This post caused a mini firestorm on my FB page. I revisted a case from 1996. Remember the black girl named Keshia Thomas from Ann Arbor, MI who with her own body protected a KKK rally supporter from being beaten? Maybe she had just watched an episode of “The Hulk” and figured her body could transform into a gamma radiatied being able to withstand, kicks, punches, sticks and stones from enraged protesters. Whatever Thomas’ motivation, her brave act of humanity touched millions and softened the Klan organizer’s heart and he thanked her. Ironic.
George Stevens whose mother was Spanish, was born in 1839, Lorad County, Mexico, and came to Utah in 1860. In 1872 he married Lucinda Vilate Flake, born 2 December 1854, Union, Utah, daughter of Green and Martha Crosby Flake, George was freighting through S.L.C. when he met Lucinda at a square dance gathering. Lucinda was known as Cinda. Sixteen years later, such a union between the two races would be against Utah law. Read the fascinating history of “The Prohibition of Interracial Marriage in Utah, 1888-1963” in the spring 2008 issue of Utah Historical Quarterly.
I remember where I was one week before Christmas in 2003. I was glued to the television along with most of America listening to the revelation of one Essie Mae Washington-Williams. She eloquently told America that the rumors were true and that she was indeed the daughter of Strom Thurmond. Her children had convinced her that she should come forward since Strom Thurmond had died. Convicted in her heart that her descendants should know all of their heritage, there was no reason to further keep the secret that several in certain circles knew anyway. This past Sunday, Essie Mae Washington-Williams died of natural causes at her home in South Carolina.
Dorothy Counts on the first day at Harding High Sept. 4, 1957 Charlotte, North Carolina
I am always referencing the Little Rock Nine or one of their members. But I want to remember and honor a brave woman who was a courageous teenager. Dorothy Counts was one of 4 black students selected to integrate all white schools in Charlotte, North Carolina. On September 4, 1957, Dot as the then 15 year-old was known to her friends and family thought it would just another school. She had no idea of the hostile crowds that awaited her. She was mocked, harassed, bullied and spat upon, in other words terrorized as those students did not want her there.
As I was driving by my cable company last week, I decided to go and pay my bill. I could have called or paid it online, but I am glad I went in. My number finally came up. That is when I met Nigel at Time Warner Cable. We engaged in small talk and since my daughter was with me, he decided to tell me about his children while looking at my account. He had a teenage son. I asked if his son was strong in Math and Science. Nigel indicated that he was which led me to tell him that his son could possibly go directly from high school to medical school. Nigel was shocked to find this out as are most who hear this. I told Nigel that if his son were so inclined, he could go to medical school directly from high school. He wanted to know more but we were almost done with my transaction. I promised I would email him some links but I am one-upping my promise. Nigel will get the benefits of just a little research effort into this arena.
I am a certified Swirl Huntress and can find black women swirlers or interracial relationship/marriage related news in the outer most regions of the Earth. Imagine my surprise when I came across this movie with an African woman interracial theme! I was beyond thrilled reading about Feathered Dreams and the trailer did not disappoint. I love movies as much as the next person, but I have found other things to do with my time quite honestly these days. However, this movie I am putting on my “MUST SEE” list. Maybe that is because the last movie I saw was 9 months ago when I was braving the frigid, nose hair freezing North Pole, Alaska 51 degrees below zero days. After that experience, nobody should be asking why movies are low priority for or anyone in my family. But I digress.
Yes, he’s mine!
Many of us with biracial children have or will experience an “Is that your baby?” moment. Sometimes it can be funny in the comical or ironic sense and sometimes it can be outright rude. One evening I went to the grocery store, got my shopping done and headed out to my car with a cart full of goodies to be consumed over the next couple of weeks.
Jamie and Nikki are engaged!
Nicole Beharie & Michael Fassbender
Robert loves Chaz
Excerpted from the Chicago Sun Times
Wednesday, July 18, is the 20th anniversary of our marriage. How can I begin to tell you about Chaz? She fills my horizon, she is the great fact of my life, she has my love, she saved me from the fate of living out my life alone, which is where I seemed to be heading. If my cancer had come, and it would have, and Chaz had not been there with me, I can imagine a descent into lonely decrepitude. I was very sick. I might have vegetated in hopelessness. This woman never lost her love, and when it was necessary she forced me to want to live. She was always there believing I could do it, and her love was like a wind forcing me back from the grave.
Mildred and Richard Loving
In honor of Loving Day…. Enjoy the pics of sisters who paved the way for Mildred and Richard Loving, and us! Set to the beautiful sound that is Etta James singing At Last.
Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture, and Creed
Swirling is a great read folks. I highly recommend that all swirlers, — curious, beginning and seasoned veterans alike get this book for the content value alone. I the Swirl Queen I posted a more detailed review on Amazon. com. If you find it helpful, let them/me know. Then purchase the book. You won’t be disappointed and I encourage you all to write a review of your own.
C0-Authors Christelyn D. Karazin and Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn have written a wonderfully delightful book that just may be the catalyst that actually sparks a new trend in America: Record numbers of black women swirling it up. Swirling will guide many black women (and all others) who want to take the first steps toward being empowered to make informed choices. This is vital when dealing with matters of the heart, desire and all things interracial relationships and marriage.
A telling article of how photographs of Richard and Mildred loving were banned in the 16 states that prohibited interracial marriage. Just 45 years ago, 16 states deemed marriages between two people of different races illegal. But in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, who was white, and his wife, Mildred Loving, of African American and Native American descent. The case changed history – and was captured on film by LIFE photographer Grey Villet, whose black-and-white photographs are now set to go on display at the International Center of Photography. See the pictures and continue reading story.
Due to the resurgence of interest in the Lovings because of this article, this video is very fitting.
“I am originally from Los Angeles California but moved to Stockholm Sweden 5 years ago after meeting and falling in love with my Swedish husband while on a cruise vacation in the Caribbean. (That sounds crazy once you write it down). The moment we met, we knew we would be together forever . We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary in November and we have 3 little girls aged 2.5 years and 14 months old twins.”
Excerpted from blogzine post Media Watch: Korean Dramas – How the Media Creates or Changes Perceptions by Betty Chambers
Update: Korean Men Marriage Rates I was asked to provide some data, so I dug up some stats. If they seem funky to anyone, please put up the correct numbers. Throughout the world, more males than females are born. This imbalance is natural. However, in Asian countries it is exasperated by female reduction from sex selection in the womb (abortion), export adoption of girls, and other extreme methods. The result is a population of males outnumbering females. Based on the gender imbalance in Korea, social changes, population movement to urban areas, there are more men than women available and interested in marriage.
The presence of people of African descent in Eastern Europe has been steadily increasing since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The case is not different in the Czech Republic, explains Kofi Nkrumah, founder of Humanitas Afrika, an organisation based in the country’s capital. The Ghanaian-born community activist writes on how his association is helping bring people of African descent resident in the city and the local Czech population together through diverse activities, which also serve to present a realistic image of Africa in the society.
Before April 1945 when the first Black soldier entered the country with General Patton’s Third Army, most Czechoslovaks had never even met a Black person, said a Czech journalist Jarka Halkova.
The African or Black presence throughout the Communist era was indeed very limited to a few diplomats and students on scholarships. It was obligatory for such students to return to their countries of origin upon completion of their studies. It was only those who graduated at the dawn of or after the collapse of the Berlin Wall that had the opportunity of seeking their pasture right there.
Some, if not many, chose to stay and, today, they are at the core of the African community in Prague in particular and in the Czech Republic in general. Added to this category of Africans is a new wave of immigrants from both the continent and the Diaspora, who have been trickling in after the iron curtain finally came tumbling down.
There is no doubt therefore that the Black presence in the streets of Prague and other major cities in the Czech Republic is gradually becoming commonplace. There are even Africans who have settled down to family lives with local Czech spouses. Children from these relationships are equally becoming fairly visible, and it might not be too long before some ingenious ethnologist, journalist or activist starts talking about Black-Czechs, Afro-Czechs or African-Czechs.
For now though, Prague is still far away from being a very cosmopolitan city in the sense of New York, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Vienna or Johannesburg. The African minority in the Czech Republic is not even included in official statistics. Instead it is placed in the so-called minorities column.
Indeed before the Velvet Revolution of 1989 and even throughout the 1990s, seeing a Black person did not simply attract casual, furtive glances, but looks of open curiosity, as Shawn Shelton observed in the December 2001 Edition of Transitions Abroad magazine. A Black person was spectacular, and skin colour was a factor in most interactions with the native population. Even today, while most Czechs don’t even bat an eyelid when they see Vietnamese owners of grocery shops, they will still often look a few seconds longer at a Black African.
It is not just about Africans and Black people. There is an element that borders on continental Africa itself. Very little is known about Africa, especially Africa South of the Sahara. The people and their culture still remain outlandish, if not mysterious, to the local Czech. Thanks to the globalisation of the skewed Western media in particular, starving children, wild child soldiers, emaciated HIV patients or even forgotten dictators like Mobutu and Amin are the images most people readily recall in association with Africa. Alternative information or images on anything positive about Africa and Africans has been virtually lacking. Until Humanitas Afrika was founded, that is.
Thus the very motivation behind the establishment of Humanitas Afrika was to help shed light on Africa, the people, their culture, and all those positive developments taking place within the continent and in the Diaspora that do not otherwise see the light of day in the Czech Republic.
Since 2000 when Humanitas Afrika was founded, it has remained focused on the dissemination of information, raising awareness, and building cultural bridges between African residents on the one hand, and the local Czech population on the other.
Needless to underline, education on and about Africa and Africans is critical to the very essence of Humanitas Afrika, which has gone about achieving education through various activities, including documentaries, seminars and public fora that target the broader general public.
Another regular activity is African afternoons. These are sessions at schools during which workshops are conducted for young students on African cuisine, drumming, religion, family structure, languages, etc. The rest are cultural events with African music, dance, art performance, fashion shows and the like, regularly organised for all and sundry.
In addition to these programmes, most of which are monthly or bi-monthly, Humanitas Afrika has also pioneered annual celebrations such as Africa Day and Black History Month in the Czech Republic. The icing on the cake, however, came at the beginning of 2005 when Humanitas Afrika launched one further pioneering feat in the name of an African Resource Centre, which also doubles as a library. It provides credible and very well balanced literature on everything African, and has since proved to be the first port of call for academics, students, travellers, tourists and the curious.
Beyond the provision of literature, it has also become the venue for screening documentaries and discussion fora or seminars. As one newspaper famously described it shortly after it was launched, the African Resource Centre “is more than just an academic addition”.
Until lions learn to write, hunters will always write their history for them. More than anything else, this proverbial saying is what inspires Humanitas Afrika most in everything it has been doing. Obviously the hunters will hardly ever pen a line on the heroism of the lions. It is about time Africa and Africans, at home and in the Diaspora, began to write and sing of their own heroism. That is exactly what Humanitas Afrika has been so zealously trying to achieve in the Czech Republic, despite resource limitations and constant challenges.
120 00 Praha 2