You don’t have to come from Africa to have dark skin. You can come from any part of the world and be born with a darker shade of skin.
Instead of demonizing dark skin. Understand the beauty in color.
Reblogging this for the message and also for people who don’t know what actual dark skin is. When a writer writes a character as having “dark skin” this is what they are talking about. Every single one of these women are beautiful.
It is with ambivalence that I join today the celebrations that Dominicans at home and across the Diaspora find so significant.
First, I distrust nationalism in most of its manifestations. It is important to note that my cautious position toward most expressions of nationalism does not diminish my love for habichielas con dulces and Dominican Eggplants. I feel proud of my heritage (and I am both, Dominican and Puerto Rican). Nationalism, unfortunately, has been the primary culprit of most of the human-made disasters of the last 200 years (particularly when it joined Racialization, Industrialization, and Capitalism). Occasionally, nationalism is the only way out of oppressive colonialism and imperial hegemonic control (that’s why I support some currents of Puerto Rican Nationalism), and yet, it is only a temporary solution to a condition of deep subalternity.
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Second, and probably the most important one, I am ambivalent about Febrero 27 because until recently Dominican historiography has vilified the “Haitian Occupation” to inaccurate extremes. Breaking away from the “evil” Haitians became the most important historical event for the nation according to racist, trujillista and neo-trujillista historians. These writers did not take the time to explain that the breaking away from the unified Haitian State was more a matter of political and economic expediency—a reasonably one nonetheless.
This spin of historical narrative has helped fuel a hatred and acrimony that continues to escalate leaving little space for fair trade, responsible discourses, and much needed cooperation. So, it is essential that we start looking at our history more critically in order for us to enjoy our national celebrations with a more positive meaning. And it is only after I have had the opportunity to respond to the often-mindless following of nationalistic rhetoric that I will join in celebrating the bravery and thoughtfulness of the entire Trinitaria.
Dennis R. Hidalgo
Today’s Google doodle in the Dominican Republic commemorates Dominican independence day.
- Dominican Republic assures no disruption to travellers | British Airways - Travel Industry News (travelnews.britishairways.com)
- Dominican-Haitian Activist Sonia Pierre Dies at 48 (abcnews.go.com)
- Who Needs Breast Milk When You Have Coca-Cola? (bizgovsociii.wordpress.com)
- Dominican-Haitians protest government crackdown (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Tensions at the Haitian and Dominican Border (repeatingislands.com)
- Activist Sonia Pierre was a beacon of hope for Haitians living in the Dominican Republic (repeatingislands.com)
- Celebrate Dominican Independence Day in Boston (boston.cbslocal.com)
- Haitians see neighbors’ post-quake solidarity wearing thin (cbsnews.com)
- Prosperidad Y Esperanza Group : Dominican Republic (socialactions.net)
- Stripping Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship is unjust (repeatingislands.com)
- A response from the embassy of the Dominican Republic (economist.com)
- Plan De Lucha 3 Group : Dominican Republic (kiva.org)
- Dominican Republic: The Groom and His Bride (alainsojourner.com)
- Dominican Republic: Sunrise at Punta Cana (alainsojourner.com)
- At least 5 dead after migrant boat sinks near Dominican Republic (cnn.com)
- Transfixing Google Doodle Celebrates Waves (gizmodo.com.au)
The following post, which I just reblogged in our class’ Tumblr page, relates directly to our discussions on the evolution of the idea of Race as a determinating factor in classifying humans. You may remember that Jefferson entered in our conversations after reviewing the “Race” quiz questions. Some of you wanted to learn more about Jefferson’s contribution and I relished at the interest, not simply because it relates to my own research project, but because I welcome opportunities to work with primary sources in the classroom.
The relationship (between Jefferson and the post’s topic) is closer at the point when Jefferson wrote about Blacks’ emotive, but diminished reasoning powers. And this may be revealing in many ways because it may indicate the intellectual origins of the new enslaving culture, which patronized and enslaved Black people for “their own good” (this practice flourished in the U.S. and other countries that kept slavery even after the official abolition of the Atlantic slave trade in 1807-8).
In the 1780s, the author of the Declaration of Independence figured that Blacks were largely emotional beings; that they would gravitate toward pleasure and bliss even when circumstances would not justify it. So, not much free time for Blacks, they should not be left on their own to reflect (they can’t, anyhow), but should be “employed” all the time, and kept busy even against their will (read: enslaved), for their “own good.” The following quote is one that you read out-load in class, where the idea is quite clear:
“A black after hard labour through the day, will be induced by the slightest amusements to sit up till midnight, or later, though knowing he must be out with the first dawn of the morning. They are at least as brave, and more adventuresome. But this may perhaps proceed from a want of forethought, which prevents their seeing a danger till it be present. –When present, they do not go through it with more coolness or steadiness than the whites. They are more ardent after their female: but love seems with them to be more an eager desire, than a tender delicate mixture of sentiment and sensation. Their griefs (sic) are transient. Those numberless afflictions which render it doubtful whether heaven has given life to us in mercy or in wrath, are less felt, and sooner forgotten with them. In general, their existence appears to participate more of sensation than reflection. To this must be ascribed their disposition to sleep when abstract from their diversions, and unemployed in labour.”
Jefferson’s quote is significant because it shows the rationale behind the ongoing process of differentiation (how people accentuate the differences among humans) based now not so much as it was before, on religion, language or even family name, but on perceived biological differences. People in positions of power, particularly slave-masters like Jefferson, imposed these differences, or better-said, biological markers, on all Black people. It did not matter how different would a Black be from another Black, in this new paradigm (relatively new for 1780s), they were all the same.
From this analysis we make sense of two uncommon, yet very descriptive terms, which we have mentioned in class before:
1- Essentialism: applied to our study of the history of race, it means that for every racial category there should be a specific set of traits that everyone in this race should, more or less, share (i.e., “Asian-Americans are smart people”).
2- Racialization: is the discursive process (continuous repetitions of an idea) in which groups of people are gradually categorized by racial markers even when they were not consulted or it was not this way before; when you impose or assume a “race” on somebody (i.e., “Your people…”).
The post that I am reblogging here helps depict how the new 19th Century enslaving culture linked Watermelons to the supposedly Black’s simplicity, and thus, a key justification for their enslavement. Do not lose sight, however, of the difference in timing: Jefferson wrote in the 18th Century and the new patronizing enslaving culture emerged in the 19th Century. In other words, the proliferation of watermelons accompanying Blacks did not happen until much after Jefferson. To be exact, around the time of the Haitian Revolution and the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade (1804-1808) we begin seeing an escalation of arguments justifying slavery and stressing differences according to physical and biological characteristics.
Jefferson’s ruminations (what he wrote in 1787) seem to link him to this transition in thinking about Blacks, and this about race. And thus, we can argue that “Race” as an idea is closely linked to the justification for slavery. And it is only through digging back, in search of this idea’s genealogy, that we can find the link between the publication of the Notes of the State of Virginia and the supposed fondness Blacks have for watermelons.
Professor Dennis R. Hidalgo
If you pay attention to racist portrayals of African Americans, you will notice the frequent appearance of watermelons. Abagond has a nice collection that includes these:
Why watermelons? According to David Pilgrim, the curator of the Jim Crow Museum, defenders of slavery used the watermelon as a symbol of simplicity. African Americans, the argument went, were happy as slaves. They didn’t need the complicated responsibilities of freedom; they just needed some shade and a cool, delicious treat.
Just look at these benevolent White people (sarcasm):
I think this is an interesting example of the way in which supposedly random stereotypes have strategic beginnings. The association of Black people with a love of watermelon isn’t just a neutral stereotype, nor one that emerged because there is a “kernel of truth” (as people love to say about stereotypes). Instead, it was a deliberate tool with which to misportray African Americans and justify slavery.
“How Long This Road”: Race, Religion, and the Legacy of C. Eric Lincoln
In light of the recent death of C. Eric Lincoln, the renowned theorist of race and religion, scholars came together and created this compelling collection that represents twenty years of critical intellectual reflection in…
“Toussaint L’Ouverture” Trailer
The umbigada (pictured) is one of the most traditional and characteristic movements of many Brazilian dances and is called semba in the Quimbundo* language of the Bantus of Angola.
The semba gave birth to the jongo which in turn, gave birth to the modern-day samba.
World running out of resources: UN
A major United Nations report has called for a sustainable “evergreen revolution”, warning that time is running out to ensure there is enough food, water and fuel to meet the needs of the world’s rapidly growing population.
Full Story: ABC
You can get the report from the United Nations (pdf)
And, to supplement Brazier’s story about mathematics originating in the Indian sub-continent, watch this cute instructive video and tell me what you think.