be black like me. I did spend a lot of time researching the most successful ways to raise bilingual children. I actually thought the fact that my children were going to speak two different languages was going to be the biggest difference between us. I was wrong.

My children aren’t just black. They have a Spanish father. So that makes them biracial. And while finding the perfect label or identity box to check off on government forms is hardly a critical issue in my parenting routine, raising children who are secure in their ethnic identity often feels like a struggle.

Living in a country as race obsessed as the United States makes identity politics a necessary evil to explore when family members in the same household are different races. Please note, I firmly believe there is only one human race and that the false construct of race that was invented in the 18th century with intentions of creating a hierarchy of man, is complete and utter hogwash. Unfortunately, because as a nation we subscribe to said hogwash, I would be a bad parent if I did not address these issues with my children who will face questions and challenges about their racial identity. But the questions they face will be and are different from mine. These aren’t the kind of things they teach you how to deal with in a Parenting 101 class…

Read the entire article here.

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Michael Brown and the deadly effects of colorism

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-29 00:37Z by Steven

Michael Brown and the deadly effects of colorism

Newsworks: WHYY News
The Philadelphia Experiment
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Solomon Jones

The outcry triggered by the killings of unarmed men by police officers — from Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson, Mo., to the choking death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY — has largely focused on the victims’ skin color.

But little has been said about the fact that the men killed by police are not just African American. They are often dark skinned. That deep, ebony complexion, and all that it symbolizes, is significant, said Dr. Yaba Blay, co-director and assistant teaching professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University.

For dark-skinned black men, Blay said, “The unquestionable state of their blackness invokes fear in others. We haven’t seen racially ambiguous men gunned down by police.”

Complex prejudice

Such violence is just one consequence of what academics call colorism — the prejudging of others based on complexion…

Read the entire article here.

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