Google+

Shifting the Lens on Race

 

(1)ne Drop:

51DBH+gzOuLShifting the Lens on Race

Edited by Yaba Blay, Ph.D.

with photography by Noelle Theard

BLACKprint Press

Hardcover, $40.00

288 pages, Illustrated

ISBN: 978-0-9896645-0-9

 

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

“What exactly is Blackness and what does it mean to be Black? Is Blackness a matter of biology or consciousness? Who determines whoyabais Black and who is not—the state, the society, or the individual? Who is Black, who is not, and who cares?

In the U.S., historically a Black person has come to be defined as any person with any known Black ancestry. This definition has been… known as the one-drop rule, meaning that one, single solitary drop of Black blood is enough to render a person black…

(1)ne Drop seeks to challenge narrow perceptions of Blackness as both an identity and a lived reality… [The book] takes the very literal position that, in order for us to see Blackness differently, we have to see Blackness differently.”

— Excerpted from the Introduction (pg. 4)

 

Traditionally, in America, if you were just a teeny-weeny bit black, you’d always been considered black. This arbitrary color line was even codified by the Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, an 1896 case brought by an octoroon light enough to pass who sued for the right to sit in the “white only” section of a segregated train traveling through the South.

Much to Homer Plessy’s chagrin, the Court sided with the State of Louisiana, taking judicial notice of the “one-drop rule,” ruling that “a Negro or black is any person with any black ancestry.” In other words, you could be black without looking black.

Fast-forward to the present, the arguably post-racial age of Obama, a time when the country has a biracial president, who nevertheless refers to himself to African-American. The nation’s population has more mixed ancestry than ever nowadays, which is reflected in the latest census offering over a dozen race options to check off, as well as “Other,” if none of the above is to your liking.

This means that folks, who only a generation ago would’ve been forced to identify themselves simply as black, now feel much more freedom to avail themselves of an array of alternatives along the ethnic spectrum. (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race is a collection of essays reflecting on racial identity by 60 introspective individuals who until relatively recently would’ve been labeled black in the eyes of the law.

This enlightening opus was edited by Dr. Yaba Blay, a professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University, and each contributor’s entry is accompanied by a proud portrait photographed by Noelle Theard, a professor at Florida International University. The book breaks down the contributors by three categories: “Mixed Black,” “American Black” and “Diaspora Black.”

Although “Black” Kathleen Cross has a black father and a white mother, she has resisted the invitations to join the “Multiracial Movement, which she sees as divisive. By contrast, Harlemite Jozen Cummings describes himself as “Mixed,” with parents who are Japanese, Puerto Rican and African-American.

Particularly fascinating are the two albinos participating in the project, Sean Gethers and Destiny Birdsong, who embrace being “Black” in spite of their white skin. Each person’s earnest explanation proves to be rather revealing and touching, leaving the lasting impression that in the 21st Century blackness is no longer defined by the government but by the eye of the selfie.

To order a copy of (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0989664503/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

,

Entertainment

Ben Affleck Directs and Stars in Gruesome Gangster Saga

    Live by Night Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams Ben Affleck Directs and Stars in Gruesome Gangster Saga    Dennis Lehane has enjoyed phenomenal success not only as a novelist but writing directly for TV (Boardwalk Empire and The Wire). And several of his crime thrillers have been brought to the big screen, including Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone, Baby, Gone. In 2007, Ben Affleck directed Gone, Baby, Gone, staying behind … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

  The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press Hardcover, $30.00 292 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4696-3253-7 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This opus] vividly tells the stories of the African-Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity

  2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity by Amy Lignor   Origami. Memory albums. Quilting. What do these have in common? Well, at one point or another in time, they have represented the “hottest” hobbies in the United States. Taking up hobbies are not only a fun thing to do for the “artistic/creative” type, but they also help to reduce stress. Even the AMA has cited the fact that taking up a hobby can produce a calming environment … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Skeeter SX210

  Skeeter SX210 By Craig Lamb After buying a bay boat, why spend more time and money getting it rigged out for your needs? With the Skeeter SX210, you get a boat already factory rigged with the standard accessories and features serious anglers want in a bay boat. Best of all, you get the extras, dependability, and durability that make it a Skeeter for an affordable price. Affordable doesn’t mean any corners were cut. That’s not the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Will NASCAR Theatrics Bring Back Viewers?

  Will NASCAR Theatrics Bring Back Viewers? by Amy Lignor   For any of the millions who once watched ABC’s Wide World of Sports and heard the words “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” they remember the footage of a skier’s crash when it came to the “agony” side of things. Everyone knew that sight was a fact – a video that was absolutely real. Nowadays, however, it seems that more and more sports are “making up” shots that … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

How Are Retail Sales in 2017?

  How Are Retail Sales in 2017? E-Commerce Reigns by Amy Lignor   Despite consumer uncertainty, as well as a very sluggish beginning to 2017, the U.S. retail sales industry is projected to increase 4% this year. Headlines show that many retailers and companies posted “soft” holiday sales to end 2016, which caused some notable retailers to either cut jobs or close stores as a result. However, when it comes to 2017, the National … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home!

  Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home! by Amy Lignor   We speak about luxury vacations, budget vacations, vacations that are fun for the kids, and many more areas of travel at this time of year. But there is also a category that many do not touch upon because they “assume” it is far too difficult for those on a budget to be able to enjoy these jaw-dropping wonders. However, whether you are a backpacker looking to “become a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]