Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2015-12-22 04:19Z by Steven

Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem

288 pages
Trimsize: 6 in (w) x 9 in (h) x 1.004 in (d)
Hardcover ISBN: 9780062331632; ISBN 10: 0062331639
eBook ISBN: 9780062331656; ISBN 10: 0062331655

Paula Williams Madison

Spanning four generations and moving between New York, Jamaica, and China, a powerful memoir that is a universal story of one woman’s search for her maternal grandfather and the key to her self-identity.

Thanks to her spiteful, jealous Jamaican mother, Nell Vera Lowe was cut off from her Chinese father, Samuel, when she was just a baby, after he announced he was taking a Chinese bride. By the time Nell was old enough to travel to her father’s shop in St. Anne’s Bay, he’d taken his family back to China, never learning what became of his eldest daughter. Bereft, Nell left Jamaica for New York to start a new life. But her Asian features set her apart from her Harlem neighbors and even her own children—a difference that contributed to her feeling of loneliness and loss which she instilled in her only daughter, Paula.

Years later, with a successful corporate career behind her and the arrival of her only grandchild raising questions about family and legacy, Paula decided to search for Samuel Lowe’s descendants in China. With the support of her brothers and the help of encouraging strangers, Paula eventually pieced together the full story of her grandfather’s life, following his story from China to Jamaica and back, and connecting with 300 surprised relatives who were overjoyed to meet her.

Finding Samuel Lowe is a remarkable journey about one woman’s path to self-discovery. It is a story about love and devotion that transcends time and race, and a beautiful reflection of the power of family and the interconnectedness of our world.

Finding Samuel Lowe includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert and photos in the text.

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‘Global Mixed Race’ conference welcomes scholars, filmmakers to Chicago

Posted in Articles, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-11-15 13:32Z by Steven

‘Global Mixed Race’ conference welcomes scholars, filmmakers to Chicago

DePaul University
News Release

DePaul University faculty Laura Kina and Camilla Fojas cofounded the Critical Mixed Race Studies conference and will deliver opening remarks at this year’s event. (Photo by Jamie Moncrief

Rebecca King-O’Riain, senior lecturer at the National University Ireland Maynooth, will give a keynote speech at the “Global Mixed Race” conference at DePaul University. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca King-O’Riain)

Zélie Asava of the Dundalk Institute of Technology in Ireland will discuss mixed race representations in Irish cinema at the “Global Mixed Race” conference at DePaul University. (Photo courtesy of Zélie Asava)

DePaul University to host free gathering Nov. 13-15

CHICAGO — Critical mixed race studies, a growing academic field that crosses national, disciplinary and racial boundaries, will be the focus of discussion by scholars, filmmakers and performers at an international conference Nov. 13-15 in Chicago. “Global Mixed Race” will be held at DePaul University’s Lincoln Park Campus, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave. In addition to presentations of scholarly research, there will be live performances and film screenings, including the Chicago premiere of “Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China” by director Paula Williams Madison.

Nearly 200 presenters from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan and Australia will participate in 45 panels during this third biennial conference, which was founded at DePaul in 2010.

“We wanted to create a dynamic space for ongoing scholarly antiracist conversations, debates, and creative processes around multiraciality that also is open and inclusive for the general public, community organizations, and those involved in the arts,” said Laura Kina, cofounder of the conference and professor of art, media and design at DePaul University. Kina is coauthor of “War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art” and an artist whose solo exhibitions include “Blue Hawai’I” and “Sugar.”

Camilla Fojas, conference cofounder and professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul, will deliver the welcoming address with Kina.

Critical mixed race studies is comparative and interdisciplinary. It engages colonial and imperial histories, giving it a transnational and global focus,” Fojas said. Her research focuses on transnational American media and cultural studies in a comparative imperial context. Her newest work, “Islands of Empire: Pop Culture and U.S. Power,” examines how the United States has narrated its relationship with island territories, including Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

The conference will feature two keynote speakers from Ireland: Rebecca King-O’Riain and Zélie Asava

Read the entire press release here.

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From Harlem to Shenzhen: One Jamaican-Chinese Woman’s Quest to Find Her Family

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United States on 2014-09-16 21:29Z by Steven

From Harlem to Shenzhen: One Jamaican-Chinese Woman’s Quest to Find Her Family

The Wall Street Journal

Debra Bruno

Growing up in New York’s Harlem, Paula Williams Madison knew she had a Chinese grandfather, even though she had never met him.

When people found out, she says, most of them would make comments such as “Really? You don’t look Chinese.” Others would laugh. Even so, she always intended to track down her mother’s father and learn the full story of her multi-ethnic Jamaican-Chinese family.

By the time she found them, her tiny American family had expanded to about 400 living members and a family tree that goes back 3,000 years. A new documentary tells the story of that journey and the discovery of a family that today extends from Shenzhen, China, to Kingston, Jamaica, and Los Angeles, California.

Ms. Madison, 62, spent much of her career at NBC, and retired a few years ago as an executive at NBC Universal, one of the first black women to achieve that rank. She says she waited until retiring to pursue her dream of reconnecting with her Chinese family.

Before, “I did know a handful of my cousins,” she says. “Now there are about 40.”

Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China,” directed by Jeanette Kong of Toronto, a fellow Chinese-Jamaican, tells the story of Ms. Madison’s quest. After slavery ended in Jamaica in 1838, the country sought immigrants to do the work slaves had performed on sugar plantations. By 1920, 4,000 of those immigrants were Chinese. Ms. Madison’s grandfather—a Hakka Chinese man from Guangdong province originally named Lowe Ding Chiu—was one of them, moving there in 1905 at age 15…

Read the entire article here.

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